- Missing two second-rows and without Nikki Little from early on due to a knee injury, Hawick were well below their best – but they found a way to win at Goldenacre – thanks in part to a controversial Shaun Fairbairn try.
- A fairly routine win for Currie Chieftains at Braidholm keeps them on track for a home semi-final. It will have been good to get back on the horse after their Mansfield mauling two weekends ago. The return in recent weeks of Gregor Hunter, Jamie Forbes and DJ Innes provides experience and guile behind the scrum, but play-off chasing Marr will provide a stern test of the Malleny men’s title credentials on 18th February.
- Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. Edinburgh Accies did not play well but got what they needed against Selkirk at Raeburn Place. Iain Berthinussen knows his team need to be a lot sharper and more ruthless when they start playing knock-out rugby.
This weekend’s other Premiership match reports:
Premiership: Musselburgh beat Jed-Forest to take survival fight to the wire
Premiership: Hawick too strong for Heriot’s Blues
Premiership: Currie Chieftains win leaves GHA staring down a barrel
Premiership: Edinburgh Accies secure play-off spot with win over ill-disciplined Selkirk
Premiership: Marr’s destiny in their own hands after win over Glasgow Hawks
- That fourth play-off spot is now Marr‘s to lose after a professional dismantling of Glasgow Hawks at Fullarton. Craig Redpath’s side travel to Malleny next week in good heart after seven wins out of their last eight matches (losing only to table-toppers Hawick), and they’ll draw confidence from their victorious last visit to Balerno in last season’s Premiership Final.
- A dozy start, poor discipline and wayward place-kicking cost Selkirk a game they could, and really should, have won. A frustrating way to lose the initiative in the play-off race, which must have left Scott Wight spitting nails. It was all so avoidable.
- With four players in the Scotland Under-20s squad named last week, and Andrew McLean set to join them when he recovers from concussion, Glasgow Hawks continue to play an important role in the development pathway. But relentless player turnover makes continuity hard, and some slipshod moments cost them against Marr.
- Some familiar gremlins came back to torment Jed-Forest at Stoneyhill with the first half penalty count contributing to three maul tries for Musselburgh, leaving the Borderers with too much of a mountain to climb. At least headed back down the A68 with a bonus-point in the boot of the team coach. They can treat next weekend’s Cup game against Hawick as a ‘free-hit’ as coach Andy Brown looks to build some momentum to take into next season.
- Coughing up seven points in the first minute, and 21 points inside 16 minutes, is a recipe for disaster against a team of Currie Chieftains’ calibre. With Premiership status on the line at Mansfield Park next weekend, GHA need to be focussed from the start, disciplined throughout and, most importantly, they must be brave all over the park. An extra sprinkling of magic-dust on Luca Bardelli’s boots would be handy, too.
- With lessons learned from recent weeks when they have let fellow strugglers Heriot’s Blues and GHA off the hook to varying extents, Musselburgh kept their season alive with a hard-nosed first half performance at home to Jed before keeping their cool after the break. They need a similar approach at Glasgow Hawks in three weekends’ time and must then trust that results elsewhere go their way,
- Phil Smith was frustrated that Heriot’s Blues perhaps didn’t get what they deserved versus Hawick, but any league points would have been an unexpected bonus against the dominant team in the league this season. ‘The Nails’ are now bottom of the table but, crucially, their destiny is still in their own hands. Selkirk away and Edinburgh Accies at home are tough assignments – but both are winnable based on yesterday’s evidence.
Dragons v Glasgow: Warriors extend unbeaten streak to nine games