- Marr consolidated their spot at ‘Number-One’ with a comprehensive and convincing six try to two win over Hawick at Mansfield – and, in truth, were barely tested. They stuck to their basics early-on with Colin Sturgeon kicking well to keep them on the front foot. They took their chances – and had the bonus point comfortably tucked away by half time.
- On the back of a disappointing show against Marr last week, Mark Cairns’ young Currie Chieftains side will take much confidence from their workmanlike bonus point win over Edinburgh Accies in an entertaining match played at Malleny. It could have been difficult with 12 teenagers in the starting line up – and no Gregor Hunter to call the shots – but Cammy Scott, filling in at fly half, was solid – and Kiwi scrum-half Gregor Christie stepped up to the plate. With so many youngsters involved, they need to play it week-by-week – taking one step at a time – yet keeping their eye firmly fixed on the play-offs.
- A mature performance in difficult conditions gave Aberdeen Grammar full points against Musselburgh at Stoneyhill. Even without last week’s man-of-the match Mattias Schosser, their powerful well-drilled pack dictated terms and dominated territory –with two-try lock Robin Cessford absolutely outstanding.
- Another bad day for Hawick against Marr at Mansfield Park. No fight – lack of structure – poor ball retention – problems with discipline. A late rally tied the second half at 15-all – but did little to relieve the gloom amongst the faithful. An unexpected break next week with the postponement of their game against Edinburgh Accies is perhaps opportune -giving George Graham and his coaching team the scope they clearly need to tighten up the nuts and bolts of their seriously under-performing ‘green machine’.
This weekend’s Premiership match reports:
- Tough times for Edinburgh Accies – ten of last season’s squad ripped away by Super6 – and temporarily pitch-less amidst the on-going development at Raeburn Place. They were competitive enough against Chieftains – without ever really looking on top. Ruari Campbell, Jamie Loomes and Ben Appleson all had their moments in a talented back division – and Jamie Sole, Angus Inwood and Clement Lacour showed willing up front – but the whole never quite matched the sum of its constituent parts. The postponement of next week’s home game against Hawick until the New Year (with the agreement of Hawick and Scottish Rugby) will give Iain Berthinussen the opportunity for some fine tuning – as opposed to major overhaul.
- A frustrating penalty strewn game against Musselburgh for Glasgow Hawks last week – and even less joy against GHA at Braidholm yesterday. A great game which ‘neither side deserved to lose’ – but which one side had to – and well though they played, Hawks it was. They lost momentum when Liam Brims was replaced at stand off – and there was another costly yellow card for Andy Kirkland – “We just did not manage the last ten to fifteen minutes,” was coach Andy Hill’s take on it. He was maybe right. But over the season, they will play much worse – and win.
- Dario Ewing had picked up a second yellow card ten minutes into the second half, though there was a suggestion of mistaken identity – and GHA were 16 points behind going into the final quarter – but what coach Trevor Carmichael described as an ‘absolutely phenomenal’ fightback saw the Braidholm men post a dramatic landmark victory against their city rivals with the final play of the game. Replacement loose head, Michael Fox grabbed the crucial try — but Charlie Lonergan’s fingerprints were all over the game.
- Jed-Forest’s injury woes continued (against Selkirk at Philiphaugh) when, having already lost Gary Young pre-match, their influential second-row Gregor Law was stretchered off early in the second half with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury. They were 15-7 up at that point with their classy young backs looking good – but from then on in they struggled for ball – with two yellow cards not helping their cause! – and conceded the killer try in stoppage time – leaving them with a losing bonus point as scant reward for their spirited contribution to an engaging old-time Border derby.
- After their hard-earned but well-deserved victory at Balgray last week, Musselburgh shot themselves in the foot with some poor game management against Aberdeen at Stoneyhill – opting against taking an easy three points from a straightforward penalty award when weather conditions mitigated strongly in the scoreboard’s favour. Gregor Tait’s sensational second-half try might still not have been enough to see them safely home – but it would certainly have been ‘a close run thing’.