Talking points from Round One of the Tennent’s Premiership

The new league season is finally up and running, with a few gauntlets being laid and some harsh lessons being learned

GHA v Currie Chieftains
GHA recovered from a. rocky start to give as good as they got in he second half against Currie Chieftains. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
  • A half century of points in a bonus-point win on the road against a highly motivated Musselburgh outfit – on top of a solid victory over Melrose last week in the Cup – and still George Graham isn’t satisfied. Sounds like he has high expectations for his Hawick team this season, and it doesn’t look like bulk or fitness is going to be a problem. As for discipline …

 

 

  • Job done by half-time for Currie Chieftains. There was a notable drop-off after the break – which is almost inevitable when a team has established such a commanding lead – but they were never really under pressure. Plenty of new faces at Malleny Park, but an established core – which includes Fergus Scott, Mike Vernel and Gregor Hunter – has provided valuable continuity.

 

  • Some big performances from Robin Cessford, Chris Jollands and Greig Ryan in the pack for Aberdeen Grammar, and Nathan Brown looks a handful on the wing, but their home victory over Edinburgh Accies was a real team performance. Not many teams will relish a trip north to Rubislaw this season.

 

  • An early season wake-up call for Jed-Forest. They looked great for 50 minutes and have a backline which will cause any team in this league problems, but then they fell apart. They were missing some influential senior players, but that is no excuse. Some tough questions will have to be answered in training this week ahead of facing Edinburgh Accies next Saturday.

 

  • Frustration for Edinburgh Accies but Aberdeen Grammar away was always going to be a tough mission first-up for Iain Berthinussen’s new look team. They started well but lost their way, and will have to be far more clinical at Riverside Park next week.

 

  • If they didn’t know before, GHA now fully understand what it takes to compete at Premiership level. The really encouraging thing for the Braidholm faithful is that the team took their punishment in the first half then regrouped and came out fighting after the break. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Although it isn’t going to be any easier at Mansfield Park next Saturday!

 

  • We now know that Musselburgh can compete at this level on home soil with the sun shining. But surviving in the Premiership is about fronting up week-on-week, and if you are just a touch off your game you can very quickly get your pants pulled down. Next up is rampant Marr on the road next Saturday – another huge challenge!

 

  • Andy Hill remains positive about Glasgow Hawks’ prospects and it wasn’t quite the drubbing the final score-line suggests at Philiphaugh. But they were a distant second best and didn’t really look like they believed they could win this one. The return of a couple of senior figures to the pack will help, but the big challenge is finding a cutting-edge behind the scrum. Even when they were really struggling last season, their ability to score tris kept them in games.

#RWC2019: Magnus Bradbury called up as cover for Jamie Ritchie

 

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2 Comments

  1. A good result on the road for Hawick.
    I worry for Hawks .losing out in the S6 debacle is a disaster for them in terms of their future
    could see them in free fall and dissapear from the scene

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