HARRY PATERSON did not get a win on his Edinburgh Accies debut against Stirling County at Raeburn Place, but the 17-year-old made an excellent first impression – linked well, was safe under the high ball, had a crack at 45-metre penalty which just missed and went over for a try – to edge out the consistently high-performing Jamie Forbes of Currie Chieftains at full-back.
Lots of contenders on the left wing this week, not least Jordan Edmunds of Boroughmuir (strong carrying and scored his ninth try of the season) and Patrick Anderson of Melrose (crossed the line twice, including a stunning solo effort), but another teenage debutant in Lomond MacPherson of Watsonians edges it with his elusive running a constant threat to the Heriot’s defence.
On the opposite wing, Gavin Parker made a crucial contribution to Boroughmuir’s win at Mansfield Park as a goal-kicker, a play-maker and a try scorer, edging out Bruce Sorbie of Stirling County.
The Currie Chieftains’ centre partnership of Joe Reynolds and Robbie Nelson were devastating off limited rations in their team’s hard-fought victory over Ayr – the league leaders had no answer for their pace and aggression when bursting onto Gregor Hunter’s flat, well-times and pinpoint accurate passes.
Melrose stand-off Struan Hutchison did not just produce a faultless kicking display off the tee, he ran his back-line brilliantly and also kicked well from hand; while Harry Warr was lively from the base and showcased his slick service at scrum-half for Ayr.
10 talking points from round 11 of the Tennent’s Premiership
Tennent’s Premiership Leaderboard – after round 11
Currie Chieftains v Ayr – Malleny men do it for the guys upstairs
In the front-row, perennial Dream Team contender Shawn Muir once again claims the loose-head slot. Meanwhile, a shoot-out for the hooker spot between two try Russell Anderson, league top try scorer Johnny Matthews and fit-again Fergus Scott, is won by the last of those three worthy contenders, thanks to a performance of real grit and leadership which included 23 tackles, eight carries and a try.
Steven Longwell absolutely dominated the scrum and made a huge contribution around the park for Ayr so was a very strong contender at tight-head, but he loses out on this occasion to former Exeter Chiefs prospect Jack Stanley, who had his best game yet since arriving at Watsonians on a partnership contract with Edinburgh Rugby.
As ever, the second-row berths were keenly contested, with Ruaridh Leishman of Heriot’s getting the nod just in front of James Head of Melrose for the number four jersey, and another Melrose man in Iain Moody edging out his opposite number Fraser Hastie at number five.
Ad there is another Chieftains combination in the back-row in recognition of flankers Thomas Gordon and Marc Kelly putting in huge shifts – 26 tackles each – against a relentless bombardment of Ayr attacks. They are joined by Ali Mackie at number eight, who once again led the charge for Stirling County in their win at Edinburgh Accies – and his offload for Sorbie’s try was a touch of class.
15. Harry Paterson (Edinburgh Accies)
14. Gavin Parker (Boroughmuir)
13. Joe Reynolds (Currie Chieftains)
12. Robbie Nelson (Currie Chieftains)
11. Lomond MacPherson (Watsonians)
10. Struan Hutchison (Melrose)
9. Harry Warr (Ayr)
1. Shawn Muir (Hawick)
2. Fergus Scott (Currie Chieftains)
3. Jack Stanley (Watsonians)
4. Ruairidh Leishman (Heriot’s)
5. Iain Moody (Melrose)
6. Marc Kelly (Currie Chieftains)
7. Thomas Gordon (Currie Chieftains)
8. Ali Mackie (Stirling County)
Stuart Hogg declares himself fit for Argentina – but should he play?