WATSONIANS kicked off their weekend with a Friday night win over Edinburgh Accies, with full-back Josh Rowland and winger Rufus McLean sparkling for the Myreside men, scoring two tries each amid plenty of dangerous running. They are joined in the back three by Robbie Nairn of Ayr, who also picked up a brace for the league leaders in their victory over Glasgow Hawks.
Joe Reynolds scored twice for Currie Chieftains against Melrose, including the late try which would have snatched victory had his touch-line conversion had the legs, so he is rewarded the 13 jersey. Inside him is Jason Baggott, who arrived in Scotland from South Africa as principally a scrum-half, converted to stand-off to earn a pro contract with Edinburgh this season, and on Saturday showed his versatility by filling in at inside centre in that tight win for Melrose. Greg Cannie of Boroughmuir was in with a shout of the 12 jersey until Boroughmuir’s horrible second half collapse against Heriot’s, and DJ Innes of Watsonians also pushed hard for selection.
Lee Armstrong spearheaded Hawick’s impressive victory over Stirling County to earn the number ten jersey, while Charlie Shiel was a handful in a beaten Currie Chieftains team at scrum-half.
In the pack, three of the league’s most consistent performers in loose-head Shawn Muir of Hawick (whose 18 carries was the third most in the league), hooker Russell Anderson of Melrose and tight-head Struan Cessford of Heriot’s, anchor the scrum. Heriot’s loose-head Josh Scott deserves an honourable mention, as does Ayr’s Mr Reliable, Steven Longwell.
Normally a number eight, Iain Moody was another Melrose player out of position and he put in a huge shift, so links up with Fraser Hastie of Glasgow Hawks (who was joint top tackler in the league with 20) in the middle-row.
The back-row, as ever, was keenly contested. Michael Badenhorst of Edinburgh Accies gets the blind-slide slot for his defiance in a losing cause, with his rampaging performance with the ball in hand (five tackle breaks during 11 powerful carries, including his team’s only try) demonstrating that his team might be down but they are not out. The consistently excellent Jack McLean of Heriot’s is at open-side, edging out Drew Davison of Hawick, Thomas Gordon of Chieftains and James Miller of Watsonians.
Blair Macpherson was both Ayr’s top tackler (16) and top carrier (19), which edges him in ahead of Michael Fedo of Watsonians, Iain Wilson of Heriot’s, Grant Runciman of Melrose and Rory Drummond of Boroughmuir.
This weekend’s Tennent’s Premiership match reports –
15. Josh Rowland (Watsonians)
14. Robbie Nairn (Ayr)
13. Joe Reynolds (Currie Chieftains)
12. Jason Baggott (Melrose)
11. Rufus McLean (Watsonians)
10. Lee Armstrong (Hawick)
9. Charlie Shiel (Currie Chieftains)
1. Shawn Muir (Hawick)
2. Russell Anderson (Melrose)
3. Struan Cessford (Heriot’s)
4. Iain Moody (Melrose)
5. Fraser Hastie (Glasgow Hawks)
6. Michael Badenhorst (Edinburgh Accies)
7. Jack McLean (Heriot’s)
8. Blair Macpherson (Ayr)