- A passionate afternoon at Malleny. Steven Longwell was totally dominant at scrum time for Ayr. Their ball retention was good and their driving maul was effective – but they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time – with their discomfit enhanced by two Frazier Climo goal kicks coming back off the upright.
- As expected, Melrose were too strong for Glasgow Hawks at Balgray – though they did not have things all their own way in the first half. Patrick Anderson scored a glorious individual try –and Struan Hutchison continues to grow into the stand-off berth – but Fraser Thomson’s ongoing back problem could be a cause for concern.
- A decent crowd and a great atmosphere at Myreside on Friday night where ball retention was a big problem for Heriots – which made it very difficult for them to find any foothold in the game. A very disappointing result, which, though it may not be fatal to their play-off aspirations, is none-the-less another worrying exemplar of the lack of consistency which has dogged them all season.
- ‘Big Cam’ and ‘Greco’ would have hit the vintage port hard in Valhalla on Saturday night celebrating Currie Chieftains brave victory over league leaders Ayr. Annihilated in the scrum – they fought themselves to a stand-still to win a game which, in truth, they had no right to win. Fergus Scott and Tom Gordon were nothing short of heroic up front – Robbie Nelson and Joe Reynolds attacked what little ball came their way to devastating effect – but overall it was down to the collective mindset – ‘ils ne passeront pas’ as the French troops famously yelled at Verdun in 1916.
- Watsonians had to work hard for their vital victory over Heriots. ‘Tight margins’ according to Stevie Lawrie – but they defended aggressively – Lee Millar kicked his goals confidently and there was a promising first senior game from young Lomond MacPherson on the right wing.
International coverage –
- A bonus point win at Mansfield is not to be sneezed at – but there was a distinct lack of urgency about Boroughmuir and a clear failure to take full advantage of the make-shift Hawick front-row. An excellent all-round performance from Gavin Parker – whilst both Jack Steele and Craig Keddie brought some much needed oomph off the bench.
- Stirling County dug deep to win ugly against Edinburgh Accies at Raeburn Place – with their powerful bench perhaps being the crucial factor. Ally Mackie had another good game and Peter Jericevich nipped away tellingly at his forwards
- Another frustrating afternoon for Finn Gillies as his young Glasgow Hawks team were brushed aside by Melrose – promising signs – but, again, too many basic, and largely unforced, errors on crunch plays.
- Fair play to Director of Rugby Garry Douglas – a 37-year-old retired hooker – for taking on the number three jersey in the absence of Hawick‘s only fit tight-head, who chose to go to Murrayfield instead. Up against Darryl Marfo, who was playing for Scotland this time last year, it was a struggle – but Douglas’ commitment to the cause is to be commended – and George Graham will be hoping that it is contagious.
- Derek O’Riordan might very well be right that Edinburgh Accies were the better side against Stirling County – but the bottom line is that the game is about taking your chances and scoring more points than the opposition – which is exactly what Stirling did on Saturday. He will, however, be hugely encouraged by the polished debut of his seventeen year old full back, Harry Paterson.
This weekend’s BT Prmiership match reports –