10 talking points from round 8 of the Tennent’s Premiership

Ayr rack up yet another bonus point win but Hawks make them work for it, Melrose edge a thriller against Chieftain at Malleny and heroic Heriot's fightback downs Boroughmuir

Hawick v Stirling
Hawick secured a convincing victory over Stirling County ***Image: Kenny Baillie***
  • Conditions were awkward at Balgray as Ayr ran up their eighth consecutive bonus point win – though they maybe had to work harder against Hawks than they had anticipated. They were solid up front – they kept their shape – and whilst Frazier Climo’s goal-kicking was surprisingly askew (at least partially related to Hawks forcing the visitors to score in the wide channels), he made sure that they played the game where they wanted to play it. Robbie Nairn took his two tries well.

 

 

  • A terrific effort and a huge disappointment for Currie Chieftains against Melrose. They came close but just could not convert their half chances into points – and  two bonus points were scant reward for their well-structured high-octane effort. Not fit for purpose? Pull the other leg!  A glorious game, as close and as exciting as the 32-31 score-line suggests – and what would Ben Cairns not have given to have had either Gregor Hunter or Jamie Forbes on the pitch for that final conversion?

 

  • Heriots got their season back on track with a tremendous second half fight back against Boroughmuir at Meggetland. They were twenty one points down at the break with both their starting second rows and their scrum half off injured, but they showed phenomenal strength of character and commitment to snatch a hard earned but well deserved bonus point win. As ever, Ian Wilson led from the front — and three quarters Rory McMichael, Ross Jones, Rob Kay and Jack Blain all eventually stamped their calibre on the game.

 

  • Watsonians blew the cobwebs away with a comfortable win against Edinburgh Accies at Myeside on Friday night. Stevie Lawrie was pleased with their night’s work but still hit them with a killer quote: ‘We have been consistent this season – consistently poor against top four teams’. He is, no doubt, thinking that prising the Bill McLaren Shield away from Ayr at Millbrae next Saturday would sort that one out big style.

 

  • Another one that got away for Boroughmuir, who backed off and allowed Heriots to transpose a 24-3 half time deficit into a 31-24 win. They were at the top of their game for the first 40-minutes with centres Greg Cannie and Will Wardlaw especially dangerous – but their game management in the second half let them down as badly as it did at Stirling last week. Peter Wright’s cat would be hiding behind the sofa when the great man got home last night!

 

  • Stirling County‘s woes away from Bridgehaugh continued and they dropped out of the ‘Top-6’ with a heavy defeat at Mansfield — though league position was the least of Eddie Pollock’s worries after what he described as ‘our worst performance by far this season.’ and adding that  ‘at thirty minutes we were in control and then in a fifteen minute spell we just didn’t defend. We just downed tools and let in twenty one points’. Choppy waters ahead

 

 

  • Hawick won very well against Stirling at Mansfield. Lee Armstrong’s switch back to stand-off a fortnight ago now appears nothing short of inspired. He dominated the game with two tries, two assists and five conversions out of five attempts. The young guns, Andrew Mitchell, Dalton Redpath, Daniel Suddon and Drew Davison, improve with every game – but how long will they be there? George Graham’s more immediate concern is, however, tightening up his scrum because Pietro Ceccarelli will not always be there on the bench, ready and willing to shore up any problem.

 


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