10 talking points from round 15 of the Tennent’s Premiership

Edinburgh Accies break their duck, Chieftains edge out play-off rivals Heriot's, Watsonians keep the pressure on and top two stay on track

Stirling County v Melrose
Melrose second-row James Head battles for the ball before his sending off against Stirling County. Image: Bryan Robertson

 

  • A strangely listless Melrose were somewhat compromised by the red card James Head picked up just after the break against Stirling – but they still did enough to keep the play-offs very much within their grasp. Winning away from home is better than losing away from home, particularly having been reduced to 14 men – but they will want to sharpen up for Heriot’s visit to The Greenyards next week.

 

  • Hardly a Malleny classic – but a drop-goal from the ice-cool Gregor Hunter with the last kick of the game brought Currie Chieftains a hard earned and hugely significant victory over play-off rivals Heriot’s. They were solid in the scrum – they boxed clever in the line out – and, with Mike Vernel very much to the fore, they fought tooth and nail all over the park for a full 87 minutes. It could have gone either way – but the way it did go fairly sets the trail ablaze through to the end of season.

 

 

  • Watsonians put in a solid shift to notch an important bonus point in their win over Glasgow Hawks at Myreside – and qualified to have their name inscribed on the Bill McLaren Shield in the process. They had it in the bag by half-time, and looked good throughout – with their highly mobile pack and talented backs expertly directed by Lee Millar – and Josh Rowland garnering four of their six tries. A big game against Currie Chieftains next week.

 

  • Frustration for Boroughmuir against Ayr at Millbrae where a couple of contentious refereeing decisions went against them – though in fairness the referee was entitled to the benefit of the doubt in both instances – and the key difference between the two sides lay in their respective front fives. Outgunned – they still pushed Ayr all the way – and if they are now well outwith the play-off mix, they could on current form still have a big say on who gets in.

 

  • Even though Melrose had been reduced to fourteen men at Bridgehaugh, Stirling County will be encouraged to have run them so close – and to have matched them on the try count. A good all round effort with Craig Robertson and Logan Trotter looking decidedly slick in the three-quarter line – promulgating the hope that they have got their season back on track after a couple of disappointing performances at Malleny and Goldenacre.

 

  • Hawick never got off the bus for their match against Edinburgh Accies at Raeburn Place – and George Graham was not inclined to soft-soap it. ‘We were absolutely woeful. Accies had more desire, more passion, more aggression and more get-up-and-go to win the game. Our scrum and line-out didn’t function; our break-down was non-existent; we were very poor all over the field,’he said.  Nobody could disagree. No shape – no structure – no spirit — all compounded by a worrying abrogation of discipline.

 

  • A couple of losing bonus points against Watsonians were there for the taking but with Glasgow pro Matt Smith picking up a costly yellow-card Glasgow Hawks came away from Myreside empty handed – and now have a crucial home game against Edinburgh Accies next Saturday coming their way.

 

  • It is maybe too late, but Edinburgh Accies finally showed some mettle when they ricocheted back from the humiliating defeat at Meggetland last week by destroying Hawick at Raeburn Place. They scored two blockbusting tries inside the opening five minutes and never looked back. They controlled the set piece – they defended aggressively – they played for each other – they took their chances – and they were in no way flattered by the score-line. Robbie Kent was man-of-the-match – but by the look of him, young Harry Paterson is going to be a player.

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