10 THINGS TO TAKE AWAY FROM ROUND 11 OF THE BT PREMIERSHIP 

  • Melrose played hard ball against Hawks to go into the November break having extended their narrow lead at the top of the BT Premiership by another precious bonus point. Their prospects did not, however, look good twenty minutes in when they found themselves 15-0 down and with both their starting number nine, Murdo McAndrew, and his replacement, Richard Taylor, ‘hors de combat’. With club captain Bruce Colvine already out with a broken ankle, is this becoming a problem position for the Borderers? But ‘when the going gets tough – the tough get going’ and Jason Baggott made not a bad fist of filling in at scrum-half.

 

  • Frazier Climo in total control; two tries and another yellow card for Ross Curle; a big night in the clubhouse afterwards. Nothing new down at Millbrae – apart from a sense of relief at having exorcised some of the frustration of last season’s heart-breaking play-off Grand Final defeat.

 

  • A brute of a day for Hawks at the Greenyards with five semi-serious injuries, but nobody said that this was going to be easy. You cannot buy experience, you have to earn it – and that is, maybe, what this season is about for this young, precociously talented side.

 

  • Heriots had full front-row cover against Ayr on Saturday, but after Ruaridh Mitchell was injured, his replacement Struan Cessford was yellow carded for what appeared to be a 50/ 50 scrummaging offence. Uncontested scrums are an anathema to serious rugby, so why yellow card a prop for a marginal offence when it means going uncontested, particularly when the opposition are already bossing the scrum? And, is there not an argument for keeping the scrum live by stipulating that a team-mate should take the offending front row players place in the bin?

 

 

  • Stung, perhaps, by Peter Wright’s post match comments the last time they played, Stirling showed no lack of ambition against Boroughmuir this time around. Former Rotherham Titans pro Ross Jones was on fire, inspiring his colleagues to a hard fought, but well deserved victory, which for now takes them clear of the relegation dog fight.

 

 

  • It feels as though the November break has come at the right time for Gala – a chance to regroup after a couple of very painful results.

 

  • Dead and buried? Not yet! Hawick showed enough at Myreside to suggest that they can stay up, but they need to start keeping their heads in gear for the full eighty minutes. They need to sort out their kick offs, and the need to tighten up their discipline – Matt Landles’ late yellow card could have proven fatal. Young Darcy Graham looks like a player.

 

  • With Boroughmuir dropping into the automatic relegation spot it is maybe time for them to tighten up their game and focus on the basics and their decision making. Whilst the game was still up for grabs on Saturday, they earned a pressure line-out hard on the Stirling line, Callum Atkinson had been absolutely solid on his own ball all afternoon, yet they threw to the tail and messed it up! If Peter Wright reads Shakespeare he might be saying in the dressing room on Tuesday night that: ‘On such fine margins rests the fate of man’.

Image courtesy: Bryan Robertson

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David Barnes
About David Barnes 1323 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.