6 talking points from round 14 of the Tennent’s Premiership

Ayr reclaim top spot with emphatic victory over Melrose, while Watsonians grind it out in Hawick and Heriot's run rampant over Stirling County

Heriot's - Stirling
Struan Cessford and Charlie Juppwere key components in a dominant Heriot's performance against Stirling County. Image: Bryan Robertson
  • After a listless four or five weeks Frazier Climo sprang fervently back to life on a foul afternoon at at the Greenyards as Ayr silenced the doubters with a bonus point win over their top-of-the-table rivals Melrose. He scored a couple of tries and kicked his goals to bag 22 out of his sides 32 points – but more importantly he totally dictated the terms of engagement ensuring that Ayr played the game as and where they wanted to play it. An important win and a highly satisfactory performance. Their basics were good. The pack fronted up confidently to successfully frustrate Melrose’s much vaunted driving maul and they defended vigorously team-handed across the park.

 

 

  • Heriot’s have clearly now got the bit well and truly between their teeth. They came out all guns blazing into a strong wind against Stirling County at Goldenacre to set up an eight try romp which belied the atrocious weather conditions. A masterly display of game management from scrum-half Andrew Simmers and an incredible seven conversions out of eight attempts from Ross Jones were maybe the highlights –  but overall it was a pretty impressive show –  and if they have left it too late to win the league section of this season –  they could still be very short odds come the play-offs.

 

 

  • A second poor performance on the trot from Stirling County against Heriots at Goldenacre. Tight head prop Adam Nichol did score an excellent Andrew Goudie orchestrated team try in the first half featuring some impressive ball retention and some great hands – but that one play was really as good as it got. They need some work on their receipt of kick-offs – their line-out was under pressure throughout –  and their basics let them down badly when the pressure came on playing into the wind in the second half.

 

  • A great effort against the meteorological odds from Hawick to get their game with Watsonians played – and, winning the try count 2-1, they maybe deserved to take more out of it than a losing bonus point – though they have undoubtedly reasserted their right to sit at the top table of Scottish club rugby. It was, however, tight margins – and maybe declining the pro player on offer was an unnecessarily altruistic gesture.

This weekend’s match reports –

Melrose v Ayr: Frazier Climo orchestrates emphatic away win

Heriot’s v Stirling County: pack power key for hosts

Hawick v Watsonians: Visitors dog it out

 

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