Border Reivers 16, The Ospreys 24 The Border Reivers played their final game at Netherdale and pushed the eventual Magners League champions all the way in a memorable and gutsy encounter. The moment the final whistle sounded also marked the retirement of one of Scotland’s greats, Gregor Townsend.Border Reivers 16, The Ospreys 24
The Border Reivers played their final game at Netherdale and pushed the eventual Magners League champions all the way in a memorable and gutsy fashion.
The moment the final whistle sounded also marked the retirement of one of Scotland’s greats, Gregor Townsend.
After the game, head coach Steve Bates said: "I couldn't have asked any more of the players. It was performance full of character."
Townsend added: "I'm really proud of the effort from the boys today in the circumstances.
"We've played well against the best - Biarritz away, Leinster at home and tonight - we just haven't been able to find consistency."
When asked about his emotions on the day of his retirement, he concluded: "My emotions are for this club, not me."
The Ospreys came out of the blocks the better side, passing the Magners League trophy they so desperately wanted as they ran out onto the field - both teams wearing yellow arm bands in respect of Madeleine McCann who disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve on 3 May.
In took the visitors only five minutes to cross the line as Filo Tiatia ran between the posts for an easy opening score. James Hook converted.
It was then up to the boot of Calum MacRae to claw the Reivers back as he slotted two first half penalties, The Ospreys replying with another try, this time from Sonny Parker.
Slack defending from Townsend gave Hook the catalyst for the try as he selflessly offloaded to Parker for the finish.
The second half saw the Reivers make some ceremonious substitutions as it marked the last outing in a Reivers shirt.
However, Parker was in the mood to spoil the occasion as he flew over for another try after 50 minutes of play. Hook converting again.
It was prop Ed Kalman, who took the field just after half time, who put the Reivers’ only try on the board.
A break from hooker Steve Scott brought the Reivers within five meters of the whitewash and an offload to Andy Miller and then onto Kalman for a burst over the line. MacRae converted before adding his third penalty three minutes later to bring the score to 16-21.
Inevitably, it was Hook who sealed the Magners League title for The Ospreys as he bagged a late penalty to put the Reivers out of reach.