British & Irish Cup Review: Round 4

Ayr, Melrose and Currie concluded their involvement in the 2011/12 British and Irish Cup this weekend and although none has reached the knockout stages each is able to look back with pride at their cross-border campaigns.
Victories such as that achieved by Ayr on Saturday, when they defeated last year’s nemesis Bristol, 16-14, which has underlined the competitive aspirations of the Scots. 

Ayr forward, Colin White, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with Saturday’s win. It was a very physical battle against a big English team.
“However, our defence was very well organised on the day and I think that is what won us the game in the end.
“The British & Irish Cup has once again been a great challenge for us. It’s a fantastic competition to play in, going up against teams with a professional structure and different styles of play.
“I think it has helped all the Scottish teams play more rugby and try out new things.
“We will now push as hard as we can to finish in the top three of RBS Premier A so we can be involved again next year.
“It’s a very rewarding competition for your club and your team to be involved in.”
The Ayr v Bristol match was a close-fought affair throughout. At half-time the score stood at 3-6 to the visitors. However, the game really kicked-off in the last ten minutes when, captain, Mark Stewart powered across the whitewash for the hosts’ first try taking the score to 13-14. Then on 78 minutes Sylvain Diez stole the victory slotting over a penalty, 16-14.
Melrose and Currie both suffered defeats, to the hands of London Scottish (16-23) and Nottingham (12-28) respectively.  London Scottish’s home win was their first success in this season’s competition and thus came too late to secure qualification for the quarter-finals.
The Melrose tries came from Scott Wight and Allan Dodds, while Currie winger Barrie Mansfield touched down at Malleny Park. This was bolstered with three penalties from the boot of Jamie Forbes.
RBS Premier A will kick-off on Saturday 14 January with Ayr, Melrose and Currie all playing at home against Stirling County, Dundee HSFP and Boroughmuir respectively.