FOSROC Super6 - Round 10
Match reports from the last round of the FOSROC Super6 before the play-offs at the end of March. Stirling County hosted Boroughmuir Bears at the Oriam whilst Heriot's Rugby hosted Ayrshire Bulls and Watsonians hosted Southern Knights.
Friday 6 March
In the last FOSROC Super6 fixture in the regular league Watsonians claimed the top spot with a last minute try by Ewan Fox, with Lee Millar adding the conversion to seal the win over Southern Knights
Scoring opened within the first minute when Watsonians played through numerous phases from the kick off, they stretched Knights from one side to the other and when Mesu Kunavaula received the ball from around five meters out there was no stopping him as he scored on the stand side, stand-off and captain Lee Millar successful with the conversion from touchline.
The Southern Knights were reduced to fourteen men when second row James Head was shown a yellow card by referee Hollie Davidson for a high tackle. Although they were a man down, Knights managed to get on the scoreboard through try by backrow Iain Moody as he crashed over from short range, Jason Baggott adding the extra two points on offer to make it seven points apiece.
Knights extended their lead further when Moody’s backrow partner Ruaridh Knott twisted and turned his way over the try line, again from short range, Baggott successfully converting.
The hosts responded just before half-time when Cal Davies secured the ball down of the try-line from the back of a rolling maul. Millar was once again successful with the conversion as the two teams headed into the changing rooms level at half-time.
HALF-TIME: Watsonians 14-14 Southern Knights
Knights went ahead five minutes into the second half, as they worked their way upfield Baggott put in a cross-field kick, approximately ten meters out, winger Ciaran Whyte collected and dotted it down for the visitors third try of the game.
They then earned themselves a bonus point try when hooker Fraser Renwick secured the ball down over the line at the back of a lineout maul, Baggott adding the conversion to give the Knights a twelve-point lead with twenty minutes to go.
Just past the hour mark, Davidson awarded the hosts with a penalty try as Knights were judged to have stopped the ‘Sonians rolling maul illegally from the lineout. Not only was the score deficit narrowed to seven points, but Knights were down a man for the second time in the match as replacement prop Grant Sheills was shown a yellow card.
As the clock counted down to the final whistle the hosts attacked with intent. As they made their way towards the try line winger Lomond Macpherson was brought down five meters out, he was able off load the ball quickly to find Ewan Fox who scored the winning try on his debut for Watsonians.
With the score now levelled at twenty-six points each Millar was handed the ball to take his conversion from the touchline on the stand side. At first it looked like it might have been wide, but the home crowd soon cheered as the ball curved itself between the uprights to secure victory for the hosts.
FULL-TIME: Watsonians 28-26 Southern Knights
FOSROC Player of the Match: Lee Millar (Watsonians)
Referee: Hollie Davidson
Watsonians: 15. Jamie Forbes; 14. Lomond Macpherson, 13. Lewis Berg, 12. Joe Reynolds, 11. Ru Smith; 10. Lee Millar CAPTAIN, 9. Murray Scott; 1. Sam Grahamslaw, 2. Cal Davies, 3. Nathan Borel, 4. Michael Badenhorst, 5. Jamie Hodgson, 6. Mesu Kunavula, 7. James Miller, 8. Harry Fisher.
Replacements: 16. Ross Graham, 17. Finn Hobbis, 18. Harrison Courtney, 19. Jonny Gibson, 20. Gregor Nelson, 21. Ali Harris, 22. Ewan Fox, 23. Angus Guthrie
Southern Knights: 15. Fraser Thomson CAPTAIN; 14. Ciaran Whyte, 13. Joe Jenkins, 12. Gavin Wood, 11. Iain Sim; 10. Jason Baggott, 9. Bruce Colvine; 1. Shaun Gunn, 2. Fraser Renwick, 3. Ewan Mcquillan, 4. James Head, 5. Dalton Redpath, 6. Iain Moody, 7. Ruaridh Knott, 8. Neil Irvine-Hess.
Replacements: 16. Russell Anderson, 17. Calum Crookshank, 18. Grant Shiells, 19. Alan Gregory, 20. Angus Runciman, 21. Struan Hutchison, 22. Patrick Anderson, 23. Nathan Sweeney
Sunday 1 March
Heriot’s Rugby secured themselves a home play-off when they scored four tries against Ayrshire Bulls this afternoon, as the two sides met for the first time since the first round of the FOSROC Super6 in November.
The pitch at Goldenacre was surrounded by a shallow moat, evidence of the recent wet weather the capital has seen, credit must be given to the ground staff at the club who worked to ensure this fixture went ahead.
Although it was all Heriot’s in the first quarter of the match it took the hosts the full twenty minutes to score the opening try of the game.
Within the Bulls half the ball popped out the back of a ruck, Heriot’s number eight Jason Hill scooped it up and showed a good turn of pace to race down the far side and secure the first try of the game. Stand-off Ross Jones successful conversion from out wide. (7-0)
Although the Bulls had a couple of opportunities to score towards the end of the half, they were forced to head to the changing rooms without a score at half-time.
HALF-TIME: Heriot's Rugby 7-0 Ayrshire Bulls
The visitors looked as if they might have been the first to get points on the board in the second half, they kept possession for longer periods but when they tried to pass the ball out to the backline the wind took a hold of the ball and it failed to reach hands of stand-off Frazer Climo.
Heriot’s pounced on the loose ball, the ball worked its way through the hands of the team through a series of pop passes and clever off-loads before second row Callum Marshall was charged over the whitewash. (12-0)
Moments later, on the fiftieth minute, Bulls got their first points on the scoreboard when Heriot’s try scorer Hill was penalised for a deliberate knock on. FOSROC Academy player Ross Thomson popped it between the posts with ease as Hill made his way off the pitch having been shown a yellow card by referee Iain Kenney for the infringement. (12-3)
With the visitors now on the scoreboard they managed to get themselves a try just after the hour mark when number eight Blair Macpherson secured the ball down over the try line from close range with Thomson adding the further two points on offer. (12-10)
With ten minutes left on the clock only two points separated the teams. it could have gone either way although when FOSROC Player of the Match Jack McClean broke free of a Bulls tackle in the midfield he passed to replacement scrum-half Dan Nutton who scampered in for a try for the hosts, Jones successful with the conversion. (19-10)
As the clock counted down to the final whistle Heriot’s fullback Rory McMichael took the ball on a short line near the breakdown, he burst through the Bull’s defence and found Harry Patterson who ran in the hosts fourth try of the game, Jones once again adding the extra two points. (26-10)
The hosts were forced to finish the game with fourteen men when Hill was shown a second yellow card, and subsequently a red. Although the Bulls capitalised on the man advantage and managed to get over the try line on the eightieth minute, the try by Alex McGuire from short range was too little too late for the men from Millbrae. (26-15)
FULL-TIME: Heriot's Rugby 26-15 Ayrshire Bulls
FOSROC Player of the Match: Jack McClean (Heriot’s Rugby)
Referee: Iain Kenny
Heriot’s Rugby: 15. Rory McMichael; 14. James Spencer, 13. Robert Kay, 12. Cameron Hutchinson, 11. James Couper; 10. Ross Jones, 9. Andrew Simmers; 1. Andrew Nimmo, 2. Ali Johnstone, 3. Josh Scott, 4. Callum Marshall, 5. Ronan Seydak, 6. Iain Wilson CAPTAIN, 7. Jack McClean, 8. Jason Hill.
Replacements: 16. Finlay Scott, 17. Martin Bouab, 18. Struan Cessford, 19. Charlie Jupp, 20. Adam Sinclair, 21. Scott Riddell, 22. Dan Nutton, 23. Harry Paterson.
Ayrshire Bulls: 15. Ross Thompson; 14. Kody McGovern, 13. Danny McCluskey, 12. Isaac McNulty, 11. Craig Gossman; 10. Frazer Climo, 9. Harr Warr; 1. Gordon Reid, 2. Sam Kitchen, 3. Nicolas Griffiths, 4. Marshall Sykes, 5. Lars Morrice, 6. George Bordill, 7. Peter McCallum CAPTAIN, 8. Blair Macpherson.
Replacements: 16. Alex McGuire, 17. Michael Scott, 19. Ruairidh Sayce, 20. Fraser Hastie, 21. Graham Geldenhuys, 22. David Armstrong, 23. James Pinkerton, 24. Grant Anderson
Saturday 29 February
The first match in the last round of regular games in the FOSROC Super6 took place at the Oriam this afternoon as Bridgehaugh had been hit hard by the recent deluge of wet weather.
In a match where the lead changed hand five times it was the hosts Stirling who, facing a twelve-point deficit with ten minutes to go, fought back to score two last minute tries to claim the win.
County had two opportunities in the opening ten minutes when all the play was in Boroughmuir’s half. As they moved closer to the try line, it looked as though they may be over the try line at one point, but the ball was held up by Bears. A second opportunity came their way when winger Ewan MacGarvive collected a high ball that had bounced off the roof of the Oriam, the try was disallowed as it had done just that.
It was third time lucky at the try line for County to open the scoring, from short range skipper Rayner Kennedy crashed over the try line with Glasgow Warriors Brandon Thomson adding the conversion.
Moments later Bears responded with a try of their own, from a lineout on the 5meter line, they drove their maul forward, back row Scott McGinley securing the ball down over the try line with stand-off Chris Laidlaw adding the conversion to make it 7 points apiece.
With the clock counting down to the half-time whistle both teams earned themselves a further three points each. Bears were penalised for an infringement at the scrum which enabled Thomson to kick the points that were on offer.
When Bears took a quick tap penalty County centre Landon Hayes tackled a player without being back far enough from where the penalty was awarded, not only were County penalised by Hayes was shown a yellow card by referee Ross Mabon. Laidlaw’s shot at goal was successful to even the scores once more. (10-10)
HALF-TIME: Stirling County 10-10 Boroughmuir Bears
Moments into the second half it looked as though Bears would be able to move ahead of County. From a scrum on the twenty-two-meter line there was nice interplay between scrum half Murray Johnstone and his back line. The move ended when their far side winger was brought down meters from the try line, as he tried to off load the pass went forward and the ball was lost to County.
Bears managed to stretch ahead two minutes later when Archie Russell scampered in for a try that was converted successful by Laidlaw. (10-17)
Stirling County hit back straight away when FOSROC Player of the Match George Arnott found space in the twenty-two, fended off a couple of Bears, and stormed over the try line. (15-17)
County were penalised shortly after when Bears stand-off Chris Laidlaw was hit late. Laidlaw recovered and slotted the penalty between the uprights to give the visitors a five-point lead. (15-20)
From the restart County back row Connor Gordon managed to collect the ball near the five-meter line and crash over from short range, Thomson adding the extra two points on offer to give the hosts the lead for the first time in the second half. (22-20)
On the hour mark Bears winger Jordan Edmunds took the ball on a short angle at a breakdown in the middle of the park, in the County half. He burst through the defence and scored under the posts, with Laidlaw’s conversion successful it meant the lead changed hands once more. (22-27)
Bears extended their lead with ten minutes to go when scrum-half Murray Johnston darted in for another try for the visitors with Laidlaw adding the further two points. (22-34)
Stirling were now looking at a twelve-point deficit with ten minutes left on the clock. Within the Bears half scrum-half Sean Kennedy took a quick tap penalty, he had Arnott on his shoulder who was able to go in for his second try of the match, Thomson adding the conversion. (29-34)
With three minutes to go until the final whistle Bears replacement full-back, eighteen-year-old Cameron Scott collected a high ball within their twenty-two. He was tackled, released, got back up and tried to continue. The ball spilled forward; it was collected by County winger Logan Trotter who passed out to Connor Gordon who went in under the posts to make it thirty-four points each.
Thomson stepped up and slotted the ball between the posts to give the hosts a two point win, with that securing themselves in fifth place in the league meaning that they will host the Bears at Bridgehaugh in the second leg of the fifth v sixth play off during the weekend of finals at the end of March.
FULL-TIME: Stirling County 36-34 Boroughmuir Bears
FOSROC Player of the Match: George Arnott (Stirling County)
Referee: Ross Mabon
Stirling County: 15. Brandon Thomson; 14. Ewan MacGarvie, 13. Landon Hayes, 12. Craig Jardine, 11. Logan Trotter; 10. Andrew Goudie, 9. Sean Kennedy; 1. Billy Dineen, 2. Reyner Kennedy CAPTAIN, 3. Charlie Brown, 4. Ollie Bartlett, 5. James Pow, 6. George Arnott, 7. Connor Gordon, 8. Dean Taylor-Menzies.
Replacements: 16. Angus Fraser, 17. Adam Wood, 18. Fergus Bradbury, 19. Josh King, 20. Bryce Robertson, 21. Caleb Korteweg, 22. Josh Henderson, 23. Robbie Kent.
Boroughmuir Bears: 15. Gavin Parker; 14. Glen Faulds, 13. Ronan Kerr, 12. Archie Russell, 11. Jordan Edmunds; 10. Chris Laidlaw CAPTAIN, 9. Murray Johnstone; 1. Michael Downer
2. Toby Francombe, 3. Dan Winning, 4. Ewan Stewart, 5. Callum Atkinson, 6. David Medjebeur, 7. Scott McGinley, 8. Craig Keddie.
Replacements: 16. George Shannon, 17. AP McWilliam, 18. Martin McGinley, 19. Tom Drennan, 20. Matt Walker, 21. Ben Grainger, B. Cameron Scott, 22. Greg Cannie