Tennent's Premiership: Round Six review
Some 276 points were scored across four Tennent’s Premiership games this past weekend, as the league entered its seventh round of fixtures.
Marr’s march across the Tennent’s Premiership continued with a hard-fought home win over a spirited Selkirk at Fullarton Park. Heading into the break, the sides were almost inseparable, but the division’s form team managed to stretch their opponents with four second-half tries to clinch a sixth successive bonus point win.
Captain Conor Bickerstaff, who scored two tries, was delighted with the leaders' victory, saying: “It was great to get another win and make it six from six. It was always going to be tough as we have always had close encounters with Selkirk and it proved to be once again.
“It wasn’t until we received a yellow card in the second half that we actually rallied and started to control the pace of the game. We created more opportunities and lifted our level - I think we just reacted better than Selkirk at the time. Now it’s time to prep for another massive home game against Edinburgh Accies next weekend.”
Aberdeen Grammar won for the fourth time on the trot to continue their remarkable run of form, somehow coming out on top in a game featuring no fewer than 15 tries, against GHA. Grammar had motored to a 36-12 half-time lead but were pegged back by a resurgent opponent, although they did manage to hold on thanks in part to a hat-trick from Murray Mitchell and a brace courtesy of winger Nathan Brown. Aberdeen Head Coach Ali O’Connor was delighted with his side’s run, saying: “Credit to them they came back and stuck into the end. After a decent first 40, we were very disappointed with our second half where we let them into the game and didn’t make them work hard enough for their scores. We’ve a big test coming up this weekend against a good Currie team, so that’ll be a good gauge of where we’re at.”
Said team, Currie, went on the road to Glasgow Hawks and picked up a 46-14 win that featured a double from replacement prop Cairns Ramsay. Assistant Head Coach Ally Donaldson, whose side are hot on the tails of the league leaders, said: “It was a pretty solid all-round performance from us. Hawks made us work hard but we were able to covert pressure into points. I thought we defended well also when they had territorial advantage so very happy all in all.”
At Riverside Park, Jed-Forest took advantage of the close nature of the division to jump from ninth spot to fourth with a bonus point win at home to Musselburgh. They were effectively out of sight at the break by way of a 29-5 lead and held on for a first win since round three. Assistant Coach Fraser Harkness reacted: “Saturday was all about winning getting back in the saddle after the last few weeks. The first half was good for us rugby-wise we played well ball in hand but also defended really well. In the second half we just did enough; we didn’t get much ball but backed our defence to see the game out which is pleasing as it’s something we’ve really worked on.”
Women’s Tennent's Premiership
In the top flight, Watsonians continued their relentless start to the season, racking up 75 points in their away win at Cartha Queen’s Park. ‘Sonians captain Rachel Bragg was thrilled at the way her team stuck to the task at hand, saying: We are really happy with yesterday’s performance. Coming off the back of a two week break we could have expected the team to be a bit rusty or slow off the mark. There were a couple of moments when we faltered and Cartha took full advantage of them, but we managed to hold it together and keep our heads to come away with the win and another solid performance.”
Stirling County kept Ayr scoreless in a 53-0 win, and Hillhead Jordanhill battled hard to get past Corstorphine in Edinburgh by 34 points to 19. Hills Head Coach Aird Jardine reflected: “We’re very pleased to get a good result away from home. Again, we took our time to get into the game and found ourselves chasing Corstorphine at half time.
“We started taking control of the game in the second half, however, with a relentless work rate in defence that was matched with better discipline and composure in our attack. There were some great individual performances in attack and defence.
The players all showed a great positive attitude throughout the game on Sunday and we are looking forward to working hard throughout the week to learn from our mistakes for next week’s home game.”