Melrose first to score a rankings double

MELROSE, UNITED KINGDOM. - 14  Apr 2012 : '129th Melrose Sevens 2012'Sevens Rugby Tournament at Melrose RFC.'''(Photo by  ROB GRAY/digitalpic )
MELROSE, UNITED KINGDOM. - 14 Apr 2012 : '129th Melrose Sevens 2012'Sevens Rugby Tournament at Melrose RFC.'''(Photo by ROB GRAY/digitalpic )

AS I reported a few weeks ago, Melrose have retained the Scottish Hydro Electric trophy for the Most Successful Borders Team in the Premiership as a result of scoring the most points in the league this season.

It is the first time that a team have won the trophy two years running.

MELROSE, UNITED KINGDOM. - 14  Apr 2012 : '129th Melrose Sevens 2012'Sevens Rugby Tournament at Melrose RFC.'''(Photo by  ROB GRAY/digitalpic )

MELROSE, UNITED KINGDOM. - 14 Apr 2012 : '129th Melrose Sevens 2012'Sevens Rugby Tournament at Melrose RFC.'''(Photo by ROB GRAY/digitalpic )

The Borders Rugby Rankings are based exclusively on the Premiership games involving our seven Borders sides. The reason for this is simple. Each team plays 18 matches at their own level offering a fair handicap system.

Proving the system works well, the first time the trophy was presented four years ago, the team who won it was Hawick YM, who at the time were plying their trade in the national league.

Back then of course all leagues were playing the same number of matches in a season. With the new format next season, YM will be back in the mix again, playing in the Championship.

As well as winning the overall award by gaining 67 points in the league games they played – nine ahead of Gala who came second – Melrose also topped the rankings for scoring the most tries. They managed to cross the chalk 59 times in their 18 games this season in the league, averaging just over three a game. Jed-Forest came the closest to Melrose, running in 57 tries.

Melrose scored the most points in games too with the Best Attack accolade, accumulating 495 points at an average of more than 27 per game. Their nearest rivals were Jed with 425.

Melrose didn’t manage a clean sweep though. They didn’t manage to finish top of the Best Defence stats. The team that did was Selkirk, which was an extraordinary performance for the club which finished bottom last season, leaking 620. In one year they totally turned it round to overtake Gala, who finished top two years running. Selkirk cut last year’s total in half to finish the season conceding 311 points, seven fewer than Gala.

Individually, two players scored 10 tries in the league this season – Melrose’s Fraser Thomson and Jed’s Gregor Young. Kelso brothers Gregg and Richard Minto shared 17 tries between them with Gregg touching down nine times. Jed’s Darren Gillespie and David Gobby ran in for eight tries each in the league, as did Selkirk full back Fraser Harkness.

Having a class kicker in your side can win you matches, and Melrose’s Andrew Skeen got more than 200 points this season in league matches. His total of 202 was more than any other player in the Borders playing Premiership rugby, with Gala’s Lee Millar in second position on 183 and David Cassidy of Selkirk third on 164. These were the only three players who got into triple figures.

After the Scottish Cup Final at Murrayfield and the Border League Final at Philiphaugh, we will be able to bring you a rundown of the stats from all the individual clubs from the Premiership using data from all competitive matches including Premier League, Border League and RBS Cup games, so look out for that in our May 3 issue.

MOST LEAGUE POINTS

1 Melrose 67

2 Gala 58

3 Kelso 52

4 Jed-Forest 51

4 Selkirk 51

6 Hawick 31

7 Peebles 23

MOST LEAGUE TRIES

1 Melrose 59

2 Jed-Forest 57

3 Gala 48

3 Kelso 48

5 Hawick 37

5 Selkirk 37

7 Peebles 28

BEST ATTACK

1 Melrose 495

2 Jed-Forest 425

3 Gala 414

4 Kelso 401

5 Selkirk 364

6 Hawick 303

7 Peebles 241

BEST DEFENCE

1 Selkirk 311

2 Gala 318

3 Kelso 349

4 Melrose 358

5 Jed-Forest 387

6 Peebles 413

7 Hawick 417

MOST TRIES BY A PLAYER

10: Fraser Thomson (Melrose) Gregor Young (Jed-Forest) 9 Gregg Minto (Kelso)

8 Darren Gillespie (Jed-Forest) David Gobby (Jed-Forest) Fraser Harkness (Selkirk) Richard Minto (Kelso)

7 Allan Dodds(Melrose) Opeta Palepoi (Gala) Andrew Skeen (Melrose) Lewis Young (Jed-Forest)

6 Bruce Colvine (Melrose) Alan Emond (Gala) George Graham (Gala) Ross Goodfellow (Jed-Forest) Craig Robertson (Gala)

5 Donald Anderson (Peebles) Darren Clapperton (Selkirk) Euan Dods (Gala) Joe Helps (Melrose) Stuart Lowrie (Kelso) Neil Renwick (Hawick)

MOST POINTS BY A PLAYER

1 Andrew Skeen (Melrose) 202

2 Lee Millar (Gala) 183

3 David Cassidy (Selkirk) 164

4 Neil Warnock (Peebles) 94

5 Chris Laidlaw (Jed-Forest) 79

6 Neil Renwick (Hawick) 72

7 Greg Ponton (Kelso) 68

8 Lee Armstrong (Hawick) 61

9 Kieran Wilkinson (Kelso) 56

10 Gregor Young (Jed-Forest) 50

10 Ewan Scott (Jed-Forest) 50

10 Fraser Thomson (Melrose) 50