Souters safe, but player shortage could affect the Biggar picture

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Selkirk 7

Biggar 41

RBS NATIONAL LEAGUE

FIONA SCOTT reports from Philiphaugh

FEARS turned into reality for Selkirk on Saturday when their depleted squad was turned over by a huge margin in a match that was worlds apart from their first attempt at playing.

For this was the tie that was rearranged following an injury to the referee during the original tie back in December.

It was a game that the Souters were leading by 34-0 when the game was stopped in the 49th minute of play.

At their February meeting, Scottish Rugby’s Championship Committee ruled that the game be rescheduled for the third standby date on the calendar, March 9, the same date Selkirk full back Fraser Harkness had chosen for his stag night, believing that the league season would be more or less done and dusted by then.

Selkirk director of rugby Dennis Henderson had already informed the committee by email that there might be problems with player availability on that date, only to be told that if he put in a complaint then they would have a look at it.

Taking up the story Mr Henderson said: “For the integrity of the league and in fairness to the teams at the bottom of the table, I flagged the matter up with the committee as soon as we realised that the rescheduled fixture could fall on March 9.

“We knew then that a lot of the players would be missing and that the result could affect the teams in the relegation area.

“To be asked to put in a complaint was ridiculous, though. We have nothing to complain about, it’s teams like Hamilton and Jed-Forest who could suffer. We did ask Biggar if they would like to play the game last Thursday night, but they declined and we probably would have done the same in their position.

“We just want the other clubs to know that we did everything we could.”

In the event, there were six regular players missing for the match which was played in front of a sparse crowd on a bitterly cold Saturday lunchtime.

A young Selkirk outfit competed well in the early exchanges, but were no match for Peter Wright’s Biggar outfit who are battling for league survival.

Rory Sutherland opened the scoring for the visitors, while his former Hawick team-mate Bruce McNeil notched another late on.

The rest of Biggar’s points came via full back Amo Wilbore whose haul of four tries, a penalty and four conversions brought his personal tally for the day to 31 points.

Mike McVie was the scorer for Selkirk late in the first half and he converted the try himself.

Selkirk: D. Clapperton; H. Aynsley, L. MacLennan, R. Nixon, M. Davies; R. Banks, M. McVie; C. Lacour, J. Bett, C. Graur, A. Renwick, K. Mitchell, E. MacDougall, A. Duckett, M. Kissick. C. MacDougall, M. Robertson, M. Waldron, R. Wilson.