Strength in depth helps restore healthy position

Selkirk vs Biggar, Scott Hendrie.

Selkirk vs Biggar, Scott Hendrie.

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Shape and structure were key components last weekend when Selkirk’s rugby team ran in a stunning nine-try victory over Biggar.

And, according to Director of Rugby and 1st XV coach Cameron Cochrane, credit for that goes to all three levels of the Philiphaugh senior playing structure.

“We are picking up wee niggles in our 1st XV squad every week at the moment,” he told the Wee Paper.

“It’s just one thing after another. But that’s rugby for you and that’s why you have to have other players fit and ready to come into the team.

“Selkirk are one of the few clubs in Scotland who still manage to put three teams out each week and I think that has helped us a great deal.

“Stormers’ team manager Donny McKenzie deserves a knighthood for managing to consistently get a team together at both training and on a Saturday and with a good coaching team behind him things are going well at that level.”

Cochrane believes that strength in depth is a key factor to Selkirk reclaiming third spot in the RBS National League last weekend. And with second-placed Watsonians now being dragged back into the chasing pack, behind Boroughmuir, he feels that his squad have every chance of grabbing a promotion spot.

“We are still very much in contention and will be fighting every week to consolidate and improve our position,” he added.

This weekend, the Souters travel to Hughenden to play Hillhead Jordanhill and at the time of going to print, question marks still hung over the fitness of key players Fraser Harkness (knee), Scott Tough (shoulder) and Scott Hendry (wrist), but with youngsters such as Callum McEwan and Ross Purves keen to take the step up, selection should not be an issue.

Last weekend, the squad showed they were more than capable of stepping up when running out 55-13 winners at Biggar.

“I was much happier with our overall performance, and it was pleasing to see youngsters like Callum and Ross get game time,” said head coach Ali Dickson. “There are still plenty of areas we have to work on. Our finishing let us down on a number of occasions, and that’s something you can’t afford in a tight contest. I’m confident we can improve further in the coming weeks.”

It was Biggar who struck the first blow last weekend when No8 Callum Taylor raced over for a try after Scott Tough’s clearance kick had been charged down. Kayle Connor’s conversion kick sailed over from the touchline.

Selkirk proceeded to dominate, however, with Josh Welsh, Rory Banks and Scott Hendrie all scoring a brace apiece and Gavin Craig, James Bett and Callum McEwan also getting their names on the scoresheet.

Kiwi lock Ricky Fluhler, who celebrated his 27th birthday on Saturday, was named the Four Seasons Forestry ‘Selkirk man of the match’.