Instead, they’ll be looking to keep their foot on the gas for round nine to claim their first win on home turf at Jedburgh’s Riverside Park since 2016, according to Lewis Young, one of their try-scorers in the final at Selkirk Sevens at the weekend.
Jed-Forest bounced back from their semi-final exit against Melrose at Earlston Sevens the preceding Sunday to beat the hosts, left at sixes and sevens by the first-half sending-off of Scott McClymont for kicking out at Dom Buckley, 24-12 at Philiphaugh to put themselves 16 points clear at the top of the Kings of the 7s leaderboard on 58 points.
Selkirk currently occupy the runners-up slot with 42 points and Melrose are only one point behind them in third place.
Kelso are fourth with 26 points, Gala sixth with 20 and Hawick eighth with 14.
To get to the final, Jed thumped Linlithgow 36-5 in the first round, previous Kings of the 7s title-holders Watsonians 45-7 in the quarter-finals and Edinburgh Accies 33-5 in the semis.
Selkirk’s route to the final was a 31-0 first-round victory against Berwick, 43-10 quarter-final success against Hawick and 21-5 win against Currie in the semis.
Saturday’s other quarter-finalists were Kelso, beaten 26-12 by Currie, and Melrose, knocked out by a 24-7 loss to Edinburgh Accies.
“We knew we could secure it here if we got the win and we dug deep,” Young, top try-scorer at the tournament with six, told Borders Rugby TV’s Stuart Cameron afterwards.
“We struggled on Sunday, due to tired legs, so to come here and wrap it up today was unbelievable.
“We struggled in the first tie, just getting Sunday out of the way, but we just progressed, came on and, to be honest, absolutely dominated it.
“We knew if it clicked today then we were going to go all the way, and playing Selkirk in the final here was a tough, tough ask – the crowd were behind them the whole way – and it was difficult, but we’ve been like this all season for the sevens. We dig deep for each other, and that showed today.
“It’s been a tough one, but hats off to the boys – we’ve dug deep in training and we’ve done it today. What a way to finish.”
McClymont’s dismissal had made things easier for Jed, said Young, but they still had to work hard for the reward they were seeking.
“We knew we had one up on them when they got the red, but it’s tough playing against a team with one man down – you can lose your own shape as well – but we were disciplined, and obviously the red card helped us in the end,” he said.
Looking ahead to this coming Saturday, Young said: “We don’t want to go out there and just say that’s the Kings done. We’re going out to win that, definitely. It’s one for us to win there and that’ll seal it for us. It would be the best feeling ever that one.”
Jed-Forest’s win at Selkirk was their first in a final there since 2015 and earned them their first championship since 2016, taking their tally of titles to six, just two short of the eight amassed by Melrose, the most successful side in the 28-year history of the competition.
It was also the first time the title has stayed in the Borders since 2016, Edinburgh’s Watsonians having won the following three years prior to the contest being put on hold for two years by the coronavirus pandemic.
The draw for Jed-Forest’s sevens has been made, and its first round, beginning at 1.30pm, pits them against Biggar, Melrose v Musselburgh, Hawick v Currie, Kelso v Boroughmuir, Peebles v Edinburgh Accies, Selkirk v Highland, Gala v Berwick and Langholm v Watsonians.
Admission costs £15. For details, go to https://jedforest.com/