Rugby’s Southern Knights back in pole position ahead of top-of-table clash with Watsonians
Southern Knights go into their seventh game of the current Fosroc Super6 rugby season at home to Watsonians this week back in pole position after a four-try away win on Sunday, September 12, against fellow Edinburgh side Boroughmuir Bears.
That game at the Greenyards in Melrose this Friday night, September 17, kicking off at 7.30pm, is a top-of-the-table clash as Watsonians are in second place with 19 points after six rounds, only two points behind the Borderers.
They’re also the only team to have beaten the Knights this campaign, having run out 32-21 winners against them at their Myreside home ground on Friday, August 27.
The Knights reclaimed top spot in the table with a bonus-point win over its basement side, thanks to a high-scoring second half.
An error-strewn first half yielded no tries for either side and ended in a stalemate, the only scores coming from two penalties.
Stand-off Jason Baggott put away a kick from in front of the posts for the visitors on 24 minutes after their hosts at Meggetland were penalised for not rolling away.
Knights No 8 Iain Moody was yellow-carded six minutes later for a bad tackle, however, allowing Tom Pittman to level the scores with a penalty kick.
The Knights upped their game after the interval, though, with Moody forcing his way over the whitewash within two minutes of the restart and Baggott adding the extras.
Winger Jordan Edmunds responded straight away for the hosts by touching down in the corner, but replacement hooker Russell Anderson then hit back following a lineout and rolling maul, with a Baggott conversion to follow.
Anderson added his second try of the afternoon with four minutes left to play in much the same fashion as his first, and once again Baggott was able to add a two-point supplement to the scoreline.
That put the visitors within reach of a bonus-point score, an opportunity they refused to let go begging.
A breakout gave Sam Pecqueur a chance to sprint down the far wing and then offload inside to replacement scrum-half Cameron Jones to chip ahead from beyond the 22-metre line and race to ground the ball to secure a 29-8 win.
That was the Knights’ second victory over the Bears this season following a 22-13 win in Melrose on Sunday, August 22.
Knights tighthead prop Euan McLaren was named man of the match, and the 22-year-old said afterwards: “The first half was quite difficult. Boroughmuir, hats off to them, made it really difficult for us. They’re a difficult team to play against if you let them.
“Once we got into our shape, we felt that we were pretty comfortable and we got some good tries in the second half.”
The Borderers’ scrum was the platform for their much-improved second-half showing, said Mclaren, adding: “It helps when you’ve got some really good experience like Grant Shiels and Russell Anderson. Guys like that are really valuable to have in a scrum.
“We were really delighted to get some good go-forward from that as well.
“It was a team performance and we’re just really happy to get the win.”