Rugby's Southern Knights looking to bounce back after second-half slump in capital brings unbeaten run to end

Southern Knights go into round six of the new Fosroc Super6 rugby season later this month looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the current campaign.

By Darin Hutson
Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 9:03 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 9:03 am
Southern Knights saw their unbeaten start to the season ended by Watsonians on Friday (Photo: Graham Gaw)
Southern Knights saw their unbeaten start to the season ended by Watsonians on Friday (Photo: Graham Gaw)

That defeat, by 32 points to 21, was dished out by Watsonians in Edinburgh last Friday night, August 27, and it puts the Borderers in second place in the table at the halfway stage of the semi-professional league’s second season, having won three games, drawn one and now lost one.

The Melrose-based side are on 16 points, two behind the Myreside Stadium outfit but four ahead of third-placed Ayrshire Bulls.

Next up for the Knights is another trip to the capital to play Boroughmuir Bears on Sunday, September 12, at 1.30pm, and that game is being screened live on channels including FreeSports, Sky HD and BT Vision.

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Southern Knights losing 32-21 to Watsonians on Friday (Photo: Graham Gaw)

After that, they face Watsonians again, this time at the Greenyards, on Friday, September 17, at 7.30pm, and that match is being streamed live on the BBC Sport Scotland and Scottish Rugby websites and BBC iPlayer.

The Borderers had looked to be on course to keep up their unbeaten run as they went into the half-time break eight points up, but their hosts raised their game in the second half to hoist themselves back up to the top of the table.

The Knights went ahead on 21 minutes as Jason Baggott, after missing a penalty attempt four minutes earlier, kicked a chip beyond two defenders into the hands of winger Patrick Anderson in the right corner to touch down for an unconverted try.

The visitors were caught offside on 24 minutes, enabling Marc Morrison to get Watsonians on the scoreboard with a penalty.

Watsonians hosting Southern Knights last week (Photo: Graham Gaw)

Another penalty the other way, for a high tackle six minutes later, saw Baggott restore the Knights’ lead to five points, though.

Soon after the restart, however, Watsonians were gifted a scrum at the posts and Karl Main seized that opportunity to drive over for a try converted by Morrison.

Baggott scored only the second goal in Super6 history on 36 minutes and a lineout in the right corner just before half-time allowed the Knights to take the score to 18-10 as, after Euan McLaren was stopped just short of the line, the ball was recycled left to Joe Jenkins to touch down left of the posts for a try converted by Baggott.

Watsonians scored first after the break as Cal Davies was driven over for an unconverted try from a rolling maul following a penalty lineout in the right corner.

Baggott’s boot then supplied what turned out to be the Knights’ only points of the second period from a penalty on 48 minutes, but after that the match swung the way of the hosts.

Two minutes after that, the capital side, playing out of defence in their own half, saw the ball go into touch in the right corner and were awarded a throw-in, with the resultant rolling maul seeing Steven Longwell score a try converted by Morrison.

Shaun Gunn was shown a team yellow card on 58 minutes and Morrison put the penalty between the posts.

A bonus-point try followed on 73 minutes after a scrum collapsed and Sam Daly took the tap penalty quickly and got over the visitors’ line, with Morrison adding the extras.