Rugby’s Southern Knights to bow out on home turf against Boroughmuir Bears, thanks to bonus point

Southern Knights on defensive duty during their 54-33 loss at home at Melrose's Greenyards to Stirling Wolves on Friday (Photo: Bryan Robertson)Southern Knights on defensive duty during their 54-33 loss at home at Melrose's Greenyards to Stirling Wolves on Friday (Photo: Bryan Robertson)
Southern Knights on defensive duty during their 54-33 loss at home at Melrose's Greenyards to Stirling Wolves on Friday (Photo: Bryan Robertson)
Southern Knights were hit by their fourth defeat on the bounce in rugby’s Fosroc Super Series Sprint on Friday but managed to secure the consolation of getting to play their last game ever in that competition at home at Melrose’s Greenyards this coming Saturday.

The Borderers picked up a try bonus point for their 54-33 loss at home to Stirling Wolves, lifting them off the bottom of the six-team table by virtue of a points-scored difference 16 better than new basement side Boroughmuir Bears.

Both Knights and Bears, beaten 36-14 away to Watsonians on Saturday, are on six points from as many fixtures but it’ll be the former hosting their fifth-place play-off this weekend, thanks to the 137 points they’ve scored, 16 more than the latter, with both having conceded 234.

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The hosts’ tries against Stirling were scored by replacement hooker Harri Morris at the double, fellow substitute Marcus Rhodes, inside centre Callum Grieve and loosehead prop Jack Dobie, with Grieve adding four conversions.

Southern Knights in possession during their 54-33 loss at home at Melrose's Greenyards to Stirling Wolves on Friday (Photo: Bryan Robertson)Southern Knights in possession during their 54-33 loss at home at Melrose's Greenyards to Stirling Wolves on Friday (Photo: Bryan Robertson)
Southern Knights in possession during their 54-33 loss at home at Melrose's Greenyards to Stirling Wolves on Friday (Photo: Bryan Robertson)

Left-winger Ross McKnight and outside centre Ryan Southern scored two tries apiece for their visitors, with No 8 Ed Hasdell, openside flanker Shaun MacDonald, replacement scrum-half Eric Davey and fellow sub Fergus Read also touching down and captain Marcus and inside centre Marcus Holden kicking five conversions and replacement Euan Cunningham another two.

Home attack coach Scott Wight was again frustrated to see his side, captained by Angus Runciman, forced to play catch-up after giving their opponents, featuring ex-Knights skipper Craig Jackson and erstwhile Gala tighthead prop Marius Tamosaitis, a 14-0 head start.

“It was the same thing as has been happening most weeks,” he said.

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“We were 14-0 down before we even started playing, and if you start that slow against a high-quality team, it’s very hard to get back into it.

Ex-Gala prop Marius Tamosaitis on the ball during Southern Knights' 54-33 loss at home at Melrose's Greenyards to Stirling Wolves on Friday (Photo: Bryan Robertson)Ex-Gala prop Marius Tamosaitis on the ball during Southern Knights' 54-33 loss at home at Melrose's Greenyards to Stirling Wolves on Friday (Photo: Bryan Robertson)
Ex-Gala prop Marius Tamosaitis on the ball during Southern Knights' 54-33 loss at home at Melrose's Greenyards to Stirling Wolves on Friday (Photo: Bryan Robertson)

“We gained a fair bit of control around the 30-minute mark. We scored some great tries and got ourselves right back into the game at 21-19 down but we made a couple of basic errors just before half-time that allowed them to score again, and that was a bit of a sucker-punch, to be honest.

“We then conceded four quickfire tries in the first ten minutes after half-time and the manner in which we did that was just really unacceptable.

“We played some great rugby in between that but we’ve just not been consistent enough over 80 minutes unfortunately, and during our bad spells, we’re really bad.

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“It just wasn’t good enough against a team that are going to be in the play-off final at the weekend.”

Ex-Southern Knights captain Craig Jackson in action for Stirling Wolves during their 54-33 win against the Borderers at Melrose's Greenyards to Stirling Wolves on Friday (Photo: Bryan Robertson)Ex-Southern Knights captain Craig Jackson in action for Stirling Wolves during their 54-33 win against the Borderers at Melrose's Greenyards to Stirling Wolves on Friday (Photo: Bryan Robertson)
Ex-Southern Knights captain Craig Jackson in action for Stirling Wolves during their 54-33 win against the Borderers at Melrose's Greenyards to Stirling Wolves on Friday (Photo: Bryan Robertson)

Boroughmuir are the only team Knights have beaten so far this campaign, by 34-17 at home at the end of April, so they’ll be hoping to do the double against visiting head coach Graham Shiel’s side this Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm, to bow out with as much of a flourish as they can muster.

“We’ve beaten them at home already but obviously that goes two ways – we’ve got the confidence that comes from knowing we can beat them but, from their perspective, they’ll be coming down here with a point to prove,” added Wight.

“Most importantly on Saturday, we’ve just got to go out and enjoy the moment really.”