Souters keep unbeaten record in regional tourney

Selkirk 16

Hawick 7


SELKIRK maintained their unbeaten record in this season’s RBS Regional Cup competition with a tense victory over Hawick at Philiphaugh on Saturday.

The win puts the Souters within touching distance of the national quarter-finals, in which Scotland’s four British and Irish Cup representatives will join the country’s four regional section winners in the draw. Selkirk’s final cup fixture is against Peebles at the Gytes on February 2.

It was a yellow card shown to Hawick forward Hue Scammell for obstruction at a ruck that allowed Selkirk to put their first points on the board. Exploiting their extra man advantage, good clear-up work by Ross Nixon resulted in a penalty being awarded to the home side which Josh Welsh booted into touch just outside the Greens’ 22. From the line-out Cata Graur managed to grab the ricocheting ball and take play close to the visitors’ line.

A few phases later Gavin Craig broke wide and threw out a long pass to Welsh, and the strong-running 19-year-old wing did well to hold off a couple of defenders and touch the ball down.

On the half- hour mark, Steven Renwick notched up his 100th senior appearance for Selkirk when taking the field to replace Clément Lacour, who required two stitches in a head wound.

In the 46th minute home scrum-half Michael McVie received a yellow card for a dangerous tackle, and within minutes he was joined in the sin-bin by team-mate Scott Hendrie after the centre was penalised for coming in from the side at a ruck.

Sensibly opting for a scrum rather than a kick at goal, Hawick skipper Greg Cottrell spotted a gap in Selkirk’s stretched back division and scampered over for a try in the left-hand corner. Lee Armstrong’s touchline conversion just cleared the bar to put the Greens 7-5 in front.

Down to just 13 men for the next four minutes, the Philiphaugh outfit raised their game, preventing the visitors from spreading the ball wide with fierce close-quarter 

Scott Hendrie fired a penalty attempt straight between the posts, edging the home team back in front 8-7.

In the 67th minute, Lacour gathered a loose ball to set up another Selkirk attack, and following Gavin Craig’s sharp break down the left flank, Angus Duckett popped up in support to sprint over the line for the home team’s second try of the afternoon and a 13-7 

And when a visiting forward gave away a penalty just outside the Greens’ 22, Hendrie stepped up to send over his second successful penalty.

Selkirk: F. Harkness; J. Welsh, S. Hendrie, R. Nixon, D. Clapperton; G. Craig, M. McVie; C. Lacour, J. Bett, C. Graur, A. Renwick, M. Kissick, N. Darling, A. Duckett, R. Crockatt. Subs: R. Banks, C. Johnston, E. MacDougall, S. Renwick, M. Waldron.

Hawick: N. McColm; G. Anderson, G. Johnstone, L. Armstrong, S. Anderson; G. Hogg, G. Cottrell; A. Williamson, H. Scammell, M. Landels, D. Lowrie, K. Willison, S. Muir, N. Mactaggart, K. Davies. Subs: L. Gibson, L. Launders, A. Weir, J. Tinlin.