Selkirk are realising the hard way that a good start to games is essential if they are to sustain their play-off bid this season.
Not for the first time in recent weeks, they found themselves 20 points down on Saturday before they quite knew what had hit them, then mounted a swift and telling comeback, only to falter again when their opponents made another score.
They had a lot to work on in training this week after losing their direction on Glasgow’s south side, where Cartha QP defeated them 25-21.
The hosts deliverd an aggressive, attacking performance and did their survival hopes a power of good, having lost their last two games to Borders opposition, in Jed-Forest and Gala.
Selkirk manager Tom Ramage said: “We gave too much respect, too much leeway, and didn’t play for the first 20 minutes.”
The Souters hauled their way back in the opening 20 minutes of the second half but succumbed to a last Cartha QP try, which was “gutting”, said Ramage.
“I don’t know what it is with us just now – we’re not getting off to a good start.
“We let teams come at us and they score against us.”
Ramage thought Selkirk were on their way with three converted tries (two from Stevie Hamilton and one by broken-nosed Luke Pettie – all converted by Aaron McColm).
“But their forwards got the ball again and dominated play at the end of the game,” he said.
“We could not cope with the physical aspect of their big forwards.
“It seems to be the same scenario with Selkirk just now – giving away silly penalties, letting them get territory and putting the ball in the corners – Cartha got two tries by putting the ball in the corners.
“There were some easy turnovers which cost us dearly as well, with the ball getting ripped from our hands.”
Ramage said there was no lack of team spirit but Selkirk were just not gelling quickly enough.
Tomorrow (Saturday), they are due to travel to face Aberdeen Grammar, in a game postponed from mid-December by heavy snow.
The Granite City squad was likely to come at Selkirk with their “useful, heavy mauling pack”, so Selkirk would aim to play a running game and try to improve on their scrummaging, indicated Ramage.