Wat­so­ni­ans rally in derby vic­tory as Glas­gow Hawks seal bonus-point win

Evening Times - - SPORT - David Barnes

WAT­SO­NI­ANS have estab­lished them­selves as the early-sea­son pace­set­ters in this in­au­gu­ral Su­per6 cam­paign af­ter back­ing up their win against the South­ern Knights at the Green­yards in round one with an­other win on the road against He­riot’s at Gold­e­nacre yes­ter­day.

They had trailed 17-12 at half­time but scored 20 unan­swered points af­ter the break to take the spoils in a keenly-con­tested Ed­in­burgh derby.

Man-of-the-match Joe Ed­wards scored an ex­cel­lent in­di­vid­u­al­ist try for the win­ning team, while Lomond MacPher­son claimed a brace, with An­gus Guthrie and Cal Davies also get­ting over the line. Lee Mil­lar kicked two con­ver­sions and a penalty.

“It was a game of two halves,” said head coach Fer­gus Pringle. “We gave away some soft penal­ties in the first half so that meant we couldn’t keep any pres­sure on them, then we were a bit more dis­ci­plined on the sec­ond half which al­lowed our game plan to come to fruition a bit more.

“There’s things that we know we need to get better at, so we’ll bank the points and start think­ing about next week be­cause we know that Stir­ling will be a mas­sive chal­lenge”

He­ri­ots’ first-half points came through tries from Rory McMichael and Scott Rid­dell, with Alex Ball con­vert­ing both and kick­ing a 40-yard penalty.

“At half-time it felt like we had dom­i­nated the game and had gifted them two scores, but then from the 41st minute we strug­gled to do the sim­ple things: we missed penal­ties touch, we had a four-on-one right at the start of the sec­ond half and car­ried it into con­tact in­stead of putting it through the hands, and so on,” said beaten head coach Phil Smith.

“So, it was just poor de­ci­sion­mak­ing and I sup­pose that’s the whole point of this com­pe­ti­tion, to ex­pose guys so that they are better when it is harder.

“It is frus­trat­ing be­cause they scored five tries in the end, and it wasn’t a five-try per­for­mance. We didn’t put them un­der pres­sure in the right ar­eas of the field.”

Stir­ling County are sec­ond in the ta­ble af­ter fight­ing out a tense 24-24 draw at home to South­ern Knights on Satur­day af­ter­noon, while Ayr bounced back from their de­feat to He­riot’s last week­end with a 32-27 win at home to Bor­ough­muir Bears – which leaves Gra­ham Shiel’s men at the foot of the ta­ble with only two los­ing bonus points to their name.

Mean­while, in the Pre­mier­ship, Marr re­cov­ered their mojo fol­low­ing a cou­ple of sub-par per­for­mances in re­cent weeks with an em­phatic 61-7 win over Aberdeen Gram­mar, which un­der­lined their cre­den­tials as the team to beat dur­ing the sec­ond half of the sea­son.

The Fullar­ton men ran in nine tries with stand-off Colin Stur­geon and full-back Greg Mont­gomery bag­ging a brace each, while Jack Scott, Conor Bick­er­staff, Oli Rossie, Scott Bick­er­staff and Fraser Grant also got on the score sheet. How­ever, the mo­ment of the match was the 75-yard in­ter­cep­tion try scored by Gram­mar cen­tre Tom Aplin.

“The first 20 min­utes in par­tic­u­lar were ex­cel­lent,” said Marr head coach Craig Red­path. “We came out with real tempo and a few things we had worked on came to fruition. There was one er­ror when we gave an in­ter­cept and they ran the length which was dis­ap­point­ing, but apart from the I’ve got no com­plaints.

“I still think there is a few things we are leav­ing out there at the mo­ment, and I think we looked at the score and got a wee bit in­di­vid­u­al­is­tic in­stead of do­ing things that we did well in the first half – but over­all we’re very happy with that.”

Glas­gow Hawks’ re­vival af­ter a tough start to the sea­son con­tin­ued when they picked up an ex­cel­lent bonus-point 35-17 home win against Ed­in­burgh Ac­cies.

“The boys got a bit of be­lief when they won down in Haw­ick two matches ago and then the per­for­mance against Marr last week prob­a­bly de­served a win,” said head coach Andy Gill. “They’ve had a to­tally dif­fer­ent be­lief in the last two or three weeks, and you can see that in this per­for­mance, with guys go­ing out there ex­pect­ing to win, and that’s what we spoke about go­ing to do.”

There was no such joy for GHA who lost at home to Selkirk with head coach Trevor Carmichael in­sist­ing his play­ers only had them­selves to blame.

“We had three or four missed tack­les that gave away tries. Our dis­ci­pline at times gave away a few penal­ties. So, it was a hard one to take. We were prob­a­bly 10 per­cent off where we want to be game-plan wise,” he said.

Haw­ick were con­vinc­ing 33-0 win­ners in their Bor­der derby against Jed-For­est at Mans­field Park, while sec­ond in the ta­ble Cur­rie Chief­tains kept the pres­sure on Marr with a 57-7 suc­cess at home to Mus­sel­burgh.

Wat­so­ni­ans boss Fer­gus Pringle with cap­tain Lee Mil­lar

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