Sunday, May 21st, 2017
Scotland beat NZ on way to winning London 7s. South blitz at Braidholm 7s.
Scotland have beaten New Zealand for the first time ever at rugby and the Scottish team went on to win the London 7s for the second year running! Coming from 0-21 down at half time in the London 7s Cup Quarter Final the team dug deep with four tries in the second period to win 24-21. A tremendous way to mark the retirement of Melrose Olympic silver medalist Mark Robertson. Melrose’s Scott Wight was also part of the squad and will now go on to coach the Scotland’s Women’s team. Scotland’s 7s coach is another Melrose man, Calum MacRae, who will move on to be Edinburgh Rugby defence coach at the end of this 7s weekend. Listen to Mark and Scott’s message from their hotel room here.
Meanwhile the South of Scotland blitzed a Minerva team packed with Scottish club rugby stars 52-0 in the Final of the Braidholm 7s in Glasgow yesterday. Coming through their Pool with three straight wins, they won the semi final against Commonwealth Crusaders to take their place in the final. A Keith Davies hat-trick in the first few minutes of the game laid the foundations as the team made up of the best of available Borders players went on to score eight tries in total. Watch ITV Report here.
Watch the semi finals here. Watch the Final here. Watch the South documentary of the tournament here.
Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
Hawick announce five new signings for next season
Hawick are quick out of the blocks to announce five signing for next season, with former Scotland international Craig Hamilton joining them as a player-coach. The 38 year old from Newcastle has been playing for Falkirk for the past two seasons but he admitted he couldn’t resist a phone call from Hawick captain Bruce McNeil, who played with him a few seasons ago at Wigton, when Bruce invited him to join the Greens.
The younger brother of former Gala players Gary and George Graham, Guy, will also be joining Hawick from Carlisle. The tough 18 year old flanker is relishing the opportunity to play Premiership rugby and coming from tremendous stock (the son of ex Gala coach and former Scotland Prop George Graham) he is bound to be one to watch.
Former Kelso player Dom Buckley swops the black-and-white hoops for a green jersey and he will be one of many fighting for a starting berth in the Hawick backline. Matty Carryer moves from Gala, where he was voted both Player of the Year and Player’s Player of the Year a few nights ago, to continue his career in the Premiership. Making up the quintet is former Hawick Prop Nicky Little, who returns to Mansfield Park following stints at Melrose and St Boswells.
Watch interviews with all five, plus captain Bruce McNeil here.
Sunday, May 14th, 2017
Watsonians crowned K7s Champions as they carry off three trophies at Jed 7s
Watsonians were the well-deserved K7s Champions this season and they ended up with a third win in the tournament by picking up the Jedforest 7s title for the first time since 2008. This was in addition to the K7s trophy itself which has only been in their possession once before eight years ago. They also retained the Macari Cup for becoming the top non-Borders team in the tournament.
Watsonians beat Jedforest 36-19 in the final having put out Melrose 19-14 in the semi final. Jed knocked out Gala 17-15 in a close encounter which came down to a difficult conversion to win the game, which Lewis Young kicked successfully. Watch the Final here. Semi Final highlights are available here. Top Tries from the tournament can be viewed here.
There was also a fun moment at the event when Callum Young scored two tries for the Jedforest President’s VII containing Jed players against their own Jedforest team and decided to celebrate them in unique style. Needless to say their game in tie 1 wasn’t the most competitive of games. Watch what happened here.
Monday, May 8th, 2017
Melrose retain Selkirk 7s trophy
Melrose collected their second win of the season in the Kings of the 7s tournament with a win at Selkirk’s event to retain their title from last year. They beat Selkirk in the final after putting out Gala in the semis. Watsonians are already winners of the K7s title but Melrose are a clear second and are favourites now to be the top Borders side.
Saturday, May 6th, 2017
Greig Laidlaw added to Lions tour as Ben Youngs pulls out
Former Jedforest scrum half and Scotland captain, Greig Laidlaw, will be going on tour with the British and Irish Lions to New Zealand after he was called up to replace Ben Youngs. Ben has withdrawn for family reasons after hearing the devastating news of his brother’s wife being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Our thoughts are with Ben and his family.
Monday, May 1st, 2017
Watsonians are Kings of the 7s
Watsonians have secured the Kings of the 7s title despite being knocked out at the semi final stage at the Earlston tournament yesterday. The City side claimed their second title after winning for the first time back in 2009. They were knocked out by Gala, who went on to beat Jedforest in the final, with Melrose the other semi-finalists. The Maroons’ Paul Hendry was voted Player of the Tournament. The next round at Selkirk takes place on Saturday 6th May before the final round of the tournament at Jedforest’s own event on May 13th, when Watsonians will get their hands on the trophy. Watch highlights of the Final here.
Sunday, April 30th, 2017
Hawick retain Premiership status – Watsonians lift Kelso 7s title
Hawick have won their tense BT Premiership/National 1 Play-off match at Lasswade against Edinburgh Accies, coming from 6-20 down to win 23-20 in a thrilling encounter, bagging two tries from John Coutts and skipper Bruce McNeil, with Lee Armstrong’s reliable boot kicking valuable points to ensure a place at the top table of Scottish Club Rugby next season. Watch report here. Watch TV highlights with commentary here.
At the Kelso 7s tournament – round 7 of the Kings of the 7s – Watsonians triumphed with a 27-26 win over Jedforest in the Final, giving them a big 21 point lead at the top of the table from Melrose. This means a win at Earlston tomorrow will give Watsonians the title of Kings of the 7s with two tournaments still to play. Watch the final here.
Thursday, April 27th, 2017
Melrose win Booker Border League title
It has taken six years for them to win it, but the impressive Border League Trophy is back inside the trophy cabinet at The Greenyards following a 35-7 win at Poynder Park, Kelso, against Gala last night. Melrose had won the Scottish Cup four days earlier against Ayr and this time they dipped into the Melrose Storm side to replace some of their key players following the Cup Final. Within a few minutes Melrose were 14-0 up with tries by Jason Baggott and Cammy MacKay. Baggott scored another with two others coming from Grant Runciman and Iain Moody. Baggott kicked four of the five conversions with Craig Jackson adding the other.
There was no more scoring for Melrose in the second period as Gala got rid of some of the rustiness which comes from not playing a game in two months. To their credit they managed the only score of the second half with South Africans Rob Louw and Paul Hendry linking up well to give Hendry the scoring pass. Gregor Hunter added the extras but it was mere consolation as Melrose held on to win and lift the Border League Trophy for the first time since 2011. Watch highlights here.
Sunday, April 23rd, 2017
Melrose end 10 year jinx with Cup Win at BT Murrayfield – Kelso win Borders Rankings trophy – Selkirk win Langholm 7s
Their last five visits to the National Stadium saw Melrose on the losing end in the BT Cup Final, but yesterday they finally got their hands on the Scottish Cup after 10 years of trying as they defeated Ayr 23-18, reversing the result form seven days ago when they went down at home to the same opposition in the BT Premiership Final.
Three tries from Grant Runciman, George Taylor and Nyle Godsmark to two from Ayr was enough to give Melrose the title. Watch Match report here. Watch special video of Melrose’s big day out here.
Kelso’s season ended in National 2 following promotion last week with a comprehensive 55-38 win at Aberdeenshire. The significance of the game was that they needed a bonus point win to climb past Melrose to win the trophy as the Borders team who produced the most average match points per game in all their league matches this season. They averaged 4.36 points per game over 22 matches, to edge out Melrose’s 4.33 in their 18 games in the Premiership. It is the first time the name of Kelso has been engraved on the trophy which gives all Borders teams playing at National and Premiership standard the chance to win in a handicapped system. Scottish Hydro Electric put up the award several years ago to ensure all clubs had a chance to win it. Each club playing at their own league level has their total match points divided by the games played in their division to give an average per match. Hawick Harlequins have already won the Fraser James Partnership trophy for the similar system involving Borders teams in the East League.
Also yesterday Jedforest played their penultimate game in National 1, losing 46-35 to Aberdeen Grammar, while in National 2 Peebles ended their league season with a fine win at Whitecraigs 61-34.
In the Belhaven Riverside Rock Kings of the 7s Round 6 at Langholm, the 99th playing of the tournament saw the sixth different winner in the six rounds as Selkirk overcame K7s table toppers Watsonians in a thrilling final 24-21. Watch the final here.
Wednesday, April 19th, 2017
Stuart Hogg named as one of only two Scots in the 41-strong British & Irish Lions party for New Zealand tour
Hawick Full Back Stuart Hogg has, as expected, been named today in the British & Irish Lions tour party for the New Zealand tour in June, along with Tommy Seymour. There are no forwards from Scotland but the hope is that there will still be opportunities for some Scottish players to still make the trip when inevitable injuries on or before the tour will provide opportunities for other players unlucky to gain selection.
Scotland’s big defeat at Twickenham would probably have had an effect on selection, although Scotland’s mauling of Wales at BT Murrayfield hasn’t appeared to have spoilt the chances of the strong Welsh contingent who came off second best that day. Scots do not have any coaches on the team (Gregor Townsend turned down the chance as he, understandably wanted to lead Scotland on their own summer tour to play Italy, Fiji and Australia) but it has meant that the case of Scots players to be part of the Lions squad has not been able to be argued within that area of the Lions coaching infrastructure.
There were strong arguments from fans of Scottish Rugby for the inclusion of Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw, the Gray brothers, Hamish Watson, W P Nel (if fit) and others, and some may still get the chance, but with two Scotland reps in the party this is the lowest Scottish total in a touring party, even lower than the three selected four years ago.
So Scotland, ranked fifth in the world, will go on their summer tour with a very strong squad, and on a positive note, this will give new Head Coach Gregor Townsend a big advantage for his preparations leading into the 2018 6 Nations and the 2019 World Cup, to be able to work with a squad who will mostly be involved over the next two important years.
Monday, April 17th, 2017
Jedforest land the Berwick 7s title
In Round 5 of the Belhaven Riverside Rock Kings of the 7s at Berwick, Jedforest became the fifth side to lift a title this season with a good win in the final against Watsonians 33-27. Watsonians stay 14 points clear at the top of the table. Both Melrose and Peebles made it through their pools to take part in the semi final stage. Watch the final here. Watch the semi finals here. Watch some of the best tries from the tournament here. A Focus on Berwick RFC can be seen here.
Saturday, April 15th, 2017
Melrose miss out on Premiership title – Kelso promoted to NL1 – Peebles and St Boswells fall short in promotion bid – Gala win Hawick 7s
In a packed Saturday of rugby there was heartbreak and joy for our local teams in the Borders. Despite scoring the only try of the game through Ruaridh Knott, Melrose lost their BT Premiership Final at home to Ayr 8-12, and despite ending the season on top of the table, it’s Ayr who become Scottish Premiership Champions by winning the Play-off Final, with four Frazier Climo penalties proving decisive at The Greenyards. There are those who believe a league should be a league, and play-offs shouldn’t come into it, but rules are rules and before the 18 games were played at the start of the season all clubs knew what the situation was, however, many will hope that there will be a change in the future and that Scottish Club Rugby will follow the English Championship in scrapping the controversial format. But putting that aside, it was a gutsy display by Ayr who had to win it the hard way at the ground of rivals Melrose who had not lost a game since October. Jason Baggott kicked Melrose’s other points with a penalty. The two teams do battle again next week at the home of Scottish Rugby for the chance to win the BT Cup, and for Melrose, who have lost their last five finals at the National Stadium, they will be desperate to put this result to the back of their minds and reverse today’s result. Watch highlights here.
In the big game at Poynder Park Kelso beat Peebles 17-11 to secure promotion back to National League 1 but they didn’t collect a bonus point, so Cartha Queens Park go up as National 2 Champions. In Division 3 St Boswells had the chance to not only get promoted but to win the Third Division, however things didn’t go as planned and they lost at home to Dumfries 5-24 to end their campaign in fourth place, just falling short of landing their fourth straight promotion.
In the Hawick 7s, Gala were the surprise winners for the first time since 1996 when they came from 19-10 down in the quarter final against Jedforest to win that game, then knock out Edinburgh Accies 39-10 before defeating Watsonians 26-24 in the Final. Watsonians stay on top of the Belhaven Riverside Rock Kings of the 7s table with a clear lead from Edinburgh Accies, Melrose and Gala ahead of Round 5 at Berwick tomorrow. Watch the final here.
Sunday, April 9th, 2017
Jedforest lift Hawick Linden 7s title
Jedforest became the fourth different club in four tournaments to have their names engraved on the Hawick Linden 7s trophy as they beat the hosts 45-7 in the final of the tournament which took place on the 3G pitch at Volunteer Park in Hawick.
Jed saw off Hawick Harlequins in the semi final 24-19 while in the other semi Gala YM lost out to Hawick Linden 19-12. Linden’s John Frew was voted Player of the Tournament.
Saturday, April 8th, 2017
Melrose fall short against Harlequins in front of bumper crowd at their own Sevens
Melrose managed to get to their own final to face the pro side from England, Harlequins, in what would be a replay of the final 30 years ago when the Mighty Quins triumphed back in 1987. Quins were clinical at the breakdown, turning over ball and making the best use of it when in their hand, and, led by captain Charlie Walker, who was voted Player of the Tournament, got home 31-19 to win the famous trophy. Melrose were without Fraser Thomas and Ross McCann through injury, yet drew on all their resources to battle right to the end. Austin Lockington had an outstanding tournament, running in some important game-clinching tries, but the whole of their squad played their part as they got past Dundee High, Selkirk and the Irish National 7s team (under the guise of The Co-Optimists) to reach the Final in front of a crowd of thousands at The Greenyards.
They were also fortunate to inherit the services of Selkirk’s flying South African winger Tythan Adams, who had earlier thrilled the spectators with his lightning fast pace earlier in the day in Selkirk colours, following an injury to one of Melrose’s players, and he was a big hit for sure. He is bound to be a huge draw at the rest of the Kings of the 7s events over the next few weeks. But will Melrose and Selkirk reached the business end of the competition, along with K7s contenders Watsonians and Edinburgh Accies, it was not a good day for the other five Borders teams, with Gala, Hawick and Peebles bowing out at the first round, while Kelso and Jedforest existed the competition one round later.
In 15s St Boswells beat whipping boys Greenock 118-19 in Division 3, and if they win at home next week against Dumfries they will be promoted for the fourth year running into the second division where they could play against either Kelso or Peebles, a magnificent achievement.
Saturday, April 8th, 2017
Melrose so close to winning their own Sevens but Harlequins repeat history from 30 years ago
The 2017 Melrose 7s tournament was played out in brilliant sunshine and warmth in front of a big crowd of thousands of people, and it was guest team Harlequins who came out on top with a 31-19 victory over hosts Melrose, who ran the professional side close, but the English team, who won the tournament 30 years ago with a final also against Melrose, took advantage of turnover ball to run in tries just as the Greenyards outfit were looking consistently as if they would score points. It was a gutsy effort from Rob Chrystie’s men who were without some key players for the tournament, including Fraser Thomson and Ross McCann, but the fighting spirit which is embedded in every Melrose player this season, was very much in evidence and they got past Dundee High, Selkirk, The Co-Optimists (aka Ireland’s 7s team in all but name) before succumbing to the mighty Quins in the final.
It was good to see Austin Lockington back to his brilliant best as he gave the crowd some razzle dazzle, and when Selkirk’s South African star Tythan Adams came on as an injury replacement for Melrose after thrilling the crowd in Selkirk colours, he worked his magic as he had done earlier. Apart from Melrose and Selkirk it wasn’t a happy day for the Borders with Gala, Hawick and Peebles going out in Round 1 with Kelso and Jedforest bowing out in Round 2.
In National 3 St Boswells won 118-19 at home to Greenock Wanderers, the whipping boys of the division, but the crucial game for them will happen next Saturday when they meet Dumfries at home and must beat them with a bonus point to clinch promotion.
Wednesday, April 5th, 2017
Hawick Linden 7s draw announced
While many people will be heading for Melrose this Saturday and the Kings of the 7s Round 3 tournament at the world famous Greenyards venue, there will be others who will be taking in the fourth Wilson Signs Hawick Sevens event which takes place for the first time ever on the 3G playing surface at Volunteer Park in Hawick. There was no event last year due to a backlog of league fixtures still being played, Linden will defend the title they won two years ago. The Pool system features two groups of four teams playing a round robin format. The first tie kicks off at 12.30.
Pool A – Hawick Harlequins, Kelso, St Boswells, Gala YM
Pool B – Hawick Linden, Jedforest, Annan, Langholm
Monday, April 3rd, 2017
Watsonians defend title at Gala 7s
The City sides proved too strong for the Borders teams at Gala’s 7s tournament, as Watsonians battled out the final against Edinburgh Accies to defend their title 33-28. There is no doubt that Watsonians are the favourites this season to clinch the Belhaven Riverside Rock Kings of the 7s title with both holders Jedforest and 7s specialists Melrose occupied heavily in the 15s game still for the rest of the month. Watsonians, with star of the day Scott McKean scoring a bundle of tries at the tournament, were a class act, easing their way through their Pool to knock out Jed 33-0 in the Semi Final. Accies, who fielded a team featuring many who played a tough match against Aberdeen the day before, look good to get at least one win in the series this season. Kelso were surprise winners of their Pool, dumping out hosts Gala, on their way to collect five points as semi finalists, eventually going out to Accies. Watch the Final here. Watch the best of the tries here. Watch the Semi Final highlights here.
Monday, April 3rd, 2017
Melrose book their third final place and engrave their name on Bill McLaren Shield
Melrose have made the final of the BT Premiership after a play-off semi final win over Currie at The Greenyards. It was another big win for the black and yellows who are on a roll at the moment, with a long unbeaten run in all competitions. On Saturday they managed another five tries as they cruised past Currie 42-15 with Nyle Godsmark’s brace adding to efforts from Austin Lockington, Ruairidh Knott and Ally Grieve. The final against Ayr will take place on April 15th at The Greenyards to see who will be crowned Scottish Club Champions, while the following week the two meet in the Scottish Cup Final at the National Stadium. The win over Currie was their fourth home win in a row meaning they are now the third team, after Ayr and Heriot’s, to have their name engraved on the Bill McLaren Shield. Watch highlights of Melrose v Currie here.
Hawick now know when they will face Edinburgh Accies in the BT Premiership Play-off game. It will happen at Lasswade on April 29th. Edinburgh Accies fell short of winning the National 1 title, despite scoring 98 points this season. Marr’s 103 sealed the title for them, but who will be filling the other Premiership spot next season? We will know on April 15th.
Selkirk beat Hamilton in National 1 in their final game of the season, while Jedforest lost heavily at Musselburgh. They still have three away games to play – all meaningless now – at Aberdeen, Howe of Fife and Dundee while trying to defend their Kings of the 7s title. The same goes for Melrose who are heavily involved in 15s still with three Cup Finals ahead of them.
In National 2 Kelso and Peebles both won, so the fight between these two goes on to see who will be promoted to NL1. Kelso will be favourites as they have a 7 point lead but the two will be meeting each other later this month.
St Boswells managed a win against Orkney and are still in contention for promotion out of NL3.
Saturday, March 25th, 2017
Melrose book Cup Final place – Quins miss out in Shield
After a slow start, Melrose got into top gear and in the end comfortably won their BT Cup Semi Final at home to Stirling County by 48-18. Watch their tries here. They will once again face rivals Ayr, who disposed of Glasgow Hawks 28-10 to set up a mouth-watering clash on April 22nd.
In the BT Shield Semi Final Carrick once again took a Borders scalp on their way to the National Stadium, overcoming a plucky Hawick Harlequins team 43-20.
BT National 1 will this year go down to the final day, with both Marr and Edinburgh Accies recording bonus point wins against Musselburgh and Falkirk respectively. Marr will be hot favourites to win at GHA, but Accies will need a bonus point win at home to Aberdeen and hope that GHA can beat Marr by more than 7 points and stop Marr from scoring more than three tries, if they are to become champions. Accies’ win today ensures that they will at least get a crack at the play-off match against Hawick, when the winner of that game will line-up in the BT Premiership next season. Howe of Fife and Hamilton were relegated today following Aberdeen’s win at home to GHA.
Kelso could have been promoted today from National 2 but it was Cartha Queens Park who beat them 37-10 and ensure they will be at the NL1 table next season. With Peebles winning at Kirkcaldy they still have an outside chance of promotion. In NL3 St Boswells went down at Highland, but are still very much in contention for promotion.
In the East Leagues there were wins for Berwick, Duns and Earlston.
Thursday, March 16th, 2017
Selkirk shock Hawick in Border League
Hawick went into their final Booker Border League match knowing that a home win by 18 points with a try bonus against Selkirk would take them into the Border League Final and a chance to win their 50th title, but Selkirk spoilt the party winning 28-17 and handing Gala the opportunity to meet Melrose on a yet undecided date.
Selkirk scored 4 tries from Tythan Adams, Ciaran Whyte. Boni Siyothula and Darren Clapperton with Josh Welsh kicking all conversions.
Hawick’s tries went to Gary Douglas (2) and Neil Renwick with Ali Weir kicking a conversion.
Sunday, March 12th, 2017
Melrose complete their Premiership programme as table-toppers
In the old system of league rugby Melrose would have been crowned champions of Scotland yesterday with a 30-6 win at Stirling County, but since the demise of the British and Irish Cup competition play-offs involving the top four teams have been the norm, so in two weeks time Melrose (1st) will play Currie (4th) at The Greenyards in a knock-out competition. If they win they will have a home match against the winner of the 2nd v 3rd game between Ayr and Glasgow Hawks which will happen also on March 25th.
There are many, like us, who think that we have a knockout competition in place already so why have another? The BT Cup serves the purpose and the semi-finalists are almost identical to the semi-finals of the BT Premiership play-off semi finals, with the exception of Currie replacing Heriot’s following their win away at Boroughmuir yesterday when they trounced the Meggetland men who had nothing to play for, and effectively got thrashed 67-19 sending Champions Heriot’s tumbling out of the competition in fifth place.
But that is the way it is, and we can only hope that the SRU will one day follow the lead of the English Championship in scrapping play-offs and returning to the old system. Even better, it would be good to get round the table and work hard to bring back Scottish involvement in the British & Irish Cup.
We should clarify and say that play-offs are far better suited to lower leagues where interest can be retained longer for clubs, particularly those in lower leagues, but automatic promotion and championship title for the team ending the season on top is a must.
In BT National 1 Jedforest lost heavily at home to league leaders Marr and are now realistically out of the running for promotion or even a play-off spot. Their 36-17 defeat at Riverside Park means they can concentrate on defending their Kings of the 7s title when the tournament resumes at Gala on April 2nd. Watch highlights here. Selkirk ran in seven tries as they thumped bottom club Howe of Fife on the road.
Heartbreak for Peebles though. They were leading top-of-the-table Cartha Queens Park into injury time, but a last second penalty denied them the win and they now have a big uphill task if they are to get into the top two and bounce back to the First Division. Kelso beat Whitecraigs to put further pressure on Cartha, and their match at Cartha next week could throw a lifeline to their fellow Borderers as well as putting them back on top of the league with games in hand.
St Boswells’ game against Greenock was postponed as Greenock couldn’t raise a team, while in the East Leagues, there were wins for Duns, Langholm and Gala YM, who beat Earlston in the first ever playing of the Jewson Cup. Watch highlights from Netherdale here.
Sunday, March 5th, 2017
Melrose cruise into BT Cup Semi Finals
Melrose dismantled Cup Holders Heriot’s at The Greenyards with a superb first half performance to book their place into the semi finals of the BT Scottish Cup where they will play Stirling County at home on March 25th. Their 29-12 win saw them run in four tries including a brace for Austin Lockington and others from Lewis Carmichael and George Taylor.
Gala and Jedforest both found the going tough in their matches in the Quarter Finals away from home. Ayr were too strong for National 1 side Jedforest, running out 36-7 winners while Glasgow Hawks defeated Gala 53-29 in their tie. Stirling beat Boroughmuir 32-31 at Bridgehaugh.
In National 1 Selkirk were 0-22 down at Philiphaugh against league leaders Marr before staging a fightback, scoring two tries by Tythan Adams and captain Ross Nixon. Watch highlights here.
Kelso scored a bonus point in Division 2 at a much-improved Hillhead Jordanhill team 29-19, while St Boswells took the long unbeaten record of Glasgow Accies 14-10 in Division 3 to stay to of the table.
In the East Leagues there were wins for Duns, Hawick Harlequins and Langholm.
Saturday, February 25th, 2017
Scotland up to 5th in the World Rankings after win over Wales
Scotland’s 29-13 win over Wales, their first win over the Welsh for 10 years, puts them above France, South Africa and Wales in the World Rugby Rankings to a new high, beating their previous top ranking of 7th. They came from 9-13 behind at the break to score 20 unanswered points thanks to tries by wingers Tim Visser and Tommy Seymour and the boot of man-of-the-match Finn Russell. With Ireland beating France 19-9 it means that the Irish, Scotland and England are the favourites to battle it out for the Championship, and a mouth-watering prospect of Scotland going to Twickenham on March 11th with the winner taking the Triple Crown. Vern Cotter’s men have reached new heights since he took over and with it being 34 years since Scotland last won at Twickenham against the Auld Enemy surely the Class of 2017 with their fearless mindset and confidence will be capable of taking the biggest of scalps in the Northern Hemisphere.
Last night in the Booker Border League Gala’s 40-12 win at Peebles and Melrose’s win at Jedforest 12-6 with a team of mainly second string and young players due to the vast amount unavailable to them because of age grade and club international selection, means that Melrose are through to the Border League Final when it takes place in April or May. They will face either Gala or Hawick. If Hawick beat Selkirk in the remaining fixture in their Pool by over 18 points and collect a 4-try bonus point it will be them who go through. Anything less than that and it will be Gala advancing.
Sunday, February 19th, 2017
Nikki Walker to leave Hawick at end of season
Nikki Walker will be leaving his position as Hawick Head Coach at the end of the season after three years in charge of The Greens. It follows a disappointing season in which Hawick have ended up in 9th place of the 10 teams in the BT Premiership. Last week they beat Gala to avoid automatic relegation, but they couldn’t get anything out of their match on Saturday against Melrose, going down 34-7 and leaving The Greenyards with a high injury count of seven players, forcing them to finish the game with just 13 players on the pitch. Already relegated Gala couldn’t beat Boroughmuir at Netherdale, giving the men from Meggetland safe passage to top flight club rugby next season.
Nikki will be in charge of the Greens in their vital relegation play-off against the team which finishes second in National 1. As it stands that is likely to be Edinburgh Accies, who are adrift of Marr, the club at the top of the table, although Jedforest could still have a say in proceedings if they win all of their remaining six games and other results go their way. Because of the way the season is structured the play-off match could be as far away as eight weeks, in which time Hawick will only have one competitive match to play in the Booker Border League against Selkirk, while National 1 teams will be playing plenty of competitive matches in the coming weeks. Jedforest will be playing re-arranged league games on three of the Kings of the 7s weekends, not an ideal situation for the K7s holders.
Hawick President John Thorburn said in an official club statement: “The clubs would like to thank Nikki for his contribution for the last three years. He has added a professionalism to the coaching role that will be beneficial to a new coach. Nikki’s efforts both as a player and coach have served the club well and we all wish him every success in whatever he decides to do in the future.”
Saturday, February 18th, 2017
Hawick loss at Melrose puts them in Relegation Play-off – Wins for Jed, Kelso, Peebles & St Boswells
Hawick lost four players in the first half to injury as they went into the break 27-0 down at Melrose, who wrapped up their bonus points by half time. The second half saw two yellow cards dished out to the Greens’ Bruce McNeil and Rory Hutton, which put them down to 13 men at one point, and one to Callum Crookshanks for Melrose, but things were a lot tighter in the second period with both scoring a converted try apiece. But the power of Melrose in the opening 40 minutes blew their Borders rivals away and Melrose now need just two points against Stirling County on March 11th to finish the season at the top spot in the BT Premiership table. Ruaridh Knott, Iain Moody, George Taylor, Fraser Thomson and Jason Baggott all touched down for the home side with Baggott converting three and kicking a penalty. Ali Weir got Hawick’s only points with a converted try.
Hawick are confirmed as finishing 9th in the table, which means they will be in the relegation play-off match in April against either Marr, Jedforest or more likely Edinburgh Accies. This is as a consequence of Gala losing 28-46 at home to Boroughmuir who are now safe from any relegation issues.
In National 1 Jedforest won a high-scoring game at home to Falkirk 42-29 but Selkirk were defeated in the capital by Stewart’s Melville 21-16.
Kelso and Peebles both won at home in National 2 as they aim for promotion with wins over West of Scotland (55-17) and Hillhead Jordanhill (41-17) respectively, while St Boswells stay top of Division 3 with a 38-0 victory at Livingston.
In the East Leagues there were local wins for Duns, Hawick Quins, Hawick Linden and Earlston.
Saturday, February 11th, 2017
Gala Relegated – Bill McLaren Shield won by Melrose – Hawick Quins lift Borders Shield
Gala have been relegated from the BT Premiership. They needed at least a bonus point against Hawick to keep their hopes alive in the top flight of club rugby, but a late converted try by Kyle Brunton (the only touchdown of the match) saw a three point deficit become 10 and although mathematically there is still hope for Gala (they would need to beat Boroughmuir by a ridiculous amount of points, which won’t happen) the club has accepted they will be playing National League rugby next season. Highlights here. In the other Premiership match with local interest, Melrose snatched the Bill McLaren Shield from Heriot’s in a low scoring game which they won 8-5, Grant Runciman getting the decisive try for the Black and Yellows.
NL1, 2 and 3 games involving Jedforest, Kelso and St Boswells were postponed due to waterlogged pitches, but Selkirk beat Aberdeen Grammar 18-9 with three well-taken scores in Division 1, Peebles got a win on the road at West of Scotland in Division 2. View the Selkirk v Aberdeen match here.
In other matches Hawick Harlequins were too strong for Berwick and lift the Borders Shield while there were wins for Langholm and Gala YM.
Saturday, February 11th, 2017
Hawick Albion win Scottish Youth U16 Cup
The youngsters of Hawick Albion and Hawick High School beat off the highly fancied Ayr/Wellington School team to win the Scottish Youth Under 16 Cup at the national stadium.
They went behind early on to an Ayr score by Hooker Scott Clelland but a well-taken penalty from Bailey Donaldson settled the nerves and Hawick were just two points adrift at the break. A chargedown from centre Mully Bannerman led to an opportunist try which was converted by Donaldson, and a further long-range penalty by the Albion full back gave the Borderers a crucial eight point lead, meaning Ayr would have to score at least twice. Ayr did manage a second try through Prop Conlan McLuckie late in the game but the “Baby Greens” held on for a memorable win.
Watch the ITV report here. Highlights of the game can be found here.
Sunday, February 5th, 2017
Players with Borders connections play big part in Scotland win
All 27 points for Scotland in their terrific win over Ireland in the first day of the RBS 6 Nations Championship came from players with plenty of Borders connections. The 27-22 victory is only Scotland’s second win on the first day in the 19 years the competition has taken place – the other being in 2006 when they beat France at home, so historically it was a very big deal. They raced to a 21-5 lead but allowed the Irish back into the game in the second half when the visitors edged ahead by a point, but two late Greig Laidlaw penalty goals sealed the win.
Captain Greig, the former Jedforest scrum half, kicked all three conversions after ex Hawick player Stuart Hogg scored two tries in 13 minutes and former Selkirk player Alex Dunbar went over for an outrageous try after he infiltrated the line-out, collected the ball calmly from Ex Kelso forward Ross Ford at the throw-in, and snuck in to score whilst the Irish pack were wondering what he was doing in the line-out in the first place! They soon found out as coach Vern Cotter revealed that assistant coach Jonathan Humphreys had engineered this set-piece move several months ago!
While everyone in Scotland is delighted with the win the stats which appeared after the game showed there is plenty of work to do with Ireland dominant in many areas, but what was pleasing was the fact that Scotland were able to produce three first half tries out of very little ball, and while the inexperienced home front row struggled, it was valuable experience for young Zander Ferguson in particular, and when Ford came on the pitch early in the first period to take over from Fraser Brown at Hooker, he contributed greatly in shoring up the scrum and making the Scots’ pack more competitive.
Saturday, January 28th, 2017
Gala win derby and progress with Melrose and Jedforest to Cup Quarters
The big derby BT Cup game at Netherdale went the way of Gala, who won 23-15 against Hawick. It was a much-improved Gala side that outplayed their visitors, always keeping one step ahead of the opposition. Matty Carryer and Dwayne Burrows scored tries for Gala with Ali Weir and Lee Armstrong touching down for the Greens, but the three penalties kicked by Gregor Hunter proved crucial. Hunter also converted both tries while Weir was successful with a penalty and conversion. Watch highlights here. Watch TV Report here.
Melrose were 17-0 up at home to Currie in their tie at The Greenyards, but Currie got back into the game to get to within seven points as it ended 17-10. The only National 1 side left the the competition, Jedforest, will also be in the hat for the quarter final draw on Wednesday without taking to the pitch as Aberdeenshire conceded the game to the Borders side. Ayr, Glasgow Hawks, Heriot’s, Stirling County and Boroughmuir all came safely through their matches.
In the only NL1 game, Falkirk won 29-7 at Selkirk. The match was switched to another pitch late in the day when the Philiphaugh pitch was deemed unplayable. The Kelso v Peebles game was postponed for a second time in NL2 while St Boswells beat RHC 28-12 to go top of NL3.
Thursday, January 26th, 2017
Jedforest Into Last Eight of BT Cup after Aberdeenshire pull out
Jedforest will be in the Quarter Finals of the BT Cup this year following Aberdeenshire’s decision to pull out of the game at Riverside Park scheduled for this Saturday. The National 2 club from the North East have been struggling with injuries and they feel they cannot do themselves justice, so have decided to hand the match to the Borders side. With the Gala v Hawick clash happening on Saturday the area will definitely have one more team go through, and the real possibility of Cup specialists Melrose providing a third team in the latter stages of the competition. The Final will be on April 22nd at BT Murrayfield.
Saturday, January 21st, 2017
Melrose stay top after thrilling win – Hawick and Gala lose – All 5 Borders NL teams win
For the second time in successive weekends Watsonians posted 40 points on Borders sides, but unlike the Gala result last weekend when Gala lost 40-3, Watsonians’ 41 points weren’t enough to stop Melrose from getting a bonus point win 46-41 to keep them at the top of the BT Premiership. Watch highlights here. Gala lost 0-26 at home to Champions Heriot’s while Hawick went down 35-8 at Currie. With two games left in the BT Premiership it’s an uphill battle for both Borders sides to avoid relegation. The automatic relegation position is currently occupied by Gala on 22 points, with Hawick in 9th place on 26. Boroughmuir have 27 and Stirling 29 after both lost today. Hawick will play Gala at Mansfield Park on February 11th before Hawick visit Melrose for their last game of the season on the 18th. Gala will end their season with a home match against Boroughmuir to add to the tension.
In BT National 1 much better news for local sides. Selkirk ended Edinburgh Accies’ unbeaten home record this season with a 26-21 win at Raeburn Place. Highlights of that match here. Tythan Adams ran in two tries as part of a bonus point victory. Jedforest were 5-15 down at home to Hamilton but ended comfortable winners 46-15 with a much better second half display.
In BT NL2 Kelso took the scalp of Ardrossan 43-21 while Peebles also got a home win against Aberdeenshire 31-20. In the Third Division St Boswells posted a convincing win at Dalziel 40-12.
Into the East Leagues and Hawick Quins won at Dunbar 52-26 while Duns got the better of Berwick 19-12.
In the second tier Hawick Linden provided the only local win.
Monday, January 16th, 2017
Hawick Linden reunion on February 18th
A reunion for Hawick Linden’s 1986/87 Border District League winning team is being organised since it is now 30 years since the title was clinched. It is planned for 18th February when Linden are due to play Edinburgh Northern or Leith who are vying for the final spot in the top six of East League 2. All players who played a League game that season are being approached as well as coaches Billy Murray and Davy Lyall. However, it is not a closed shop and anyone involved with the club at that time is more than welcome to come along and catch up with old friends for an informal get-together.
Saturday, January 14th, 2017
Hawick turn it round big time against Hawks – Big Gala defeat sends them to the bottom
Only two Borders teams beat the weather this afternoon with Hawick turning round a 78-13 loss earlier in the season against Glasgow Hawks to beat them at Mansfield Park in a stunning display by 24-17. Two Darcy Graham tries and one by Shawn Muir helped the Greens come from 7-17 down to win the match and lift them off the bottom. Watch highlights here. Watch ITV report on the match here. Gala had a completely different afternoon at Myreside, losing to Watsonians 40-3 – a result which puts them down to the bottom of the table with just three games to go. All other games involving Borders sides were postponed.
Friday, January 13th, 2017
Hawick YM kicked out of National Reserve League – Melrose Storm are Champions
Hawick YM have struggled this season to put a team out and the SRU have reacted by pulling the team completely out of the National Reserve League. In happier times recently YM won the title which was won last year by Melrose Storm, Melrose’s second string side. Hawick YM became the 2nd XV of Hawick Rugby Club following the Mansfield Haugh club’s decision to pull out of the National Leagues following relegation from Division 3. Melrose Storm have built up a huge lead at the top of the table, winning all 13 games, and with all YM’s matches counting for nothing the re-vamped table sees Melrose Storm with a 23 point advantage with only 20 points available for other teams to collect, meaning the title will go to Storm for a second year running.
Saturday, January 7th, 2017
Shock loss by Jed is blow to promotion chances / Kelso, Peebles & St Boswells win again
It all went wrong for Jedforest as they succumbed to their first loss at home in National League 1 this season, and it was to Stewart’s Melville who have been in the relegation zone for most of the season. Stew Mel have certainly been improving in recent weeks with crucial wins and deserved their win at Riverside Park, but a dubious red card for Sean Goodfellow for an alleged punch on Seb Trotter before half time, and a worrying head injury to Craig Cowan in the first half added to Jed’s woe as they went 17-5 down early doors. They ended up one point short of a losing bonus and one try short of a try bonus so ended the day with nothing. Add to that bonus point wins for Marr and Edinburgh Accies and the Borderers are now nine points off the pace, and now need other teams to help them make ground back on the other two if promotion is to still be a possibility. Watch highlights here.
Selkirk collected two bonus points in a high-scoring match at GHA, but playing catch-up for all of the game, they couldn’t quite get there and went down 38-36.
Kelso and Peebles both posted wins in National League 2 to stay 1st and 3rd respectively while St Boswells’ win at Lasswade keeps them in second in National 3.
In the Borders Shield game Berwick were too strong for Hawick Linden and take their place in the Final while in the Booker Border League at Netherdale Gala lost 51-35 to Hawick in Pool A. Hawick go top on points difference with 6. Gala are on 6 with both Peebles and Selkirk on 5.
Friday, December 30th, 2016
Ewen Robbie new DOR at Selkirk RFC
Ewen Robbie has been appointed the new Director of Rugby at Selkirk RFC, and will also hold the position of Development Officer vacated by Kieran Cooney recently. Ewen has been involved with Selkirk RFC for a number of years as a player and coach. Rory Banks will be moving into a newly created part-time post responsible for developing the game in local schools.
Selkirk beat Peebles at The Gytes yesterday in the Booker Border League scoring five tries in a 27-6 win, which included a brace for recent signing from South Africa, Tythan Adams. The day before that Hawick beat Jedforest 31-29 in an exciting Skelly Cup encounter at Riverside Park, which was postponed from its traditional Boxing Day slot due to wet weather conditions.
Monday, December 26th, 2016
Gala retain Waverley Cup with brilliant defensive display
In the annual Waverley Cup match played every year on Boxing Day and sponsored by Sykes, holders Gala needed a draw to retain the trophy, but they had to dig deep to do so. Melrose, who rested several first team regulars, gave first team debuts to Aaron Welsh and Conall Howard as well as giving many of their youngsters a start, while Gala, while not at full strength, certainly had a team of mainly experienced first team players led by captain Graham Speirs. It was a low-scoring affair with just two unconverted tries in the entire match and bizarrely 13 minutes of stoppage time at the end of the game which appeared to be at least twice as long as expected. But both teams battled hard in wet and blustery conditions with Sam Pecqueur scoring a first half try for the visitors and Gary Adams equalising for the Maroons in the second period. Melrose had at least two clear-cut chances of tries in the second half and can consider themselves unlucky not to be awarded touchdowns by the outstanding Cameron MacKay and Callum Crookshanks. At the same time Gala defended bravely, something which will have delighted coach Chris Dalgleish, and in the end it was their work in this area which kept their line intact in the second period, and ensured they keep the trophy for another year.
5-5 on paper looks pretty dull but this encounter was tense and dramatic and edge-of-the-seat stuff. Watch highlights here.
Saturday, December 17th, 2016
Super Melrose sink Ayr to extend lead in BT Premiership – Gala and Hawick defeated – Jed lose at Accies but better news in NL2 and 3
Melrose beat second placed Ayr in the BT Premiership top-of-the-table clash to extend their lead at the top to five points following a 27-10 victory. Austin Lockington, Ruairi McLeod and Russell Anderson scored Melrose’s three tries. At the other end of the table more misery for Gala and Hawick. Both contested close matches but came away with just a single losing bonus point each. the two Borders teams have 22 points, but crucially are now four points adrift of Watsonians, with Boroughmuir (who beat Hawick 26-21) now up to 27 points in seventh and Stirling (who won at Netherdale 29-22) in sixth on 29. With games running out, it’s looking more like at least one Borders team will end up in the bottom two with one automatic relegation spot and one play-off spot beckoning. To avoid this both the Maroons and the Greens have three weeks over Christmas to regroup, and with the fact that they have local matches to play while other teams outwith the Borders rest, could pay dividends as they look to come out fighting again on January 14th when the top flight club league continues.
Meanwhile in BTNL1 Jedforest came away from Raeburn Place with nothing. Edinburgh Accies got the win they craved following their loss last week at Marr, and that puts them back in the hunt as they go above Jed into second place with a bonus point and revenge for their only other defeat this season at Riverside Park. It ended 32-21 and you can see highlights here. Selkirk turned round a 60 point defeat earlier in the season at Dundee to beat the Taysiders 27-10 and that’s a result which puts them 5th in the table.
In National 2 and 3 all the local teams won. Kelso beat Biggar 31-17 to stay top in NL2, Peebles scored a terrific victory against promotion contenders GHK 32-10 to go up to third, and in Division 3 St Boswells are now second in the table after a 33-15 win at home to Perthshire.
In East League 2 there were wins for Langholm and Hawick Linden.
Saturday, December 10th, 2016
Melrose stun Gala in derby – Hawick close to upset at Ayr – Jedforest move into second in NL1
There were some sensational scorelines this afternoon, but top-billing must go to Melrose who sensationally dismantled arch rivals Gala at the Greenyards with a 57-17 win to keep them at the top of the BT Premiership table. Watch highlights here. Watch TV report here. Ayr stay second and will play Melrose next week but today they beat Hawick 44-41, one week after defeating Gala. Hawick raced to a big 21 points lead at Millbrae but back came Ayr to sneak the victory at the death.
Jedforest move to second in the National 1 table after beating GHA 31-21 with a bonus point win, and taking advantage of Edinburgh Accies’ defeat at Marr to leapfrog them. Edinburgh Accies scored losing bonus and try bonus points in their 27-24 loss at Marr, who are the new leaders. Selkirk posted a good 32-16 win at Musselburgh to end the day in sixth spot.
In Division 2 Kelso won again to cement their position at the top of the table with a victory at Preston Lodge while Peebles beat their local rivals Biggar at Hartreemill. In Division 3 St Boswells got a good victory in NL3 at Haddington.
In the East Leagues there were wins for Hawick Harlequins, Berwick and Hawick Linden, with the latter’s win over Gala YM also counting as a Border Shield fixture.
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
Melrose win to stay top / Jedforest, Kelso, Peebles & St Boswells all win in National Leagues
It was a ding-dong battle at Malleny Park but BT Premiership league leaders Melrose managed a bonus point win at Currie to stay top of the BT Premiership. Hawick drew with champions Heriot’s at Mansfield Park, but a bad first half display left Gala with too much to do against Ayr at foggy Netherdale, and they had to settle with just a try bonus point. Watch highlights of Gala v Ayr here. Those results together with bottom club Boroughmuir’s 55-17 win against Watsonians, sends Gala down to second last and Hawick back to the foot of the table.
Jedforest consolidated their third place in the BT National league 1 table with a bonus point win at home to Musselburgh, and with Marr and Edinburgh Accies above them also getting bonus wins, and fourth placed Falkirk losing at home to Stewart’s Melville, it looks more and more like the two promotion spots will go to two of the three top teams in that division.
Kelso stay top of NL2 with a good win on the road at Kirkcaldy while Peebles gave their promotion chances a boost with a win at Preston Lodge. St Boswells travelled up to Orkney and claimed a win up there to so their chances the world of good in the third division.
In the East Leagues, there were wins for Berwick, Hawick Harlequins, Earlston and Hawick Linden.
Thursday, November 24th, 2016
Good draws for Borders teams left in BT Cup
The draw for the 3rd Round of the BT Cup has been made with Gala and Hawick being drawn together at Netherdale for a head-to-head derby with the winner going through to the quarter finals, ensuring that the region has at least one team in the final eight. Jedforest have a home tie against NL2 side Aberdeenshire and should be too strong for them, while Melrose are also at home to fellow Premiership side Currie.
Full draw – all ties to be played on January 28th
Aberdeen Grammar v Ayr
Boroughmuir v Edinburgh Accies
Dundee High v Stirling County
Gala v Hawick
Glasgow Hawks v Watsonians
Jedforest v Aberdeenshire
Kirkcaldy v Heriot’s
Melrose v Currie
Sunday, November 20th, 2016
Scotland beat Argentina while Gala, Hawick and Jedforest progress in BT Cup
Former Jedforest player Greig Laidlaw kicked Scotland to their fifth win out of six against Argentina at BT Murrayfield with a stoppage time winning penalty. The 19-16 win was just the tonic after the one point loss to Australia seven days earlier. Stuart Hogg and Ross Ford from the region were both involved in the win as Scotland builds towards the RBC 6 Nations in February and March. Before that they face one final autumn test against Georgia at Kilmarnock next Saturday.
Meanwhile in the BT Cup Round 2, three Borders sides progressed with wins. Gala were too strong for GHA on the road, taking the game 31-14 at Braidholm, while Jedforest overcame a scare at the end to beat Falkirk 34-27 with Hawick clinical against Marr 31-6. Selkirk lost at Watsonians while Peebles went down at home to Edinburgh Accies. In the Booker Border League Melrose beat Kelso 50-5 while in the Borders Shield Duns won at Earlston and Hawick Harlequins took the scalp of Langholm on the road.
Clark Laidlaw, former Jedforest skipper and Scotland 7s player, has been signed by New Zealand’s 7s team to become Head Coach, taking over from the legend that is Gordon Teitjens after 22 years in the job. This is a huge appointment for the cousin of Scotland’s captain Greig.
Saturday, November 12th, 2016
Kelso’s Ross Ford reaches a magnificent milestone for Scotland
Ross Ford made his debut for Scotland in 2004 and 12 years later, at the age of 32, he today reached the 100 mark for his country – a remarkable achievement. Although the match against Australia ended in defeat at 23-22, the Scots led for 77 minutes of the game and were only overtaken in the last three minutes when they conceded a try under the posts. If Greig Laidlaw’s second half conversion of Jonny Gray’s try had not hit the posts we would be celebrating a one point win, but that’s rugby, and the famous line about ‘fine margins’ was never more apt than this afternoon at the National Stadium.
Huw Jones scored two tries for Scotland on his first match at BT Murrayfield as the Scots won the try count 3-2 and it was a case of deja-vu as for the second time in as many games, Scotland lost out by a single point to a late score. But Ross will no doubt be adding another cap next Saturday against Argentina as he chases Sean Lamont’s total of 105 and fellow-Borderer Chris Paterson’s all-time record of 109 which he should reach in the summer if he stays fit, and he could well send that record far beyond that with a few good years left in him.
In the Booker Border League Peebles won at Mansfield Park for the second time in four years as they surprisingly beat Hawick 25-19 to cause a bit of an upset. In the only other match locally played this weekend at senior level, Langholm scored an excellent victory at Gala YM 32-12 in East League 2, while in the Border Cup there was a win for Gala A against Selkirk A 62-0.
Wednesday, November 9th, 2016
South of Scotland secure 5-try victory over Caledonia
The South of Scotland returned after a five year break to beat Caledonia 33-7 with five tries to one at Riverside Park last night. Gregor and Lewis Young, Ross Nixon, Bruce McNeil and Lee Armstrong all scored. It was the first time in five years that the South team had played and only the third time in 21 years that a match involving the South of Scotland side had taken place. There was a sense that players and spectators alike all wanted something to happen in the future for the South team and district rugby to return would be an ultimate goal. To have another Scottish district come on board was a major step forward with regards this, and though Glasgow will prove a tough nut to crack, there is hope that Edinburgh and other regions, including south of the border, may want to come on board to make things happen in the future. A lot of hard work needs to be done but there is a real willingness to have something for club players to aspire to without having to leave their own clubs to achieve it.
Watch highlights here. Watch TV Report here.
Saturday, November 5th, 2016
Super Melrose comeback floors Hawks – Greens off the bottom – Jed edge NL1 derby – Kelso top NL2 table
Melrose were 0-15 down at The Greenyards in the first quarter against Glasgow Hawks, who were coming off the back of two big wins recently against Gala and Hawick, but Melrose hit back sensationally with 35 unanswered points of their own to blow the visitors away with a remarkable display to do the double on one of the fancied teams in the BT Premiership this season and cement their narrow lead over Ayr at the top of the table.
Hawick got themselves off the foot of the table with an important win on the road at Myreside against Watsonians by 36-33, a vital five points for them and they close the gap on Gala who are just three points in front of them after the Maroons lost 24-49 at home to Currie at Netherdale.
In BT National 1 the big derby was at Philiphaugh where Jedforest looked to be running away with the game building up a 26-3 lead, but the fighting Souters staged a remarkable comeback to trail by just four points near the end, but they had to settle for two bonus points as Jed ran out winners 40-34. Highlights here.
Kelso are on top of the BT NL2 table after overcoming previous leaders Cartha Queens Park 24-7, and Peebles gained an important home win over Kirkcaldy to keep them in the hunt for promotion. Meanwhile St Boswells turned the tables on Highland in the long-awaited clash at Jenny Moore’s Ground. After being defeated heavily up north Bozzies took the game 15-10 to upset the league leaders and put them back in the mix for promotion once again.
In the East Leagues there were wins for Berwick and Hawick Harlequins in Division 1, and Hawick Linden in Division 2. Worth also noting that all five Hawick teams – Hawick, Hawick Quins, Hawick Linden, Hawick Wanderers and Hawick PSA – playing today won, something that hasn’t happened in a long time. Congratulations all round.
Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
South of Scotland name starting XV for Caledonia game
The South of Scotland have named their starting line-up for Tuesday’s game against Caledonia. It will be the first match for The South in five years and will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the South’s first ever win against touring international opposition back on November 19th 1966 when The South beat Australia 13-0 at Mansfield Park.
The South team on this occasion will run out at Riverside Park, Jedburgh, with the starting XV made up of five players from Gala, four each from Hawick and Jedforest as well as two from Selkirk.
Watch the team announcement video here.
Sunday, October 30th, 2016
Melrose win keeps them at the top – Jed lose unbeaten record
A sparkling second half performance including a hat-trick by winger Ross McCann saw Melrose overwhelm Boroughmuir by 45-12 at Meggetland to stay top of the BT Premiership table on 40 points. When Hawick leaked 78 points at Glasgow Hawks last month it was a result which shocked many, but Hawks inflicted more misery on another Borders team yesterday when they smashed Gala 50-24 at Anniesland. Their game next Saturday at The Greenyards against Melrose will be well anticipated as they try and beat all three Borders clubs in the same season, but Melrose beat them on their own patch earlier in the season and will be aiming for a double. Hawick stay bottom of the table with a 43-30 win at Mansfield Park although the Greens did claim a losing bonus point. Watch highlights here. Watch TV report here.
In the much anticipated top of the table clash in BT National 1, Marr retained their unbeaten home record stretching back to February 2015 by beating Jedforest – unbeaten this season – 26-19. The fact that Jed managed a losing bonus point was all the more surprising as they found themselves down to 14 men after just four minutes when Jack Sudlow received a straight red card for a tip tackle on Marr’s Tom Steven. Playing against Marr with 15 men on their home patch is hard enough but nearly impossible with 14 for virtually the whole of the game, however they did lead 13-6 at the interval. Two converted tries in two minutes saw Marr turn a 10-point deficit into a four point lead, which they held to the end. Jed drop from 1st to 3rd while Selkirk move up to 5th spot after their win at home to Howe of Fife 36-31.
In BT NL2 Kelso won at Whitecraigs 47-19 but Peebles lost 10-6 at table-toppers Cartha Queens Park. St Boswells got back to winning ways with a comfortable 65-14 victory at Greenock in the 3rd Division.
In the East Leagues there were wins for Duns in Division 1 and Hawick Linden in the second division.
Saturday, October 22nd, 2016
Melrose top the BT Premiership with win at Hawick – Four Try Scholes sparks Gala Win – Jed still unbeaten
Melrose’s win at Hawick wasn’t pretty but it was effective and 14-3 gave them the four points which puts them back at the top of the BT Premiership table, helped by Glasgow Hawks’ narrow 31-32 loss at home to Currie. Gala got a big result at Boroughmuir, winning 31-27 with Rory Scholes bagging four tries. Watch Hawick v Melrose highlights here. ITV Match report here.
In the First Division, Jedforest made it 8 out of 8 with a 40-21 victory at home to Aberdeen, a good warm up for their big test next week away at Marr, who haven’t lost at home for over a year. Something is bound to give! Selkirk went down at Marr 32-19 but stay mid-table.
Division 2 saw two local wins for Kelso (66-3 v bottom club Hillhead Jordanhill) while Peebles enjoyed a comfortable 49-14 victory at The Gytes against Whitecraigs.
St Boswells were rolled over by a good Glasgow Accies side 40-18 while in the East Leagues there were local wins for Duns in Division 1 and Hawick Linden over Langholm.
Tuesday, October 18th, 2016
South of Scotland squad chosen for Caledonia Clash
The South of Scotland rugby team will take to the field for the first time in five years when they face Caledonia (Caley Reds) at Riverside Park, Jedburgh on Tuesday 8th November at 7.30pm. It will be only the third time this century that a full South XV made up of club players within the Scottish Borders will wear the famous red and white hooped jerseys. There is something extra special about this game, because there is a real feeling among many people in the South of Scotland that the time has come to give more opportunities to club players, particularly with no professional rugby in the region, with more matches involving the South of Scotland. In the last century the Caledonia region went under the name “The North & Midlands” and since 1953 many matches were played between the two district sides.
The squad will be captained by Gala fly half Gregor Hunter with Hawick’s Bruce McNeil vice captain. The 23 players come from Gala (6), Jedforest (6), Hawick (6), Selkirk (3) and Kelso (2). Unfortunately Melrose have made the decision not to support this match and have issued the following statement from President Trevor Jackson:
“Melrose have decided that due to the heavy load placed on the players and the timing of this fixture that it cannot support this particular match. The Border League is important to Melrose, and with the match against Jedforest at Riverside Park on the 11th November following the game against Glasgow Hawks on the 5th November, the turnaround is too tight to do The South justice. Melrose is playing its other Border League match on the 19th against Kelso at The Greenyards, so that all fixtures can be fulfilled in this historic competition.”
The President of the Border League, Billy Grieve, said: “It will be special to see the South up and running again especially playing against another Scottish District team at a floodlit Riverside Park, which is a superb venue to host the game with its unique backdrop and special atmosphere. The game will give our players and coaches the opportunity to challenge themselves at a higher level and still remain within their local club.”
Captain Gregor Hunter added: “I am incredibly proud. I wasn’t expecting to be chosen as captain but it’s something that is steeped in history and I can’t wait to get out there at Riverside Park. My dad played for the South against the All Blacks and he’s told me about the massive history involved with The South. I think it is great that the team is back.”
Vice Captain Bruce McNeil from Hawick skippered the South team five years ago in a memorable win against the Barbarians and he is looking forward to playing his part again: “It’s a huge honour for all the players who will put on that jersey, and there’s definitely a place for more games involving the South in the future. I think this fixture comes at the perfect time. Most of the clubs are happy to allow their players to get a hit-out at a higher level and support this and I know the Hawick boys involved are really looking forward to it and getting stuck in and get another win ultimately.”
Backs Coach for this game will be Chris Dalgleish, Forwards coach is Kevin Barrie (Jedforest). Chris played for The South team back in the 1990s and spoke about his passion for The South: “It’s a fantastic thing to get involved with and play with other players from other clubs. It’s a special game and a special team. Most of the clubs and players from the region are desperate to play in this match and wanting to show what Borders Rugby is all about.”
Watch our preview here.
The South squad for the match v Caledonia is as follows:
Graham Speirs (Gala), Craig Robertson (Gala), Lewis Young (Jedforest), Darren Clapperton (Selkirk)
Ross Nixon (Selkirk), Lee Armstrong (Hawick), Gregor Young (Jedforest)
Gregor Hunter (Gala) CAPTAIN, Sean Goodfellow (Jedforest), Andrew Tait (Kelso)
Chris Keen (Gala), Shawn Muir (Hawick), Connor Hogg (Jedforest), Bruce McNeil (Hawick) VICE CAPTAIN
Matt Carryer (Gala), Callum MacKintosh (Hawick)
SECOND ROW FORWARDS
Ian Wallace (Kelso), Gregor Law (Jedforest), Andrew Renwick (Selkirk)
BACK ROW FORWARDS
Keith Davies (Hawick) VICE CAPTAIN, Rob Louw (Gala), Stuart Graham (Hawick), Craig Cowan (Jedforest)
COACHES: Chris Dalgleish (Gala) & Kevin Barrie (Jedforest) TEAM MANAGER: Neil Hinnigan (Kelso)
Sunday, October 16th, 2016
Gala win tight BT Premiership derby – Jedforest stay top of NL1 with win at Falkirk
Last weekend Hawick won a dramatic match against Currie by a single point – this week they lost by a single point and it was at Netherdale against rivals Gala in the proverbial “eight pointer” match. The 22-21 result lifted the Maroons up a place in the table but Hawick’s losing bonus was their only consolation of the afternoon. Match highlights here. ITV Report here. Down the road at the Greenyards Melrose started well against champions Heriot’s but lost out in the end 17-21, again a losing bonus point little consolation for the team who could have gone top by the end of the afternoon as a result of Ayr beating leaders Glasgow Hawks.
In BT National 1 Jedforest tested themselves against Falkirk who were unbeaten at home and who had lost just once this season. It was close but Jed remained unbeaten themselves with a 20-13 victory to keep them on top of the table after seven games. Because they have dropped try bonus points, Marr (who lost for the only time at the start of the season against Edinburgh Accies) are just one point behind Jed (as are Accies) in a very congested top three. Selkirk snuck past an improving Stewart’s Melville 19-14 to register back-to-back wins and put themselves into the top half of the table.
In BT NL2 both Kelso and Peebles managed wins on the road. Kelso’s impressive 34-15 win at West of Scotland puts them into third while Peebles are now fourth after their 60-13 victory at whipping boys Hillhead Jordanhill.
One league below St Boswells comfortably beat Livingston 50-3 to put themselves in contention for promotion even at this early stage. They are third behind leaders Highland and Dumfries, who clashed this afternoon with Highland winning out.
East League 1 saw all three Borders sides winning – Berwick, Duns and Hawick Harlequins – while in EL2 more local success with another clean sweep for the area’s sides – Gala YM, Langholm and Hawick Linden all winning.
Saturday, October 8th, 2016
Hawick bounce back dramatically – Melrose win again – Jed go top of BT NL1
After slumping to a monumental defeat last Saturday, the Green Machine turned things around in seven days to produce a remarkable win against Currie by 27-26 at Mansfield Park. They are still at the bottom, but only one point behind Gala, who got nothing from their away trip to champions Heriot’s, losing 38-19. Melrose meanwhile beat Watsonians 7-24 on the road to stay second in the table on points difference behind Glasgow Hawks, who won at Boroughmuir 48-28. In the other game in the BT Premiership Ayr beat Stirling County 44-22. Watch highlights from Hawick v Currie here. ITV Report here.
In BT National 1 Falkirk lost for the first time this season, going down to Marr 33-18, and that result sees them drop from top to fourth. Jedforest beat Dundee High 43-17 to remain the only team in the top four leagues to remain unbeaten. They are the only team from the 46 clubs in the BT Premiership, NL1, NL2 and NL3 who have won all their games. Dumfries in NL3 have drawn 1 and won 6 to remain the only other unbeaten side. Selkirk took the scalp of Aberdeen Grammar in a high-scoring thriller at Rubislaw which ended 36-32.
In NL2, Peebles beat West of Scotland 38-34 at The Gytes, while at Poynder Park Kelso won at home to Aberdeenshire. St Boswells lost 20-3 at Dumfries in NL3.
Our East League teams produced wins including Duns at home to Ross High (23-13) and Hawick Quins at Linlithgow (51-20) in Division 1 while in EL2, Hawick Linden triumphed 27-8 at Earlston and Gala YM were victorious at Edinburgh University.
Saturday, October 1st, 2016
Wins for Gala and Melrose but Hawick thumped in Glasgow – Jedforest remain unbeaten
Gala posted a much needed win at home to Watsonians 25-15 at Netherdale to give them four points in the BT Premiership. Watch highlights here. Melrose sneaked past a stuffy Stirling County team to record a 25-17 victory at the Greenyards to stay in the Top Three, but Hawick couldn’t back up their win last week against Boroughmuir and crumbled to Glasgow Hawks by a huge 78-13 scoreline. Ironically Boroughmuir went on to take Ayr’s unbeaten record 24-11 and who would have thought that would happen?
In BT National 1 there were some big scores, with Falkirk and Jedforest remaining unbeaten in that division with their fifth straight wins. Jed hammered Hamilton 62-19 on the road while Edinburgh Accies recorded their fourth win of the season at Philiphaugh, comfortably disposing of Selkirk 31-10. In Division 2 there were wins on the road for both Kelso at Ardossan (38-36) and Peebles at Aberdeenshire (41-38). St Boswells lost their unbeaten record n NL3, going down 24-21 to Dalziel.
In the East Leagues there were wins for Berwick and Hawick Harlequins in Division 1, and Hawick Linden and Langholm in Division 2.
Saturday, September 24th, 2016
Melrose narrowly lose at Ayr / Gala defeated by Stirling / Hawick earn first win
Melrose lost their 100% BT Premiership unbeaten tag with a narrow loss at Millbrae 11-7 after taking the lead early on through a converted Murdo McAndrew try. Gala’s bogey team seem to be Stirling County. The Bridgehaugh outfit did the double over the Maroons last season, and pulled away late on to take the game 31-18. But there was a win at last for Hawick over Boroughmuir, with a second consecutive bonus point, winning out 36-26. Watch highlights here.
In National League 1 Jedforest scored an incredible 54 points in the second half to turn a tight 17-13 game against Howe of Fife into a second half romp to win 71-20. All three Young brothers scored a try in a 10 try performance with Robbie Yourston kicking 8 conversions as well as a try and a penalty for a personal tally of 24 points. Selkirk’s Ewan MacDougall was shown a red card in their game at Falkirk for an alleged off the ball incident that no one seemed to witness apart from the assistant referee who recommended a red card be shown. Bizarrely this followed Falkirk being awarded a try and that try was chalked off. Selkirk playing into the wind with 14 men for most of the first half somehow turned round 5-3 in front following a Josh Welsh try. But the second half was a different story with Falkirk strolling to a comfortable 32-5 win. In NL2 Peebles and Kelso shared a 22-22 draw while St Boswells got their fourth win in four games in NL3 at RHC 47-15.
Saturday, September 17th, 2016
Melrose on fire at Netherdale to stay top
Melrose chalked up another big score as they retained their position at the top of the BT Premiership table with an impressive bonus point win against Gala at Netherdale 43-27. That brings the maximum 20 points up for them but they needed it as second placed Ayr defeated luckless Hawick 43-28 at Mansfield Park to give them 19. Hawick remain at the bottom with four straight losses but they did manage their first try bonus point of the season. Watch highlights of Gala v Melrose here. ITV Report here.
In National 1 Jedforest remain one of only two clubs unbeaten in the table with a narrow 28-17 victory on the road against Stewart’s Melville, while Selkirk bounced back from last weekend’s defeat at Dundee to win 55-24 at home to GHA.
National 2 saw wins for both Borders sides – Kelso too strong for newly-promoted GHK 37-18 while Peebles thrashed Ardrossan 53-26. Meanwhile in Division 3 St Boswells, in their first season in the National Leagues for many years, got the better of previously unbeaten Lasswade 34-28.
In the East league Division 1 Berwick and Hawick Harlequins posted wins over Penicuik and Forrester respectively while Earlston were the only local winners at home to Liberton.
Saturday, September 10th, 2016
Melrose top 50 points again as they head the BT Premiership
Melrose ran in seven tries at the Greenyards to once again take all five points in their match against Currie, running out 52-22 winners. The City side were denied a try bonus because of the strong defensive work from the home side. That win enables them to stay top of the table with maximum 15 points in the BT Premiership. Watch highlights here. Gala were unlucky not to pick up a win at Ayr. They ran them close, going down 27-24 in the end, gaining a losing bonus point but not quite managing a try bonus, but Hawick were taken apart at Goldenacre, losing to Heriot’s 53-10 in a one-sided affair which saw the champions finally record their first win of the season following two straight defeats in the league and a loss in the Charity Shield.
In BT National 2 Jedforest beat Edinburgh Accies 16-10 at Riverside Park, but a weakened Selkirk side lost heavily at Dundee HSFP on the road 61-20. Kelso lost at Biggar in their NL2 encounter, with Peebles also finding themselves on the wrong side of the result at newly-promoted GHK, while in NL3 St Boswells made it two out of two with a win at Perthshire.
Into the East Leagues and Hawick Quins enjoyed a 42-15 win at Duns in the First Division, while in EL2 all the local sides lost.
Sunday, September 4th, 2016
Seven of the eight Borders top-ranked teams post league wins
It was a good weekend for most Borders teams as all but one who play their trade in the BT Premiership or National Leagues won. Melrose top the table with the only 100% record after two weeks of Premiership Rugby. They travelled to Glasgow Hawks and won 37-17 while Gala took the scalp of Currie on the road b 28-23. Hawick were beating Watsonians 9-7 but went down 24-9.
In the BT National League 1 Jedforest had a field day at GHA, cruising to a 53-31 victory. Also successful were Selkirk at home to Musselburgh, registering a 47-10 win. In NL2 Kelso beat Preston Lodge 37-21 and Peebles won their derby against Biggar 24-20, while St Boswells got their campaign off to a flying start with a win at home to Haddington.
In East League 1 Berwick and Hawick Harlequins won but Duns lost. In the 2nd division Earlston won at home to Langholm and Hawick Linden drew with Trinity Accies.
Friday, September 2nd, 2016
National League 1 set for increased TV coverage
Scottish Rugby TV will be doubling its club coverage this season. As well as their BT Premiership highlights programme, there will also be a featured game each week from BT National League 2 which involves two of our Borders sides, Jedforest and Selkirk. The BT National 1 segment of the programme, available online at Scottish Rugby TV’s YouTube channel, will be introduced, filmed and produced by Stuart Cameron with commentator Stuart McFarlane. The first edition will feature highlights of Howe of Fife v Falkirk plus post match reaction with Jedforest v Edinburgh Accies lined up for Saturday 10th September’s featured game.
Meanwhile Borders Premiership clubs haven’t been forgotten with a Radio Borders highlights and results roundup of all Borders teams each Saturday night. Tomorrow’s edition will be edited, filmed and produced by Ronald Yule and will feature highlights of Hawick v Watsonians.
Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
Updated website for Borders Rugby
We are delighted to announce that our new website is now live. It still has the same familiar themes on the front page that you have told us you like with results and fixtures prominently featured along with our latest news announcements via our Twitter feed. Archive content (of which there is a substantial amount) will be upgraded to the new format in the coming months, so please be patient. We hope you enjoy our continued coverage of Borders Rugby as we move towards our 10th year.
Sunday, August 28th, 2016
Melrose on fire with 8 tries to start Premiership campaign but Gala and Hawick lose on first day
Melrose hit the ground running in their first Premiership game of the season against Boroughmuir at the Greenyards with eight tries in a 51-24 win. They got off to a flying start with Jason Baggott crossing over for a try with barely three minutes on the clock. The visitors briefly took the lead at the end of the first quarter when Thomas Gracie bundled over converted by Chris Laidlaw, but after that Melrose kept the foot on the gas and led 22-7 at the turn with further tries from Ross McCann and James Head, both converted by George Taylor who also kicked a penalty. Baggott and McCann both doubled their try tally in the second half with Bruce Colvine, Ruairidh Knott and Murdo McAndrew all touching down. Taylor kicked another conversion with Austin Lockington drop-kicking the final conversion on the whistle to see his team go over the 50 points mark. To their credit Boroughmuir rain in three good tries in the second period for a bonus point, with Rab Cairns, Craig Keddie and Douglas Hearn all getting on the score sheet, with Laidlaw adding the extras to Cairns’ try. Watch all tries here.
Elsewhere it looked as if Glasgow Hawks would rack up 50 points at Gala after they hit 38 points in the first hour, but Gala stemmed the tide and showed character in fighting back to end their day 14 points adrift. It was 27-43 at the final whistle with the Maroons grabbing an unlikely 4-try bonus point and nearly collecting a losing bonus too, but it wasn’t the start the club wanted. Hawick had a good first half at Stirling County but lost 28-19 in their opening game of the season. In the other two games in the BT Premiership, Ayr demolished Currie 53-10 at Millbrae while newly-promoted Watsonians shocked champions Heriot’s at Myreside by taking the match 25-18.
In the BT Cup Round 1 there were some cricket scores. Selkirk and Jedforest swept past Howe of Fife 67-20 and Dalziel 78-0 respectively while Peebles beat Preston Lodge 41-40, but St Boswells lost on the road at Highland and Kelso were heavily beaten at Falkirk 64-33 to go out of the competition.
Saturday, August 13th, 2016
Gala start Border League campaign with win
The Booker Border League’s only pre-season fixture was an entertaining encounter at Philiphaugh with eight tries scored. Gala beat hosts Selkirk 34-19 with a five try haul, with Darren Clapperton’s excellent brace and a try by Scott Hendrie accounting for Selkirk’s touchdowns. Rob Louw, Craig Robertson, George Lott, Dwayne Burrows and Fraser Hunter crossed the line for the Maroons in their Pool A match. Gregor Hunter kicked three conversions and a penalty for the visitors with Josh Welsh accurate for the Souters’ two conversions. Watch the tries here.
Saturday, August 6th, 2016
Melrose kick off Kings of the 7s with a win
Peebles moved their Sevens tournament from a Sunday in April to a Saturday in August and you have to admire them for their brave move. It meant that theya re the only club from the 10 on the K7s circuit to have their event before the season starts, and we won’t see Round 2 until eight months time, which is all rather bizarre, although of course not long ago we had Kelso and Selkirk’s events pre-season. Selkirk took 83 years to win the Peebles trophy (the last time was in 1933) so it’s particularly unfortunate that they got to keep it for just over 3 months before handing it back. In the end they went out in Round 1 to Watsonians, and it was Watsonians who reached the final to take on Melrose, who disposed of Jedforest, Gala and Peebles on the way to the Final. There were many close ties but in the end a last minute try from Melrose gave them the title and 10 points as they won 22-17. They are now guaranteed to top the table for the next eight months while we wait for the second round in April at Gala. You can watch highlights of the final here and the ITV report here. There are two programmes featuring action from the tournament here and here.
Tuesday, July 26th, 2016
Local talent on show in Galashiels this Sunday
Netherdale’s 3G pitch will host no less than six games on Sunday as Scottish youngsters do battle in a new competition designed to give the cream of the country’s age grade players the chance to represent their area.
Involving Under 16, Under 18 and Under 20 academy players, the tournament, which will take place over the next few weeks, will see Borders and East Lothian teams competing against Edinburgh, Caledonia and Glasgow & West sides.
Matches will be played over five intense days with a finals day taking place at BT Murrayfield, with the top two sides in each age group playing on the international pitch on August 21st. The Galashiels leg of the tournament will see Borders and east Lothian teams taking on Edinburgh.
Monday, July 25th, 2016
Peebles 7s draw
Peebles have moved their 7s from April to August so round 1 of the Kings of the 7s will start on August 6th at The Gytes, with Round 2 taking place in early April with the Gala 7s. So holders Selkirk, who won the tournament four months ago, have had the trophy for the shortest period of time in its history – unless of course they win it again in August! They have a tough draw though against Watsonians in Round 1.