Stewart's/Melville FP 50, Selkirk 18

Colleges swift to punish Selkirk errors

DESPITE the size of the scoreline, Saturday's league match at Inverleith was closer than the final result would suggest. Indeed Selkirk changed ends at the interval 13-12 ahead, but when the bigger home pack stepped up a gear in the second half, the visitors found it impossible to hold back the floodgates.
What didn't help Selkirk's cause was a string of errors, ranging from turnovers from spilled ball in the tackle, to an interception and a missed fly-hack to touch that conceded the softest try of the afternoon.
Even so, Selkirk's coaches will be able to take heart from the players' determination not to go down without a fight, and the visiting team certainly couldn't be criticised for lack for effort.
The gamble of switching Denver Rumney from wing to openside wing-forward certainly paid off. The Belfast-born academy manager clearly relished his new role, rarely missing a tackle and winning crucial possession at the breakdown.
The highlight of a first half in which Selkirk more than held their own, came just before the interval. A dummy scissors move was worked by centres Alistair Lyall and David Cassidy, leading to a blistering inside break by Fraser Harkness, the angle and timing of which saw the former Youth Club captain slice through the home defence to score a great try.
Skipper Guy Blair - who had earlier kicked two penalties - converted, making the halftime score 13-12 in Selkirk's favour (Stewart's/Melville's points having come from tries by McMurchy and Hendry, with Hendry adding a conversion).
The second half saw the powerful Colleges eight take control up front, and the title challengers were quick to capitalise on the visitors' string of errors. A further six tries were scored by Whakakura (2), Lind, Gordon (2) and Dalgleish, with Hendry kicking four conversions to set the seal on an ultimately convincing win.
The visitors' only riposte was a Michael Rutherford try, after the fly-half had taken an inside pass from Ewen Robbie and went outside his opposite number to just stretch over the line.
Selkirk loosehead prop Grant Ruthven required sporadic treatment on the sidelines for a recurrence of his back injury, while Lyall took a leg knock but is expected to be fit in time for this Sunday's match against Murrayfield Wanderers at Philiphaugh.

SELKIRK - G. Blair, S. Murdoch, A. Lyall, D. Cassidy, F. Harkness, M. Rutherford, M. McVie, G. Ruthven, E. Robbie, M. Murray, N. Darling, S. Jeffrey, J. Ross, D. Rumney, A. Heatlie. Replacements (all used): I. Walling, K. Connor, B. Armstrong.