Selkirk’s ‘man of the match’ Lwando Mabenge bursts clear from his own ‘22’ in Saturday’s game against Musselburgh at Philiphaugh.

Making his first appearance for Selkirk at stand-off, Ciaran Whyte manages to get the ball away despite Musselburgh pressure.

Openside wing forward Matt Robertson spearheads another Selkirk attack, with number eight Andrew Renwick ready to lend support.

Saturday’s official mascots were Emily Dickson and Charlie Francis, pictured here with Selkirk skipper Ross Nixon. Both are pupils at Lilliesleaf Primary School and both play for Selkirk Rhinos’ P3 team.



ANOTHER high-tempo display in front of their supporters saw Selkirk open their BT National League Division 1 campaign with a convincing, seven-try victory over Musselburgh at Philiphaugh on Saturday.
However, at no stage did the visitors throw in the towel, and after the match Selkirk head coach Graham Marshall was quick to highlight the size of the challenge his players had faced over the 80 minutes. “Just as Howe of Fife had done the previous week, Musselburgh proved a tough nut to crack in the game’s opening quarter.
“Early on they took the game to us, and when we had the ball I thought they defended very aggressively. That said, our boys showed a lot of composure and played really well for the middle 40 minutes of the match. It’s obviously pleasing to get the league campaign off to a winning start, but no-one’s under any illusions about how much work remains to be done.”
One of the home side’s top performers was prop Lwando Mabenge, whose tireless ball-carrying and work at the set pieces earned him the Four Seasons Forestry ‘Selkirk Man of the Match’ award.
Selkirk went into the interval 26-10 ahead thanks to tries by Josh Welsh, Darren Clapperton, Lewis MacLennan and Ciaran Whyte. Welsh added two conversions and skipper Ross Nixon one. Musselburgh’s points came from a try by their captain Craig Owenson following a rolling maul, with Brian Walls adding the conversion and also kicking a penalty.
After the break Selkirk continued to attack at every opportunity, with both Darren Clapperton and Ciaran Whyte supplementing their first half tries with further touchdowns, while Callum McEwan scored Selkirk’s seventh and final try. Scott Hendrie added all three conversions.
Towards the end of the match tempers began to flare, with Cata Graur and Jordan McGowan both receiving yellow cards, along with the visitors’ Paddy Brown. McGowan later had four stitches inserted in a cut on his brow by club doctor Jeff Cullen.
SELKIRK - D. Clapperton, S. Hendrie, L. MacLennan, R. Nixon, J. Welsh, C. Whyte, S. Tough, K. Cooney, R. Wilson, L. Mabenge, J. McGowan, M. Gordon, E. MacDougall, M. Robertson, A. Renwick. Replacements: A. McColm, C. McEwan, C. Graur, P. Forrest, S. Nixon.
MUSSELBURGH – L. Clarke, S. Watt, A. Cook, R. Watt, J. Doig, I. Martin, B. Walls, C. Owenson, J. Crain, J. Walker, W. Fleming, G. McKinstry, G. Bowman, M. Fleming, L. Hutson. Replacements: C. Pryde, D. Hodge, P. Brown, S. Kirby, A. Hook.

Referee – Ian Kenny (Aberdeen).