BELOW-PAR SELKIRK UNABLE TO FIND WINNING TOUGH AGAINST STEWART’S/MELVILLE FP

Selkirk fly-half Gavin Craig breaks through the Stewart’s/Melville FP defence on Saturday . . .

. . . before off-loading to team-mate Iain Oosthuizen, who makes ground before feeding out to . . .

. . . full-back Ciaran Whyte, who crashes over for the line for Selkirk’s only try of the game.

Selkirk skipper Ross Nixon leads the team out at Inverleith past a guard of honour comprising Selkirk Rhinos players.

[Photos – GRANT KINGHORN PICS]

STEWART’S/MELVILLE FP 21, SELKIRK 16

A PATCHY, error-strewn display saw Selkirk lose out to Stewart’s/Melville FP in Saturday’s BT National League 1 fixture at Inverleith, a defeat which sees the Philiphaugh men slip to sixth place in the table behind GHA.
It was a particularly disappointing result for Selkirk’s South African utility forward Ian Oosthuizen, who had hoped to end his spell as a Selkirk player on a winning note.
“It was a very frustrating afternoon for the Selkirk boys,” the talented 24-year-old told the selkirkrfc.com web site after the game. “We didn’t quite manage to hit our stride, and couldn’t exert the control we’d managed in far more difficult conditions last weekend.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time with Selkirk, and can’t thank everyone enough for all the kindness I’ve been shown since I arrived at Philiphaugh,” added Ian, who flew back to Johannesburg on Tuesday evening to take up a contract with Premier League side Boland Cavaliers.
“Since coming to Scotland I’ve realised I want to make rugby a full-time career. Securing a contract with the Cavaliers is the first step down this path, and is extremely exciting. Playing Currie Cup rugby is going to be a challenge, for sure, but it’s one I’m very much up for and I can’t wait to get started.”
It was Oosthuizen who played a pivotal role in the build-up to Selkirk’s first try at Inverleith. In the 17th minute Gavin Craig broke clean through the middle and Oosthuizen was up in support to take the fly-half’s off-load and give a scoring pass to Ciaran Whyte.
The full-back duly converted his own try, and six minutes later sent over a penalty to put the visitors 10-0 ahead. Craig then departed to the sidelines with an ankle injury, Whyte taking over the No. 10 jersey and replacement Tythan Adams moving to full-back.
Colleges hit back with a Seb Trotter try, converted by Morison, and on the stroke of halftime won a strike against the head to set up another try, this time by Angus Wallace. Morrison’s successful conversion gave Stewart’s/Melville a 14-10 interval lead.
More unforced errors and a yellow card for James Bett in the 65th minute saw Selkirk struggle to regain any kind of rhythm in the second half. Although Whyte kicked two more penalties, Stewart’s/Melville notched a third try by Ferguson, converted by Morrison, to secure victory.
Prop Cata Graur was named the Four Seasons Forestry ‘Selkirk Man of the Match’ for an impressive all-round display, while young lock forward Jack Houston caught the eye with a solid second half shift in only his third senior appearance for the Souters.
Saturday’s match also saw back row forward Strath Mackenzie make his senior debut for Selkirk, just reward for some impressive performances in recent weeks for the ‘A’ XV.
SELKIRK – C. Whyte, C. McEwan, L. MacLennan, R. Nixon, F. Anderson, G. Craig, M. Davies, K. Cooney, J. Bett, B. Siyothula, R. Cook, P. Forrest, I. Oosthuizen, M. Robertson, E. MacDougall. Replacements: T. Adams, J. Houston, C. Graur, S. Mackenzie.