AN EMOTIONAL DAY AS SELKIRK RUGBY CLUB SALUTES ITS MUCH-LOVED PRESIDENT

Selkirk Rugby Club’s flag flew at half-mast on Saturday as the 1st XV, ‘A’ XV and Currie players & officials lined up on the pitch before kick-off to pay their respects to Selkirk president Gus Boag.

Selkirk wing-forward Josh Mackay slips his marker to burst upfield, followed by Scott McClymont.

Skipper Ewan MacDougall rises high to secure vital line-out possession for the home team.

Saturday’s forward battle was uncompromising, bruising and, above all, very, very muddy!

There were plenty of ‘weel kent’ smiling faces in the large Philiphaugh crowd on Saturday.

Job done! Coaches Scott Wight, Neil Darling and team manager Tom Ramage join the exhausted but elated Selkirk players in a post-match debrief out on the pitch.

Aaron McColm prepares to pass to a supporting team-mate.

Ross Nixon’s son Harry was Saturday’s official mascot.


[Photos by GRANT KINGHORN PICS]

Selkirk 13, Currie Chieftains 11

SOMETIMES words are not enough. Sometimes only deeds will do justice to the moment - a time when the talking finally has to stop. Such a moment arrived at Philiphaugh at 3pm on a dull, grey Saturday afternoon.
Exactly a week after losing their popular president Gus Boag so suddenly and tragically, on Saturday Selkirk Rugby Club’s players, officials and supporters stood up to be counted. By the end of a nerve-wracking afternoon, not one had been found wanting.
Prior to kick-off a minute’s silence was held out on the pitch in Gus’s honour, with 20 of Selkirk’s ‘A’ XV players standing shoulder-to-shoulder beside their 1st XV team-mates and the whole Currie squad.
In the clubs’ previous 17 meetings, Currie had posted 13 victories to Selkirk’s four, and for the first 25 minutes of Saturday’s game it looked odds-on that the visitors would chalk up triumph number 14.
Currie’s ability to retain and look after ball, in spite of the treacherous underfoot conditions, consigned the home players to defensive chores for long periods of the first half.
The visitors opened the scoring after five minutes when a sweeping cross-field move saw left wing Archie Hall dive over for a try in the corner. Although Gregor Hunter’s conversion attempt failed, he added a penalty in the 25th minute to put the city men 8-0 up.
Soon afterwards a shoulder injury forced Selkirk lock Donald Nichol to the sidelines, with prop Bruce Riddell coming off the bench and Sean Maitland switching to the second row.
The home pack then bossed a series of scrums on the Currie five-metre line, leading to four penalties and a free kick in Selkirk’s favour… but no penalty try. The return of Reece Paterson to the Currie front row eventually allowed the visitors to clear their lines.
The Souters nevertheless kept up the pressure thanks to powerful line breaks by Sean Rankin and Josh Mackay, with Aaron McColm’s successful penalty soon afterwards cutting Currie’s halftime lead to 8-3.
The visitors increased their advantage to 11-3 thanks to a 49th minute Hunter penalty, but Selkirk hit back when Scott McClymont managed to touch down after Ewan MacDougall’s initial surge sparked a rolling maul over the Currie try line.
What happened next turned the match on its head. Hunter’s restart kick was taken by MacDougall, who drove upfield. Luca Merolle linked with Luke Pettie, with the ball then passing through the hands of Ross Nixon, Aaron McColm and Henry Jacob.
The final off-load was taken by replacement wing Ryan Cottrell, whose perfectly judged chip towards the visitors’ line saw Henry Bithray win the foot race to score a stunningly executed try and put Selkirk ahead for the first time in the match at 13-11.
For the remainder of the contest Currie’s players battled heroically for the clinching score, but were met by an equally fervent defensive display by their Souter counterparts. Eight long minutes of added time followed, at the end of which the final whistle blew and Selkirk’s exhausted players could finally draw breath.
Saturday’s Four Season’s Forestry ‘Selkirk Man of the Match’ award went to lock Peter Forrest, but in truth all 20 of the home players were worthy of a medal.
It was a result of which Gus Boag would have been justly proud.


SELKIRK – H. Bithray, J. Welsh, J. Henry, R. Nixon, L. Berte, A. McColm, L. Merolle, L. Pettie, J. Bett, S. Rankin, P. Forrest D. Nichol, J. Mackay, S. McClymont, E. MacDougall. Replacements: B Riddell, G Forrest, C Anderson, R Cottrell.


CURRIE CHIEFTAINS - J. McCaig, C. Meager, S. Hamilton, A. Hall, A. McLean, G. Hunter, G. Christie, G. Carson, R. Vucago, R. Paterson, M. Poole, S. Edwards, M. Vernel, W. Nelson, R. Davies. Replacements: H. Ferguson, G. Williamson, M. Argiro, E. Blair, F. Sayers.
Referee: Michael Todd (SRU).

Report By JOHN SMAIL

HIGHLIGHTS OF CURRIE MATCH 21/12

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