MUSSELBURGH OUT-MUSCLED AS ON-SONG SELKIRK PLAYERS ENTER TOP 10 TERRITORY

Selkirk centre Josh Welsh bursts clear to score the first of his two tries on Saturday.



Hat-trick hero Ryan Cottrell sprints behind the posts for the second of his three tries.



Prop Sean Rankin takes the game to Musselburgh.

Bruce Riddell finds his way blocked by a defender.

Rhinos mascot Angus Kelly with skipper Ewan MacDougall.

[Photos by GRANT KINGHORN PICS]

Selkirk 60, Musselburgh 26

SELKIRK’S 10-try demolition of Musselburgh at Philiphaugh on Saturday catapulted the Souters to fourth spot in the Tennent’s Premiership table.
No-one was happier with the win than home head coach Scott Wight. “We played an attacking brand of rugby today,” he said after the match, “scoring some really good tries and taking our opportunities.
“I don’t think we’ve performed to our true potential since the Glasgow Hawks game, and that’s been frustrating. Yes, we’ve ground out some results, but we haven’t played the rugby I know we’re capable of. Today we backed ourselves to play a wee bit of rugby, and the scoreline reflected that.
“I thought Josh Mackay coming back into the side added energy, and he was strong around the contact area. Ryan Cottrell scored three good tries off the wing, and credit has to go to Lewis Martin, who stepped in for his first start of the season and performed really well.”
Also making his first start for Selkirk was Kiwi tighthead prop Sean Rankin, who proved a solid scrummager and powerful ball carrier, while the accurate line-out throwing of James Bett ensured a reliable source of possession throughout the contest.
Selkirk reaped the rewards of sticking to a game plan based around secure ball retention, minimal kicking from hand and utilising the width of the pitch.
Although the visitors managed to rally after the interval (winning the second half 26-22), they were powerless in the face of Selkirk’s opening try blitz, which saw Ewan MacDougall’s men race to a 28-0 lead within the first quarter.
In fact one of the busiest individuals in the ground was Selkirk committee man George Welsh, whose match day duty was to man the Philiphaugh scoreboard.
Selkirk’s tries were scored by Ryan Cottrell (3), Henry Bithray (2), Josh Welsh (2), James Bett, Sean Rankin and Scott McClymont. Bithray added five conversions.
Musselburgh’s four tries came from Cameron Pryde, Paul Cunningham, Robert Stott and Euan Bonthron. Skipper Danny Owenson kicked three conversions.
The only cloud on the horizon for the home side came when Luca Merolle had to leave the field after over-extending his knee after landing awkwardly having gathered a high ball, while Josh Welsh required attention for a calf strain.
The Four Seasons ‘Selkirk Man of the Match’ award went to Lewis Martin.
SELKIRK – H. Bithray, F. Anderson, J. Welsh, L. Martin, R. Cottrell, C. Anderson, L. Merolle, L. Pettie, J. Bett, S. Rankin, P. Forrest, D. Nichol, J. Mackay, S. McClymont, E. MacDougall. Replacements: L. Berte, B. Riddell, J. Houston, R. Purves.
MUSSELBURGH – J. Ferguson, T. Foley, S. Watt, R. Watt, G. Tait, P. Cunningham, D. Owenson, R. Stott, J. Crain, C. Arthur, W. Fleming, J. Haynes, G. McKinstry, C. Pryde, L. Hutson. Replacements: M. Crain, E. Bonthron, P. Brown, F. Roddick, R. Smith.
Referee – Ruairidh Campbell (SRU).

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