INJURY-HIT SELKIRK BLOWN AWAY BY MUSSELBURGH’S FIRST HALF WHIRLWIND ONSLAUGHT

Bruce Riddell scores Selkirk’s second try in Saturday’s match against Musselburgh at Stoneyhill.


Lock Andrew Renwick on the charge - with team-mate Ethan McVicker ready to lend support.


Musselburgh’s Rory Hindhaugh cannot prevent Scott McClymont from scoring Selkirk’s third try.



Jack Hamilton dodges his way through heavy traffic in Saturday’s match against Musselburgh.



James Bett is led from the field by forwards coach Darren Hoggan after sustaining a shoulder injury.



Ben Pickles cuts inside a Musselburgh defender to score his second try for Selkirk on Saturday.

[Photos – JOHN SMAIL]

MUSSELBURGH 40, SELKIRK 27

STORM Arwen might have lost some of its power by Saturday afternoon, but Musselburgh’s players certainly succeeded in replicating its ferocity when Selkirk visited Stoneyhill for this Tennent’s Premiership fixture.
The visitors had no answer to the home team’s dynamism, with Musselburgh’s strong-running threequarter line regularly penetrating Selkirk’s fragile defence as crucial first-time tackles were missed.
Selkirk’s cause wasn’t helped by losing the services of second row forward Peter Forrest (back strain) and hooker James Bett (shoulder injury) within the first five minutes of the contest.
As a result, the visiting coaches had to send on 45-year-old prop Martin Murray - a late addition to the replacements bench after Joe Anderson’s withdrawal - much sooner than they, or he, would have wished.
The club’s current ‘A’ XV coach, Murray dug deep to roll back the years, showing he’s lost none of his rugby skills. However, a serious bicep tendon injury just before halftime forced him to leave the field, resulting in uncontested scrums for the remainder of the match.
The Musselburgh players’ direct running and ability to create pace on the ball resulted in a hat-trick of first half tries for Sandy Watt, plus scores by Kieran Watt and Gregor Tait.
Ben Pickles did manage to get Selkirk on the scoreboard with an opportunist try, following Callum Anderson’s cross-field kick and Keiran Clark’s tap-down. The teams turned round at the interval with Musselburgh well in control at 25-5.
Musselburgh opened the second half scoring with a penalty by Danny Owenson, after which Selkirk finally found some rhythm and a sharper attacking edge.
Prop Bruce Riddell was rewarded for some hard graft by a try near the posts, before a determined break by Scott McClymont resulted in the openside also touching down.
Running the ball at every opportunity, further tries came from Anderson and Pickles, with Selkirk debutant Ethan McVicker kicking the visitors’ only conversion. Paddy Brown scored Musselburgh’s seventh try soon afterwards.
After the final whistle, Selkirk skipper Ewan MacDougall didn’t mince his words. “We just can’t afford to play like we did in the first half. We have to stick to a game plan.
“The last 20 minutes of the match was obviously a bit better, but overall it’s hugely disappointing. Yes, we lost players early on, but that’s no excuse for the way we played in the opening half. Players need to do what’s asked of them, and I’ve been saying this for a while.”
On the plus side, Ewan was heartened by the displays of debutants Ethan McVicker and Robbie Chalmers. “Ethan was really good when he came on, sniping round the side, making breaks and getting the forwards going round the corner. Chalmers then came on to replace Ross Nixon, so I’m also pleased he got some game time.
“It’s now all hands on deck for Hawick this coming weekend, which will be a huge game.”
MUSSELBURGH: R. Hindhaugh; S. Watt, J. Ferguson, R. Watt, G. Tait; P. Cunningham, D. Owenson; C. Owenson, R. Gregor, C. Arthur, J. Haynes, K. Watt, D. Slaven, M. Crawford, L. Hutson. Replacements: P. Brown, D. Hodge, C. Pryde, G. Leitch, R. Young.
SELKIRK: K. Clark; C. McNeill, B. Pickles, R. Nixon, J. Welsh; C. Anderson, J. Hamilton; L. Pettie, J. Bett, B. Riddell, P. Forrest, A. Renwick, A. Grant-Suttie, S. McClymont, E. MacDougall. Replacements: A. McColm, M. Murray, A. Renwick, T. Brown, E. McVicker, R. Chalmers.

Referee – Johnny Perriam (SRU).

 
 

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