Tennent's Prem ROUND-UP | Heriot's take derby spoils

This Edinburgh derby between Heriot’s and Watsonians in the second round of the Tennent’s Premiership had everything but lacked that little bit of quality reserved for classic matches. 

With three yellow cards, two penalty tries, a 24-point comeback from the visitors and a winning score in the final play of the game it certainly had enough incident for the Goldenacre crowd.

Both teams had won their opening fixtures of this season’s Premiership and Watsonians had posted a sizable win on their last visit to the ground.

It was Heriot’s though who weathered a positive start from Watsonians and got points on the board in what turned out to be a dominant first half.

Promising young winger Jack Blain, who played for Edinburgh in their pre-season match against Bath last month, finished a sweeping move in the visitors 22 with a score in the corner after 10 mins. Ross Jones converted (7-0).

From then on Heriot’s applied constant territorial pressure on Watsonians and it was Blain again who punched through the defence 15mins later, his offload to Simpson at pace took play into the opposition 22. Quick recycling allowed fly-half Dom Martin to kick across to the opposite wing for Craig Robertson to catch and swan-dive over to touchdown. Jones converted (14-0).

The set-piece become the focal point at the end of each half, with Heriot’s scrum generating reward on both occasions.

A penalty had enabled the home side to kick deep into the visitors 22 and from the lineout both Iain Wilson and Andrew Simmers for Heriot’s drove to the line. Another short-range burst was held up giving the home side a scrum.

Referee Sam Grove-White reached for the first yellow card of the day after three scrum re-sets were called by Heriot’s after Watsonians were penalised and loose-head Nathan Borel was sent to the sin-bin.

When the following scrum collapsed again the referee went under the posts and Heriot’s were cruising to within a bonus point win inside the first 40 minutes (21-0).

To Watsonians credit they finished the first half with some momentum, and importantly points on the board.

A sharp break by Ewan Fox put them into the Heriot’s 22 and after a couple of quick phases it was Fox again with a long mis-pass out to full-back Josh Rowland who dotted down. Lee Millar converted (21-7).

HALF-TIME: Heriot's 21-7 Watsonians

The second half started much like the first with Watsonians brighter and holding possession well. The difference was they also put points on the board through a Millar penalty on 45mins (21-10).

Edinburgh scrum-half Nathan Fowles had come off the bench after the break and added more pace and precision to the Watsonians attack.

The visitors were moving the ball well at this stage and exploiting space in the wide channels through Rowland, Guthrie and Cunningham.

It was Angus Guthrie who created Watsonians second try with a crashing run into the home side’s 22 and through a couple of tackles to score. Millar converted and Heriot’s comfortable lead was hanging by a thread (21-17). 

The break-through score came on 68mins after a series of phases and penalties in the Heriot’s 22.

Full-back Charlie Simpson jumped out the line and was deemed to have deliberately knocked-on the pass. He was sent to the sin-bin for 10mins and from the resulting penalty Watsonians drove over from a lineout maul which Heriot’s initially didn’t contest.

Prop Jack Stanley was eventually credited with the score from a jumble of bodies. Millar converted (21-24).

Watsonians had scored 24 unanswered points and were looking at back to back wins at Goldenacre.

Heriot’s faced the last 10 minutes of the match a man down and to that point had struggled to get a foothold in the second half.

Heriot’s started to apply pressure though from the restart and while Watsonians defence was holding out it was eventually indiscipline which led to the final outcome.

A series of penalties against the visitors for infringements at consecutive lineout mauls enabled Heriot’s to march down the pitch.

As the home side drew another penalty within striking distance of the Watsonians line the visitors captain Craig Borthwick was yellow-carded for bringing down the maul.

Heriot’s went for a scrum and the jugular. Another penalty from the scrum was enough for the referee and he awarded a penalty try and blew the final whistle seconds later (28-24).

Heriot’s had scored their only points of the second half with the final act of the match and found a way to hold off the Watsonians challenge and maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

FULL-TIME: Heriot's 28-24 Watsonians

Elsewhere in the Tennent’s Premiership Melrose secured a comfortable win 50-7 over Glasgow Hawks at the Greenyards, while fellow Borderers Hawick were humbled at Meggetland by a free-scoring Boroughmuir side (63-7).

Stirling County beat league new-comers Edinburgh Accies (38-24) and Ayr beat Currie Chieftans (30-17).