FOSROC Super Series Championship | Review of Round 13
The FOSROC Super Series Championship is heating up this weekend with Round 13 and multiple teams in the running of the semi-finals - here's how each of the teams got on.
Friday 27 October: Stirling Wolves v Southern Knights
This was always going to be a big game with both teams currently in the running for a coveted semi-final spot. The conditions were not going to make it easy for either team as the rain was coming down at Bridgehaugh.
Stirling Wolves conceded a penalty in the first five minutes after Craig Jackson is found offside at the 5-metre line making the three points easy for Gregor McNeish to secure.
After three failed lineouts in the Knights 22, Stirling Wolves tried a different tactic and threw to the front of the lineout and were rewarded. The ball was collected by James Pow who was tackled just short of the line, but the Southern Knights defence was not able to reorganise quickly enough and a pass from Ben Afshar to Ruairidh Knott saw him ground the ball over the line. The wind blew the conversion wide.
The Wolves got their second try quickly after their first as the forwards barrelled towards the line. Ed Hasdell got the ball close before an offload to Ruairidh Knott as he went down got him over for his second try of the game under the sticks. Marcus Holden’s conversion was successful.
Moments from the reset and Wolves had scored their third try of the night courtesy of Connor Gordon. The ball got loose from Knights and Joe Roberts kicked it downfield, from there a series of successful passes helped Ross McKnight get close to the line and Connor Gordon got the inside pass and grounded the ball. Extras were added.
The Wolves were eager to secure the try bonus point early as every point matters at this point in the competition and it was fullback Glenn Bryce who finished off a series of successful phases of play to get over the line. Conversion was successful.
The Knights were cutting it close but were determined to not head into the break without a try to their name. They put the Wolves defence under pressure as they barged into their 22 with Gregor McNeish brining the ball close to the line. A pass out wide was collected by Aidan Cross and he leaped off his feet and dotted the ball in the corner. McNeish’s kick went wide, and the Wolves entered the break in the lead.
HALF-TIME: Stirling Wolves 26 – 8 Southern Knights
Hot off their last minute try at the end of the first half it was Southern Knights who opened the scoring in the second half with a powerful driving maul try and Luke Thompson planted the ball over for the points. The wind was not the kicker’s friend this evening and McNeish’s conversion is missed.
The Wolves were not about to let Knights get too comfortable as Ryan Southern sprinted up the field and flew under the posts for the host’s fifth try of the night. It was easy kicking for Holden in front of the sticks and the two points were added.
A penalty for Wolves added an extra three points to their lead as Holden’s kick was once again successful.
The tries were now coming in quite succession for the home side after a pass out wide from the back of the scrum to Wolves Sam Rockley saw him crash through multiple lose tackles from the Knights. A beautiful offload to Glenn Bryce saw him stride forward for his second try of the evening. It was a tricky conversion from the touch line but Holden’s kick soared through the posts.
Southern Knights made a last-minute attempt to narrow the scoreboard with Aidan Cross sprinting up the wing for the try with McNeish getting his first conversion of the evening from the touch line.
Tensions were high in the final 10 minutes as Knights were hunting down that bonus point try but were being held up at every opportunity. As fights broke out across the pitch, two yellow cards were drawn – one for Knights Harry Borthwick and one for Wolves Ben Afshar, ending the game on a slightly sour note but the Wolves secured the win at home.
FULL-TIME: Stirling Wolves 43 – 20 Southern Knights
Referee: Jonny Perriam
FOSROC Player of the Match: Glenn Bryce (Stirling Wolves)
Stirling Wolves: Ruairidh Knott (2), Connor Gordon, Glenn Bryce (2), Ryan Southern
Southern Knights: Aidan Cross (2), Luke Thompson
Stirling Wolves: Marcus Holden (4)
Southern Knights: Gregor McNeish
Stirling Wolves: Marcus Holden
Southern Knights: Gregor McNeish
Stirling Wolves: Ben Afshar
Southern Knights: Harry Borthwick
Saturday 28 October: Heriot’s Rugby v Watsonians
The stands at Goldenacre were packed as this afternoon’s capital clash got underway. With only three minutes on the clock Watsonians were first to get some points on the board after Heriot’s conceded a penalty inside their own 22 and Jason Baggott’s kick soared through the posts.
The first try of the afternoon was ten minutes in the making with the Heriot’s forwards putting in a lot of work to put the Watsonians defensive line under intense pressure. It was Euan McLaren who eventually tumbled over the line from the back of the ruck for the try. Conversion was unsuccessful.
What followed was a display of resilience from both sides with neither side able to capitalise on scoring for a period of 20-minutes. Until Jack Blain spotted a gap in the Watsonians defence which he slotted through and grounded the ball over the line. It was light kicking work from Dan King in front of the posts and the ball soared through.
Heriot’s third try came quickly after their second following a Watsonians fumble which allowed Heriot’s to gather and a pass out wide to Jack Blain sent him up the wing for his brace. King’s kick ricocheted off the post and the score remained unchanged for the final five minutes of the first half.
HALF-TIME: Heriot’s Rugby 17 – 3 Watsonians
The start of the second half was a slow burn but Heriot’s applied the pressure and secured their bonus point try. A strategic penalty kick to a lineout on the 5-metre line allowed a series of passes out wide to winger Jack Blain and he went over for his hat-trick. Extras were missed.
Watsonians managed to secure their first try of the game almost halfway through the second half after seizing the opportunity to kick for the line out into a driving maul. It was vice-captain Cal Davies at the helm as he crashed over the whitewash. Baggott’s kick was unsuccessful.
Heriot’s came in for their fifth try of the match after a break from Liam Richman got the boys in blue into Watsonians territory and a pass out wide to George Barber saw him weave his way past multiple Watsonian defenders for the try. The conversion went wide.
Watsonians responded quickly with a try of their own in the final ten minutes – George Pringle made the break and provided the space for replacement hooker Finn Duraj to ground the ball over the line. Baggott had better luck with his kicking this time around, narrowing the scoreboard but Watsonians had not done enough to keep Heriot’s at bay as they secured the win at home.
FULL-TIME: Heriot’s Rugby 27 – 15 Watsonians
Referee: Ruairidh Campbell
FOSROC Player of the Match: Jack Blain (Heriot’s Rugby)
Heriot’s Rugby: Euan McLaren, Jack Blain (3), George Barber
Watsonians: Cal Davies, Finn Duraj
Heriot’s Rugby: Dan King
Watsonians: Jason Baggott
Watsonians: Jason Baggott
Saturday 28 October: Ayrshire Bulls v FOSROC Future XV
The Bulls kicked off the evening’s scoring with a classic driving maul that saw prop Jamie Drummond crash over the line. Brad Rodrick-Evans got the extras.
The FOSROC Future XV responded shortly after when a successful line out allowed the young team to pile on some strength and then play the ball out of the ruck. The ball was passed cross field to eventually land in the hands of Amena Caqusau who put his foot on the gas and sprinted over the line. Isaac Coates got the conversion.
After a period of possession from both sides, the Bulls added to their score board in the 26th minute. The ball was played out to Luca Bardelli who quickly offloaded five meters out to wing Thomas Glendinning who dived over the line.
HALF-TIME: Ayrshire Bulls 12 – 7 FOSROC Future XV
The scoring in the second half didn’t begin until 17 minutes in but boy, was it exciting. After winning a handful of penalties but nothing coming to fruition, the FOSROC Future XV finally brought the heat when the ball was again passed out to Amena Caqusau on the wing who was faster than the speed of light and bypassed all Bulls defence to touch down for his second try of the evening. Isaac Coates got the extras, bringing the visitors in front by two points.
The Bulls responded shortly after with what they know best: a driving maul. Replacement hooker Alex McGuire was at the helm and he crashed over the line.
The Futures were on absolute fire and Amena Caqusau’s feet were no different. He sidestepped past the Ayrshire Bulls defence to make his way up the pitch and the ball was passed out the Callum Ferrie who squeezed in the corner.
After play was brought back for a penalty advantage, it was brought to a Bulls scrum close to the Futures line. The Bulls once again used their heavy maul to allow Fergus Johnston to crash over. Brad Rodrick-Evans made the conversion.
The Futures had the chance to level the score just before full time, but a knock on after a kick and chase attempt saw the Bulls gather and kick out.
FULL-TIME: Ayrshire Bulls 26 – 19 FOSROC Future XV
Referee: Finlay Brown
FOSROC Player of the Match: Amena Caqusau (FOSROC Future XV)
Ayrshire Bulls: Jamie Drummond, Thomas Glendinning, Alex McGuire, Fergus Johnston
FOSROC Future XV: Amena Caqusau (2), Callum Ferrie
Ayrshire Bulls: Brad Rodrick-Evans (2)
FOSROC Future XV: Isaac Coates (2)