Reflection on the 2022 FOSROC Super6 Championship
As the 2023 FOSROC Super Series Championship approaches, take a look back at last season’s tournament and how each team faired.
Last year’s championship proved challenging for Stirling, finishing in sixth place with nine points, winning two of their 10 games.
After opening with three home defeats to Boroughmuir Bears, Heriot’s and Southern Knights, they then endured a tough spell where they conceded 177 points in their next three games and lost a second time to Heriot’s as well as Watsonians and Ayrshire Bulls.
Stirling got closer to Watsonians in round seven but lost 33-21, and then found themselves 10-0 down away to Bears at half time. However, a strong second half performance saw them grab their first win of the Championship as they ran out 28-16 winners at Meggetland.
A 26-0 defeat in round nine to Ayrshire Bulls followed, but another remarkable comeback saw Stirling rally from 19-0 down to Southern Knights at half time to finish their season with a 21-19 victory.
Southern Knights finished one spot above Stirling in fifth with 11 points, also winning two of their games but picking up two more bonus points.
The Borders side didn’t pick up any points from their opening games at home to Watsonians and Bears, but then got their first win in round three against Stirling. A strong first half performance at Bridgehaugh gave them a 20-3 victory.
Southern Knights did not win again until round nine, however the team did pick up a try bonus point on the way against the Bears. Having been 10-7 down away to Heriot’s at half time, three second half tries took them to a 27-20 win and a try bonus point.
Having led 19-0 at half time in their final game against Stirling, the Knights had to settle for a losing bonus point as the visitors came back for a 21-19 win leaving the Knights to finish fifth in the table.
Heriot’s qualified for the Championship playoffs, finishing in fourth place with 17 points after three wins.
After a defeat away to Ayrshire Bulls in round one, a 38-17 win away to Stirling was followed up by a loss at home to Watsonians. The Goldenacre side then hosted Stirling and completed the double over them with a comfortable 47-12 victory.
After defeat at Meggetland to the Bears, Heriot’s third win of the Championship came away to Southern Knights where the Edinburgh team won 31-21.
Their regular season finished with four defeats, but a losing bonus point picked up at home to Southern Knights in round nine was enough to ensure they reached the playoffs.
A mixed campaign saw the Bears win four of their opening five games before only managing one more win in their final five. They finished in third place on 22 points, qualifying for the playoffs.
It was two away wins that got the campaign started for the Bears, winning 27-10 against Stirling Wolves and 24-15 at the Greenyards against the Knights.
A heavy defeat to Ayrshire Bulls followed, but they were soon back to winning ways. A 40-28 victory at home to the Knights was backed up with another home win against Heriot’s (26-17).
The Bears’ second defeat of the season came at the hands of Watsonians, before a narrow 25-22 win away to Heriot’s got them back on track.
However, they couldn’t find another victory in their last three games, losing to Stirling, Watsonians and the Bulls.
An excellent campaign from the Bulls saw them finish second in the regular season with nine wins and 44 points, a tally leaving them behind Watsonians on bonus points alone.
After opening with a 33-17 win at home to Heriot’s, their only defeat of the campaign came at Myreside, as Watsonians came from behind to beat them 34-23.
A confident 49-7 win at home to the Bears followed, and then the Millbrae outfit ended a 12-game winning run for Watsonians as they won 24-17 in Ayr to keep the race to finish 1st alive.
A pair of 31-5 wins against Southern Knights sandwiched a 64-20 victory against Stirling, and the Bulls continued their strong run by winning 33-7 away to Heriot’s.
It was 26-0 when the Bulls played Stirling in round nine, and an eight-game winning run to finish the Championship came to fruition with a 33-21 win over the Bears.
Watsonians finished top of the regular season table, collecting 46 points from their nine wins.
A trio of wins got their season underway, as Southern Knights (36-12), Ayrshire Bulls (34-23) and Heriot’s (27-12) were all defeated.
The Myreside outfit’s only defeat of the tournament came away to Ayrshire Bulls, before they bounced back in style with a 66-7 win over Stirling.
The recovery continued with a 31-10 win over the Bears, before Watsonians completed the double over Stirling with a 33-21 victory.
Their top spot was secured with three wins from the final three regular season games. A 38-14 win at home to the Knights was followed by a 27-10 victory away to the Bears before a final 29-21 win at home to Heriot’s.
Watsonians 31-12 Heriot’s Rugby
The 1st v 4th playoff game saw four unanswered first half tries which led Watsonians to the Championship final as they defeated Heriot’s at Goldenacre.
Joe Reynolds got the opening try for Watsonians after a succession of mauls from lineouts had got them within metres of the try line.
Dom Coetzer grabbed the second, after Reynolds put Lomond MacPherson through a gap and the winger offloaded when he was brought down just short.
Seb Cecil then got the third from another driving maul, before MacPherson turned scorer to get the fourth before the interval.
Ian Wilson pulled one back for Heriot’s in the second half through a driving maul of their own, but Watsonians Rory Brand put the game beyond doubt with a fifth try.
Heriot’s Dan King gathered Ross Jones’ grubber kick to score a consolation, but it was Watsonians who marched themselves to the Championship Final at DAM Health Stadium.
Ayrshire Bulls 17-0 Boroughmuir Bears
The Ayrshire Bulls completed the line-up of the final with a 17-0 win over Boroughmuir Bears in the second playoff semi-final.
The only score of the first half came through Andrew Nimmo, who crashed over from a driving maul after Richie Simpson had kicked a penalty into the corner.
The hosts doubled their lead through Captain Blair MacPherson in the second half, who dived over the line after a scrum five metres out had driven the hosts to the whitewash.
Boroughmuir Bears pushed to reduce the deficit, but the Bulls held firm and Will Hunt kicked a penalty over the posts with the last play to add some gloss to the score line and secured the Ayrshire Bulls place in the Championship Final.
2022 CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
Watsonians 43-24 Ayrshire Bulls (AET)
Watsonians sealed the Championship in extra time after a last gasp try had salvaged them a draw from the opening 80 minutes.
The opening points came from the boot of Watsonians Jason Baggott, who knocked over a penalty from around 30 metres out.
It was Ayrshire Bulls then grabbed the first try of the match, as Andy Stirrat crashed over from short range. Shortly after a a lovely line through a gap put Aaron Tait over for the Bulls’ second try.
Watsonians fought their way back into the contest through Bobby Bratton, who wrestled over the line from close range for the team’s first try.
The Bulls scored a third try after half time, as Will Hunt’s kick was gathered and finished off by Eli Caven.
Watsonians replied with a short range try again, as Harrison Courtney was this time the man to ground the ball.
The Bulls looked to have sealed victory when Caven crossed for his second try to give them a seven-point lead.
With just over three minutes to go, Watsonians were piling on the pressure and Gregor Scougall got the ball over the line to even the scoreboard and take the game to extra time.
The Myreside outfit were fiercely dominant in the additional minutes, and Lewis Berg gave them their first lead of the match with a well worked try.
Their lead extended before the extra time interval when Cal Davies crashed over the whitewash from a driving maul.
The third and final try of extra time was scored on the counter-attack by Campbell Wilson, as Watsonians added the Championship trophy to their 2022 silverware collection.
The 2023 FOSROC Super Series Championship kicks off on Friday 28 July, for more information on fixtures, please click HERE.