Review of the playoffs | FOSROC Super Series Sprint

Review of the playoffs | FOSROC Super Series Sprint

Friday 7 June: Ayrshire Bulls v Stirling Wolves
KO 7.35pm

The opening score went to the hosts. Richie Simpson’s intelligent grubber into the right corner had to be taken into touch by the Wolves, and from the resulting lineout five metres out James Malcolm was at the back of a driving maul to profit as the pack rumbled over the line.

A second try wasn’t far behind. Another driving maul in the right corner was this time thwarted, but two pick and go phases later captain Blair MacPherson forced his way over from inches away.

With the final play of the half, the Bulls’ forwards got them over the line for a third time. After MacPherson and Jamie Drummond had gone close, it was Calvin Henderson who breached the line to put his side three scores up at the break.

Half time: Ayrshire Bulls 21-0 Stirling Wolves

Stirling Wolves got themselves back in the game shortly after the break, scoring in similar fashion to the Bulls’ first. A driving maul in that same corner was largely halted by the defence, but Ruaridh Knott was alert to break off, spin out of a tackle and reach the line.

Bulls looked for all the world to have found a fourth try when Simpson’s kick was gathered by Thomas Glendinning. He found Luca Bardelli on the left wing, who motored for the corner before passing back inside to Glendinning in acres of space, but as he dived over the line the ball slipped free and forward.

But the score did come soon after. With Stirling attacking on Ayrshire’s 22, the ball popped out of the ruck and was gathered by MacPherson, who quickly found Mason Cullen. The winger was tasked with running the remaining 75 metres, and was too fast for the retreating defence.

The Wolves were not to be discounted from the contest, and got a second try through Ross McKnight. From a backs move off the base of the scrum, the winger got the ball in centre field and raced to the right side, placing the ball over the line after he was downed just short.

And they were right back in the contest with less than 17 minutes remaining as they scored again. The Bulls stole the ball at a ruck, but it went loose and was gathered by Knott, who found Ryan Southern on his left shoulder to bring the visitors just seven points behind. The score increased an already raucous atmosphere in the Millbrae stand tenfold as an exciting conclusion looked inevitable.

The nerves that the west coast outfit were surely feeling were eased when they pulled two scores ahead again with less than four minutes to go. Having been on the front foot since the Wolves’ score, they eventually went over when Simpson wrapped round Robert Beattie and found a gap, offloading to Jamie Shedden to score in the right corner and secure Ayrshire Bulls’ place as the 2024 FOSROC Super Series Sprint champions.

Full time: Ayrshire Bulls 33-19 Stirling Wolves

Referee: David Sutherland
FOSROC Player of the Match: Grant Stewart (Ayrshire Bulls)
Ayrshire Bulls: TRY James Malcolm, Blair MacPherson, Calvin Henderson, Mason Cullen, Jamie Shedden CON Richie Simpson (4)
Stirling Wolves: TRY Ruaridh Knott, Ross McKnight, Ryan Southern CON Marcus Holden (2)


Saturday 8 June: Heriot’s v Watsonians
KO 3pm

Heriot’s were first to add some points to the board after a successful line out saw the pack assume a strong driving maul which got Wallace Nelson over the line. Dan King’s kick was successful.

Watsonians responded shortly after when their line out also turned into a maul. When it collapsed just short of the line, captain Jason Baggott splintered out the side to crash over.

Heriot’s got their next seven points through a penalty try when Watsonians committed an obvious obstruction at the maul close to the line and Oliver Gordon was shown a yellow.

The next came for Heriot’s after a series of heavy lifting by the forwards, hooker Michael Liness got his hands on the ball and crashed over the white wash.

Half time: Heriot’s 19 – 5 Watsonians

After the break, it was Heriot’s Wallace Nelson who added the bonus point try (and his second) to the board after a series of intense attacking and defending saw the back row tank over the line. Dan King’s kick was good.

It took another 20-odd minutes for more points to be added, but Watsonians bit back when a series of speedy offloads got the ball into the hands of wing Lomond Macpherson who dived over the line.

Just a couple of minutes later, Heriot’s ran the ball down the pitch and got it to wing Lewis Wells who was in at the corner. Dan King’s boot was good.

Another came in quick succession when Watsonians tried to make a clearing kick on their back line but it was scuppered by Cal Anderson who kept his cool and grounded. Dan King’s kick was successful again.

In a valiant effort in the last play of the game Watsonians added the final score through Bobby Bratton who fought to push past defence and over the line. Jason Baggott’s kick was good closing the scoring for this final FOSROC Super Series match at Goldenacre.

Full time: Heriot’s 40 – 17 Watsonians 

Referee: Jonny Perriam
FOSROC Player of the Match: Ruairidh Leishman (Heriot’s Rugby)
Heriot’s: TRY Wallace Nelson (2), PEN TRY, Michael Liness, Lewis Wells, Cal Anderson CON Dan King (4)
Watsonians: TRY Jason Baggott, Lomond Macpherson, Bobby Bratton

Saturday 8 June: Southern Knights v Boroughmuir Bears
KO 3pm

It took 15 minutes for the first score to come but when Bears full-back Euan Muirhead found a little bit of space he crossed the whitewash with Matt Reid adding the conversion.

Knights mounted an attack which allowed prop Jack Dobie to rumble over with Callum Grieve adding the conversion.

Max Laboda scored a try for the Bears with Reid adding the extra two points on offer.

Bears winger Rowan Stewart slipped past his opposite man to dance down the stand side for another score with Reid also converted. 

Half time: Southern Knights 7-21 Boroughmuir Bears

Knights drew first blood in the second half when winger Jeremy Civil danced in from short range. 12-21

Bears centre Duncan Munn split the Knights defence in two and ran in for a try between the sticks with Reid adding two more. 28-12

In the last quarter of the game Ewan Greenlaw hit back with a try for the Knights to set them back on track. 

Stewart ran in his second of the afternoon which Reid duly converted 17-33

Dan Gamble rumbled over for the Knights (with Grieve converting) before Bears capitalised on a Knights mistake. Reid collected a loose ball and passed back inside to stand-off George Paul who was running at pace. 

After a dominant display Boroughmuir Bears rounded things off when Alex Thom ran in a final try for Bears and the final try in FOSROC Super Series rugby. 

Full time: Southern Knights 24-47 Boroughmuir Bears

Referee: Rob McDowell
FOSROC Player of the Match: Rowan Stewart (Boroughmuir Bears)

Southern Knights: TRY
Jack Dobie, Jeremy Civil, Ewen Greenlaw, Dan Gamble CON Callum Grieve (2)
Boroughmuir Bears: TRY Euan Muirhead, Max Laboda, Rowan Stewart (2), Duncan Munn, George Paul, Alex Thom CON Matt Reid (5), George Paul. 

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