Watsonians player/coach Marcus Di Rollo insists that Saturday’s 22-16 win over Capital rivals Stewart’s-Melville in the RBS Regional Cup will have little bearing on the crucial league clash between the teams early in the new year.
Di Rollo was delighted to see his men launch their cup campaign by seeing off the Inverleith men for the second time this season. However, he believes the performance was of greater importance than the result.
“We have raised our game a bit over the last few weeks and it’s important for us to raise it a bit more if we are going to go for promotion,” he said.
“I wouldn’t read too much into what the win might mean for when we play them in the league but from our point of view that’s two games when we have played them and we have beaten them twice. It’s a good mental aspect but they are a good team.”
Matt Henderson marked his return from injury by scoring Watsonians’ only try and Brian Walls had a fruitful afternoon with the boot, slotting the conversion plus five penalties, while the visitors had touchdowns from Richard Borthwick and Mike Hanning, who was also on target with two penalty efforts. In truth, the hosts should have won by a considerably larger margin – two penalties by Walls were scant reward for their second-half domination, although that meagre return said much about the Stew-Mel defensive effort.
Their coach Bruce MacNaughton said: “I was really disappointed with the second half. It was our own fault. It was just bad game management, although we did defend very well.”
While the timing of the break from league duty appears to have few supporters among the clubs, it allows MacNaughton the time to address an injury crisis, which meant he was without eight top-team players on Saturday.
There were also grumblings among Stew-Mel officials about the allocation of fixtures in the second half of the league campaign after they were handed what appears to be a more demanding schedule than the sides that finished below them in Premiership Division Two.