Rugby wrap: Smith content with Heriot’s | Watsonians strike late

Watsonians' Reiss Cullen offloads the ball. Pic: Ian Rutherford
Watsonians' Reiss Cullen offloads the ball. Pic: Ian Rutherford
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Heriot’s coach Phil Smith believes the BT Premiership champions are now firmly on the right track after extending their winning run to three matches with a 29-15 success at home to Stirling County.

There were some gripes, most notably the feeling that his men had eased off in the second period after reaching half time with a 29-5 lead. However, his overall mood was upbeat.

“It’s just the players getting to know each other and their understanding of what is going on. They are now gelling much more than they were early season when they threw away a couple of games, mainly through naivety”, said Smith in assessing what has changed in the Goldenacre changing room over recent weeks.

Heriot’s played some attractive rugby in the opening 40 minutes of Saturday’s contest and had the bonus point in the bag by half time following tries by Murray McCallum, Cornell Du Preez, John Semple and Alex Hagart, who landed three conversions and a penalty.

Stirling dominated for much of the second period but, despite scoring two tries, never looked likely to overhaul the title holders whose next assignment is at home to Watsonians.

The Myreside men bounced back from a last minute loss the previous week to inflict a similar outcome on Ayr.

First half tries by DJ Innes and Angus Duckett plus two penalties from Andrew Chalmers handed Sonians a 16-12 interval lead. Chalmers slotted two more penalties in a tense second period, but the Capital men trailed 27-22 entering the dying seconds. Keith Young snatched a score that tied matters and Ali Harris calmly stroked over the conversion for the win.

There was another tight finish at Old Anniesland, where Currie displayed all of their fighting qualities to snatch a 32-31 win over Glasgow Hawks. Cammy Gray claimed two tries and there was one apiece for Harvey Elms, Cameron Hutchison, Ben Robbins and Thomas Gordon.

Elsewhere, Boroughmuir went down 31-27 at home to a Gala side inspired Rory Scholes, who crossed the whitewash four times. However, tries by Mark Hare, Chris Laidlaw, Greg 
Cannie and Jordan Edmunds handed Muir two potentially crucial bonus points.