A 23-17 defeat at the hands of table props Jed-Forest was exactly what Selkirk RFC did not need.
This was the fourth time Selkirk have faced the Royal Blues this season, and although managing to win the series 3-1, this will have been of little comfort to the Philiphaugh team and their supporters as the club builds up to their RBS National Cup quarter-final on March 2.
“I thought we were pretty shapeless, to be honest,” said head coach Brian Cassidy, “and while that can perhaps be put down to the changes we had to make for this match, it was still a disappointing performance overall. We had no structure, it was like watching a game at the start of the season.”
This weekend, the team make their way to Hartreemill to play Biggar (ko 3pm), where they have one last chance to perfect their performance before the Cup showdown. And with one or two of his more experienced players returning from injury, Cassidy is looking for his men to raise their performance.
“We haven’t been beaten three games on the trot yet this season, so we are using that as an incentive. Jed got in a couple of soft tries last week, so if we tighten things up and defend like we can defend, we should be okay.”
For the neutral supporter, last week’s game at Riverside Park was a pretty entertaining encounter.
Playing on a sticky surface, both teams attempted to play running rugby, with possession being split equally throughout the game.
The hosts were seven points ahead after 10 minutes, a Ewan Scott penalty and a try from Nua Fono-Hunt providing the points, but Selkirk regrouped and replied with a Gavin Craig try, converted by Mike McVie.
Following a lengthy spell of stalemate, the hosts showed their commitment to the league once again with a well-worked move along the back line ending with a try out wide from Lewis Young, and the half ended with Jed 13-7 in front.
An exchange of penalties between McVie and Jed’s Iain Chisholm kept the scoreline ticking over at the start of the second half, before, once again, the game lapsed into stalemate with no quarter given by either side until the closing 10 minutes.
Selkirk went in front for the first time in the game when Stuart Forrest was bundled over, but no sooner had Mike McVie nailed the conversion, the hosts hit back with a second try by Fono-Hunt, converted by Chisholm, to take a well-deserved win.