Webster relishing new stand-off role for Blacks

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Jack Webster has praised team-mate Roy McFarlane for helping him adjust to a new role as Berwick’s stand-off.

The Scremerston crowd has noted the continuing impact made by the winger in his new position.

Webster is still getting his teeth into the different challenges that the role throws up for him, but after two starts at No 10 he is looks set to stay where he is for this weekend’s home clash with Portobello.

“It seems to be going really well,” he says, “I got thrown in at the deep end at Dunbar, with our injuries that day, but, needs must.

“It’s not completely new, because I did play stand-off for the Colts a few times, but I have been mainly used on the wing for the last four years.

“Roy McFarlane alongside me has been really good, talking me through things. He’s a really good influence in that way. And something obviously started going right, because it was Roy’s handling that set up Dan Law for his try against Langholm.

“It’s great having him about because he’s played at a higher level”.

Webster continued: “I’m getting used to it. I’ve not been a specialist. I’ve always just played wherever I’ve been put. That’s helped in a way, because I’ve never had to get bogged down in the details of my own positional play.”

While Webster’s new position has sparked some attacking and more importantly, scoring, rugby, he feels he can stand up as the first line of defence should needs be.

“Switching infield like this, you have to have to be able to do that,” he says. “I get plenty of protection from my forwards. I don’t want to be having to put huge amounts of tackles in, but I’m comfortable making them.”

That confidence when possession is being exchanged quickly is what Berwick hope will propel them off the foot of the East League Division 1.

Whilst they have outscored all but the top three teams in the division, the Blacks’ defence has been leaky, and matches have often been marked by soft or needless penalties given away in dangerous situations. But Webster is sure the win over Langholm marks a corner turned.

“Hopefully this can spur us on now,” he says. “We needed to change some things, but this can be the real start of our season.”

He is looking ahead with optimism to Saturday’s game against Portobello, only five points ahead of Berwick, and who finished one place behind the Blacks last season.

Webster revealed that Berwick are still smarting from a heavy defeat, 45-18, to Portobello earlier this year.

“We had an absolutely awful game up there on the first day of the season, and I’m sure that’s in the back of everyone’s mind.

“It was even worse, even more horrible, because we’d done the double over them last year, as well. I think I’m going to be back in at stand-off, I’ll just wait and see.”