Watsonians lay down Kings marker at Gala

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There are nine round of the Kings of the Sevens competition remaining but already Watsonians have laid down a marker by winning the 125th Gala Sevens at Netherdale, the opening tournament of the Borders circuit, with victory over Jed-Forest.

The Myreside team came through a tough group stage in which they finished level with Edinburgh Rugby and Melrose on games won. But their substantial 36-5 win over Melrose gave Watsonians a bigger points differential over the other two teams.

“This is the best I’ve seen Watsonians play at this early stage on the Borders circuit.” said their coach, Andrew Ker, the former Scotland stand-off. He added : “We played with pace throughout and our defence was awesome. What undoubtedly helped us was playing four rounds of yesterday’s Haddington Sevens.”

Watsonians, who will play in the Melrose Sevens on Saturday, showed their mettle in the semi final where they defeated Glasgow Warriors 21-17 with tries from Scott McKean, Mark Bertram and Jack Ferguson. Warriors, making their first appearance at Gala fielded a team that comprised of their own fringe players and a number from Glasgow Hawks.

But despite good performances from Robert Beattie and Nick Grigg, Warriors were unable to impose themselves on a Watsonians side that defended with precision. In the other semi final Gala and Jed fought out a bruisng tie, Jed winning 26-19 with two tries each from winger Ross Combe and stand-off Lewis Young.

Meanwhile Edinburgh Rugby failed to win their group stage, the Murrayfield side after defeating Watsonians 29-26 then losing to Melrose in the last of the Pool 3 matches

In the final itself, Watsonians dominated the match against a Jed side that could not match the pace of triple try scorer Scott McKean and the sevens guile of Ally Davidson and Jack Ferguson, who each bagged a try the other touchdown coming from powerful forward Mark Bertram. Fro Jed-Forest Lewis Young, a former Scotland sevens player, scored their only try .

Results: Pool 1 – Peebles 7 Edinburgh Accies 24, Gala 40 Peebles 12, Gala 50 Edinburgh Acccies 50. Pool 2 – Jed-Forest 12 Selkirk 10, Jed-Forest 28 Hawick 22, Selkirk 14 Hawick 31. Pool 3 – Edinburgh Rugby 29 Watsonians 26, Edinburgh Rugby 17 Melrose 26, Watsonians 36 Melrose 5. Pool 4 – Glasgow Warriors 35 Boroughmuir 26, Glasgow Warriors 36 Kelso 14, Boroughmuir 31 Kelso 26.

Semi-finals – Gala 19 Jed-Forest 26; Watsonians 21 Glasgow Warriors 17.

Final – Jed-Forest 5 Watsonians 38.