1st XV Match Reports

Aberdeen Rugby 32 Selkirk 36

From being a side who looked likely to throw down a challenge for promotion, Aberdeen Grammar now find themselves ninth in a 12-team division after a fourth consecutive defeat.

Despite the closeness of the final score, no one in the crowd at Rubislaw was in any doubt Grammar were chasing the game, despite leading 13-12 after 20 minutes, mainly due to stand off Sam Knudson, who scored a try, kicked the conversion and added two penalties, while leading his very able back division.

Unfortunately, Grammar players were once again unable to make their tackles and, despite Selkirk having a limited amount of possession, the visitors managed to run in six tries.

“We looked great with ball in hand, scoring some good tries, and running our lines with polish and authority, but once again failed to make our tackles,” said Grammar coach Ali O’Connor.

“Our training sessions next week will be devoted to defending.”

O’Connor must now prepare his side for the challenge of Marr – albeit at Rubislaw – who will be filled with confidence after toppling leaders Falkirk to move into second place in the league.

Annoyingly for the home supporters, the home back division was full of running and invention, demonstrated in the 10th minute when centre Alex Ratcliffe combined with Knudson to send the stand off in for the opening try.

Thereafter the Border side ran the show for the rest of the half to lead 24-13 at half-time, scoring tries through centre Lewis MacLennan, full back Darren Clapperton, centre Ross Nixon and replacement Craig MacDougall.

Winger Josh Welsh also kicked two conversions.

When home flanker Robin Cessford pulled back the score to 24-18 just after the break, a recovery looked briefly on the cards only for the visitors to surge back with tries from MacDougall and Clapperton, one of which was converted by Welsh to give Selkirk a 36-18 lead.

A late rally resulted in two tries for Grammar, scored by flanker Matt McCall and lock Harry Bloomfield, both converted by Knudson, who ended the day with a haul of 17 points.

But it was to no avail. It proved too little and too late for Grammar as they slid to defeat again, their only compensation coming by way of two bonus points – one for scoring four tries and one for coming within seven points of the Selkirk total.

© Jack Nixon

Aberdeen Rugby: Conor Lavery; Grant Walker, Alex Ratcliffe, Kyle McFarlane, Matt Arnold; Sam Knudson, Jake Gray; Rob Ellinson, Fergus McKenzie, Colin Neilson, Aaron Robertson, Harry Bloomfield; Matt McCall, Robin Cessford, Calum Champion (c).

Replacements: Chris Prentice, Conall Howard, Jordan Robertson, Ali Addy, Doug Russell.

Selkirk: Darren Clappertob; Scott Hendrie, Lewis MacLennan, Ross Nixon, Josh Welsh; Ciaran Whyte, Mickey Davis; Kieran Cooney, Ruairi Wilson, Lwando Mabenge; Peter Forrest, Max Gordon; Scott McDonald, Matt Robertson, Ewan MacDougall.

Replacements: James Bett, Michael Waldron, David Allan, Craig MacDougall, Jackson Wallace.