Rugby Union: Hodge's kicking puts Watsonians in control

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The Independent Online
Heriot's FP 8 Watsonians 38

A Watsonian victory which closed the gap on Melrose at the top of the Scottish Premiership in terms of scoring differential has to be seen in the most tragic of perspectives - life and death.

Scottish rugby's thoughts went out to the international stand-off Craig Chalmers, whose father, 53-year-old Brian Chalmers, collapsed and died while watching him help Melrose to win 22-8 at Hawick. Craig was unaware of the drama which took place 15 minutes from full-time. At the whistle he was taken aside by Melrose officials.

A former player, Chalmers Snr, played a major behind-the-scenes role in making Melrose a champion club who are now level on points with Watsonians. Melrose, who have yet to entertain their main rivals, have a game in hand and a superior scoring differential of plus 25.

Watsonians turned round 7-3 ahead of Heriot's and took control through the boot of the stand- off Duncan Hodge but the poor standard of play did little to ease post- Twickenham blues.

What might help is if some broad hints circulating north of the border are translated into actions. For example, the Derby- based businessman Sandy Anderson, originally from Caithness and who recently failed in a bid to buy Nottingham Forest FC, has indicated he might consider a move into Scottish rugby.

However, Heart of Midlothian FC have indicated they may seek to emulate Newcastle United and diversify. Until now one of Hearts' most prominent links with rugby has been David Johnston, the Scotland backs coach who won caps at centre after a season playing football for the Tynecastle club.

If Hearts follow up their interest and Johnston finds himself out on a limb at the SRU, whose structure he has been criticising, perhaps he and the football club may yet be reunited.

Heriot's FP: Try Lang. Penalty Ross. Watsonians: Tries Smith, Weston, Brown, Hannah. Conversions Hodge 3. Penalties Hodge 4.

Heriot's FP: C Glasgow (capt); D Proctor (S Clark, 58), G Lawrie, S Lang, H Gilmour; G Ross, F McMillan; A Binnie (J Bryce, 60), C O'Kane, S Paul, D Boswall, A Dall (P Young, 40), N Outlaw, T McVie, G Dall.

Watsonians: D Lee; G Hannah, S Hastings, J Mayer, J Kerr; D Hodge, J Weston; T Smith, G McKelvey (capt), A Kittle, S Grimes, G McRaild, C Mather, C Brown, I Sinclair.

Referee: E Murray (Greenock Wands).

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