Rugby Union: Wainwright makes his presence felt

Bill Leith sees a former Scotland captain lift the Reds and Glasgow qualify for the European Cup

Rob Wainwright, the former Scotland captain playing his second game since June, helped Caledonia Reds to boost their prospects of qualifying for next season's European Cup at the expense of a traditionally stronger district as they beat Edinburgh 31-13 in another Murrayfield double-header yesterday.

In the earlier leg of a programme switched to the national stadium's heated pitch because of frost, the shocking decline of Scottish Borders continued with a 36-24 defeat by Glasgow, who have now qualified for the premier event after being consigned to the second string European Conference event this season.

Wainwright, who had been sidelined since Scotland's tour of New Zealand with groin and achilles tendon injuries, only made his return in a club friendly on Boxing Day. But Wainwright, tipped as a possible candidate to captain the British Isles in South Africa next summer, took the step up in his stride as Caledonia got so far in front they were able to cruise home from 31-6 with almost 15 minutes remaining.

Rowen Shepherd, returning from a pelvic injury which saw him retire hurt during Scotland's victory over Italy this month, gave an accomplished display at full-back for Caledonia in the face of opposition from his A international rival, Derrick Lee. Shepherd cannot be happy with his goal-kicking form, however; he missed three out of five attempts before being replaced.

In the other match, Borders were a shadow of recent sides which for so long provided the nucleus of Scotland's XV. After losing comprehensively to Glasgow, officials were left to lament the departure of Doddie Weir, Gregor Townsend, Gary Armstrong and Mike Dods to English domestic rugby, which has also claimed Alan Tait, a Borderer who has gone south to join Newcastle.

The prospects of Tait, capped eight times at centre in 1987-88, eventually becoming the first ex-rugby league player to play for Scotland at rugby union increased when Scott Hastings retired from Edinburgh's encounter with a leg injury.

To earn their place in the European Cup with a second successive victory, Glasgow, coached by Kevin Greene, a former All Black who plotted Waikato's victory over the 1993 British Lions, showed aggressive defence and relied heavily on the educated boot of the stand-off Calum MacGregor. But Glasgow also know how to make use of dazzling pace in the back three, particularly when exploiting errors by the opposition.

Significantly, their full-back Kenny Logan and left-wing James Craig shared four tries, and Glasgow, who led 21-3 at half-time, had another try from the richly promising No 8 David McLeish, while MacGregor landed four conversions plus one penalty from two attempts.

Craig, a 19-year-old whose father, Jim, was a member of Celtic's European Cup winning side, is a particularly exciting prospect, but even he was upstaged by 17-year-old Keith Davidson, who came off the bench as a replacement for the injured Malcolm Changleng to claim one of his side's three tries. A fortnight ago Davidson was a replacement for the Borders under-18 team.

Edinburgh: Try Mather; Conversion Hodge. Caledonia Reds: Tries Longstaff, Rouse, Carruthers, K McKenzie; Conversion M McKenzie. Penalties Shepherd (2), M McKenzie.

EDINBURGH: D Lee (Watsonians); H Gilmour (Heriot's FP), S Hastings (Watsonians, capt), M Craig (Currie), S Reed (Boroughmuir); D Hodge (Watsonians), D Patterson (Heriot's FP); B Stewart (Edinburgh Accies), G Ellis (Currie), S Paul (Heriot's FP), D Burns (Boroughmuir), A Lucking (Currie), C Mather (Watsonians), S Reid (Boroughmuir), G Dall (Heriot's FP). Replacements: G Beveridge (Boroughmuir) for Patterson, 26; A Donaldson (Currie) for Hastings, 66.

CALEDONIA REDS: R Shepherd (Melrose); S Longstaff, P Rouse (Dundee High), A Carruthers (Kirkcaldy), J Kerr (Watsonians); M McKenzie (Stirling County), P Simpson (Edinburgh Accies); T Smith (Watsonians), K McKenzie (Stirling County), D Herrington (Kirkcaldy), S Campbell (Melrose), S Grimes (Watsonians), D McIvor (Glenrothes, capt), G Flockhart (Stirling County), R Wainwright (Watsonians). Replacements: B Eason (Edinburgh Accies) for M McKenzie, 66; I Fullarton (Dundee High) for Flockhart, 77.

Referee: E Murray (Greenock).

Glasgow: Tries Logan 2, Craig 2, McLeish. Conversions MacGregor 4. Penalty MacGregor. Borders: Tries Bennet, Nichol, Davidson. Penalties Parker 3.

GLASGOW: K Logan (Stirling County); D Stark (Melrose), C Sangster (Stirling County), A Garry (Watsonians), J Craig (West); C MacGregor (Glasgow Accies), F Stott (West); G McIlwham (GHK), G Bulloch (West, capt), B Robertson (Stirling County), S Munro (GHK), M Norval (Stirling County), F Wallace (GHK), D McLeish (West), M Wallace (GHK).

BORDER REIVERS: C Turnbull (Hawick); M Changleng (Gala), A Stanger (Hawick), S Nichol, G Parker (both Melrose); S Welsh (Hawick), B Redpath (Melrose); N McIlroy (Jed-Forest), J Hay (Hawick), S Ferguson (Peebles), S Aitken (Melrose), I Elliot (Hawick), S Bennet (Kelso), C Hogg (Melrose), R Kirkpatrick (Boroughmuir). Replacements: G Aitchison (Kelso) for Turnbull, 41; K Davidson (Langholm) for Changleng, 68.

Referee: J Fleming (Boroughmuir).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea