Watsonians ramparts stormed

Watsonians 16 Melrose 41
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The Independent Online
Revolutions have a habit of starting where least expected. Even so it is quite remarkable that the upheaval which seems destined to see Scotland's leading clubs claiming more power has been led by Watsonians.

An old boy outfit, they are more renowned for keeping heads below parapets than storming ramparts. But, in their latest newsletter, the same Watsonian president who warned the Scottish Rugby Union they were "out of touch" now accuses them of "ignorance". Iain Monteath also argues that it should be Scotland's champion club and not a district, as the SRU suggest, which flies the flag in next season's European Cup.

On Saturday Monteath sat alongside John Connor, a waste paper magnate who made history by becoming the first businessman to invest in a Scottish club. Connor feels the game needs a kick-start and has put up pounds 50,000, a large part of which will go on helping to create Gavin Hastings International Ltd, a promotional company whose clients include Watsonians. "It's not about results," Connor said, "it is about marketing our game properly.

"I've sold my business so I've nothing to gain. Other businessmen will say, hey, they're going somewhere at Watsonians, why can't I do something?"

That is just what the SRU will be afraid of because the clubs could start calling the shots and asking awkward questions. A cash investment in a club closely linked with a fee paying school was always going to be a red rag to an earthy border side like Melrose who duly rose to the bait and killed the contest early. As for Watsonians, how appropriate their new backer is into waste because that is precisely what they did with any scraps of possession.

Watsonians: Try Weston; Penalties Hodge 3; Conversion Hodge. Melrose: Tries Shepherd, Broughton, Turnbull, Brown; Penalties Chalmers 3; Conversions Chalmers 3; Drop Goal Chalmers.

Watsonians: G Hastings; F Henderson (capt), S Hastings, A Garry, J Kerr; D Hodge, J Weston; M Stanaway, S Farland, T Smith, D Gray, M Rudkin, C Mather, C Brown, G Hannah.

Melrose: R Shepherd; G Parker, J Turnbull, G Shiel, D Bain; C Chalmers, B Redpath (capt); M Browne, S Scott, D Lunn, R Brown, C Davies, S Aitken, I Fea'unati, Broughton.

Referee: C Muir (Langholm).

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