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Reivers win in style and look to Europe

jmcconnell 23 May 2006

The Border Reivers sealed a successful season on Friday night at Netherdale when they beat the Dragons 43-5 to claim the second Scottish qualification slot for next year’s Heineken Cup.

And they did it in style, playing some great rugby and running in good tries.

The Dragons performance suggested they have one eye on their up-coming European play-off match against Italian side Parma.

Reivers were the more determined-looking outfit during the scrappy opening exchanges and they surged ahead in the sixth minute with a try by Test winger Simon Danielli.

The former Bath speed merchant reminded the Murrayfield management of his pace as he raced to the line from 40 metres out. Calum MacRae added the conversion.

Dragons were spurred into potent attacking action of their own and they levelled the issue almost immediately.

Nathan Brew made the first charge, paving the way for Gareth Wyatt to power over, with Craig Warlow slotting the kick.

The rest of the half belonged to the home brigade and Samoan lock Opeta Palepoi rumbled through a fringe-defence gap to reach the target from 22 metres, giving MacRae a simple task to take the tally to 14.

Stout marking and a spate of errors prevented the Reivers from breaking through again before the interval, however a 40-metre penalty by MacRae gave them more breathing space.

Despite the fact that all the pressure was off, the Reivers produced some sparkling rugby after the break.

The intensity of the contest understandably dropped a few notches with the visitors clearly intent on remaining as fresh as possible for their make-or-break meeting with Parma.

Danielli jumped back into the spotlight in the 44th minute to complete his double, macro again finding the target with the boot.

And on the opposite wing, Wales-bound Nikki Walker got in on the act with an opportunist score 10 minutes later to make sure of the bonus point.

There was still more to come. First, lock Mark Blair battled through and then it was Walker´s turn to make it a brace of touchdowns.

And MacRae kept up his accuracy by taking his conversion tally to five.

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