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THE balance of power in Scottish rugby is moving with startling rapidity towards the west. Glasgow proved yesterday at Murrayfield that there are no certainties in the game any more.

Last weekend, the Gordon Bulloch-captained Glaswegians saw off much fancied Edinburgh and yesterday it was the turn of Scottish Borders - for so long the cockpit of the Scottish game - to experience the new-found sting in the Glasgow game.

True, the Borderland has lost many fine players to other districts and to England and the area is no longer the force it once was - the Reivers' assistant coach Roy Laidlaw recited a litany to absent friends yesterday - but for Glasgow to have achieved what they have done after a dismal district campaign last season, is remarkable, none the less.

The coaching of New Zealanders Kevin Greene and Gordon Macpherson has undoubtedly acted as a catalyst of sort and served to prod the sleeping giant into positive action.

However, Greene declared after yesterday's Murrayfield victory that unless there is a last-minute change of plan he will not be involved next season as Glasgow compete - as they now surely will - in the European Cup.

Greene, who coached Waikato to victory over the 1993 Lions, is scheduled to return home, his contract with Glasgow Academy and the Academicals expiring in the summer.

``My contract is with the school and I'm due to go home at the end of the season. I have a few things to look at but, as things stand, I'll not be involved next season,'' he said.

Glasgow manager Hamish Fyfe indicated that they would dearly love to have Greene associated still with the dear, green place next season. Watch this space.

Yesterday's victory was not as all-enveloping as was that opening win against Edinburgh last weekend. Glasgow led 21-3 at the interval, but then the Borderers piled on 24 points in the second period. Greene put it down to a lack of concentration after half-time.

Still, there was much to applaud in Glasgow's victory. The potent back three of Kenny Logan, James Craig and Derek Stark, more than earned their corn with Logan - who still breathes down Rowen Shepherd's neck for the Scotland full back berth - and Craig each having a couple of tries. Stark did not appear on the scoresheet, but it was not for the want of trying.

Craig in particular, still just 20, brings another dimension to the game with his scorching pace. Greene paid him the highest of compliments later: ``Maybe, he's not ready yet to go all the way with Scotland, but in a couple of years he could be something special. I'd like to take him back to New Zealand with me. He could be a star on the end of the Auckland back-line.''

Glasgow were particularly well served, too, by the half-back combination of Fraser Stott and Calum MacGregor. The duo rarely put a foot wrong. The Glasgow forwards were also sharper and more direct than their Border counterparts which gives some indication of just how far Glasgow have advanced and how the glory days of fearsome Border packs are now but a distant memory.

Glasgow made a fine start with a try from Logan after just five minutes, touching down at full stretch after a Craig Sangster break. MacGregor converted.

James Craig's first try came after 29 minutes, a deft Fergus Wallace flip sending him in from short range at the touchline. MacGregor was on target again with the conversion.

David McLeish - a Kelso man now studying at Glasgow University and turning out for West of Scotland - was next on the scoresheet and MacGregor made it 21-0 with the conversion.

Glasgow were steaming out of sight and the Borderers troubled the scorers only with a Parker penalty goal before the half-time whistle afforded them the opportunity to regroup.

The Melrose winger had another couple of penalty goals early in the second half to provide some sort of respectability to the scoreline. MacGregor added a penalty goal and Bennet scored the first Border try of the afternoon in 56 minutes after a close-range line-out drive.

Craig's second try was born off MacGregor's intelligent chip and his own flaring pace. He really does represent something special and possesses a rare talent which must be nurtured with care.

Logan - sharp as a tack - was over for his second try nine minutes from the end and MacGregor converted to make it 36-14 to Glasgow who now head the tournament standings.

Throughout the first half, Glasgow had neutered the powerful attacking threat posed by Tony Stanger in the Borders' midfield but, as the game progressed, Stanger was better able to slip the cover and he sent Scott Nichol in for a try. Four minutes from the end, he was involved again when substitute winger Keith Davidson was sent over for a try which provided respectability, but no more than that, to a Borders' effort which had come unstuck against a technically proficient Glasgow side in which esprit de corps is now the major name of the game.

SCORERS: Glasgow - Logan 2t; Craig 2t; McLeish 1t; MacGregor 4c 1p. Scottish Borders - Nichol 1t; Bennet 1t; Davidson 1t; Parker 3p.

Glasgow - Logan (Stirling County); Stark (Melrose), Sangster (Stirling County), Garry (Watsonians), Craig (West of Scotland); MacGregor (Glasgow Academicals), Stott (West of Scotland); McIlwham (GHK), Bulloch, capt. (West of Scotland), Robertson (Stirling County), Munro (GHK), Norval (Stirling County), F Wallace (GHK), McLeish (West of Scotland), M Wallace (GHK).

Scottish Borders - Turnbull (Hawick); Changleng (Gala), Stanger (Hawick), Nichol (Melrose), Parker (Melrose); Welsh (Hawick), Redpath (Melrose); McIlroy (Jed-Forest), Hay (Hawick), Ferguson (Peebles), Aitken (Melrose), Elliot (Hawick), Bennet (Kelso), Hogg (Melrose), Kirkpatrick (Booughmuir). Replacement - Aitchison (Kelso) for Turnbull (44m). Substitute - Davidson (Langholm) for Chanleng (69).

Referee - J Fleming (Boroughmuir).






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