Edinburgh Reivers ... 8

Glasgow Caley ......15

After a clammy day in the Borders, Saturday was an evening for anoraks, in the vernacular sense, at Gala's Netherdale.

Curiosities included the case of the prop who came on to replace three different team-mates - Matt Proudfoot.

The prop who came on and off in 40 minutes, while 10 minutes elapsed between the departure and return of the player he replaced - Proudfoot, again, as the interval intervened.

Then there was the prop who effectively replaced himself after six minutes absence, two others having attempted to do the job.

That final case led also to cause to debate of the referee's interpretation of recent law changes. Should Willie Anderson have been allowed to return?

He had been replaced just before the interval by Alan Watt, who, in turn, broke down with a groin injury three minutes into the second half.

Reserve hooker Dougie Hall took over, but, with the scrum under extreme pressure, it took coach Richie Dixon three more minutes to press his original selection back into action.

''That's what I get paid for,'' the hobbling Anderson said philosophically as he departed the Netherdale scene some 90 minutes later, but Reivers coach Ian Rankin was justified in feeling aggrieved as to Anderson's eligibility for such overtime with three fit front-rowers on the pitch.

We also witnessed the first two sin-binnings of Scots in this Celtic League as two of Scottish rugby's more popular figures, Graham Shiel and Barry Stewart, reluctantly undertook 10-minute rests for foul play.

Shiel is in line for further rebuke, too, from Rankin for, in response to heckling, grinning as he left the pitch for his late tackle on James Craig, accompanied by a reminder of professionals' need to be aware of their responsibilities to their team-mates.

On another day none of that might have merited more than passing comment, but, particularly during an uninspiring second half, such distractions offered blessed relief.

The opportunity for direct comparison with club players as the match followed Gala's meeting with Hawick, served to confirm that these full-timers have become, for the most part, superior beings in their sheer physical presence.

There were, too, hints of a far higher quality of play, which is, of course, the least that should be expected.

Yet, still the complaints about lack of understanding caused by insufficient time spent together are repeated.

Another one for the trivia buffs then - after two games both Scottish teams have registered Celtic League wins, but neither has done so at home, hardly the way to inspire an already sceptical rugby public which, given these sides' absence of identity, must be excited into supporting them.

That being the case, albeit Reivers had much the better of the second half, the victors at Netherdale had more immediate cause for optimism.

That a lock forward, Stewart Campbell, provided the feed from the base of a ruck for the game's opening try, was itself encouraging.

Even more so, though, was the manner of Rory Kerr's decisive intrusion into the line to create the overlap for fellow winger Craig.

The lively performances of those two youngsters, allied to Tommy Hayes' renewed appetite for running at opponents, were heartening.

Indeed, Craig echoed sentiments already voiced by Hayes this season, that there has been a rekindling of the spirit of two seasons ago, which saw Glasgow become the only Scottish team so far to reach the knockout stages in Europe.

''There is a great team spirit, a real buzz like we had two years ago,'' said the winger.

He is confident of seeing a lot more ball in matches than was possible on Saturday as both teams again demonstrated an inability to retain possession which will be deeply problematic against the battle-hardened Welsh in the weeks ahead.

Then again, this was a derby, and if it has yet to inflame passions among spectators, with only a handful more at this game than the 1000 or so that watched Gala face Hawick, Craig suggested that real feeling is developing on the field.

''That was the most intense match I've played in between these two sides,'' he said.

''I know the punters are still hanging on to the old days and a lot of the players, including myself, were initially just as disappointed about the merger of four teams into two.

''However, the identity is there for us now. This is the new game.''

Hopefully, in future that will translate itself into greater entertainment, albeit Craig's own background suggests otherwise, if the skill-free Old Firm frenzies his footballing father was subjected to over the years, are offered as evidence.

In terms of demonstrating aptitude, Craig rightly took greater satisfaction from his release of Hayes for the decisive second Reds try, than from his own score, although Martin Waite deserved even more credit for his brilliant basketball pass in twisting out of contact to generate the necessary room.

In between times, Reivers' try scoring creativity was confined to Gregor Hayter's charge down of Andy Nicol's attempted goal-line clearance.

Edinburgh Reivers - D Lee; K Milligan (C Sharman, 57min), K Utterson, G Shiel, S Lang; S Welsh, G Burns; R McNulty (M Proudfoot, 70), G McKelvey (S Scott, 48), B Stewart (Proudfoot, 40-40), G Hayter (T Weir, 75), N Hines, S Taylor, A Roxburgh (Proudfoot, 50-60), G Dall (Weir, 27-28).

Glasgow Caledonians - B Irving; J Craig, J Stuart (I McInroy, 68), I Jardine, R Kerr; T Hayes (A Bulloch, 78), A Nicol; G McIlwham, G Scott, W Anderson (A Watt, 40) (D Hall 43) (W Anderson 46), S Campbell, S Griffiths, J Petrie, D McFadyen (M Waite, 40), G Flockhart.

Referee - D Tyndall (Ireland).

Scoring sequence (Reivers first): 0-7, 3-7 (half-time); 3-12, 8-12, 8-15.

Scorers: Reivers: Try - Hayter (67min). Penalty - Lang (40). Caledonians: Tries - Craig (10), Hayes (54). Conversion - Hayes (10). Penalty - Irving (80).