WHILE the six nations has been an unmitigated disaster for most of Scottish rugby, at least Whitecraigs had reasons to be cheerful.
Jon Welsh made his way onto the pitch in Rome on Saturday as an emergency replacement for Allan Jacobsen, after the prop twisted his ankle in a pre-match warm-up.
He was the second player who began his career at West Lodge to pull on the blue and white this year.
Ed Kalman, a former Belmont House pupil, made his debut against Wales at the Millenium stadium last month.
However, neither he, nor former Eastwood high pupil Welsh spurred the Scots to victory and the national side ended up with the dubious honour of wooden spoon — the prize given to the bottom placed team in the tournament.
Given the call just 30 seconds before kick-off, it was a nervous moment for the 25-year-old who also played for GHA in his path to professional stardom with Glasgow Warriors.
GHA’s first full internationalist since the amalgamation said: “The butterflies were there but I didn’t really have time to think about it.
“I play with a lot of the boys week in week out for my club, so they helped me out a lot and I didn’t feel out of place at all. “It was just unfortunate we didn’t get the win. It was extremely disappointing”.
Both could feature in Glasgow Warriors clash against Aironi next Friday.
BACK in the southside, Cartha looked in control against Premier three rivals GHA before a second half collapse allowed the Braidholm boys to steal the win and the bonus point.
It was the first game back for captain Niall Cassie, who had been out the entire season so far as he recovered from a knee injury. The former outside centre started at blindside flanker.
Going into Saturday’s game against bottom side Perthshire, GHA are two points off top side Howe of Fife, but the Duffus Park side have a game in hand.
Sitting in fifth, Cartha visit Lasswade on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Whitecraigs were unlucky in their penultimate Premier C game, losing 23-18 against Kelso.
Craigs were 13-10 down at half-time despite going ahead with a Stevie Whittett try and a conversion and penalty from Ryan Moffat.
Indiscipline led to Craigs conceding a number of penalties and going down 10-20. Ross Macdonald added a try while Ryan Moffat scored a penalty late on, but it wasn’t enough.
On Saturday, Craigs visit West, with their dream of remaining in Premier 2 still very much alive.