RUGBY fans were treated to a sensational opening game between the Southern Knights and debutant team FOSROC Future XV at the Greenyards on Friday night.

And it was the Knights who emerged victorious by one point after a thrilling 80 minutes.

The first points were put on the board by Future XV winger Amena Caqusau, with the extras coming from Isaac Coates.

But the Borderers responded quickly with a heavy driving maul which culminated with Luke Thompson touching down over the whitewash.

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Aidan Cross gave the hosts the lead after going over in the corner, and the Knights kept their momentum going and another pass out to wing was caught by full back Donald Crawford finished in the other corner.

Thompson added another try to his roster when he made a quick pick-and-go to barrel past the Futures’ defence and over the line. Callum Grieve’s kick was good from wide.

The visitors’ second try came just before half time when powerful front row Callum Smyth squeezed past the Knights defence to dot down.

Border Telegraph: Action form Southern Knights v Future XVAction form Southern Knights v Future XV (Image: Douglas Hardie)

That left the half-time score 22-12 in favour of the Borderers.

The visitors were first to score after the restart when Freddy Douglas pushed past the hosts’ defence to touch down right under the posts, leaving a simple conversion from Coates.

But once again the Knights responded quickly after the ball was played out of a scrum close to the try line and passed to Crawford who dived over. Grieve provided the extras.

The Future kept the heat up high as a series of controlled phases allowed Jake Spurway to sneak through and dot down just right of the posts. Coates’ kick was good, bringing the debutant team to within one point of their hosts.

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They added another try immediately when Tom Smith broke away from a ruck to crash over the line. Coates made the conversion.

After another period of pick-and-gos and some strong Knights defence, the Future managed to push their way past and get Ollie Duncan over the whitewash.

The next score came for the Knights when there was looping pass out to Garry Young who managed to squeeze into the corner. A successful kick from Grieve brought the hosts within two points of the leaders.

A penalty conceded by the Future just outside the 22 let the Knights take a try at the posts. A successful boot from Grieve brought the hosts one point ahead with only a few minutes left on the clock.

In a nail-biting finish, the Borderers conceded a penalty just inside their own 22, allowing the Future to have their go at the posts.

The kick was missed, meaning the hosts got their first win of the Championship 39-38.