Greenyards men ensure treble is still very much on the table

Lee Jones goes on the run with Fraser Thomson and John Dalziel in support. Photograph: Douglas Hardie.
Lee Jones goes on the run with Fraser Thomson and John Dalziel in support. Photograph: Douglas Hardie.
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Melrose 69

Dundee HSFP 11

PREMIER GROUP A

STUART CAMERON reports from The Greenyards

FRASER THOMSON scored a hat-trick for Melrose on Saturday to reach 18 league tries for the season in 17 games, and yet for some reason Scotland’s two pro sides, Glasgow and Edinburgh, run by the SRU, are not interested in him and are prepared to lose him to English Premiership side Sale, who have been sniffing around the Gala-based player with great interest.

It is a situation which clearly annoys Melrose president Mike Dalgetty, who is keen to see his club’s players move on in their careers.

“They (the SRU) are just not interested in the likes of Fraser and Grant Runciman and I cannot get my head round it,” he said, after seeing his team take another gigantic step towards the Championship and Cup double which they crave.

But he was quick to point out that it’s certainly not taken for granted that this will happen despite the superb run of form for the club.

“We were in this position last season and ended up with no trophies out of three, so the players are totally focused on the job in hand and will take one game at a time,” he added.

Melrose led at half-time 20-6, but it was a stuttering display with niggly mistakes, and you just felt that once these were ironed out they would shift up a few gears.

They certainly did that to run out very comfortable 69-11 winners in their penultimate match in Premier A.

They now have to wait three weeks before their final game against Ayr, which could see them crowned champions of Scotland, but there’s a lot of rugby to be played before then. This includes the small matter of the Melrose Sevens next Saturday and the cup final on April 16.

This squad has played some exceptional rugby, though, and they are definitely capable of pulling off the treble.

Three first half tries – including two in a minute from Lee Jones and Joe Helps – opened up a gap that they never looked like losing. Graeme Dodds crossed for the third just before half time with Scott Wight kicking a penalty for Melrose to two for Dundee by Rick McKenna.

Shortly after the break, Richie Hawkins collected a try in the corner for Dundee, but then the after burners were switched on and a seven-try blitz – all converted by Wight – enabled Melrose to cruise home, going on to score tries for fun.

Grant Runciman kicked it off with a score, and in the next 13 minutes the crowd had witnessed another four tries in quick succession from John Dalziel, Fraser Thomson, Lee Jones and Jamie Murray.

Thomson added another two on 71 and 74 minutes, giving him 18 league tries for the season, while Wight’s 19 points put him on 194 for the season.

One day later they defended their Gala Sevens title, and on this form they could easily win their own tournament, too, on Saturday.

Melrose: F Thomson; C. Anderson, J. Murray, J. Helps, L. Jones; S. Wight, S. McCormick; N. Little, W. Mitchell, G. Holborn, R. Miller, H. Mitchell, J. Dalziel, G. Runciman, G. Dodds. Subs: A. Dodds, N. Beavon, S. Johnson.