League play-off final the ideal match, says Dalziel

Melrose are Scottish club rugby champs after beating Currie 26-10 at the Greenyards and Gala were narrowly beaten 34-33 by Ayr at Netherdale. Coach John Dalziel with his son Junior.

Melrose are Scottish club rugby champs after beating Currie 26-10 at the Greenyards and Gala were narrowly beaten 34-33 by Ayr at Netherdale. Coach John Dalziel with his son Junior.

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Melrose RFC players face a massive challenge this weekend when they take on league leaders Heriot’s in the 2014/15 Premiership play-off final at Goldenacre.

The Greenyards outfit are no strangers to big season finales: last year they had to beat Currie and then await the result from the Gala v Ayr match at Netherdale before they could claim the trophy.

This year has a slightly different edge, however. The league itself ended at the end of March with Heriot’s sitting top and Melrose in third place.

A pre-season decision by the clubs to introduce play-offs for the top four teams has handed John Dalziel’s men a second bite at the cherry.

“We are all looking forward to another huge end to the season, which I am sure will be another tense and exciting occasion,” said the Melrose coach.

“The players and the whole club have put so much effort in and we have set ourselves high targets, including getting to this stage with an opportunity to defend our league title against the in-form Heriot’s side.

“I feel it’s the ideal match with two very exciting and consistent teams, and to have the leaders at the end of the standard season play the defending champions is probably the ideal match, even for a neutral.”

Dalziel knows his team will have to be at their very best if they want to hold on to their much-coveted trophy and says they have prepared well for it.

“This is what all the long hours training, effort and sacrifice is for and I am sure the players will give absolutely everything to make sure we get the right result,” he added.

z Elsewhere, former Melrose player Sam Chalmers made a return to rugby this week following a two-year ban for taking prohibited substances.

The 21-year-old is attempting to rebuild his career in Australia, where he has been working as a fitness instructor with Sydney club Southern Districts.

Chalmers has spent much of the last two years warning others not to follow his bad example through giving talks and making videos.