Melrose set sights on top place after ruthless first-half display

Nyall Godsmark breaks out for Melrose (picture by Douglas Hardie)
Nyall Godsmark breaks out for Melrose (picture by Douglas Hardie)

A top first-half display by Melrose, featuring four tries and some good flowing play, kept them on course to finish in BT Premiership pole position.

The performance could also ensure them a home final in the play-offs.

In the second half, Hawick, suffering a number of injuries – and to their credit, playing with a lot of guts and determination – kept the score to a respectable level, having had their defence well stretched in the first period.

The Mansfield Park squad had harboured slender hopes of obtaining at least one championship point. But Premiership survival will now depend on winning the play-off match, likely to be in May.

Hawick’s chances were quickly cut to zero after a succession of game-ending injuries that required them to empty their bench by early in the second half. Two further departures left them with only 13 players for the final 10 minutes.

Tries by Ruairdh Knott, Ian Moody, George Taylor and Fraser Thomson, and seven points from the boot of Jason Baggott, gave Melrose a 27-0 interval lead. After the break, Melrose added a converted try for Baggott, matched by Ali Weir’s conversion and try for Hawick.