STUART CAMERON reports from The Greenyards
If Melrose are to be beaten, you have to do it over the full 80 minutes and not just the first hour.
Stirling could not contain the Borderers in the final stages at Bridgehaugh, and on Saturday Currie found the Black and Yellows had a sting in their tail they couldn’t cope with either.
Craig Chalmers’ side will be happy with their total of nine points from the opening two games, although they could not manage a fourth try for the bonus point.
But there was a lot to take away from their performance at the Greenyards against one of the top sides.
What would have niggled them was conceding tries in both halves in stoppage time.
It cost them 14 points, and while Currie deserved at least a bonus point for their efforts, it’s a point which could be crucial later in the season – particularly as this is likely to be a very tight Premiership.
Currie took the game to Melrose in the first period, dominating possession, but the home defence looked solid.
Against the run of play, Richard Mill popped over a penalty to give his side the first points.
Supporters had to wait 38 minutes for that score, with Currie’s Adam Hinds missing a couple of earlier penalty opportunities.
Into injury time, Currie’s scrum half Richard Sneddon went in for the opening try and while Hinds didn’t have any luck with his penalty attempts, he nailed all three conversions on the day.
Mill reduced the gap to a point with a penalty after the break, but on 55 minutes a good move started by Sneddon ended with Simeon Jones popping over for Currie’s second try, and they held a 14-6 lead up to the hour.
The visitors’ defence was coping well with the Melrose attack up to that point, but a minute later that would change dramatically.
Glasgow Warriors’ Fraser Thomson was released back to his old club for this game and showed everyone why he has the potential to go a lot further.
He tore through the Currie defence to run in for a glorious try which ignited Melrose, and from that point there was only ever going to be one winner. Andrew Skeen converted the try and added a long-range penalty before Jamie Murray took advantage of slack Currie defence to bundle over for a score on 75 minutes.
Just before the end, Currie were caught in possession and Andrew Skeen was on hand to go in for a third try in just 18 minutes.
At 26-14, the points were Melrose’s, but in the last move of the game, Mike Entwistle scored in the corner with Hinds kicking the touchline conversion.
Assistant coach Dalziel told TheSouthern: “Currie should have been further ahead in the first half, but we dug it out and gave ourselves a chance, and we know if we’re within touching distance we have guys like Fraser Thomson, Jamie Murray, Joe Helps and Andrew Skeen, who can all create chances.
“It was a bit scrappy, but this is just the second game of the season and our attitude is good.
“To come back from 14-6 down shows what we’ve got in the locker.”
Melrose: F. Thomson; G. White, N. McGrath, R. Mill, J. Helps; A. Skeen, B. Colvine; N. Little, W Mitchell, G. Holborn, R. Ovens, R. Miller, J. Dalziel, G. Runciman, A. Nagle. Subs: A. Walker, C. Keen, P. Eccles, S. McCormick, J. Murray.