We have to be better in BT Cup final, says coach

Captains Pete McCallum (Ayr), left, and Bruce Colvine (Melrose).
Captains Pete McCallum (Ayr), left, and Bruce Colvine (Melrose).

With the chance of outright BT Premiership glory gone, Melrose hope the BT Cup will be adorning their trophy cupboard come Saturday night.

The Greenyards squad narrowly lost the BT Premiership play-off final to Ayr last weekend (see page 71), despite having topped the table at the end of the season.

However, the chance to make up for that disappointment comes on Saturday at BT Murrayfield, when the Border side faces Ayr again in the cup final.

Head coach Rob Chrystie insisted Melrose would enjoy the occasion no matter what, adding it had been a memorable season and there were many positives to take from last Saturday’s game.

An intriguing encounter is in prospect, with Ayr hungry for the double but knowing Melrose will want vengeance.

“We need to be better than we were at the weekend – we know that,” said Chrystie. “Ayr put us under pressure in certian areas. We just need to be a bit more accurate in everything we are doing and trust in what we do – and what has served us so well throughout the season.”

Melrose had come close to beating Ayr last week, at the end of a league campaign with only two defeats in 18 games and the best defensive record in the league.

“The good thing about this group of players is we strongly feel we could be a lot better,” said Chrystie. “All being well, if everybody stays together, we could really kick on and get better yet, which is really exciting for the club and the club game.”

Melrose will also be searching to avenge last season’s BT Cup final defeat to capital side, Heriot’s, and captain, Bruce Colvine, said: “We will be preparing just as we did for the league final and will hope the result goes our way on Saturday.

“To lose the league in the manner than we did will definitely spur us on for this week’s final and we’ll learn from our mistakes to make sure we perform well to round off our season.”

BT Cup Finals Day offers other opportunities for the best of Scotland’s club talent to light up the national stadium across a six-match extravaganza.

In the Sarah Beaney Cup final, Murrayfield Wanderers will take on BT Women’s Premier League rivals Hillhead / Jordanhill in a repeat of last year’s final where Wandies achieved Cup glory.

The BT Shield final will see defending champions Carrick contest Murrayfield Wanderers and the BT Bowl final will feature Blairgowrie and Portobello.

The BT Women’s Plate final sees Stirling County battle it out with Stewartry for the title with Kirkaldy and Garioch going head-to-head for the BT Women’s Bowl.

The BT Cup and Sarah Beaney Cup finals will be streamed live on Scottish Rugby TV’s YouTube channel on the day.