Following four losses and one draw in this season’s new FOSROC Super 6 series, Southern Knights went to Edinburgh on a foul Friday night and scored a fine 12-31 win over Boroughmuir Bears.
Conditions were very difficult and head coach Rob Chrystie admitted it had not been a great performance – “far from it”.
But that long-coveted first victory had triggered some fresh confidence and given the Melrose squad a platform on which to build.
“There’s a bit of relief there,” he admitted. “The longer we went without that first win, the harder it was becoming.”
Chrystie also said enduring that difficult spell was, in its own way, quite beneficial to the team.
“It was good for the squad to go through that and to undeerstand it; to go through the process and make it better.”
The Knights had played good rugby along the way, particularly in their first game against Watsonians, but too many mistakes and individual errors had cost them heavily.
Chrystie added the Knights had taken much confidence from their Doddie’s Club Trophy post-Christmas charity game away to Newcastle Falcons. “Although the result (57-10) was quite ugly, we created a lot of opportunities and played well,” he said. “Newcastle put out a very strong team against us.”
Ironically, Southern Knights face Boroughmuir Bears again on Sunday, this time at The Greenyards.
While they know the Meggetland men will want to make reparation, Knights expect to have some regular players back and hope a bit of continuity will help them keep up the good form.
Chrystie said there was no point in going to ‘Muir and gaining a favourable outcome if it wasn’t to be backed up.
And he added the Knights’ work ethic and attitude had never been in doubt.
The Knights’ website reported Friday’s win was “well taken and well deserved” in the driving wind and rain.
Both teams were striving to establish a foothold in the game and Southern Knights opened the scoring just after the midway point of the first half. Struan Hutchison, into a strong wind, propelled a long kick down field into a strong wind, with the Bears fumbling the ball in defence.
Gavin Wood gathered the loose ball and dived over for an unconverted try.
Eight minutes later, Ewan McQuillan crashed over from short range, with Jason Baggott adding the extras.
Boroughmuir Bears pulled a converted try back just before the break to leave Southern Knights leading 7-12.
Russell Anderson rumbled over from close in with 14 minutes of the second half gone, and Baggott converted.
Bears retaliated immediately with an unconverted try, but the Knights’ bonus point try came four minutes later from another close-range maul when McQuillan scored his second try, which Wood converted.
Two minutes from time, Patrick Anderson gathered a loose ball and finished the scoring with a non-converted try.