Rose are hoping to savour sweet fragrance of victory

Table-topping Melrose are eager to get back to BT Premiership action on Saturday '“ but they know a formidable assignment lies ahead.

Thursday, 19th January 2017, 1:30 pm
Iain Moody makes a charge for Melrose in their most recent league game, a 27-10 win over Ayr (picture by Douglas Hardie)

The Greenyards squad was frustrated to miss out last week on the first match of 2017, when their trip to Stirling County fell victim to the plunging temperatures.

This weekend, they welcome on-form Watsonians, delighted to be back on the park – barring the unexpected – but aware a stern test awaits.

A couple of hard-going training sessions took place this week as the players look forward to their first game since mid-December, when the defeated Ayr 27-10 at the Greenyards.

The west coast side are level with the Rose on 59 points at the top of the table, but Saturday’s call-off gives Melrose a game in hand.

“This weekend it’s going to be tough,” said head coach Rob Chrystie.

“Watsonians are on a bit of a run, if you look at their last few games. They were beaten by Glasgow Hawks in the last play of the game by a penalty and, against Currie, they lost by one point up at Malleny, which is a really tough place to go and get a result. Then they beat Gala pretty convincingly – I watched the game.

“They have everybody back from injury and it’s obviously going to be a great game at Melrose. We’re not taking them lightly because it’s definitely going to be a battle.

“We’ve just got to do what we do – concentrate on ourselves, as we have all season.

“We need to play in the right areas of the pitch, as in any game. Once we get in there, it’s then about being clinical and taking our opportunities.”

Watsonians’ defeat of Gala on Saturday bundled the Maroons to the foot of the table, and fourth-placed Heriot’s, who visit Netherdale this weekend, will not make it simple for them to ease their relegation fears.

Hawick will take confidence from a thoroughly deserved win over strong-going Glasgow Hawks as they travel to Currie – described earlier by Rob Chrystie as a difficult venue to visit.