Every match now massive for Melrose, says Dalziel

James Head secures lineout ball for Melrose
James Head secures lineout ball for Melrose

Melrose head coach John Dalziel is targeting another big performance against title rivals Heriot’s on Saturday as he looks to guarantee a place in the Premiership play-offs.

The Greenyards outfit bounced back from a disappointing BT Cup defeat with a performance full of purpose and precision against an in-form Hawick side, who were riding a four-match win streak heading into the derby clash.

Melrose were cruel up front, grinding Hawick down in the scrummage, while running with gleeful destruction as they thrashed the Greens 32-8 to consolidate their position inside the BT Premiership’s inaugural play-off picture.

Dalziel admitted the victory was a big boost, but insisted another four massive games remain if they are to guarantee a place at the play-off table.

“It was a good win, but we face another tough match against the form team in the league right now,” he told The Southern.

“I think the last time we played Heriot’s it was one of our best performances of the season, but this time around it will be different. We went back to basics against Hawick and we will be looking to do the same this weekend.

“We need to take each game as it comes and not lose focus on our ultimate goal.”

Elsewhere in the Premiership, Gala continued their 2015 resurgence with victory over Edinburgh Accies and are aiming to continue their revival against Boroughmuir at Meggetland.

The Maroons have looked too often this season to have not steel but custard running through their veins, but against Accies they produced a performance of unexpected discipline and even a glimmer of the snarl and snap of the team that started the season as title challengers.

The familiar tale of woe, hope and expectation that attend Hawick rugby showed no immediate sign of abating with defeat to Melrose last weekend.

The Greens face a tricky away test to Stirling County who comfortably swept aside the Mansfield Park outfit when the two faced-off in October.

See page 72 for all other weekend fixtures.