Melrose set their expectations high this week after three underwhelming BT Premiership performances but the Greenyards side didn’t live up to them on Saturday, falling 25-34 to Boroughmuir.
That’s the simplest way to explain what happened at the Greenyards, where an overheated Melrose team lost its composure, after leading 20-3 inside 20 minutes. Rose allowed Boroughmuir to score 31 unanswered points and couldn’t recover in a disappointing loss that number eight, Graeme Dods admitted was always coming after three recent sloppy league performances.
“To be up 20 points to three after 20 minutes, you’ve got to win that game, it is as simple as that, there are no excuses for that result,” said a severely disappointed Dodds post-match.
“To lose in the way we did, soft tries, interceptions, dropped balls and basic mistakes was disappointing. It was just a calamity of errors for a long time.
To be honest, that result has been coming. We’ve won our first three games not very convincingly. We have talked about it all week, game management, getting in front and staying there. We did manage to do that for the first 20/25 minutes but then we just switched off.”
Silly penalties – whether it was holding in the ruck, offside or professional fouls – quickly added up for Melrose, who were flagged for far too many infractions throughout a contest they could have won. Give Boroughmuir that sort of easy field position, and they’ll carve up defences. That’s exactly what they did after surviving an early Melrose flurry before turning the tables.
After shutting down 2014/15 play-off teams Ayr and Currie in recent weeks with an elite looking defence, Muir fell behind 20-10 as Melrose feasted on early possession and basic mistakes from their visitors.
Bruce Dick, Lewis Carmichael and James Bhatti all touched down for Melrose, Jeff Baggot adding a single conversion and penalty, in an opening 20-minute blitz which had all the hallmarks of what could be an annihilation.
Chris Laid law managed a penalty before converting a Callum Reid close-range score in reply for Muir as ‘Muir somehow slowed Melrose’s quick-strike, spread offence down.
After the Break, Boroughmuir proved to be a buzzkill, silencing a raucous crowd who were expecting another Melrose charge by exposing the Greenyards side’s inefficiencies.
Muir took control, managing to peg Melrose back to 20-20 through a Grant McConnell touchdown and another Laidlaw conversion penalty combo, before scoring a further 14 points through Jack Cosgrove and flyhalf Laidlaw, who chipped over both conversions, to take a 20-34 lead.
Melrose did have the last word in the final minutes, Fraser Thompson creeping over after good pick-and-drive work from the forwards but the conversion was missed as Melrose were forced to settle with a single try bonus-point.
Melrose: F. Thompson, N. Godsmark, B. Dick, T. Galbraith, S. Peqeur, J. Baggot, M. McAndrew, J. Bhatti, R. Ferguson, N. Beavon, J. Head, L. Carmichael, N. Irvine-Ness, G. Ruciman, G. Dodds. Replacements: R. McLeod, D. Elkington, A. Nagle, B. Colvine, J. Helps.