COLIN RENTON @ Meggetland
BOROUGHMUIR have been threatening to run up a big score – their flowing style having earned plaudits so far in the BT Premiership campaign. But, while open rugby that is easy on the eye is great for spectators, it has not been successful in winning games and coach Peter Wright had called for his men to be more clinical in the strike zone.
And here, they delivered it in spades, the unfortunate victims being their near neighbours, who now face a tough few weeks as they bid to extricate themselves from the nether regions of the league table.
“We played pretty well”, was the understated reaction of Wright. “They had a few injuries so they weren’t as strong as they could be but you only play the team that’s in front of you.
“We had a really good couple of weeks’ training. We took it back to basics – we asked the forwards to be forwards and the backs to be backs for big parts of the game.”
And, while there is still work to be done, he was satisfied that his men had delivered on the game plan, adding: “We were more clinical round the breakdown and our accuracy was a bit better, a bit more aggressive. That’s what we asked the guys to do and that’s what they have done so that’s always pleasing as a coach.”
The visitors, whose coach Marcus Di Rollo watched from the stand, having been banned for three weeks following an incident during the defeat at Heriot’s, raced from the blocks and early pressure yielded a penalty which Andrew Chalmers stroked over.
The first opportunity for the Boroughmuir players to provide evidence that they had heeded Wright’s urgings ended in disappointment in that they perhaps did not make the most of the opportunity, but at least the home team emerged with three points from the passage of play. With the clock ticking towards ten minutes, Matt Walker pounced on a spilled ball and raced towards the line. He was hauled down and the absence of that edge meant that several phases later they had failed to cross the whitewash and reverted to Chris Laidlaw’s boot to open their account with a penalty.
The scores were level for only a couple of minutes as the next Watsonians attack handed the visitors another straightforward penalty which Chalmers steered between the sticks. The full back then added a further three points when he hammered over a long-range effort.
Laidlaw responded in kind before the hosts, who had looked the livelier of the two sides took the lead for the first time. Jordan Edmunds broke from deep and was tackled on the edge of the opposition 22. But, four phases later, the winger was back involved and muscled his way over for a try, which Laidlaw converted.
By the half hour mark, the gap had grown. Edmunds was again at the heart of the move, harrying the defenders into an error that led to a lineout and a drive produced the foundation for Aubrey Mncube to blast his way over for a try, which Laidlaw again converted.
A rare Watsonians attack provided some respite and also another three points after Chalmers maintained his immaculate kicking record with another penalty.
But that relief was temporary and the hosts were soon back on the offensive. Dale Robertson was held up over the line. However, the momentum was with Boroughmuir and try number three came shortly before the break when Edmunds again powered over. Laidlaw’s conversion made it 27-12 at half time.
Laidlaw recorded his first miss with a difficult penalty but was back on form in 51 minutes when he booted a massive touchline conversion after Edmunds blazed down the left flank to complete his hat trick.
Watsonians were offering little resistance and before the hour was up things got worse when Grant McConnell sprinted over before providing the scoring pass for Ronan Kerr to bag try number six – Laidlaw adding the extras on both occasions.
The visitors raised their game for the final quarter and capped a spell of pressure when Keith Yong crossed the whitewash.
But it was Boroughmuir’s day and the hosts had the final word when loosehead Robertson capped an impressive performance by plunging over for try number seven to take the total past the half century, and Dougie Steel added the extras.
“We weren’t good enough, we weren’t physical enough and we were lacking in a few areas”, was the blunt assessment of Watsonians assistant coach Simon Taylor. “We just didn’t have the ammunition to come back in any meaningful way. We were just beaten by a better team.”
Boroughmuir: R Cairns; J Edmunds, R Kerr, M Hare, G McConnell; C Laidlaw©, B Mills; D Robertson, T King, D Winning, J Ure, C Atkinson, A Mncube, M Walker, C Keddie. Subs: S Clark, T Gracie, M Tweddle, A Purewal, D Steele.
Watsonians: A Chalmers; K Young, S McLeod, D Innes, S McKean; E Scott, E McKirdy; M Christie, S Crombie, N Borel, A Middleton, C Borthwick, K Beattie, A Duckett, R Drummond. Subs: D Miller, C Eastwood, E Martin, R Cullen, A Harris.
Referee: G Wells
Boroughmuir: Tries: Edmunds 3, Mncube, McConnell, Kerr, Robertson; Cons: Laidlaw 6, Steele; Penalties: Laidlaw 2
Watsonians: Try: Young; Pens: Chalmers 4.
Scoring Sequence: (Boroughmuir first): 0-3, 3-3, 3-6, 3-9, 6-9, 11-9, 13-9, 18-9, 20-9, 20-12, 25-12, 27-12 (h-t) 32-12, 34-12, 39-12, 41-12, 46-12, 48-12,48-17, 53-17, 55-17.
Man-of-the Match: Jordan Edmunds, who was named in the Scotland club squad earlier in the week, was outstanding and his hat trick was not the end of the reasons to celebrate for the expectant father.
Talking Point: The heady days of a three-match winning start to the campaign must now seem a long time ago for Watsonians.
Image courtesy: Dave Patterson