DUNDEE HSFP Director of Rugby, Ian Rankin, who is standing down at the end of the season after ten years at Mayfield, admitted following his side’s thumping win over the champions at The Greenyards that he would miss standing on the touchline and encouraging his players each weekend.
Melrose – Tries: Thomson, Holborn, Skeen. Cons: Skeen (2), Mill.
Dundee High School FP – Tries: Duthie (2), Hawkins, McIver. Cons: Steele (4). Pens: Steele (3).
“It will not be the same,” he said, as he prepares to stand for the role of SRU vice-president at Murrayfield. After an amazing win, Rankin shook his head in disappointment at leaving the club game. But he was not disappointed by his team’s performance as they scored four tries to take a bonus point and retain their hopes of Premiership 1 rugby next season as well as a British & Irish Cup spot.
“You have to give Borders sides all the respect but I was very proud of the boys as it is never easy to win down here,” said Rankin.
The Melrose dressing room door remained firmly closed after the final whistle but the champions could not complain as Dundee made the most of weak home tackling and carried too much power and pace for a side shocked by their opponents’ aggression from the kick-off.
Dundee were 14 points up after 16 minutes and two tries in the space of five minutes after the interval ended any hope of a Melrose revival.
Late tries from Gary Holborn and Andrew Skeen were of little consolation.
The Dundee backs were slicker, more sure in their handling, and were able to cut through the Melrose defence with ease. The fact that the home side kept the try difference to one score was remarkable.
Richie Hawkins and Harry Duthie burst through tackles for the opening two tries as Dundee surged into a comfortable 17-7 half-time lead, Fraser Thomson replying. And it was game over as Richie McIver and Duthie again ensured the crucial bonus point. Jack Steele converted all four tries and kicked three penalties while Skeen added two conversions and Richard Mill one for Melrose. But it was Dundee’s day – no argument.
Melrose: F. Thomson; C. Anderson, B. Dick, A. Letham, A. Dodds; R. Mill, B. Colvine; N. Little, R. Ferguson, G. Holborn, G. Dodds, R. Ovens, J. Dalziel, A. Nagle, R. Miller. Replacements: W. Mitchell, C. Keen, P. Eccles, S. McCormick, A. Skeen..
Dundee HSFP: J. Urquhart; A. McLean, H. Duthie, J. Steele, C. Bowie; B. Laursen, A. Dymock; N. Dymock, D. Russell, A. Brown, A. Linton, R. Hawkins, D. Levison, I. Wilson, R. McIver. Replacements: S. Longwell, G. Robertson, C. Cumming, R. Lavery, R. Young.
Referee: D Changleng.