After being nudged off the rails in last weekend’s Charity Shield match, Melrose restored self-esteem with a handsome win over Borders rivals Hawick in their opening Tennent’s Premiership match.
Melrose were helped considerably by the return of Edinburgh centre George Taylor to his state of origin club. Taylor played just one half but used the first 40 to create havoc in the midfield channels. In addition, Melrose used the experience of Fraser Thomson and Craig Jackson to telling effect in both creating and scoring tries.
Hawick, without several key players, were forced to field a number of players without experience of Premiership rugby, but despite what is suggested by the scoreline the Greens at times were able to challenge the might of Melrose.
Melrose had the game and the bonus point in the bag by half time and they led 33-7 early in the second half with tries from wings Michael Mvelase-Julyan and Ian Sim, full back Thomson (two) and lock Angus Runciman to a converted try by Bruce McNeil.
Tries by McNeil and Ruaridh McLeod brought Hawick back into the game but Melrose sealed the game with scores from Mvelase-Julyan and Struan Hutchison, their other points coming from the boot of Jackson.