Heriot’s 17 - 17 Melrose: Penalty tries talking point

Melrose's Jason Baggott kicks a conversion. Picture: Bruce White/SNS/SRU
Melrose's Jason Baggott kicks a conversion. Picture: Bruce White/SNS/SRU
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Only rugby statisticians would have obtained satisfaction from this Tennent’s Premiership match at Goldenacre that bizarrely produced three penalty tries, in a contest between two evenly-matched teams.

Melrose, blighted by the loss of their abrasive second row James Head in the warm-up and their influential midfield controller Craig Jackson in the first quarter, were probably the more satisfied with the draw given their setbacks.

The first of the penalty tries went to Heriot’s after only eight minutes after Melrose had fluffed their attempts to escape from their own five metre area, the resultant scrum ending in the seven-point score.

Minutes later Stuart Edwards, who kicked well from stand-off, put over a drop goal to give Heriot’s a 10-0 lead, only for Melrose to cash in on English referee Calum Howard’s penchant for the penalty try.

Then with half-time approaching, Edinburgh professional Jason Baggott landed a penalty goal for Melrose to draw the scores level at the break.

In a physical second half Melrose seemed to be in control but a slack pass by Baggott was intercepted by Rob Kay, who ran 50 metres for a try converted by Ross Jones for what looked like the decisive score, only for another penalty try to dash Heriot’s hopes.