Melrose made it five from five in the BT Premiership after blowing away Currie Chieftains’ hopes of being in the mix for championship honours with a performance that had all the hallmarks of a team on top of its game.
The five refers not just to the number of victories but also to the tally of bonus points accumulated, which has given Melrose such a commanding lead at this stage in the season. But coach Rob Chrystie knows that speed out of the blocks does not necessarily guarantee they will breast the tape in first position.
“Very few leagues are won in September or October. Lots of teams will get better. What pleases me at this stage is the application by the players,” said Chrystie.
The Melrose coach could have little complaints about the way his side suffocated the life out of Currie, denying them the chance to use their pacy backline. But it was the error count throughout the game that left the visitors’ coach, Ben Cairns, struggling to find positives.
“There were too many mistakes by individuals and ultimately the floodgates opened. Not a lot went right for us today. There were flashes of good play but only a little,” admitted Cairns, whose side was not helped by yellow cards shown to Luke Crosbie and Vince Wright.
Currie could do little to stop the Melrose maul, a weapon the Greenyards side used to good effect in creating three of their tries. Moreover, Currie’s defence seemed to have little answer to the skill of full-back Fraser Thomson, whose pace was crucial in the Melrose attack.
The other player at the heart of the Melrose attack was centre Craig Jackson. Among the forwards Ian Moody supplied a non-stop flow of line-out ball while Ally Miller at No 8 provided an energetic and skilful performance. Melrose led 10-3 at the break with tries by Ross McCann and Neil Irvine-Hess, both created by Jackson, to a penalty goal by Jamie Forbes.
The Greenyards men struck immediately after the break profiting from a mistake at the kick-off that gave Melrose possession and ultimately a try by Thomson, converted by Jackson.
Thomson then provided the scoring pass for McCann to touch down for his second try, Jackson again converting. The irrepressible winger then completed a hat-trick after replacement scrum-half Bruce Colvine had taken a quick tap penalty.
A driven line-out gave replacement Richard Ferguson a try before Currie centre Harvey Elms bagged the visitors’ only touchdown converted by Forbes after Tommy Gordon had broken clear, but Melrose had the final say as McCann stretched his total of tries to four, Jackson signing off with the conversion.