Already this season’s Tennent’s Premiership is looking like a two-tier competition and yesterday’s match at the Greenyards, where a dominant and experienced Melrose side put a half century of points past Glasgow Hawks, amply confirmed this view.
Yet you might not have forecast such a high score during the first 15 minutes when it was Hawks who held sway in the matters of territory and possession. But their resistance was overcome in an instant as Michael Mvelase-Julyan and playmaker-in-chief for Melrose Craig Jackson exchanged passes skilfully for the South Africa-born wing to score in the corner.
“For the first 15 minutes I thought we were the better team. We controlled possession but as soon as they got one sniff they scored straight away. We’ve got a number of youngsters but they’re going to have to grow up soon,” said Fin Gillies, the Glasgow Hawks coach.
In fact Hawks fielded four teenagers of whom scrum-half Kristian Kay and wing Murray Godsman made impressive appearances off the bench, Godsman excelling with a chop tackle on the Edinburgh and Scotland back row Magnus Bradbury in full stride.
Bradbury was one of two Scotland international players in the Melrose team, the other being Scott Lawson, who offered his services as the bench hooker to a Greenyards side beset by injuries in this position. “Scott answered the SOS. I think he appreciates what the club did for him before he got his international call-up. It’s a really good example of a player giving something back to the game,” said Rob Chrystie, the Melrose coach.
Having broken the Hawks’ defence, Melrose quickly added a second try when Bruce Colvine took Ian Moody’s pass. Moody was again the provider as Fraser Thomson raced in for try number three, Bradbury’s professional power providing the bonus point and then Moody scoring the final try of the half for a 31-0 interval lead.
Replacement Godsman provided hope for Hawks with a try converted by Glen Faulds, but in the final 12 minutes Melrose added a further 19 points from tries by Rory Darge, Colvine and Moody, Jackson’s fifth conversion bringing up the 50 points.