Melrose’s awe-inspiring start to the season continued at The Greenyards on Saturday when they outplayed one of their potential challengers for the BT Premiership title with seven tries for their fifth successive win and bonus point.
It was a personal triumph for winger Ross McCann, who touched down four times, but it was the dominance of the Melrose pack that, not for the first time, laid the foundation for the success.
“It was the first time I had scored four tries in one game in the Premiership,” he said, and he praised the efforts of the entire team.
“I was just finishing off other people’s hard work. It was a strong performance by everyone in the team and the young boys showed that they are good enough to play at this level.
“There is still more to come. We want to build on the momentum.
“Currie are a very good team and credit to them, they really gave us a good run for our money, but we had good players coming off the bench.”
The hosts stepped up the pace after the interval with Currie unable to stem the intense pressure.
Melrose’s forwards’ driving play and line-out work, in which everyone played a key role, forced Currie on to the back foot and, in the end, the visitors were overwhelmed up front as they were unable to gain vital possession.
Currie coach Ben Cairns expressed his disappointment.
“We spoke at half-time about looking after the ball, but the first thing we do is to drop the ball from the kick-off. Then there was a catalogue of errors and there was not a lot that went right,” he said.
Currie were still in contention when only 3-10 down at the interval, McCann taking only six minutes to break the deadlock, Neil Irvine Hess adding a second to a Jamie Forbes penalty, but a try immediately on the restart by Fraser Thomson kicked off the second-half onslaught, including three tries in the space of only 11 minutes which left Currie with a mountain to climb.
McCann, who opened the scoring from Thomson’s pass, completed his try bonanza the final minute to add to his touchdowns midway through the half, with other tries by Irvine Hess in the first half and Thomson and Richard Ferguson after the break. Craig Jackson added three conversions.
Currie finally tested the hosts with a try by Harvey Elms after a surging break by Thomas Gordon seven minutes from time, converted by Forbes, but it was mere consolation on a day to forget for the visitors.
The win leaves Melrose eight points ahead of Stirling County, whom they play next at Bridgehaugh – only their second away match in a long season – with Currie back in fifth place.
Nevertheless, coach Rob Chrystie, pictured, said that, while he was pleased with the players’ efforts, it was far too early to start thinking about the title.