Watsonians 7 - 31 Melrose: Champions in command

Fraser Thomson in action for Melrose. Pic: SNS/SRU
Fraser Thomson in action for Melrose. Pic: SNS/SRU
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Melrose helped themselves to maximum points in the autumn sunshine as the third round of the Tennent’s Premiership brought together two Super Six franchises.

It was almost too easy for the defending champions as they cruised effortlessly through the game, killing it off with two rapid-fire tries just after the break.

Watsonians were still hurting from losing the previous week to an injury time smash-and-grab try for city rivals Heriot’s while Melrose were riding high, having put a half century of points past an unfortunate Glasgow Hawks.

Rose made all the early running at Myreside, pinning the home side back against their own line for five minutes until right winger Ian Sim crossed to push his team’s points total for the new season beyond 100. The conversion was wide.

Watsonians posed little attacking threat to a well organised visiting defence always looking to switch into attacking mode at any opportunity. But the home side’s persistence as they enjoyed the bulk of the possession and territory kept them in the opposition 22 where one missed tackle or one loose pass could be profitable.

But it was Watsonians who produced the loose pass, an interception allowing Melrose to quickly shift it left where full back Fraser Thomson, pictured, sprinted the length of the field to score. The conversion was again missed.

At the end of the first half, even with Melrose lock James Head in the bin for a dangerous tackle, a frustrated Watsonians had nothing to show for their efforts.

A few minutes into the second 40, Melrose added to their 0-10 lead when replacement flanker Ruaridh Knott crashed over from close range, Craig Jackson converting.

And a few minutes later the bonus point try was in the bag as Melrose nudged a scrum forward and No 8
Iain Moody came off the back to touch down. Jackson converted and Watsonians were dead and buried.

The remainder of the match was a contest of a different kind with Watsonians desperate to achieve some respectability by putting points on the board which they did through a lineout and rolling maul, Kiwi full back Josh Rowlands scoring off its rear. Centre Lee Millar converted.

But Melrose had the final say with a lineout and maul of their own allowing former Scotland hooker Scott Lawson to claim the try, Jackson again converting.