We won't get carried away, insists 'Muir star Crombie

Boroughmuir 29 - 20 Watsonians

BOROUGHMUIR star Sean Crombie insisted on looking at the bigger picture despite his team collecting a try-scoring bonus for the fourth consecutive week in beating Watsonians 29-20 at Meggetland.

After edging out a 'Sonian side rightly described by assistant coach Andrew Ker as "gutsy" and handicapped by the controversial sin-binning of skipper Will Rowley for a ten-minute spell that saw them concede 12 points, 'Muir lead the Scottish Hydro Electric Premiership today by three points.

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But hooker Crombie called for feet to be kept on the ground. He said: "Soon, more pros will be returning to the club scene and spread around, which will be just one factor that can complicate things in the weeks ahead.

"So, nobody at 'Muir is getting ahead of themselves, and how can we? There are any number of opponents that can still come out on top."

That was a reference to returning World Cuppers who will have the effect of replacing pro-team players leading. In turn, to greater numbers of individuals released to Premiership outfits from Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Of course, Crombie himself is operating on licence from Edinburgh but the Scotland under-21 cap views the situation as part of a learning experience.

"Limited opportunities at Borders meant I was attached to the national sevens squad a lot, or else allocated last season to Aberdeen Grammar FP where the team's subsequent relegation meant being regularly on the back foot. What a difference a season makes, because I am now in a Boroughmuir team as close as any club can get to the pro ranks, standard-wise.

"And, with five straight wins under our belts, it can only be more straightforward to get noticed, provided I play well which I intend to do in looking to fulfil the aim of representing Edinburgh as quickly as possible."

On current form, Crombie is closing in on that ambition, although 'Muir coach Eamon John could not resist singling out full-back Steven Ruddick for particular praise after a match which saw his side let slip a 15-3 lead to trail 15-20 before staging a grandstand finish.

John said: "Steven gave the complete performance. He carried ball well, fielded securely, got himself in the right areas and kicked important goals."

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One of those kicks came during an enthralling finish which saw Watsonians hammer away at the home line when trailing 20-22, only for 'Muir to rally and send over prop Fred Lait for the vital fourth try.

It was cruel luck on a 'Sonian side who had put their bodies on the line to the extent that props Andrew Welsh (dislocated shoulder) and Kian Coertze (ankle) could be out for some time.

Ker said: "The injuries to two front rowers could present real problems, but we stuck at it and produced enough good stuff to suggest the outcome could be different in the return fixture."

It would, of course, be no consolation that without having skipper Rowley singled out for a ball killing offence that some neutrals considered endemic on both sides at times, Watsonians would have maintained their charge up the league.

Equally indisputable was the fact that Boroughmuir were ruthless in making their neighbours pay.

Crombie said: "We executed well when Watsonians were down to 14 men."

One of the pivotal scores achieved at that stage was out of the top drawer with Calum Cusiter hoisting a kick which Rory Couper snatched from out of the hands of the Watsonians defence to burst up the touchline.

Eamon John said: "Rory's try was magnificent - particularly for the way he timed his challenge to win the ball in the air."

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Appropriately the try was converted by subsequently injured Elgan O'Donnell (wrist) who had earlier traded penalties with Andrew Skeen and added goal points to his own touchdown which brought up an individual 50 points for the season.

Leading 15-3 at the interval, it was the view of Sean Crombie that 'Muir slackened but that would be to undermine the resolve exemplified by try-scorers Skeen (from his own kick ahead) and Ally Rowe (his fourth of the season) who, added to a penalty, had 'Sonians 20-15 ahead with 23 minutes remaining.

What happened next were tries from Ruddick and Lait, which were both converted, to deny them a losing bonus point on a day when club rugby raised its stock as acknowledged by Crombie: "That was a rare taste of a derby for me and I found it extremely hard but clean conducted in a good atmosphere."

Having waited most of his career to sample local rivalry, Crombie now finds two coming such clashes along together with Boroughmuir due on Saturday at a revitalised Heriot's. Meanwhile, Watsonian may reflect that their luck can only improve when entertaining Melrose - the third successive week they have faced top-three opposition.


Boroughmuir. Tries: O'Donnell, Couper, Lait, Ruddick; Conversions: Ruddick (2), O'Donnell; Penalty: O'Donnell.

Watsonians. Tries: Rowe, Skeen; Conversions: Skeen (2); Penalties: Skeen (2).


Boroughmuir: S Ruddick, R Cairns, M Clapperton, E O'Donnell, R Couper (c), G Cottrell, C Cusiter, D Rutterford, S Crombie, F Lait, F Pringle, G McCallum, O Brown, B Fisher, B , A Martyn. Subs: J Hare, D Cunningham, J Fish, B Aitchison,.

Watsonians: S Stumbles, A Rowe, D Brown, M Maisola, R Steyl, A Skeen, E Howe, K Traynor, G Wood, A Welsh, T Callander, J Nicolson, W Lipp, W Rowley (c), J Pelter. Subs: M Ker, S Paulo, K Coertze, J Abraham, N Hart.