Harry Boisseau rounded off a year of progress with a try as Heriot’s achieved an initial objective of reaching Christmas at the head of the BT Scottish Rugby Premiership.
From a try-of-the-month award based on a pitch-long effort to help lift the Scottish Cup, to a place in the Scottish clubs’ international squad who begin preparations tonight for an annual two-match campaign, winger Boisseau has increasingly added value to a Heriot’s team whose chief asset is the varied ability to strike either through the forwards or by utilising pace in the back three.
Both were in evidence on a day when, once again, Accies’ erratic goal-kicking was to prove costly although they did garner a four-try bonus which was sufficient to move them off the bottom, albeit on scoring differential.
Boisseau, whose trademark is strong acceleration on to a pass, admitted that with the half-time lead only 20-15 it was important not to panic.
“There was always a belief we had an extra gear so the interval talk was calm with only a few words here and there.
“Fortunately we then went out and clicked.
“It wasn’t a day for wingers with all those driving line-outs and scrums and although we are classed as a team who like to go wide there was a lot of effort from the forwards to take it to Accies through the middle.
“We are now very much where we want to be at this stage of the season,” said Boisseau.
In fact, Heriot’s coach Phil Smith started to do the calculations as to whether Heriot’s now have sufficient points with five league games remaining to guarantee a top-four slot and a place in play-offs introduced this season. But amidst myriad complications he settled for accepting that each of three league fixtures since surprisingly losing at home to Hawks had yielded try bonuses.
“We don’t go out looking for a (four try) bonus but we have got them against three tough sides and that maybe shows our team have a real edge at the moment,” said Smith.
Thinking on the hoof is another aspect of this Heriot’s set-up. “At half time we were worried because they scored three tries we should have prevented. Our defence of the line-out drive was a problem but we got that fixed. We were hoping to get a few more line breaks only to miss out because we were a bit selfish but at least we are in a bit of a groove.”
In addition to Boisseau the Heriot’s tries came from forwards David McGregor and Jono Armstrong while full back Glenn Bryce’s touchdown late on illuminated gathering gloom. Taking possession amidst heavy traffic inside the Accies’ 22 the Glasgow signing came off each foot with scarcely a hand laid on him. “Three times I thought Glenn would be tackled but he kept dancing away from the contact and with Harry Boisseau breaking and Charlie Simpson showing he is a free spirited runner that enabled us to do justice to possession hard won from a huge Accies pack who will do particularly well on softer grounds,” said Smith.
Neither pack could convincingly claim the upper hand with each spending periods bossing the other but there was little doubt Accies were in charge when Sam Pecqueur went over twice inside the opening half hour to provide a 10-6 lead and hoist his tally in this league campaign to eight.
Word is the winger is very much on Edinburgh’s radar and an opportunity would surely be welcome especially when team-mates Chris Dean and Alex Glashan blossom as part of the current pro set-up.
At the moment Dean looks the most likely to fulfil potential but Glashan, too, has class and probably needs to be relieved of goal-kicking duties to allow him to flourish; none of his four missed conversions were straightforward but the penalty misfire from in front of the posts was a howler. Similarly, to see prop Alex Allan bustling around for Accies on release from the Glasgow team to which he was transferred from Edinburgh last summer must have been so frustrating to the Capital faithful but despite his efforts there was no denying the hosts even though the lead changed hands six times in the opening half.
As Boisseau pointed out Heriot’s had an extra gear but it was still no less than Accies deserved that tries by Ronan Seydak and sub Michael Liness on either side of the break earned a bonus that could be so vital in the weeks ahead. Next up is the Scottish Cup on January 3 when Heriot’s travel to Currie and Accies entertain Hawick.
Heriots: Tries – Bryce, Boisseau, McGregor, Armstrong. Conversions – Wilson (3). Penalties – Wilson (2).
Edinburgh Accies: Tries – Pecqueur (2), Seydak, Liness.
Heriot’s: G Bryce, C Simpson, M Learmonth, K Buchan, H Boisseau, G McNeish, G Wilson (captain), G Cameron, D McGregor, S Cessford, R Nimmo, J Turley, J Armstrong, J Hill, J Ritchie. Subs: S Mustard, N Borel, J McClean, C Mulligan, D Somerville.
Edinburgh Accies: R Young, S Pecqueur, C Dean, I Berthinussen, J Marples, C Glashan, J Munro, A Allan, D Bates, L Niven, G Campbell (captain), A Toolis, R Seydak, J Sole, T Stuart. Subs: M Liness, D Morrison, J McCarthu, R Godsmark, R Wilson.
Referee: D Changleng.
Heriot’s have confirmed Friday’s Evening News exclusive that they will mark their 125th anniversary by playing the Barbarians at Goldenacre. The match takes place on Tuesday, April 21 with a kick-off time to be determined.