Muir put down a marker for possible play-off with Accies

Robbie Cairns scores a try for Boroughmuir. Pic: Neil Hanna

Robbie Cairns scores a try for Boroughmuir. Pic: Neil Hanna

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Boroughmuir assistant coach Jonny Else has declared himself delighted with the second-half effort of his players, but also admits to being impressed by the showing of his former side, Edinburgh Accies, in Saturday’s BT Cup tie.

Boroughmuir assistant coach Jonny Else has declared himself delighted with the second-half effort of his players, but also admits to being impressed by the showing of his former side, Edinburgh Accies, in Saturday’s BT Cup tie.

The 40-17 scoreline suggests Muir’s progress to the last eight was straightforward. However, it was only after the hosts defied the difficult conditions to produce some excellent rugby in the second period that they finally shook off determined opponents.

“To be fair to Accies, I thought they were really good for the first 30 minutes. They were well organised in defence and we found it hard to break them down,” he said. “Second half, I was really pleased with our endeavour. Our counter-attacking was good. We shifted the point of attack well, we got numbers to rucks and we played how we want to play – with the players expressing themselves.”

The result was important for Muir as it offered reassurance ahead of the two remaining league fixtures, with BT Premiership survival not yet assured, and a promotion/relegation play-off against Accies a possibility.

“We needed that win. All we can ask is that we are in the next round of the cup and we’ve done that,” added Else. “We had a good end to the year and we were playing some good rugby just before Christmas. We just need to tighten up on a few things. We are still a work in progress.”

The visitors scored first through Clement Lacour, and Andrew Bell converted then added a penalty as Accies reached the interval 19-10 down with the hosts’ points coming through a brace of tries for Grant McConnell and one for Jordan Edmunds plus two Chris Laidlaw conversions.

Muir dominated the second half and McConnell completed his hat-trick while Rob Cairns and Stuart Clark had a try apiece and Laidlaw kicked all three conversions before Jamie Paterson closed the proceedings with a late converted consolation touchdown for Accies.

Accies coach Derek O’Riordan believed that the gap between the sides was smaller than the result might suggest. “The scoreline flattered them. They were really clinical with turnover ball and when we kicked poorly. But, everywhere else we matched them and more.”

The match also offered O’Riordan an indicator as to whether his men are ready for a return to the top flight.

“Up front we are not that far away. What we are lacking is a little more energy in our back three and some organisation in our kick-chase and kick attack,” he added. “We have learned a lot about what our credentials are and if it goes to a play-off what we need to do.”

Elsewhere, cup holders Heriot’s were never in danger as they secured their quarter-final spot with a 36-14 win at Kirkcaldy. Michael Maltman, Charlie Simpson, Tom Wilson and Ali Johnstone – on his debut – bagged a try apiece, and John Semple landed three conversions, as the visitors reached the break 26-7 ahead. Further unconverted scores from Martin Hughes and Martin Scade completed the job.

Watsonians bowed out of the competition away to Glasgow Hawks. Rory Drummond and Keith Young scored a try each as the Myreside men reached half-time 17-10 down, but a self-converted Andrew Chalmers try squared matters early in the second period. A penalty from Ali Harris left the outcome finely poised entering the closing stages, but a converted penalty try tilted the match in the home side’s favour and they progressed 29-20.

Currie departed the competition after a courageous fightback came up short and they went down 17-10 away to 
Melrose. Trailing 17-0, the visitors cut the deficit just before the break with a Fergus Scott try, converted by Jamie Forbes, who then added a penalty with the only score of the second period, leaving Currie to rue their slow start.