Edinburgh ACCIES coach Simon Cross has dedicated his side’s 24-10 RBS Premiership win over Boroughmuir to retiring skipper Dan Teague.
The dynamic flanker has been a cornerstone of the Accies pack as they returned to the top flight last year and recorded a strong finish to the current campaign that has moved the Raeburn Place side up to third – for now at least – and challenging for a British & Irish Cup berth.
Teague ended his career on a disappointing personal note, forced to retire after 23 minutes with a shoulder injury, but Cross is in no doubt about the value of the man who earned representative honours with the Scottish Club International side.
“He has been captain for eight years, and he has been an unbelievable leader. We couldn’t have done a lot of what we’ve done at Accies if he wasn’t around,” said the coach, who explained that Teague had opted to depart the scene with little fanfare, adding, “We didn’t publicise it too much because that’s the kind of guy he is, but he deserves all the plaudits. This game was all about Dan and I’m delighted that we got the win he deserves.”
While Teague’s presence will be missed next season, Saturday’s encounter featured an outstanding contribution by Callum Reid, who will shuffle along the back row to fill the blindside position next season.
And Cross is excited by that prospect, adding: “He’s not the biggest number eight but he is one of the most explosive. He just gets better and better.”
Reid bagged one of his side’s four tries as Accies took all five points against a determined ’Muir outfit desperate to see off coach Fergus Pringle in style.
The hosts opened the scoring with a try from Rob Cairns, converted by Ally Warnock, but Accies struck back before the break when Reid touched down and Ruaridh Bonner converted.
Accies clicked through the gears in the second period and chalked up tries from Robin Snape, back to his combative best following a lengthy injury layoff, and Edinburgh Elite Development Programme player Alex Allan, whose all round contribution was evidence of his potential as a top class prop.
Warnock was on target with a penalty that cut the gap to only seven points entering the final quarter. At that stage Accies had the bonus point in sight, but had to exercise some caution given that the win was not yet assured.
And, having survived a late flurry from the home side, it appeared they would have to settle for only four league points as the clock ticked into injury time. However, a tiring ’Muir defence was powerless as Jonny Adams fired out a slick pass to Ruaridh Young, who had the simple task of bagging the bonus point try, leaving Bonner with a conversion to complete the scoring.
It was a disappointing end to Pringle’s involvement at the club, as he noted. “The guys really wanted to finish with a win. They were really good in the first half into the wind and defended well and didn’t make too many mistakes. Accies stepped it up in the second half and fair play to them,” said the former Edinburgh professional.
However, he is sure the current personnel can engineer a top flight return, adding: “There’s a great bunch of guys and a lot of talent. They can do it.”
Boroughmuir: Try – Cairns. Con – Warnock. Pen – Warnock.
Edinburgh Accies: Tries – Reid, Snape, Allan, Young. Cons – Bonner (2).
Boroughmuir: R Cairns, D Hoyland, K Buchan, S Wilson, J Edmunds, A Warnock, D Reekie, N Fraser, M Brown, J Latta, G Scott, A Davidson, A Henderson, N Rodger, J Achilles. Subs Used: D Miller, K Coertze, A MacLeod, L Black S Johnson.
Edinburgh Accies: A Blair, M Coupar, E Campbell, I Berthinussen, N Godsmark, R Bonner, A Black, D Morrison, M Liness, A Allan, G Campbell, T Drennan, D Teague, A Findlater, C Reid. Subs Used: F Rawlinson, C Murray, R Snape, R Young, J Adams.
Referee: L Linton.