Rugby: Cross happy with Accies despite Regional Cup exit

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Edinburgh ACCIES coach Simon Cross declared himself satisfied after watching his men return to competitive action with a 48-13 win over Haddington in Saturday’s RBS Regional Cup tie at Neilson Park.

With their opening match in Premier B having been postponed, Accies start their battle for a place in next season’s top ten with a trip to face Hawick on Saturday.

But Cross is happy with the state of readiness for that assignment, saying: “The fitness levels looked good and a lot of the accuracy around the breakdown and some of the running lines were excellent.“

Accies went into the contest knowing that a win by 55 points would see them into the semi- finals of the cup at the expense of Boroughmuir. And, with a stiff wind at their backs they wasted little time in opening their account, Jamie Sole – now back at the club after a trial spell at London Scottish – racing over in the first minute for the first of his side’s eight tries.

Ruaridh Bonner converted that and a score by Tom Stuart, but a determined defensive effort by Haddington meant it was almost half time before the visitors extended their lead. Additional scores from Dan Teague and Jake Knight took the interval score to 26-3 – Ross King slotting a penalty for the home side.

King added a second kick shortly after the restart and Haddington’s youngsters maintained their impressive tackle count to restrict Accies to a score from Iain Berthinussen during the third quarter. However, the Raeburn Place men cut loose in the closing stages and their objective looked achievable when Callum Black, Max Gordon and Ross Browne claimed a try apiece. But the Premier Three men produced a final flourish and were rewarded for their contribution to the contest when James Ferguson darted in for a converted score.

While pleased with the overall performance, Cross reflected on his side’s departure from the competition, saying: “We missed out on the first half opportunities with silly mistakes in the opposition 22. But credit to Haddington, they stuck in for 80 minutes and they deserved their score at the end.”

That was a view echoed by Haddington director of rugby Cliff Livingstone, who praised the effort of his players. “It’s a very young squad with probably ten guys under 20. They competed well and I think they thoroughly deserved that try.”