A warning that all is not yet rosy in the Edinburgh rugby garden despite recent successes by the Capital professional team rang out from Meggetland where hosts Boroughmuir lost 12-25 against Currie in the Edinburgh Regional Cup.
It was Boroughmuir’s last home game until January 7 and clearly any frustration at Meggetland does not end there as the official programme made clear. Under a headline ‘Not all rugby is booming’ an editorial appears to point an accusing finger at neighbours Watsonians in stating: “For the third Saturday in a row Boroughmuir 2nd XV were deprived of action after neighbours Watsonians called off last Friday evening saying they could not raise a team.
“Yet, two of our members were at Myreside (Watsonians’ ground) on Saturday where the home club fielded two teams while word was that another Watsonians side were playing at Corstorphine.
“If that is the case then action needs to be taken.
“This follows cancellation of the 2nds games against Dundee HSFP (not for the first time because of an unplayable pitch) and Hillhead-Jordanhill (short of players).
“It would appear that some clubs, when hit by injury, take the easy option and forget they are depriving players of a game while catering costs have also to be absorbed by the home club. It’s simply not good enough.”
Watsonians president Dave Harris admitted his club had been docked points by the SRU for failing to fulfil their 2nd team fixture against Boroughmuir but described the programme article as “utter rubbish”.
He said: “We called off the match because of injuries on (the previous) Thursday at 6.30pm by leaving a message on the Boroughmuir secretary’s answerphone and because he was in Elgin it wasn’t picked up until the following day, which was hardly our fault.
“We offered to play Boroughmuir 2nds under floodlights before Christmas and the teams will actually meet again shortly but now it will be as a friendly which makes this even more disappointing.
“We only had a 1sts and 3rds out and the coaches made a decision that it would be dangerous to play our 3rds who are largely made up of social players including some in their 40s in a 2nd team match of that kind. Many of our players wouldn’t have turned out, anyway, because of the danger side of things.”
On the field Boroughmuir were caught cold with Currie captain Mark Cairns insisting recent experience of playing two British and Irish Cup matches was a decisive factor in their favour. Currie may not yet have managed a win in the B&I but the message from Cairns is that they are seeking to maintain the level of performance that at least made them competitive against Leeds and Ulster Ravens.
So much so that Boroughmuir found themselves 22 points down by the 27th minute and despite a sterling lead from two-try skipper Sean Crombie they never recovered.
Cairns said: “It is tougher to take the step up to B&I Cup standards than it is to operate at base level and I think it showed. We’d been playing at a higher level and started from there while Boroughmuir took a while to get into the match.”
The accuracy of that summary was acknowledged by Boroughmuir coach Fergus Pringle, who said: “Our start was the issue. They had come off two B&I games and you could see they were switched on. We lost soft scores and we have to be ready and switched on.”
Pringle acknowledged that having players step up to Edinburgh level, notably Harry Leonard, Sep Visser and Robin Hislop, while welcome, had caused some disruption. “We had a couple of new combinations and the guys as a unit have not been playing week in, week out. Maybe that cost us. You can win games from ten points down at half-time and we put ourselves back in the mix. But we were held up over their try-line four times.”
Simon Marcell (Currie) and Nick Fraser (Boroughmuir) were sent off in the 15th minute for fighting by visiting French Division Two referee Vincent Biasco and yellow cards were also issued to the hosts’ Calum McIntosh for a high tackle and Currie’s Johnny Bruton for collapsing a maul at the start of the second half.
Ross Weston’s fourth try of the season put Currie ahead and when James Johnstone went over soon after Jamie Forbes added the conversion.
The flare up then occurred after Mike Entwhistle had suffered a cut eye and Currie enhanced their lead with tries by Barry Mansfield – his 12th – and Forbes, who now has 131 points helped by a late penalty.
When Boroughmuir awoke hooker Crombie twice battled over to take his seasonal tally to an impressive 13.
Scorers: Currie: Tries: Weston, Johnstone, Mansfield, Forbes. Conversion: Forbes. Penalty: Forbes. Boroughmuir: Tries: Crombie (2). Conversion: Warnock.
Boroughmuir: G Blackhall, R Bradford, M Crawley, S Wilson, J Webster, A Warnock, S Johnson, N Fraser, S Crombie (captain), B Blair, M Harvey, G Scott, J Swanson, I Moody, A Rose. Subs: C McIntosh, J Latta, A Davidson, N Rodger, R Cairns.
Currie: J Forbes, B Mansfield, J Johnstone, A McMahon, A Whittingham, A Binikos, J Bruton, J Cox, R Merrilees, C Phillips, S Marcell, G Temple, M Cairns (captain), R Weston, M Entwhistle. Subs: M Vernal, M Erskine, S Burton, M Peacock, G Somerville.
Referee: V Biasco (France).