Rugby: Musselburgh coach urges players to up game again after first defeat

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THE only game to survive the winter frost in National League One was Musselburgh versus Dunfermline, and the previously undefeated Stoneyhill outfit will be wishing that they hadn’t bothered moving the fixture to the 2nd team pitch at nearby Pinkie playing fields so as to avoid the frost, because they were defeated 22-21 by the Fifers.

The loss is by no means catastrophic to Musselburgh’s championship chances – they are still six points ahead of nearest rivals Hawick YM having played only one game more – and coach Brian Hughes believes this set-back could be a blessing in disguise.

“It’s not a disaster unless we make it a disaster. It is all about how the players respond. I think it could be a good thing for us if it teaches the guys that they are not invincible,” he said. “We’ve ridden our luck a few times.

“Hopefully this will be the spur which gets us to up our game for the rest of the season.”

Musselburgh charged into a 21-6 lead thanks to tries from Liam Draycott and Paddy Kirkland, plus nine points from the boot of David O’Hagan. But they let Dunfermline back in with a brace of interception tries and lost the match to a late drop-goal, conceded after a penalty opportunity for Musselburgh under the posts was spurned in favour of a quick tap-and-go which came to nothing.