Edinburgh ACCIES skipper Dan Teague believes Saturday’s 18-15 RBS Premiership win over Boroughmuir was vital on two fronts – taking a further step towards top flight safety and staking a claim for a top four finish.
Having lost to an injury time score at Aberdeen Grammar the previous week, Accies were again on the rack in a tense finale. However, on this occasion their defence held firm and it was ’Muir who left on their short return across the Capital with only a bonus point to show for their endeavours.
Reflecting on a result that leaves Accies in fifth spot in the table, Teague said: “It was a big relief after we threw one away last week. It’s pretty tight in the middle of the table so that was really a big win for us.”
Having trailed a strong running ’Muir side that failed to capitalise on spells of sustained pressure, Teague was delighted at the way Accies rallied in the second period, adding: “We have had a few fightbacks. We knew we could do it and we did – there was a bit of self-belief this week.”
And he was in no doubt about the importance of the result, stating: “It’s big to beat the teams at the bottom, that’s why it was so disappointing at Aberdeen. We have Currie up next and then Gala, so it’s tough games coming up, so you really have to put away the teams that are around you in the league.”
His ’Muir counterpart Andy Rose was left ruing another loss in a tight finish. “It seems to be our theme for the season – the one that got away,” he said. “It was very disappointing. Unfortunately we are not closing out games and that was a prime example. Our discipline let us down. They managed to get in behind us, score tries and then keep us out, so they did well.
“It’s just composure. We’ve got a very young squad and I think experience comes into it. A lot of these guys are still coming through the system. This is their first full season at prem rugby.”
The visitors edged ahead through an early penalty by Ally Warnock and he stretched the lead into double figures when he converted an outstanding try by Damien Hoyland, who burst through and took advantage of uncertainty in the home defence to change the line of his run and accelerate clear for a hugely impressive solo try.
’Muir gifted Accies a morale boost just before the break when a scrum inside the home 22 ended in disarray and Teague hacked the loose ball into opposition territory where Matt Coupar also kicked ahead and was pipped in the chase to the line by Nyle Godsmark who applied the final touch.
The hosts restarted well and Alex Allan was the last man up to claim the equalising try after a powerful Accies drive. However, the Meggetland side rallied and scored a second try when a slick handling move sent Redha Guedroudj over at the corner.
Teague capped a typically rumbustious performance when he powered over to square matters once again with his fourth try of the season. “I’m happy with that. I probably could have given it outside but you get greedy as you get old,” he joked.
And the hosts took the lead for the first time when Ruaridh Bonner, who had struggled with his place kicking, landed a sweetly struck drop goal. Accies then spent the remaining four regulation minutes, plus eight of injury time, repelling a wave of ’Muir attacks to cling on for victory.
“They defended very well on the try line and unfortunately we just couldn’t get across,” said a disappointed Rose, who is already gearing up for a relegation battle in the second half of the season. “It’s always disappointing coming away with only a point but something is better than nothing and, with the league being so tight this year, it will come down to bonus points.”
Teague has bigger objectives. “Top four is still in the sights. We have said all along that’s what we are aiming for. If we don’t aim for that then we are wasting our time.”
Edinburgh Accies: Tries: Godsmark, Allan, Teague. Drop Goal: Bonner.
Boroughmuir: Tries: Hoyland, Guedroudj. Con: Warnock. Pen: Warnock.
Edinburgh Accies: R Young, M Coupar, E Campbell, N Godsmark, J Pecqueur, R Bonner, A Black, C Murray, M Liness, A Allan, G Campbell, T Drennan, D Teague, H Watson, C Reid.
Subs Used: D Morrison, A Blair, A Findlater.
Boroughmuir: D Hoyland, R Guedroudj, M Clapperton, M Hare, S Visser, A Warnock, A Watt, R Wilson, S Crombie, J Latta, G Scott, I Moody, A Rose, A Henderson, J Swanson.
Subs Used: K Coertze, S Johnson, K Buchan. A MacLeod.
Referee: A Campbell.