Watsonians skipper says plenty more to come after Muir win

DJ Innes, with the ball, celebrates scoring Watsonians third try with Keith Young, left, and Andrew Chalmers
DJ Innes, with the ball, celebrates scoring Watsonians third try with Keith Young, left, and Andrew Chalmers
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Watsonians skipper Martin Christie believes the Myreside men are well on the way to becoming a good side.

However, the loose-head prop, who made his first start of the campaign in Saturday’s tense 26-25 BT Premiership win over Boroughmuir, insists there is still work to do to iron out the errors that almost cost Sonians the match.

“It would have been a great game for the neutral to watch,” he said of the clash that ultimately hinged on the final kick of the day. “It could have gone either way at the end. I thought we started slowly, our discipline was poor in the first half and we gave away far too many penalties. We had to rectify that at half-time. It was better in the second half. We had a lot of possession and managed to turn pressure into points. We switched off a little bit again in the second half and allowed them back into the game.”

And admitting that much of the performance had fallen short of the standards the players have set, he added: “We need to take a look at ourselves because although we’re three from three, we’re by no means world beaters and we have to keep our feet on the ground.”

Christie featured in a dominant pack that proved to be the difference between two good sides who are still evolving. The match, which appeared to be over when Sonians had built a lead of 13 with their opponents on the rack entering the final quarter, turned out to be an engrossing affair as Muir battled back to set up a tense finale.

Boroughmuir had produced some sublime rugby in the first half when a Grant McConnell try was converted by Chris Laidlaw who also banged over two penalties for a 13-7 interval lead – Euan Dods dotting down for the hosts and Andrew Chalmers converting.

The hosts dominated the third quarter of the match and claimed further tries through Mark Bertram, DJ Innes and Sean Kennedy, with Chalmers adding two conversions.

However, Muir refused to buckle and they produced a stunning fightback with a converted try from Ross Dunbar and a last-minute touchdown by Dougie Steele. That left Laidlaw with a conversion from the touchline to take the victory. The kick was well struck but rattled back off a post to leave Sonians as winners.

Muir coach Peter Wright was delighted with the way his side had fought back in a game that had appeared to be lost. “The guys showed a lot of guts and a lot of determination. A lot of them are still new to each other. But what we have shown in the three games is that we’ve got a bit of heart.”

And of the style of play that was a joy to watch as Muir repeatedly ran from all areas of the field, he added: “For me that’s the way the game should be played. That’s how all the teams should be playing instead of sticking it up jumpers although I understand teams want to have success and they play to their strengths.”

Elsewhere, title holders Heriot’s opened their account in emphatic fashion when they swatted aside a lacklustre Hawick outfit, scoring eight tries in a 53-10 demolition at Goldenacre. Josh Laird, who has caught the eye in the early season fixtures, was the key contributor with a hat-trick of touchdowns, while there was one apiece for skipper Rory Carmichael on his return to action, Jordan Webster, Andrew Simmers, Callum Marshall and a penalty award.

The defeat leaves Hawick rooted to the foot of the table, one point below Currie who suffered a third successive loss, this time at Melrose. A penalty try, plus touchdowns from Cameron Gray and John Cox were little consolation for the Malleny Park side against a ruthless Melrose outfit that posted a 52-22 win.