Boroughmuir head coach Bruce Aitchison has called for his side to be more clinical after a disappointing draw at home to Currie on Saturday.
A low-scoring but intense affair, the match was epitomised by a myriad of missed opportunities for both sides. Muir were unable to finish flowing attacks in open play while Currie’s inaccuracy from short range meant they coughed up seven scoring chances in a scoreless first half.
A late Chris Laidlaw penalty miss capped off a frustrating afternoon for Aitchison after Muir’s opening round win over Ayr. He said: “[I’m] really disappointed, we’ve got to win our home games and we didn’t do that. Our focus this year was to back up results. Last week we were delighted with what we got at Ayr and this week it was a pin in the balloon.”
“We didn’t have much possession or territory in the first half but what we had were opportunities. We made a lot of breaks and had some two-on-ones. We just need to be more clinical.
“Kickers put themselves out there to do that job and sometimes they go sweetly through the middle and sometimes they don’t.”
Currie started the stronger and quickly found themselves deep in Boroughmuir territory. A series of pick-and-go attempts ultimately came to nothing as staunch Muir defence kept them out. They would have six more chances in the half but not even Kiwi stand-off James Semple – who combined well with full back Ruaridh Young – could push the visitors over the whitewash as indiscipline cost them dearly. Currie coach Ben Cairns lamented: “We controlled possession in the first half and instead of going in at half-time a couple of scores up, we went in 0-0. We’ve got to improve on this next week.
“When we got our maul going it worked well, we got one of our tries off that, but we just had a few brain explosions when we were five metres out.”
Muir looked far more dangerous with ball and should have scored on the brink of half-time, despite losing winger Jordan Edmunds to the sin-bin for a high tackle on Ruaridh Smith.
Nearly an hour had passed before Boroughmuir finally scored after a brilliantly executed open field attack. Laidlaw fed full back Craig Marshall on a mazy run before sending winger Ed Farquharson racing in at the corner. Laidlaw’s conversion missed.
Currie’s battling character – exemplified in their opening round defeat to Heriot’s – returned just minutes later. No. 8 Travis Brooke finished off a powerful driving maul to bag his team’s first try. Semple’s conversion gave the visitors a 7-5 lead.
A poor clearance from Currie scrum-half Richard Snedden gave Muir their second try as Greg Cannie latched onto a cute Laidlaw pass to go under the posts. Laidlaw converted to extend the lead to 12-7.
Currie did not disappear and after substantial territory and pick-and-go attempts, replacement Matt McPhillips stumbled over the line to bring the sides level. Semple couldn’t add the crucial extras however and both sides were anchored to a frustrating draw.
Frustration was higher for Aitchison though as his side face four consecutive matches in the Borders, starting at Melrose on Saturday. The Boroughmuir coach expects his men to return fighting.
“We’ve now got four Border teams in four weeks, I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy!” said Aitchison. “Our defence has got to be spot on and streets ahead of where it was today.”
Boroughmuir: Tries: McConnell, Cannie. Con: Laidlaw.
Currie: Tries: Brooke, McPhillips. Con: Semple.
Boroughmuir: C Marshall; E Farquharson, A Cox, G Cannie, J Edmunds, C Laidlaw, R Smith; D Robertson, S Crombie, C Bachurzewski, W Kay, F Field, C Reid, A Rose, M Bradbury. Subs Used: R Wilson, C Dacies, C Keddie, G McConnell.
Currie: R Young; R Smith, F Efthymious, R Nelson, C Logan, J Semple, R Snedden; J Cox, M Goodwin, A Hamilton, H Bain, M Vernel, L Crosbue, S Ainslie, T Brooke. Subs Used: P Mundell, M McPhillips.
Referee: D. McLellan (SRU).