Heriot’s coach Phil Smith has left his men in no doubt that, with a run of key games now on the agenda, they must iron out the lapses that allowed Boroughmuir to fight back and claim two bonus points from a 29-24 win in Saturday’s BT Premiership clash at Goldenacre.
The hosts dominated the first 40 minutes but had a lead of only 12-0 at half-time with Ross Jones claiming a self-converted try and Charlie Simpson joining him on the score sheet.
Alex Ball extended the lead early in the second half before Muir enjoyed a spell of pressure that yielded tries for Ross Dunbar and Dan Marek, the first of which was converted by Ciaran Whyte. A red card for Heriot’s hooker Michael Liness between those two scores suggested that things were going in Muir’s favour.
However, Ball secured the bonus-point try for the hosts against the run of play and Edinburgh professional Junior Rasolea – who had been allocated to Watsonians but was made available to Heriot’s when the Myreside men did not need his services – looked to have completed a comfortable win with the fifth try.
Muir were not yet finished and late scores by Ronan Kerr and Johnny Matthews meant the visitors returned across the Capital with bonus points for four tries and a narrow defeat.
Reflecting on the win, Smith was angry with the failure of his men to see out the game. And he warned that a repeat in the matches against Ayr, Melrose and Currie Chieftains will prove costly to the Goldenacre side’s aspirations of a top-two finish in the regular season.
“At half-time we talked about getting the first score and we did. We were doing all the right things and then we did something stupid and they got possession and they scored,” said Smith.
“I’m annoyed because they’ve shown so much good stuff,” he added, before modifying his tone. “But it’s five points, so let’s remember that. It’s a case of just fixing the little bits.”
Muir left with their bonus points but coach Peter Wright was not inclined to see them as acceptable consolation for losing matches that are there to be won. We need the guys to understand that the two points are great but we’re killing ourselves. We seem to be getting massively punished for the errors that we make, but we’re not punishing the opposition,” said Wright.
The result moves Heriot’s up to second place. Hard on their heels come Currie Chieftains who conceded 27 unanswered points before producing a second-half performance brimming with character to snatch a 29-27 victory over Glasgow Hawks at Malleny Park.
The hosts went into the game looking to bounce back from two successive defeats but it looked as if that number would stretch to three when they conceded four tries in the first half plus two conversions and a penalty. A touchdown by Ruariadh Smith just before the break offered some hope for the Chieftains. And they restarted well, adding further scores from Thomas Gordon and Jamie Forbes, both converted by Adam Hastings, to edge closer.
However, the Chieftains were still two scores in arrears with ten minutes to play. And a second try by Smith sparked a desperate scramble which paid off when John Cox crashed over two minutes from the end to grab the win.
Elsewhere, it was a similar tale for Watsonians who returned from their trip to face Hawick with all five league points in the bag after a 41-23 success. Sonians trailed 13-3 at the interval, with the points coming from an Andrew Chalmers penalty. But the visitors clicked into gear to claim six second-half touchdowns. Chris Dean and Rory Drummond each had two tries, while there was one apiece for James Miller and Chalmers, who kicked the other points to clinch a second win of the campaign.