Smith praises Heriots for back-to-basics victory

Graham Wilson kicked ten points for Heriot's. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Graham Wilson kicked ten points for Heriot's. Pic: Ian Georgeson
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Heriot’s coach Phil Smith insisted that keeping it simple was the secret to a dominant performance that yielded a 35-7 win over Capital rivals Boroughmuir on Saturday.

Believing that his men had been attempting to play rugby that was too adventurous in recent weeks, Smith sought to get his side’s BT Premiership defence back on track with a straightforward game plan.

And it paid off, with tries by John Rae, Max Learmonth, Ian Wilson, Charlie Simpson and Murray McCallum, plus ten points from the boot of Graham Wilson proving sufficient to secure a first win in four matches and leave the champions second in the table.

Muir enjoyed a spell in the ascendancy early in the second half when sustained pressure forced Heriot’s to commit a string of offences that resulted in two players yellow carded. That enabled the visitors to claim a try by Callum Reid converted by Dougie Steele, but the momentum petered out. The cup holders now sit in the bottom three and face a difficult few weeks as they bid to secure their top-flight status.

Currie edged closer to securing a play-off berth with a 29-15 win over Stirling County at Bridgehaugh. Richard Snedden had the first of Currie’s four tries and there was a penalty award plus one apiece for Rory Hughes and Ross Weston, with James Semple adding three conversions and a penalty before the hosts had the last word with two late tries.

Watsonians had assumed top spot in BT National Division One the previous week, and they tightened their grip with a 31-16 win away to Aberdeen Grammar, although it took two late tries for the Myreside men to finally shake off the determined hosts. Marr, who had been toppled from the summit by Watsonians faced Capital opposition for a second week when they welcomed Stewart’s Melville. Sean Murchie dotted down for the visitors, who reached the break with an 8-6 lead but the hosts dominated the second period and had the game won before Rhys Morgan claimed StewMel’s second try in a 23-15 defeat.

The result leaves the Inverleith side second from bottom, two points behind Kelso, who dented the Edinburgh Accies promotion challenge by holding the Raeburn Place men to a 20-20 draw.

Meanwhile, Musselburgh went down 30-23 at home to Dundee High, although a late converted try by Andrew Binikos gave the hosts some consolation in the form of a narrow-defeat bonus point.

Preston Lodge remain in the Division Two promotion race after posting a 40-10 win away to Greenock Wanderers. Lasswade halted a four-match losing run when they saw off Kirkcaldy 22-18 at Hawthornden.

In Division Three, Haddington suffered a 38-0 loss away to unbeaten league leaders GHK, who have now won 28 games in a row, while RHC Cougars took a bonus point from their 17-15 defeat at Perthshire and Livingston were beaten 32-10 by Dumfries Saints.