COLIN RENTON @ Myreside
WATSONIANS took the honours in the clash between the sides from either side of Colinton Road after fighting back from conceding two early tries. The difference between the teams proved to be the composure shown by the hosts when scoring opportunities arose, and Boroughmuir’s inability to match them in that department. So, having shown a clinical edge in hammering Hawick the previous week, it was a return to the struggles of earlier in the season for the visitors.
Boroughmuir coach Peter Wright’s has made no secret of his frustration at a lack of patience by his players in building scoring opportunities, and there was evidence in the early exchanges that they had heeded his urgings. That was certainly apparent in the lead up to the opening score with a series of carefully created phases producing a penalty which was despatched into touch. Tom Drennan caught the throw at the tail of the lineout and returned it to Johnny Matthews, who was thwarted just short of the target. The recycled ball was moved out to Greg Cannie, who fed Mike Brown, and the centre twisted between two defenders to touch down.
The visitors continued to press and doubled their tally in 12 minutes when a lapse in concentration by the hosts allowed Drennan to pounce and deliver a scoring pass to Brown, who crossed for a second time.
Watsonians had taken time to establish a foothold in the game but when they eventually did it paid off with points. Two penalties were booted into touch. The first catch-and-drive came to nothing but the second saw Euan Dods and Rory Drummond edge closer to the line and, when the ball was moved wide, Jamie Hodgson was on hand to touch down.
Boroughmuir responded with a fruitless spell in the ascendancy before the hosts ended the half with a renewed bout of pressure that saw Drummond make ground before the ball was recycled and shipped wide to Dods, who touched down in the corner to square matters.
Boroughmuir came close to adding to their tally seven minutes after the restart, but Dan Marek was held up over the whitewash. And Watsonians celebrated that escape with two tries in seven minutes. The first came after a breakout by Hodgson that was moved wide via Ewan Fox and Rory Hutton to Mark Bertram who sprinted in. Andrew Chalmers converted, and he did so again after Hutton had floated between two defenders before stepping inside the last man to race round behind the sticks for the bonus point score.
Both sides had chances to add to their haul but only Watsonians managed to do so, with the points coming when Chalmers hammered over a long-range penalty,
“It was edgy to begin with but the boys just built in confidence. Some of our attack stuff was excellent. I thought our accuracy was better this week and we sorted out our discipline,” said Watsonians coach Steve Lawrie.
“Everybody says we are improving and it will come, but we need to see it. I have total belief in the group. We need to build on the positives but recognise that we gave away a couple of soft scores.”
For Wright, the main concern was the manner in which his players reacted after falling behind.
”We did well for 50 minutes then gave away a try that went pretty much the length of the pitch and the guys lost all discipline, all shape and started feeling sorry for themselves. And for the next 30 minutes they played in fits and starts”, he said. “We need to be mentally stronger.”
Watsonians: A Chalmers; J Harries, R Hutton, J Harrison, M Bertram, E Fox, A Harris; N Fraser, R Graham, K Whyte, J Hodgson, C Borthwick, R Drummond, J Miller, E Dods. Subs: S Crombie, F Hobbis, M Fedo, W Thomson, J A Davidson.
Boroughmuir: C Whyte; R Scott, M Brown, R Kerr, J Edmunds; G Cannie, J Adams; R Dunbar, J Matthews, D Winning, T Drennan, A Erskine, D Marek, M Walker, C Keddie. Subs: D Robertson, T Gracie, A Mncube, J Hamilton, B Mills.
Watsonians: Tries; Hodgson, Dods, Bertram, Hutton, Conversions; Chalmers (2), Penalties; Chalmers
Boroughmuir: Tries; Brown 2
Scoring Sequence (Watsonians first): 0-5, 0-10, 5-10, 10-10 (h-t) 15-10, 17-10, 22-10, 24-10, 27-10.
Referee: K Allan
Man-of-the-Match: Rory Hutton’s elusive running and fine score made him a contender, but for an impressive contribution at the line-out and in open play, it was Jamie Hodgson who really caught the eye.
Talking Point: Steve Lawrie is a shrewd operator who is quietly going about building a decent Watsonians squad.