Magic 2's v Melrose - September 9th
Not a bad day down at The Greenyards with the sun out and the wind light.
Four 18yr olds in our back line, and one in the pack, meant a young team with hope in their boots.
Unfortunately, they came up against a team with experience, pace and quality throughout it. It only took 5 minutes for Melrose to get their first of 9 tries. An attack down the left wing after an overlap saw them tackled 7 metres short and a penalty for not rolling away Scrum half Struan Hutchison took a quick tap and fed a forward to drive over. No conversion and in fact the Melrose kicker had an off day missing 5 conversions in total keeping the scoreline down.
From the kick-off they collected, hit a rick in the middle and Ben Chalmers, son of Craig, at 10 ran at the back line creating another overlap and few the wing to speed in from their own 22. Cracking hands, pace and execution by the back line and No8.Ruairdh Campbell linking.
To be fair it was the same thing for the whole first half. Melrose got ball, created quick ruck ball and fed the pacey back line and gaps appeared. They were first to every breakdown and usually in 2s and 3s whereby B’muir could not live with that pace and power. The Bmuir defense looked broken although generally a good shape. No-one wanted to make the tackle and we stood off them or allowed them to run hard at us. Need to man-up a little and make the hits. When we did we turned over ball with the quick and agile back row put out.
Regrettably, Aaran Wilson was yellow carded after 20 mins, and the professional outfit that Melrose are capitalised on that straight away.
We did show some glimpses of hope with Mikey WIlson back at a10 kicking well but the back three for Melrose had a great day running back and creating space.
The second half we came out with nothing to lose and started to perform. Dan Coulter on in the back row started tio pick and go with Aaran WIlson and Callum McDevitt doing the same. 8mins in and a break down the right, quick ball from the cover tackle and back across the line to Thomas Barker on the right wing saw a well-deserved try. Conversion missed.
Jack Hamilton came on in the centre for Greg Alexander and immediately made a difference. A bit more tempo nad great feet saw him run 40m only to be tackled. The offload was good but a silly knock on ensued. Another kick from Jack 5 minutes later saw Barker chase and put Melrose under pressure but their speedy back row recovered and cleared. They chased, won turnover and great hands in the back line saw another try for them.
B’muir had some great chances but lacked pace to finish. That, along with some great Melrose defence, meant we had to wait until the 71st minute for Tam Gracie, playing a full game for a change, to drive over for a score.
It came from more good play, and Hamilton in at 9 was showing some promise with sniping runs. An injury to a Melrose player meant the game stopped a couple of minute early but I think we were happy with that.
All in all, a massive learning curve for the young B’muir squad and a team we need to respect but not fear the next time we meet.
Once again, the back row played well with Coulter looking strong when he came on.
Wildgoose came on the 2nd row and added some “oomf” and Oli James out of position in the row again showed he is ready to push for a start in the back row.
Archie Erskine is almost match fit and is one to watch and once again 18yr old Callum McDevitt performed above his 18yrs. Henderson at 9 had a hard day but handled it well and Jack Hamilton came on to show he wants a start. He may even have earned it. 18 yr old Ben Renton showed glimpses of promise so let’s re-group, train hard and come back with a win against Currie next week.