BT Premiership Reaction | Chrystie praises pack as Melrose win

Melrose Head Coach Rob Chrystie has praised the impact his side’s pack had in securing the BT Premiership title at the Greenyards.

The Borderers were edged out last year in a home final against Ayr but showed determination to win another close encounter, 16-13.

The dominance of the home pack was a surprise to some of the onlookers in Melrose as Ayr are often viewed as the league’s leaders in attritional play.

Chrystie said: “We’ve quietly been going about our business behind closed doors in relation to the scrum because clearly that’s where they get a lot of purchase for penalties.

We knew that was going to be a crucial part of the game but we’ve got a pretty dominant front-row as well.”

Melrose were four points down at the break after missing two golden opportunities after breaks from Thomson and McCann.

Chrystie said: “We’re a team that wants to play, everybody knows that, and at times you saw that.

“We had two really good chances in that first half off counter-attack and we probably should have scored if I’m being honest.”

The home team scored the second half’s only points in Grant Runciman’s try, converted by Craig Jackson, and played intelligently to hold off a powerful Ayr side.

Ayr Head Coach Calum Forrester was taking charge of his last game at the club before former Glasgow Warriors player Peter Murchie takes the reigns.

Forrester said:“Melrose played a textbook second-half there.

Fair play to their half-backs, the entire second half they pinned us down that bottom right corner and made it very difficult to get out of.

“Discipline killed it for us a couple of times in stupid areas of the pitch and it makes your life so much more difficult when you’re working up to half-way and you get pinned back in your 22.”

Today’s win sets up Melrose for a potential double when they meet Stirling County at BT Murrayfield in the BT Cup Final on Silver Saturday (28 April, kick-off 4.30pm).

Chrystie added: “Everybody loves to come to BT Murrayfield and there’s the added extra this year with Glasgow and Edinburgh playing after it so hopefully we’ll get a really bumper crowd. It should be a really good day.”