Rob Chrystie said his Scotland Club XV side had “really done their country proud” after earning a draw in the second leg of the Dalriada Cup match in Dublin at the weekend.
The 19-19 draw was not enough for Scotland to retain the trophy, meaning it stayed in Ireland for the first time in five years following the Irish Club XV’s win in the first leg at Netherdale the week previous.
However, Melrose Head Coach Chrystie was pleased with his side’s showing in the second leg at Energia Park, Dublin.
“We talked before the game on Friday about our performance from the home-leg and we were a little bit disappointed that we didn’t really fire a shot, but tonight, to a man, I felt the boys were fantastic,” he said.
“To come across here and get a draw is not a bad result against a strong Ireland side. I think if we could have put a performance in like we did tonight then we would have caused them a lot more problems down in Gala last week, but we can’t look back on that too much.”
Chrystie also believes the experience will benefit the squad. He continued: “It has been a great experience for some of these young guys, it’s important they get that exposure and playing at the highest level possible, this is an excellent fixture, the whole competition has been really good for everyone’s development.
“It’s never the easiest of tasks, pulling together a squad of 23 from the cream of the crop around the country, with the coaching only having limited contact time and opportunities to train and work on necessary set-tactics with the players.
“To come across to Ireland, and you can see by the players reaction that they’re disappointed and, for me, it is a really good reaction.
“With Finn Gillies and Phil Smith and all the back-room staff, a big thank you has to go to them, they’ve also been superb.”