Rugby: Mansfield gives high five to his colleagues

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Currie winger Barry Mansfield today insisted on sharing the credit after a weekend brace took him to outright top of the Scottish Premiership try-scoring charts.

The 23-year-old, who enlisted at Malleny Park this season having grown up in Zimbabwe and played his senior rugby in Australia, has streaked over the whitewash in five successive matches.

Having claimed a debut touchdown on the opening day against Gala, the former squad member of Super-15 side Western Force was next on the mark three games later when coming off the bench against Ayr.

Since then, he has used the pace that has seen him clocked at 10.8 seconds for 100 metres to be a consistent line-breaker against Hawks (2), Heriot’s, Boroughmuir and most recently, Dundee. Only Ayr full back Grant Anderson and Aberdeen’s Shetland-born wing Erland Oag (five in three games) are within a score of Mansfield, who is looking forward to helping Currie break their seasonal duck against Borders opposition on Saturday at Hawick having gone down against Gala and Melrose.

Mansfield, who has taken his try tally to eight, said: “I can’t really put my tries down to one thing. It’s more a case that the team have turned things around and I am on the outside of a lot of good work.

“I was cautious to start with because Currie weren’t showing their strengths. But, after three matches (all lost) the chemistry of the side brought a massive turnaround.

“It’s mainly been down to attitude that we’ve won five in a row.

“We’ve still got a lot to work on, though, because in beating Dundee (37-27) we gave them two tries and made it hard for ourselves. I’ve learned enough about Scotland from my time here so far to know it will be hard at Hawick on Saturday but I enjoyed visiting Melrose, if not the result, and one of my goals is to return there at the end of the season for the annual sevens.”

In fact, Mansfield began to attract the attention of the Australian sevens selectors after being named the top under-20 in Western Australia and he makes it plain that returning to the representative scene is part of his plan.

“I had the option of going to the English Championship but my main objective was to play in a team that are successful.

“So far, Currie have lived up to that and also provide the chance to play in the British and Irish Cup which I’m really looking forward to.

“There’s also a good mix with a couple of South African boys and a Kiwi; it’s a well rounded club which I’m enjoying being a part of.”.

Meanwhile, Currie will begin their B&I Cup bid on November 13 at Leeds Carnegie, who have already played two fixtures beating Rotherham at home and losing at Doncaster.

n FORMER Stewart’s-Melville coach Graeme Moffat is preparing to assist Canada under-19s on a forthcoming tour of England after guiding the Calgary Hornets club to the Alberta League title and cup success.

Moffat says: “We had a great season and thanks to fixture reconstruction seven of our players were able to help the local representative team, Prairie Wolf Pack, in the national championships with three involved in the Canada sevens squad.

“Getting the chance to coach and plan full-time has been a major help and, after assisting the under-19s, I plan to visit New Zealand to develop my coaching ahead of the Canadian summer season.”

Earlier this year, Moffat, who doesn’t rule out returning to coach in Scotland in future, assisted Canada under-20s on tour to Georgia.

n EDINBURGH Rugby return to training after a week’s break without prop Shaun Knight whose loan deal from Gloucester has expired.

During his time at Murrayfield, Knight was involved in five of Edinburgh’s last six games including three starts.