Currie dig deep to remain in title fight

Currie coach Ben Cairns has heaped praise on his players for their resilience in bouncing back from defeat against Heriot's the previous week to post a convincing 35-8 win at home to a Hawick side scrapping to escape the lower reaches of the BT Premiership table.

Monday, 23rd January 2017, 5:30 am
Fog shrouds the pitch at Malleny Park as Currie take on Hawick. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Cairns saw his men dominate for lengthy spells although it was past the midway point in the first period before they managed to convert pressure into points, subsequently going on to record a comfortable success that keeps them in the hunt for a play-off spot.

“I’m happy with that. It was a tough week after Heriot’s because we felt we had been dominated in some of the fundamentals of the game. Heriot’s dominated in set-piece and contact. If you don’t get either of them right, it becomes very tough to win a game,” said Cairns.

“It was really just about getting back to doing the fundamentals well – I don’t like calling them basics, because they are actually the things that are most important in the game. We got that. We got good quality contact ball and we got good quality set-piece ball. If you get the two of them it makes everything a bit easier.”

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Tries by Charlie Shiel and Ratu Tagive, both converted by Jamie Forbes, handed Currie a 14-3 interval lead – Ali Weir having kicked a penalty for the visitors. And the second half followed a similar pattern, with Hamish Bain and Robbie Nelson capping a spell in the ascendancy with two further tries that clinched the four-try bonus and effectively secured the win.

Then, although Darcy Graham raced over to claim an unconverted try for the visitors, Currie underlined their dominance with a powerful drive following a close range lineout that shunted Hawick backwards and allowed Ross Weston to apply the final touch for try number five.

“There are still things we can do better but hopefully that lets the boys know how important those things are,” said Cairns, emphasising the crucial nature of playing simple but effective rugby.

“I was a bit worried when we had that 20 minutes of pressure but probably didn’t get the points we deserved. We finally got a try about the 20 minute mark and that took a bit of the pressure off. I thought we controlled the majority of the game. That’s really pleasing.”

The result, combined with events elsewhere, means that Currie or Heriot’s will finish fourth in the table. Both sides face two tricky fixtures to conclude the regular season, and promise an intriguing denouement to a campaign that is already coming to a close amid concern that some clubs are struggling financially.

Elsewhere, Heriot’s took all five league points in a 26-0 win away to Gala. Full-back Charlie Simpson was the key contributor, bagging two of his side’s tries – Gavin Parker and Michael Liness claimed the others – as the champions posted a victory that means they retain a lead of two points over Currie in the table.

Watsonians emerged from a 13-try thriller at Melrose on the wrong end of a 46-41 score but with two valuable bonus points that ensure the Myreside men will not be automatically relegated and are now four points shy of guaranteeing Premiership survival.

Viliami Fihaki and Rory Steele scored two tries each, while there was one apiece for Scott McLeod and Reiss Cullen, as Sonians battled back from 29-6 down after less than half an hour with some good open rugby.

Boroughmuir have work to do secure their survival after losing 34-19 at Glasgow Hawks. Two tries by Jordan Edmunds – the second an impressive solo effort – kept Muir in the match at half-time, which they reached 21-12 in arrears. However, Hawks stretched away and a late touchdown from Dale Robertson was little consolation for the Meggetland men, although defeats for the other strugglers mean that their position in the table is unchanged.