Currie skipper praises team's '˜guts' but wants complete display
Currie Chieftains skipper Robbie Nelson praised the 'guts' of his team after a 30-24 home win over Stirling County, but also called on the players maintain their level for 80 minutes.
Nelson was pleased with parts of the display as the Malleny Park men prevailed on Saturday, with Chieftains taking a five-point haul that has moved them up to second place in the table.
Having battled back from 27-0 to win against Glasgow Hawks the previous week, Nelson and his colleagues had set themselves the objective of continuing where they had finished.
They appeared to have done so with tries from Callum Mackintosh, Adam Hastings and Cammy Gray, plus a conversion and a penalty by Hastings creating a 20-0 lead at half-time.
However, the visitors clawed their way back into the contest with three tries, two of them converted, to leave the gap at one point entering the final quarter, and with Chieftains down to 14 men after Vince Wright was red carded for punching.
But, the character that had been evident seven days earlier came to the fore once more and Stephen Ainslie stemmed the tide with the bonus point score. Although County bagged a fourth try for the visitors to set up a nervy finale, John Cox crashed over to clinch the victory for Chieftains.
“The chips were down when we went down to 14 men,” said Nelson. “It just shows the guts of the team. County are a really good team, they have been going well and squeezed us hard at times. It was pleasing to pull through.
“The last couple of weeks we haven’t started well so we were focused on that and just trying to come away with points at every opportunity. Second half they turned it around and came back at us. We need to play for 80 minutes next week.”
The result lifts Chieftains above Heriot’s in second spot after the Goldenacre side had their four-match winning run ended at Ayr. The visitors could manage only a penalty try and a late consolation touchdown by Jack Turley, with Ross Jones kicking the other points as they succumbed 41-17. It is an indication of the tightness of the contest for the top-four places that the result means Heriot’s slip to fifth.
Next up for Heriot’s is a clash at home to unbeaten pacesetters Melrose, who lead the way from Currie and Ayr.
Glasgow Hawks complete the leading quartet after chalking up a 36-27 at home to Watsonians, who once again were impressive in parts but lacked consistency throughout the match. A try from Willie Thomson and an Andrew Chalmers penalty kept Sonians in the match at half-time just 15-8 in arrears. Hawks, however, restarted well and moved 29-8 clear before the Myreside men clicked into gear and trimmed the gap to just two points through touchdowns from Craig Borthwick, Sean Crombie and Mark Bertram plus two Chalmers conversions before a late score clinched victory for the home side.
Back in the Capital, Boroughmuir had a ten-try stroll as they saw off Hawick 60-18 at Meggetland. Matt Walker set the tone with an early touchdown and he was joined on the score sheet by Ciaran Whyte, who had a double, while there was one apiece for Grant McConnell, Dan Marek, Greg Cannie, Jordan Edmunds, Michael Brown, Rory Scott and Jack Hamilton, with Cannie banging over five conversions as Muir posted their second win of the campaign.
Meanwhile, Edinburgh Accies sit four points clear in National Division One after a 16-13 win at Gala.