Currie coach Ben Cairns was left ruing disappointing performances by several of his key players after the Malleny Park men succumbed 42-15 to a powerful Melrose outfit in Saturday’s BT Premiership play-off semi-final at the Greenyards.
Reflecting on an afternoon when a powerful pack created a platform for Melrose to chalk up five tries, and when Currie errors made life easy for the hosts, Cairns was honest in his assessment.
“We made some really poor decisions which is really frustrating considering where we have come from. We’ve been in the play-offs for the last three years. We should be used to these sorts of situations now,” he stated.
“If you look at the two teams on paper, we are better than that. We are not as far behind Melrose as that has shown and that’s the hard part. it’s a disappointing performance. Now, if we had played to our best, would we have won that game? It still would have been very difficult but the scoreline would suggest we are miles away from them – we’re not. That’s the frustrating thing.”
Currie started well and edged ahead through an early penalty by Jamie Forbes. However, the home scrum squeezed the life out of the lighter Currie eight and that provided prime possession for the home back line, allowing the Borderers to reach half-time with a 22-3 lead after Ruaridh Knott touched down and Nyle Godsmark bagged a double, while Jason Baggott landed two conversions and a penalty.
That left the visitors facing a massive task. And the magnitude of the challenge grew when Austin Lockington darted over for a converted score. Currie’s response was a brief glimpse of the crisp, flowing rugby that had featured in their late-season run to a top four finish. That yielded a try for skipper Ross Weston who was playing his final game for the club after a noteworthy 12-year contribution to the club. Forbes converted to cut the deficit to 19 points with 20 minutes to play.
That was as close as Currie managed to get and Baggott booted a penalty then added the conversion after Ally Grieve dotted down.
And, although Robbie Nelson had a late try for Currie, Baggott took his tally to 17 points with a penalty that confirmed Melrose’s superiority.
Cairns cast an envious eye at the strength in the Melrose squad, acknowledging that the Borderers have created a structure that enables them to attract and retain talent from across the country. Currie will lose the services of Weston, Alastair Hamilton and Richard Snedden for next season but Cairns is backing his men to bounce back as a stronger unit.
Despite his frustration, he is confident that Currie remain on a sustainable upward trajectory, adding, “The plan always was to bring in quite a lot of young boys to develop them because it is a more sustainable way of keeping the club going to be honest, rather than chucking in a foreigner for a year then having to get another foreigner.
“We are standing in good stead for next season and the season after and the season after,” he added. “We are losing three key individuals. However, we have another five or six who are going to be key for us next year – a year older, a year stronger, a year more developed. They will be better players for this experience. That’s where we are at.”
Meanwhile, Edinburgh Accies will have one more match before knowing which division they will play in next season. The Raeburn Place men did all they could with a 65-10 win in BT National Division One at home to Aberdeen Grammar that featured 11 tries.
However, their promotion rivals Marr also took all five points to secure the one automatic promotion spot and leave Accies facing Hawick to decide who will secure the remaining place in the top flight next year.