Interim Currie Chieftains coach Mark Cairns admits that he was not fully prepared for the rigours of the top post. But he is relishing the task of leading his team into a tense run in the Tennent’s Premiership campaign.
The new man in the Malleny Park hotseat was delighted at the manner of Saturday’s nerve shredding 11-10 victory over Heriot’s in his first home fixture since assuming the role from his brother, Ben.
“I wasn’t expecting to have to be the head coach. There’s a lot of hidden work,” said Cairns of the additional demands of the top job.
He paid tribute to his men, adding: “It’s testament to the boys that we managed to grind it out. I felt that actually we played the better rugby of the two teams.”
It was a tense affair in which neither team ever had control. A Ben Robbins try gave the hosts a lead that was wiped out by half-time thanks to a penalty from Ross Jones, who also converted an Iain Wilson touchdown.
There was no further scoring until the 74th minute when Gregor Hunter booted a penalty. And the home stand-off snatched victory when, with the final play, he banged over a long range drop goal.
Although the result sees Heriot’s slip to fourth in the table, the Goldenacre club’s coach Phil smith remains upbeat, saying: “There’s still three more games to go. The net effect on the whole thing is marginal.”
However, Smith admits there is work to do ahead of Saturday’s trip to face Melrose, adding: “Our attack was appalling.”
Next on the agenda for Chieftains is a clash with fellow play-off contenders Watsonians.
Josh Rowland bagged four tries and Jack Stanley had a double as the Myreside men closed to within a point of the top four with a 43-27 success at home to Glasgow Hawks.
Edinburgh Accies produced a performance brimming with character as they posted a first win of the campaign. Two penalty tries and a touchdown apiece for Cammy Gray, Harry Paterson and Ronan Seydak plus eight points from Vincent Hart’s boot saw Accies post a 37-7 win against fellow strugglers Hawick that keeps alive their bid to escape the basement slot.
Boroughmuir’s hopes of securing a play-off berth were all but ended by a 14-7 loss away to leaders Ayr, with the points coming from a self-converted Gavin Parker try.