Currie Chieftains winger Ben Robbins viewed Saturday’s impressive win at home to Boroughmuir in the Tennent’s Premiership as a satisfying first step along a road that he hopes will lead to silverware.
Chieftains took all five league points from a 32-19 win, producing some high tempo rugby that underlined the pace that exists throughout the team and the ambition with which they want to play.
Robbins, a talented sportsman and a champion athlete before focusing on rugby, was a key man in that effort. His work rate throughout the match caught the eye and suggested that he may now be ready to deliver on the promise that saw him earn age group caps and a Macphail Scholarship to New Zealand three years ago before injury hampered his progress.
Chieftains have reached the knockout phase on all four occasions since play-offs were introduced but have yet to reach the final. Robbins is desperate to put that right this season before the competition is scrapped in favour the semi-professional Super Six.
“It’s the last chance so everyone is just keen to try to win the last premiership – it would be awesome to get it”, he said.
The introduction of the new competition could offer career opportunities. Robbins is not looking that far ahead, adding, “I come to the end of my uni year in the summer and we’ll just have to see what happens after that.”
On Saturday, the 21-year-old set the scoreboard ticking when he bagged the first of the four Chieftains tries after five minutes. Gregor Hunter converted, but Muir responded through a Callum Atkinson score, converted by Chris Laidlaw. Luke Crosbie restored the Chieftains lead with a converted score, but a Jordan Edmunds interception and Laidlaw conversion squared matters at the break.
Jonny Matthews gave the visitors the lead with Muir’s third touchdown early in the second period, but Chieftains responded with a second try by Crosbie and the bonus point touchdown from Jamie Forbes plus eight more points from Hunter’s boot to secure the victory.
“It was good to get the win but we made it difficult for ourselves,” added Robbins.
For Muir coach Peter Wright, there was enough evidence to suggest that only minor adjustments are needed ahead of this week’s clash with Hawick.
“We need to dust ourselves down and look at the positives. When we got it right we looked good and we did some good stuff”, said Wright. “Ultimately it’s the little things that we’ve got to sort. The big things are there. I think we showed enough to believe that we are going to get a lot better.”
Elsewhere, Heriot’s made an early statement of intent when they eased to a 46-14 win away to Glasgow Hawks. Rory Carmichael, Ruaridh Leishman and Callum Marshall all touched down and Ross Jones added two conversions as the Goldenacre men reached the break only 19-14 ahead. However, the second period became a procession with a try each for Iain Wilson, Andrew Simmers and Jones, who added a further 12 points with the boot.
Irish sevens international Josh Rowland was the stand out performer for Watsonians as they got the better of Stirling County at Myreside. The full back bagged the first of Sonians’ three tries and was joined on the score sheet by Scott McLeod and Ali Harris, while Lee Millar kicked the rest, including a penalty that yielded the only points of a hard fought second half as the Capital outfit posted a 20-14 victory
Edinburgh Accies showed plenty of character on their top-flight return. After falling 18-0 behind in the match at home to Ayr, the Raeburn Place side battled back to within a point through two tries from George Spencer and one by Cammy Gray plus a Richard Mill conversion. However, Ayr raised the pace in the closing stages to record a 30-17 win.