Currie Chieftains close in on second spot but Watsonians coach writes off chances
Currie Chieftains co-captain Fergus Scott has pointed to the squad's growing maturity as a vital element in the Malleny Park outfit's challenge for a home play-off in the Tennent's Premiership.
Scott played a key role on Saturday, bagging the try that secured a bonus point and finally shook off a gritty Watsonians team as Chieftains posted a 29-23 win to move closer to second place in the table.
“I think we’ve been learning as a squad over the last three or four seasons. We are learning from tight matches and we are getting better,” said the hooker. “Over the last couple of weeks we have maybe got the rub of the green and we are getting over the finish line which is nice to see.”
However, Scott admits that it was a far from perfect performance. “Credit to Watsonians, they chucked everything at us. They had some very dangerous runners and we gave them too much space. But we had dominance in the scrum, which really helped. We kept the ball well and stuck to our game plan. We’re just happy to get five points.”
Gregor Hunter opened the scoring with a penalty for Chieftains which was cancelled out by a three pointer from Lee Millar. The visitors struck a double blow when Kiran McDonald and Joe Reynolds each scored a try and Hunter kicked the conversions. However, Sonians hit back through tries from Rory Hutton and Angus Guthrie, with Millar converting both to send the teams in at the break tied at 17-17.
Millar edged the hosts in front for the first time with a penalty shortly after the restart but Chieftains took control with tries by Ben Robbins and Scott plus a Hunter conversion before Millar slotted a late penalty to claim a losing bonus point for the hosts.
Sonians coach Steve Lawrie said Currie deserved their success, and that a place in the knockout phase now appears unlikely for his men.
“We gifted them a couple of soft scores in the first half. But we got ourselves back in the game and put ourselves in a position to win it. They just upped the tempo and took their try well at the end,” said Lawrie.
“It will need a bit of a miracle for us to get into the top four now. We’ve not quite been good enough in that respect. It’s disappointing but the better team won.”
The next task for Chieftains is a trip to face Melrose, the team immediately above them, in Saturday’s penultimate round of matches in the regular programme.
The Borderers will be looking to bounce back from defeat at the hands of Heriot’s. Rob Kay and Alex Ball had a try apiece, both converted by Ross Jones, to hand the Capital outfit a 14-7 interval lead. Further scores from Charlie Simpson and Craig Robertson, the latter converted by Jones, secured the bonus point and extended the lead to 19 points. Heriot’s then held off a Melrose comeback to take a 26-21 win.
Clubs are expected to finally learn this week whether there will be relegation from the Premiership. Current basement team Edinburgh Accies are one of three that could finish bottom.
The Raeburn Place men were pipped 15-14 away to fellow strugglers Glasgow Hawks, with Robbie Kent and Jamie Sole each bagging a converted try.
Boroughmuir took a four-try bonus after Greg Cannie, Will Inglis, Rory Drummond and Johnny Matthews dotted down, with Gavin Parker converting all four, but it was not enough to prevent a 46-28 defeat at home to Stirling County.