Currie coach Ben Cairns calls for a league revamp

Ratu Tagive gets a hand in the face from Hawks player Grant Stewart. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Ratu Tagive gets a hand in the face from Hawks player Grant Stewart. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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Currie coach Ben Cairns has added the Malleny Park outfit to a growing list of clubs frustrated at the structure of the BT Premiership and expressed his hopes for a revamp.

Currie played their final home game of the campaign on Saturday, posting a 25-5 win over Glasgow Hawks that keeps alive hopes of reaching the play-offs. However, Cairns, who is in the fortunate position of having good squad depth to offset the absence of his Scotland Under 20 players, believes the current set up is flawed on two levels.

“The way the league is structured in terms of play-offs and relegations, these are the most important games of the season and we haven’t got our under 20s playing. They are key performers for us,” he said before pointing to a second point of broader concern, adding: “If we had lost, our season would be over. We’re out of the cup so our season is 19 games and only nine home games which isn’t ideal for any club.”

However, with the result going Currie’s way, Cairns can focus on the short term and his side’s bid to feature at the business end of the competition. That was the reward for a performance brimming with character as Currie dominated for lengthy spells against Hawks but left it late to bag two tries and clinch a win that keeps their challenge going until the final Saturday.

Harvey Elms and Sean Yacoubian scored an unconverted try apiece as the teams reached the break locked at 5-5. The hosts had the better of the second half although, with six minutes to play, the gap had grown by only six points through a brace of penalties from Jamie Forbes. But a final flourish yielded tries for Robbie Nelson and Ben Robbins, the first of them converted by Forbes.

The win means that Currie’s task in their remaining match is clear cut – only a bonus point win will suffice in ousting Heriot’s from fourth place. The outcome will be decided on March 11 at Boroughmuir in a rescheduled fixture that has less at stake for the Meggetland men who guaranteed their Premiership survival with a 48-28 win at Gala that also condemned the Borderers to the drop.

Callum Atkinson and Jordan Edmunds had two tries apiece and there was one each for Dale Robertson, Grant McConnell and Dougie Steele, while Chris Laidlaw kicked the other points as Muir overturned a 21-17 interval deficit to secure victory.

Defending champions Heriot’s ensured they made the race for the final play-off place as difficult as possible for Currie when they posted a bonus point win away to Stirling County in their final match of the regular season.

The Goldenacre men reached the break with a 17-8 lead with the points coming through a Junior Rasolea touchdown, a penalty try and seven points from the boot of Tom Wilson who then grabbed a third Heriot’s try. That set up the chase for the bonus point score and it came deep into injury time courtesy of Charlie Simpson. His five-pointer completed a 29-13 success and could prove to be the key to a top four finish as Heriot’s now have a four point cushion over Currie as well as a superior points difference.

Meanwhile, with a place in the top flight next season already secured, Watsonians travelled to face Ayr in what was the final game in charge for coaches Marcus Di Rollo and Simon Taylor.

And it was not a happy finale for the departing duo as the Myreside men lost 48-12. An early try by Keith Young, converted by Ewan Scott, gave the visitors hope. However, Ayr chalked up 31 unanswered points to take control of the game and a touchdown by Martin Christie was little consolation for the Capital side.