Currie skipper Ross Weston has pointed to the inclusion of professionals as a key reason for the high overall standard of club rugby produced over the opening three weeks of the season.
Saturday’s BT Premiership encounter with Edinburgh Accies at Malleny Park drew a disappointingly small crowd. But those who did pay the admission fee were treated to an entertaining 80 minutes of open play that ended with the hosts as 38-19 winners.
And the individuals who have experienced life in the full-time ranks played a significant part, with current Glasgow pros Kevin Bryce and James Downey involved in two of Currie’s five tries, while Lewis Niven – released from Edinburgh at the end of last season – was a lively contributor around the paddock for the visitors, who also had promising contributions from scrum halves Alex Glashan and James Munro.
And one youngster, whose current progress suggests he could be in line for a pro contract before too long, is Accies winger Sam Pecqueur. He again caught the eye with his pace and work ethic in adding two more touchdowns to his burgeoning tally for the season.
And, at the coaching helm for Currie is former Edinburgh and Scotland centre Ben Cairns, whose experience accumulated from the numerous coaches he encountered during his playing career appears to be shaping his own style of leadership.
For Weston, the input of these individuals is significant. Referring to the contribution of the Glasgow players allocated to Currie – Tom Ryder also featured in Saturday’s match – he said: “The small talk and things they bring from the pro game is good. It is definitely a positive to have these guys coming into the club game and they definitely raise the standard.”
He is equally upbeat about the changes Cairns has made, adding: “It’s the same core values. But it’s a lot more about technique and skills and improving our game, which is good.”
Weston was at the heart of the Currie effort as the hosts bounced back from conceding an early try – Pecqueur was on hand to finish off a breakout by Glashan, who added the conversion – to secure the bonus point before half-time.
Joe Reynolds had a self-converted try and added the extras after Bryce freed Chris Logan for try number two. Reynolds then slotted a penalty and converted try number three by Harvey Elms before adding seven more points to the tally after racing in for an interception try.
Accies finished the half strongly and notched a second try when Jamie Sole plunged over. And they claimed the first points of the second period when Pecqueur sprinted over for a second time, Iain Chisholm converting.
However, the visitors failed to secure a fourth try and the elusive first league point of the season, and Downey completed a satisfactory afternoon for Currie with another converted try.
“It was a much better performance than last week. We needed a reaction and I think we got one,” added Weston in reference to the previous Saturday’s defeat at Gala. “We were a lot more structured and stuck to our game plan.”
For his part, Cairns was happy with the outcome although he is demanding more. “We rested a little bit on what we had done in the first half. That was maybe inevitable but I don’t want that. We need to have that clinical edge to pull away from teams.”
His Accies counterpart Phil Leck saw some progress over the performance in the preceding match, and he is confident of improving the team’s fortunes. “We are just naïve,” he admitted. “We are still learning each other and we have a lot of front line players out. It’s always the same when you take over a side that has struggled and has no buying power to bring in anything massively better than what you’ve got.
“We’ve got to take the positives out of the second half and we certainly played a bit smarter. To be fair, we had already given the game away.”
Currie: Tries – Reynolds (2), Logan, Elms, Downey. Conversions – Reynolds (5). Penalty – Reynolds.
Edinburgh Accies: Tries – S Pecqueur (2), Sole. Conversions – Glashan, Chisholm.
Currie: M McPhillips; H Elms, J Downey, F Efthymiou, C Logan; J Reynolds, R Snedden; J Cox, K Bryce, A Hamilton, T Ryder, J Gray, M Vernel M Peacock, S Weston. Subs: M Goodwin, G Carson, G Temple, M Mladenovic, D Swanson.
Edinburgh Accies: R Young; S Pecqueur, C Dean, R Wilson, J Marples; I Chisholm, A Glashan; D Morrison, D Bates, L Niven, G Campbell, E Stuart, J Winks, J Sole, R Seydak. Subs: L Launders, M Liness, N Aitken, J Munro, J Pecqueur.
Referee: D Changleng.