Rugby: Scott warns Currie colleagues of the hard work

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Hooker Fergus Scott today called on Currie to keep feet on the ground as the former Scottish rugby champions face another test of their resurgence at home to Heriot’s in the Premiership on Saturday.

For the first time since their 2009-10 championship-winning season, Currie have posted back-to-back wins scoring a half century of points or more.

A faltering start in which they lost three matches on the trot is beginning to disappear in the rearview mirror but 19-year-old Scott, who has marked his return from a spell playing in Australia with the famous Manly club, insists they are not out of the woods yet.

Scott, who played 16 matches when helping Manly Colts to the semi-final of the Sydney under-20 championship, remembers how Currie came a cropper at Heriot’s last year in losing narrowly on the way to eventually finishing runners-up in the table five points behind champions Melrose and boasting a better scoring differential. “We are well aware of how tough Heriot’s can be and we can be sure it will be as physical as always against them,” he said.

What particularly pleased fans about Saturday’s 51-12 victory at Hawks, though, was the way Currie were able to belie their reputation as a team preoccupied with grinding down rivals.

He said: “Because of injuries in the Hawks front row we switched to uncontested scrums when leading 27-5 at half-time yet were still able to score 24 more points. Having beaten Ayr 50-13 the previous week, it was really satisfying to show that performance wasn’t a one-off.”

Scott returned from Australia at the beginning of this season to start a college course in preparation for attempting a PE degree to learn that first choice Currie hooker Alun Walker had moved to Melrose while retaining a connection with Edinburgh Rugby.

“Alun’s switch opened a door for me and I’ve been pleased to start all five games so far,” he said.

While Scott started the first nine games last season while Walker was recovering from a shoulder operation, the coincidence goes much further.

“I made my Currie first-team debut at Melrose in 2010-11 just as my older brother, Matthew, did a couple of season’s earlier.”

Scott is also aiming to follow Matthew, now a member of Edinburgh’s Rabo Direct Pro 12 league squad, into the Scottish under-20 set up.

“I’ve been capped at under-18 level and certainly I’ve set my sights on the under-20s while respecting fierce competition that exists from the likes of George Turner at Stewart’s Melville and Gala’s Russell Anderson. Hopefully my stint in Australia will stand me in good stead. Because of the climate down under the training was certainly different to what I had become used to. At Manly the emphasis was much less on contact work and more on fitness.

“I’ve returned feeling fit due to the quicker style of play in Australia and ready to take advantage of the fact I’m supported by some really good props in the Currie front row. John Cox has played every match so far and as well as scrummaging effectively has scored three tries in our last two matches.

“(Club internationalist) Alastair Hamilton is due back from injury this week after missing the last two games but his absence has allowed in (under-20 cap) Colin Phillips, another good prop who has joined this season.”

As Currie aim to maintain momentum there is a worry in the Heriot’s camp about Scott’s opposite number, Kevin Bryce, who picked up a rib injury in Saturday’s 23-46 defeat by Melrose. However, Hawks coach Peter Wright is in no doubt who the pre-eminent forces in the club game this season will be, remarking after Saturday’s match at Anniesland: “They (Currie) ran with pace and made difficult tries look easy. To my mind, Currie and Melrose are by far the best two sides in the league, based on who we have faced so far. I expect them to be competing for the title.”