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Currie :36 - Boroughmuir :10
A View from the Touchline – BT Premier League: 15.10.16

Currie 36 pts (t 5, c 4, pg 1) v Boroughmuir 10 pts (t 2)

The heavy early day rain had been replaced by weak autumn sunshine, but there was nothing weak about this entertaining performance from two teams sitting mid-table in the League, both on the same number of points and eager to get the better of their near neighbours. The visitors’ resolute defence was slowly unpicked by a series of magical back moves and a robust display from the Currie pack which pushed their way over the goal-line for two of the Malleny team’s five try haul.

Initially the teams looked evenly matched as they tested each others’ defence for openings. A number of probing kicks form the cultured boot of Jamie Forbes turned ‘Muir attacks and created opportunities for Currie at the other end. A sustained period of Currie pressure was kept at bay by some impressive tackling, but the defence was finally caught off-side; a difficult penalty kick bounced off the woodwork and ‘Muir started raiding the Currie line, where they met an equally solid defence. With no way through, the astute ‘Muir stand-off, Chris Laidlaw kicked the ball diagonally the width of the pitch and into the waiting arms of Grant McConnell in the in-goal area. The score was somewhat against the first quarter’s run of play, and the only time that ‘Muir had been in Currie’s 22. It was a fantastic piece of rugby and well worth the try that was not converted. Unfortunately for the visitors, this was the highlight of their afternoon, and apart from a few moments when Currie’s concentration wavered, ‘Muir struggled to bring continuity to their game.

A flowing Currie move down the left touchline had ‘Muir scrambling to keep their line intact. From a penalty scrum, and following some soften-up twenty metres out, Cammy Gray floated around his backline and on to a precision pass for the try that opened Currie’s account; Jamie Forbes converted. Within minutes, the home team were back in ‘Muir’s 22 and causing them all sorts of problems. The play was red-hot with the ball whizzing inside and out to supporting players, and it was difficult to pick out the carrier. This mesmerising stuff finished with Ben Robbins taking a pop-pass and gliding through a hole for a wonderful fifteen metre dash to the line. Jamie Forbes converted the score, and he could have been kicking a few more before the break were it not for a spoiling ‘Muir defence and some frantic over-ambitious Currie handling.
Halftime score – Currie 17 pts, Boroughmuir 10 pts
For nearly ten minutes at the start of the second half, Currie could not get hold of the ball, and the touchline talk reflected on the previous week’s proceedings under similar circumstances. ‘Muir looked to have scored wide out, but the ball was knocked on and the opportunity lost. For all their efforts things were not going well for the visitors and frustration was beginning to niggle. The referee had given a number of warnings regarding unwanted opinions from players; this came to a head as another promising ‘Muir attack faltered, and a comment made; Craig Keddie was sent to the bin to reflect on his back-chat. Currie made the most of their numbers advantage.

A series of Currie scrums, 10 metres out, edged towards the line, but ‘Muir kept winning the resulting arm struggles until the ball went wide; some slick passing had Harvey Elms squeezing in at the corner flag for a try that was not converted. With a bonus point try now in sight, the home team stepped on the gas, going through the phases like clockwork and releasing the backs whenever possible. Robbie Nelson, with three opposition players hanging on to him, was stopped 5 metres out, but intense pressure forced ‘Muir to infringe. The resulting penalty lineout was a formality for Hamish Bain; he secured the ball with the pack wrecking any attempt to stop the forward momentum; Fergus Scott’s try was converted by Jamie Forbes.

A textbook catch-and-carry from Steven Ainslie was wasted by a lapse in Currie’s collective concentration, they conceded a penalty that ‘Muir thumped to the corner flag. A well-worked penalty lineout, catch-and-drive was touched down by Thomas Gracie. Although it was not converted, ‘Muir had a bit more bounce in their step. Currie responded with further adventurous play. In the Muir 22, Rhys Davies and Ross Weston secured a turnover and Currie’s dominant scrum responded with a fifth try; Reece Patterson scored from the push-over and Jamie Forbes converted. This concluded a polished workmanlike performance, but the trick will be to keep it going next weekend at Anniesland v Glasgow Hawks, KO 3.00pm. IJS, 16.10.1

Updated 15/10/2016 by Ian Gidney