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Currie :35 - Hawick :8
A misty day for pictures

Video highlights click here

A View from the Touchline – BT Premier League: 21.1.17.

Currie 35 pts (t 5, c 5) v Hawick 8 pts (t 1, pg1)

As the fog obscured the January sunshine and slowly enveloped Malleny Park, a gloomy scenario from the previous weekend’s match was also causing apprehension. The home team threatened but continued to make mistakes just short of the goal line. A tenacious display from the visitors always looked capable of breaking free from Currie’s control, but as the swirling grey cloud lifted and the beaming sun reappeared, so did Currie’s bright promising start. Although they were pushed all the way by an excellent Hawick team that never stopped playing attractive rugby, the home side cut out the errors and built a momentum that secured a well-executed win.

For the first ten minutes Hawick battled to keep a rampant Currie team at bay. Their tackling and defensive play was of the first order, and they were always looking to move the ball quickly in an effort to turn defence into attack. We were halfway through the first quarter before the visitors got near the Currie 22, but the assault met a stout resistance that quickly found some gaps in midfield play; mercurial Jamie Forbes made a lightning break that the opposition expected to go wide; instead Charlie Shiel took the perfect inside pass and steamed in unopposed from 25 metres out. Jamie Forbes, the perpetrator of the try then converted.

With Currie’s demons exorcised, it was not long before a tantalising passage of ping-pong passing had the ‘Greens’ foxed; Ratu Tagive scored under the posts, leaving an easy conversion for Jamie Forbes. This was the last time that Currie had any meaningful possession before the break. Although Hawick played ten minutes of scintillating rugby deep in the Currie half, which, against a less committed defence, would have brought reward, the home team’s effort matched the visitors’ guile; Robbie Nelson, Ben Robbins, Fergus Scott, Luke Crosbie and Rhys Davies were magnificent in protecting Currie’s line. Ali Weir did kick a penalty goal which was the ‘Greens’ only reward for some splendid rugby.
Halftime score – Currie 14 pts, Hawick 3 pts.
At this stage in the season both teams required points for their missions at opposite ends of a very competitive League, and the ‘Greens’ could be expected to fight for their top flight survival. Ben Cairns had obviously primed his charges for the onslaught and Currie started the second half with plenty of gusto which took the sting out of any Hawick ambitions. A 30 metre rolling maul was held up on the line, but the resulting 5 metre scrum eventually broke a stubborn Hawick resistance. Hamish Bain scored and Jamie Forbes converted.

The visitors looked to have weathered the next onslaught with a turnover and terrific clearance kick into the Currie 22. Charlie Shiel took a quick lineout throw to Harvey Elms who immediately set off on a diagonal cross-field run. The speedy fullback connected with Robbie Nelson who in turn released Ratu Tagive down the stand side. The big Glasgow Warriors wing had his professional colleague, Richie Vernon outside, but he skilfully used him as a decoy runner and popped the ball inside to Robbie Nelson; the wonderfully exciting 80 metre try was converted by Jamie Forbes and it gave Currie their four try bonus point. The score line was a little unfair to the battling visitors who remained positive throughout the afternoon; they kept possession and threw the ball around as if it was a sevens tournament. Unfortunately most of this enterprising play was at the wrong end of the pitch, and when they did get into the Currie red zone, they either fluffed the move or Currie’s resolute defence held them up. As with the first half, once Hawick had the ball they hung on to it and cannily altered the line of attack. Once given any space the young nimble Darcy Graham can work his magical feet with an astonishing turn of speed; the talented ‘Greens’ wing danced in from fifteen metres for an unconverted try; a score that they well deserved.

This was all that the visitors were allowed as Currie tightened up and resumed control. Some punishing positional kicks from the boot of Jamie Forbes kept Hawick pinned to their half, from where the visitors still tried to run the ball. At a well-placed penalty lineout, Hamish Bain secured the ball and the pack rumbled over; Ross Weston’s try was converted by Jamie Forbes, whose kicking had been exemplary throughout the afternoon. We look forward to a visit to the Greenyards next Saturday afternoon for the next round of the National Cup; it should be an exciting clash; KO 2.00pm.

IJS, 22.1.17
Updated 23/01/2017 by Ian Gidney