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Currie Chieftains 29 Glasgow Hawks 27
Click here for the Glasgow Hawks match highlights video

A View from the Touchline – BT Premier League: 7.9.17.

Currie 29 pts (t 5, c 2) v Glasgow Hawks 27 pts (t 4, c 2, pg 1)

In recent years these two teams have served up some dramatic rugby entertainment, and after this weekend’s feast of exceptional excitement, especially for the neutral spectator, you had to pinch yourself to confirm that this was not a daydream following an afternoon nap in the autumn sunshine at Malleny Park. With their four try bonus secured, and 27 unanswered points racked up in a mere 30 minutes, it was odds-on that this would be Hawks’ day and another disappointment for the luckless Chieftains. The steady breeze may have given a slight advantage, but the way that Currie approached their task after the break, was a defining factor; as their confidence grew, it lifted team morale into the stratosphere: Gus McGill, whose passing was remembered at the start of this match, would have been proud of the ‘Currie spirit’ that epitomizes his much-loved club.

Although there were some positional changes, there was little hint of the previous week’s debacle in the Borders, and for ten minutes the home side had a good deal of possession, but they failed to make much headway. The talented and versatile Jamie Forbes, playing out of position at scrumhalf, certainly kept the opposition on their toes with crisp passing, cunning punts into space, and the occasional dash that was soon sealed off by a sharp Hawks defence. After absorbing these early attacks, Hawks reversed the roles and on their first visit into Currie’s 22 came away with points. A patient and well-executed build-up, involving forwards and backs, stretched the Chieftains and Robert Beattie sprinted in for the try. George Horne converted and on fifteen minutes he belted over a long-range penalty goal.

Currie continued to ‘air the ball’ but they were thwarted by a stubborn defence and some silly errors that had punctuated their two previous outings. Thomas Gordon, Ben Robbins, Robbie Nelson and Ruairidh Smith all made promising breaks that were halted by fine tackling and errors. A tremendous tackle from Scott McGinley stopped a flowing Hawks move, but their multi-phase play continued to advance towards the Currie line with the inevitable conclusion. Sam Yawayawa raced into the corner, and this was shortly followed by another touch-down from George Horne, who was on the end of some exceptional inter-passing; both conversions were missed. Currie appeared to have no luck and no answer to a devastating period in the match. When Kyle Rowe’s try was converted by George Horne, several Currie supporters were talking of nightmares rather than daydreams! Just before halftime their worst fears were slightly eased as Harvey Elms slipped around his marker to put Ruairidh Smith in at the corner flag; the try was not converted.

Halftime score – Currie 5 pts, Glasgow Hawks 27 pts.
Whatever the coaches, Ben and Andrew discussed with their team at halftime, it certainly took immediate effect. Five minutes after the re-start the visitors were pinned in their 22. Thomas Gordon plucked the ball from a wayward Hawks throw-in and dived over. The splendid Adam Hastings converted the try and continued to taunt the opposition with teasing kicks and pin-point distribution that saw his backs hurtling for the Hawks’ line. They went close on several occasions, but as the pressure mounted, so did the Hawks’ infringements; Steven Leckey went to the sin-bin and the Currie pack went into overdrive. The line-battering was finally ended by the mercurial Jamie Forbes who slipped in near the posts. Adam Hastings converted, but the home team was still two scores adrift as the game moved into the last quarter.

Although Hawks tried to resurrect their first half flair, the spark had gone and mistakes were frequent. They seldom got near the Currie 22, and when they did the ball was turned over. Whenever possible the Chieftains opened up; Scott McGinley, Cammy Gray, Ben Robbins and Ruairidh Smith caused panic with deep devastating runs. The Chieftains’ bonus point score was spectacular; Ruaraidh Smith’s unconverted try was worthy reward for some superb fast handling. With ten minutes remaining Currie kept up the pressure, but the attacks were repelled by an increasingly desperate Hawks, who initiated their own downfall when Rob Beattie was given a yellow card. The resulting penalty lineout was secured by Vince Wright, and despite a valiant effort the visitors could not stop Currie’s drive for the line; John Cox scored. The try was not converted but the astonishing turn-around was complete. The remaining minutes were played out in midfield as Hawks tried to rescue a lost cause, and the magnificent Mike Vernel and Rhys Davies tackled themselves to a standstill. Another home fixture next Saturday against Stirling County, KO 3.00pm. IJS, 8.9.17.

Updated 08/10/2017 by Ian Gidney