Currie Chieftains 47
Glasgow Hawks 7
ELÉNA de MELLO HOGARTH @ Malleny Park
AFTER a three match jitter just before Christmas, Chieftains returned to form in fine style as they eased their way to this convincing eight-tries-to-one victory.
The home side started as they meant to go on, second-row Mike Vernel shooting up the pitch and gliding through the Hawks defence to get the first try, with fly-half Gregor Hunter adding the first of several conversions.
Hawks had some initial forays but Chieftains’ defence was more than a match for them, and the Malleny men were soon on the scoresheet again, thanks to prop Matias Argiro.
The visitors were trying to bring their danger men into proceedings, but a cross-field kick meant for winger Kerr Gossman had too much on it and went into touch. Hawks seemed to be doing an awful lot in the first quarter but getting nowhere.
It was a different story for Chieftains, with Hunter, full-back Fraser Sayers, hooker Fergus Scott and number eight Rhys Davies quickly moving the ball past, through, up and round the Hawks defence, before prop Graeme Carson eventually dived over for the score.
Gossman got a chance to show what he can do with ball in hand, jinking this way and that, and finally scampering over for Hawks’ only try of the match, which was converted by fly-half Liam Brims, but Chieftains were soon back on top when centre Adam Hall scored a blink-and-you’d-miss-it try from a strong scrum just before half-time to give his team the bonus point.
Currie got their fifth try just after the resumption with Carson claiming his second, but it was a rare missed conversion from Hunter.
Premiership Match Reports:
Things got a little bit scrappy as the light dimmed and the temperature fell, but with the near-constant instruction from the coaching team on the sidelines, Currie weren’t short of ideas on how to exploit a Hawks side that was now beginning to look lost.
Captain Scott burrowed over for a try, with scrum-half Gregor Christie grabbing one too, to compound Hawks’ misery.
The home crowd was lapping it up, giving just as big a cheer for Cheiftains’ solid defensive efforts as the tries.
Hawks found some fighting spirit in the last ten minutes, with Brims trying to steer his men through the black and gold shirts, and centre Matthew Stewart darting up field, but it was to no avail as the clock ticked past 80 minutes.
“It was a bit of a lesson for some boys that this is the level that they’re at and this is what playing at this level looks like,” said Hawks head coach Andy Hill. “We just need to make sure we get some guys up to that sort of level.”
Opposite number Mark Cairns was satisfied with a job well done by his charges. “There’s been a lot of time off to try and put some things right,” he reflected. “So it’s nice to get back on the pitch and show that we can play better rugby.”
Currie Chieftains: F Sayers; S Hamilton, A Hall, R Southern, C Meager; G Hunter, G Christie; G Carson, F Scott, M Argiro; M Vernel, M Poole; R Vocugo, W Nelson, R Davies. Subs: R Patterson, S Edwards, J O’Brien, A MacLean, J McCaig.
Glasgow Hawks: Y Alagilly; K Gossman, M Stewart, L Armstrong, E Oag; L Brims, C Holborn; P Cairncross, J Gemmell, G Strain; A Kirkland, J Paterson; J McLean, S Leckey, G Armstrong. Subs: T McTier, D Irvine, P Boyer, C Harrison, M Godsman.
Referee: David Young
Currie Chieftains: Tries: Vernel, Argiro, Carson 2, Hall, Scott, Christie; Cons: Hunter 6.
Glasgow Hawks: Tries: Gossman; Cons: Brims.
Scoring sequence (Currie Chieftains): 5-0; 7-0; 12-0; 14-0; 19-0; 21-0; 21-5; 21-7; 26-7; 28-7 (h-t) 33-7; 38-7; 40-7, 45-7; 47-7.
Man-of-the-Match: Chieftains lock Mike Vernel was on gazelle-like form in the first half, and shored up the set pieces with ease.
Talking point: On a freezing January day, it was good to see so many cheering on their teams (including Currie 2nd XV) in the low winter sun at Malleny. There’s still an appetite for watching live club rugby in Scotland, and with eight tries in total, fans got their money’s worth.