Glasgow Hawks 14
Currie Chieftains 46
IAIN HAY @ Balgray
CLINICAL Currie Chieftains brushed aside the challenge of Glasgow Hawks with a resounding bonus-point victory which keeps them within striking distance of Marr at the top of the table.
“We never put ourselves in a position to even be close to winning the game,” Hawks coach Andy Hill accepted. “To not really start in the first 40 minutes and find ourselves 7-27 down at half-time, it’s a long way to go.
“Simple things like tackling – the tackling was not anywhere near where it needs to be if you’re going to be winning a game in the Premiership. The amount of times they broke through after that initial contact was just unacceptable.”
Although Kyle Henderson had started the match with a nice break through the middle for Hawks which resulted in Murray Godsman being bundled into touch once into Currie’s 22, the visitors soon showed their quality in ball retention and recycling. They dominated the territorial battle throughout.
Adam Hall knocked over two early penalties, before Steven Hamilton, pushed out to the wing following the late injury withdrawal of Cameron Meagher, found himself in acres of space out on the left and crossed for a score which he converted himself.
One area where Hawks appeared to have the advantage was in the scrum. They won a penalty on halfway which went to the corner, and when awarded another penalty five metres from the Chieftains’ line in centre-field, they confidently opted for the scrum. The visitors were penalised for an early shove, scrum-half Sandy Greig tapped, and moments later Hawks had themselves back in the game when Gary Strain crossed over the try-line from close range.
But that was all the Hawks had to show for the opening 40, as further close-range scores from Gregor Christie and Cairn Ramsay, both converted by Hall, put Chieftains in a commanding position at half-time.
Hawks really struggled with their exits and kicking game throughout, and early in the second half, after initially doing well to repel Currie, even being awarded a free-kick against the head at scrum-time, the clearing kick from just outside the 22 went straight into touch.
Currie don’t need a second invitation to the try-line, and it was once again Ramsay who eventually bustled over from close range to secure the try-bonus point, and certainly take the game beyond Hawks.
And so on it went. Wallace Nelson, dynamic in attack and defence throughout, picked up from the base of an attacking Currie ruck a good 40m from the try-line, and did superbly well to charge away from the chasing men and bowl over full-back Nathan Moffat.
Nelson then linked up with Matt O’Neill, moved from the bench to the starting stand-off spot, to further boost Chieftains’ points difference, only for Nathan Moffat to finish proceedings with an excellent solo score, dancing between two Chieftains defenders and reaching out for the try-line despite Charlie Brett’s best efforts.
“Delighted with the result – I thought it was a pretty solid performance”, said Currie’s Ally Donaldson. “We were quite impressed with Hawks when we watched them, thought we had to really play well to subdue them, but that’s what you have to do. You have to break teams down, it doesn’t happen right away.
“We had the patience and the execution to do that. Some guys stepped up to the plate, not necessarily team leaders, so it’s encouraging but there’s still a long way to go and a lot of improving to do.”
Glasgow Hawks: Y Alagilly; M Godsman, M Stewart, C Harrison, K Gossman; K Henderson, S Greig; L
Archer, T McTeir, G Strain, S Halafih, A Kirkland, S Leckey, S Dow, F Christie. Subs: P Henderson, E
Rintoul, P Boyer, J Strain, N Moffat.
Currie Chieftains: C Brett; S Hamilton, A Hall, A Harley, A MacLean; M O’Neill, G Christie; G Carson, F Scott, M
Sonzogni Argiro, M Vernel, M Poole, H Ferguson, W Nelson, J O’Brien. Subs: G Williamson, C Ramsay,
S Edwards, C Hunter.
Referee: H Davidson.
Glasgow Hawks: Tries: Strain, Moffat; Cons: Henderson, Moffat.
Currie Chieftains: Tries: Hamilton, Christie, Ramsay 2, Nelson, O’Neill; Cons: Hamilton 2, Hall 3; Pens: Hall 2.
Scoring sequence (Hawks first): 0-3, 0-6, 0-13, 7-13, 7-20, 7-27 half-time, 7-32, 7-39, 7-46, 14-46.
Man of the match: Currie’s Wallace Nelson had an excellent game: he seemed to pop up everywhere and would have been a candidate regardless of his try.
Talking Point: If Hawks could keep the pressure off themselves they might get some better results. As well as the kick out on the full which led to Ramsay’s second, they missed touch with at least two penalties, and it was a kick out on the full which abetted their downfall against GHA last week.