Heriot’s Blues 12
Currie Chieftains 50
GARY HEATLY @ Goldenacre
FOUR tries in 11 minutes in the lead up half-time set up Currie Chieftains for their third bonus point Premiership win on the spin against Heriot’s Blues at Goldenacre.
The home side, searching for their first victory since promotion, started the stronger and were 7-0 up before Currie upped their pace and intensity to run in the four scores between the 29th and 40th minutes to lead 24-7 at the break and leave Heriot’s a bit shellshocked.
Like the GHA match a fortnight before, it was a lesson in how to be clinical in the top flight for Heriot’s and once Currie finally got into their groove after a sluggish start there was only ever going to be one winner here.
“I am pleased with aspects of the performance,” Currie head coach Mark Cairns said after the 50-12 triumph which saw them go top of the table.
“It wasn’t our best showing and there is lots to work on, but I can’t be too hard on the guys because coming to Goldenacre and scoring 50 points is pretty good.
“We coughed up ball pretty easily early on, but when it did stick we were pretty unstoppable and the tries before half-time really got us going and the guys didn’t look back.
“I thought our pack put in a good shift, often it is the backs at Currie who get the plaudits, but the guys up front worked hard, carried well and set up this result.”
Before this match, as with many this weekend, there was a minute of silence observed by these two sides and their respective 2nd XVs in front of the stand at Goldenacre.
When things got going, a kick by home stand-off Rory Carmichael was knocked on by visiting scrum-half Paddy Boyer in the third minute to give Heriot’s a good attacking scrum, but they were then penalised from it and the opportunity was gone.
The first try of the day came in the 15th minute. It was winger Craig Robertson who finished it off for Heriot’s, showing good strength to go over from short range, but it owed much to the good hands of his team mates, particularly good breaks from centre Oisin Quinn – impressive all day – and full-back Charlie Dineen. Captain Graham Wilson converted and it was 7-0.
Currie almost hit back immediately, but just when it looked like winger Kody McGovern, who had six tries in two games before this one, was going to go in on the left he was deemed to have put a foot in touch.
Just after the first quarter had come and gone the home side were forced into a change when the injured Carmichael was replaced by Innes Parkin. At the same time Currie had to bring on Mike Vernel in the back-row for Gregor Nelson who also had an injury issue.
In the 24th minute second-row Malachi Keough read a pass in the midfield well and intercepted around the halfway line. The big Heriot’s man headed into open space, but was tracked down by Currie full-back Charlie Brett.
Keough managed to pass to No 8 Billy Dineen some 20 metres out, but he too was felled and the chance had gone.
And just before the half hour mark Currie were on the scoreboard when hooker Ryan Stewart went over from close range out wide. Stand-off Sam Leto could not convert and it was 7-5.
The men from Malleny Park took confidence from that and soon had their second try, a quick tap from skipper Rhys Davies catching the defence out and getting them close before, a couple of phases later, second-row Ewan Stewart went over.
Leto converted to make it 12-7 and better was still to come for the away side.
Five minutes before the break a strong run by Davies created space out wide and he fed winger Cammy Meager who showed good pace to do the rest. Leto missed the conversion, but it was 17-7.
The bonus point fourth try came through tighthead prop Cairn Ramsay just before the break with Leto converting.
The start to the second half was delayed due to an injury in the 2nd XV match on the adjacent pitch which required an ambulance.
When this one did resume, Heriot’s came out of the traps quickest and scored their second try through Robertson again, but Wilson could not convert the tricky extras.
That defensive lapse clearly annoyed Currie because a couple of minutes later they had their fifth try when back-row Ally McCallum strolled over. Leto could not convert and it was 29-12.
In the 65th minute Stewart Mustard, who is now in his early 40s and is club vice-president, came on for Heriot’s. Sadly, the forward’s cameo appearance was a short one has he had to leave the field injured before the end.
With 13 minutes to go try number six came for Currie when Cairn Ramsay went over from short range for his second of the day. The tighthead had a very impressive afternoon overall and Leto converted to make it 36-12.
In the 70th minute McGovern got his seventh try of the campaign, and, at the death, replacement forward Joe Halliday scored too. They were both converted by Leto.
Heriot’s are left on one point from three games, but head coach Phil Smith is certainly not panicking.
“We have had three games now of good 30 minute periods or so and then the momentum has flipped and when it has we have struggled to wrestle back any control,” he said.
“However, that is Premiership rugby and a lot of the guys are still learning at this level while you have to remember that Currie are a very good side.
“We have a lot of young boys in the dressing room and I don’t want their heads to go down at all, far from it because they are doing all the right things and if we can just fix small parts of our game and get some key players back then we will be okay.”
Heriot’s Blues: C Dineen, N Henry, P Christie, O Quinn, C Robertson; R Carmichael, G Wilson©; A Munro, E Young, J Lascelles, M Keough, L Gordon, M Bruce, S Wallace, B Dineen. Subs: S Mustard, A Bogle, M Nimmo, R Thomson, I Parkin.
Currie Chieftains: C Brett; K McGovern, J McCaig, A Hall, C Meager; S Leto, P Boyer; C Anderson, R Stewart, C Ramsay, C Roman, E Stewart, A McCallum, G Nelson, R Davies©. Subs: J Halliday, J Ramsay, W Inglis, M Vernel, C Lessels.
Referee: Calum Worsley.
Heriot’s Blues: Tries: Robertson (2). Con: Wilson.
Currie Chieftains: Tries: R Stewart, E Stewart, Meager, C Ramsay (2), McCallum, McGovern, Halliday. Cons: Leto (5).
Scoring sequence (Heriot’s Blues first):5-0; 7-0; 7-5; 7-10; 7-12; 7-17; 7-22; 7-24 (h-t); 12-24; 12-29; 12-34; 12-36; 12-41; 12-43; 12-48; 12-50.
Man-of-the-Match: Two tries, numerous carries, good at scrum time and a generally tireless 67-minute shift earn Currie Chieftains tighthead prop Cairn Ramsay the honour. Captain Rhys Davies also performed well from No 8 as did winger Cammy Meager and full-back Charlie Brett while back-row Sam Wallace and centre Oisin Quinn never took a backwards step for Heriot’s.
Talking point: Currie Chieftains have now scored 155 points in three matches without, according to head coach Mark Cairns, hitting top form. When they do find that next gear, opponents better watch out you would suspect…