Premiership: Currie Chieftains return to winning ways at Selkirk

Hosts dig deep and are unfortunate not to emerge with a bonus point from feisty affair

Currie Chieftains got the better of Selkirk at Philiphaugh. Image: Grant Kinghorn
Currie Chieftains got the better of Selkirk at Philiphaugh. Image: Grant Kinghorn

Selkirk 20

Currie Chieftains 29

COLIN RENTON @ Philiphaugh

CURRIE CHIEFTAINS shrugged off the previous week’s defeat to chalk up a bonus point win in a feisty affair at Philiphaugh. The hosts could perhaps consider themselves unfortunate not to earn a bonus point for their efforts, but there were few complaints over the result.  

“I can’t fault the effort but we were the second best team on the pitch. Currie came and executed their game plan. They had us in all sorts of bother in that first half,” admitted Selkirk coach Scott Wight. “Our boys fronted up. We had a really good set piece but we just couldn’t get out of the wrong areas of the field.”

His counterpart, Mark Cairns, was full of praise for the way his men had reacted to the criticism they received after losing to Hawick a week earlier. “We’ve got a bit of a chip on our shoulder now. We always perform better when we feel the world is against us. Based on some of the chatter around our performance last week – which is probably justified – the boys felt they had to get out there and prove it wrong,” he said, before suggesting that performing well from week to week is now the objective. “The league is much more competitive. Consistency is the key. We have good strength in depth and that could be important at the end of the season.”


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Selkirk made a solid start but took time to make an impression on the scoreboard. Their patient build up paid off in five minutes when the ball was shipped wide and Jack Hamilton delivered a perfectly timed pass to Josh Welsh who stepped inside the final defender and dotted down, with Aaron McColm banging over the conversion.

Chieftains responded with a spell of pressure and a maul that carried them inside the home 22. Paddy Boyer picked up and wriggled past a couple of opponents. He was hauled down just short of the line but managed to smuggle the ball to DJ Innes who crashed over for the try.

That sparked a spell in the ascendancy for the visitors, but they failed to add points and it was the Borderers who were next on the score sheet when McColm landed a penalty. Chieftains reacted immediately, with Boyer again thwarted just shy of the whitewash, where Gregor Nelson was on hand to gather and plunge over. Adam Hall’s conversion nudged the away side in front for the first time.

The lead grew on 26 minutes when Boyer and Hall combined to send Cammy Meager in for try number three, with Hall again adding the extra two points.

Selkirk returned to the opposition half and McColm’s attempt to sidestep Rhys Davies was ended by a high tackle that earned the Chieftains man a yellow card. However, the visitors stole ball at the ensuing line-out and averted the danger. It was only a temporary respite and Selkirk had the final scoring chance of the half when McColm went for goal with another penalty, this time skewing his kick wide of the target.

 

The same player was presented with the first scoring opportunity of the second half and this time he steered his penalty between the sticks to claw back three points, although that gain was immediately cancelled out by a similar effort from Hall.

Chieftains used that as a platform for a renewed spell on the front foot, and Selkirk were left a player short when James Bett saw yellow for an offence at the breakdown. The visitors used the extra man to bag the bonus point try. Meager forced his way past three defenders and fed Innes who shrugged off the attentions of the last man to claim his second try of the afternoon, with Hall again converting.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, Selkirk battled back into the game. From a tap penalty they inched closer to the line and a clever pass by Ryan Godsmark changed the direction of play and freed McColm for a try, which he also converted.

Selkirk were back within striking distance of a bonus point and, as the game entered injury time, they earned a penalty that was comfortably within range for McColm. However, the referee reversed the decision and the gap remained at a tantalising nine points. There was one final opportunity from a less favourable position and McColm’s kick fell just short.

Wight is now looking for a reaction from his men. “It’s about how well we can now dust ourselves down and get up for Hawick coming here next week,” he concluded. “The games keep coming thick and fast.”

 

Teams –

Selkirk: J Hamilton; J Welsh, L Ferguson, A Grant-Suttie, R Cottrell; Aaron McColm©, R Godsmark; L Pettie, B Riddell, Z Szwagrak, J Head, Andrew McColm, R Nixon, S McClymont, M Job. Substitues: J Bett, K Thompson, C Turnbull, A Cochrane, F Wheelans.

Currie Chieftains: C Brett; J McCaig, G Cannie, DJ Innes, C Meager; A Hall, P Boyer; C Anderson, R Stewart, J Ramsay, W Inglis, J O’Brien, M Vernel, G Nelson, R Davies. Substitutes: E McCallum, A Cameron, K Steel, G Christie, C Townsend.

Referee: D Young

 

Scorers –

Selkirk: Tries: Welsh, Aaron McColm; Cons: Aaron McColm 2; Pens: Aaron McColm 2

Currie Chieftains: Tries Innes 2, Nelson, Meager; Cons: Hall 3; Pen: Hall

Scoring sequence (Selkirk first): 5-0; 7-0; 7-5; 10-5; 10-10; 10-12; 10-17; 10-19 (h-t) 13-19; 13-22; 13-27; 13-29; 18-29; 20-29.

 

Yellows cards –

Selkirk: Bett

Chieftains: Davies

 

Man-of-the-Match: There were contenders on both sides, but Currie’s backs were outstanding, particularly in the first half, and of that bunch, the man who caught the eye was Cammy Meager, whose powerful running caused problems in the home defence and yielded a try.

Talking point: Results in the latest round of fixtures show that any side is capable of beating any other and as the league approaches the half way point it is shaping up to be an intense affair that should really capture the rugby public’s imagination.


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About Colin Renton 294 Articles
Colin has been a freelance writer on various subjects for more than 20 years. He covers rugby at all levels but is particularly passionate about the game at grass roots. As a fluent French speaker, he has a keen interest in rugby in France and for many years has reported on the careers of Scots who have moved across the Channel. He appreciates high quality, engaging writing that is thought provoking, and hopes that some of his work fits that bill!

1 Comment

  1. Couldn’t agree more about the exciting stage the league is currently at. Great pity such as the Scotsman, Daily Mail and others don’t bother to cover the rugby people actually watch and follow. There would be more benefit to Scottish rugby in promoting the Premiership than writing repetitive articles about Finn Russell’s dropping or “is Stuart Hogg upset at not being captain”. Course he’s upset, who wouldn’t be but no need to go on about it. Time to promote our positives in rugby as the SRU will always provide the negatives.

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