Scottish Cup: Currie Chieftains make light work of Musselburgh to keep double dream alive

Visitors run in 13 tries to their hosts' two but beaten head coach Derek O'Riordan focussed on the positives

Currie Chieftains ran up a big score against a makeshift Musselburgh team at Stoneyhill. Image: John Durham
Currie Chieftains ran up a big score against a makeshift Musselburgh team at Stoneyhill. Image: John Durham

Musselburgh 14

Currie Chieftains 83

COLIN RENTON @ Stoneyhill

CURRIE CHIEFTAINS remain in the hunt for a league and cup double after strolling into the semi-finals of the knockout competition with a comfortable win over a Musselburgh side that fell away after a solid start and ultimately had no answer to the all-round power in the away side’s ranks.

Both teams took the opportunity to field some of their peripheral players, with the home side forced to do so through the unavailability of several regulars, although the youngsters who did feature showed that there is plenty of talent coming through at Stoneyhill.

Despite the outcome, home coach Derek O’Riordan declared himself satisfied, saying: “We can’t ask boys to cancel trips to Ireland or plans they have when the cup is shoe-horned into the calendar quite late on in the year. It makes a bit of a mockery of the structure, to be honest. But the positive thing is that Rex Condie, Murray McCowan, Luke Henderson are young kids and that’s great going into next year. So we took what we needed from the game, which was with one eye on next season.”


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Chieftains coach Mark Cairns said: “I was really happy with the way the boys didn’t let the scoreboard affect them and they continued to play. It would have been easy, especially after half-time, to stop working hard.

“At the end there we had a lot of young guys going on and playing some really good rugby, so that was really pleasing. We’ve got a cup semi and a league final and a lot of guys are putting their hand up. It’s going to be hard, because we’ve got guys coming back, but they ones who were there today are definitely in contention.”

Such a lopsided score-line had looked unlikely in the opening minutes as the hosts enjoyed the bulk of the possession and territory. They took the lead when Danny Owenson raced through a gap then freed Sandy Watt for the run in before adding the extras.

Chieftains responded instantly with Charlie Brett doing the spadework for Ryan Daley to sprint in at the corner. Jamie Forbes landed the conversion from out wide to tie the scores.

The momentum was now with the visitors and they seized the lead in 10 minutes when Ryan Stewart thundered clear and sent Callum Beckett scampering in between the sticks to leave Forbes a straightforward conversion.

 

 

A powerful surge by Graeme Carson created the field position for recycled ball which was worked wide to Archie Fletcher for number three, and the match looked to be over as a contest when DJ Innes raced clear and set up Brett for a try, which Beckett converted.

By half-time, Carson had dotted down following a penalty that was booted into touch, and Sam Cardosi had also bagged a five-pointer following a quickly taken lineout, with home winger Tom Foley sent to the sin bin for a late tackle in the move.

Within a minute of the restart, the gap had grown after Daley darted in and Beckett converted. Musselburgh clawed back seven points through a converted Paul Bogie try after opting for the scrum at a close-range penalty, but that marked the end of the scoring for the home side.

Roy Vucago forced his way over for a converted score that brought up the half-century, although the replacement hooker was yellow carded soon afterwards for a high tackle.

Chieftains continued to apply pressure and a lung-busting run by Ali Bain ended with Cammy Gray selflessly feeding Kyle Borthwick to touch down and Innes adding the extras.

Alex Harley was next on the scoresheet and Beckett bagged a fine solo score from half way before Rhys Davies and Matt Laidlaw claimed a try apiece to complete the rout.

 

Teams –

Musselburgh: O Craig; T Foley, B Heber, R Watt©, S Watt; D Owenson, F Call; R Hanning, R Mackie, E Bonthron, R Brown, M Badenhorst, J Longwell, M Crawford, P Bogie. Subs: D Hodge, L Knight, L Henderson, R Condie, M McCowan.

Currie Chieftains: C Brett; C Gray, DJ Innes, J Forbes©, R Daley; C Beckett, P Boyer; E Blair, R Stewart, G Carson, A Bain, K Steel, R Davies, A Fletcher, S Cardosi. Subs: R Vucago, N Thompson, K Borthwick, R Morrison, C Lessels, A Harley, M Laidlaw.

Referee: C Stark

 

Scorers –

Musselburgh: Tries: S Watt, Bogie; Cons: Owenson 2

Currie Chieftains: Tries: Daley 2, Beckett 2, Fletcher, Brett, Carson, Cardosi, Vucago, Borthwick, Harley, Davies, Laidlaw; Cons: Forbes 2, Beckett 6, Innes.

Scoring sequence: 5-0; 7-0; 7-5; 7-7; 7-12; 7-14; 7-19; 7-24; 7-26; 7-31; 7-36 (h-t) 7-41; 7-43; 12-43; 14-43; 14-48; 14-50; 14-55; 14-57; 14-62; 14-64; 14-69; 14-71; 14-76; 14-81; 14-83.

 

Yellow cards –

Currie Chieftains: Foley, Vucago

 

Man-of-the-match: Callum Beckett pulled the strings at stand-off and contributed to the points tally, while DJ Innes was typically robust at centre, but the Chieftains pack really stepped up, and the top contributor at the set piece and in open play was Ali Bain.

Talking point: The stop/start nature of the season means there is still much rugby to be played before the silverware is handed out. With Chieftains having several key men coming back, they will fancy their chances of taking something from their double bid.


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About Colin Renton 286 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!

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