Selkirk no match for table-toppers Currie Chieftains

Last week saw the disbandment of the Colinton and Currie Pipe Band, founded in 1887, due to dwindling membership. As far as rugby is concerned, however, Currie Chieftains unquestionably continue to call the tune.

By John Smail
Monday, 13th December 2021, 7:19 pm
Updated Monday, 13th December 2021, 7:19 pm
Selkirk losing 40-10 to Currie Chieftains on Saturday (Photo: Ian Gidney)
Selkirk losing 40-10 to Currie Chieftains on Saturday (Photo: Ian Gidney)

For the first quarter of Saturday’s fixture at Malleny Park in Edinburgh, Selkirk simply had no answer to the pace and dynamism of the Tennent’s Premiership front-runners, and their hosts were quick to punish every error made by the visitors.

The home side raced into a 19-0 lead after just quarter of an hour minutes thanks to a hat-trick of tries from left-wing Jamie Forbes, and when a charged-down clearance kick led to a fortuitous try for Hamish Ferguson, the writing was well and truly on the wall for the hard-pressed Souters.

To their credit, after those early setbacks, the visitors’ defence tightened up considerably, and just before the interval, Selkirk fly-half Ben Pickles found space down the left flank to run in his seventh try of the seaso, making the half-time score 26-5 in the hosts’ favour.

Selkirk and Currie Chieftains vying for possession at Malleny Park (Photo: Ian Gidney)

Selkirk started the second half in far more positive fashion, with Andrew Grant-Suttie, Scott McClymont and Ewan MacDougall all making an impact in the loose.

Despite Currie lock forward Ferguson being shown a yellow-card, the Philiphaugh side couldn’t exploit their numerical advantage, with a try by Callum Lessels stretching the Balerno outfit’s lead to 33-5.

Having had to draft Gary Holborn into their playing squad under the Scottish Rugby Union’s emergency cover scheme following a spate of front-row injuries, the 43-year-old ex-Berwick prop replaced Bruce Riddell with half an hour left on the clock.

A painful shoulder injury then saw Selkirk’s Thomas Brown retire to the sidelines, his absence being compounded by a yellow card shown to James Bett by referee Sam O’Neill.

Selkirk attempting to halt a Currie attack (Photo: Ian Gidney)

Currie managed to withstand two try-line sieges by the Borderers’ pack before replacement Robert Cook finished off a well-executed Selkirk attack by diving over for a try in the right-hand corner.

It looked as though 33-10 would end up being the final score, but a smash-and-grab try in the dying seconds by Currie’s DJ Innis saw the capital side offer a final encore for their vocal supporters.

Afterwards Selkirk head coach Scott Wight said it was clear that Currie are top of the league for a reason, on 58 points from 13 games, adding: “They’re a well-oiled machine and are very effective in what they do.

“They have that ability to defend and then switch straight into attack and can be pretty relentless, which comes from winning games and having composure.

“We’ve not had our problems to seek and are in a wee bit of a rut at the moment, but the boys will stick together and stay strong, I have no doubt about that.”

Selkirk now sit seventh in the Premiership on 21 points from 13 games, three fewer than sixth-placed Jed-Forest and 26 behind third-placed Hawick.

Next up for Wight’s team in the league is a visit from Glasgow Hutchesons’ Aloysians, one point and two places below them, on Saturday, January 8, with kick- off at 3pm.