Table-topping Currie too hot to handle for Selkirk

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, so the saying goes, and that proved to be the case for Currie Chieftains at Selkirk on Saturday as they harnessed gale-force gusts at their backs to race to a 21-0 half-time lead.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 5:59 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd November 2021, 5:59 pm
Ben Pickles on the ball for Selkirk against Currie Chieftains on Saturday (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

It was an advantage the home team tried manfully to overturn in a much-improved showing after the break, but Currie’s physicality and unrelenting high-tempo style of play saw the Souters’ efforts fall short.

So dominant were the table-topping Edinburgh side in the game’s opening quarter that their hosts at Philiphaugh found themselves having to repel wave after wave of attacks near or inside their own 22.

The dam eventually broke following a lineout drive close to the home line. Currie scrum-half Paddy Boyer spotted a gap on the blind side of the splintering maul and touched down for a try in the corner, converted by half-back partner Adam Hall.

Selkirk's Andrew Grant-Suttie being supported by Keiran Clark during Saturday's defeat by Currie Chieftains (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

The league leaders continued to tighten the screw as half-time approached.

Fosroc Super6 wing Iain Sim broke two tackles to score his side’s second try before lock Rhys Davies found space to add a third, both converted by Hall, to put the visitors 21-0 up as the teams headed for their dressing rooms.

Selkirk looked a different side after the break and pushed hard to get back on terms.

A well-judged pass by Ben Pickles to Josh Welsh saw the wing chip ahead in the act of being tackled by Ewan McCallum and James Bett managed to collect the ball and squirm his way over for a try.

Selkirk try-scorer Andrew McColm being supported by captain Ewan MacDougall against Currie Chieftains

Selkirk’s second score came in the game’s dying seconds, when a concerted drive by the home pack propelled Andrew McColm over the Currie line for a hard-earned try. Scott Clark’s conversion sailed over to end the contest.

After the final whistle, Selkirk head coach Scott Wight said Currie had put his side under a huge amount of pressure right from the kick-off, adding: “The wind was really strong in the first half and we found it very hard to get out of our own 22.

“They managed to hold on to the ball through multiple phases and basically grind us down. We also missed a couple of tackles, and that’s after we’d defended so well for such long periods, one missed tackle on two occasions resulting in 14 points.

“Despite going behind 21-0 at the interval, the boys came out and won the second half 12-0, so credit to them for a huge amount of energy after the break.

Keiran Clark for Selkirk, supported by Andrew Grant-Suttie, playing against Currie Chieftains (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

“The bottom line is that if we want to compete against these teams, it just highlights how important individual skills are.”

That victory tightens the Malleny Park side’s grip on the top of the Tennent’s Premiership, having amassed 44 points from 10 games, only losing once so far this campaign, away to Hawick in September.

Hawick are fourth in the 10-team table with 34 points and Selkirk sixth with 19, both after 10 games. Jed-Forest are second bottom with 13 points from nine games.

Selkirk are away to Musselburgh this coming Saturday, with kick-off at 2pm.

Hawick and Jed-Forest both have home games kicking off at 3pm lined up, against seventh-placed Glasgow Hutchesons’ Aloysians and Edinburgh Academical, in third place, respectively.