Currie Chieftains vs Hawick - A View From The Touchline

April 16, 2024



National Cup Semi-Final – Match 22 v Hawick

A View from the Touchline

Hawick 16 pts (t 2, p g 2) v Currie Chieftains 3 pts (d g 1)

After a week of cold, wet weather, a confident Chieftains team arrived at Mansfield Park to yet more rain and a gale force wind; ideal conditions for the hosts, but a scenario that the visitors did not want. Just before the 3.00pm KO, a minute of appreciation was observed for two long serving Hawick members, and Currie’s Roger McLaren, one of the founding fathers of Currie RFC, whose driving influence helped to establish the Club in October 1970.

Playing into the driving wind and rain, the Chieftains had the best of the first 10 minutes with good ball retention, but they could not penetrate the opposition 22 in the appalling conditions. As handling became increasingly difficult the inevitable mistakes occurred, and Hawick kicked for territory. Midway through the first quarter Currie were penalised for holding on, and Hawick took the points. The ‘Greens’ used the wind well with a several long kicks into the Chieftains’ 22. After a period of Hawick pressure, a well organised rolling maul rumbled to the corner flag for an unconverted try. It was expected, and typical play from the well-drilled Hawick pack. By halftime, their marauding tactics were awarded with a further penalty goal. Jamie Forbes nearly pulled 3 points back with an agonisingly close penalty shot, but with wind advantage after the break, Hawick’s lead was not insurmountable.

Halftime score – Hawick 11 pts, Currie Chieftains 0 pts.

The visitors started the second forty with the same vigour and determination as shown in the first half. Another penalty kick went disappointingly close, but a few minutes later hope of a comeback was restored when Callum Beckett’s ambitious drop-goal, from halfway, sailed through the posts. For the next 30 minutes Currie found it difficult to exit their half. Hawick harassed, flooded the breakdown, and gave a masterclass in ball retention. The game was becoming a hard relentless grind that the Chieftains have learned to expect when visiting Mansfield Park. Any mistake was punished, and although they tried to open the Hawick defence, the visitors were increasingly on the back foot. With 10 minutes remaining, the experienced beefy Hawick pack made the most of a penalty lineout, and another mighty driving maul delivered their second unconverted try.  

The Chieftains did have a couple of opportunities, but the final pass was just not on the money, and Currie’s normally reliable lineout was also misfiring. Considering the conditions and a fired-up opposition, it was just not the Chieftains’ day. Perhaps when the team returns for the play-off final on Saturday, May 4th, the ground will be firmer, and it will be a little warmer with some sunshine. We live in hopes of a better match, and a better outcome. I.J.S. - 16.4.24.

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