HERIOT’S moved into joint top spot in the BT Premiership with a five-point haul from a performance that was built as much on a solid defensive effort as it was on an incisive back line.
It was the visitors’ clinical edge which carved open a Currie side which was toiling to overcome the absence of Richard Snedden, who was spending time in the sin-bin. But the win owed much to the Goldenacre side’s ability to repel the hosts who enjoyed territorial dominance in the opening half-hour and again in the closing stages.
Currie’s progress under rookie coach Ben Cairns remains a work in progress, but there were glimpses of the potential bubbling just below the surface of a youthful squad leavened with experience. Ironically, it was the momentary lapse of Snedden, one of the older heads on the park, that proved to be the turning point in the game.
Two minutes from the interval, Currie led 16-3 courtesy of a try by Peter Murchie, converted by Joe Reynolds who also landed three penalties. Graham Wilson was on target with a three-pointer for Heriot’s who were applying pressure when Snedden strayed offside and played the ball, earning a ten-minute spell on the sidelines. During his absence, Heriot’s had tries from Gavin Cameron, Ben Toolis, Charlie Simpson and Harry Boisseau.
Ruing the leakage of those scores, which handed Heriot’s the initiative, Cairns said: “That spell we had him in the bin cost us and we’ve got to learn from that. It was the crucial period of the match, either side of half time. There is no real excuse for it.”
Ross Weston offered Currie some hope when he forced his way over, but an instant riposte by Russell Nimmo quelled the fightback. Another flurry of attacks by the hosts stretched the Heriot’s defence which was by then short-handed as a result of a yellow card for Nimmo. But, despite a mounting penalty count, Heriot’s held firm, and it was the dying seconds before Weston plunged over for the try that ensured the hosts took a narrow defeat bonus point from the game.
Heriot’s coach Phil Smith was delighted with the way his players had stepped up the intensity after a sluggish first period. “In the second half it was about playing with a bit more pace,” he said. “We played with more enthusiasm and we scored some wonderful tries.”
Scorers: Currie – Tries: Murchie, Weston (2). Cons: Reynolds (2). Pens: Reynolds (3). Heriot’s – Tries: Cameron, Toolis, Simpson, Boisseau, Nimmo. Cons: Wilson (3). Pen: Wilson.
Currie: A P Murchie; H Elms, F Efthymiou, J Reynolds, R Smith; J Semple, R Snedden; J Cox, K Bryce, A Hamilton, G Temple, J Gray, M Mladenovic, M Peacock, R Weston. Subs used: M Goodwin, M Erskine, R Denonain, M McPhillips, C Logan.
Heriot’s: C Simpson; J Fleming, L Steele, R Carmichael, H Boisseau; S Edwards, G Wilson; G Cameron, D McGregor, S Cessford, R Nimmo, B Toolis, J Turley, J McLean, J Hill. Subs Used: N Borel, B Coupar, J Syme, G McNeish, K Buchan.
Referee: S Grove-White