Currie have momentum as they target play-off place

Scotland U20 star George Horne will boost Hawks' bid to avoid a relegaion play'off. Picture: SNS

Scotland U20 star George Horne will boost Hawks' bid to avoid a relegaion play'off. Picture: SNS

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When Currie lost 60-22 to Gala in the BT Premiership back in September, few would have thought that the Edinburgh side would reach the end of season play-offs, but, if they beat Glasgow Hawks this afternoon, they will do just that.

Currie go into the rearranged match at Malleny Park in sixth place but victory would see them leapfrog both Hawick and Gala and secure them a fourth-place finish and a semi-final against top-of-the-table Heriot’s.

At the moment, Gala, who slipped back towards the pack with a poor run in mid-season, are in the final play-off spot.

It will not be an easy task for Currie, though, as Hawks have their own reason for needing the points.

They currently sit ninth in the table and, if they stay there after their final two matches, then they will face a relegation play-off against either GHA or Stewart’s Melville from BT National League One on 25 April.

When Currie and Hawks met back in October at Old Anniesland, the sides drew 24-24 and another tight encounter is expected in the capital today.

Currie head coach Ben Cairns, for whom a top-four finish would be a great feat in his first year in charge, knows that his pack will have to front up in this one.

“With a big scrum, excellent maul and the best defence in the league, Hawks are well suited to getting results away from home,” Cairns said.

“With results going our way a couple of weeks ago, our play-off fate is now in our own hands. We have had an excellent run of performances in the last couple of months and we will be looking to produce more of the same in this one.

“We know for sure that this will be our last home game of the season and we are determined to finish at Malleny on a high.

“However, whilst the scenario is simple we are under no illusions of how difficult a task it will be to get the right result.”

A last-minute defeat to Boroughmuir in February put Hawks back in trouble and they are pleased to have Scotland under-20 playmaker George Horne and his age-grade team mate Andrew Davidson back for this one.

Hawks’ assistant coach Peter Laverie said: “Currie have played some very good rugby this season and Ben has them well organised which, coupled with the know-how of veterans Richard Snedden and Ross Weston, makes them a powerful outfit.

“Our squad is very focused and eager to do well and they have worked hard at training over the last two weeks.

“They have impressed with their commitment and are keen to give a performance in this one.”

In the other rearranged BT Premiership match today, Melrose and Ayr – both assured of play-off places – meet at The Greenyards, with the winner gaining home advantage for the semi-final between the two sides next week.

Currently, Melrose are in second place, two points ahead of third-placed Ayr, and their head coach John Dalziel said: “There have been some epic Melrose versus Ayr matches over the last few seasons. With hospitality sold out and a bumper crowd expected, I am sure it’s going to be another hugely exciting day at The Greenyards.”

His opposite number Calum Forrester stated: “We know that we will need to raise our game again as Melrose have recorded a number of good victories in their recent outings. We expect this to be a bruising encounter as both sides look to get an edge over the other going into next weekend’s semi-final.”

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