Currie 24 - 27 Melrose: Borderers tough it out in capital

Melrose's players celebrate their win over Currie. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Melrose's players celebrate their win over Currie. Pic: Ian Georgeson
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Melrose coach Rob Chrystie praised his team for fending off the persistent challenge of a dogged Currie to emerge from this seven-try thriller with maximum points.

“It was a really tough game,” he said. “The players showed lots of guts and desire which is fine, but when you blend that with the ability these guys can play with it becomes excellent.”

The two teams squared up with Melrose at the top of the Premiership table and Currie 16 points behind in fifth place but, once play got under way, it was clear the gap was not nearly so wide on the pitch.

Their previous league encounter ended with the Borderers racking up more than half a century of points, but Currie have improved since then and won three of their last four games before the international break put things on pause.

From the kick-off it was fast forward for the visitors, who camped in the Currie half for the first five minutes before scoring when scrum-half Jason Baggot took the ball round the edge of a rolling maul to cross the line unopposed.

Currie replied by setting up good field position for stand-off Jamie Forbes to knock over the penalty, but Melrose came straight back and Baggot kicked a penalty at the other end.

Visiting fly-half Craig Jackson then broke free and seemed certain to score under the posts, but somehow contrived to drop the ball. It only delayed the try, however. Full-back Fraser Thomson caught and returned a defensive clearance kick, kept the move alive through a passing interchange with Ross McCann and was in for the second try.

Currie bounced back with a first try when full-back Harvey Elms forced his way over and Forbes converted, quickly followed by a second from a five-metre lineout and rolling maul, touched down by captain Ross Weston and converted by Forbes right on 40 minutes to put the home side in the lead for the first time.

After the restart, Melrose were immediately in Currie’s faces and they regained the lead when relentless pressure resulted in just enough space opening up for winger Ross McCann to squeeze over in the right-hand corner. Jackson converted from the touchline.

A determined Currie came right back at them to get their noses in front again as replacement prop Jarrod Firth found himself at the bottom of an untidy heap for his team’s third try. Forbes converted.

Melrose, showing the stamp of champions, didn’t panic.

They won possession and bided their time until flanker Ruaridh Knott was able to make a lunge for the line and ground the ball for the bonus point try. Jackson converted.

There were still ten minutes to play and Currie stormed the barricades more than once, but just couldn’t make the crucial breakthrough.