FOR Ben Cairns, the transition from player to coach seemed simple. Join Currie as player-coach and tap into the huge coaching experience of Ally Donaldson and Graham Hogg.
Ayr 29 - 0 Currie
Scorers: Ayr – Tries: D Kelbrick (2), R Curle, C Templeton, G Anderson. Cons: F Russell (2).
Referee: L Linton.
Yet there he was, three games into the league campaign – more often on the field than off it in his enthusiasm – standing in for the unavailable Donaldson in what was a hard afternoon for the tyro coach and a youthful Currie side.
Cairns has, however, already learned to seek and find positives in adversity. “They laid their lives on the line in defending superbly,” he said of his players.
“I asked them to be disciplined and keep it tight against the elements, get to 50 minutes then try to kick-on with the elements in our favour, and they nearly did that. However, we lost two soft tries and the game was dead. I’m very frustrated, but have to take the positives from those first 50 minutes.”
In contrast, Ayr’s Peter Laverie could hardly be happier, after a different second half from that which he endured against Melrose the previous week.
“We killed them in the wide channels and, while Currie’s defence was superb, we reached and maintained a tempo they couldn’t match,” Laverie said.
“We defended well, kept the ball and, unlike last week, started the second half well and took our chances.
“Our discipline was good, we were ambitious, sometimes overly so in the first half, and we scored some quality tries. I’ve got to be happy and we will look to move on from here.”
All the points came after the break. Dean Kelbrick scored two tries and made one for Ross Curle with his ability to break the line. Callum Templeton scored his first for the club, with a gallop up the left, then reprised the run in an assist for Grant Anderson’s try.
The happiest Ayr man was perhaps replacement hooker Dougie Hall. The veteran Scotland internationalist couldn’t remember when last he actually hooked a ball against the head and it led to a try, as happened for Curle’s effort. The new scrum laws may have confused referee Lloyd Linton at times but, in this instance, they worked.
Ayr: G Anderson; C Gossman, R Fergusson, D Kelbrick, K Gossman; F Russell, P Jericevich; J Malcolm, F Scott, N Cox, S Sutherland, C White, J Eddie, G Fisken, C Forrester. Replacements used: D Hall, D Mutamangira, C Templeton, M McConnell, R Curle.
Currie: G Horne; A Turnbull, E Pollock, J Broadley, R Smith; J Reynolds, R Snedden; J Cox, D Cherry, A Hamilton, G Temple, M Vernal, M Cairns, M Peacock, R Weston. Replacements used: I Miller, F Watts, E Mitchell, K Main, A Penman.