Currie just couldn’t cope with a full-strength Heriot’s outfit who steamrollered their way to success with each of the front row trio claiming a try.
Currie 19-32 Heriot’s
Scorers: Currie – Try: Roe. Con: Horne. Pens: Horne (4). Heriot’s: Tries: Mustard, Boisseau, Owenson, Bryce. Cons: Wilson (3). Pens: Wilson (2.)
Heriot’s largely controlled the game and the home side only stayed in touch thanks to the boot of regional academy player George Horne at stand-off, who kicked four first half penalties.
It was also a game marred by serious injury in the second half when Currie lost first openside flanker Malcolm Peacock who had to be stretchered off with a possible leg break, and then second row Michael Vernal who went down a seemingly innocuous contact at the breakdown and was treated on the field for a lengthy period before an ambulance was brought in. The last 15 minutes was moved to the neighbouring seconds’ pitch, where Heriot’s finished the job.
The result keeps Currie firmly rooted at the foot of the RBS Premiership after five straight defeats and has their coaches shaking their heads over what can be done to turn things around.
Heriot’s, in contrast, are in the ascendancy, having seen off the challenge of defending champions Ayr the previous week and with club captain Jack Turley making his first start of the season to add weight and guile to an already confident pack of forwards in which lock Murray Douglas is increasingly a stand-out with his positive running and intelligent off-loading.
Currie went ahead with Horne’s first penalty after only two minutes and Heriot’s almost cancelled it out immediately but scrum-half Graham Wilson’s attempt hit the post.
A scrum saw Heriot’s win possession and it was tighthead prop Stuart Mustard who got his hands on the ball in the loose and crashed over. Wilson kicked the simple conversion.
Horne then regained the lead for Currie with two penalties, the first for a collapsed scrum and the second for a needless piece of crossing just outside the 22. Wilson then missed two attempts for Heriot’s and Horne added a fourth kick to stretch Currie’s lead despite hooker Isaac Miller being sent to the bin for persistent infringement.
Currie must have thought they would be going in at halftime five points to the good, but they lost concentration at the restart, allowing Turley to carry the ball and set it up for left winger Harry Boisseau to run round the edge of the defence for a try. Wilson’s conversion established a lead that would never be relinquished.
Four minutes into the second half, Horne’s fifth penalty attempt looked to have restored Currie’s slender lead but the touch judges couldn’t agree if it had gone over or not and the outcome was a Heriot’s drop-out from their 22.
It was at this stage that Peacock suffered his leg injury and the game was held up for several minutes. Heriot’s got back up to pace quicker than the home team once it was restarted. Boisseau’s clever chip over the advancing defence was somehow scrambled away but their was no stopping loosehead prop Craig Owenson when he took the ball at speed and rumbled over after several few phases of sustained pressure. The conversion came back off the post.
There was another long delay when Vernal was injured and treated where he lay while an ambulance was called. The referee had the option of abandoning the game or moving onto an adjacent pitch that had just been vacated by the Currie-Hamilton seconds match. The latter was agreed and the crowd moved with the game.
Currie were still hoping for a losing bonus point but Heriot’s hooker Kevin Bryce barrelled over to complete the front row hat-trick and seal the bonus point. Wilson converted.
Heriot’s relaxed a little too much after that and Currie took advantage with their first serious threat to the visitors’ line ending with replacement prop Joe Roe getting a try. Horne’s conversion gave him an individual haul of 14 points and brought Currie back within bonus point range and the outside possibility of snatching a late try to draw the game.
Heriot’s, however, never let Currie out of their own half in the final minutes and Wilson, shrugging off his previously erratic kicking, split the posts with two further penalties to leave forlorn Currie empty handed.
Currie: R Smith; H Elms, A Penman, E Pollock, C Kerr; G Horne, R Snedden; J Cox, I Miller, A Hamilton, G Temple, M Vernal, M Cairns, M Peacock, R Weston. Subs used: J Roe, R Patterson, J Stachan, E Mitchell, A Alexander.
Heriot’s: L Steele; C Goudie, K Buchan, C Ferguson, H Boisseau; M Nimmo, G Wilson; C Owenson, K Bryce, S Mustard, M Douglas, R NImmo, J Turley, A Henderson, J Hill. Replacements (all used) G Turner, M Weloch, C Mulligan, OJ Brown, M Learmonth.