Boroughmuir and Currie lack cutting edge

BOTH teams were left frustrated and wondering what might have been as this Premiership game ended with a late flurry of try-scoring that ultimately produced an unsatisfactory sharing of the points.

Boroughmuirs Andy Rose is held by Curries Richard Snedden, right, and  Matt Goodwin. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Boroughmuirs Andy Rose is held by Curries Richard Snedden, right, and  Matt Goodwin. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Boroughmuirs Andy Rose is held by Curries Richard Snedden, right, and Matt Goodwin. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Currie had the bulk of possession and territory but didn’t do enough with the ball in hand to convert that advantage into points.

Boroughmuir, on much sparser rations, probably carved out more clear-cut chances but squandered them in profligate fashion.

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In the end, although the rugby was at times entertaining and free-flowing, both coaches were left bemoaning the need for their players to be more clinical in what is likely to be a highly competitive league.

Currie coach Ben Cairns said: “I’m obviously pretty frustrated. I thought we controlled possession and territory in the first half and had the better chances but didn’t capitalise on that.

“Instead of going in at half time a couple of scores up we went in at nil-nil.

“After having so much pressure then losing the first score in the second half, I thought the boys reacted very well but the bottom line is that we need to be more clinical than we showed today.

“There were a lot of positives in how we played in the first two-thirds of the pitch, but we are disappointed with what we did in the final third.

“I think we showed enough to win the game. We just didn’t execute well enough to win it.”

Boroughmuir coach Bruce Aitchison said: “I’m really disappointed. We have got to win our home games and we didn’t do that. We didn’t have a lot of territory but what we did have was a lot of chances.

“If the All Blacks can have 30 per cent possession and win games by 40 points, it shows the need to be more clinical against teams like Currie.

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“The boys are disappointed with today, which is good because they should be.

“It wasn’t great but we got the draw and next week we have to go to Melrose with a bit of positivity and improved performance.”

Before Saturday, both teams had started the season won one, lost one; Currie with a 50-point-plus demolition of Stirling County and then a wee bit of a hammering from defending champions Heriot’s, while Cup winners Boroughmuir lost narrowly to Heriot’s in the Charity Shield but bounced back to beat Ayr away in the league.

A pointless first half was meandering and error-strewn, with neither side able to impose themselves and take a ragged game by the scruff of the neck.

An early exchange of penalty attempts produced nothing. Currie did the attacking but couldn’t find the cutting edge to get to the line past a determined home front five and a suffocating back row. Boroughmuir did the defending and relied on break-outs by their speedsters that proved few and far between and with too far to go anyway. Every promising move seemed to end with a handling mistake or a penalty for holding on.

After half an hour, home winger Jordan Edmunds was yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle, but numerical advantage didn’t help Currie to mount any kind of serious threat.

He was back on the pitch by the time Currie full-back Ruaridh Young collected the ball on his own 22 and danced down the left touchline to get within ten metres before his opposite number Craig Marshall smashed him into touch and ended his participation for the day.

At half-time, the crowd were Googling on their phones to discover the last time a Premiership match ended nil-nil but, 15 minutes into the second half, such speculation was made redundant when space suddenly opened up in front of the home backline and Marshall’s pass to Grant McConnell gave the replacement winger a clear run to the line for the game’s first try. Chris Laidlaw couldn’t convert but at least one big fat zero had been banished from the scoreboard.

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Currie responded immediately by banishing the zero from the other side when they kicked for the corner, won the lineout and launched an unstoppable rolling maul that trundled over the line for No 8 Travis Brooke, just back on the pitch as the pack was reshuffled, to get the try. Semple converted to give Currie a two-point lead.

It didn’t last long. Boroughmuir hit straight back with a piece of individual inspiration as inside centre Greg Cannie took on the Currie defence, broke a couple of tackles and went in under the posts to snatch the lead back. Laidlaw’s conversion added the extras.

Currie attacked again but this time were successful in sucking in the wide defence and shifting the ball quickly to the right. It reached the hands of substitute Matt McPhillips who was travelling at full tilt. He stumbled on to one knee and seemed to have lost his chance as the defence regrouped but somehow managed to maintain his momentum and reach out for the touchdown that made it all square.

Semple missed the relatively simple conversion that would have regained the lead for Currie. Then, with five minutes remaining, Laidlaw missed a relatively simple penalty attempt that would have won it for Boroughmuir. A draw it was to be.

Boroughmuir: Marshall; Farquharson, Cox, Cannie, Edmunds; Laidlaw, Smith; Bachurzewski, Crombie, Robertson, Kay, Field, Reid, Rose, Bradbury. Substitutes: Wilson, Davies, Keddie, Van Balkom, McConnell.

Currie: Young; Efthymiou, Nelson, Logan, Smith; Semple, Snedden; Cox, Goodwin, Hamilton, Bain, Vernel, Crosbie, Ainslie, Brooke. Substitutes: Carson, McWilliam, Mundell, Shiel, McPhillips.

Referee: D McClement.