Currie 20 - 13 Melrose: Currie survive final assault
Currie coach Ben Cairns is confident the outcome of this game will be the season’s turning point for his team after it ended a run of three straight defeats.
The home side came from behind, demonstrating deep reserves of patience and persistence, to score twice in the second 40 and then hold out as Melrose threw everything into a ferocious final assault that ultimately came to nothing.
“The win should be massive for us in terms of our season as a whole,” said Cairns. “It gets us out of a rut and it is really important we kick on from here now.”
From the start it was Melrose who had the better share of territory and possession but Currie’s defence soaked up all the pressure with resolute tackling.
Neither side was giving an inch in the forward battle but the pendulum swung towards Currie as they were awarded a penalty that inside centre Joe Reynolds knocked over.
But within minutes it swung back to Melrose as full-back Nyle Godsmark had blazed a trail up the middle before off-loading just inside the 22. Currie went offside at the ruck and winger Joe Helps stroked the penalty between the posts.
The half ended with a fast Melrose counter-attack that created a lineout and maul that sucked Currie defenders in before they went on the narrow side for Helps to squeeze in at the corner for the try. He picked himself up and added the conversion.
Within minutes of the restart Helps had missed a simple penalty attempt 25 metres out from goal and the pendulum swung again. Currie fought their way to the other end of the pitch and might have had three points from a penalty award in front of the posts but, harnessing the momentum and the wind, chose to kick for the corner instead. The lineout catch was good, the maul that followed was irresistible and captain Ross Weston emerged as the try-scorer. Reynolds’ conversion brought the teams level.
Reynolds then put Currie ahead with his second penalty before flanker Travis Brooke collected a loose ball and broke free on halfway, running into space that opened up in front of him and leaving would-be tacklers flapping at fresh air. Godsmark got to him in the last few strides but couldn’t prevent the score, which Reynolds converted.
Helps kicked a second penalty to crank up the tension for the last ten minutes, but Currie’s defence held firm.