Currie 58 - 25 Hawick: Ruthless Currie won't give up title without a fight

Champions Currie confirmed they will not relinquish the Premiership title without a fight when they brushed off a Hawick side that paid the penalty for a lack of discipline which led to them playing most of the match with only 14 men.

The dismissal of replacement hooker Matt Landles two minutes before half-time proved to be a turning point and Currie took full advantage of his departure to move into fourth place in the league table.

The home side started strongly and had already failed to capitalise on several scoring chances when Hayden Abercrombie broke the deadlock in nine minutes when he pounced on a loose ball in the Hawick half and raced over then added the conversion. The visitors remained in touch through a brace of penalties by Neil Renwick but Abercrombie responded with two three pointers of his own to restore the advantage.

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The visitors had their first brush with the referee in 28 minutes when Alex Dunbar was yellow carded for an illegal tackle. However, they shrugged off his absence and while the centre was in the sin bin, Renwick darted over for a well worked try then slotted the conversion to tie the scores.

Having battled to restore parity, Hawick handed the initiative back to their hosts two minutes before the break when Landles was sent off for punching an opponent. His departure was swiftly followed by a try for Andy MacMahon, with Abercrombie's conversion giving the hosts a 20-13 interval lead.

Having moved back into the lead, Currie were in no mood to allow the visitors back into the contest for a second time and stepped up the pace once more. The gap stretched with a converted penalty try, awarded when Hawick collapsed a scrum. And, although Craig Robertson squeezed in at the corner to trim the deficit, the short-handed Greens were carved open and conceded further tries to Richard Snedden, James Johnstone, Ryan Wilson and Finlay Gillies, with Abercrombie adding two conversions to take Currie's tally beyond 50 points.

Hawick's cause was not helped by a string of injuries that led to uncontested scrums, although they enjoyed a brief spell in the ascendancy and Renwick capped a fine performance when he scored a late consolation score. However, Currie had the final word when Andy Turnbull ripped through a tiring defence to grab their eighth try and complete the rout.

The home side's coach, Ally Donaldson, declared himself satisfied with the performance, and he believes his men are approaching their best form in time for the start of their British & Irish Cup campaign next month.

"I'm delighted with the five points, although it was a bit frustrating, which often happens when scrums go uncontested," he said."We're getting close to where we were last season - we still have a bit of work to do in some areas, but we're getting back there. The middle part of the second half was very frustrating. They had a man sent off and we maybe didn't take full advantage."

Scorers: Currie: Tries: Abercrombie, MacMahon, Penalty, Snedden, Johnstone, Wilson, Gillies, Turnbull. Cons: Abercrombie (6). Pens: Abercrombie (2). Hawick: Tries: Renwick (2), Robertson. Cons: Renwick (2). Pens: Renwick (2).

Currie: D Fife; A Turnbull, H Abercrombie, A MacMahon, J Johnstone; M Scott, R Snedden; J Cox, S Simonsen, A Hamilton, R Wilson, G Temple, M Cairns, M Entwhistle, R Weston. Subs: N Scobie, R Merrilees, S Burton, F Fillies, A Binikos.

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Hawick: N Renwick; C Robertson, G Johnstone, A Dunbar, S Anderson; G Hogg, G Cottrell; R Sutherland, L Gibson, S Linton, C Charters, M Robertson, D Lowrie, D Denton, B McNeil. Subs: B Campbell, C Ritson, K Davies, N Mactaggart, M Landles.

Referee: R Kelly.