Currie mow down 'Muir to close in on top-flight title

Currie 57 Boroughmuir 14

CURRIE coach Ally Donaldson today put his side on full alert after maintaining their Scottish Hydro Premiership title push with an emphatic victory over Boroughmuir at Malleny Park last night.

Next up for the league leaders is a Saturday night trip to Selkirk and, warning of potential pitfalls, Donaldson insisted the Borderers would have revenge in mind.

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Referring to how the previous encounter between the sides saw Currie romp to an 88-3 triumph, Donaldson said: "Going to the Borders is never easy and Selkirk will have a point to prove.

"It is a big week with two full-on games (in the space of five days) so we will have to manage our approach carefully.

"Fortunately, enough of the players are familiar with night rugby through age-group and club internationals but we'll still have to sit down and plan for the unusual kick-off time (7.45pm due to a youth seven-a-side tournament taking place on the Selkirk pitch)."

At the same time, Donaldson acknowledged Currie are exactly where they want to be with three fixtures remaining including a home clash with champions Ayr whom they now lead by five points, albeit the men from Burns country have a game in hand if an inferior scoring differential.

"The fact we are shooting at a big target is all the motivation required and we are developing into a better all-round team.

"Considering we were without Mark Cairns, Andrew Binikos, Chris Kinloch, James Johnstone and Matthew Scott it was good response from players, particularly Gary Temple, who took advantage of a rare second-half stint off the bench."

Of the eight tries scored by Currie, half a dozen came from the forwards which reflected the way in which they were able to pressurise the Boroughmuir pack with Irish youth international flanker Mike Entwhistle at the heart of every attack. But the early strike by winger Willie Moala was based on the slickest of handling while David Blair, on release from Edinburgh, ran the show from stand-off and got up in support to finish when giant second row forward Ryan Wilson intercepted and ran 40 metres.

Donaldson added: "In the past, we have sometimes had a very lightweight pack and, on other occasions, our reputation has been based on big forwards. The strength of the current team is more evenly spread out."

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To their credit, Boroughmuir never let heads drop and it was no more than they deserved when Rob Cairns grabbed the second of his tries on the final whistle.

In Tom Bury, who landed both conversions, 'Muir had a winger always willing to look for work and centre Malcolm Clapperton made one arcing break out of defence to lay the second-half siege. Coming off the bench, Ali Edwards looked a useful forward prospect.

Backs coach Phil Smith felt his side were competitive in their final outing of the campaign and said: "It would have been the easy option to let heads go down.

"Tom Bury got ripped in and Greig Cottrell made his usual strong contribution. We are lacking a bit of confidence but the players certainly dug in."

Did Smith reckon Currie had shown title form?

"My only worry for them, if I was a neutral, is that they are good against teams like us who want to play rather than close a game down.

"Against teams who are not as loose as us, are they as good? I don't know.

"I hope so because Currie are good to watch and, in the first half of the season, I thought they were the best team in the league. Then, surprisingly, they lost at Ayr."

Throughout both teams embraced a high tempo and for Currie, whose winger Dougie Fife was a real livewire, there was instant reward as skipper Andy Adam ploughed over for Blair to land the first of his seven conversions.

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A penalty followed before Moala skipped over and Ross Weston barrelled through before Cairns replied in 25 minutes.

The crucial four-try bonus point arrived through Ryan Wilson in 34 minutes and Blair's supporting act saw the hosts turn round 36-7 in front.

"We set ourselves the task of trying to win the second half but at least we were competitive and, in parts, the game was high quality," added Phil Smith.

That was the case but nearly all the questions were coming from Currie, who had tries from substitute Ally Hamilton and flanker Steve Burton (2) before Cairns brought down the curtain on an entertaining spectacle.


Currie: Tries: Burton (2), Blair, Moala, Hamilton, Wilson, Adam, Weston; Conversions: Blair (7); Pen: Blair. Boroughmuir: Tries: Cairns (2); Conversions: Bury (2).

Currie: J Smith, W Moala, G White, A MacMahon, D Fife, D Blair, R Snedden, J Cox, A Walker, A Reekie, R Wilson, A Adam (captain), S Burton, R Weston, M Entwhistle. Subs: N Scobie, A Hamilton, G Temple, J Thomson, A Whittingham.

Boroughmuir: S Ruddick, T Bury, M Clapperton, M Hare, R Cairns, G Cottrell, C Cusiter, N Fraser, S McMurchy, F Lait, G Scott, N Patrick, J Doubleday, E Matheson (captain), P Cronin. Subs: A Edwards, J Latta, M Stalley, L Brinck, R Bradford.