Currie Chieftains 32 - 24 Hawick: Chieftains made to sweat

Currie Chieftains stand-off Jamie Forbes is held back by Hawicks Martin Bouab.  Photograph: Alistair Linford
Currie Chieftains stand-off Jamie Forbes is held back by Hawicks Martin Bouab. Photograph: Alistair Linford
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Currie defeated a dogged Hawick team who begin the second half of the Premiership season as they ended the first – without a win to their name.

It was only what was expected of the home side but they did it the hard way, a lapse in concentration in allowing Hawick to snatch a try bonus point and seriously threaten turning over a lead that was 27 points at one stage but shrank to eight by the end.

A pre-match downpour softened the pitch, but the kick off was under a blue sky as second placed Chieftains looked to use bottom club Hawick as sacrificial victims to atone for the previous week’s narrow defeat to Heriot’s.

The visitors, ever optimistic that they can come good and produce that elusive win, looked to build on an improved, but ultimately unrewarding, performance against runaway league leaders and fellow Borderers Melrose.

It was not to be and it didn’t take long to work out how this game was going to go, with the bonus point in the bag by half-time and Hawick battling only to keep the score down.

Before the second minute was out Currie had stamped their mark on the match when Scotland Sevens squad member Harvey Elms burst through and gave the scoring pass
 to his captain Robbie Nelson so that he could cruise over. Stand-off Jamie Forbes missed the conversion.

A minute later and it was Elms again zig-zagging from halfway through Hawick’s hapless defence and this time the scoring pass went to lock Vince Wright who was on his shoulder in support all the way. Forbes converted.

Hawick, to their credit, rolled with these early blows, sorted out the disorganisation that let Currie runners have acres of space, and got themselves into some decent field positions.

But it didn’t last. With 20 minutes gone a quickly taken lineout put Currie on the front foot with Hawick frantically retreating.

Winger Ruaridh Smith lost his footing in the mud just as the space opened up in front of him but the loose ball was scooped up by Forbes who dived over for the try and then added the conversion.

Moments later, Currie paused for breath when Forbes elected to kick a penalty in front of the posts to keep the scoreboard ticking over rather than be greedy and go for more.

Against the run of play, Hawick won a penalty close to the posts but chose to go for the lineout and the ball streaked across the backs into the hands of right winger Gary Munro who dived in at the corner. The conversion fell short.

The home side responded with a hard-running attack, Nelson carrying to within metres of the line before it flashed left. A maul from a five metre lineout chewed up the remaining distance and blindside Stephen Ainslie was at the bottom of the heap to score the bonus-point try.

After the break, it was not long before Elms got the fifth try, sprinting away down the wing and leaving Hawick chasers trailing in his wake.

Hawick rallied and full back Ali Weir ran through for a try despite a persistent tackler being dragged along by his jersey. Weir’s conversion attempt went across the face of the posts.

A third Hawick try by lock Craig Hamilton, converted by Weir, 
gave Currie cause to sweat as their still- substantial lead was whittled away.

A fourth score by prop Shaun Muir gave Hawick a try bonus point and took them to within eight points but that was as close as they got.