Currie Chieftains Malleny

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Match 13 – Premier League: 9.12.23.

A View from the Touchline

Glasgow Hawks 12 pts (t 2, c 1) v Currie Chieftains 16 pts (t 1, c 1, p g 3)

Although the temperature was several degrees higher than last weekend, it was still chilly, and very wet at Balgray in West Glasgow. The conditions were wretched, and following their pre-match warm up drills, the players looked like chocolate men before the main event got underway. Many of those lucky Hawks supporters who had tickets for their annual Christmas lunch, wisely stayed in the warmth of the clubhouse dining room. Around the pitch, and in the stand, those hardy enthusiasts who braved the elements were only warmed by a cup of tea or fortified coffee, and the occasional flurry of excitement from a scrappy match. As the afternoon light dimmed, it became increasingly difficult to distinguish the teams, even with the aid of some illumination from the dazzling electronic scoreboard.

To their cost, the Chieftains have been confronted with similar conditions in past seasons, and this match had all the potential of an unwanted banana skin. It was clear from the outset that the visitors’ aim was to get early points before the glaur hampered their endeavours. An early strike against-the-head, plus some brilliant handling produced a converted try after only three minutes; Ryan Daley darted through a gap and Ali Bain took the scoring pass from 10 metres out. Charlie Brett’s exceptional place kicking continued with the conversion, which was shortly followed by a penalty goal for a 10-point lead.

After a spell of attacking Chieftains rugby, the errors became more frequent, and the burly Hawks pack made effective use of the possession which came their way. Following several phases deep in the Chieftains 22, the gaps in a stretched defence started to appear, and their pacy fullback scored a well-worked, but unconverted try. Hawks maintained the pressure with several more assaults on the Currie line, and but for a superb Graeme Carson turnover, they could have increased their score.

For the rest of the half, it became a midfield struggle with both teams making mistakes on the slippery ground, and play often changed direction on the back of these errors. Hawks certainly looked dangerous going forward, but a good defence and the conditions thwarted their promising approach work.

Halftime score – Glasgow Hawks 5 pts, Currie Chieftains 10 pts.

Versatile Jacob Ramsay came off the Currie bench, and he was quickly into the action with a turnover 40 metres out. A shot on goal appeared to be wishful thinking, but a confident Charlie Brett dissected the post with an astonishing kick which certainly put a spring in the visitors’ step. As the match progressed, Hawks managed the conditions well. Their marauding tactics caused Currie plenty of problems. The hosts’ juggernaut pack successfully denied the Chieftains possession, and trundled forward with pick-and-drive moves which gained valuable metres threatening the visitors’ meagre lead. Their reward was soon realised with a romp to the line. The try was converted, leaving them just one point behind the Currie score. Those ominous signs of a late surge to victory were now becoming a reality. When Currie infringed within kicking distance of their posts, it looked as if Hawks would take the lead, but the penalty kick drifted wide.

As the ball slithered from the control of both teams, and players slipped off tackles, an element of luck looked likely to decide the contest. This came the Chieftains’ way following a scrum infringement, and Charlie Brett stepped forward to do the business. The penalty points gave Currie a small comfort cushion, but the final 10 minutes were tough, as opportunities came and went for both teams. Although the Chieftains did end the match deep in Hawks territory, it must have been a relief for the players to hear the final whistle and head to the warmth of dry changing rooms.

Let’s hope that the weather improves for our last match of the year next weekend, it’s a rearranged League fixture against the same opposition at Malleny Park; kick-off 2.00pm.   

I.J.S – 11.12.23.

Currie RFC

Malleny Park



EH14 7AF

0131 449 2432