Currie 2nd XV 20 GHA 2nd XV 15
Another Saturday, another big game for the 2nd XV. This week a true test of the teams progress as they faced a Currie team that had made an impressive start to the season. With 4 call-offs between Thursday night and Saturday afternoon, the coaches were once again left pulling their hair out and phoning players on a Saturday morning. Thanks must go to Iain Nelson, Fraser Stewart and Kerr McEwan for stepping up to the mark.
In the first half, the team were battling against not only a hefty opposition pack but also a hurricane force gale. After some stout defence in the face of an expected Currie onslaught, GHA broke out of their own half. A penalty was awarded to GHA just outside the Currie 22. Unfortunately a poor strike, allied with the headwind, meant that Murray Houstons effort slid wide. Fortunately, he didnt have long to wait for another crack and on the 10 minute mark put GHA 3 nil up. Currie came right back and applied pressure on the GHA line. The GHA forwards were finding it hard to generate first phase ball but battled very well at the breakdown. Due to the strong wind the backs were forced into handling and this lead to a break out of the 22 by Ben Wright. Unfortunately a misplaced pass lead to a turnover and a period of pressure from Currie and GHA being penalised. Currie chose to go for goal and were successful. Again on 33 minutes a break from GHAs own half by Ben Wright nearly lead to a try against the run of play. However GHA were penalised for not rolling away from the ruck and Currie cleared their lines. From the line-out the ball was moved along line and Currie scored their first try. The attempted conversion was missed. Considering the pressure being asserted by the Currie pack and some misfiring at line-out time, to turn around just 8-3 down at half-time was actually quite encouraging, especially since Curries scores came from GHA errors rather than the Currie dominance.
So with the wind behind GHA in the second half, the game plan to kick to corners and play the game in Curries half seemed to be perfect. However, within 10 minutes of the re-start GHA found themselves another 2 scores behind, the first of which was a controversial affair. With the ball won then lost, won again and lost again on the GHA 22, Currie eventually emerged with possession and moved the ball down the blind-side where their outspoken no.8 made a charge for the line. It seemed that Brandon Wamberg had performed heroics by bundling the burly forward into touch. However, after consultation with the touch judge, the score was awarded. The other Currie score was a bit more straightforward with a lapse in the GHA defence allowing Currie to go over in the same corner as the last score. No problems for the referee or touch judge in awarding this one. This was successfully converted.
With the team the team 20-3 down changes were made with Fraser Stewart and Kerr McEwan replacing Stephen Spowat and Ben Farrell, both of whom had put in sterling performances in the pack. With the Currie pack now tiring and with a man sent to the sin-bin, GHA started to show what they could do when they strung some phase play together. On 72 minutes a break by Paddy Hilley with Murray Longton in close support led to a much needed quick recycled ball. Stand-off Gordon Adams made another break and fed winger Ben Wright who scorched past the Currie defence. Unfortunately the conversation was missed but the comeback was on!
5 minutes later an early contender for try of the season. A turnover at a scrum on the halfway line resulted in Iain Nelson drawing a couple of defenders and feeding scrum-half Murray Houston. He squeezed along the touchline and was then faced by 2 covering defenders. Without any hesitation and much to the consternation of the coaches, he chipped the first defender and ran around to collect. The ball bounced between the two defenders and straight into the scrum-halfs hands. As the two defenders barged into each other, he dived over the line. Just to round it off he then converted his own try . Game on.
With 2 minutes left the belief that had deserted the GHA team earlier suddenly returned. Unfortunately it was not to be. From the re-start GHA were penalised twice when trying to regain posession and Currie closed out the game.
With Hawick away next week there is no chance to ease up and training on Tuesday and Thursday is essential.
M.O.M Patrick Hilley
Currie 2nd XV 20 GHA 2nd XV 15