Currie Chieftains Malleny

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A View from the Touchline

Currie Chieftains 48 pts (t 7, c 5, p g 1) v Kelso 13 pts (t 1, c 1, p g 2)

After dumping a fair drop of rain during the hours preceding kick-off, Storm Barbet drifted north to leave Malleny Park bathed in sunshine. It is some time since the black and white hoops of Kelso have been seen in the Premier League, but 30 years ago this famous Club would boast international players in their ranks.

The visitors started brightly, and for 10 minutes they caused the Chieftains problems, particularly at scrum time. Kelso lost momentum after a penalty lineout deep in Currie’s 22; the home team cleared and slowly marched forward. A few moves later the ball sweetly sailed through the Currie backs with Ryan Daley racing in for a spectacular corner flag try which was not converted.

Play settled to a mid-field confrontation, with hefty carries from both packs, but Currie broke the deadlock after a fine Matt Bradshaw run put Kelso under pressure. From a lineout just outside of the opposition 22, the Currie forwards rumbled forward; Roy Vucago peeled away, and he ran over several defenders on his 10-metre gallop to another unconverted try. The Chieftains were now full of confidence and started to turn the screw. Jamie Forbes caused confusion with a splendid chip-kick which should have resulted in a try for industrious Thomas Jeffrey, but the ball was held up over the line. The competition was fierce, and some excellent defending prevented a couple more Currie scores. Kelso weathered the barrage, and before halftime they conjured some threatening moves; a solitary penalty goal was small consolation for all their efforts.

Halftime score – Currie Chieftains 13 pts, Kelso 3 pts.

Kelso started the second half with a bang, and immediately bagged three more points. Their resurgence, however, was short-lived, as the Chieftains went into overdrive with a 20-minute purple patch which ripped the heart out of any Kelso revival, especially when their influential captain went to the sinbin. Quick ball movement, and excellent backing-up produced a showcase of top-drawer rugby which any opponent would find hard to live with. Director of operations, Jamie Forbes started the rout with a sizzling break, and nifty little pass to Ali Bain running at speed; the large backrow forward scorched 25 metres to the line; Jamie Forbes converted this try, and the next four. A few minutes later, another blistering run from Ali Bain was stopped just short, but the pack drove over from the resulting penalty lineout; Ryan Stewart scoring.

Since the start of the season, Sam Cardosi has excelled in both defence and attack, and he has provided the link between forward and back play; today it was his turn to touch down after the ball had twice traversed the pitch. The carrying ability and lineout skills of Courtney West and Ali McCallum were certainly in evidence, with Ali McCallum striding into space and distributing wisely; this week he backed his speed and romped in for a try after Alex Harley created the opening.

Eventually, and after the Chieftains’ bench had been emptied, Kelso managed to get a hold of the situation. Their share of possession increased, and some good handling was rewarded with a classy try via their speedy young backs. With 15 minutes remaining the game was certainly out of their reach, but they kept trying with some powerful thrusts which put the Chieftains line under considerable pressure, particularly in the closing minutes. In the absence of some familiar faces, a string of Currie youngsters stepped into the breach, and they turned in praiseworthy performances; Euan Crombie, Alex Harley, Matt Bradshaw, Matt Laidlaw and Kyle Steel all played their part. Before the visitors’ final rally, Paddy Bowyer had crowned the Chieftains’ display with a typical scrumhalf’s try; this did a lot to erase the disappointment of the previous two matches. The Chieftains are at Edinburgh Accies next weekend, a venue which has provided some thrilling contests over the years; KO 3.00pm.  

I.J.S – 24.10.23.

Currie RFC

Malleny Park



EH14 7AF

0131 449 2432