PREMIERSHIP LEADERS’ EXPLOSIVE START LEAVES INJURY-HIT SELKIRK FACING ‘MISSION IMPOSSIBLE’

Andrew Grant-Suttie prepares to evade scrum-half Ryan Southern in Saturday’s game at Malleny Park.

Selkirk’s Bruce Riddell works his way towards the Currie try line, helped by skipper Ewan MacDougall.

Stand-off Ben Pickles prepares to touch down Selkirk’s opening try as halftime approaches at Currie.

Thomas Brown is tackled by Gregor Nelson, with Robbie Chalmers & Andrew Renwick ready to lend a hand.

Head coach Scott Wight conducts a post-match debriefing on the Malleny Park pitch with his Selkirk players.

[Photos – GRANT KINGHORN PICS]

CURRIE CHIEFTAINS 40, SELKIRK 10

LAST week saw the disbandment of the Colinton & Currie Pipe Band - founded in 1887 - following a scarcity of playing members. Where rugby is concerned, however, Currie RFC unquestionably continue to call the tune.
In the opening quarter of Saturday’s fixture at Malleny Park, Selkirk simply had no answer to the pace and dynamism of the Tennent’s Premiership frontrunners, who were quick to punish every error made by the visitors.
The home side raced to a 19-0 lead after just 15 minutes thanks to a hat-trick of tries from left wing Jamie Forbes, and when a charged-down clearance kick led to a fortuitous try for Ferguson, the writing was well and truly on the wall for the hard-pressed Souters.
To their credit, after these early setbacks the visitors’ defence tightened up considerably. Just before the interval Selkirk fly-half Ben Pickles found space down the left flank to run in his seventh try of the season, making the halftime score 26-5 in the home side’s favour.
Selkirk started the second half in a far more positive fashion, with Andrew Grant-Suttie, Scott McClymont and Ewan MacDougall all making an impact in the loose.
Despite Currie lock forward Hamish Ferguson receiving a yellow-card, the Philiphaugh men couldn’t press home their numerical advantage – Callum Lessels’ try stretching the home side’s lead to 33-5.
Having had to draft Gary Holborn into their playing squad under Scottish Rugby’s emergency cover scheme following a spate of front row injuries, the 43-year-old prop replaced Bruce Riddell with half-an-hour left on the clock.
A painful shoulder injury then saw Selkirk’s lock Thomas Brown retire to the sidelines, his absence being compounded by the yellow card shown to James Bett by referee Sam O’Neill.
Currie managed to withstand two try-line sieges by the visitors’ pack, before replacement Robert Cook finished off a well-executed Selkirk attack by diving over for a try in the right-hand corner.
It looked as though 33-10 would end up being the final scoreline, but a smash-and-grab try in the dying seconds by Currie’ DJ Innis saw the city side perform a final encore for their vocal supporters.
Afterwards Selkirk head coach Scott Wight said that Currie were top of the league for a reason. “They’re a well-oiled machine and are very effective in what they do.
“They have that ability to defend and then switch straight into attack, and are pretty relentless, which comes from winning games and having composure.
“We’ve not had our problems to seek recently and are in a wee bit of a rut at the moment, but the boys will stick together and stay strong, I have no doubts about that.”
CURRIE CHIEFTAINS: C. Brett, A. Hall, J. Reynolds, DJ Innes, J. Forbes, G. Hunter, R. Southern, G. Carson, R. Stewart, AP McWilliam, S. Edwards, H. Ferguson, G. Nelson, F. Scott, W. Nelson. Replacements: E. McCallum, C .Ramsay, E. Stewart, C. Gray, C. Lessels.
SELKIRK: J. Hamilton, C. McNeill, R. Chalmers, R. Nixon, F. Anderson, B. Pickles, E. McVicker, L. Pettie, J. Bett, B. Riddell, T. Brown, A. Renwick, A. Grant-Suttie, S. McClymont, E. McDougall. Replacements: R. McFadzen, G. Holborn, A. McColm, R. Cook, A. Bulman.

Referee: Sam O’Neil (SRU).

Video highlights from Currie v Selkirk 11/12

(Video highlights courtesy of Borders Rugby TV)

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