Jed-Forest v Currie Chieftains, 23 October 2021

Borders matches are often tribal, passionate affairs and teams from outwith the region can always expect a tough time when visiting their Border cousins. In this regard the Chieftains’ game against Jed-Forest at Riverside Park on the 23 October was no exception, especially after Jed took an early lead following a ferocious forward drive from a penalty lineout. The try was unconverted, but Currie realised they would have to deliver at their best to overcome the Jed opposition.

Three minutes later the home side were penalised, and Gregor Hunter kicked a goal which  got the Chieftains on the scoreboard. For the next 30 minutes the Chieftains dominated play with a strong forward performance and a pattern of quick ball and dynamic running. The Currie pack controlled most of the breakdowns and from 22 metres out, the splendid Rhys Davies picked up from the back of a ruck, stepped over several bodies, and careered for a try; Gregor Hunter converted.

Little good possession then came Jed’s way and the Chieftains continued mounting  blistering attacks against the home team’s first-class defence. Finally, after a Currie build-up, including several forward drives for the line, DJ Innes found a gap in the   stretched Jed defence and powered in for a try which Gregor Hunter converted.

When the home team managed to string a passage of attacking moves together, they  looked good, but inaccuracy led to loss of possession. Paddy Boyer set his backline in motion, and the powerful running of DJ Innes and Ryan Southern took play deep into Jed territory. The home team were penalised for preventing release, and the referee sent their fullback to the sinbin. Currie continued to press, and on 20 minutes overcame some superb tackling by the opposition, culminated in try number three, scored by      Charlie Brett.

As the Chieftains looked for the bonus point try, they lost the services of captain Fergus Scott, who retired injured. With halftime approaching, the visitors looked in control and Jed’s early optimism appeared to be ebbing. However, another bout of adventurous    driving play took Jed towards the Currie line. It looked as if they would score, but a forward pass let the visitors off the hook. However, Jed stormed back, and they were awarded a penalty try when an overlap pass was palmed down by the last defending Currie player, who was yellow carded for his indiscretion. Halftime score: Jed-Forest 12 pts, Currie Chieftains 22 pts.

In the second half Currie had the steady breeze in their favour, and after only 3 minutes Charlie Brett whizzed in for the bonus point try as the Chieftains’ backs showed their style.

By now Jed were constantly harassing the visitors whose game was becoming a little    frenetic. The Chieftains still looked comfortable, but Paddy Boyer, James McCaig and Fraser Sayers needed determined tackling to prevent the speedy Jed backs from scoring. With Jed attacking at every opportunity, Gregor Nelson, Cairn Ramsey, AP McWilliam and Gregor Scougall were always prominent at the breakdowns.

Following a period of forward pressure, Jed battered their way over the Currie line for an unconverted try. With 15 minutes remaining, the visitors lead looked vulnerable and attacks from both teams had the crowd on their feet. In the event, Gregor Hunter steadied the ship with two more well-taken penalty goals.

Full-time score: Jed-Forest 17 pts (t 3, c 1) v Currie Chieftains 35 pts (t 4, c 3, pg 3)

I.J.S – 24.10.21.