Men’s Premiership final: Hawick 24-26 Currie

Men’s Premiership final: Hawick 24-26 Currie

Another classic final played out at Mansfield Park between two storied competitors, but ultimately it was Currie Chieftains who held on to defeat Hawick to be named champions of the Men’s Premiership for 2023/24.

The yellow and black were down a man for a full half, but they defended a 13-point lead as if their lives depended on it, and were rewarded for their bravery in going forward, by winning the match 26-24.

An overcast, but dry afternoon welcomed Currie Chieftains and their travelling fans to Mansfield Park, as Hawick’s Kirk Ford kicked off, the visitors attacked left to right.

Perhaps tired from last week’s Scottish Cup final, Hawick started slowly, allowing Currie to be on the front foot immediately, and after strong carries into the home side’s 22, forced a penalty, opting to kick for touch rather than line up a potential three-pointer.

A scramble from the resulting lineout drive, with Currie under another penalty advantage, saw the ball thrown wide but ultimately dropped over the line. And after a quick tap, Gregor Christie threw a switch pass to Rhys Davies who fell over the line to open the scoring. The try was converted on a tough angle by captain Jamie Forbes. (7-0)

From the restart, Hawick clicked into gear and won a penalty five metres into Currie’s 22 in front of the posts. Kirk Ford made no mistake and the green machine registered. (7-3)

Ten minutes into the game, Hawick found themselves camped in their own 22 after multiple attempts to clear their lines. What looked to be a promising cross kick and an escape from danger for the greens was pulled back to their 22 line, the referee adjudging the chaser offside. Jamie Forbes pointed to the posts and restored Currie’s seven-point lead. (10-3)

Quickly from the kick off though, a huge hit put Currie on the back foot and they were found to be holding on, with the resulting penalty kicked to their 5m line. Hawick’s lineout drive saw a great pick and go almost result in a try for Gareth Welsh, but it was lost over the line, resulting instead in a goal line dropout.

Currie’s lineout was wobbling and the men in yellow and black lost three of their own throws inside the first 25 minutes, often allowing Hawick a much-needed reprieve.

But, fortunately for them, a high tackle from Andrew Mitchell gave Jamie Forbes a third kick at goal for the afternoon. He slotted it from just beyond the 22, giving Currie a 10-point lead with 11 minutes to play in the half. (13-3)

Currie lost a fourth lineout of their own, allowing Hawick to counter quickly. Currie were caught in an offside position 40m out from their line, allowing Kirk Ford to step up and once again opt to kick for touch rather than point at the posts.

This time it worked though. The driving maul from the lineout saw an unstoppable green wave wash over the Currie line. Flanker Calum Renwick was credited with the score, and Kirk Ford banged over the extras. (13-10)

Right before the stroke of half time, Hawick won the ball back in the ruck, only to be penalised for holding on. Jamie Forbes lined up a shot at goal and banged it over to see Currie into the sheds with a six-point lead. (16-10)

Tensions rose after a tip tackle from Currie’s Gregor Christie on opposite number Gareth Welsh resulted in a penalty and, after extensive consultation by the officials, a red card for one of Currie’s stand outs in the first half.

Nothing came of the resulting penalty, and the visitors went into the sheds up by six points, but a man down.

HALF-TIME: Hawick 10 – Currie 16

Charlie Brett restarted the match, kicking deep into Hawick territory. After the ball was reclaimed by the visitors on halfway, a pass in midfield for Currie saw a brilliant line break from Jamie Forbes, splitting the defence and making it all the way to the 5m line. Quick ball was spun to the centres, affording Cammy Gray a simple touchdown. Forbes converted his good work to extend their lead – with 14 players – to 13. (23-10)

Hawick responded with a period of pressure, hemming the yellow and black into their own 22 and forcing them into multiple penalties. But the visitors’ defence held strong , eventuating in a penalty for not rolling away at the breakdown, allowing Currie to clear and reset.

Hawick once again hit back with a stunning breakaway from Jae Linton through the centre of the park. Under penalty advantage, and with quick ball, Ronan McKean almost crossed over in the corner but for desperate defence bundling him into touch.

Penalties continued to stack up against Currie as the game neared the halfway point in the second half. It was only a matter of time, as the visitors were stretched thinner and thinner with fewer players. After a number of phases right on Currie’s line, the ball was spun wide to James McCaig who crossed over for a simple try. Kirk Ford’s conversion was good, closing the gap to six. (23-17)

Currie, mustering strength from somewhere, pinned Hawick into their 22 from the restart, and after a clearing kick and lineout, won a penalty right in front of the sticks. That man again, Jamie Forbes popped it over to return Currie’s lead to nine, with 17 minutes remaining. (26-17)

The restart saw Currie on the back foot once more, but once again huge defence saw Sam Cardosi get his hands on the ball in the ruck, forcing a penalty for the yellow and black. A second penalty in the midfield for a player taken out off the ball afforded the visitors a kick to the corner. A third (for offside) stopped Hawick from a brilliant interception with no one at home in the backfield for Currie.

With 10 minutes left, Hawick were awarded a penalty just on their side of halfway, but the resulting kick went dead instead of into touch – giving Currie another let off and a chance to build. Their resulting scrum was penalised for going down and Kirk Ford booted the ball upfield, ensuring this time it reached the safety of touch.

The lineout was won and thrown to Lee Armstrong who burst through Currie’s tiring defence. He handed the ball off to Calum Renwick who went in for his second try of the day with a yellow and black defender hanging off him. The conversion was nailed by Ford, closing the gap to just two points with 5 minutes left to play. (26-24)

A cagey final few minutes ensued, with both sides clearing to the other, unable to build phases and stretch the field. With Hawick pinned onto their try line they cleared upfield to a waiting, and grateful, Charlie Brett.

Currie’s game management was good, and after patient phases, a clever chipped kick from Forbes pinned the green machine back to their 5m line once again. The ball returned to Currie’s 22, and an injury to Forbes stopped the clock, allowing for a much-needed breather. Fortunately, Forbes seemed to be okay and walked off the field to be substituted.

From the scrum, phases mounted in the visitors’ 22, before a penalty was ultimately awarded to Currie after the home team hung on to the ball too long in the ruck. The ball was won from the resulting lineout and after slow phases to wind down the clock, substitute half back Paddy Boyer hoofed the ball into touch – ending the match and seeing the visiting Currie Chieftains champions of the Men’s Premiership for season 2023-2024.

FULL TIME: Hawick 24 – Currie 26

Player of the match: Jamie Forbes (Currie)

Hawick: Calum Renwick (2), Charlie Welsh
Currie: Rhys Davies, Cammy Gray

Hawick: Kirk Ford (3)
Currie: Jamie Forbes (2)

Currie: Gregor Christie (red)

Match officials
Referee: Ciaran Stark
AR1: Michael Bosman
AR2: Brian McGuff

Team sheets
Hawick RFC
15. Kirk Ford, 14. Charlie Welsh, 13. Andrew Mitchell, 12. Lee Armstrong, 11. Ronan McKean, 10. Kyle Brunton, 9. Gareth Welsh, 1. Shawn Muir (C), 2. Fraser Renwick, 3. Nicky Little, 4. Connor Sutherland, 5. Dalton Redpath, 6. Stuart Graham, 7. Calum Renwick, 8. Jae Linton. Replacements: 16. Russell Anderson, 17. Thomas Hope, 18. Ross Graham, 19. Fraser Wilson, 20. Deaglan Lightfoot, 21. Bailey Donaldson, 22. Callum Beckett.

Currie Chieftains
15. Charlie Brett, 14. James McCaig, 13. Cammy Gray, 12. DJ Innes, 11. Ryan Daley, 10. Jamie Forbes (C), 9. Gregor Christie, 1. Thomas Jeffrey, 2. Ryan Stewart, 3. Graeme Carson, 4. Ali Bain, 5. Courtney West, 6. Rhys Davies, 7. Archie Fletcher, 8. Sam Cardosi. Replacements: 16. Roy Vucago, 17. Chris Anderson, 18. Ollie Blyth-Lafferty, 19. Paddy Boyer, 20. Callum Becker, 21. Ali McCallum, 22. Kyle Stee.

Spread the word

Newsletter Sign-up

Sign-up for our newsletter today to receive the latest updates, content and releases from Scottish Rugby.


Principal Partners