Men’s Tennent’s Premiership Final | Preview
After 18 league fixtures and two semi-final playoffs, just one game stands between Currie Chieftains and Marr in their bid to lifting the Tennent’s Premiership trophy.
Currie Chieftains v Marr, Malleny Park | Saturday 2 April, 3pm
Whilst Currie have been here a couple of times before, claiming the title in the 2006/07 and 2009/10 season, this weekend’s title opportunity is a first for Marr.
Speaking to Scottishrugby.org, Marr captain, Fraser Grant described the club’s meteoric rise from regional rugby to the Premiership as a ‘fairy tale story’.
“When you look back to 11 years ago you think that’s never going to happen (reaching the Premiership league). Our main goal at that point was maybe trying to get into National 3, so we’re absolutely delighted to be where we are today”, said back-row Grant.
“As much as it’s been exciting it’s also been hard going. We have been challenged a lot, but there’s been a lot of times playing in this league when you play a game it’s just like ‘wow this is where we want to be’. It’s almost like a fairy tale story isn’t it.’’
Based in the west coast town of Troon, Marr were second in the table this season, just ten points behind Currie and only defeated in three games.
Their semi-final tie was at home to Hawick, where they claimed a 17-10 win, with all the points scored in the first half.
Speaking about the semi-final, Grant, who has been at Marr since he was a mini’s player said: “Yeah, it was definitely close. Hawick don’t make a lot of errors as well, so winning 17-10, we were absolutely delighted with that.
“When you’re playing up against a team like Hawick who are very strong in defence, you really do need to think outside the box a wee bit and have patience. We felt we controlled that second half a bit better – of course we made mistakes too – but I thought Hawick were tough but brilliant to play against.”
Currie Chieftains finished the regular season in top spot, losing just one game all season and amassing 83 points. They scored the most points in the league, conceded the fewest and earned the most try bonus points.
Chieftains’ captain, Fergus Scott explained that the loss against Hawick (25-20) gave him and his team the shake up they needed for the rest of the season, saying: “I felt we had a great pre-season before that (the loss against Hawick) so going into that game and then losing it makes you think ‘maybe we aren’t in the best place’ and thinking ‘are we ready?’.
“I did know deep down though that this is a special group of boys and we had been working really hard. When we had the bounce back at Malleny to Marr, that was a big turning point for me, and the rest of the guys too. I think that just nailed down that we can do something special this year and thankfully after that we’ve managed to be consistent.’’
Their final test to reach the finals came last weekend (Saturday 26 March) with a home semi-final against fourth-placed Edinburgh Academical, where the Chieftains triumphed with a 38-26 victory.
And now the Chieftains are on the hunt to add to their previous title wins.
“We are so pleased that we’ve made it to the final. Having gone unbeaten this season at Malleny, it gives us confidence but we’re not going to underestimate the change for the weekend”, said Scott.
“We know that Marr are a very strong side, they’ve put us under real pressure in our previous meetings this season and they won’t go down without a fight. But neither will we.
“This final is going to be a good game, and I think it’ll be a really exciting watch for the spectators who are neutral, as well for the supporters to both sides.’’
Broadcast & spectators tickets
The Tennent’s Premiership Final will be broadcast live worldwide on the Scottish Rugby website, starting at 2.50pm with commentary from Dale Clancy and Stuart McFarlane.
|Location||Malleny Park, Balerno|
|Tickets||Adults £12.00, Concessions £8.00, Children (U16) free|
|Other||Cash only on the gate | Pitch-side bar in operation (2.30-4.30pm)|