West of Scotland 16, Currie 33

IF a transfer market ever really gets going in the brave new world of

rugby union, then West of Scotland will be among the first to dip in.

They will be looking for a player, preferably a forward, who has that

powerful combination of experience and nous which allows him to play the

referee at those vital moments.

He will be able to give them that cutting edge which has been missing

in this up and down start to the season.

It is not intended for a moment to take anything away from the

undoubted talents and Herculean efforts of this young West side.

But it is just that -- a young West side which lacks the experience to

allow them to exploit the less savoury aspects of the game.

Currie, on the other hand, continue with that no-nonsense approach to

the game which does not always win them friends when they travel but

which sure is effective.

They quite clearly deserve to be leaders of Division 2 and have a

return to the top flight firmly in their sights.

And what every disgruntled supporter screaming from the touchline

should remember is that if the whistle doesn't blow the opposition

aren't offside.

Ally Donaldson consistently shines as a genuine playmaker in the

Currie side and he works superbly with his fellow backs.

He must also be popular with the pack as he is not one of those guys

who hoists hard-won ball to little effect.

There is also a finishing punch available for Currie, which seems

lacking for West, through Colin Robertson and Geoff Keen on the wings.

Once again West conceded too many penalties and were made to suffer by

dead-eye Donaldson, whose haul of 18 points did much to boost a

scoreline which belied the real gap between the teams.

David Barrett put in a better all-round performance than when last

sighted but let a few genuine kicking chances slip by.

He should also know better by now than to think referees can be swayed

by argument or displays of petulance. On the contrary, Dave.

Fraser Stott seems to be revelling in his role of captain, the back

row is quick and eager, and the Bulloch brothers play a part in

everything that is good in this promising side.

Alan is learning quickly the huge gulf he has crossed into senior

rugby and already seems a better player for it.

And hats off to young David Jamieson who was catapulted into the first

team front row following the last minute defection of Sandy Crear to Ayr

and has risen tremendously well to the challenge.

The game began at a frantic pace, promising much but delivering a

little less.

Donaldson's brace of penalty goals to one by Barrett was enough to

give Currie the half-time lead.

The two stand-offs again traded penalty goals, two apiece, to keep the

gap to three points. Then came a six minute spell which made grown men

wince on the West touchline.

The home side were pressing when possession was lost and Currie

counter attacked through Donaldson and Dean Sheppard.

Stewart Hardie provided the link at pace and sent Robertson racing

over for a try of the highest quality which Donaldson converted.

He then added goal points to Michael Plumb's well-taken try after the

West defence was unable to cope with a Donaldson garryowen.

The third try was just reward for Fraser Thomson as Currie again

turned defence into attack through Doug Rogerson and Plumb. Donaldson


David Riding's try in the closing seconds, converted by Barratt, was a

deserved consolation for keeping up the fight for what had become

something of a lost cause.

Currie go from strength to strength while West have much to do if the

cause is not to be lost entirely come mid season. There is a lot of

growing up to be done and very little time in which to do it.

West of Scotland -- A C D Greenshields; A Hogarth, A J Bulloch, D R

McKee, D Riding; D N Barrett, F H Stott; S McGregor, G C Bulloch, D A

Jamieson, S G McKechnie, G C Perrett, A J Kerr, D McLeish, J Shaw.

Replacement -- D McKinnon for McKee (76 minutes).

Currie -- D Sheppard; C Robertson, M J Plumb, W M Tonkin, G W Keen; A

Donaldson, D Rogerson; D Massey, D G Ellis, C M Boyd, C Eagle, G

Hamilton, F Thomson, I Russell, S Hardie.

Referee -- D G Girdwood (Stewart's Melville FP).

SCORERS: West of Scotland -- Barrett, 3p, 1c; Riding, 1t. Currie --

Donaldson, 4p, 3c; Robertson, 1t; Plumb, 1t; Thomson, 1t.