Making life tough
Seasoned golfers talk about there being no pictures on a scorecard and for this correspondent it might have been preferable to leave the scoreline and not go any further.
It was a tough day at the office today against a strong, physical but well disciplined Allan Glen's outfit. Glen's opened the scoring almost immediately from kick off by running through the middle with some half hearted attempts at tackling and the conversion from right in front of the posts put Hawks immediately on the back foot.
If this was the wake up call needed then it was only the equivalent of pressing the snooze button and whilst there were periodic flashes of the strong type of play that is Hawks asset this was far too often punctuated by far too many half hearted tackles and simple handling errors.
If this current bunch of players are sick of hearing the coach telling them that he would rather have hard working players over talented players then they didn't show any sign of it. Far too often players work rate slipped well away from the desired level and we were fortunate not to get punished by Glen's at the breakdown when there were many opportunities for them to steal the ball due to our lack of close support.
In the end though the superior fitness of Hawks came through - in beautiful, sunny conditions some of the opposition began to flag at the pace with one or two cramping up. The hard slog over the Winter on fitness has definitely paid off and ultimately Hawks slipped a couple of extra tries in to put the fixture beyond doubt as the finishing line approached.
In the week that the 2017 Lions squad was announced (and let us pass no further comment on the selection), it was interesting to see Warren Gatland's comment about the best advice he has ever had. Obviously it wasn't a Scotsman that gave him the advice (Editor's comment - I thought you weren't going to pass any comment?) but instead came from Munster and Irish great Paul O'Connell.
O'Connell told the squad:
"Let's be the best at everything that requires no talent."
O'Connell was talking about the stuff that needs to be done to win matches but is rarely talked about - getting back up after making a hit, cleaning out rucks, chasing back, re-joining the defensive line, being on time for training, supporting each other and so much more.
In this, the current Hawks Under 14 squad we have a bunch of players who ooze class and talent. That's great. But hard work and effort is critical.
Well done for securing a win, we thank Allan Glen's for playing a hard, solid disciplined game which was superbly refereed by one of their officials. Thanks too for their excellent hospitality.