Clinical Hawks leap over league rivals
By Bob Coats
Alex Gordon writes
Tries Horne 5, 43, McGroarty 22, 75, Gillies 26, Steven 67, Davidson 80
Con Horne 22, 43, Steele 75, 80
Tries Davies 69, Muir 80
Both sides were well aware of the importance of this match before kick-off, they had both won a single match in their opening four with Hawick having a three point advantage having taken a bonus point from every game. Hawks haul of 5 points was disappointing but had been against last season’s top four and this encounter between the 8th and 9th sides in the league was keenly anticipated.
The visitors took the upper hand early on Greens’ winger, Scott Peffer seemed certain to score before a try saving tackle came in from Brendan McGroarty who was aided in bundling Peffer into touch by Paul Ramsay.
Having avoided the opening score Hawks showed they had a different view of the game plan. Paul Ramsay made a burst out of defence running spectacularly down the far side, as the Greens cover caught him he passed inside to George Horne who stepped in towards the midfield eluding a couple of tacklers before he scored the opening try in 5 minutes. (5-0)
Hawick continued to pressure but the defensive work of Hawks held them at bay, but playing all their rugby in their own 22 it seemed a matter of time before they would conceded a score. However, Hawks were looking to take any chance. A neat move between Horne and Paddy Boyer was smothered when the ball popped back to Finn Gillies inside the on 10 metre line, the converted hooker delicately chipped the ball over the cover where McGroarty gathered neatly and stepped aside, barged through and simply left standing five Hawick defenders in a style more Like a South Sea Islander than a recent arrival from Greenock Wanderers. With the try and Horne converting, Hawks were well ahead against the passages of play. (12-0)
From here Hawks grew into their lead taking the match to Hawick and taking the heart out of them as well. The third try was down to the forwards as a catch and drive from a lineout saw Hawks walk up to Hawick’s line allowing Gillies to peel off and go over. (17-0)
The game wasn’t 30 minutes old and Hawks had three tries and Hawick were left with a duck egg. It wasn’t as if Hawick were poor, it was just that when they entered the red zone things didn’t stick. Hawks had players who were now full of confidence.
By now Hawick were all of a guddle as with the line at their mercy they seemed to juggle the ball across their back-line rather than passing crisply to press their advantage. McGroarty read their move well as he intercepted cleanly 7 metres from his own goal-line and made a run of 60 metres before he put an inside pass to Horne who seemed to be clean through but was somewhat confusedly called back for a forward pass which not even Hawick had called for.
The second half continued to torture Hawick as Hawks scored a bonus point try in just 3 minutes. This time Boyer started from the base of a scrum putting the ball to Horne who looped to McGroarty. The outside centre was dragged down but got a ball to Ramsay. Who put an inside ball to Horne for the 4th. With the conversion Hawks were now 24 points to the good. (24-0)
This shouldn’t give the impression that Hawick were here to make up numbers a few minutes after this they were desperately unlucky when a sweeping move saw Gary Johnstone made a break and only failed when his pass missed Neil McColm and went into touch. Moments later, lock, Mike McKee made a lung bursting run from his own 10 well into Hawks 22, only to find himself penalised for holding on when he became isolated in a tackle.
Hawick started to get a bit harum-scarum and Hawks pack started to really hammer home the advantage in the scrum coming short a couple of times close to the line. The next try for Hawks came from the base as Tommy Spinks picked the ball and passed a short one to Boyer down the narrow side. Boyer put a sublime pass to Tome Steven who athletically dived into the in-goal for the try as the Hawick defence tried to put him down. (29-0)
There was about 10 minutes to go when Hawick were finally rewarded for their efforts. A series of recycles saw Hawick work their phases before the ball went wide and the flanker Keith Davies went over for the try.
As if the score-line wasn’t enough to show that this was too little too late, McGroarty was quick to rub it in. Hawick were pressing hard deep in the home 22, desperate to score a try to improve their deficit when the Hawks outside centre, sharply anticipate a pass and intercepted again, but this time he ran at least 80 metres for the score and gave Hawks their 6th of the day which Jack Steele converted. (36-5)
There were 5 minutes left on the clock and the game was winding down when Shaun Muir went over from close range to take Hawick into double figures. (36-10)
However the aalast word was left to Hawks and it was left to one of the youngest members of the squad a s Andrew Davidson scored the 7th try, his second in two weeks. With Steele adding the extras, Hawks were an astonishing 43-10 ahead at the final whistle. Astonishing? Yes, because Hawick are a good side and this Hawks’ squad showed they were better.