1st XV v Heriot's
By Hugh Barrow
Hawks lose to Nails
Glasgow Hawks 8 Heriot’s 16
5 minutes ago
By Alex Gordon
Heriot's grind out win
Try: Adamson 57
Penalty: Horne 39
Try: I Wilson 36
Con G Wilson 36
Penalties: G Wilson 6, 16, 67
It is hard to tell what the match was on Saturday, indeed it is easier to say what it wasn’t.
It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t entertaining and it wasn’t either of these teams playing at anything like their best.
After the match Heriot’s coach, Phil Smith said, “We came with a very distinct game plan which maybe wasn't the most ambitious game plan but we're here to win.” All the while remembering that Hawks had one both encounters last season as Heriot’s won the Championship.
In this they were successful, they killed any attempts to play rugby and in doing so secured the all-important 4 points. If Heriot’s had seen the Hawks as a threat before the match then they started to strangle that threat from the kick off.
Hawks made an early error in 6 minutes when a tackle was made without using the arms, and Grant Wilson eased his side into the lead with the penalty. Hawks didn’t seem able to be able to threaten the big Heriot’s pack in the defensive line and played with no width. Which meant they were unable to force the opposing forwards to move about the field.
Heriot’s, in comparison used their pack to good effect both in the set-piece and in a well-structured maul.
Grant Wilson doubled the lead in 16 minutes and Hawks had to this point barely been in Heriot’s 22.
Hawks looked to go a try down in 27 minutes when Heriot’s appeared to get through on the home line in the 22, but the visitors had been guilty of being offside and Hawks were awarded the scrum. The pressure didn’t relent, and Heriots’ eventually got a try with five minutes to go until half-time.
The visitors were awarded a kickable penalty just inside the home half, Grant Wilson kicked for touch just inside the home 22.
The visitors cleanly caught the subsequent lineout before the pack mauled the ball about 20 metres before Ian Wilson went over for the try. With Grant Wilson adding the extras, Heriot’s were 13 points to 0 ahead.
Even although George Horne secured a penalty just before the half, Hawks had been second best across the park for the whole half.
When the 2nd half started Hawks seemed invigorated by the half-time chat. The ball coming back from the pack was pacier and there was a greater urgency and desire to use the full width of the park.
In 50 minutes there was a tremendous break from the backs with the ball passing through the hands at pace. They had moved the ball more than 50 metres and Robert Beattie was desperately unlucky to be tackled into touch with a desperate tackle form heriot’s full-back, John Semple.
Jack Steele was looking lively as well and looked to be through when visiting hooker, Michael Liness, tackled him high and was sin-binned for his trouble.
Hawks were looking good and another burst from the backs saw, debutant Jacob Adamson go over wide for his first Hawks’ try. The conversion missed, Horne was replaced on the hour mark having played for Glasgow Warriors the previous night in a friendly against the British Army.
Grant Wilson extended the lead to 8 points for Heriots’ in 67 minutes and the match seemed just out of touch.
Hawks had two late penalties in the 76th and 80th minutes, but with no recognised place kicker, the unenviable task of trying to put the kicks over fell to Paddy Boyer and then Andrew Hill. Neither was able to complete the unfamiliar task and so, for want of a goal kicker, a losing bonus point opportunity went a begging.
It is safe to say however that neither side will expect to play in a game quite like this again in this season.