1st XV v Hawick
By Hugh Barrow
A LESS one-sided match than the score suggests saw Hawks secure the bonus point win that keeps them in contention for a championship play-off place.
An error-strewn first half ended with them leading 10-0 which quickly became 17-0 from the restart. Strong Hawick pressure had to be resisted then before the bonus point was secured.
In order the tries were scored by James Eddie, Paddy Boyer, Robert Beattie plus a penalty award, with Gregor Hunter adding the rest of the points from his left boot. Hawick’s try was scored by Wiann Griebenhow.
The eyes of the clubs in the upper reaches of the table are now on the top four positions that bring entry to the end-of-season play-offs for the Championship.
Morning call-offs involving Melrose, Heriot’s and Currie – the sides then occupying second to fourth – meant fifth-placed Hawick, in particular, of the teams at Anniesland, had the motivation to grab a win. Indeed a bonus-point victory would take them alongside the latter pair.Hawks were not totally out of contention, but with only one further regular season game to play it was a case of get a good win and then fingers crossed.
However, it was in dank conditions, with sleet amongst the rain drops, when referee Dan Parrott – on exchange from the RFU – got the game under way.
The overhead conditions were not replicated on the firm pitch, with the game played at a furious pace and Hawks taking the early initiative.
Stand-off Hunter made a dart that took him virtually under the bar but the move was spoiled by crossing.
In the tenth minute Hawks were awarded a penalty on the visitors’ 22, following a burst by centre Jack Steele, however from a little to the left of the posts Hunter missed the kick.
Error then became the order of the half for both sides. Hawick’s first dangerous handling attack broke down when left winger Craig Russell could not hold the pass.
In 30 minutes a penalty was awarded to Hawks in the same area as the earlier missed kick
but this time Hunter slipped it home.
The errors from both sides continued but finally, in virtually the last move of the half, a handling move stuck as two Warriors players, Peter Murchie and Eddie, combined for the try that Hunter converted to send in Hawks with a 10-0 lead.
From the restart Hawick barged into the Hawick 22.
When a penalty was awarded under the visitors’ bar, home scrum-half Paddy Boyer took a quick tap to score. Hunter converted to stretch the Hawks’ lead to 17-0.
Hawick responded to dominate the rest of the third quarter but not only did they gain no reward but Hawks broke upfield in 63 minutes for Robert Beattie on the left wing to score, with Hunter converting.
Hawick’s Griebenhow immediately responded with a try, but the game ended with a penalty try awarded as Hawks’ line out went over the visitors’ line and Matt Landels in the sin bin