Hawks lose at home at Burnbrae
By Hugh Barrow
Loss to County
Hawks welcomed Stirling County to Burnbrae looking to consolidate a top four place but defeat saw them slip below their opponents.
The teams had an even opening period, trading penalties from the boots of stand offs Jonny Hope and Ross Thompson.
A series of powerful driving mauls then gave County good field position and they were able to power over the Hawks line, only to be held up.
They made it over a second time and again were pulled back, this time for a forward pass, meaning Hawks could escape without conceding,
The home team couldn’t cope with the forward onslaught for much longer, however, and the visitors drove over at the start of the second quarter.
Errors plagued both sides for the remainder of the half as they attempted to build pressure but Hawks’ persistence led to a try out wide, leaving the teams all square as they headed into half time.
Half Time: Glasgow Hawks 10 - 10 Stirling County
A change of strip during the break didn’t seem to do Stirling any harm and Niko Matawalu intercepted in the Hawks’ 22 early on to dart over and take the lead.
The attempted reply faltered and it was the home team’s turn to get over the line and come away with nothing – this time thanks to a knock-on.
Another moment from Matawalu saw him burst through but his pass to the fingertips was spilled with the line beckoning and the Hawks move from the resulting scrum ended in a similar vein after a great midfield run.
The Fijian kept himself at the centre of things, pinning Hawks back with a deft chip and harrying the defence to win a five metre scrum. The forwards did the rest from a solid set piece and County looked comfortable closing out the game.
Full Time: Glasgow Hawks 13 – 22 Stirling County
Elsewhere, Heriot’s were unable to halt the march of Melrose as the Borderers kept up their perfect score with their eighth bonus point win from eight.
Currie Chieftains overcame Marr and this weekend’s Edinburgh derby ended with a win for Watsonians over Boroughmuir.
George Graham’s first match in charge at Hawick ended in defeat after another positive start, Ayr taking the spoils and moving into second.