WATSONIANS match report
Report from Old ANNIESLAND
Hawks welcomed Watsonians to Old Anniesland and were looking to leap above their counterparts who sat one place above them in second place.
Watsonians had much of the early possession and would string a number of phases together in the middle of the park but made little ground against a strong Hawks defence. Their first opportunity came 15 minutes into the game after a game of kick tennis allowed Watsons get to just outside the Hawks 22m and were awarded a penalty. They elected to go for the sticks however the attempt went wide and Hawks were left unpunished.
Watsons were awarded another penalty shortly after in a similar position for a high tackle however the Watsons kicker pushed his kick wide again. Hawks had not made any real inroads into the Watsons half and were unable to exit or look after ball once they regained possession in an attacking position. The Hawks lineout was an area of real concern as they were unable to win any ball to launch an attack off of.
The deadlock was broke 10 minutes before the half when a kick down the Watsonians line was fielded and they moved the ball along the back line and smart play by the Watsonians winger allowed him to spot a gap and break a tackle to execute a 2 v 1 and score the first try of the day. The conversion was successful and made the score 7-0.
The second try of the day came 5 minutes later when after sustained pressure in the Hawks 22m they were awarded a scrum. Th number 8 picked and fed the scrum half who gave a wide pass to the winger who managed to finish well in the corner after a misread from the Hawks defence. The Watsonians kicker was unsuccessful with the difficult conversion.
Just before the end of the half Hawks kicked into life when Callum Harrison made a break after a trademark show and go and fed his inside centre Liam Brims who put a delicate kick off the outside of his boot for what was a certain score however scott peffers was adjudged to be offside. Play was brought back for an advantage and Brims was able to nail the penalty to make the score 12-3 at half time.
The half started with replacements ross Thomson and Robert Houliston looking to bring an injection and they made an immediate impacts however Watsons were able to suffocate the Hawks attack as they were able to steal Hawks lineout ball throughout the half which meant that Hawks did not have a platform to launch their attack from.
After making inroads into the Watsons half through Mark New and James Couper sustained pressure allowed Brims an opportunity to reduce after an infringement from Watsonians and be brought the score back to 12-6.
Hawks started to string some phases together and starve Watsonians of possession and a clever kick from Thomson allowed Couper to chase and almost touch down. However the Watsonians man beat him but had to carry the ball over which awarded Hawks a 5m scrum. After a number of resets Hawks seemed to have the dominance and were looking for a push over however the ball came spurting out the scrum and the Watsonians man was the first to react. This was to be a telling point in the game.
After Hawks regained possession they were managing to starve Watsonians of ball however a knock on in midfield allowed Watsons to make inroads into the Hawks half. A lineout 10m from the Hawks line seen them go close and after a number of pick and go's they managed to sneak over with a one up runner.
Watsons looked to push for the bonus point and went close but strong Hawks defence forced the turnover and some clever work from Couper and Steele and Thomson forcing the tempo seen Hawks pushing for a try in the final moments. However Brims and Houliston collided on a potential score. Shortly after Andrew Linton went close from a Mark New offload and from the resulting ruck Halafihi looked to have scored however he was adjudged to have knocked on.
Watsonians managed to close out the game and gained a well deserved victory at Old Anniesland. This was a valuable experience for the Hawks men that they must look to be patient and keep ball and that they have to have a strong foundation to launch their dangerous backs from.
Was a difficult game to pick a Hawks Man of the Match. James Couper had some telling contributions and looked dangerous whenever he had ball in hand. Skipper Paul Henderson led by example and his work rate was outstanding. However Jonny Spence worked tirelessly in defence and put in some big tackles and was MOTM on the day.
Next week Hawks take on Stirling County at Old Anniesland and will look to get back to winning ways.