Greens coach urges fans to remain calm

Hawick's sole tryscorer on Saturday, Lee Armstrong, in action in a previous game, watched by captain Bruce McNeil (picture by Ian Rutherford)
Hawick's sole tryscorer on Saturday, Lee Armstrong, in action in a previous game, watched by captain Bruce McNeil (picture by Ian Rutherford)

Hawick’s head rugby coach has promised a response this Saturday away to Glasgow Hawks, after the Robbie Dyes suffered another crushing, humiliating defeat at the weekend.

They have started the new BT Premiership season with an abysmal 0-4 record and sit just a point above basement side Boroughmuir. But Darren Cunningham insisted he is not panicking, imploring supporters to stay calm, and that his side will eventually come good.

“I’m not panicking yet, despite everything,” said a still-confident Cunningham this week to the Hawick News.

“I felt angry following Saturday’s result at Heriot’s but I have not lost any hope yet.

“I have coached in the Borders for nine years, so I have seen what my players can do and what they are capable of.

“So I know how good they are – it’s just for one reason or another they aren’t playing together.”

Cunningham added: “There are still trust issues and a lot of uncertainty between the players but we are getting better. Statistically, we have been improving in every game – it’s just we haven’t been seeing that in the results.

“With George (Graham) now more involved to help Hammy (assistant coach Craig Hamilton) and myself, I am still confident we can turn this around. To the supporters, it’s not going to continue like this, the players have promised it.”

In addition to losing to the Currie Chieftains, Stirling County and Marr, Hawick were swept aside by Heriot’s last weekend in a degrading 70 points to 7 defeat and the usually calm Cunningham admitted the result made him furious.

The new head coach allowed himself a period of anger before preparing himself to pick up his side following the embarrassing defeat.

After a hard week of training, in addition to some frank conversations with individual players, the coach is expecting a big response from his charges on Saturday against Hawks at Balgrave.

“I felt angry and frustrated following that (Heriot’s) defeat. It wasn’t a nice feeling at all,” said Cunningham.

“It wasn’t a feeling that I dwelled on too long, as I’m a pretty calm coach. If I lose control, then the players start to as well, and then we are never getting out of this mess.

“It’s hard not to over-react to a defeat like that, but we aren’t. I have had some frank conversations with individual players about their play and they, along with the whole squad, have been told their current performances are not acceptable.

“Certain players have been told to work harder if they want to continue playing for Hawick and, if they don’t, then arrangements will have to be made.

“I am expecting a big response from the lads this weekend against a Hawks side that might be thinking they already have the win secured.

“We’ve had extra training this week and there will be changes made, which everyone hopes can make a big difference.”