LINDEN had come up against a very useful Cougars team earlier in the East League One season but on Saturday the Barnton side had improved even further.
Playing at Wilton Lodge Park the hosts were under the cosh for much of the game as the RHC men launched into a high tempo performance with strong running, offloading and excellent support to the fore.
The Hawick men did however tackle like demons throughout and looked threatening on the few occasions they were able to gain good ground.
There were 10 minutes on the clock when the visitor’s opened the scoring with a pushover try by their No 8, the scrum being an area of dominance for RHC. By the 27th minute they had scored four converted tries to lead 28-0.
Just before half-time, following some good phase play, Kirk Ford dinked a kick behind the RHC defence which bounced up for the onrushing Greg Thomson whose offload found Graeme Anderson in support and the Linden full-back stormed over from the 10 metre line for a great score converted by Ford.
The second period started badly for the Royal Blues as RHC scored after two minutes before a lineout catch and drive stretched the lead to 42-7.
Following this the Linden enjoyed a good period of possession but were eventually turned over. RHC were clinical in scoring at the other end and another three tries, the RHC kicker only missing one conversion all day, completed the scoring.
Credit to the Linden who never faltered in their effort against a slick side who were not only physically bigger but also well conditioned. Greg Thomson stood out in defensive duties throwing himself into numerous tackles and Graeme Anderson showed how to put bigger men down by going low. The front row of Ryan Beattie, Bradley Mercer and Jordan White, making his first start, simply never gave in against bigger opponents.