Greens’ second-half rally not enough

Hawick v Currie. Mansfield Park.
Hawick v Currie. Mansfield Park.

Hawick 21

Currie 34

PREMIER CUP QUARTER-FINAL

FIONA SCOTT reports from Mansfield Park

TWO late tries from the hosts gave the scoreline in this tie the respectability it had lacked throughout the game.

A first-half surge from the Malleny Park outfit left Hawick trailing 28-0 at the break and despite giving the better performance in the second half the Greens just lacked the finishing power demonstrated earlier by their visitors.

Currie marked the scoreboard within two minutes of the kick-off when Hayden Abercrombie stroked over an early penalty.

Ross Weston added to that shortly afterwards when he found the pace and power to run through to the line after picking the ball up from the back of a scrum.

Hawick found themselves defending for their lives in the ensuing spell. Abercrombie slotted another penalty to stretch the lead before a jinky run from Tom Brown ended with a try converted by the former.

Hawick made a few changes in an attempt to match the force of their opponents with, the pivotal Bruce McNeil returning to the front row and Ryan Hogg and Gary Lowrie joining the back of the pack.

Still Currie pressed and Abercrombie slotted a third penalty before the Malleny men delivered the ultimate sucker punch.

Hawick were five metres from scoring their first try, having fought hard to work their way upfield, when Currie stand-off Matt Scott intercepted a pass to run the length of the pitch and score. Abercrombie added the extras to leave the score 28-0 at the break.

Currie were down to 14 men at the start of the second half, Andy MacMahon having been sent off for handling in the ruck, and a sharper-looking Hawick side certainly made an effort to make the numbers count.

They were rewarded for their endeavours when Greg Cottrell danced his way in at the posts for Rory Hutton to convert.

With the sides evened up again Currie began to take back control. That task was made easier when the referee somewhat harshly sent Hawick replacement Lowrie to the sin bin on an infringement charge and Abercrombie slotted the resultant penalty, adding another minutes later for good measure.

Damage limitation was the name of the game as the match moved into the closing stages and to their credit Hawick continued to try to add to their score.

And, in a four minute spell of injury time, they did just that.

Not once, but twice.

Craig Robertson scored the first with McNeil barging his way over for the second and Hutton converting both before the final whistle.

Hawick: S. Anderson; G. Anderson, R. Hutton, G. Johnstone, G. Anderson, G. Hogg, G. Cottrell; R. Sutherland, L. Gibson, S. Linton, K. Willison, M. Robertson, D. Lowrie, B. McNeil, N. Mactaggart. Subs: C. Robertson, N. Douglas, G. Lowrie, R. Hogg and D. Johnstone.