Hawick 9, Watsonians 24
Hawick were given a foretaste of what they can expect from the more muscular and financially stronger teams in the BT Premiership by a Watsonians side which has achieved two wins from two teams.
The BT Premiership result at Mansfield Park on Saturday means that, with two defeats from their two opening league games, the Greens sit bottom of the Premiership table.
Yet for much of the match, Hawick were very much in the game and, indeed, held the lead at one stage, only for two sucker punch tries by Watsonians, both converted, to put the match out of reach.
“It was difficult for the boys to take,” said Hawick coach, Nikki Walker.
“ We were in the game at half time but we just let the game get away from us in the second half.
“There were a couple of stupid errors and a five-minute spell in which they scored two converted tries. The game just completely changed as a result.”
He added : “There are loads of positives , however. We started to play well 10 minutes into the game. In the last 30 minutes of the first half, we were probably the better team and then it just went into an arm wrestle.
“And, if it gets to that against teams the size of Watsonians, we’re not going to win.’
Physicality was certainly a factor in Watsonians’ win, but so too was their allocation of Edinburgh professional players.
As every club knows, the distribution of professional players is something of a lottery and can skew results in the league.
“I think the two influential pros (Sean Kennedy and Villiami Fihaki) made a big difference,” added Walker.
“We had Kevin Bryce. He was outstanding but he took a knock and we had to take him off. Hopefully, it’s not too bad and we can get him back soon.”
Hawick’s points – three penalty goals – all came from Ali Weir, who sadly had to leave the field after colliding with one of his own side.
For Watsonians, prop Nathan Borel converted lively running by scrum half Reiss Cullen into a seven-point try after only two minutes.
Weir’s third penalty gave Hawick a brief 9-7 lead but former Gala man Ewan Scott then goaled before converting a short range try by Fihaki and his own score, after Kennedy had opened up the Hawick defence to make certain of victory.
Hawick : D. Graham, N. McColm, W. Hamilton, K. Brunton, S .Bandeen, A. Weir, B. Campbell; S. Muir, F. Renwick, C. McIntosh, M. Robertson, D. Harlen, B. McNeil, A. Horne, K. Davies. Subs used: M. Landels, K. Bryce, R. Gibson, S. Graham, J. Coutts
Referee: M. Adamson.