Hillhead Jordanhill 23
RBS NATIONAL LEAGUE
HAWICK were trailing 13-3 in the first half of this important match at Hughenden but they clawed their way back to win, scoring five tries to extend their lead at the top of the table.
All the early play came from a fast and well-drilled Hills side who put their visitors under pressure from the off. After five minutes a gap in the Greens’ defence allowed Hills full-back Angus Twaddle to cross for a try.
A few minutes later. Hawick weathered a series of Hills attacks to force a penalty on the visitors’ 22m line which Neil Renwick converted to close the gap.
Again, Hawick succumbed to Hills pressure and a ruck infringement gave Twaddle the chance to increase Hills lead with a penalty with 20 minutes gone.
Once again the hosts launched themselves into a sustained period of pressure on the Hawick line and eventually that told as back row man Blair MacPherson drove over for a well earned try.
Hawick struck back with a Renwick penalty just before the interval to go into the break 13-6 behind.
Whatever the Teries’ coaches said worked wonders as the Greens came out all guns blazing after the restart. After only three minutes Keith Davies made the extra man to drive over the line, with Renwick adding the extras to level the score.
With some good play from both backs and forwards leading to quick possession, John Coutts was sent in for a try near the posts and, with Renwick adding the extras, Hawick went into the lead for the first time in the game with 30 minutes remaining.
However, Hills came back strongly as their forwards produced a spell of fierce rucking and multi-phase rugby to make an opening for Ryan Holland to jink in under the posts. Twaddle converted to draw level again.
From the restart, the Hawick forwards were on the case and some good work at the line-out from Davies ultimately resulted in Ross Armstrong going over in the corner.
Now with their tails up, the visitors soon put more space between the scores when Rory Hutton sent Armstrong over for the bonus-point try which Renwick converted.
Hills never allowed their heads to drop though and their powerful forward play again forced a Hawick infringement on the 22 line, allowing Twaddle to boost his personal tally to 13 points.
Hills continued to attack strongly to try to close the gap but, despite several scares, the Hawick defence held firm and the referee eventually blew for time with Hawick very relieved to get the five points.
Hawick: N. Renwick, J. Coutts, S. McLeod; R. Armstrong, S. Hogg, R. Hutton, G. Cottrell; L. Launders, L. Gibson, A. Williamson; C. Smith, K. Willison; S. Graham, N. MacTaggart, K. Davies. Subs: H. Scammell, D. Lowrie, B. Keown, G. Johnstone, S. Anderson.