How to win your own tournament – strength, desire, and green hair

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Hawick created history at their own tournament with a record-breaking fourth win in a row, but they had to come from behind in the semi-final and final to take the trophy.

It was a very strong looking line-up for the Greens, with former Scotland Sevens internationals Rory Hutton, Alex Dunbar and Graham Hogg in the squad. Graham’s brother Stuart – now a pro with Glasgow – was also in the mix with another Hogg – Ryan – who scored tries for fun on Saturday.

Speaking after the final, Ryan told TheSouthern: “Hats off to the boys. Everybody stuck in today and dug deep. We went behind a couple of times and got the results we needed.

“It’s great to be part of a team that made history. It was absolutely brilliant – fantastic!”

Sporting green-dyed hair at the event, Ryan insisted it was a little bit of fun for himself, but it certainly proved to be a big hit with the crowd. He’s certainly one of the characters in the team, but on the pitch he agreed there was plenty of character within the team.

“Our win at Hawks put some spirit back and this week we’ve proved to everyone that we can certainly play rugby,” he added.

And what about that unique style he has when he’s running – very reminiscent of the late great Andy Ripley?

“I just love sevens and love open space to run in,” he replied.

“It’s tough going, but when you get that ball you find energy to make the breaks. It’s a team game, though, and I couldn’t do it without the boys, and they’ve been brilliant.”

It was Ryan who scored the injury-time winner to slide past Jed-Forest when all seemed lost in the semi-final, and he got on the scoreboard once again in the final when Hawick came from 12-0 down to turn the match round, eventually winning 22-19.

They had luck on their side, too, in the final when Fraser Harkness, Selkirk’s star sevens player, made an unusual mistake by dropping the ball when clear of the line with the last play of the match.

But it was Hawick’s day and on balance they deserved to win their own tournament.

The result took them into fourth place in the Kings of the Sevens table after three rounds with 13 points, moving up to nestle behind leaders Melrose (20), Jed-Forest and Selkirk (both on 15).

Despite the fact that many YM fans had travelled up to Murrayfield to support the side in the Shield final, there was still a healthy crowd at Mansfield Park with people thoroughly enjoying the sunshine and the rugby.

Selkirk took the scalp of Melrose in round one, coming from 12-0 down to post an impressive 36-12 result.

With the main Melrose seven at Murrayfield on cup final duty, an understrength side was expected, but in the team were professional Mark Robertson and regulars of the calibre of Ben Allen, Alec Jessop, Chris Hardie and Ewan Ford.

Jed-Forest specialise in knocking out national sides (they ko’d China and Hong Kong in recent years at Melrose) and on Saturday they added Denmark to their list of scalps.

They made it comfortably to the semi-final before losing out to Hawick.

Selkirk got rid of Peebles in the other semi-final with a big score, but this was the sports the Teries wanted to win and they didn’t disappoint.

They dug deep and deserved their success. If they can keep this squad together and step up another gear they could easily put in a serious challenge for the Kings title.