RBS NATIONAL LEAGUE
STUART CAMERON reports from Philiphaugh
AFTER the events at Mansfield Park a couple of months ago when Selkirk overturned a 20-point deficit to win the match against Hawick, the Greens were itching for revenge – and on Saturday at Philiphaugh that opportunity came their way.
They deserved their win, although the scoreline of 37-12 was something of a surprise.
The first half was a tight affair, with Hawick getting the nod 9-7, thanks to three penalty goals by Neil Renwick. But it was the Souters who scored the only try of the first period when a planned kick ahead from Gavin Craig for Rory Banks to run onto in the corner worked a treat. Mike McVie’s conversion went over off the post.
Selkirk’s Andrew Renwick and Matt Landels for the Greens were both yellow-carded in the first half, but it was another yellow which had a big influence on the match following the resumption.
At a ruck, Landels was preventing the ball from coming out and opponent Neil Darling used his feet to try and release it. It was old-fashioned rucking which even the referee seemed happy about and he awarded Selkirk the penalty, but on the advice of one of his assistants Darling was given a yellow card. He didn’t take the decision well, there was backchat and the yellow turned into a red.
It was an unfortunate incident which gave the visitors a big advantage for the final half-hour. On 55 minutes, Keith Davies intercepted a pass from Scott Hendrie and had a simple run-in for his ninth try in all competitions of the season. Renwick converted.
But the Selkirk heads didn’t go down and they fought back for a try which was well deserved – Darren Clapperton rounding off a slick move which saw the ball pass through a number of hands.
The one-man advantage in the pack helped Hawick to wheel a defensive Selkirk scrum, and when the ball popped out the back, the alert Garry Johnstone pounced on it to give the Greens a third try, Renwick again bagging the extras. They sniffed the bonus point and when Greg Cottrell saw Rory Hutton and Scott McLeod out on the right, he moved the ball in that direction. McLeod went under the posts to secure the five points, with Renwick taking his personal total to 17 with his fourth conversion.
For Hawick, their backs were again impressive. Lee Armstrong looked very comfortable at centre, with the exciting Hutton always entertaining to watch. Renwick was stunning at full back, making several ventures into enemy territory, gliding past defenders with ease. In the pack, Shawn Muir and Keith Davies were outstanding.
Selkirk have a game in hand, so write them off at your peril as they go into the second half of the season. Clapperton continues to impress with his all-round game.
Hawick’s Hutton was thrilled.
He told TheSouthern: “We let a healthy lead slip up last time round against Selkirk and we got five points today, which was what we were aiming for to try and catch the top two teams above us. We’ve got Hawks and Watsonians at home, so promotion is in our hands. If we keep winning we’ll be up there.”
Selkirk’s Fraser Harkness said: “We got lazy towards the end and that cost us dearly. It’s tough to get beaten like that after the run we’ve been on.”
Match highlights are on Borders Rugby TV at www.bordersrugby.net
Selkirk: R. Banks; S. Hendrie, F. Harkness, R. Nixon, D. Clapperton; G, Craig, M. McVie; G, Patterson, S. Forrest, C. Lacour, A. Renwick, M. Kissick, N. Darling, A. Duckett, R. Crockatt. Subs: L. MacLennan, C. Johnson, J. Bett, C. Graur, E. Macdougall.
Hawick: N. Renwick; J. Coutts, L. Armstrong, G. Johnstone, S. Anderson; R. Hutton, G. Cottrell; S. Muir, L. Gibson, M. Landels, K. Willison, C. Smith, N. Mactaggart, S. Graham, K. Davies. Subs: H.Scammell, L. Launders, D. Lowrie, S. MLeod, G. Anderson.