Hawick head coach George Graham has assured supporters that the squad is working extremely hard to turn around the poor start to their Premiership campaign.

Friday, 14th September 2018, 1:50 pm
Updated Friday, 14th September 2018, 1:50 pm
Dalton Redpath scored Hawick's solitary try against Boroughmuir last Saturday (stock image by Alwyn Johnston).

The players are keen to address the defensive difficulties and other issues which have seen them concede over 100 points in just two matches.

The Robbie Dyes are obviously hopeful that things will improve – although Graham reminded people that the Greens had a fairly limited squad and fortunes were not always transformed overnight.

Hawick began the campaign with a 19-48 reversal against champions Melrose but it got considerably worse on Saturday, away to Boroughmuir, who scored 11 tries to Hawick’s one in a 63-7 victory.

Comparisons may soon be made, if they haven’t already, with the Greens’ start to last season, in which they lost the opening 10 games before a spectacular turnaround.

But while it’s hard not to be reminded of that, Graham said it was in the past and the team was trying to create a new chapter.

Tomorrow (Saturday), they visit Currie Chieftains, described by Graham as “a very good side”.

“I’ve made a few changes – the start has been pretty much unacceptable,” he said.

“The intensity and attention to detail in terms of our defence and tackling has been pretty woeful. The saving grace is we are working hard to address these problems.”

Players were injured, others were coming back from injury, and Hawick had a small squad to begin with.

“We will keep working hard in training and I am sure the boys, as they did last season, will reap the benefit of hard work,” added Graham.

“We are working to improve our game management, our game awareness and how we do things, but they don’t happen overnight – it’s a progression,” added the head coach. “It’s still very early in the season but we have conceded a lot in the last two games.”

Graham said Hawick didn’t want to keep dwelling on what happened last term.

However, having made such a good recovery, it was very disappointing to fall back into the pattern that was.

Hawick had been through a very tough but productive pre-season in terms of how they wanted to play the game, he added.

They had a very loyal squad and they wanted to make sure the intensity was there.

Graham said the biggest problem so far had been the side’s defence.

“It’s OK making a tackle but you have to get into position to make it,” he said.

“We are not getting into positions quickly enough to get our lines set and get our positioning right to make tackles,” he added.

“We have fallen off tackles and missed them when we get in there.”

The players were giving everything in training, said Graham, but, with a limited pool, it could be difficult to practice with full-contact sessions, in case more players being injured.

“I can never fault the boys’ enthusiasm and willingness to try and get better, so from a coach’s standpoint, I can’t ask for any more,” added Graham.

Lee Armstrong is out with an ankle injury but the Robbie Dyes have options to replace him while he recovers.