OUR ATTITUDE WAS WRONG

A 'cataclysmic' change in approach is being ordered by Hawick head coach George Graham, after his squad last week became the first casualty of a team without a league win to their name all season.

Friday, 18th January 2019, 10:25 am
Andrew Mitchell (left) contributed Hawick's only try against Edinburgh Accies (stock image).

The boss lambasted the performance and attitude of his players at Raeburn Place on Saturday, as winless Edinburgh Accies breezed past them to win 37-7 (match report on page 30).

It was the capital side’s first Premiership win after 14 straight beatings – and they were 22-0 up before Hawick’s meagre tally was scraped together early in the second half.

Graham suspected his team thought the game would be theirs for the taking, mainly because of Accies’ poor run.

He also felt a number of players still weren’t properly focused after their festive season celebrations – and did not hide his disappointment at several of them going on a skiing trip after New Year.

Tomorrow (Saturday) comes perhaps the toughest assignment Hawick could expect – against table-toppers Ayr – and Graham is insisting on a response.

“There there has to be a cataclysmic change in attitude,” he said.

“I had a meeting with every one of them and told them that performance was nothing short of unacceptable, and it is not part of what we want to be here as a club.

“If they want to stay playing in the first team, they have to change what they are doing.

“I am looking for a massive reaction tomorrow and I hope the fact we are playing at Mansfield means we get one.”

Graham believed his troops were all aware of what he wanted from them and they were under no illusions about how he felt after the Edinburgh game, in terms of what he expected and the fact he never got it.

“It’s up to them now to change their attitude and I just can’t wait for Saturday to come, to try and make a difference,” he added.

A positive reaction, continued Graham, was probably the most important thing.

“Ayr are top of league and one of the best teams in the league so we’ll need to be at our best, even though we are playing at home , to get a result here,” he said.

“We just need to make sure we control the things we control and play our game, because at the weekend, we never.”

Recalling last Saturday’s ordeal, Graham said: “It was exactly the opposite of what we expected.

“I was bitterly, bitterly disappointed with the performance and the attitude of the players.

“I think they thought, becuse Accies hadn’t won a game, they could just turn up and win, and, unfortunately, it was the exact opposite.

“So many things – set pieces, scrums, lineouts, defence – everything that could go wrong did.

“I was very disappointed, to put it mildly.

“Attention to detail was very poor and Accies had more hunger,” said Graham.

“I think they targeted the fact they could possibly beat us there and they did – very well.

“Tomorrow, we have to get our things right and make sure everything we practise, we get on the field and do properly. Because, if we don’t, it’s very hard to break teams down.

“We’ll just have to wait and see what happens now.”