Hawick go four points clear at top of rugby’s Scottish Premiership after edging out Marr by 21-15
The Greens gifted five penalty kicks, all slotted home by Colin Sturgeon, to their visitors from Troon for high tackles, Lee Armstrong and Dalton Redpath being among the offenders, and a tip-tackle by Ross Graham, as well as an off-the-ball challenge by Jae Linton, with those latter two offences triggering two yellow cards in the space of as many minutes late on.
Those infringements made the weekend’s top-of-the-table face-off at Hawick’s home ground a closer-run thing than the hosts would no doubt have liked, preventing them from replying in kind to the 24-5 thumping inflicted on them by their visitors in South Ayrshire in September, their only defeat in over a year and a half, but they were happy enough to have ended up on the right side of the 21-15 scoreline, according to captain Shawn Muir.
Missing out on a try bonus point themselves and allowing Marr to claim a losing bonus point might have been a double disappointment but that mattered less than coming out on top, even if only by a single-score margin, he told Borders Rugby TV afterwards.
“I’m delighted with four points,” said the 30-year-old prop. “We said before the game that it was one we had to win at all costs as it was a top-of-the-table clash.
“I’m happy with the win but our performance could have been better. We left a lot out there.
“There were a lot of missed opportunities, especially in the second half – we must have dominated territory and possession massively – so there are things to work on, but you can’t grumble after beating a side like Marr at home.
“You need to win these big games. We lost over there so we knew we needed to even the score here.
“It’s four points on the board.”
Muir said he was frustrated to have allowed Marr to head back west with a point given his side’s dominance, adding: “If I’m honest, without sounding disrespectful, they didn’t really look like scoring a try.
“Them getting a point’s disappointing but it’s not the end of the world. We’ve got another win.”
Muir scored one of Hawick’s two tries, with centre Andrew Mitchell touching down the other and Kirk Ford adding a conversion and three penalties.
Saturday’s victory saw Hawick go four points clear at the top of the table after there having been only a single point in it at kick-off.
Head coach Matty Douglas’s Greens are now on 46 points from 11 fixtures, with Marr on 42.
Next up for them is a derby day at sixth-placed Kelso this coming Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm, and they’ll be looking to do the double against their regional rivals after giving them a 61-7 hiding at home in September.