Hawick keep hold of top spot after 36-15 win at Glasgow Hawks
The Troon team’s visit to the Greens’ Mansfield Park home this Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm, offers the hosts a chance not only to make amends for their only defeat to date of this season, by 24-5 in South Ayrshire in September, but also to go five or six points clear at the top of the table.
At the moment, Hawick, on 42 points from ten fixtures, are only a point ahead of Marr, 43-34 victors at home to sixth-placed Heriot’s Blues at the weekend as they keep up their title challenge, but notching up their tenth win of this campaign, and ninth on the bounce, would see head coach Matty Douglas’s side extend that gap to a handful of points or more.
The Borderers’ try-scorers at Glasgow’s Balgray Stadium on Saturday were centre Lee Armstrong, flanker Calum Renwick, outside centre Andrew Mitchell, winger Charlie Welsh and replacement Ronan McKean, with full-back Kirk Ford converting four and also kicking a penalty.
Hooker Paul Cairncross scored two tries for the hosts, with fly-half Gav Cruickshanks adding a conversion and a penalty.
Captain Shawn Muir was pleased to see his team’s title defence gathering momentum with another bonus-point win just past the halfway mark of the regular season, telling Borders Rugby TV afterwards: “We know how tough it is to play Glasgow Hawks, especially at Balgray, and to get the five points. I’m absolutely delighted with that result.
“It was a strange game. In the first half, we didn’t really get into our structures and didn’t get into our shape much but we scored three tries and we were happy with that.
“I think our conversion rate must have been just about 90% in that first half.
“Andrew Mitchell probably did score a fourth as well but it was chalked off.
“I was just delighted by how accurate we were when we got into their 22.
“It’s a massive win. It was a big win for us and we now move on to next week against Marr and we’ll do the exact same in preparing for that.
“I think it’ll be a different game next week against Marr. I think it’ll be very physical.
“We’ll probably get into our shape and our forwards will have a lot more ball.
“Without beating about the bush, we’ve got a score to settle.
“If I’m honest, they embarrassed us over there – we were second best in every facet of the game – so we’ll look to right some wrongs.”
Besides being a point clear at the top of the table, Hawick are now 13 away from fifth place, Musselburgh’s play-off bid having been dealt a blow by their 45-12 defeat at Kelso on Saturday, leaving them fifth, with 29 points from ten fixtures.
Hawick prop Nicky Little was one of two players sin-binned by referee Gordon Galashan on Saturday, on 55 minutes, for an accumulation of infringements by the visitors, with home winger Ryan Flett being the other, 26 minutes in, for a deliberate knock-on.