Hawick pull off Tennent's Premiership derby double away to Selkirk
A three-way battle between Selkirk, Hawick and the elements went the way of the visitors at the Souters’ Philiphaugh home ground on Saturday.
Icy sleet and rain lashed down, pausing only for snow to take their place, as the Greens edged out their hosts 14-9 to do the double after beating them 23-22 at home in mid-September.
That victory sees head coach Matty Douglas’s Hawick side remain third in the Tennent’s Premiership table with 43 points from 12 games, only a single point behind second-placed Marr but trailing league leaders Currie Chieftains by 10.
Selkirk are in sixth place with 21 points from 12 games, and the other Borderers in the 10-team division, Jed-Forest, are second bottom, with 19 points from 11 games, after losing 17-10 away to Glasgow Hawks at the weekend.
Lewis Young scored Jed-Forest’s only try at Glasgow’s Balgray Stadium, with Gary Munro adding a conversion and a penalty.
Hawick and Selkirk are both up against capital sides this coming Saturday, the former at home to Bill McLaren Shield-holders Edinburgh Academical, one point and one place behind them in the table, at 3pm and the latter away to Currie at 2.30pm.
Jed-Forest have a chance to widen the 11-point gap between them and basement side Aberdeen Grammar at home at Jedburgh’s Riverside Park, also at 3pm.
Selkirk were first to get off the mark at Philiphaugh with a Keiran Clark penalty on four minutes and the full-back added two further penalties in the second half.
A failure by the hosts to find touch with a clearance kick inside their own 22 just before half-time swung the game Hawick’s way as they collected the ball and worked their way up to the opposition try-line thanks to a series of forward carries, allowing fly-half Kirk Ford to squeeze over for a try, and he added a conversion for good measure to give his side a 7-3 lead at the break.
Hawick’s scrum earned them a penalty try on the hour-mark, putting them 14-6 in front and that proved to be enough to earn them a derby victory.
Selkirk head coach Scott Wight said: “After last week’s disappointment at Musselburgh, we’d asked the boys for a bit more energy and desire, and I think the players showed that in abundance.
“The try Hawick scored before half-time was a real momentum-shifter, which was disappointing as I thought the effort by our boys was through the roof.
“We came out in the second half and gave as good as we got, but Hawick stood firm.
“Obviously, conditions were very difficult for both teams, but, at the end of the day, to take away a bonus point was a positive.”
Hawick captain Matt Carryer was pleased with the effort his team put in to grind out a win but wasn’t so happy about their indiscipline, telling Borders Rugby TV: “Our discipline wasn’t good enough at all.
“We were applying pressure quite a lot of times and then letting it go with an easy penalty or going off our feet or offside or something like that, so it’s quite disappointing that way.”
Looking ahead to next week, he added: “We’ve targeted these three games just before Christmas for three wins, so we’ll be pushing on for that, and it’s back at Mansfield as well and we seem to be a different team at home.”