Hawick celebrating winning their own rugby sevens tournament for the first time since 2016 on SaturdayHawick celebrating winning their own rugby sevens tournament for the first time since 2016 on Saturday
Hawick celebrating winning their own rugby sevens tournament for the first time since 2016 on Saturday

In pictures: Hawick in seventh heaven after rugby tournament triumph

Hawick had won all of the last eight finals they’d contested at their own sevens tournament, now part of a three-day rugby festival, and they made it nine in a row at their Mansfield Park home ground at the weekend.

That latest success, secured by a 45-14 victory over Melrose in Saturday’s final, was their first since they beat Edinburgh’s Watsonians 24-17 six years ago.

The Greens’ route to the final this time round started off with pool wins against Gala by 19-14 and Kelso by 41-7, followed by a 31-12 semi-final knockout of Edinburgh Accies.

Melrose booked their place in the final with pool wins against a president’s VII by 37-0 and Hawick Force by 21-19, then a 47-12 semi-final victory over Watsonians.

Gala’s other pool game on the day was a 45-7 win against Kelso.

The only two other Borders sides involved were Selkirk and Peebles, neither making it out of their pool.

Peebles beat Selkirk 34-0 but lost 38-12 to Accies, also 37-0 victors against the Souters.

Hawick captain Andrew Mitchell was delighted to lift his side’s first trophy since 2016, telling Borders Rugby TV: “We knew it was going to be tough against Gala.

“They cancelled a pre-season game so they weren’t coming here to make up the numbers – they were coming here to try and spoil the party, but the boys dug deep.

“It took until the last minute but what happened was that we got through that and now we’re Hawick sevens winners.

“We knew we had a good chance as the squad have worked well.

“There are only two boys in the squad that have actually won it before so there are ten new boys that have won it. I’m chuffed to bits for the boys.”

Melrose captain Struan Hutchison was quick to congratulate their hosts on their 51st victory altogether at their own tournament, saying: “Hawick were deserved winners and scored a lot of points past us.”

Edinburgh’s Watsonians are front-runners as the latest Kings of the 7s campaign reaches its third round at Galashiels this Saturday.

The capital side, four-times winners of the title, are in pole position for now with 15 points following their victory at Peebles Sevens on Saturday, August 6, and semi-final defeat by Hawick last weekend.

Melrose, the most successful team in the 28-year history of the circuit in its current format with eight wins to their name, most recently in 2014, are in second place in the standings with 12 points.

Gala and Hawick are in joint third place with ten points apiece.

Edinburgh Accies are fifth with eight points, Peebles sixth with six, Selkirk seventh with five and Kelso and Berwick joint eighth with three.

Reigning champions Jed-Forest have yet to pick up any points in defence of the title they won in May as they were knocked out at the pool stage of Peebles Sevens and pulled out of Hawick Sevens – accompanied by a ladies’ day this year – opting to play a 15-a-side pre-season home friendly against County Durham side Consett instead.

Gala, on the other hand, prioritised their sevens campaign and called off a planned friendly against Glasgow Hawks so they could give it their full attention.

The Galashiels side’s Netherdale home ground plays host to round three of the current Kings of the 7s campaign this Saturday as part of their now-annual Maroon’d@Gala festival.

Gala, four-times Kings of the 7s winners, haven’t won their own tournament since 2015, Edinburgh Accies being the most recent winner in 2019, though Melrose won a non-circuit version of the contest last year, beating the hosts 21-17 in the final.

This weekend’s Kings of the 7s round is the last of 2022, with the remaining seven to follow next year.

Entry to Gala’s festival is free. For details, go to https://www.facebook.com/GalaRugby

See also …