​Marr halt 26-match unbeaten streak for Hawick

​All good things must come to an end, according to the old proverb, and Hawick found out on Saturday that it applies to an unbeaten streak stretching beyond an entire rugby season as much as it does to anything else.
Captain Shawn Muir on the attack for Hawick, with Nicky Little in support, during their 24-5 beating at Marr on Saturday (Photo: Malcolm Grant)Captain Shawn Muir on the attack for Hawick, with Nicky Little in support, during their 24-5 beating at Marr on Saturday (Photo: Malcolm Grant)
Captain Shawn Muir on the attack for Hawick, with Nicky Little in support, during their 24-5 beating at Marr on Saturday (Photo: Malcolm Grant)

The Greens weren’t expecting to go all the way through a Scottish Premiership campaign undefeated for the second year on the trot, though, and it’ll have come as no surprise to them either that their 26-game run without ending up on the losing side would be halted at the last place they were beaten, Marr’s Fullarton Park home ground in Troon.

The defending champions’ last defeat prior to the weekend was by 17-10 away to the South Ayrshire side in March 2022’s top-flight play-off semi-finals, with Marr going on to win the title that time round, but they’d got the better of them four times since – twice in the league, by 20-3 at home last October and 29-10 away in January; in a semi-final play-off, by 18-6 at home in March; and in May’s Scottish cup final at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium, by 31-13.

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Head coach Kenny Diffenthal’s team were unwilling to allow the Borderers to extend that winning sequence to a handful of games, however, running two tries past them and kicking four penalties for a 24-5 victory.

Calum Renwick in possession for Hawick during their 24-5 defeat at Marr on Saturday (Photo: Malcolm Grant)Calum Renwick in possession for Hawick during their 24-5 defeat at Marr on Saturday (Photo: Malcolm Grant)
Calum Renwick in possession for Hawick during their 24-5 defeat at Marr on Saturday (Photo: Malcolm Grant)

Their try-scorers were No 8 Blair Jardine and wing Jake Jacobson, with fly-half Colin Sturgeon adding a conversion and four penalties.

Their visitors could muster only one unconverted try in response, touched down by scrum-half Gareth Welsh.

Hawick head coach Matty Douglas was disappointed by his side’s performance on the west coast but is hoping Saturday’s loss will prove to be a spur to get back to winning ways.

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“I’m really disappointed with the result,” he told Borders Rugby TV afterwards.

Andrew Mitchell on the attack for Hawick during their 24-5 loss at Marr on Saturday (Photo: Malcolm Grant)Andrew Mitchell on the attack for Hawick during their 24-5 loss at Marr on Saturday (Photo: Malcolm Grant)
Andrew Mitchell on the attack for Hawick during their 24-5 loss at Marr on Saturday (Photo: Malcolm Grant)

“It’s always a hard one to take when you go so long unbeaten and you’ve not tasted defeat for a long time, but it’s probably what we needed.

“It shows we can’t just turn up at places in the wrong frame of mind and think we’ll get a win.

“Credit to Marr, they were really clinical. They took their opportunities.

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“For us, we just compounded error on error discipline-wise. In the first 20 minutes, we’d be creeping towards double-figures penalty count-wise and got a yellow card for Calum Renwick in that period.

Dalton Redpath on the ball for Hawick during their 24-5 loss at Marr on Saturday (Photo: Malcolm Grant)Dalton Redpath on the ball for Hawick during their 24-5 loss at Marr on Saturday (Photo: Malcolm Grant)
Dalton Redpath on the ball for Hawick during their 24-5 loss at Marr on Saturday (Photo: Malcolm Grant)

“Looking at the scoreboard, we were 16-0 down after 30 minutes, and it was just one of those games in which we never got going.”

Douglas is hoping for a reaction to his side’s loss in Marr, leaving them seventh in the table on four points from two fixtures, at home to sixth-placed Kelso this coming Saturday.

That match, both sides’ first Borders derby of the new season, kicks off at Mansfield Park at 3pm.

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“We’ve got a group of players that will react to this, 100%,” he said.

“It’ll be a bit of a character test as we go into a Border derby against Kelso but we’ll be back at home.

“We haven’t become a bad side overnight but we’ve got a lot to fix this week, and a lot of it will come down to players’ attitudes. Can we fix it? I’ve got a lot of faith in them that they will.

“We’ve got a number of senior and quality players throughout our squad and we’re only two games into the season. We’ll be judged on what happens at the end of it.

“If I know this group of players, we’ll get a good reaction and we’ll see if we can put it right next Saturday.”