Gala fall prey to Hawks in Premiership curtain-raise

Gregor Hunter makes a dash towards the Glasgow Hawks' line (picture by Alwyn Johnston)
Gregor Hunter makes a dash towards the Glasgow Hawks' line (picture by Alwyn Johnston)

Gala 27

Glasgow Hawks 43

After a first-half drubbing which led to their ultimate defeat, Gala’s coaching team has much to ponder ahead of this week’s game against fellow first-round losers, Currie.

A catastrophic first-half display on Saturday allowed Hawks to run in five tries for a seemingly unassailable 38-8 half-time lead.

This, despite a consolation recovery by the home side after the break, when they outscored Hawks by three tries to one, ultimately made it a comfortable canter for the Anniesland men.

“Basic errors annihilated us,” admitted the Gala coach, Chris Dalgleish. “We gifted them four tries, from losing our own scrum, from an interception, spilling a restart kick and missing a vital tackle.

“It’s frustrating because I thought some of the patterns of our play caused them a lot of trouble.

“I’m very disappointed with the start. You’re never going to haul back 30 points after half time.”

Dalgleish added: “I thought the two second-half subs (Gregor Mein and Ross Coombe) made a difference and Dean Brooker looks like he’s settling in.”

Tactically, Gala kicked away too much first-half possession, making it easy for the Hawks backs to run the ball. That was in contrast to Gala’s second-half approach, when their running style of rugby and, in particular, the incision of Gregor Hunter, produced tries.

Hunter was unlucky in the first half to have been prevented from scoring by an illegal tackle from Hawks’ full back Jack Steele. Arguably, it could have resulted in a penalty try and/or yellow card and brought Gala back into the game.

Gala, with only a single try, by back row Steve Cairns, and a Hunter penalty to show for honest effort before the break, gave their fans some second-half comfort with a brace of tries from wing Craig Robertson and a final effort by replacement hooker Dean Brooker, with Hunter kicking two conversion goals.

Gala should have added a further try, only for Mein to lose possession of the ball over the line, cruelly confirming this was not Gala’s day.

Gala: G. Spiers, A. Turner, P. Hendry, R. Jeffrey, C. Robertson, G. Hunter, G. Lott, C. Keen, M. Cattyer, G. Robertson, R. Louw, C. Weir, A. Emond, S. Chapman, S. Cairns. Subs used: D. Brooker, R. Todd, G. Mein, R. Coombe, J. Irvine.