Hawick’s hopes of securing a place in the top four of the BT Premiership evaporated in the heat of battle against an under-pressure Boroughmuir side determined to remain in the top tier.
In the end the Meggetland men had the greater desire to achieve their objective and for the moment their relegation worries are considerably diminished.
It was hugely disappointing for the Hawick fans at Meggetland to watch a team that had performed heroics against Heriot’s a week earlier fail to dominate lowly Boroughmuir. And more so for the Hawick coaching team, among whom Scotland cap Scott MacLeod was far from impressed.
“We never turned up in the first half, we were a bit flat, not very vocal – I thought we were just going through the motions,” he told the Southern.
“We showed in the second half that when we built the phases against a big pack we could get at them but I think we lost it because of our own mistakes. There were some positives. I thought we rallied well in the second half to get on level terms.
“It’s frustrating and annoying because I believe we’ve got a good side who are tough to beat. But it’s doing it week on week. This was an important game for us – but we just didn’t turn up.”
Hawick can, however, take positives from a league match that was a dress rehearsal for the BT Cup final at Murrayfield next month. Skipper Rory Hutton produced a number of trademark incisions, replacement Sean Goodfellow showed he’s up to the mark, and among the forwards hooker Lindsay Gibson was impressive in loose play.
The Greens were not helped by a yellow card shown to prop Matt Landels for what looked to be a marginal foul just before half time. It was a harsh decision but it cost Hawick eight points in total.
A penalty apiece by Chris Laidlaw and Lee Armstrong ended an even first quarter but an interception try by winger Jordan Edmunds and Laidlaw’s conversion put Muir in the driving seat. Hawick replied with a Nikki Walker try but Laidlaw’s penalty following Landels’ departure to the sidelines left Boroughmuir 13-8 ahead at half time.
Then in the first 10 minutes of the second half Laidlaw added the conversion goal to a second try for Edmunds. Hawick’s plight worsened when slack defence allowed scrum half Sam Johnson to cruise in for a score for a 25-8 lead.
Hawick then showed immense character by hitting back from a seemingly hopeless position with tries by Willie Blacklock, who barrelled over from close range and then Goodfellow finishing off a good handling move. Then after Walker crashed over for his second try, Armstrong levelled the scores at 25-25.
From the restart Hawick tried to run the ball from deep but became bogged down in their own 22m area and when Boroughmuir secured ball, hooker Cal Davies scored from close range, Laidlaw converting to seal the win.