Hawick 29-25 Stirling County

Action from Hawick v Stirling County
Action from Hawick v Stirling County

Hawick finally found winning form to achieve their first result in this season’s BT Premiership and with it a useful bonus point to add to their championship tally.

Yet while there was much in his team’s performance to please Hawick coach Nikki Walker, the former Scotland wing will have to analyse why his side let Stirling back into the game after the Greens had established a 19-3 lead only 20 minutes into the match.

“We started the game pretty well after playing into the wind, but we made too many errors in the second half and Stirling were pretty clinical,” he said.

“They held on to the ball well and counter attacked from our kicks. We were a bit loose with out kicking and we need to work on our chase. The opportunities were there for us to score more tries and we could have been out of sight.

“But it was good to get the win and from a coach’s point of view it’s good that there’s room for improvement.”

Pleasing for Hawick was the ability of the backs to cut through the Stirling defence in the opening quarter. At the heart of the attack was Rory Hutton, moved from stand-off to inside centre. Hutton was instrumental in creating all four of Hawick’s tries, the first from clever footwork by the centre that gave Lee Armstrong room to run in at the corner.

Try number two emanated from a mazy run by Hutton, the support from Ross Graham and Craig Russell, both prominent performers, creating space for the impressively quick teenage wing Darcy Graham to outflank the defence.

A third Hawick try followed soon afterwards, and came from a speculative kick, with John Coutts outpacing the defence to kick on and chase to the line.

Armstrong, who kicked three conversion goals and a penalty goal, scored Hawick’s fourth try and again it was Hutton who set up the score. Armstrong, who had a steady game at stand-off, was named as man of the match but there were some other close contenders, among them flanker Stuart Graham and lock Finlay Simpson. Notable too were props Nicky Little and Shaun Muir and outside centre Coutts.

Stirling try scorers were Colin Hutton, Matt Lamb, Vaka Manu with skipper Jonny Hope slotting two conversions and two penalties.