Hawick win promotion to Premiership

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Hawick 39 Dundee HSFP 38

Premiership/National Division Play-off

HAWICK RFC will play Premiership rugby next season thanks to a brave and inspiring performance at Meggetland today.

There were 11 tries in total, Dundee recording six, but it’s points that matter in this game and despite being bashed senseless by the big Dundee pack, and conceding three penalty tries, the Green Machine rumbled on to a magnificent victory.

Dundee enjoyed the early pressure but it was Hawick who scored first in the eighth minute when Scott McLeod went over in the corner following some good work from Rory Hutton.

It didn’t take long for the Taysiders to respond however. And, as expected, it was the big Dundee forwards who were to the fore as No 8 Richie McIver crashed over the line and minutes later scrum-half Andy Dymock nipped round the back of a scrum to notch try number two which was converted by Jack Steele.

Hawick were not about to be bullied and five minutes later gave their opponents some of their own medicine with Graham Hogg running in near the posts following a series of pick-up and drives in the Dundee 22. Ali Weir converted and it was all square once more. The Green Machine was not finished yet though. 10 minutes to the break veteran hooker Matt Landels appeared from a pile of bodies five metres from the Dundee line and shot through like a bullet taking everyone, including himself, by surprise by touching down. Weir converted.

And, with three minutes of the half remaining the huge Hawick contingent were in raptures when Rory Hutton swept over the line in style to dot down try number four. Weir converted to make a half time score of Hawick 26 Dundee 12.

For the opening 10 minutes of the second half Hawick were forced to soak up some pressure on their own line. A series of infringements at the scrum failed to amuse referee Peter Allan who eventually lost patience and awarded a penalty try which Jack Steele converted. Worse was to come. Scott McLeod was sent to the sin bin a minute later and shortly after that another penalty try, converted by Weir, brought the scores level.

The Dundee forwards had really been putting Hawick under pressure but, to give them their due, the Greens kept their heads up. Things looked bad again as the final quarter approached when Greg Cottrell was unjustly flagged for putting a foot in touch and Dundee got the line-out on half way. The magic returned though. Rory Hutton intercepted the ball as Dundee went on the attack and his searing break saw the Greens deep in Dundee territory. Hutton then passed to Keith Davies who wove his way through to score. Weir converted and minutes later Hutton notched a penalty from 40 metres to increase the gap to 10 points.

Once again Hawick found themselves under pressure and once again they found the decisions going against them. It was Rory Scott who fell foul of the no nonsense ref and Dundee predictably followed up with a try from Alan Brown.

Still short handed Hawick dug deep and for one of the few times in the game received the benefit of a penalty decision. Weir slotted this one giving his team an eight point cushion with 10 minutes remaining.

With minutes remaining the crowd at Langholm Sevens would have heard the commotion when a third penalty try was awarded to Dundee. Steele converted and as the game moved into injury time there was only one point in it.

Nerves were now at breaking point as the game continued and possession change hands at a rate of noughts. Eventually, after six minutes of injury time, Hawick won the ball and Hutton booted the ball out to record an absolutely amazing victory for Hawick.

Hawick: A. Weir; S. McLeod, J. Coutts, G. Hogg, N. McColm; R. Hutton, G. Cottrell; S. Muir, L. Gibson, L. Launders, K. Willison, N. Mactaggart, S. Graham, R. Scott, K. Davies. Subs: M. Landels, H. Scammell, B. Keown, B. Campbell, R. Smith, G. Anderson, D. Landels.

Dundee: J. Urquart; A. McLean, H. Duthie, R. Lavery, C. Bowie; J. Steele, A. Dymock; N. Dymock, D. Russell, A. Brown, A. Redmayne, C. Cumming, D. Levison, I. Wilson, R. McIver. Subs: S. Longwell, G. Robertson, A. Linton, H. Livingston, R. Lemon, R. Taylor, O. Dyer.