High-flying Hawks prove too streetwise for Selkirk

Selkirk 13

Glasgow Hawks 27


Stuart Cameron reports from Philiphaugh

THIS was always going to be a very tough task for Selkirk.

Missing two of their top players, Fraser Harkness and Neil Darling, and with a few on the injured list, it was not an ideal scenario for the visit of table-toppers Glasgow Hawks, who, like Selkirk, had not been beaten this season. But with a big difference in points for and against, the attacking power of a streetwise Hawks made them hot favourites.

Things could not have got off to a worse start for Selkirk. From the kick-off, the ball was dropped by Ryan Crockatt and the Hawks pounced, winning possession and putting pressure on the Souters. Hawks’ scrum half Haddon MacPherson seized an opportunity near the try line and dived over for a score which was converted by Mike Adamson.

Adamson popped over a penalty 12 minutes later before Michael McVie got Selkirk off the mark with a penalty of his own.

After a shaky opening for the home side, confidence grew and Selkirk started to take the game to the Glasgow side. Just before the break, Darren Clapperton looked as if he had gone over for a try in the corner. After consultation with the assistant referee, the man in charge, Charles Samson, disallowed the score, but with the Souters in the ascendancy it looked as if this game was going to the wire.

McVie chipped over another penalty six minutes after the interval and more pressure from Selkirk tested the Hawks’ defence. They passed the test well and soaked up the pressure before unleashing a barrage of attacks which gave them the breakthrough on the hour.

Replacement Callum Kerr found a gap to the left of the posts and went over for a try, converted by Adamson, and five minutes later the real body blow landed when Hawks broke down the right where winger Tony Herron dipped in to score a crucial try.

That left Selkirk with a mountain to climb if they were going to get anything out of this game and when captain Gavin Craig grubber-kicked for Rory Banks to gather and score, with McVie adding the extras, there was a chance that they would grab a losing bonus point.

With a nine-point gap between the sides, Selkirk went all out for another score as injury time approached. They threw caution to the wind, but it did not pay off. Winger Tom Steven sprinted over for a bonus try for the visitors to complete their afternoon’s work. Adamson added the extras and the top side in the National League marched on in their bid to make a quick return to the top table of Scottish rugby.

After the game, Selkirk captain Gavin Craig said: “I’m very disappointed because we know we can play better than that. We made mistakes and couldn’t take our chances when we were in their half. It was because of our mistakes that they scored their tries. Our lack of discipline cost us, but we’re a team that never gives up. We’ll sort things out during the week and try and get back on track.”

Selkirk: M. Rutherford; L. MacLennan, S. Hendrie, R. Nixon, D. Clapperton; G. Craig, M. McVie; C. Lacour, S. Forrest, C. Graur, A. Renwick, M. Kissick, E. MacDougall, A. Duckett, R. Crockatt. Subs R. Banks, C. Johnston, P. Forrest, G. Patterson, A. Lambie..