In-form Greens bag bonus with spirited performance

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Ediburgh Accies10

If Hawick can improve on or even just maintain the form they showed here, then they more than deserve to be among the 10-team elite of Scottish club rugby.

At times the hosts played breathtaking rugby, using pace and sharp thinking in attack while maintaining an intensity in defence that left Accies, for most of the first quarter, unable to compete.

Hawick coach Phil Leck has had belief in his side in spite of a few blue experiences for the Greens this season and was not surprised that his team delivered on the day.

“We’ve always been promising to do that, to play for the whole 80 minutes,” he told The Southern.

“I thought the first 20 minutes was the best I’ve seen the team play. The way they played – fast, modern, aggressive, and effective rugby – is what we’ve been trying to achieve. It’s great when it comes off.”

Hawick were without James Johnstone, but did have the services of Edinburgh pros Nikki Walker and Rob McAlpine. Walker, back on his international beat at right wing, was hugely influential, constantly looking for work, tracking the ball and causing havoc in the Accies’ midfield defence.

Such was the intensity of Hawick’s play that they found themselves 22-0 ahead after only 16 minutes, having opened their points tally only minutes into the game with a try and conversion by full back Neil Renwick after the attack had been switched from left to right.

Then, after John Coutts had made the running, scrum half Greg Cottrell, a key player for Hawick on Saturday, finished off with a close-range try, again converted by Renwick, to establish a 14-0 lead after only eight minutes.

Hawick’s work-rate produced a further early dividend when clever running from Scotland wing Nikki Walker created a try for flanker Nick Mactaggart. Renwick missed the conversion, but before the first quarter had finished, the full back put over a penalty goal.

At 22-0, Accies came into the game with a close-range try by hooker Mike Liness from a driven line-out and then added a similar score by scrum half Alex Black early in the second half. But that was the end of Accies’ points gathering as the Teries reasserted themselves adding a second penalty goal by Renwick and then an exquisite try, again involving Walker, in the corner by winger Scott McLeod, to seal a fine win for the Greens.