Tenacious Teries come out on top against title chasers

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Hawick continued their climb back from what at one stage this season seemed to be despair with a fourth Premiership win.

Heriot’s were bidding for an eighth successive victory in the league and certainly looked on course in the opening quarter when they dominated both possession and territory.

But a lack of discipline by the city side allowed the Teries back into the game by the interval, before two second-half yellow cards signalled the end for the Goldenacre men.

But Hawick’s victory derived from much more than poor discipline and a series of uncharacteristic errors by Heriot’s. The Greens showed creativity, notably from stand-off Ally Weir, Gary Johnstone and Lee Armstrong, with Neil Renwick and John Coutts constant threats, while in defence Hawick tackled tirelessly and tenaciously.

Moreover, Hawick’s pack more than stood up to a Heriot’s eight that has looked formidable this campaign.

Yet Hawick coach Phil Leck admitted that his side’s preparations for this match had not suggested such an inspired performance.

“We had the worst training session we’ve ever had on Thursday. It was completely lacklustre,” he told The Southern.

“I just told the boys to play with heart and stop feeling sorry for themselves for playing big, hard sides every week. As soon as they get it in their heads, they’ll have a go at anybody. Never say ‘dead and buried’ to a green shirt.”

Leck picked out Weir for special mention, while Hawick’s other hero was full back Renwick, who kicked six penalty goals and converted a second-half try by Bruce McNeill, compensation for an earlier ‘try’ by replacement Keith Davies disallowed by referee Charles Damson.

For Heriot’s who were on the wrong end of a 17-7 penalty count, winger Liam Steele, the son of 1984 Scotland Grand Slam wing Billy Steele, scored a first-half try from turnover ball and centre Cammy Ferguson notched a second-half touchdown.

Scrum-half Graham Wilson scored the remaining points from a conversion goal and two penalties.

Hawick: N. Renwick; S. McLeod, L. Armstrong, G. Johnstone, J. Coutts; A. Weir, J. Evens; S. Muir, L. Graham, W. Blacklock, R. McAlpine, K. Willison, N. Mactaggart, S. Graham, B. McNeill. Subs used: R. Graham, L. Launders, K. Davies.