Glasgow Hawks scored five tries to collect a bonus point and maintain a challenge for a Premiership play-off place while, at the same time, sending Selkirk sliding back into the national league in trying conditions at Philiphaugh, writes Atholl Innes.
For Selkirk, who went through last season unbeaten, it was a step too far, while Hawks reflected on a game in which performance in the gale-force conditions was as important as the result.
“It was a good game for us with the number of tries we scored and we played the conditions really well on a heavy pitch,” said head coach Gary Mercer. “We knew that it would be hard as Peter Wright always has Selkirk fired up, but to score five tries was fabulous.”
For Selkirk, it was straight down to National League 1 after being promoted unbeaten last season, with director of rugby Cameron Cochrane saying that the club would now assess the future.
“It was a very disappointing day for us but the heart and desire was there and the boys never stopped playing. Players stuck by us through the good and bad times,” he said.
“Peter [Wright] our coach is keen to stay on here. He has brought a lot to us and the players will still be here [next season] and that is a big plus”.
Mercer added: “We have been blowing hot and cold and we may need a couple of results to go our way elsewhere, but we just need to keep winning.”
The wind and the powerful visitors’ pack had a major influence on the game in which Hawks showed their aggression in the first half to lead 19-3 at the break with two tries from Andy Hill and a penalty try, two converted by Gregor Hunter, to a Nathan Fowles penalty and Grant Shiells also in the sin-bin.
Hawks mastered the conditions despite facing the wind in the second half. Tries by Brendan McGroaty and Grant Stewart, converted by Hunter and Jack Steele, were sandwiched by scores from Ross Nixon and Josh Welsh and one Fowles conversion.