Glasgow Hawks 29 - 19 Hawick: Hawks flutter to deceive

In a strange sort of way, the losing side will have come away from this match feeling the more positive of the two teams, having recovered some sense of pride with a battling performance after last week's humiliating capitulation to Heriot's.
George Horne in action for Glasgow Hawks. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNSGeorge Horne in action for Glasgow Hawks. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS
George Horne in action for Glasgow Hawks. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS

The fact that the visitors also managed to snaffle what could prove to be a crucial losing bonus point will also have made the long trip back to Hawick a relatively uplifting affair.

Hawks, meanwhile, will feel frustrated that they could not convert their set-piece dominance, and a first half in which they had a stranglehold of possession and territory, into a more commanding 
all-round display.

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Playing on a heavy pitch at Balgray – because Old Anniesland has been ruled off limits because of a sink-hole on the pitch – Hawks were just too keen to play their trademark expansive style, and as a result they were never really in control of this encounter.

It was this desperation to move the ball which handed Hawick the first score of the match, when centre Gary Johnstone picked out an interception and scurried home from 60 yards.

Hawks hit back with two well worked tries from left wing Kyle Rowe, both created by George Horne, pictured, to make it 12-5 at the break, but they struggled to build on this during a scrappy second half.

Hawick came out the blocks at breakneck speed and Ali Weir narrowed the gap with a penalty; and even after Bobby Beattie and man-of-the match Callum Kerr had both dotted down to secure the bonus point for Hawks with 15 minutes left, the home team could not settle into any sort of rhythm.

They continued to look for the miracle pass or the audacious cross-field kick, when a more pragmatic approach of utilising their dominant pack would surely have served them better.

Hawick, quite literally, battled back into the game, with a bout of fisticuffs seeing Hawks replacement Mark New sent to the sin-bin and a penalty awarded to the visitors.

They kicked to the corner, and Matt Carryer emerged holding the ball after the line-out was driven over the Hawks line.

Hawks replacement flanker Fraser Hastie soon joined New on the naughty step for handling in a ruck, and Weir stepped forward to kick his third penalty of the afternoon – which secured the bonus point for his team.

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Hawks got what they needed out of the match, so this was a long way from being a disaster, but they will have to be a lot smarter when they take on Currie Chieftains at Malleny Park next week.

Hawick, meanwhile, will view the arrival of Watsonians at Mansfield Park next Saturday with some relish.