Hawick 28 - 16 Watsonians: Coutts the hero as win over leaders raises hope for next season

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JOHN Coutts was the home hero as Hawick beat the weather and, on a heavy pitch, defeated the league leaders and retained hopes of a place in the top flight next season, writes Atholl Innes at Mansfield Park.

Coutts’ space and support were key in a storming performance which ensured Watsonians left the Borders empty-handed. Coutts scored a hat-trick of tries as Hawick also picked up the bonus point.

Watsonians were under the cosh when Neil Renwick landed a penalty only for Brian Walls to square the game. Hawick controlled the conditions the better and Coutts raced in at the right-hand corner for the opening try. The Greens kept the game alive with some slick handling, and it was no surprise when Gary Johnstone found space on the left for his club’s second try.

The home side were dealt a double blow when Lee Armstrong and Renwick left the field injured before a mistake in defence allowed Walls to kick a second penalty in injury time.

Walls pulled a penalty wide before they were punished with Coutts’ 
second try after the full-back had made a searing break and Steven Anderson added his support.

Armstrong, who had returned to the field, converted and then Walls kicked his second goal. But Armstrong soon restored his side’s advantage with a crucial kick.

Watsonians survived when Keith Davies knocked the ball on as he crossed the line. Watsonians’ forwards started to exercise their power and found a gap for a try, which Walls converted.

Dylan Rutherford was sent to the sin bin and Hawick cashed in with the bonus-point try scored by Coutts.