Hawick delivered another knock-out punch in the new Tennent’s Premiership to prove that the Greens are back on track after an early uncertain start to the season.
To score five tries against Jed-Forest on its own patch at Mansfield Park was no mean achievement, and many in the crowd felt that the visitors escaped a bigger hiding from their local rivals.
It all started as early as the second minute with Matt Carryer’s try, which gave Hawick the boost to step up a gear against a very flat-footed Jed side, who made only rare excursions into the home ’22. And the fact that they did not concede a point, was testimony to Hawick’s resolute defence.
Evidence, in fact, that Jed, tough opponents in the past, were outmuscled and outgunned – and when they did get a chance to put points on the board in the final minute, succeeded in losing possession close to the Hawick line.
The hosts set the standard with the early try in only two minutes and by the interval they were 21-0 ahead and out of sight … and it could have been worse for the visitors.
“It was a great win and that’s 10 points in the last two games,” said head coach George Graham, who believed his club had turned the corner.
“We are doing everything we do in practice and it is paying dividends … and we could have added to our total.
“Jed stepped up their game a bit in the second half, but if I was being critical, we should have scored a lot more tries. But I am very happy with the performance and the result.”
Hawick stifled the threat of the Young brothers and the home defence battled heroically to force Jed into errors and control the game.
Carryer’s early score set the tone before the pack’s dominance told as Sean Fairbairn and replacement Craig Bachurzewski plundered further tries before the interval and captain Ali Weir, wearing the No. 10 jersey, kicked all three conversions.
Jed did have brief spells of pressure, despite a yellow card for Michael Weekley, but failed to make any inroads and were denied a consolation try in the final minutes by conceding a penalty close to the Hawick line.
The visitors’ agony was complete when Jae Linton was twice driven over in the gathering gloom and Kirk Ford converted the last to secure a win that was never in doubt from the opening minutes.
Hawick: K. Ford; L. Ferguson, W. Griebenow, A. Mitchell, L. Gordon-Wooley; A. Weir, Gareth Welsh; R. Toogood, M. Carryer, D. Johnstone, D. Suddon, A. Piotrowski, J. Linton, S. Graham, S. Fairbairn. Replacements: C. Renwick, C. Geer, B. McNeil, Glen Welsh, M. Bannerman.
Jed-Forest: C. Young; L. Young, Gregor Young, R. Marshall, G. Munro; R. Yourston, J. McGough; G. Paxton, F. Scott, T. Jeffrey, D. Tjombie, G. Law, B. Paxton, M. Weekley, Gary Young.
Replacements: F. Campbell, A. Keeler, D. Grieve, E. Lauder, N. Stingl.