Hawick achieved what could yet be a life-saving victory with a win over Glasgow Hawks after producing a second-half performance of momentum-building rugby.
“There was no shame in losing this game, Hawick played outstandingly well,” admitted Glasgow Hawks’ skipper Tommy Spinks.
The Greens looked the sharper behind the scrum, where their attack had much better cohesion despite the presence in the Hawks backline of professionals Junior Buumakau and Hagen Schulte. But stand-off Schulte contributed hugely to Hawks’ performance from the boot with territory-eating kicks up the touchline that gave the Glasgow side’s forwards platforms to drive the line-out.
It was Hawick who had the man of the match in winger Darcy Graham. Aside from scoring two great tries the Scotland Under-20 cap added a fizz to Hawick’s attack every time he had ball in hand.
Graham opened the scoring with a well-taken try from line-out possession and then a skilfully directed cross chip from centre Rory Hutton, stand-off Ali Weir converting for an early lead.
It was apparent Hawks’ heavier forwards would soon exert an influence on the game, confirmed when Ross Miller crossed after a series of forward drives and a quick tap penalty by George Horne, who added the conversion.
Then, with half-time approaching, Hawks repeated their driving line-out tactic for Andy Hill to give his side a 12-7 advantage at the break, stretched to 17-7 when centre Brendan McGroarty crossed minutes into the second half.
A Weir penalty triggered Hawick’s fightback and when the stand-off converted Graham’s second try and one by prop Shaun Muir, the hosts were able to celebrate a vital win.