Hawick 24 Glasgow Hawks 17
A heartbeat was finally found at Mansfield Park on Saturday as Hawick earned an impressive 24-17 victory over Glasgow Hawks.
After flatlining for most of the 2016-17 season, Hawick rose from the depths of relegation purgatory to secure a come-from-behind victory over play-off chasing Glasgow Hawks at a frozen looking Mansfield Park.
The Robbie Dyes rode the production of Scotland under-20 standout, Darcy Graham, and an energised young squad that managed to fight back from a 17-7 second-half hole.
A brace of scores from Graham were added to by Shawn Muir with Ali Weir chipping in with three conversions and a penalty to help the Greens secure a victory that lifted them into the relegation play-off places and four-points ahead of bottom placed Gala with three league games remaining.
“Without a doubt we totally deserved that result,” said a delighted Greens captain, Bruce McNeil.
“That was a very good Glasgow Hawks team filled with professionals, academy boys and Scotland 7’s players.
“We had a game plan to turn their backs and make them really work for every inch, something we didn’t do when we played them on their pitch.
“Credit to Ali [Weir] putting up some very good kicks that turned them and guys like Huggy [Grant Huggan] playing at scrumhalf and Darcy [Graham] getting us important points. Everyone played their part.”
McNeiil added: “That’s us won three on the bounce, confidence is flowing but beating a team of Glasgow Hawks quality will be for nothing if we don’t continue back it up.”
Hawick landed the first punch when Graham latched onto a pinpoint cross-field kick from Rory Hutton, plucking the ball from the air midstride before racing home untouched for the opening try, Weir converting.
Ross Miller countered for Hawks, squeezing over following a well rehearsed catch-and-drive lineout move, George Horne levelling the scores. Andy Hill then gave the Glasgow side a 12-7 halftime lead after dotting down from another set-piece attack.
Brendan McGroaty continued Hawks dominant display after the break, brushing aside two weak tackles.
McNeil then fell foul of the new tackle rules implemented by world rugby with a yellow card but the visitors failed to make their man advantage count and soon found themselves down to fourteen men when Stephen Leckey was sin-binned for an off-the-ball scuffle. Weir used the subsequent penalty to pull the Greens within seven-points and from that point forward, Hawks couldn’t keep up.
Graham added his second score quickly followed by Muir, Weir converting both, as Hawick took a 24-17 lead into the closing stages and held on.