LEWIS STUART @ Old Anniesland
THE Watsonians dream had to end sometime, and once Glasgow Hawks stopped messing up scoring openings, there was only one winner to this game, even though even Finlay Gillies, the Hawks coach, admitted they were slightly flattered by the final scoreline.
As for his opposite number, Marcus Di Rollo, he still had things to keep him happy – the determination, the fighting spirit and the ability to cross for three tries of their own as the match slipped away from them – but the end to the unbeaten start to the season still underlined a gulf in class.
For Hawks, there were players who could turn the game their way. They had Kerr Gossman, the wing, who scored the best contender so far for the try of the season, Grant Stewart, a hooker capable of playing on the wing with his speed around the park, and most of all they had George Horne.
He is an interesting case. His elder brother Peter gets all the headlines playing for Glasgow Warriors and Scotland, but young George is a class act too, and Gillies reckons that as he matures he is moving closer and closer to full professional quality.
He was also the one who stopped the squandering of scoring chances in the first half as he started and finished the move that got Hawks their only try of the period. On top of that, he kicked 13 points, including converting five of the seven tries his side scored.
For the first 40 minutes, the problem was that Hawks were making too many mistakes in the red zone to claim the scores they deserved. A messed-up lineout, a couple of mauls that never got set, a dropped pass in midfield and chance after chance went begging. Even the try, when it did come against 13 men with two Watsonians in the sin-bin, was made harder than it needed to be, as a clear overlap was squandered before Horne took matters into his own hands.
It was no more than Hawks deserved as Watsonians’ discipline let them down. Prop Shaun Ruwers headed to the bin after being accused of pushing a Hawks player as a scrum broke up, while Scott McLeod, the centre, followed him eight minutes later for creeping offside to stop a try.
It was certainly enough to cost Watsonians, though they were far from alone in committing such acts of indiscipline – Hawks also had to played short-handed after Stephen Findlay was caught indulging in some clumsy obstruction. Not that it could stop the individual brilliance of the Hawks with Gossman putting daylight between the teams with a dazzling individual run from deep in his own half before Horne got involved three times in the build-up as Junior Bulumakau, on the other wing, won the race for a his kick through.
By the time Stewart had laid on the bonus point try for Gossman, Hawks were cruising, though they could never relax. Former Melrose winger Joe Helps did the hard work for Mark Bertram to keep Watsonians in touch and then Neil Cochrane, the Edinburgh hooker, got a soft try from a lineout move.
That demonstrated the Edinburgh club’s commitment, and when the game was 15 against 15 they were able to keep on top of the home pack. But they could never live with their opponents’ firepower once the Hawks stopped messing up their chances.
Two more tries came Bulumakau’s way, one after he chased a kick , the other a simple run in after Scott Rodgers had put him clear. The game finished with Robert Beattie, the Hawks centre, intercepting and running in from his own half.
Glasgow Hawks: Tries: Horne, Gossman 2, Bulumakau 3, Beattie. Cons: Horne 5. Pen: Horne.
Watsonians: Tries: Bertram, Cochrane, Duckett. Con: Helps. Pen: Helps.
Glasgow Hawks: P Murchie; J Bulumakau, R Beattie, B McGroarty, K Gossman (D Milne 57); G Horne, P Boyer (J Steele 61); S Findlay, G Stewart (S Rodgers 53), G Strain (B Cullinane 46), S Thomson (A Linton 41), T Uanivi, A Hill (B Cullinane), A Kirkland, T Spinks.
Watsonians: R Steele; M Bertram, S McLeod, D Innes (K Beattie 56), J Helps; A Chalmers (A Davidson 53), R Cullen; M Christie (A Middleton 50), N Cochrane, S Ruwers (N Borel 30), F Morrison, C Borthwick, S Crombie (A McKirdie 55), A Duckett, E Dods.
Referee: K White.
Image courtesy: High Barrow