Glasgow Hawks v Melrose – champions now a point from league summit

Patrick Anderson solo try at end of first half proves decisive

Hawks Melrose
Struan Dow and Patrick Boyer on Gavin Wood. Photo credit should read: © Craig Watson

Glasgow Hawks 7

Melrose 49


MELROSE coach Rob Chrystie was “very pleased” to have come away from what he described as a difficult trip with this seven-tries-to-one victory, which moves last season’s champions to just a point behind pace-setter Ayr (who lost at Currie) in the Tennent’s Premiership league table.

Of course, Melrose were the warmest of favourites to win, but, towards the end of what Chrystie rightly said was a “tough uphill first half”, Melrose were a narrow 14-7 up, when winger Patrick Anderson found space where none existed to score a cracking solo try.

“That score was crucial – it opened up some daylight and we pulled clear,” added the coach, who was pleased with some individual performances – Russell Anderson‘s brace of tries, and an excellent cameo off the bench from Ian Sim, their player who is dual-registered with Kelso. However, the loss of Fraser Thomson, who aggravated an existing back injury, could be a worry.

Hawks coach Finlay Gillies agreed that the Anderson try was a pivotal moment. “Hugely frustrated,” he declared at the end. “We were right in the game before Patrick Anderson scored that key try, right on half time, and after that we were struggling,” he said.

Proud supporter of Glasgow Hawks

Again, Hawks did a lot of good things, but made too many basic errors at key moments. “And against a side as clinical as Melrose, you cannot afford to make the mistakes we made,” Gillies added.

Hawks had the first chance, but Liam Brims pulled a penalty chance wide in seven minutes. Eight minutes later, Melrose scored; Hawks defended a dangerous rumbling maul well, then, out of nowhere, Russell Anderson found the gap and was through, with Struan Hutchison adding the extras to kick off what ended up as a perfect seven-from-seven display with the boot.

Try No 2 came in 19 minutes. Bruce Colvine took Murdo McAndrew’s box kick and great continuity rugby sent Rory Darge over.  But, when Russell Anderson saw yellow, Hawks took advantage three minutes into the ten, with skipper Gary Strain going over at the back of a driving maul, with Brims converting. And that’s how it stayed until Patrick Anderson’s terrific try on the half-time break.

Match reports:

Currie Chieftains v Ayr – Malleny men do it for the guys upstairs

Forward power key for Stirling County over still frustrated Edinburgh Accies

Hawick v Boroughmuir – pressure tells in the end

Watsonians v Heriot’s – defence is key for hosts

Second half

The first 10 minutes of the second half were fairly even, but, once James Head had driven over for the visitors’ bonus-point try, it began to look bad for Hawks. Replacement Jason Baggot then ran a great line onto a suspiciously forward-looking pass for try No 5 and, as the match moved into its final quarter, Russell Anderson grabbed his second try, again at the back of a maul. Patrick Anderson had the final word late on, his touchdown concluding yet another passage of great continuity rugby from the now rampant visitors.

Proud to sponsor Melrose RFC and Melrose Business Club

Teams  –

Glasgow Hawks: J Couper; J McCready, M New, C Symes, R Beattie; L Brims, P Boyer; G Strain, P Cairncross, L Skinner, A Kirkland, F Hastie, S Down,G Wilson, G Adams. Subs: A Fraser, P Henderson, C Harrison, K Barreto, R Thompson.

Melrose: F Thomson; B Colvine, G Taylor, G Wood, P Anderson; S Hutchison, M McAndrew;  G Shiels, R Anderson, R McLeod, J Head, I Moody, N Irvine-Hess, R Darge, S Lawson. Subs: F Scott, C Young, G Runciman, J Baggott, I Sim.

Referee: F Brown.

Scorers –

Glasgow Hawks: Try: Strain. Con: Brims.

Melrose: Tries: R Anderson 2, Darge, P Anderson 2, Head, Baggott. Cons: S Hutchison 7.

Scoring sequence (Hawks first): 0-5, 0-7, 0-12,  0-14, 5-14, 7-14, 7-19, 7-21 (h-t) 7-26, 7-28, 7-33, 7-35, 7-40, 7-42, 7-47, 7-49.

Yellow card –

Melrose: R Anderson

Man of the Match: Melrose stand-off Struan Hutchison did not just produce a faultless kicking display off the tee, he ran the Melrose back line brilliantly and also kicked well from hand.

Talking Point: No question, the Hawks youngsters have talent, but, lack experience and perhaps a couple of older, guiding on-field coaches. But their patches of great play are too often compromised by silly errors, a failing which is clearly frustrating coach Fin Gillies.

Hawick v Boroughmuir – pressure tells in the end



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Matt Vallance
About Matt Vallance 15 Articles
Matt is a former member of Cumnock Rugby Club's 'Mean Machine' - motto: "Well, we won the fight". He has written about some 60 sports in a long career, mainly spent freelancing for, amongst others: The Herald, The Scotsman, The Sunday Times, Scotland on Sunday, the late-lamented Sunday Standard and just about every national paper. He survived a spell at the Paisley Daily Express, covering St Mirren and the Paisley Pirates every week. He now writes a lot of sporting obituaries, since he saw many of his subjects play. Opinionated, passionate and, as one Bill McMurtire once said: "The only Cumnock member (other than Mark Bennett) who can be let out without an escort". In his 70th year, Matt, known to many as: 'Snuff', still has a few noses to get up. Unfulfilled ambition - to live long enough to see Scotland beat the All Blacks.

1 Comment

  1. I thought the first 40 minutes was the best I had seen Hawks play this season. Definite development of the side over the season. Unfortunate to lose the try just before half time as it was a real momentum changer. Having said that, Melrose seemed to have an additional gear, whenever they got into the ‘red zone’ and were clinical in the 2nd half. With that edge they will be hard to dislodge again this season. When Jason Baggott came on he looked a class apart, and he must be ready to play for Edinburgh now. With Struan Hutchison, Gavin Wood, Patrick Anderson, all relatively new in the team and all gaining valuable experience in 1st half of season, and Finlay Scott & Rory Darge improving all the time in the pack, come the business end of the season this rebuilt Melrose side will be ready to challenge again

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