ATHOLL INNES @ Mansfield Park
HAWICK continued their good run of form and followed up their success at Aberdeen a week earlier with a high-intensity performance that left Jed-Forest struggling from the kick-off at Mansfield Park.
The all-Borders clash promised much and so it proved on a dull afternoon when the Greens surged ahead after two minutes following a series of penalties and went on to win comfortably with five tries. Jed were disappointing and made no major impression on a Hawick side which controlled most of the game.
Hawick coach George Graham said that he was delighted with his team’s performance and argued that the margin of victory could have been greater. “We scored some really good tries, and if I was critical, we could have scored a lot more,” he said. “I think we have turned the corner a wee bit. Last two games, 10 points, we could not do any better. And we kept a clean sheet.”
Jed coach Gavin Kerr was left to reflect on 80 minutes when his players were left to rue a display well short of their capabilities.
In their first attack, Hawick made their presence felt. Ali Weir kicked to the corner, and from the lineout, Matt Carryer came round on the blind side to score and Weir converted for an early 7-0 lead. Jed then broke with Calum Young leading the charge before Lewis Ferguson cleared the danger.
Hawick again kicked into the corner from a penalty, but Jed did well to regain possession and stop the home threat. They were eager to make amends, but a dropped pass halted another move as the home defence held firm.
The game got bogged down in the midfield before Hawick again won a series of scrums and the pack drove to the line. Their dominance paid off and Sean Fairbairn was driven over for the touchdown and Weir added the goal points.
Jed were rarely seen as an attacking force, but on the half-hour, they almost made their mark in front of the Hawick posts, but they lost possession and Hawick were soon back on the offensive to dent Jed’s hopes with a try four minutes from the interval. Gareth Welsh made the break and replacement Craig Bachurzewski was on hand to take the pass and go over and again Weir added the goal points for a comfortable half-time lead.
Jed, who brought on Nik Stingl, faced an uphill battle in the second half as Hawick continued to hold the upper hand. But the visitors defended well as the home team went all out for a bonus point. The arrival of Bruce McNeil added power and experience to the Hawick pack, but the score remained unchanged as Jed continued to make mistakes.
Michael Weekley was shown a yellow card to put more pressure on Jed, who conceded Hawick’s bonus-point try with 20 minutes left as Jae Linton was driven over the line in the gloom, but this time the conversion was missed.
Jed were on the back foot and conceded a fifth try with Linton again credited with the score and Kirk Ford converted. In the end, it was all so easy and was a bright performance for the Greens on a dull afternoon when a late Jed rally failed to bring any consolation.
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. Subs: C Renwick, C Bachurzewski, 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. Subs: F Campbell, A Keeler, D Grieve, E Lauder, N
Referee: S O’Neil.
Hawick: Tries: Carryer, Fairbairn, Bachurzewski, Linton 2. Cons: Weir 3, Ford.
Scoring sequence (Hawick first): 5-0, 7-0, 12-0, 14-0, 19-0, 21-0 half-time, 26-0, 31-0, 33-0.
Yellow card –
Man of the Match: Hawick replacement Craig Bachurzewski, who came off the bench to add his own power and strength to the pack, which had dominated the game with its aggression and driving power.