Edinburgh Accies 0
ATHOLL INNES @ Mansfield Park
HAWICK made it seven wins on the trot as they stepped up their challenge for a home play-off with a runway victory at Mansfield Park.
The Greens led only 7-0 at the break, before turning on the style and the pressure in the second half to finish with five tries and gain a crucial bonus point – whilst denying Accies so much as a consolation score.
Hawick coach George Graham said that he was delighted with the result. “We played a lot better in the second half, but we cannot afford to wait until then,” he said. “However, I am happy with the performance, and we defended very well when we had to. We dominated up front from one to eight, but the backs could have been a lot more direct.”
Accies coach Iain Berthinussen said that Hawick deserved to be ahead at half-time. “We had three opportunities on their line in the second half, but we were not accurate enough and we did not take them,” he reflected. “We just could not build up the pressure.”
Hawick so dominated the first 40 minutes that no-one in the ground could believe that they had only one score to show for their efforts as the Accies’ brick wall denied them at almost every scoring opportunity. Accies’ best chances came with breaks through the centre, but the visitors found the home defence equally defiant,.
Sweeping runs by Kirk Ford and Logan Gordon-Wooley stretched the Accies defence before Hawick skipper Shawn Muir was held up. Visiting skipper Jamie Sole was sent to the sin-bin after a success of penalties and the Hawick pressure paid off in 17 minutes when Muir was driven over after a series of forward surges, and Ali Weir added the conversion.
It was not Accies’ day, as a penalty to touch from the halfway line went spiralling over the goal-line. Despite being down to 14 men, Accies showed kept battling, and missed the opportunity to cut the deficit when Callum Ramm pulled a penalty wide from 25 metres out.
Premiership Match Reports:
Hawick were soon back on the attack as coach Graham called for a second try before half-time, and it looked like Andrew Mitchell had delivered, but he was punished for a double movement. Hawick would not be denied, however, and three minutes into the second half Gordon-Wooley crated over, with Weir again converting for a 14-0 lead.
Accies rallied immediately, but Hawick twice won key line-outs close to their own line when Accies threatened.
With a quarter of the game left, Hawick lock Daniel Suddon was sent to the sin-bin, but Hawick remained the more aggressive and Muir was driven over for his second try, which Weir converted.
Hawick went all out for the bonus-point try as Accies defended desperately, before Mitchell clinched it. Mully Bannerman’s score, converted by Ford, put the icing on a very savoury cake for the Borderers.
Hawick: K Ford; L Ferguson, W Griebenow, A Mitchell, L Gordon-Wooley; A Weir, G Welsh; S Muir, M Carryer, C Greer, S. Fairbairn, D Suddon, J Linton, B McNeil, S Graham. Subs: C Renwick, D Johnston, A Piotrowski, B Donaldson, M Bannerman.
Edinburgh Accies: C Ramm; H Paterson, R Campbell, R Wilson, M Campbell; R Bonner, M Love; C Imrie, S Crombie, C Lamberton, R McConnell, D Dinnen, P O’Sullivan, C Thomson, J Sole. Subs: R Simpson, C Lacour, C Bain, B Grainger, B Appleson.
Referee: T French.
Hawick: Tries Muir 2, Gordon-Wooley, Mitchell, Bannerman; Cons Weir 3, Ford.
Edinburgh Accies: No scorers
Scoring sequence (Hawick first): 5-0; 7-0 (h-t) 12-0; 14-0; 19-0; 21-0; 26-0; 31-0; 33-0.
Yellow cards –
Man-of-the-Match: Hawick captain Shawn Muir led the side by example with his usual determination and enthusiasm, supported by the rest the pack, and was rewarded with his two tries and it could have been more.
Talking point: Hawick’s total first-half domination, and the manner in which they battled to gain the bonus after the break even when down to 14 men, and the fact that they did not concede a point, indicates that they really are going to be a tough team to stop as we head into the business end of the season