Premiership: Glasgow Hawks win big to heap pressure on hapless Jed-Forest

Hosts bounce back after tricky couple of weeks

Glasgow Hawks were comfortable winners over Jed-Forest. Image: Bob Coats
Glasgow Hawks were comfortable winners over Jed-Forest. Image: Bob Coats

Glasgow Hawks 57

Jed-Forest 19

IAIN HAY @ Balgray

THE Scottish Premiership’s bottom two sides at the start of the play now have a bit of daylight between them in the league standings, as Glasgow Hawks crushed Jed-Forest to leave them looking up through binoculars at the rest to the table.

After opening up a 26-12 lead in a first half in which they had the wind at their backs, Hawks scored even more in the second to leave Jed’s head coach David Grieve lamenting not just the day’s work, but the current situation the club finds themselves in.

“We’re just not playing with enough intensity, we’re not breaking teams down enough, the tries we’re conceding are too easy, and that comes down to training,” he said. “I sound like a broken record because I seem to be saying it every week, but until we get that intensity in training it’ll keep on going. We’re in it for the first 20 minutes but there’s another hour still to play, and it’s really frustrating.

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“We’ve been quite unlucky with injuries, we seem to be picking up two or three injuries every week, and for every one we get back we lose another two, and we’ve not got a big enough squad to cope at the moment.”

Paul Cairncross had opened the scoring from a maul, after early Hawks’ pressure, and Jed had barely fired a shot until Hawks gave them the gun, Lewis Walker intercepting near his own 22 and starting Forest’s first venture into Hawks’ territory.

Some nice link-up play saw Jed move into the 22, where Walker, already playing with penalty advantage, was obstructed as he chased his own grubber, so the penalty was now only 10m out in centre-field. They tapped and went, and captain Clark Skeldon squeezed over from close range after a few recycles.

Hawks had two young wingers in the starting XV, and debutant Harry Provan won’t score many easier tries than his first, dotted down after Hawks had moved Jed from side to side and James Pinkerton stabbed a grubber onto the try line for the youngster.

Ill discipline was not a good idea for Jed with the siege-gun booted Gavin Cruickshanks having the wind to his back, and after he had launched another penalty deep into the corner, he was on hand to finish off, dummying and shimmying his way to the line.

A high tackle around the halfway mark on James Murray allowed Jed themselves to kick to the corner, and after some lovely offloading from Skeldon and Lewis YoungMark Glen dived over in the left corner to leave Jed only seven points behind in a game they had hardly been in. However, Pinkerton’s eye for a gap round the breakdown led to another Hawks score just before half-time.


Early in the second period, Jos McConkey couldn’t quite find Stephen Leckey on the wing with the try line begging, his pass going just in front of his captain and into touch, but Hawks stole the line-out and, playing with penalty advantage, Cruickshanks flicked one out the side of his hand and Provan had his second.

Almost straight from the restart, Hawks scored the try of the day, Cruickshanks again making the break and a clever offload, Pinkerton doing likewise to release full-back James Couper down the right flank, he cut infield to draw defenders before finding Torquil MacLeod who did well to dance along the touchline all the way to the corner.

Hawks were playing with so much confidence that even Leckey was throwing show and goes, whereas, unfortunately for Jed, Blake Roff could only throw an intercept when near the Hawks 22, Cruickshanks plucking out the air and just having enough gas to take it home.

Jed did get another on the board when full-back Young scored a try from the sort of range a front-rower would be proud of, and during this period of pressure Hawks lost replacement Ryan Howie to the sin-bin for an accumulation of penalties. But even with 14 men Hawks had the last laughs, as first Kyle Shanahan blasted through two tackles from 15 metres out, and Couper scored another scintillating counter-attack after Provan did his best Cruickshank-flip impression.

With Andy Hill believed to be on holiday, Tom Davidson had been overseeing Hawks and, despite the resounding nature of the win, felt there was more to come.

“We played well for 55 minutes, then there was maybe a lapse in concentration for the final 25, but what was really pleasing was that the boys really worked on the messages we’d been saying before the game and working on throughout the week.

“The fact that we’ve went out there and scored 57 points and still think there’s things we can work on, is really positive.

“The unexpected week off last week (postponed match away to Marr) came at the right time because it’s given us an opportunity to reset, refocus – really focus on ourselves this week – and almost look at this as an opportunity to restart our season and really get after it.”


Teams –

Glasgow Hawks: J Couper; H Provan, J Pinkerton, J McConkey, T Macleod; G Cruickshanks, J Imrie; M Downer, P Cairncross, K Shanahan, S Leckey©, A Syme, L Stewart, JP Thomson, T Wright. Subs: A Burgess, F Muir, T Sofidaya, R Howie, H Lapslie.

Jed-Forest: L Young; M Glen, J Murray, B Roff, R Shirra-Gibb; L Walker, L Elder; M Purves, H Keith, H Meadows, C Skeldon©, J Hynd, D Wardrop, E Lauder, B Fotheringham. Subs: S Anderson, H Stenhouse, O Cranston, A Hendrie, B Irvine

Referee: Ciaran Stark.

Scorers – 

Glasgow Hawks: Tries: Cairncross, Provan 2, Cruickshanks 2, Pinkerton, MacLeod, Shanahan, Couper. Cons: Cruickshanks 6.

Jed-Forest: Tries: Skeldon, Glen, Young. Cons: Elder 2.

Scoring Sequence (Glasgow Hawks first): 5-0; 7-0; 7-5; 7-7; 12-7; 17-7; 19-7; 19-12; 24-12; 26-12 (h-t) 31-12; 36-12; 38-12; 43-12; 45-12; 45-17; 45-19; 50-19; 52-19; 57-19.


Yellow card – 

Glasgow Hawks: Howie.


Player-of-the-Match: The thunder-boot of Gavin Cruikshanks has been known about for a while but today he also played with confidence and control, and once the moon-boot comes off regular stand-off Liam Brims – who was in attendance – there could be a real battle for that starting jersey

Talking Point: It’s already a pretty sizeable gap opening up for Jed to reclaim, but they can take solace in the fact that Musselburgh managed a great escape last year far later on in the season. Even so, they will need to get everyone fit and firing at the same time.

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About Iain Hay 73 Articles
New to the freelancing journalistic world as of August 2019, Iain has previously written for The Scottish Rugby Blog since 2017, covering matches for Glasgow Warriors, Scotland and opinion pieces. Can also often be heard on their podcast flapping his gums about the oval-ball (technically, it’s ellipsoidal) game and being pedantic. Is rumoured to believe that Finn Russell is The Messiah. Does the Twitter thing, but doesn’t like it.


  1. JW – that’s a comment which simply highlights the current shortsighted strategies that currently blight the clubs. Hawick are clearly paying a number of players but we will see what happens when the money runs out. They also inherited players back from the Knights. None of the Borders clubs have significant strength in depth at present , they maybe have a 1xv squad capable of competing in Prem etc on any given day but if you scratch the surface none of these clubs have good strength in depth. You clearly view success as how many wins the 1st XV achieve as opposed to growing the club and the game. Scotland is full of clubs who achieve short term success by either paying players or parachuting them in from abroad but the damage this does to an already fragile system is immeasurable. Measuring a clubs success simply by the number of games they win tells you nothing about the general health or culture of the club , it simply says that we have deeper pockets than you. Paying players and parachuting in foreigners is not a sustainable strategy and eventually ends up being counterproductive. I would much rather see clubs be patient , be accepting of the levels their players are capable of but putting a real emphasis of building the club from the bottom up and developing a culture where players feel valued and create the belief that their will be opportunities within a good club culture. We will see what happens when all the journeymen players at all of these clubs hang up their boots and who fills them in the future. Playing and paying players until their 30/ 40’s is not a smart long term management. Good clubs are created from the bottom up , not the top down. They realise the importance of having a good social setup , large player base and a system where success is viewed by the size of the player base at the clubs.
    As I stated in the first post – Jed and Selkirk who you did not mention however are also in the Prem have already postponed 2nd XV fixtures due limited player numbers. You infer that clubs simply being in the Prem is a measure of success …you could not be further from the truth….
    The disappointing thing about this is that the clubs really don’t seem to either understand or acknowledge the perilous positions they are in. They just continue to keep on making nonsensical decisions geared towards short term success at the expense of encouraging and developing the larger player base which is essential moving forward if teams are to survive at the higher league levels in Scotland.
    Jed will go down this season , not necessarily because of the players currently playing in the 1st XV but because of the fairly obvious short term strategies adopted by Jed over the years and the inability to place the required emphasis on developing their youth , creating and retaining a strong player base capable of supporting a team operating at Prem level. Others will definitely follow ….

    • De Broon87 .
      Give facts about payments please .
      Not just what you hear in a pub .
      You cant just make up a story on a whim.

      • Mouse – ok so let me get this right , you are suggesting Hawick are not paying players ?🤥😂

    • DeBroon87.
      I never said Hawick players are being paid .You did
      I said produce evidence . You haven’t
      If you do that then I’ll believe you .
      Until then you can’t live on heresay you have to have the real facts

    • Problems blight all clubs in Scotland but it seems that you are blind to that in your haste to attack the Borders.

      • You might also find other clubs as well as a Borders club will be relegated this season for many of the reasons you mention. But of course they don’t tie in with your anti-Borders agenda do they?

    • If Hawick are paying players ( that’s what you say ).
      So what .
      other teams could do the same .
      It’s up to the clubs themselves .
      If Hawick are paying players I find it difficult to think others are not .

  2. Jed have no chance of survival in the Prem this year and that’s been due to behaviours noted for years. For clubs to be able to survive at Prem and Nat 1 level you need at least two full squads of players of a certain quality and Jed don’t have this. Indeed a number of Borders clubs have the same issue. Already , only a few weeks into the new season , 4 games have been cancelled in the revamped Border Junior League and this is even given the scenario when the majority of these 2xv fixtures are not being played on a Saturday to supposedly boost player numbers. Jed , Gala and Selkirk have all called off fixtures thus far The decision to take Borders clubs 2xv out of the national 2nds leagues is just another nail in the coffin of Borders rugby. It was too easy to do this whilst giving a number of excuses and highlights a naive lack of ambition by clubs to keep their 2nd XV competing in what was a decent national 2xv league on a meaningful basis. I can’t see what Hawick , Kelso and maybe Melrose would have to gain from the leaving the national 2xv league and following teams like Jed and Selkirk and Peebles who called off on multiple occasions last season due to player numbers. What they don’t understand is that the Borders clubs will not survive at Prem / Nat 1 without a flourishing 2nd XV – if anything the 2nd is just as important if not more so than the 1st XV’s. A club is built from the bottom up not the top down and far too many of the Borders clubs have missed this point entirely. The quality on show suffers as well, the quality of the 2nd XV top two national divisions was ok, the quality of the Border Junior League thus far has been very poor. The Borders clubs have simply lost all ambition for their 2nd XV’s and seem oblivious of the perilous road this is taking them down – the quality deteriorates , player numbers drop off and there is less and less pressure on 1st XV players for their places which influences performance and that is the position we are currently in. There is far too much of a comfort zone with Borders 1xv players either due to the fact many are club “legends “ and undroppable or the ability gap is too wide between 1st and 2nd XV’s. We wonder why young players lose interest in rugby ….
    Some serious alarm bells should also be ringing at Melrose after a chastening 60 point defeat today by Glasgow Accies in Nat 1 …
    All of these outcomes were so predictable and the naivety in decision making is truly woeful. Many blame the SRU for the state of the game in Scotland but the clubs are just as culpable and watching some of the current decision making and actions of Borders clubs is truly bewildering and definitely not in the interests of the game as a whole.

    • Yes Hawick for example have really gone downhill in the last couple of years haven’t they? And Kelso got sorted out by big city Edinburgh Accies yesterday didn’t they? And the Borders is terribly under-represented in the Premiership isn’t it?

      Oh wait a minute …..


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