Premiership: Hawick finish regular season unbeaten with comfortable win at Glasgow Hawks

Ethan Reilly claims a hat-trick as table-toppers gear up for play-off clash against Marr next weekend

Hawick's Calum Renwick runs in a 50-metre try versus Glasgow Hawks. Image: Malcolm Grant
Hawick's Calum Renwick runs in a 50-metre try versus Glasgow Hawks. Image: Malcolm Grant

Glasgow Hawks 21

Hawick 39

IAIN HAY @ Balgray

THE table-toppers completed their regular season run of games with a comfortable victory over struggling Hawks, and head coach Matty Doulas was happy to see his side get back to their best, as they achieved the highly impressive feat of finishing the campaign unbeaten.

“The last couple of weeks we’ve probably dipped in performance, especially last weekend [a narrow 15-13 win over GHA], but I’m really happy with where we’re at, I thought we were clinical today.

“For 65 minutes we really put Hawks under pressure, and we took our chances. The last 15 we maybe dropped in urgency – we made a few changes to give boys opportunities and probably had one eye on next week – but I’m happy with the performance. It’s tough coming here and it’s their last home game of the season, but on the whole, really happy with the performance today.”


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One eye may have been on next week towards the end of the match, but now all eyes will focus on the semi-final against Marr. The Ayrshiremen got the better of Hawick in last season’s semi on the way to the championship, but Hawick will go in favourites on the back of their incredible run of a draw on the opening day of the season, followed by seventeen wins.

“Looking back, I think the big thing is the consistency in the squad,” added Douglas. “We’ve got Hawick boys in there with a couple of Langholms and an Aussie at centre, so I think it’s just how tight we are and we’ve got a squad that want to work hard the whole time.

“It’s a huge achievement to go a whole season unbeaten. It wasn’t always easy, we’ve been put under pressure, but we’ve found ways to win. I can’t be any prouder of the players but that’s just stage one. We’re under no illusions as to how tough a side Marr can be, but we’re in a good place, we’re confident. I’m really looking forward to next weekend.”

While Hawick had the dangling carrot of going the season unbeaten, Hawks had lilttle but pride, and a happy ending to stalwarts Brendan McGroarty and Gary Strain’s time in Premiership rugby to play for.

Hawick scored early when a contestable kick was gathered by Fraser Renwick, and once he was in the clear, Ethan Reilly appeared on his shoulder to run the last few metres.

Strain got himself a try from the back of a maul soon afterwards, and with Andy McLean’s conversion bisecting the sticks, Hawks took the lead, but the added aggression and cohesion of Hawick came to the top.

A turnover penalty won on the edge of the Hawks’ 22 by Jae Linton saw Kirk Ford kick his first points of the afternoon, and when another scrum penalty – Hawks were pinged around half a dozen times at the set-piece by referee David Young over the course of the afternoon – went to the corner, they extended their lead, although Hawks did complain to Mr Young that Calum Renwick had fed the ball forward to try-scorer Fraser Renwick, as they tried to utilise the choke tackle.

Calum Renwick finished from 30 metres after a nicely worked line-out move put him through a midfield hole, and Reilly scored his second just before half-time, with Hawks’ Seb Hastings, who was arguably the home side’s best player and seems destined for bigger things, in the sin-bin.

Hawick had begun to completely dominate, and even with the cannon-boot of Gavin Cruickshanks back in harness, Hawks could not escape.

Euan McAra did well to track-back and anticipate a Ford chip and chase, but even when the luck went their way, their accuracy deserted them.

Hawick’s Kyle Brunton just missed a 50/22, the ball wriggling over touch just the wrong side of the line for him, but Paul Cairncross overthrew his line-out, allowing Hawick to regain possession and Reilly was soon celebrating his hat-trick.

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The hard-working Tiaan Wright finally got Hawks’ side of the scoreboard rolling again in the second half after Ryan Flett carried a few tacklers with him into the 22 – possibly a bit lucky for Flett too as some supporters had been screaming for him to pass before the first tackle came in – then Hawick responded with the pick of the day’s tries, a sweet counter-attacking move with Reilly setting replacement Deaglan Lightfoot free down the left-hand side.

Hawick replacement hooker Ross Graham went to the bin for a deliberate knock-on, and his opposite number Ryan Howie crossed from close-range, and Hawks sought a try bonus-point to finish the season on a high.

A break by the on-loan Howie took Hawks into the 22, but the move was undone by a woefully overthrown pass. There was still time for another chance as Cruickshanks hammered a penalty into the corner, but good defending by Hawick forced the knock-on, pouring water on the dying embers of Hawks’ season.

“I thought we started well, then the second part of the first-half we gave away a lot of penalties, made mistakes off first-phase under no real pressure, which led to a momentum shift and we struggled to get got going in the second half until the last 15 minutes”, summed up Hawks coach Andy Hill.

“We’re just not getting to multi-phase rugby – same as last week – once we get there, it’s really hard to defend against, you can see Hawick were struggling, but it’s consistently getting there. Steps in the right direction in terms of getting down into the 22 and scoring, which we can take into the next game against Dundee [in the Cup], and further forward as well.”

 

Teams –

Glasgow Hawks: A McLean; R Flett, J Pinkerton, B McGroarty, R Speers; G Cruikshanks, E McAra; A Al-agilly, P Cairncross, G Strain, M Crumlish, A Maitland, O Baird, T Wright, S Hastings. Subs: R Howie, K Shanahan, Ben Skinner, C Ferrie, B Salmon

Hawick: K Ford; C Welsh, A Mitchell, E Reilly, R McKean; K Brunton, Gareth Welsh; S Muir, F Renwick, R Macleod, C Sutherland, S Fairbairn, S Graham, C Renwick, J Linton. Subs: R Graham, T Hope, H Donaldson, D Lightfoot, G Huggan

Referee: David Young

 

Scorers –

Glasgow Hawks: Tries: Strain, Wright, Howie; Cons: McLean 2, Cruickshanks.

Hawick: Tries: Reilly 3, F Renwick, C Renwick, Lightfoot; Cons: Ford 3; Pens: Ford.

Scoring sequence (Glasgow Hawks first): 0-5; 5-5; 7-5; 7-8; 7-13; 7-15; 7-20; 7-22; 7-27; 7-32; 7-34 (h-t) 12-34; 14-34; 19-34; 21-34; 21-39.

 

Yellow Cards –

Hawks: Hastings

Hawick: Graham

 

Player-of-the-Match: As good as the Renwicks were, it takes a mighty impressive performance to take the award from a hat-trick heroes hands, so Ethan Reilly scoops it, even though he was trying to confuse us by switching numbers with midfield partner Andrew Mitchell.

Talking Point: The number of penalties at scrum-time was becoming a bit farcical. Hawks had even moved Gary Strain over to the loose-head side to try and deal with Ruaridh MacLeod, who apparently makes life very awkward for his opposite number. At one stage, two in a row went against Strain, referee Mr Young called him and captain Cairncross over for a last warning, and the next scrum? Penalty to Hawks, against MacLeod!


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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.

10 Comments

  1. Apparently the club had to remortgage Mansfield Park to pay the squad this season.

    The 1st XV captain not getting in the team has nothing to do with money though sadly the guys infront of him are just 2 high class performers who deserve their place in the squad.

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  2. ‘In The Know.’

    You’re way off the mark .
    No money involved .they get numerated by tins of ‘ Hawick Balls .
    1 for a win …2 for a bonus point win .
    Jed & Gala are the same .they also get numerated by tins of Snails & ‘ Soor Plooms. .
    Sorry No information about Berwick

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    • The Hawick players will be among the best paid in the league no doubt! Muir will not be playing at Hawick for any less than £300 per game! renwick,mitchell,redpath,suddon to name a few will not have left super 6 for free either!

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      • Borderman .
        Where’s your evidence of this amount of cash being paid to these players .
        You cannot just make up stories without facts .
        Think the real reason is most of them became disillusioned with lack of opportunities with the way southern knights were run .
        There comes a point in your life when you have to weigh things up and put yourself first .
        They all have jobs now ….some have a family and are now playing for Hawick and enjoying themselves .
        Good on them.
        Better than wasting your time at Melrose.

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  3. Great many thanks to everyone associated with Hawick team. Words are not enough praise for all concerned.

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  4. If only that hawick team was made up off 10 Fraser Rewnick’s and 5 ronan Mckeans they would compete in the super 6. Best team in Scotland

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      • Ronan McKean probably earning more money at Hawick than he would do with the Southern Knights. Renwick,Graham, Redpath, Mitchell that must be some wage bill at Mansfield Park ! Your club captain can’t even get in the 1st Xv Squad.

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