Glasgow Hawks 27
ALAN LORIMER @ Myreside
WATSONIANS maintained their challenge for a place in the top four of the BT Premiership after achieving a bonus point win over a Glasgow Hawks side who were hoping to build on the spirited way they finished last week’s match against Currie Chieftains.
As a result Watsonians’ name was added to the illustrious list of clubs on the Bill McLaren Shield, an achievement that underscores the growing improvement of the Myresiders. In scoring six tries to Hawks’ three, they were worthy winners of this match but Hawks can take much from their performance. Finlay Gillies, however, could not hide his disappointment at coming away empty handed.
“We should have had at least one point if not two from this game,” he said. “We had chances and should have done better.”
Hawks were bolstered by the release of a trio of Glasgow Warriors players, back-rows Bruce Flockhart and Matt Smith, and outside-back Lelia Masaga. In the event Masaga contributed with two tries and Smith with a spell in the sin-bin.
“We asked Lelia to step up today and he did,” said Gillies, who acknowledged that the Smith’s yellow card had proved costly.
But this was a day for Watsonians to savour. Over the piece their backline, well directed by Lee Millar at stand-off, operated smoothly while in the forward battle the Myresiders were a shade quicker at the breakdown.
Watsonians’ coach Steve Lawrie, however, suggested that his side had to put in a solid shift for the victory.
“It was hard work but we were pleased to get the win and also to get our name on the Bill McLaren Shield. Importantly we got five points out of his and that helps to keep up the challenge for a place in the top four.” he said.
Watsonians had the game won by half-time when with a bonus point in the bag they led 29-13, Millar having put them on course for a big interval lead with an early penalty goal.
Hawks, however, responded quickly, working the ball through the phases before Masaga fended off several tackles to score under the posts, leaving Liam Brims with a simple conversion kick.
The Myreside men then showed excellent support work as Ross Graham provided the link to a break by Conor Boyle that created a try in the corner for full-back Josh Rowlands converted by Millar.
A Brims penalty levelled the scores but Watsonians quickly regained the lead with a short range try by prop Jack Stanley, Millar again adding the extras.
A second Brims penalty provided hope for Hawks but not for long. Smith was shown the yellow card at a ruck and in his absence Stanley added a second try from a driving maul and then Rowlands completed his brace after a defence-splitting run from wing Andrew Chalmers to give Watsonians the bonus point, Millar’s conversion completing the first half scoring.
Premiership Match Reports:
Five minutes into the second half, Rowlands made it a hat-trick from a cleverly angled-run, the extra two points again supplied by Millar. Hawks looked a bit down at this point, but not out, and showed their resilience by conjuring up a try made by powerful running from centre Mark New and purposeful finishing from wing James Coupar.
Brims’ conversion gave Hawks a respectable points tally of 20 and a deficit of 16 soon cut to nine points after Masaga barged over for his second try and Brims added the conversion.
Watsonians, conscious of a fightback by Hawks, then stepped up the pace of their game and again it was Boyle who was the creator of his side’s sixth touchdown that gave Rowlands his fourth try of the match, the conversion added by Ewan Fox
Watsonians: J Rowland; A Chalmers, R Hutton, D Innes, A Guthrie; L Millar, M Scott; G Jackson, R Graham, J Stanley, J Hodgson, C McKill, J Miller, C Boyle, M Fedo. Subs: F Renwick, F Hobbis, C Fenton, E Fox, R Steele.
Glasgow Hawks: S Peffer; J Couper, M New, L Masaga, J McCready; L Brims, K Baretto; G Strain©, A Fraser, P Henderson, F Hastie, A Kirkland, C Thompson, M Smith, B Flockhart. Subs: P Cairncross, G Wilson, P Boyer, C Willis, C Harrison.
Referee: S Turnbull
Watsonians: Tries: Stanley 2, Rowlands 4; Cons: Millar 4, Fox; Pen: Millar.
Glasgow Hawks: Tries: Masaga 2, Coupar; Cons: Brims 3; Pens: Brims 2.
Scoring Sequence (Watsonians first): 3-0, 3-5, 3-7, 8-7, 10-7, 10-10, 15-10, 17-10, 17-13, 22-13, 27-13, 29-13 (ht) 34-13, 36-13, 36-18, 36-20, 36-25, 36-27, 41-27, 43-27.
Yellow cards –
Glasgow Hawks: Smith
Man-of-the-Match: Watsonians stand-off Lee Millar used the experience he gained as a professional to guide the home backline astutely, his flat passing proving very effective in breaking down Hawks’ defence. Moreover the former Gala and London Scottish player was effective off the kicking tee.
Talking point: With Edinburgh Accies picking up a win against Hawick, the pressure in back on Glasgow Hawks, albeit an official pronouncement on relegation (whatever that means for next season) has yet to be made.