Hawick YM 50
Stewart’s-Melville 2nd XV 5
Hawick YM head into the festive break unbeaten and back atop BT National Reserve League Two after putting eight tries past hapless Stewart’s-Melville 2nd XV.
At Mansfield Haugh last Saturday we were dealing with certainties, despite the abject weather conditions costing Hawick RFC an important game against Boroughmuir and almost affecting this one until it was given the green light. Everyone knew what was going to happen before it did.
The large crowd expected a big score over an underwhelming Stewart’s-Melville and they weren’t disappointed. First-half touchdowns from Conor Gracie, Neil Renwick (2), Kirk Ford and Stephen Mabon, Renwick adding three conversions, handed YM a comfortable 31-0 lead.
Lacklustre in the opening 40, Stew-Mel did improve after the break but couldn’t overcome such a large deficit. They held YM to just three tries from Finlay Simpson, Mabon and Grant Huggan, Renwick adding his fourth and fifth conversions, while the Edinburgh side dotted down with a little less than ten minutes remaining to end Hawick’s hopes of a third consecutive game without conceding a single point.
Saturday was YM’s 12th victory in succession but the league title is not yet a certainty, as Currie and GHA remain just one and seven points behind YM respectively.
“Confidence is at an all-time high and Saturday was just another one of those games where everyone was going right for us,” said Renwick.
“We have been winning week-in-week-out in such a way that it’s hard for us not to play and score the way we do. Heading into Saturday we knew they gave us a hard game up in Edinburgh, putting 35 points past us, so we all made sure that wasn’t going to happen again.
“The coaches have done a terrific job in keeping us level-headed and humble after some pretty convincing wins this season.
“We are back top of the league now after weirdly not being there, despite not losing, and it’s up to us to keep it going, otherwise there are teams lurking to take our place.”
At the moment, you can take your pick of Hawick YM players at the top of their game. Hawick rugby, after enduring a down period, once again looks to be thriving with YM the standard bearers.
Gracie opened the scoring inside five minutes, dotting down after YM’s forwards and backs combined to stretch Stewart’s-Melville’s defence. Full-back Renwick was next, crossing the line twice in quick succession, converting one, to put Hawick ahead 17-0 after only 15 minutes.
Tries from Ford and Mabon followed not long after, Renwick converting both.
After the break, YM utilised their pace and power to perfection, stretching the city side’s defensive line enough to allow replacement Simpson to crash over, followed by converted scores from Mabon and winger Huggan that completed the rout.
Hawick YM: N. Renwick, L. Anderson, C. Graham, G. Huggan, C. Gracie, K. Ford, B. Campbell, D. Johnstone, F. Renwick, T. Skeet, S. Mabon, R. Linton, J. McColm, H. Murray, S. Fairbairn. Replacements: A. Ford, G. Douglas, M. Landles, F. Simpson, K. Brunton, D. Gillan, D. Lightfoot.