Graham looks like safe pair of hands to help out the Greens

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If a 23-19 defeat at home to a relegation favourite isn’t a wake-up call, I am not sure what is.

Hawick’s start to the 2017/18 BT Premiership season has been a disaster. Not a full-blown disaster, that title is awarded to Boroughmuir, but a start that has left some suggesting that the team should be preparing themselves for life in the National Leagues next season not an about turn into title contenders.

What is the cause? Defensively the Greens have been well below par and have endured lengthy stretches during their three matches where they have either been disinterested, lacklustre or simply unable to compete with their opposition, who have taken full advantage.

Hawick have played 240 minutes of competitive Premiership rugby so far this season and have managed to play to their potential for about 90 minutes of that.

That is 30 minutes in each game where Hawick have shown what they are capable of.

That, in the unforgiving and ultra-competitive Premiership where the difference between winning a losing tends to come down to one or two mistakes, is unfortunately not enough and can end seasons quicker than a raft of injuries to key personnel.

How to fix it? If I knew the answer I would help, or at least be paid to, but one thing that is sure to make a difference is bringing in help, which seems to be what the Greens realised this week.

Former Gala RFC head coach George Graham officially joined Hawick on Monday on a short-term deal that runs until December with the club and coach having the option to extend if either party wishes.

Graham (pictured) is a coach who prided himself on grinding his opponents into dust with a ferocious defence and aggression that sparked fear into the opposition before they even took to the pitch.

His sides ruled over the Hawick/Gala rivalry with a three-year unbeaten reign. He is a coach who took over a floundering Maroons side and transformed them into a perennial title contender, and would have won a Premiership had it not been for a last minute Melrose try in 2014.

“What George brings to the table is a mentality that is clear we need improved, and isn’t afraid of making guys work over and over again on basic things until they get it right,” said Hawick head coach Darren Cunningham this week.

“He will be looking after our breakdown, scrums and defence and I think what he will bring will be invaluable to us.

“I am in no doubt that we will see improvement soon.”

This addition, coupled with further analysis and training of how the Robbie Dyes lost their opening three contests, has the potential to right the wrongs of the previous three weeks and get Hawick back on track.

Their first test comes against 2015 and 2016 premiership champions, Heriot’s, at Goldenacre on Saturday.

Can Graham iron out Hawick’s flaws before then? Who knows, but this move has the potential to stop the sinking and provide Greens supporters with some much needed relief after a start to the season to forget.