Greens aim to ‘pick up the slack’

Bruce McNeil
Bruce McNeil

Hawick skipper Bruce McNeil is aiming to help the Greens end their five-year wait for a win at The Greenyards.

The Robbie Dyes dropped out of the top four following Saturday’s 31-20 defeat at Ayr in which they created 11 scoring opportunities, converting only four, controlled more than 60 per cent of possession all the while being outscored four tries to two.

The manner of the loss, according to McNeil, was a hard pill to swallow, with everyone admitting fault post-match.

The former professional, however, is confident heading into tomorrow’s crunch battle at Melrose – who have beaten Hawick four out of the last five and haven’t lost to the Greens at home since
2010.

“[Against Ayr] We had a lot of possession and scoring opportunities, we just couldn’t convert on any of them,” said McNeil.

“We wasted countless red-zone opportunities, while Ayr, who didn’t have many, did damage with the ones they had. They put us under pressure and we couldn’t deal with it. It’s that simple. We all admitted post-match what needed to change and where the faults were.

“This weekend, it’s a similar sort of game. We are going up against one of the best in the division who have game winners all over the pitch.

“We’ve been over the tapes from Saturday and know where work is needed. I’m confident there will be no lingering hangover from the Ayr loss, we’ve moved on and are fully focused on finally beating Melrose at the Greenyards.”

McNeil added: “We haven’t won at The Greenyards in some time and in this division if you lose two games in a row you can go from a play-off team to third bottom.

“We know Saturday won’t be easy but if we stick to our structures and pick up the slack from last weekend we should be in with a shout at breaking our duck and getting our season back on
track.”