Greens make it six-in-a-row

Hawick Sevens winning squad: Keith Davies, Stuart Graham, Greg Anderson, Scott McLeod, Rory Scott, Neil Renwick. In front: John Coutts, Greg Cottrell, Graham Hogg and Rory Hutton
Hawick Sevens winning squad: Keith Davies, Stuart Graham, Greg Anderson, Scott McLeod, Rory Scott, Neil Renwick. In front: John Coutts, Greg Cottrell, Graham Hogg and Rory Hutton
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HAWICK created history this afternoon as they claimed their sixth Sevens success on the spin.

The Mansfield roar reverberated throughout the town as the Greens fought off the challenge of Gala to lift the RBC Capital Markets Sevens title.

It was sweet revenge for Hawick who had suffered at the hands of the Maroons in the final of the Netherdale tournament earlier this month.

Led by captain Greg Cottrell in the tougher half of the draw, the Greens defeated Peebles, Watsonians and Heriot’s to set up a mouth-watering final showdown with Gala.

Former Scotland Sevens star Rory Hutton was at his inspirational best, while player-of-the-tournament Neil Renwick was busy going through the gears and racking up the tries.

And with John Coutts, Rory Scott, Keith Davies and Scott McLeod adding to the mix, it was no wonder Hawick were being installed as 6/4 favourites with local bookmakers.

The entire squad played their part, however, and that included Stuart Graham, Graham Hogg and Greg Anderson.

If they were sublime in attack, then the Greens were absolutely rock solid in defence.

Coach Rocky Johnstone said: “It was very difficult. It was a tough draw but the boys worked hard. I think the defence was absolutely brilliant.

“We can score tries, that’s not a problem. But we worked hard on our defence this week and it really showed.”

The Maroons coasted past Edinburgh University in the first round before seeing off the challenge of Kelso and Jed on their way to the final.

Hawick were shown the way by the young Albion Under-13 side who won their tournament in beating Jed 15-8.

And they flew out of the traps in the final with Hutton’s deft kick forward gathered by Coutts and passed to Renwick to open the scoring.

Hutton added the conversion but Gala hit back with two minutes of the half remaining when Lee Millar scored and converted to level things up.

That’s the way it stayed until the interval, but Hawick surged ahead at the start of the second half. Almost straight from kick-off Hutton darted forward. Gala were penalised, Cottrell took the ball on and Coutts completed the move.

Renwick added the extras, but Grant Somerville scorched down the left wing to touch down at the corner.

The conversion was missed so Hawick maintained the slightest of leads.

It was a tense affair until a piece of absolute genius from Coutts had the support in raptures. A cute chip over the head of two Gala defenders was collected and the ball was spun wide where Davies galloped over.

That move alone was worth the entry fee alone.

The see-saw nature of the match resulted in Gala pulling a score back when Millar spotted a gap and sprinted over.

But that was to be the end of their scoring as Hawick stepped up a gear and ensured the silverware would be staying at Mansfield.

Cottrell set up Renwick to fly down the pitch and score and the same man sealed a hat-trick of tries just moments later.

It meant that the hundreds nervously watching could really start to believe. And it prompted wild celebrations as Gala referee Ian Heard blew the full-time whistle.

Johnstone added: “The pleasing thing for me was we were much more physical this time than the last time we played Gala.

“We let Gala dominate the physicality but this time we took charge in that area and I think that was a huge difference.”

HAWICK: S. Graham, K. Davies, R. Scott, G. Cottrell, R. Hutton, S. McLeod, N. Renwick, G. Hogg, G. Anderson and J. Coutts

RESULTS
First round: Gala 33 Edinburgh University 0, Kelso 28 Hawick YM 19, Jed-Forest 31 Berwick 0, Selkirk 24 Melrose 15, Hawick 26 Peebles 5, Watsonians 41 Ponteland 0, Heriot’s 22 Biggar 7, Edinburgh Accies 40 Rugby MAD’s 15.

Quarter final: Gala 17 Kelso 12, Jed 15 Selkirk 12, Hawick 24 Watsonians 14, Heriot’s 33 Edinburgh Accies 28.

Semi-final: Gala 19 Jed 7, Hawick 35 Heriot’s 19.

Final: Gala 17 Hawick 31.