Watsonians 31 Hawick 36
Relieved Hawick are still in the fight after edging out Watsonians in a Bonfire Night showdown at Myreside.
The Robbie Dyes put their recent inconsistences behind them in a 36-31 away win over Watsonians to get up off the canvas and give themselves a fighting chance at relegation salvation as the BT Premiership enters its three-week international break.
“Still in a bit of bother but after the past few weeks we were looking for a response and I think we got one on Saturday,” said Hawick captain, Bruce McNeil, who helped his side capture their first away win of the season with one of their five tires.
“Our mindset, attitude and play was night and day different compared to our recent performances.
“We played with a lot more purpose and got the result we wanted.
“It was by no means perfect and there are a lot more things that need to be improved but it is a great result to gain before the premiership break.
“The aim now is to pick up more wins against Peebles, Marr and Selkirk and really use that as momentum for the rest of the season.”
Hawick may be mired in one of their most challenging periods in recent years but against Watsonians, the Greens rediscovered some of their old flair.
Running with pace and positivity, the Robbie Dyes outplayed their high-ranking opponents, who displayed an uncharacteristic lack of temp.
With Hawick’s forwards on the front foot and Ali Weir marshalling his backs, the final margin could have been wider had they played at full speed for the entire 80 minutes.
As it was, Hawick still managed a five try bonus-point victory despite trailing 8-0 almost before they had blinked.
Scores from McNeil, John Coutts, Callum Mackintosh, Darcy Graham and Ross Gibson, Weir adding 11 – points with his boot, gave the Greens a 36-24 fourth quarter lead before their hosts staged a brief fightback in the waning minutes that Hawick comfortably dealt with.
“Going into this three week break this win really gives us something positive to work from as we look to pull ourselves from this mess,” said McNeil, who enjoyed added celebration playing alongside his brother, Keith, for the first time in his career.
“It was a great win and a proud moment for me to get to play alongside my brother. We were together when I played at Wigtownshire but I moved on just before he was coming through so Saturday was the first time.
For years, he had suggested he was going to come to Hawick and play, especially once he had had a few beers in him.
“It was a great feeling and he put in a good shift so he is a great addition to the squad.”