Hawick crash to defeat at inspired Accies

Hawick's Nikki Walker is stopped in his tracks at Raeburn Place on Saturday.
Hawick's Nikki Walker is stopped in his tracks at Raeburn Place on Saturday.

Hawick slumped to a fifth defeat of the season after an inspired second half performance from former head coach Phil Leck’s Accies side.

Forty minutes of determined rugby had put Hawick 13-5 up at the break courtesy of two Lee Armstrong penalties, and a try from Keith Davies which was converted by Ali Weir. But the Robbie Dyes had a second half to forget as Accies scored 23 unanswered points to claim a 28-13 bonus-point victory.

Beyond the execution and overall performance, the afternoon had started promisingly for the Greens, with Armstrong opening the scoring with a well-struck penalty after Accies had failed to roll away in the tackle.

Sam Pecquer replied for the hosts with a great individual try, but Hawick were soon back infront when Armstrong added his second three-pointer moments later.

With a 6-5 lead, Hawick looked in a stable position, controlling the possession and extended their advantage on the stoke of half-time after some brilliance from flanker Keith Davies. The ball was shovelled across the pitch towards the right touchline but with nothing appearing on, the imposing back-row forward burst into action, leaving three defenders sprawling in his wake in an irresistible dash to the line.

It was exactly the kind of positive Hawick needed heading in at the interval, but with the skies darkening, rain starting to fall and the wind freshening, the second half was always going to be a test of character for the Greens who hadn’t been able to hold onto any of their half-time leads this season.

Accies banged over two quick penalties from Alex Glashan to narrow the gap to two points following Hawick’s failure to take advantage of several punishing phases inside Accies’ five-metre line. The home side then compounded Hawick’s inability to add to their tally, Matthew Cooper crashing over to hand Accies a 16-13 lead after 50 minutes.

A second try for Pecquer, following a couple of costly Greens turnovers, extended the home side’s lead to 21-13 as Hawick struggled to get out of their own half.

With the experienced quartet of Nikki Walker, Wullie Blacklock, Greg Cottrell and Bruce McNeil all still on the field a revival looked possible, as Hawick certainly deserved some reward from the game after their considerable first half efforts, but they found Accies never-say-die attitude tough to crack.

Hawick lost Neil McColm to the sin-bin for a late challenge on Pecquer and with the extra man advantage Accies administered the killer blow. Replacement winger Matthew Munro having the presence of mind to use his pace to round a tired Hawick defence to touch down with seconds remaining and secure a late bonus-point victory for the city men.

Hawick: L. Armsrong, N. McColm, N. Walker, R. Hutton, S. McLeod, A. Weir, G. Cottrell, N. McLennan, R. Graham, W. Blacklock, M. Mckee, F. Simpson, N. Mactaggart, K.Davies, B.McNeil. Replacements: L. Gisbson, S. Muir, M. Robertson, R. Gibson, M. Douglas.