Scott MacLeod admits Hawick’s title chances are slipping after Saturday’s deflating defeat to Glasgow Hawks.
And the Greens player-coach conceded it will be all over unless they can secure victory over Ayr at Mansfield Park, tomorrow (Saturday).
The Robbie Dyes’ disappointing 31-5 loss at Hawks handed the initiative to Currie, Heriot’s and even Hawks, who moved ahead of Hawick with the victory, in the race for the top four.
MacLeod acknowledged that the opportunity to play in the end-of-season finale is sliding from his team’s grasp and could not hide his disappointment about the result.
“[It was the] worst performance by this team all season, not a result we are pleased with,” he said. “As a team we played very poorly. We didn’t have structure, defend the scrums and mauls well enough and played overall like a team who didn’t know one another. [It’s] massively frustrating, especially at this critical point in the season when everything is on the line.”
Once considered to be a safe bet for the play-offs, Hawick find themselves at a potentially decisive crossroads heading into the match against the league leaders that could determine whether they might even have a good season, let alone a great one.
“Saturday is a cup final for us,” said MacLeod. “It is a must-win, there is no two ways about it. If we lose, our top four chances are over, in my opinion. It’s as black and white as that. There is no room for error from now on, it’s win or go-home time.
“Ayr are a good side and leading the league but they aren’t unbeatable. We played them pretty close on their patch and until last week we were going pretty well.
“I’m confident that if we play to the standard I know this team is capable of, and not come out like we did against Hawks, and with a good home support helping, then I can see us winning this game and getting ourselves back on track.”