Hawick maintain momentum with Border Cup win over Peebles

Hawick's Bruce McNeil drives through the Peebles defence
Hawick's Bruce McNeil drives through the Peebles defence

Hawick made it three wins on the bounce on Saturday when putting a struggling Peebles side to the sword at Burnfoot.

The penultimate round of the Border Regional Cup saw the match moved to Hawick PSA’s pitch as Mansfield Park was still unplayable due to another week of dismal weather conditions.

But the change of venue did little to knock Hawick off their stride, and they soon had the scoreboard ticking over courtesy of a Neil Renwick try in the opening minutes after an enterprising piece of play from the powerful full-back saw him rounding off a slick back-line movel.

Renwick, who would have an uncharacteristic off-day in front of the posts, dragged the conversion wide to leave Hawick five points up.

The visitors hit back with a touchdown of their own through Kieran Brown who took full advantage of a period of sustained pressure by his forwards when running in clear under the posts. Greg Raeburn converted the extras to put the Championship side two points in front after 10 minutes.

Hawick’s domination in the scrum, led by the returning Wullie Blacklock and Ross Graham, enabled scrum-half Greg Cottrell and fly-half Lee Armstrong to launch attacking runners from all angles. At times it was as if they were taking it in turns to have a run through the Peebles defence, and only some staunch last-gasp tackling prevented the Greens from adding any more points, and they went in 7-5 behind at half-time.

Peebles were resolute enough but devoid of inspiration throughout the match. They defended well, but basic, unforced errors when in the ascendancy proved costly. Unfortunately for them, they looked very much like a team on a seven-game losing run rather than a side who could claim a Premiership scalp.

The Green machine added a second try shortly after the break. Armstrong taking off through a gap in the Peebles defence, and with the visitors unable to catch the Teri speed merchant, he used his powerful physique to carry him over.

Renwick landed the conversion to give Hawick a 12-7 advantage. The home side’s driving mauls and inventive attacking play denied Peebles any hope of a comeback, consigning the visitors to kicks for territory and hunt for space.

The natural enthusiasm for adventurous rugby eventually got bogged down by the elements as collapsed scrums and dropped balls slowed play down to a walking pace.

Greg Raeburn answered for Peebles with a penalty but that was as good as it got for the visitors.

Neil McColm then wrapped up the win for the Greens, catching the Gytes men napping, before stretching their defence and trotting in untouched following another tireless effort from the Hawick forwards.