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Hawick head coach Darren Cunningham hopes his men can see off Marr this weekend
Hawick head coach Darren Cunningham hopes his men can see off Marr this weekend

Hawick head coach Darren Cunningham is still dreaming of titles despite his side suffering a pair of ugly defeats to start the BT Premiership season.

Hawick’s new head coach, Cunningham, believes his squad are still capable of special things this season, but did confess that if they do not start to improve soon he might be experiencing some sleepless nights as he seeks to resurrect his side as genuine play-off challengers.

The former Jed-Forest and Kelso coach also acknowledged his Greens cannot afford another implosion similar to last weekend’s Stirling Country result when the newly promoted Marr, who shocked Heriot’s last weekend, visit Mansfield Park on Saturday.

“I’m still sleeping soundly but that might change if we do not start to put our mistakes right, not panicking just yet,” said Cunningham this week.

“[Against Stirling County] We just switched off after an hour and missed simple one-on-one tackles which they took advantage of.

“We missed something like 50 tackles in the whole game which isn’t good.

“The pleasing thing for me is that we are only one of three teams in the Premiership who have secured two try bonus-points. We have scored eight tries and normally in the Premiership that would get you the wins, but not when you are also missing 50 tackles along with that.

“We have now lost two but I’m not pushing the panic button just yet. Currie and Heriot’s both lost their first two games last season and they went on to finish strongly, Currie in the play-offs, so there’s no reason why we cannot do the same.

“For me I am still working out our best team and I think we are close to that.

“We have Marr this weekend, and while it’s not a must-win type game, I had said at the beginning of the season that we have to be winning all our home games, no matter who it is against, and then pick up points away.

“So it could have been anyone coming to Mansfield this weekend and I would have said we have to win it because we have to win our home games.”

This weekend’s visitors, Marr, remain the consensus relegation favourites, but after their win over the 2016 and 2015 champions, Heriot’s, there is a feeling that they will not be an easy out.

But Cunningham said: “Most of the players, supporters and everyone around the club have said this is the best Hawick side in years. We need to start playing like it now.”

For the Hawick Force, fourth placed GHA are the visitors to Mansfield Haugh on Saturday. Kick-off at 3pm.