Saturday’s game between Jedforest and Hawick – the last of the season in the league for both – will be as tough for the Greens as it always is between the two rivals, according to Hawick coach Phil Leck.
Last week, Jed-Forest, fielding an unfamiliar side due to injuries and players unavailable, played their hearts out and held promotion favourites Glasgow Hawks to 0-0 approaching the end of the first quarter before their opponents ran riot, winning 66-10.
“I’m under no illusions,” said Leck earlier this week. “I don’t think it’s possible for us to overcome the 50-plus points difference Hawks have built up over us, and the fact that it’s Jed v Hawick means the task is going to be so difficult – it always is between these two. The rivalry is there for all to see and I’m sure Jed will get the whole town behind them on Saturday and have key players returning.
“We’re preparing for a proper battle. It’s big boys’ rugby and we’re ready to do what we have to do.”
Those preparations have been hampered with the snow this week and the fact that Hawick haven’t played for three weeks has been frustrating for the players. But Hawick are the form side and haven’t lost in the National League since September 15 th against Watsonians.
A Glasgow Hawks win at home against Hillhead Jordanhill will see them promoted but there’s a lot of history between the two clubs, and Hillhead Jordanhill, who gave Hawick a big fright earlier in the season when they raced to a 17-3 lead in the first half, will certainly be out to cause an upset. If they do, a Hawick win will be good enough to give the Greens promotion.
More likely, though, will be a play-off next month against the team which finishes ninth in the Premiership and it is so tight in that division that it could literally be one of seven teams, but as it stands at the moment, it looks like it could be Currie.
Leck has done a sterling job this season in steering his team to the brink of the Premiership in his own way. “I’ve been the antichrist in Hawick in some quarters when I’ve rested players and we’ve lost Border League games, but it’s all been part of the bigger picture and I stand by that,” he said.