Hawick Harlequins started their league campaign with a bonus point 41-25 win over Ross High – but with that win came a few injury scares.
Young scrum-half Bryan Hall was taken to St Johns Hospital in Livingston with a broken jaw, vice-captain Gary Rodgerson limped off with a foot injury and No.8 Jordan Hyslop went off with a knee problem.
Despite these injuries, the Quins still had a strong enough squad to overcome these setbacks and notch up seven tries.
Harlequins got off to a poor start. Having kicked off, the Quins conceded a penalty in the first 10 seconds which resulted in a good kick and lineout take that Ross High took full advantage of and scored with barely a minute on the clock.
Being 7-0 down after a minute was a huge wake-up call to the Baker Street men who had previously thought this game was going to be a lot more plain sailing.
With a hard kick up the backside from skipper Gav Douglas, the Quins played some exciting rugby, and when Jordan Hyslop broke free of a couple of tackles, there was a huge sigh of relief when he ran in under the posts. Douglas added the extras.
The Quins dominated the next period of the game and when their pack took on the huge Ross High pack the Quins’ quick handling and offloads saw Steven Mabon crash over for his first try in a Quins jersey, again Douglas added the extras.
Keen to keep the scoreboard ticking going down the Tranent hill, Quins added a third and it was Hyslop who picked up from the back of the scrum, fended off the blindside flanker and crossed over for his second of the match. Douglas added the extras yet again.
With a firm foothold in the game the Hawick side had their tails up and when winning a penalty just outside the opposition 22, Scott Peffers picked up and opted for a cross field kick, a poor kick which fortunately found the grasp of full-back Graeme Lothian, and when running at front row his quick foot work was enough to glide past them and touchdown for a very lucky score.
This time Douglas failed to convert and the Quins looked comfortable at 26-7 with only seconds remaining in the first half.
However, they went to sleep and a lapse in concentration saw a knock-on from the restart which resulted in a penalty being conceded. Ross High scored and reduced the margin to 26-10.
Ross High came back out from the break with nothing to lose and finally got themselves back in the game with their second try, but unable to convert the Quins still had a 11 point cushion.
This being another wake-up call for the Quins, they dug in deep to put pressure on the hosts and when Adam Hall found himself in possession out wide, he had two big forwards to beat. But when running out of space he put in a determined leg drive and with a little help from Neil Anderson he drove over to score. Douglas missed the conversion.
Back in the driving seat the Quins got back into the flow of some good rugby and Graeme Lothian glided in for his second try and his side’s sixth, Douglas again missing the conversion.
Ross High still had hope of making a game of this and scored two tries in a matter of minutes were back within 11 points of the Quins at 36-25.
Quins finally saw off Ross High when Neil Douglas scored the final try of the match – and when the conversion was missed the full-time whistle went and the Quins won 41-25.