McNeil hails his side’s toughness

Bruce McNeil

Bruce McNeil

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Hawick captain Bruce McNeil believes the Greens have applied the lessons in ruthlessness learned from Boroughmuir in last season’s BT Cup final defeat and is targeting a different result when the two sides meet at Mansfield Park, tomorrow (Saturday).

McNeil is confident his side have made the requisite steps on the learning curve since losing out on a play-off berth at Meggetland and their Murrayfield heartache, and that his charges can fulfil their potential this time.

“We know how it went in the cup final and league last season, they had experience and a knowhow to win, it’s that simple,” said McNeil.

“Twelve months on we’ve learned how to become a much tougher and harder team. Our daily routines, game phases and structures have all improved. The spine of this team has now been together for five-plus years and I feel since last year we have made a big jump and matured a lot.

“We’re in a good place, although certainly not perfect. The aim for us is to just keep pushing every week. We know we’re good enough for the top four and we need to keep proving that week in week out in the league.”

Hawick have been rewarded for their fine season with five players – Nicky Little, Craig Charters, Ross Graham, Lee Armstrong and John Coutts – selected in the initial squad of 31 for next year’s Scotland Club internationals against England on Februry 26 at Netherdale, and Ireland on March 18 in Cork.