REDEMPTION OR IT’S RELEGATION

Hawick captain Bruce McNeil
Hawick captain Bruce McNeil
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Hawick supporters face a nail-biting weekend as the Robbie Dyes’ relegation fate will finally be decided.

Teetering on the brink for much of the 2016/17 BT Premiership season, the Greens put eight-weeks’ worth of preparation to the test against National One predators Edinburgh Accies at 3pm on Saturday at Lasswade in the high-stakes showdown.

“It has been a long two months, we have been through some dark times, but we are ready for Saturday, it’s time we got this job done,” said a bullish Hawick club captain Bruce McNeil, who is convinced his side will be planning for life in the Premiership after Saturday’s clash.

“Everyone knows their roles, players and coaches all together, and we are as prepared as we can be. Saturday is one of these games that no one really needs to talk about, we just know it is an all or nothing type of contest.

“We can’t go into our shells like we did in the [2015] cup final.

“Most of the boys who were involved that day know how much it hurt and we don’t want to feel that again.

“We’ve had some good training sessions recently and it looks like we are coming together right on time.

“We have boys like Shaun [Muir] and Rory [Hutton] looking like they’ll be fit while we have others who have shown a lot over the past two months.

“Simply, If we perform to the standards we are capable of then will be preparing for the BT Premiership next season.”

The 2016/17 season has been a struggle for the Greens, barely managing five wins, while Saturday’s opponents are the form side, ploughing through their National One foes with relative ease. Playing an attacking blend of rugby, which averaged five tries a game, Edinburgh Accies amassed 19 wins against just three losses this season, but despite the contrasting form, McNeil is not impressed.

“No offence to National One but it’s not like Accies have had to go up against strong teams every week,” continued McNeil.

“I understand you can only play what is in front of you, but they have been made to look much better than they might be in some cases.

“Not all the teams in that division put up much of a fight, but like I said you can only beat what’s in front of you and they did a good job of doing that.

“We respect what they have managed to achieve this season, it’s no mean feat winning all those games, and we are fully aware of what they are capable of.

“But I firmly believe if we play to our best levels I am convinced we will win the game.”