Berwick 20 Hawick Quins 27
Quins travelled to Scremerston on Saturday to play Border rivals Berwick.
The Baker Street men sitting top of the league came up against one of their toughest tests of the season and dug in deep to fend off a strong Berwick fight back.
With heavy rainfall at the seaside club during the week, Scremerstons main pitch was dubiously unplayable and the match was played on the narrower 2nds pitch which would suit the home side as it cancelled out the Quins wide attacking style and played to Berwick’s strengths through their big physical pack.
However, the Quins had other ideas and the forward pack dominated proceedings in the first half.
Some strong running from the ever-impressive Keith McNeil and Gary Rodgerson saw Quins win an early penalty which Scott Peffers scored.
Berwick hit straight back with a penalty off their own to level it at 3-3.
Some more hard running from the Quins forwards so veteran Fred Stevenson crash over from the back off a ruck for the first of his three tries. Peffers converted to make it 10-3.
Berwick got the next score through another penalty to close the gap to 10-6.
Quins again got on the front foot through the pack and again Stevenson popped and at the back off a ruck and with help from Keith McNeil they barged over for the second try. Peffers again added the extras to make it 17-6.
With a firm foothold in the game ,the Quins won another penalty which Peffers scored to give them a 14 point cushion to make it 20-6.
Berwick never really got into the game and hadn’t threatened the Quins try line and the Quins punished them and scored a third try which again from the back a ruck, Stevenson crossing over for the hat-rick. Peffers converted to give the Quins a 27-6 half-time lead.
At half-time Berwick got a real tongue lashing from their coaching staff and came out of the blocks and got on the scoresheet early with a converted try to make 27-13.
Quins had some possession but were unable to keep the scoreboard ticking. Ricki Kiore was on the pitch for about a minute before being sent to the sin bin for a high tackle which left the Quins struggling up front and Berwick got their second after a pushover scrum. Again they converted and the score was 27-20.
Quins upped the tempo and eventually won a penalty in the Berwick half which this time Peffers missed.
After a few injuries the Quins were left stretched in defence and Berwick again asserted dominance and territory.
However, the 15 Teris on the pitch dug in deep and defended for their lives and held firm to keep the home side out. Credit to the entire squad for gutsy performance in winning a game where for the majority of the second half they looked like getting beat.
Quins face another tough test tomorrow against Murrayfield Wands, who are unbeaten this season.