Nearly two decades have passed since Hawick won the then inaugural Tennents Scottish Cup in 1996, but memories from a team who upset the odds against Watsonians remain strong for former captain Brian Renwick.
The openside flanker was ever-present throughout the 1995-96 season and helped prove one of Scottish rugby’s oldest adages: Hawick teams never, ever, give up before the final whistle.
Down 15-0 after half an hour, Scott Hastings and Duncan Hodge scoring the tries, Hawick looked destined to finish runners-up in front of a packed crowd of 23,000 at Murrayfield but Alistair Imray sparked a Greens revival.
Colin Turnbull went over for Hawick inside the last quarter and with six minutes remaining Scott Welsh wriggled over for the coup de grace.
With another chance at cup glory for his former club at BT Murrayfield on April 18, Renwick admitted there were similarities to the 1996 side.
“We felt going into our game that this was our chance to be part of the history this club has of winning,” said Renwick. “We were underdogs going into our semi-final match against Melrose, just like the Heriot’s game a couple of weeks ago for this year’s boys, and also in the final against Watsonians as both sides had comfortably beaten us in the league that year.
“We felt leading up to both games that the media had effectively written us off. We had something to prove and I think that is exactly what the boys this year had to endure.”
Renwick admitted he was proud to have been able to add to the club’s legacy but it was the off-field impact he suggested was the most memorable.
“People still come up to me telling me stories about their day in 1996, it is special to have been able to be a part of so many memories. The boys have done a brilliant job to get this far and I am hopeful they build more memories for another Hawick generation.”