Entertainment galore as free scoring Greens crush Stew Mel

Hawick v Stewart's-Melville
Hawick v Stewart's-Melville

MANSFIELD Park could be labelled many things, but this season, being dull, is certainly not one of them.

The Green Machine have scored an incredible 257 points on home soil in the campaign so far – an average of 42.5 points per game.

And their brand of free-flowing, attacking rugby is quickly making Hawick RFC one of the hottest tickets in town.

Saturday’s victory saw them break the 50-point barrier for the third time this year as they wrapped up a bonus point by half-time and secured the victory in a hard fought second half.

Coach Phil Leck told the Hawick News: “It was job done really. I was a bit disappointed with one pushover try from a line-out which we’ve worked so hard on, but apart from that I’m not going to say a dicky bird to them because we’ve scored 250 points in six games so I can’t complain.

“We’ve just got to keep doing that. We’ve got to keep that momentum and we’ve got to believe we can go out and do that against every side.”

He added: “I keep telling everyone to come and watch because there’s plenty of excitement.”

Hawick flew out of the traps and Stewart’s Melville barely had time to get their hands on the ball before Rory Hutton signalled his intention for the afternoon by slicing through the defence and setting up Scott McLeod to go over at the posts.

Neil Renwick added the conversion and the Greens kept up the momentum, securing a second try just minutes later. This time McLeod was the architect as he made the initial break and precision passing from Hutton teed up Lee Armstrong to grab his first of the afternoon.

If the backs were at their exciting best, then the forwards were equally impressive and youngsters Shawn Muir and Stuart Graham – both recent additions to the Scotland Under-20 set-up – were showing a maturity way beyond their tender years. While Lindsay Gibson was continuing his rich vein of form and Nick Mactaggart was immense in attack and defence.

A spell of ill-discipline saw the visitors kick to the corner and Chris Damsteegt rumbled over from the line-out, with Mike Hanning adding the extras.

But normal service was resumed five minutes from the interval when Gary Johnstone put his foot down along the stand-side touchline, shrugged off a desperate challenge from Richard Borthwick and cut inside to touch down at the posts.

And Armstrong made it four tries right on the stroke of half-time as forwards and backs once again combined superbly.

It looked as if that would be game over and Hawick retained their stranglehold on proceedings minutes after the restart with another score. Comeback man John Coutts burst through and set up Renwick, who fed back inside for Mactaggart to dive over.

The conversion was added but this appeared to spark a revival in the visitors, who had drawn against their hosts on the opening day of the season.

Two Craig Marshall tries and conversions from Hanning brought them within ten points and prompted some nail-biting among the home support.

But normal service was resumed when Kieran Willison grabbed an opportunist score and then Coutts and Hutton combined for McLeod to go over.

While the result may now have been secured, Hawick had no intentions of taking their foot off the gas.

Replacement David Lowrie took a quick tap inside the 22 and captain Greg Cottrell was in support to ferret over.

And just a minute later Hutton completed the scoring with Hawick’s ninth try.