Graham wants more of the same from men

Hawick's Sean Muir in action against Stirling
Hawick's Sean Muir in action against Stirling

George Graham has warned his Hawick side their relegation fight is only just beginning and they must prepare for a dogfight this weekend against bottom-three rivals Marr.

The Hawick head coach believes anything short of victory in Saturday’s relegation derby at Fullerton Park could be enough to end his side’s quest to save their relegation threatened season.

“Everything came right for us (against Stirling County) with a number of players putting in outstanding performances and it was a good win but we need to maintain this. We need to make sure this is how we play from now on,” said a bullish Graham ahead of the Greens’ trip west.

“The likes of Bruce (McNeil), Shawn (Muir) and Dale (Johnstone) were all outstanding. We cut out basic errors and, if I am honest, I felt we might have something cooking on Tuesday night at training. I knew if we didn’t pick something up, the door for us would have firmly closed, so I am thrilled with the win. But it must continue or it will be for nothing.”

The Robbie Dyes almost doubled their points tally for the 2017-18 season with last weekend’s bonus-point 36-17 victory over play-off chasing Stirling County, but the Mansfield Park outfit still remain fastened to bottom spot of the Premiership. The triumph lifted the Greens to within seven points of Boroughmuir and eight of Marr, but Graham insists the victory will be for nothing if they allow themselves to think the hard work is done.

“It is a must-win on Saturday, there are no two ways about it. The hard work doesn’t end,” added Graham.

“Marr know the situation. We won last weekend and they’ll be preparing for an all-out dogfight to make sure we aren’t able to get anything from the game. If that happens, then getting out of this relegation situation becomes a very difficult task.

“We need to keep it going and I know that is no easy task but the boys showed they are up to the task. They showed they want it and, hopefully, that continues this weekend.”

The Hawick Force hope to play their first National Reserve Division Two match since November 4 against Gala A at Netherdale this weekend.