Hawick hope low expectations and complacency help propel them to a shock BT Premiership victory over border rivals and table topping Melrose at the Greenyards on Saturday.
Saturday pits top versus bottom. The most dominant side in the Premiership verses the most dominated side in the Premiership.
Title-chasing Melrose have scored a combined 368 points in their eight league matches this season, a whole 116 more points than the next best side, while Hawick have conceded a league worst 347 points, 101 more than the next worst defence.
It is a recipe for a one-sided, clear-cut and decisive Melrose victory.
That assumption and attitude, according to Hawick captain Bruce McNeil, is something he hopes his side can utilise to potentially spring an improbable upset.
“Listen, Melrose are miles ahead of everyone, you just need to look at their results, and we are massive underdogs this weekend but we go there with no fear and that, hopefully, can help us potentially catch them off guard,” said McNeil.
“[Last weekend] against Ayr, in the first half at least, we showed that we can mix it with the best in this division. We played pretty well for forty minutes and then fell away from what was giving us success in the second half. We gave them trouble and if we can replicate that this weekend and do it for a 60 or 70 minutes, then I can see us getting something from the game.
“We know the expectations are pretty low for us as they have been dominating sides this season.
“They’re heavy favorites but we are going there with no fear, knowing the pressure is all on them.
“Those sorts of odds are what Hawick boys relish and we are looking forward to potentially ending their unbeaten record this season.”
McNeil added: “Hopefully we can use the low expectations everyone has, and possible complacency from them, to get something from the last game of the first half of the season.”
The Hawick Force return to BT Reverse Division two action following last weekend’s call-off with a trip to Hartree Hill to face Biggar.