Greens lost the place in derby, admits McNeil

Bruce McNeil
Bruce McNeil

Hawick vice-captain Bruce McNeil admitted games are running out as the race for the top four intensifies.

There are still four matches left in the regular season, but as the cream starts to rise to the top of the BT Premiership, Hawick sit in seventh place, nine points adrift of Gala in fourth, and face a tricky away test against fellow contenders Stirling County tomorrow.

Hawick’s 32-8 thrashing at the hands of Melrose last weekend has left the Greens with nothing but must-win games if they are to make it into the top four this season.

McNeil stated the manner of the Greens defeat to their rivals was disappointing, and conceded performances in their remaining league contests have to be nothing short of flawless if they are to sneak into the play-off places.

“It was a big let-down [against Melrose]. I don’t think we made them work hard enough for their victory,” said McNeil. “We let the emotions of the occasion get the better of us and let the game become personal. Border derbies are always highly charged but we learned some harsh lessons which will hopefully help us until the end of the season.

“Time and games are running out so starting against Stirling our performances have to be flawless if we are to make it into the top four.”

McNeil still believes that Hawick can force their way into the title race: “This league is going to go right down to the wire. Pretty much everyone is still in the hunt for a top-four place.

“On paper we have one of the easier run-ins to end the season but that doesn’t mean our job is any easier. Stirling will be a hard test as they too are vying for that fourth spot.

“If we play for 80 minutes, keep to our systems, take our chances and make sure our individual performances are on point then I believe Saturday will take care of itself and we will be one step closer to the top four.”