Gala 35 Hawick 51
Hawick dazzled with a seven-try 51-35 performance in the first round one of a three-bout match-up against close rivals Gala at Netherdale.
Saturday was a chance for Hawick and Gala to each set a marker down ahead of a month in which the two teams will face-off three times over three separate competitions.
A large crowd filled the Netherdale stands and were treated to rollercoaster of a match that enthralled.
The hosts dominated the opening 40 using a combination of their usual power style and a large error count from Hawick to take a 23-15 lead.
The Robbie Dyes hit-back after the break with a five-try showing to claim Border League points and a significant confidence boost ahead of the pair’s relegation run-in.
“That’s us recorded back-to-back wins against two tough Border teams [Jed-Forest and Gala] away from home,” said Teri captain Bruce McNeil.
“In the first half we were pretty average. We let them score easy tries and take control because we were defending too high and coughing up silly penalties, but after the break we turned it around.
“We learned from our mistakes, came out in the second-half ready to play.
“We made them work for everything while becoming a lot more accurate in our attack.”
McNeil added: “The win and how we got it was really pleasing and gives us a great base to work from heading into an important few weeks.”
In many way’s Saturday’s performance was a glimpse into what Hawick hope is the standard as they look to erase a 2016 that has the club circling the relegation drain.
First-half scores from Callum MacKintosh and Kirk Ford, one converted by Neil Renwick who added a penalty, kept the Greens within a converted try of their rivals after Gregor Mein landed three penalties and one conversion of a pair of Ross Combe touchdowns.
Trailing 23-15, Hawick showed what quality operators they can be when afforded time to take stock and adjust.
The Greens played with much more freedom after the break, adding energy in defence that had lacked in the opening 40 while pouring forward with wave after wave of Green strips at the kind of tempo few in attendance could believe.
Renwick cut the deficit to four points one minute into second half with a penalty quickly followed by a penalty try after Gala were penalised for repeated scrum collapses five metres from their own tryline.
Renwick added the conversion giving the Robbie Dyes a 25-23 lead and there was no looking back from there.
Tries from Ford, McNeil, Darcy Graham and Kyle Brunton, Ali Weir converting three, sealed the impressive win for Hawick. Gala hit back with tries from Dean Brooker and Combe, Mein converting one.