Hard work needed as first win proves elusive

Hawick Rugby Football managerial team Nikki Walker and Scott MacLeod at Mansfield Park.
Hawick Rugby Football managerial team Nikki Walker and Scott MacLeod at Mansfield Park.

Hawick were left to rue what could have been after Watsonians rolled out of Mansfield Park with a 24-9 victory.

Watsonians started with a flash, scoring within the first five minutes – and while Hawick did manage to take a 9-7 lead, the visitors newly-acquired expensive talent prevailed, pulling away from the Robbie Dyes en route to a 24-9 victory on Saturday afternoon.

For the fourth straight year, Hawick have now dropped their opening two league games of the season, and assistant coach, Scott 
MacLeod, admitted it is frustrating to watch.

He said: “It’s not been the start to the season we wanted and we are all massively frustrated but the silver lining is we were competitive in both games,” said MacLeod.

“Losing a try within the first three minutes is never ideal, but where we lost it on Saturday was just physical wear.

“They had a big side and we stood toe-to-toe with them, tackling and fronting up physically but that took its toll.

“They had a number of players they could bring on who were similar to their starters and our lads just tired.

“They stole a couple of tries and used their size to out-muscle and drain the clock out.”

Saturday wasn’t pretty. After falling into an early 7-0 hole, Hawick struggled to mount any real attacking threats.

The hosts stayed within striking distance of their Edinburgh visitor’s thanks in large part to their defence that bent throughout the opening forty but never broke.

The Greens managed just two Ali Weir penalties against a single converted touchdown from Watsonians in a fairly even first half –that changed after the break.

Weir added a third penalty to hand Hawick a 9-7 lead but the physical battering Hawick’s players had endured finally caught up to them and Watsonians feasted, scoring a pair of touchdowns that put enough distance between them and their hosts.

“They are going to be a top four side this season, I’m in no doubt, but we could have done more to stop them,” added MacLeod.

“The mistakes we made they turned into points, which shows just how little wrong we did. They scored from us kicking a restart straight out, they won a penalty from the scrum and kicked it to the corner and rolled over for a score and the other was just basic errors.

“It’s enormously frustrating to watch. The boys are going to have to work very hard this week in training to make sure we get ourselves right again and on track.”