Hawick High School secured their place in the Borders/East Lothian final of the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools Under-18 Plate after defeating Peebles 33-10 in the penultimate round at the Volunteer Park, and will face Knox Academy, from Haddington, at Netherdale next Wednesday to decide which team goes forward to the national quarter-finals.
Against Peebles, the Hawick boys were much the slicker and quicker behind the scrum from where stand-off Grant Huggan controlled the game well. But in the frontal battle, Hawick were given a tough workout by the Peebles pack, limiting the amount of ball made available to the home backs.
“I thought our boys’ work rate was exceptional, especially in defence. We kept our shape and did what we needed to do” said Hawick High coach David Marshall, adding : “Considering this is a school side put together from Wanderers and PSA players, it was a good team performance.
“Essentially we go in blind against Knox Academy but that’s always the case when you play sides from other regions.”
Hawick were quickly into their stride with a try from flanker Matt Mallin, made by the clever and pacy running of full-back Darcy Graham.
Huggan converted and then added the extra points to Hawick’s second touchdown scored by centre Sean Chapman from winger Ryan Elliot’s break and neat kick ahead.
A try from a quickly-taken tap penalty by scrum-half Jack Harrison brought Peebles into the game, but Hawick soon reasserted themselves with a second try for Mallin, again converted by Huggan, for a 21-5 interval advantage.
Joseph Chipakupaku used his pace to run in Hawick’s fourth try, but the hosts were brought back to earth when the Peebles forwards claimed a collective touchdown.
Appropriately, though, it was Hawick who had the final say as Chapman steered a course through the Peebles defence for try number five, coolly con- verted by Huggan, to seal a decisive win.