Hawick captain Bruce McNeil
Hawick captain Bruce McNeil

Hawick face the game of their lives on Saturday against Gala in a win-or-face-relegation contest at Mansfield Park.

The game pits two former giants of the Scottish club game now resigned to battling it out for who earns the honour of playing in a potential relegation play-off while the other is almost certainly relegated.

“We have to go out there and play the rugby I know we are capable of playing, it’s not rocket science,” said a determined Hawick captain Bruce McNeil.

There are various permutations in play that still allow the Greens to lose and remain ahead of their rivals or even catch Boroughmuir and Stirling County, but for McNeil his only thought is on winning and closing the book on automatic relegation.

He said: “All the maths and other things that can work in our favour if we weren’t to win mean absolutely nothing.

“We need to be only thinking about winning, nothing else. We control our own destiny right now and that’s the way it needs to stay.

“We can’t be coming back into the changing rooms post-match saying things like we should have done this or that.

“No if’s or but’s. We have to leave nothing in the tank and make sure if Gala are going to beat us they’re going to have to be absolutely outstanding.”

The Greens prepared for Saturday’s showdown with a Monday video session that consisted of re-watching the entire BT Cup defeat to Gala.

Head coach Nikki Walker and assistant Scott MacLeod were not present for the viewing to allow candid analysis of the performance from the whole squad – and McNeil admitted there was plenty to talk about when the two coaches returned after the session.

“Re-watching the Gala cup defeat as a team gave us a chance to be honest about our performance,” added McNeil.

“When Nikki and Scotty came back in we had a lot of information to give. It gives them a chance to focus training on what we feel is wrong and meld that with the things that they are wanting to do.

“Everyone knows how big this game is, its massive with so much riding on it, but we are fully confident we can win.

“The bottom line is we are going to go at Gala from the opening minute. We will have a big home support with it being farmers’ day and we want to repay them with a big victory.”