Hawick head coach Phil Leck and club captain Greg Cottrell have both set their sights on springing a surprise victory over in-form Gala in tomorrow’s RBS Premiership clash at Mansfield Park.
The visitors warmed-up for the hotly-anticipated derby match with a comfortable 35-3 win over Stirling County in the quarter-finals of the RBS Cup and know a win at Mansfield Park will move them back to the top of the premiership table.
The Greens, who sit eighth in the Premiership and two points above the relegation play-off place, have endured back-to-back weekends without any competitive rugby and were forced to settle for an indoor training session last weekend due to the bad weather.
However, despite the lack of game time, Leck is confident about his side’s chances against the title chasers and insists that Gala are not unbeatable.
He said: “Last weekend was hard as the weather again made it difficult for us. Having to train indoors was not ideal, but we made the best of it and got a session done.
“After training we went and watched Gala take on Stirling [County] and looked at some of the things they do well and where we feel we can take advantage.
“We know they are a good side and are challenging for the title but that doesn’t make them unbeatable.
He continued: “The boys are desperate for the game on Saturday and confidence is high that we can surprise some people and get the win.
“From the next three games we are looking at between 16 and 20 points. No-one down here at the club is talking about relegation or even the thought of losing our place in the Premiership.
Hawick have not beaten Gala in seven previous attempts but skipper Cottrell says the Greens are “due a win” over their fierce rivals and hopes Saturday will see the home side finally put to bed any talk of relegation.
He said: “ We know Gala are gunning for the league and that they are a top side who are on a good run but in derby games like these, form goes out the window.
“Everyone is expecting them to win on Saturday and then go on and win their remaining games but we are due a win over them and feel confident enough that we can cause them problems and hopefully take some points off them.
He continued: “We have four games remaining this season with three of them at home which puts us in a good position to stay up and rid the relegation tag.
“It doesn’t matter that three of the four games are against top four sides as we have already beaten one [Heriot’s] and have not been far off against the others.
“If we do the basics right and stick to our game with sound defence and discipline then there is no reason why we can’t get five points on Saturday.”