McNeil rues chances as Greens lose opener

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Hawick captain Bruce McNeil rued his side’s “lapses in concentration and lack of accuracy” in Saturday’s loss to Stirling County, but the veteran backrow forward remains confident the Robbie Dyes will bounce back from the setback.

“It was a big disappointment after being in multiple good positions to possibly win the game,” said McNeil of the season opener.

“We squandered chances when we had a healthy lead, leaving points on the field. Those mistakes ultimately came back to haunt us in the second half as they shut us out and went on to claim the points. We let them score on first phase attacking possessions and at this level that is not acceptable. Our defence should be doing a better job of stopping them.”

Hawick led 19-8 before the half-time interval, but defensive lapses and careless ball handling allowed the hosts to close the points gap with a converted score and penalty.

The second half was one-way traffic as Stirling controlled the tempo and pace, scoring 10 points and shutting Hawick out with their staunch defence.

“After the break they came out a bit more fired up than us and that told,” added McNeil.

“They grabbed a couple of early scores and we didn’t really get going until the final twenty minutes. It is a massively disappointing considering the weather was perfect for us to play our style of game. They were beatable but we just didn’t execute.”

Hawick have now failed to win their opening league game dating back seven years andMcNeil added: “There wasn’t a whole lot that we did completely wrong against Stirling but at this level it is fine margins that win and lose you games.”