McNeil: We can tough it out

Bruce McNeil
Bruce McNeil

Hawick have been handed a tough start to their BT Premiership campaign, with last season’s runners-up, Melrose, the visitors to Mansfield Park on August 29.

Following the clash with The Greenyards outfit, the Robbie Dyes then face a stretch of four equally challenging games against Gala, Stirling, Heriot’s and Currie.

In last season’s corresponding fixtures, the Greens picked up just one victory, but, according to vice-captain Bruce McNeil, the difficult start can sometimes be the making of a team. “We know what it looks like but what we see is what we get: the bigger sides early before they dust off the pre-season rust and gain real momentum,” he said.

“We beat every side at least once last season, so we’re not daunted by tough stretches of games.

“Yes, it’s not the best run but playing the bigger sides early means there is no margin for error right from the off and it can sometimes be the making of a strong season.”

Hawick endured a topsy-turvy first campaign under head coach Nikki Walker, returning to prominence with a Borders League crown and a fifth place league finish, but only occasionally finding top form.

McNeil admitted last season had been a steep learning curve and the back-row forward added: “We’re certainly more confident heading into the new season than we’ve been in years.”.

“Last year we had a bit of a yoyo season, playing well one week then horrendous the next. There was a lot of change with Nikki and the new team coming in but now we’ve all been together for a year
and are in a much better position.

“Expectations are always high at Hawick but heading into 2015/16 the whole squad are confident we can reach a new level.”

Hawick v Darlington at