Boroughmuir 26 Hawick 21
The 26-21 Boroughmuir loss on Saturday was not fatal to Hawick’s BT Premiership survival hopes but how they respond after the Christmas break will be.
By any and whatever means necessary, Hawick needed to beat Peter Wright’s Boroughmuir on Saturday, by either a little or a lot, planned or totally random.
To prove that they could pull themselves from their relegation quagmire, and to everyone else that the potential flashed in their two previous games against Heriots and Ayr was legit and not a brief spark.
Saturday’s five-point defeat is not a relegation death certificate, but Hawick’s Premiership survival hopes are dwindling.
“They wanted it more than us and played much better than us, it was that simple,” said Greens captain Bruce McNeil.
“We weren’t at the races. Credit to Boroughmuir, they dominated us in defence. We weren’t in the first forty but got back into the game in the second half with a good shift, but when we got within a point with twenty minutes to go we panicked and they held on.
“We went up there fairly confident of getting a result with the squad that we had.
“It was really disappointing to only get a bonus-point. Muir basically wanted it more than us. We had been building to this game for a while and just didn’t perform.
“It was a must-win, the only thing that went our way was that teams above us lost so we are still in striking distance.”
Hawick’s performance on Saturday underlined to Teri supporters why supporting the Greens can be agonising.
It was a week, with Boroughmuir sitting four points ahead of them on the table, seen as a litmus test for the validity of their survival aspirations.
The Greens travelled to Edinburgh stocked with talent. To go along with the return of Rory Hutton, Edinburgh pair Will Helu and Jack Cosgrove joined the squadm but Hawick found themselves in a 19-6 hole at half-time, Matthew Douglas kicking two penalties as the Robbie Dyes frailties were exposed by a much improved Boroughmuir side.
Hawick showed patience and intelligence to fight back to within a point after the break.
Darcy Graham added to his impressive tally this season with two scores, Douglas converting one, but a yellow card to Cosgrove ended any hope of a full about turn of the result as Boroughmuir snuck home for a fourth try. Douglas kicking a late penalty to secure the losing bonus for the Greens.
“We have a break for Christmas now and boys are going to have to be training and staying ready because every game from now on is must-win,” added McNeil.
“We have to respond to this defeat with big performances from now on or we’ll be going into National 1 next season. Hawick belong in the Premiership and we need to show that from now on.”