THIS was another harsh lesson for a young PSA side who were on the receiving end of an exhibition of running rugby from a fiery Gala Wanderers outfit who seemed to be able to slice through the Hawick defence at will.
PSA conceded five first-half tries to trail 33-0 at half-time. But having played into a strong wind, and although the match was lost, at least there was an opportunity to make the score respectable with the wind at their backs.
However, the second half couldn’t have started any worse, with the Hawick lads leaking three poor tries to find themselves 54 points to nil behind after 45 minutes.
It was not all gloom and doom, though, as the PSA forwards were battling hard and had the upper hand in the scrum. They also controlled the rucks and mauls but were unable to put width on the ball so the Gala defence was never stretched.
During PSA’s best period of the match they pinned the visitors deep in their 22 and were held up over the line on three occasions. Desperate Gala defence forced a home maul into touch on the five-metre line and it looked as if the chance was lost. However, Brandon Murray charged down the clearance kick and Reece Hartdegen was quickest to react and touched down for PSA’s only try. Euan Hair added the conversion.
This was the last time PSA troubled Gala who finished the stronger with another two tries.
This was a disappointing performance from PSA, who let themselves down with poor tackling. Their cause was not helped, though, by the injuries to Dai Swailes and Bryan Hall in the first ten minutes.
The real positive from the Hawick side’s perspective was the performance of young Brandon Murray who gets better every week.