Relentless Greens march on with bonus point victory over Selkirk

Shawn Muir barges forward for Hawick with Gary Johnstone in support in the league match between Selkirk and Hawick
Shawn Muir barges forward for Hawick with Gary Johnstone in support in the league match between Selkirk and Hawick

HAWICK made amends for their earlier defeat to Selkirk at Mansfield Park with a bonus point win over the Souters.

After a dour start to this Borders derby Neil Renwick kicked the visitors ahead with a penalty.

Michael McVie missed at the other end but there was little flow to the game with both sides making mistakes.

Hutton set up Gary Johnstone and Lee Armstrong took over to feed captain Greg Cottrell but he was stopped short.

Renwick was next to mount an assault as he flew past several tackles and passed outside to winger John Coutts, but his offload was intercepted and knocked on.

With the Hawick forwards putting in a tremendous shift, bullying their opponents at the set piece, it was a blow as they lost Matt Landels to the sin bin for an infringement.

And Selkirk were quick to take advantage on the half hour mark when home skipper Gavin Craig slotted a delicate chip through and Rory Banks accelerated in at the corner. And McVie’s conversion crashed over off the upright.

But Hawick clawed their way back minutes later with a Renwick penalty and the Greens full-back restored their advantage after another Selkirk infringement.

It would be a lead they wouldn’t surrender.

And their cause was helped when Andrew Renwick was sent to the sin bin for taking a wild swing at Cottrell as he attempted to connect with a bouncing ball.

Hawick signalled their intent minutes into the second half as Coutts fielded a long kick inside his 22 and passed inside to Renwick. The 24-year-old took off on a trademark run, fending off desperate tackles and finding Armstrong deep inside the Selkirk half. Quick hands saw the ball fed to Keith Davies and then on to Cottrell who dived over at the posts and Renwick, who started the move, completed the scoring with the conversion.

The advantage swung right in their favour when Neil Darling used Kieran Willison’s head as a stomping block. Referee Dan Shaw, who was alerted by his touch judge, appeared to be set to show yellow, but the Selkirk forward talked his way into a red.

Hawick quickly capitalised and a Scott Hendrie pass was pounced upon by Davies who intercepted and galloped down the touchline to score.

Darren Clapperton pulled a score back for Selkirk but there was no chance of a comeback.

The hugely impressive Hawick pack saw to that as they forced the home scrum back from their five-metre line and Johnstone dived on the loose ball.

And replacement Scott McLeod notched the bonus point try with ten minutes to go.

Selkirk thought they had scored a consolation right on the final whistle but the touch judge ruled that the strong Hawick defence had held up Fraser Harkness.