Six-try Hawick halt Selkirk run

Hawick's Greg Cottrell puts Selkirk on the back foot.
Hawick's Greg Cottrell puts Selkirk on the back foot.

Hawick kept up their recent run of good form when dispatching Selkirk by 43 points to 26 in last Friday night’s Booker Border League match.

The visitors were on an impressive 10-game winning run and sit top of National One, but they failed to deliver anything special at a cold and wet Mansfield Park and succumbed to a six tries to four result.

The win was Hawick’s third in four games and comprised tries from Scott Peffers, Ross Graham, Scott McLeod, Lee Armstrong, Greg Cottrell and Neil McColm – as well as 13 points from the boot of Armstrong. Selkirk were averaging 32 points a game going into the match but they found it difficult against a stoic home defence that shut them out for the first 40 minutes.

The visitors did, however, put the home defence under pressure early on, but Hawick’s Premiership experience saw them hold firm and, in the fifth minute, Armstrong gave the Greens the lead when firing over a penalty after Selkirk were penalised for not rolling away in the tackle.

Hawick then earned their first try on the 12-minute mark thanks to the pace and great hands of the Teri backs who opened up space for full-back Peffers to sprint clear. Graham added a second shortly after, with Armstrong converting both.

Hawick camped in Selkirk territory for the remainder of the first period and winger McLeod finished off relentless pressure from the home side when breaking a pair of weak Selkirk tackles to wriggle over under the posts. Armstrong added the extras to stretch the Greens’ lead to 24 points.

The Mansfield Park oufit continued to play encouraging rugby and took a real grip on the game after 30 minutes, with the lineout proving the decisive factor. Nick Mactaggart claiming a Graham throw and, after a couple of well-worked phases, Matthew Douglas swung the ball wide to Armstrong who jinked his way past two defenders to score, before adding the conversion.

Hawick scrum-half Cottrell increased their lead when making a searing break through a hole in the Selkirk defence, a move which started when a dominant Hawick front eight had pushed the Souters’ scrum back inside their own five-metre line. Armstrong converted to hand Hawick a 38-0 lead at the break.

Selkirk started the second period brightly, recovering well from their first half woes to outscore Hawick by four tries to one. Callum McColm touched down straight from the restart to finally get the Philiphaugh men off the mark but Hawick responded through McColm, who rounded off a seven-phase attacking sequence to cross over in the corner with 20 minutes to go.

Selkirk then threw everything at Hawick and although the homesters leaked three tries late on, the Greens held out for a good victory.

Hawick: S. Peffers, N. McColm, L. Armstrong, S. McLeod, N. Walker, M. Douglas, G. Cottrell, S. Muir, R. Graham, W. Blacklock, J. McColm, B. McNeil, N. Mactaggart, R. Gibson, S. Fairbairn. Replacements: N. McLennan, M. Landles, K. Davies, S. Goodfellow, A. Weir.