WATSONIANS produced a stylish second half performance to run in six tries, securing a bonus point victory over a Hawick side that, at half time, had threatened to break its Premiership duck.
So for the Watsonians coach Steve Lawrie the final score and the result produced a mix of reactions: condemnation of his side’s first half performance and exultation at the manner of the Myresiders’ second half blitz.
“The first half was unacceptable and the players knew that. Admittedly, we were playing into a wind but equally we didn’t respect the ball the way we can. I said absolutely nothing at half time. I didn’t need to and the guys galvanised themselves and produced a great performance,” said Lawrie.
“I’m hoping that’s a seminal moment in our season. It was 13-3 for Hawick at half-time. I was really pleased with the second half and that showed what we can do. But, equally so, there’s plenty to work on. We’ve got a tough game against Hawks next week and we need to get that right.”
“The Edinburgh [professional] boys certainly made a difference and, importantly, they bought into it. So credit to both of them. But I thought there were some great performances from the regular guys. Perhaps they were galvanised by the pros – but that’s the system we have.
“Overall I’d say it was a 15-man effort in the second half and that’s what really pleased me. But there were some great individual performances from the likes of Nick Fraser in the front-row – I thought he had a cracking game. We have a lot of new faces and a new coaching staff so we’re still building.
Lawrie is pleased, too, at the way his younger players are developing, among them the former Dundee High School half-back, Ewan Fox, at stand-off.
“He’s just 19-years-old. He’s in the BT Academy and it’s our job to develop guys like him. And we’ve got Hodgy [Jamie Hodgson] in the secnd-row and James Miller at seven – both are only stage two level. If you look at the model of Melrose who have held on to guys like that you build a good team.”
Watsonians playing into the wind were 6-0 down, from two Ali Weir penaltie, before they answered in kind with a three pointer off the tee from Andrew Chalmers.
Then while Hodgson was in the bin for an innocuous offence, Hawick struck again through a Dom Buckley try, converted by Weir, giving the home side a 13-3 interval advantage.
Lawrie brought back-row Rory Drummond and Edinburgh centre Chris Dean off the bench for the second half and the introduction of the talented pair seemed to rev the Watsonian engine to full throttle.
Dean began the fightback with a simple try, before Drummond finished off a spell of excellent ball retention, with Chalmers converting both scores. Then, when Euan Dods ignited another handling move from a tap penalty, Drummond bagged his second try.
The bonus point try followed immediately. Dods took the restart kick and launched another move involving James Miller and Kyle Whyte, finished by the impressive Miller.
Keith Davies got one back for Hawick, but Watsonians quickly resumed their attacking game and again it was Dean who was on the score-sheet, with Chalmers again making the try a seven pointer.
Lewis Ferguson grabbed a consolation score for the hosts, but in stoppage time Edinburgh wing Jason Harries showed his penchant for attacking rugby with a run up the touchline before releasing a perfect scoring pass to the supporting Chalmers, who signed off the game with his fourth conversion.