Glasgow Hawks 12
STEPHEN BRUNSDON @ Meggetland
BOROUGHMUIR made amends for their narrow defeat to Melrose in the Cup last week by claiming a bonus-point triumph over struggling Glasgow Hawks. The hosts scored 22 unanswered points in the opening half hour and claimed maximum points with a fourth try 10 minutes from time to boost their top four ambitions.
A solid win for Boroughmuir, then, but head coach Peter Wright was frustrated that his team had not maintained their early intensity for the full 80 minutes.
“It was one of those weird games, where we controlled it and dominated for 35 minutes, without really putting them to the sword, and then we gave away a pretty soft try,” he said.
“The second half was just really scrappy. We talked about just playing the same as we did in the first half, sticking to our systems and doing the basics well, and we didn’t do that.
“With all due respect to Hawks, a better team than Hawks would have beaten us. We showed a lot of quality in the first half but then we just had a loss of concentration in the second.”
Boroughmuir burst out of the blocks
Boroughmuir took the lead after 13 minutes, courtesy of a penalty from Gavin Parker, and the full-back was on target again just six minutes later when he converted Tom Drennan‘s try, scored from short-range after a barnstorming run from former Hawk Jack Steele.
Starved of precious possession, Hawks coughed up a promising attacking opportunity when Gavin Wilson was penalised on the Boroughmuir 10-metre line.
Turning the screw for the hosts was fly-half Greg Cannie, who slid through poor first-up Hawks defence to go deep into the visitors’ 22. Some bulldozing carries from Jordan Edmunds got the home side to within a few yards of the line, and loosehead Ross Dunbar crashing over for the second try. Parker’s conversion opened the gap to 17 points.
Hawks were strangled in the opening half an hour and struggled to put even the simplest of phases together. And they were further behind before long, with Boroughmuir hooker Johnny Matthews scoring his 13th try of the season after another punishing driving maul from a penalty line-out. That Parker’s conversion attempt drifted wide of the uprights was hardly a consolation for the visitors.
Hawks bite back
Hawks did grab a try late on in the first half which gave Fin Gillies‘ side some cause for optimism. Full-back Josh Henderson brilliantly stepped into the attacking line from a five-metre scrum and slide home in the corner.
A stunning solo effort from replacement Cammy Symes gave Hawks their second try entering the closing stages of the match to ensure they went down fighting, but the first-half performance left assistant coach Andy Hill ruing what could have been.
“The first half killed us really, with ball retention,” he said. “They played really well and kicked well, which put us under pressure. We didn’t really get the ball that much and when we did, we kept losing it through knock-ons and penalties.
“A lot of the stuff you work on during the week, if you don’t get the ball, you can’t put that into practice.
“We got the score before half-time and we hoped it would kick us on in the second half, but those errors crept back into our play. Those kinds of things are just killing us right now. It’s about learning fast and we know we need to work on that for next week against Hawick.”
Boroughmuir’s second-half quest to secure the all-important bonus-point win proved rather laborious as Hawks’ renewed confidence made for a much more competitive arm wrestle.
The visitors were more astute in defence and forced numerous errors and penalties from the home side, to such an extent that Boroughmuir’s healthy lead looked, at times, under threat.
But Hawks were unable to unlock the door until it was too late, with Boroughmuir eventually burying the game through Dunbar’s second score in the 69th minute. Parker’s final conversion secured the 29-12 victory, with Wright knowing his team’s third straight league success will be crucial ahead of the short trip across Colinton Road to Myreside next weekend.
Onwards and upwards
“Next week will be a really tough game, but it’s really good that we’ve come off the back of three wins in a row in the league. We need to keep up the momentum in the run-in to Christmas,” Wright said.
“Watsonians beat us at home in the first game of the season so we were disappointed with that. We’ve got a score to settle and should have a number of players back from injury next week as well.”
Hawks welcome Hawick to Balgray next week, who will be flying high after their excellent win over Chieftains.
“It’s a massive game in so many ways, we’ve had a few losses in a row now so it’s about targeting this game and winning it. We can’t really worry about Hawick and we need to focus on ourselves,” Hill said.
“Okay, Boroughmuir won today but I think it was as much their good play as our mistakes that did it for them, so we know we need to be at our best to beat Hawick next week.”
Boroughmuir: G Parker; J Hamilton, J Edmunds, J Steele, M Hare, B Renton; G Cannie, M Johnston; R Dunbar, J Matthews, R Montgomery, T Drennan, W Inglis, A Mncube, M Walker, C Keddie. Subs: D Robertson, S Smith, C McDevitt, R Weersma.
Glasgow Hawks: J Henderson; J McCready, R Beattie, C Harrison, J Couper; R Thompson, K Baretto; G Strain©, A Fraser, L Skinner, F Hastie, A Kirkland, B Flockhart, G Wilson, G Adams. Subs: P Cairncross, C Wills, L Brims, P Boyer, C Symes.
Referee: G Ormiston
Boroughmuir: Tries: Drennan, Dunbar 2, Matthews. Cons: Parker 3. Pen: Parker.
Glasgow Hawks: Tries: Henderson, Symes. Con: Henderson.
Scoring Sequence (Boroughmuir first): 3-0, 8-0, 10-0, 15-0, 17-0, 22-0, 22-5 half-time, 27-5, 29-5, 29-10, 29-12.
Man of the Match: He didn’t score any of his team’s points, but Jordan Edmunds‘ performance in the centre for Boroughmuir was exceptional. A lot of his work was off the ball, committing Hawks defenders to create space for runners behind. He made several strong carries in the opening period and brought Boroughmuir to within yards of the line before Dunbar’s first try. An equally impressive defensive effort in the second half ensured Hawks could not make a comeback in the match. Special mention must also go to Dunbar himself, whose two tries were well taken after waves of persistent Boroughmuir attack.
Talking point: Boroughmuir took their chances in the first half when they arose, but the key to their victory was the control of the ball throughout. They never let Hawks get a sniff of the line in the first half an hour. They let their foot off the pedal in the second half, and not for the first time this season. Wright’s side deservedly secured the bonuspoint in a game dictated by set-piece and sheer grunt up front.