Glasgow Hawks 21
LEWIS STUART @ Balgray
“THE best way to win, the worst to lose,” was the verdict from Peter Wright, the Boroughmuir coach, after seeing his side go through more than 40 phases to win a penalty and then maul the resulting lineout to the line for a dramatic win several minutes after the 80 minutes were up.
His side had been trailing Glasgow Hawks, and had Dale Robertson in the sinbin, with the clock closing in on full-time, but they rescued a kick-off to give themselves a shot at levelling the scores. They took it through Tom Wilson, the scrum-half, and then turned the final play of the game into a lung-bursting assault on the home line that eventually paid off as Jonny Matthews, the hooker, who had been one of their main ball carriers all afternoon, was driven over from a maul.
It set the celebrations going for the visitors, but it was heartbreak for the home side who played some sparking rugby but are still looking for their first win of the season.
“The game is about momentum,” Wright added. “We had it in the first 20 minutes, a wee bit at the start of the second half and at the end but they had all the momentum in between. They put a lot of width on the game but we were our own worst enemies. We would turn them over, play one phase and drop it.
“We had talked about keeping ball, keeping ball and we showed that in the last play of the game. It was a important win for us, the type of game where we showed we could find a way to come out on top.”
Though Hawks took an early lead with Liam Brims, the fly-half, slotting a penalty in the opening minutes, they were soon under the cosh up front, Boroughmuir winning a penalty on the half way line, which they kicked for a line-out five metres out. A planned move saw wing Jordan Edmunds taking it up first but when he was held short, there was Rory Drummond, the number eight, to take it the rest of the way and claim the opening score.
The visitors did not have to wait long for their second; another penalty, another line-out and another drive into midfield, this time finished more orthodoxly with Jack Steele, the flanker, being the one to be driven over in a pile of bodies.
Both were converted by Wilson and at this stage it all appeared to be going Boroughmuir’s way, until suddenly Hawks started to get their hands on the ball and show how dangerous their offloading game can be when they get the chance.
They started to turn the tide, with the pressure moving to the opposite end of the field where they won a scrum in the opposition 22. Scrum-half Paddy Boyer switched to the blind-side where Glasgow Warriors wing Lelia Masaga had enough strength to carry two men over the line with him.
It was too far out for Brims to add the conversion but set the tone for the second half with Hawks pace and fitness up against the muscle game from Boroughmuir.
The Hawks defence soon squashed the brief revival after the teams came back out of the changing room and they went ahead with a brilliant breakout featuring Mark New, Robbie Beattie and Brims, before Matt Smith, the Glasgow Warriors flanker, finished it.
With Brims converting they had their noses in front and seemed to have taken a solid lead with two more Brims penalties only for Drummond to again spark his side by taking a quick tap free-kick to launch a last-gasp attack that put Wilson over for the try that levelled the match.
The momentum was all one-way now, as Boroughmuir got the ball back and mounted that furious last attack until they eventually won a penalty, kicked to the corner and mauled their way over.
“Who would be the coach of Glasgow Hawks?” muttered Finlay Gillies, after seeing his side implode. “What a game of rugby though! I am just really disappointed for my players – the effort was amazing. The defence at the end to hold them out and then to lose it to that penalty decision, which I wholeheartedly disagree with, is hard to accept.”
Glasgow Hawks: R Beattie; L Masaga, E Oag, M New, L Jones; L Brims, P Boyer; S Findlay, G Stewart, G Strain, A Kirkland, L Skinner, S Dow, M Smith, G Adams. Subs: A Fraser, A Nimmo, J McLean, K Kay, C Symes.
Boroughmuir: R Arthur; K Gossman, W Wardlaw, R Kerr, J Edmunds; G Cannie, T Wilson; R Dunbar, J Matthews, R Montgomery, T Drennan, C Atkinson, J Steele, M Walker, R Drummond. Replacements used: D Robertson, C Keddie, S Smith, J Hamilton, A Purwell.
Glasgow Hawks: Tries: Masaga, Smith. Con: Brims. Pen: Brims 3.
Boroughmuir: Tries: Drummond, Steele, Wilson, Matthews. Cons: Wilson 3.
Scoring sequence: 3-0, 3-7, 3-14, 8-14 (half time), 15-14, 18-14, 21-14, 21-21, 21-26.
Referee: R Maben.
Yellow card: Boroughmuir: Robertson.
Star man: No 8 Rory Drummond got Boroughmuir on the front foot whenever he had the ball and sparked the try that got them back in the game.
Talking point: Kick-offs matter: Glasgow Hawks had the game won until they coughed up a restart and let Boroughmuir back into the match.