Hawick 12

Watsonians 13

By Atholl Innes

at Mansfield Park

THERE is much to be said about the work of volunteers at Mansfield Park last week.

Their efforts ensured that the game went ahead.

And the two clubs honoured their hard work with a display that showed the character of everyone involved.

The fact that this Premiership match was played at all on Saturday was simply amazing.

For on a day of driving rain and sleet and a gale, both clubs contrived to put on a display to satisfy the support who put rugby ahead of Christmas shopping – and strengthened the argument for summer rugby.

“It was a tough game and the efforts from both sets of players were fantastic,” said Watsonians coach Steve Lawrie, who 24 hours earlier had been appointed coach of the club’s Super Six squad.

“All credit to Hawick for getting that game on. They got the covers down and we got it played. Irrespective of the result, I thought it was a top effort from them.

“Any team could have won, and in the end it was a very fine margin, and it is into the Christmas break with a win that is important.”

George Graham, the Hawick coach, admitted: “We did not play particularly well in the first half, when we stepped away from what we can do; however, Watsonians are a very good side. The game has come at a cost as Shaun Fairbairn has dislocated his shoulder.

“The conditions played a part in the match and we will need to manage our squad over the next couple of weeks. There is no rest for we have a fairly packed Christmas period and we need to make sure we rotate a lot of the players.”

However, there will be no break for Hawick, who played Kelso in the Border League tomorrow Thursday and then Jed-Forest at home and away for the Skelly Cup.

Watsonians led 13-7 at the break, James Miller touching down and Ewan Fox kicking two penalties to a Muir try converted by Lee Armstrong.

Both sides defended well until Greg Walker went over for a try in the eighth minute of injury, but on the day too far out for Armstrong to add the goal points.

Hawick: A. Weir; R. McKean, K. Davies, G. Law, D. Lightfoot; L. Armstrong, G. Welsh; S. Muir, M. Carryer, N. Little, S. Fairbairn, D. Redpath, D. Lowrie, S. Graham, B. McNeil. Replacements: C. Renwick, D. Johnstone, G. Lowrie, J. Linton, L. Ferguson.