Hawick 36

Stirling County 17

Atholl Innes at Mansfield Park

HAWICK put the town back on the rugby map in style on Saturday with a victory that boosted the club’s hopes of staying in the Premiership.

The Greens played their best rugby of the season to not just win, but gain the bonus point with five tries.

Every point could be crucial at the end of the season, but the celebrations were mooted when the players were told to keep their feet on the ground after their first Premiership victory of the season.

Two wins in the BT Cup and Border League had laid the foundations for a change of fortunes for the club, which is battling for survival in the top league.

“We have not turned the corner yet,” said coach George Graham.

“But we are seeing signs of what is happening in the training and played a lot better.

"We had a brutal session last Tuesday and it is paying dividends.

“I am happy that we are seeing that transference from training on to the field. We are not out of the wood, and all we control is what we can control. But we all made an impact and as a coach you cannot ask any more.”

Hawick’s driving play through captain Bruce McNeil, who led a pack charged with power and almost unstoppable driving mauls, coupled with strength in the backs, were simply too strong on the day.

The game was wide open at half-time, Matt Carryer scoring and Keith Davies adding a second on half-time, Ali Weir converting one and kicking a penalty.

Stirling replied with a Ross Curle try converted by Jonny Hope.

Hawick played with fire and passion after the interval when Stirling cut the deficit with a Ruaridh Leishman try converted by Hope, who also kicked a late penalty.

However, a double from Dom Buckley and a score by Gary Munro, two in just two minutes, together with three Weir conversions, lifted Hawick hopes with seven matches to play and a lot of work to save its Premiership status.

Hawick: A. Weir; G. Munro, K. Davies, D. Buckley, L. Ferguson; L. Armstrong, G. Cottrell; S. Muir, M. Carryer, D. Johnstone, D. Redpath, C. Hamilton, G. Graham, B. McNeil, S. Graham, Replacements: F. Renwick, M. Landels A. Baillie, R. Combe, G. Johnstone.