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Home > News > Hawks lose unbeaten record
Your News Hawks lose unbeaten record

Stewarts Melville FP 14 Glasgow Hawks 11

Hawks perfect run of 6 consecutive victories came to a grinding halt at sunny Inverleith on Saturday when a determined Stewarts Melville XV held on grimly in a nail biting second half to secure an unlikely win. For weeks to come Hawks players and coaches will wonder how they contrived to lose this game when they dominated possession in the final 40 minutes. During this time Stewarts Melville made only one single excursion into the Hawks 22 and the rest of the time was spent in or close to their own 22.

The reason for the defeat was mainly the performance of their opponents forwards who demonstrated how ball retention is so effective when you have to defend with your life. For long periods in both halfs they held onto the ball in the rucks and mauls and rarely spilled a pass. This proved to be a good tactic against a side who wished to run the ball. Although it rarely gained them ground it certainly frustrated the Hawks who conceded a huge number of penalties, no fewer that 6 when they were within 5 metres of the line.

Throughout the game it was clear that the intensity and solid defence of Hawks play from previous weeks was lacking and for long periods they did not put their opponents under any great pressure.

The game started well enough for Hawks. In the first five minutes they had two solid scrums and were awarded a penalty that Mike Adamson converted for a 0-3 lead.

During the next fifteen minutes Stewarts Melville gradually eased their way into the game and when Mike Martin was penalised for coming up too quickly they kicked a penalty into the corner and from the line out the maul was driven over for a try by Hayden Lingard converted by Mike Hanning for a 7-3 lead.

Hawks stormed back but in the 21st minute fell foul of an unsympathetic referee who firstly yellow carded the smallest man on the field, Hadden McPherson, for a dump tackle on a large Stewarts Melville forward. This was followed by a great move that looked to have been finished off by Tony Herron but the score was ruled off by the touch judge who said he had a foot in touch.

Hawks continued to be out of luck when awarded a five metre scrum, heeled cleanly and the ball was in the back row. A try looked certain but the referee ruled that the scum had turned and awarded the put in to the opposition. This was the most controversial of a number of decisions.

Right on the stroke of half time Andy White, Hawks stand off spilled a ball on his own goal line and in his attempt to clear to touch it rebounded off a Stewarts Melville player who was first to touch it down. Mike Hanning converted from far out and Stewarts Melville lead by 14 -3 at the interval.

On reflecting on the half this was Hawks poorest 40 minutes of the season as they did not show the authority that was evident in earlier games. Certainly it could be said that the ball did not bounce for them and that the 50:50 decisions went against them but against such dogged opponents they made just too many errors.

Straight from the restart it seemed clear that the half time team chat had been effective. David Milne burst through the centre of the field but his final pass was knocked on. They kept the pressure on and eventually Stewarts Melvilles No 6 was yellow carded for attempting to kill the ball. This event seemed to signal an opportunity for Hawks and they took it. After much huffing and puffing and a series of laboured passes that stuck replacement prop Paul Henderson forced his way over for a try that was a long time in coming. 14-8

David Milne once again romped through the centre and look certain to score but was pulled down by an excellent tackle inches from the line and the chance was lost.

The play continued deep inside the Stewarts Melville half and with ten minutes remaining Mike Adamson kicked a penalty to narrow the score to 14-11. In the remaining time Stewarts Melville defended ferociously and broke out and into Hawks 22 looking for a try to clinch the game but it was not to be but they still ran out as winners in the end.

This hopefully will be a huge wake up call for Hawks and over the week they will reflect on what went wrong. They will need to work on ball control, the lineout and the level of intensity if they are to beat Hawick next Saturday in what will be a vital game at Old Anniesland

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