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Home > News > Alex Gordon reports from Old Anniesland
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Your News Alex Gordon reports from Old Anniesland
17
NOV

One of sport's cliches is that the mark of a good side is one which wins well whilst playing poorly. If this is true then Hawks are a good side. It seems a bit churlish to say this when the team had gained a bonus point win and sit in their cup group with ten points after two matches, but it was a win that was not obviously coming for most of the match.

Greenock Wanderers arrived at Old Anniesland as a side on the way up, playing well in Scottish rugby's third teir and having won both of their opening games in the cup. Certainly in the opening exchanges they showed that they weren't here to make up the numbers.

Both sides poked and prodded early on, with kicks over their respective backlines testing the back lines under the high ball. It fell to Hawks to put the visitors under the first period of sustained pressure. The pack recycling on the line at the Pavilion end and just being held short. In 10 minutes the ball was thrown wide finding Paddy Boyer on the wing and allowing him to dart across for the score. The scrum-half exhibiting his experience by running around , making the conversion by James Gormley simpler. (7-0).

Hawks were on the up and and looked to pull further ahead minutes later but a knock on stopped the score with the line open in front. In the close exchanges Hawks were struggling to take the ball into contact. Wanderers appeared to be able to turn over ball on contact at will with their back row of Abernethy, Mooney and Robb regulrly coming away with the ball. Of course they were helped by Hawks frequently failing to keep on their feet and the penalty count was stacking up against the hosts. Indiscipline allowed Greenock winger Ant Devlin to keep the score tight with a pair of penalties and with the score 7-6 at half time, Greenock retired for the break looking the better side as their noisy following acknowledged. (7-6)

The 2nd half started brighter for Hawks, the play seemed tighter and tactical kicking was more accurate. With only 4 minutes of the second half gone replacement hooker, Calum Kerr was over for the try from close range. (12-6)

With the conversion missed, however, any thoughts that Hawks were in charge and the errors of the first half had been eliminated were quickly erased as they immediately conceded a penalty. Fortunately, Devlin missed a straightforward kick. But, Hawks indisciplne continued and they were fortunate that Devlin appeared to have changed his boots at half-time as he missed 4 on the trot.

The home side were fortunate to lead 12-6, when it could well have been 12-18 and they seemed to have failed to take advantage of their good fortune just after the hour when they were given an easy penalty in front of the posts which they chose to run. The chance to add to the score seemd to have been spurned as the pacfk appeared to be bogged down on the Wanderer's line before the ball spun wide to the left allowing Marc Taylor to go over in the corner for a 3rd try. Again the difficult conversion was missed and after 64 minutes, somewhat improbably, and an 11 point lead allowed Hawks greater comfort. (17-6)

Across the home XV the match was turning in Hawks favour, the pack were putting their opposite numbers under pressure in scrum, ruck and maul and the backs were winning individual abttles man on man. As the match moved toward it's end it fell to Calum Kerr to secure the try bonus in 75 minutes as he went over for his second. (22-6)

Whilst Preece won the man of the match prize, it seemed that a man of the match performance by the hooker, Kerr, off of the bench had helped turn the game.

As the whistle blew it was job done and in the end a bonus point win for Hawks. A not unexpected result but a slightly tortuous route to victory. However, the fact remains that a 100% record was maintained, which really is the mark of a good side.

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