Glasgow Hawks Rugby Club Tangent Graphic

Match against Boroughmuir (17-Nov-2007)

Date: Saturday, 17th November 2007
Kickoff time: 15:00
Against: Boroughmuir
Team: Hawks 1st XV
Location: Away
Competition: Premiership Division 1
Final score: 18 - 20 (lost)

Tale of two sin bins
Boroughmuir 20 / Glasgow Hawks 18
Lewis Stuart at Megggetland
THEY MAY be leading the league by a huge margin, but for the second week running, Boroughmuir were given a huge wake-up call by a team in the bottom half of the table. They had to come from behind to claim victory, to the annoyance of coach Eamon John, failed to collect the try bonus and were left hanging on at the end.

In the end, the result hinged on how the sides reacted to two sin binnings.

When Hawks were a man short, Allan Kelly being binned for killing a ruck on his own line, Boroughmuir took advantage to kick their penalty and score one of their three tries.

When Cam Ward, the Edinburgh side's prop, was at last punished for a series of offences, Hawks slotted the penalty but suffered the indignity of conceding a try to short-handed opponents.

Afterwards John claimed he never thought his side would lose: "I knew they had a balanced side and that it would be difficult," said the coach.

"We're working hard to make sure nobody starts talking about the title or gets complacent, but with everything that's being written about us and the way other coaches are talking it is hard."

Certainly, with a 15 point lead in the Scottish Hydro Electric Premiership, Boroughmuir are handsomely placed to claim the title. But now they are in that position, every team is looking at them as the team to beat.

Hawks came close with a wholehearted, dynamic, committed performance would have been good enough to see off just about any other team in the league.

Perhaps with more belief, they might have finished a couple of points ahead instead of a couple behind but after a few weeks of struggle, belief was always going to be in short supply.

Not so for Boroughmuir even though the danger signals were there from the start when they conceded a penalty for diving into the first ruck and full-back Ruaraidh Jackson slotted the points for Hawks.

The big difference between Boroughmuir of this season and the last couple has been defence. Hawks had long periods of pressure but little to show for it in the first half, proving that the team that conceded one of the highest points totals last season has learned how to protect their own line.

After the early setback, it was time for Boroughmuir to show how they have gone through the season unbeaten with the forwards driving from a lineout. Elgan O'Donnell and Calum Cusiter both went close before the ball came back to fly-half Matt Cannon who had acres of space to slice through to the line on his own.

That should have settled Boroughmuir, but in fact seemed more to spur the Hawks who won a penalty, kicked for touch and drove the lineout almost to the home line.

They were held just short but the home side had to put so many people in to hold them that Jackson's cross kick left Kerr with all the space he could ask for to collect the ball and slide in for the try that, with Jackson's conversion, put the Glasgow side back into the lead.

Despite an O'Donnell penalty they held the lead to the break.

With the better of the swirling wind in the second half, and Kelly in the sin bin, Boroughmuir must have been confident about overcoming the deficit and only had to wait two minutes to do so.

Ben Fisher, the No8, being held over the line from a lineout drive, but then Martyn peeling off the scrum in a planned back row move to cross untouched. O'Donnell added the conversion.

Again the momentum of the match swung, with Hawks, now back to 15 men, taking control for long periods and when Ward, the home prop, found himself in the sin bin for a series of ruck and maul offences, they took advantage with Jackson's second penalty.

A man short, you would have expected Boroughmuir to consolidate, and perhaps it was a sense of complacency in the visiting defence that left a gap from a routine midfield scrum which allowed Cannon to put full-back Steven Ruddick into space before drawing the final man and putting Martyn in for his second try.

If they were starting to dream of a bonus point try, Hawks had other ideas, Stewart Smith cutting through and finding support on his outside for Jackson to again provide the score for Kerr, drawing the final man and putting the winger through.

Jackson could not add the conversion that would have levelled the scores and in a heartstopping final few minutes neither side could find the killer touch to change the score again.

An exciting match and more proof there is a lot of good stuff going on at club level with Boroughmuir leading the way.

Boroughmuir: S Ruddick; T Bury, A Hadden, E O'Donnell, R Couper; M Cannon, C Cusiter; F Lait, S Crombie, C Ward, F Pringle, G McCallum, O Brown, A Martyn, B Fisher. Replacements used: A McLean, C Costigan, E Matheson, G Cotterill, J White.

Glasgow Hawks: R Jackson; R Kerr, C Bruce, S Smith, S Gordon; I Noble, K Sinclair; G Strain, J McLay, G Morries, A Dale , J Clements, A McLay, J Fitzpatrick, M Sitch. Replacements used: M Smith, G Macfadyen, A Kelly, R Hamilton, S Murray.

Referee: G Knox (Greenock Wanderers).

Boroughmuir 20 Glasgow Hawks 18
Leaders Boroughmuir strode on more manfully than majestically to part two of their Scottish Hydro Electric Premiership campaign doing just enough to see off Glasgow Hawks in an entertaining contest at Meggetland this afternoon.

Trailing for all but three minutes of the first half, the hosts’ spirit was epitomised when they contrived to manufacture a superb second-half score in spite of the fact they were short-handed with prop Cameron Ward in the sin-bin to protect their hard-fought lead.

Much of their better moments featured stand-off Matt Cannon, of Irish descent and in Edinburgh on business for two years. It’s good for Boroughmuir that he was known to some of their sevens exponents and on today’s evidence he is a decidedly useful acquisition. He seems blessed with some exquisite hands and a keen game head too.

Yet it seemed to this observer that the most influential man a-field was Hawks scrum-half Kenny Sinclair. Now 32, he continues to play with the wit, imagination and grit that characterised his appearances at professional level and on the international 7s circuit.

Hawks took the lead with a second minute penalty by Ruaridh Jackson and there was an element of good fortune in

Boroughmuir’s reply as the referee and stand-side touch-judge both missed an apparent knock-on by Calum Cusiter in the wake of a concerted driven maul by the home pack. Boroughmuir recycled and when ball was moved right Cannon scampered in for their opening try.

Back came Hawks. From Sinclair’s hounding of his opposite number Cusiter, a turnover was secured. Sinclair then punted downfield forcing Muir to concede a lineout. Hawks rumbled and rolled from that platform and close-range ruck ball saw Jackson chip through for Rory Kerr to collect and dot down their first try. Jackson converted and the visitors led 10-5.

Kerr then had to look lively in defence to get back to nail Rory Couper after Sean Crombie had linked as Cannon again orchestrated a promising attack.

Jackson missed a 34th minute penalty for the Hawks and as the game continued to ebb and flow a home counter-attack, instigated by Couper and Steven Ruddick, saw wing Tom Bury take the outside route only for Cusiter to fail to hold his inside pass as the try line loomed.

In first-half injury time Hawks lock Ally Dale was sin-binned for side entry at a ruck and Elgan O’Donnell landed the penalty to leave Muir with an 8-10 deficit.

Their numerical advantage was exploited two minutes into the second-half as from a close-range scrum, No 8 Ben Fisher sent Angus Martyn in for the try which O’Donnell converted for 15-10.

Jackson landed a 57th minute penalty to keep Hawks very much in the contest, all the more so as Ward was sin-binned for his trouble in slowing down ball, which had resulted in the award.

Adrift by those two points it was time for Hawks to be clinical, yet a combination of stuffy home defence and, perhaps a lack of patience by the visitors – Sinclair had an attempted drop-goal charged down when retention of ball might have paid more dividends – did not help their cause.

Instead it was the home side that plundered try number three. Cannon launched full-back Ruddick at pace down the middle and the faithful openside, Martyn, popped up on his left shoulder to accept gleefully the 2 on 1 pass for a fine unconverted score.

Suitably riled, Hawks fired their own riposte two minutes later as stand-off Iain Noble floated a long left-to-right pass, Jackson linked and Kerr finished for his own second try. Jackson could not convert and Muir enjoyed the lions’ share of possession in the closing ten minutes to seal their 12th win of the league season.

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