Glasgow Hawks Rugby Club Tangent Graphic

Match against Watsonians (05-Jan-2008)

Date: Saturday, 5th January 2008
Kickoff time: 15:00
Against: Watsonians
Team: Hawks 1st XV
Location: Away
Competition: Premiership Division 1
Final score: 17 - 32 (lost)

Let's make it a year before we lose again

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View Gallery""Why not go through not just the rest of the season but also the rest of the year unbeaten?" Kyle Traynor"Watsonians 32 - 17 Glasgow Hawks
WATSONIAN skipper Kyle Traynor set his side the daunting challenge of going through 2008 unbeaten in all matches after their 32-17 win over Glasgow Hawks at Myreside in the Scottish Hydro Electric Premiership.

While the present Hawks side are a pale shadow even of the side that captured the Scottish Cup last term, this was, nevertheless, a comprehensive display by 'Sonians who, in the words of prop forward Traynor, "blew away the festive cobwebs" in some style with a four try salvo.

The touchdowns came from influential playmaker Andrew Skeen, Willie Lipp, Bernie Hennessey and Ally Rowe, whose effort in rounding off a move covering the length of the pitch was pure class.

Traynor added: "We said going into 2008 that we wanted to further develop momentum stemming from finishing the old year with wins over Boroughmuir and Melrose.

"Now that we are up and running, some guys who might have been posted missing at key times during matches early on the season are back on board.

"If that attitude is maintained then why not go through not just the rest of the season but also the rest of the year unbeaten?"

If that happens then 'Sonians will certainly reclaim the Scottish Cup previously held in 2005, while Traynor believes leapfrogging second place Currie and third place Ayr, whom they currently trail by a couple of points, to finish runners-up to champions elect Boroughmuir is another prime target.

"There is no shortage of goals and what is really encouraging is the enjoyment that is coming through in the way we play.

"Conditions weren't too easy, particularly in the first half against the strong wind (which saw 'Sonians turn around 11-10 in front] but all credit to the guys for continually putting emphasis on a 15-man approach, including second row Torrie Callander and scrum half Eddie Howe, who are really hitting form.

"This was shown in the quality of some of our tries, particularly the first of those by Ally Rowe."

That score, if recorded in a Six Nations encounter, would be replayed endlessly since the genesis lay close to the 'Sonian goal-line, where Skeen showed deft footwork in shrugging off two defenders to break out of the 22.

From there, Carl McWilliam linked and Bernie Hennessey lit the try fuse by cutting across field. The ball passed through several pairs of hands before Rowe feigned to go left, then left Ruaridh Jackson for dead on an outside break into the opposite corner from where Skeen had initiated the counter.

That try – Rowe's sixth of the season – put 'Sonians 11-3 in front, but an equally crucial moment came with Hawks hitting back straightaway, as Traynor admitted.

"I dropped a pass which put us under pressure and when we conceded a penalty Hawks claimed field position from which they took advantage of weak defence in our midfield to score through Stewart Smith," he said.

"Fortunately it proved a wake up call and we never looked back, until they got a consolation score in injury time."

Despite modestly owning up to a handling error, former Edinburgh prospect Traynor must lie in the front rank of Watsonian players staking strong claims to club international caps, starting next month in Wales.

Here, he says, a trip to Dundee next week could be vital for several reasons – not least the fact that Tayside coach Ian Rankin is a clubs' international selector, so every opportunity must be taken to impress in that fixture.

"While I would love to figure in the clubs' international team, one player who must be close is our centre, Dougie Brown, who has been consistently outstanding all season," Traynor said.

"As for the Dundee trip, we need no reminding that our record there is poor. Had we won the corresponding fixture last season we'd have edged out Currie for the title."

Much has still to be proved by a resurgent 'Sonians. Here they topped the 30-point mark for only the fourth time this season, and paid acute attention to the basics.

Another feature was the way in which they drove over to claim possession just as it came out on the Hawks side in playing the margins to near perfection.

Traynor said: "We were pinged once early on for offside and resolved to take a step back, but generally our timing was good."

It took Watsonians only three minutes to hit the front with Skeen punishing offside after Hennessey had set up the opening with the first of several eye-catching bursts supported by Callander.

With eight minutes gone, Skeen had doubled the advantage. Although Jackson then opened Hawks'account, 'Sonians and their powerhouse back row were well worth an 11-3 lead. However, this was reduced by lapses in concentration that allowed the visitors to remain in touch at the interval.

On the restart, the wily Rowe forced a deliberate knock on from a chip ahead, and when Skeen found touch at the cornerflag another strong line-out enabled Lipp to rumble over.

Two minutes later the contest was killed stone dead when rookie full-back Scott Kennedy, rarely tested in defence, ventured up into attack to link with Rowe, before Lipp and Callander combined to send Hennessey clear. Again, Skeen converted.

But for a forward pass from Skeen to the overlapping Brown a four-try bonus would have been wrapped up inside 50 minutes, but the stand-off atoned in 62 minutes by being on hand to gather after substitute Malasai Mailo had breached the defence.

Skeen's try – his fifth of the season – contributed to a 17-point haul. It takes his aggregate to 160 from 14 appearances, including one off the bench.

Test referee Rob Dickson could have blown for full-time at that stage given Watsonians superiority, but it was more a measure of Hawks regaining some pride than Edinburghers knocking off early that resulted in the scoreboard remaining unchanged until Jackson's late effort, which he also converted.

Scorers: Watsonians: Tries: Rowe, Skeen, Lipp, Hennessey. Conversions: Skeen (3). Penalties: Skeen (2). Glasgow Hawks: Tries: Smith, Jackson. Cons: Jackson (2). Pen: Jackson.

Watsonians: S Kennedy, A Rowe, J Wood, D Brown, C McWilliam, A Skeen, E Howe, K Traynor, captain, S Lawrie, K Coertze, T Callander, W Lipp, J Abraham, B Henessey, G Hills. Subs: N Hart, G Wood, M Mailo, C Sorbie, S Paulo.

Glasgow Hawks: R Jackson, S Gordon, captain, S Smith, M Davids, R Munday, I Noble, K Sinclair, G Strain, J Maclay, G Macfadyen, A Dale, J Clemence, S Kidd, G Francis, N Cadell. Subs: G Mories, J Morrissey, C Aghanya, S Biggart, R Neal.

Referee: R Dickson (St Andrews).

Glasgow Hawks endured another bleak day as they plunged to a comprehensive 32-17 defeat at the hands of Watsonians at Myreside.

Most of the damage was done in the early stages of the second half in the Premiership Division One match after the home troops had led by a single point at the break.

Andy Skeen was the man who made the difference between the sides, gathering a try, three conversions and two penalties for Watsonians, whose other touchdowns came from Ally Rowe, Willie Lipp and Bernie Hennessy.

The Hawks tries were claimed by Stuart Smith and Ruaridh Jackson, who also landed two conversions and a penalty.

Team list for this match
Grant Strang

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