Glasgow Hawks


Alex Gordin reports on HERIOTS match
Glasgow Hawks 13 Heriots 18

“I hurt myself today,
To see if I'd still feel.
I focus on the pain,
The only thing that's real.”
Hawks gathered a fifth losing bonus point against Heriots, in a painfully familiar match “It was déjà vu, all over again.” As New York Yankee Yogi Berra once observed. There is a temptation on a Sunday after the match to take out one of the previous reports, dust it down, change the names of the scorers and then post it in.
For those who have been to watch Hawks this season, they began the match in a familiar pattern starting in a high tempo. The half-back pairing of Sean Yacoubian and Scott Wight were playing together for the first time. Indeed, the scrum-half was making his first appearance this season. An early scrum saw him penalised for a squint feed but he adapted promptly to the change of emphasis in how the scrum was being refereed this season and he combined well with his pack for the rest of the match.
This minor hiccup passed, Hawks found themselves with an attacking scrum on Heriots’ 10 metre line. A strong shove put the visitors on the back foot as Ross Miller picked up at the base. He offloaded yo Wight who slipped a pass to Jack Steele. The centre burst through the middle and seemed to get swallowed up by the cover before the ball went out to Haddon McPherson who ran into the right corner at the hockey field end. Wight missed a difficult conversion and Hawks held a narrow advantage. (5-0)
In the close Hawks were powerful in the scrum and the lineout, but there were unfamiliar handling errors as they struggled to adapt to the stiff breeze as it caught the ball and took it away from the receivers. Heriots always looked threatening but seemed to suffer the same problem as their hosts when passing the ball.
Hawks had been leading for ten minutes when the Nails put together an excellent passage of continuity dragging the defence across the park. Hawks shape had been pulled out of place when Max Learmonth broke passed a Hawks front row player in the back line. The Heriots’ centre passed to lock, Russel Nimmo who offloaded to Keith Buchan who went over in the pavilion end to tie the scores in 17 minutes. Scrum-half, Graham Wilson converted and the advantage was Heriots. (5-7)
There was little to worry the scoreboard for the rest of the half as both sides battled away in the midfield yet neither presenting any real threat. After 20 minutes, Heriots spurned a goalable penalty opting for touch. Their folly highlighted as Angus Hamilton stole the subsequent through allowing Wight to clear the danger. Just before the half hour Hawks mauled a ball at least 20 metres following a catch and drive, however they were penalised as they rolled into the Nails 22. Steele almost took an interception as he anticipated a pass in the visitors’ back line and was unlucky to knock on.
The second half saw Heriots come at Hawks like so many East coast banshees, the home side were on the back foot from the kick off. Heriots’ pressure saw the Glasgow side under pressure and after 4 minutes they conceded a penalty which Wilson slotted over (5-10).
S Hawks kicked off, Heriots immediately kicked the ball back at them and were camped in the home 22 looking threatening once again. Hawks were defending desperately as Heriots recycled the ball came back to Buchan who had Liam Steele in support. The full-back put the pass to his support and it fell to Learmonth went to go over for the try. (5-15)
That the second half seemed to have barely started and Hawks seemed to have been stunned by this it was 10 minutes before Hawks entered the Nails’ half and a further five before they got into the 22. Time seemed to be running out despite ther being more than 20 minutes to go. After the hour mark the pack were pressurising Heriots and there was a sustained period of pressure. It was now Heriots turn to defend desperately. Hawks were closing on the line when they were awarded a penalty in the 22, Miller tapped and went offloading to Gus Hamilton who then found Stephen Leckie. With the line creeping into sight Ally MacLay burst onto the ball from the ruck, he had Miller in support and s he was hauled down short Andrew Linton appeared to take the ball and plunge over. (10-15)
As the game seemed to draw to a close and Wilson slotted over a penalty with the game closing, the game seemed to be slipping away. (10- 18)
Hawks controversially seemed penalised by poor decisions the most blatant came in 75 minutes. Robert Beattie burst clear in the midfield and cleared the cover at pace pulling away from the flailing defence. Just as he was about to score under the posts the sharp shrill call of the whistle came from the referee on the touch-line back just inside the Hawks half the linesman stood, arm outstretched with the flag waving in the breeze. All were called back as the referee spoke to Hamilton about a tackle which when reviewed looked legitimate.
Aggrieved now, Hawks threw themselves into Heriots half and it was past time when they were awarded a penalty which Wight converted as the last score. (13-18)
There was a feeling of disappointment and incredulity at what had happened, again… Yet Hawks have not left a single match empty handed and the platform they are setting week after week can only come good, sooner rather than later hopefully.
“If I could start again,
A million miles away,
I would keep myself,
I would find a way.”

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