Glasgow Hawks


Alex Gordon reports from Rubislaw
Alex Gordon reports from a wet Aberdeen

Aberdeen Grammar 20 Glasgow Hawks 23

“I like kicking in the gutter and
Wishing I was lucky
Wishing I was lucky, wishing I was lucky
I was wishing I was lucky.”

It was Wet, Wet, Wet all across Scotland on Saturday, from Glasgow to Aberdeen it poured down in biblical proportions. What did it matter? Well it had a huge impact on the game at Rubislaw. Arguably, any Glasgow side should be able to cope with weather conditions and Hawks did so admirably.
From the kick off Hawks had the best of the action as Grammar’s Tom Preece knocked on, conceding the scrum. Hawks pack took the opportunity to put a big squeeze on Aberdeen supplying a solid base for Ross Miller to pick up combining with Sean Yacoubian. As they went down the blind-side, Haddon McPherson was unlucky to knock on when tackled. The early pressure saw Aberdeen concede a penalty which Scott Wight slotted over with ease. (0-3)
Aberdeen’s restart saw them immediately on the attack and Hawks were quickly reduced to 14 men when wing Ally MacLay was shown a yellow card and given a mandatory 10 minute break as he tripped an Aberdeen player who was making a break. The consequent penalty, just inside the Hawks half saw Aberdeen break through the Hawks’ defence. They attack was stopped short before Gordi Reid went over from short range. Stand-off, Grant Clow who had a wretched day place kicking missed the conversion but Hawks were now behind. (3-5)
Both sides struggled to make headway as the rain increased in intensity, but Jack Steele managed to put Hawks in the lead just before 20 minutes had passed with a long range kick from half-way. (5-6)
This narrow lead was quickly extended when from the restart they put Aberdeen under immediate pressure. The pack mauled the ball forward and pushing home their advantage Hawks recycled at will, before it fell to hooker Jack MacFarlane, to go over for Hawks’ first try. As Wight added the extras Hawks had established a clear advantage. (5-13)
Hawks pack had a clear advantage, Brendan Cullinane dominated pro-prop, Reid, in the scrum and his brother in the front row Stephen Findlay was scrimmaging outstandingly. In the loose as well, Findlay was also causing Aberdeen difficulty with a series of hard drives, which had the vociferous Hawks support bellowing his nickname. Hawks spent much of the half in the visiting 22 and it came as a blow that instead of turning this advantage into points they found themselves conceding the score.
Aberdeen were defending deep in their own 22 when the ball came the big Fijian winger Peceli Nacamavuto who raced through the watching Hawks defence. He ran out of his 22, passing his own ten metre line and into the visitors half. He put he pass to Will Wardlaw who was running in support before the centre put the scoring pass to Harry Duthie for a sensational try. (10-13)
As the second half started, Hawks were rueing such a small lead after so much pressure. The pack put the screws on Aberdeen with another dominant scrimmage in just under ten minutes, Miller picked up from the base and New Zealand debutant, Dan Smart, put a clever kick over the Aberdeen cover and towards the home line. Haddon McPherson ran onto the ball and went over for his 7th try of the current season. With Wight converting there was a clear lead which the Warriors stand-off extended with a penalty a few minutes later. (10-23)
They game was grinding to a slow halt and Aberdeen tried to master the conditions. Just after the hour Preece was over for the home side to narrow the gap to 8 points. (15-23)
Both sides seemed out on their feet as the wet conditions and heavy pitch sapped the energy levels of even the fittest players. A drop kick in 72 minutes came off the posts and, whilst not troubling the scorer put the home side in trouble and they were fortunate to scramble the ball away. The closing passage saw Aberdeen put Hawks under pressure and when Nacamavuto went over for a late try, it secured two points for Aberdeen. (20-23)
There was a sense of blessed relief when Smart put the ball into touch to end the match as Hawks finally found themselves on the winning side of a tight score after taking so many losing bonuses. There was a degree of luck about the result but it was luck that had eluded Hawks all season and as Arnold Palmer said, “It's a funny thing, the more I practice the luckier I get.”

This article was posted on 20-Oct-2013, 09:18 by Hugh Barrow.

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