Hawick v Ayr
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17th September 2016 - HAWICK 28, AYR 43

In a BT Premiership match played in perfect conditions at a glorious Mansfield Park, the Greens lost out 28 43 in game that provided the home side with their first point of the league campaign by scoring four tries.

All the pre match hype surrounded Scotland fly half, Finn Russell, who was making his comeback from a serious injury at the end of last season. Such was the interest in Russell’s comeback, the game attracted Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend and Scotland coach Vern Cotter as interested spectators.

Hawick started strongly and in the second minute full back, Neil Renwick, found a nice gap to score an excellent try which he also converted.

After 20 minutes the visitors had a score disallowed after which a mass brawl took place which saw Ayr reduced to 14 men when lock, Scott Sutherland, was shown a yellow card for punching.

This did not deter the visitors and they scored soon after with the help of some poor home tackling, Finn Russell added the conversion to level the scores.

The home side were showing much more commitment than in previous games and captain, Bruce McNeil, scored a well taken try in the corner which Renwick converted.

Just before half time, Finn Russell’s brother Archie Russell scored a try which had to be confirmed by the Assistant Referee as it looked like the ball had bounced, Finn Russell added the conversion to level the scores at half time.

The men from Millbrae seemed to go up a gear after half time and visiting backs Ross Curle and Finn Russell showed their class with quick tries with Russell adding one conversion.

On the hour mark, Ayr No 8, Blair McPherson, also scored for the visitors to give them a lead of 31 14.

The Greens were still working hard and deserved the next try when captain Bruce McNeil scored a short range try converted by Kirk Ford to narrow the gap to 10 points.

However, the visitors showed their experience and power when Archie Russell and Will Bordill scored two quick fire tries with Frazier Climo converting one of them to take the score to 43 21.

Hawick were showing a positive never-say-die attitude and were awarded a bonus point for their fourth try from their recruit from South Africa, winger Wesley Hamilton, after good work from replacement Dalton Redpath.

This was a marked improvement from the Greens to recent performances and they deserved their bonus point for scoring their 4 tries. Next week’s home game against Boroughmuir is sure to be another titanic struggle and the same commitment as today will be required if they are to secure their first league win of the season.

You can watch the whole match here