GLASGOW HAWKS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF BELOW PAR PERFORMANCE BY SELKIRK TO TAKE THE POINTS

Selkirk fly-half Callum Anderson just manages to go over in the corner for Selkirk’s first try on Saturday.

Selkirk centre Ben Pickles launches a counter-attack in Saturday’s game against Glasgow Hawks at Philiphaugh.

Declan Broatch, who made his senior debut for Selkirk on Saturday, spots a gap in the Glasgow Hawks defence.

Ryan Cottrell prepares to send out a pass. Shortly afterwards the Selkirk full-back had to be stretchered from the field with a serious leg injury.

[Photos – GRANT KINGHORN PICS]


SELKIRK 10, GLASGOW HAWKS 20

SO strong was the wind at Philiphaugh on Saturday, both teams’ nameplates were blown clean off the Selkirk scoreboard before kick-off. By the end of the match, the home side’s hopes of registering their first victory since November had also been blown off-course.
Already missing skipper Ewan MacDougall through illness, Selkirk’s cause was further hampered by three second half injuries to full-back Ryan Cottrell, number eight Andrew Cochrane and centre Ben Pickles.
Play was held up for several minutes while Cottrell – who had only just returned to playing after being sidelined for 17 weeks by a shoulder injury – was stretchered from the field with a torn MCL.
Cochrane (suspected dislocated kneecap) and Pickles (head knock) followed Cottrell to the touchline soon afterwards, and it was while Selkirk were reduced to 13 men that Hawks scored their second try.
Playing with the wind at their backs in the first half, Selkirk struggled to win any meaningful possession in the game’s opening exchanges.
After 10 minutes, spilled line-out ball on Selkirk’s own throw-in saw Hawks launch a swift counter-attack, with the visitors’ talented wing, Ronan Joy, completing the move by crossing for a try.
Despite camping near the visitors’ 22 for long spells, handling errors and turnovers frustrated Selkirk’s progress until, in the 31st minute, fly-half Callum Anderson managed to dummy his way over in the corner for a much-needed touchdown, levelling the scores at 5-5.
After the interval Selkirk played more enterprising rugby, but went behind to a bizarre score. A downfield kick from Hawks looked to be going over the dead ball line, but remained just in play. Home skipper Ross Nixon appeared to have his hands on the ball, but Matthew Stewart rushed in to touch down and referee Ben Blain awarded the try.
In the 51st minute Selkirk managed to draw level with an opportunist try from prop Luke Pettie, his first of the season, but a Stewart penalty in the final minutes edged Hawks 13-10 ahead.
Just when it looked as though Selkirk would secure a consolation losing bonus point, a loose pass allowed Harry Hughes to gather the ball on the right-hand touchline and sprint over for the visitors’ third try.
After the match, Selkirk forwards coach Darren Hoggan said although the players had upped their game in the second half, an inability to look after ball ultimately cost them dear.
“Hawks were better at keeping possession, and played with more tempo than us. Our injuries didn’t help, but you can’t gift two soft tries as we did in the second half and expect to win a match.
“I was pleased with the way Declan Broatch performed when he came off the bench to make his debut, and he carried ball well. The boys know they’ll have to get stuck in at training this week and bounce straight back for Friday night’s game at Melrose.”
A plus-point for Selkirk was the return of prop Zen Szwagrzak to the home side, the Polish internationalist having last played in Selkirk’s opening league fixture against Musselburgh.
The Four Seasons ‘Selkirk Man of the Match’ award went to wing Callum McNeill.
SELKIRK: R Cottrell; C McNeill, B Pickles, R Nixon, C Young; C Anderson, J Hamilton; L Pettie, B Riddell, Z Szwagrzak, T Brown, A McColm, R Cook, S McClymont, A Cochrane. Replacements: J Bett, M Haldane, D Broach, S Clark, A Penman.
GLASGOW HAWKS: M Stewart; H Hughes, J Pinkerton, B McGroarty, R Joy; C Harrison, S Greig; G Strain, P Cairncross©, E Rintoul, R Campbell, S Leckey, L Stewart, I Carmichael, L McNamara. Replacements: I Totik, A Alagilly, C Sreenan, F Burgess, J Thompson.

Referee: Ben Blain (SRU).

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