Nothing but hard graft ahead for struggling Watsonians

Rory Steele scores Watsonians second try despite the attentions of Hawick player Darcy Graham
Rory Steele scores Watsonians second try despite the attentions of Hawick player Darcy Graham
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Watsonians back rower Euan Dods insists the Myreside men have the attributes to address their recent poor performances.

But Dods, who was captain for the day as Sonians succumbed 36-31 to a Hawick side scrapping to escape from the foot of the BT Premiership table, admits that the task will call for hard graft.

“We just have to dust ourselves down. No-one else is going to do it for us. We are in this position now. We need to work hard. It’s only going to come from working hard. There is no easy medicine and no quick fix – we just need to work hard and hopefully turn it round,” said Dods, who joined from Gala in the summer.

“If we get beat when we are giving 100 per cent you can’t argue but unfortunately there’s times, certainly over the past three weeks, when we have come up short and that’s not good enough.”

Bidding to erase the memory of a hefty defeat against Heriot’s seven days earlier, Sonians started well against a Hawick side battling to move away from the foot of the table, with a try from Keith Young and an Andrew Chalmers penalty.

The visitors struck back with a converted try by John Coutts before a second penalty from Chalmers and a converted Rory Steele touchdown took the Sonians lead into double figures. However, in the final minute of the half, Callum Mackintosh raced in for Hawick and Ali Weir converted before slotting a penalty to leave the home side with a single point advantage at the break.

Chalmers added three more points as Sonians restarted strongly, but Hawick managed to take control and tries from Bruce McNeil, Darcy Graham and Ross Gibson, plus two conversions from Weir, handed the Borderers a 36-24 lead with five minutes to play – another Chalmers penalty being the home side’s only response.

A final desperate flourish by the hosts yielded a converted penalty try and sparked a desperate finish. But was too late for Sonians, who now have a free weekend before facing Selkirk in the BT Cup.

“It was massively disappointing,” said Dods. “We started both halves really encouragingly but when we had pressure at important times we never took advantage. Fair play to Hawick, when they had their chances they took them. You can’t ship 36 points in a game and expect to win it.”

The result was bad news for Boroughmuir as it means that Hawick have moved away from the foot of the table, while Muir’s 21-14 defeat away to Stirling County means the Meggetland men now occupy the bottom slot.

Dale Robertson touched down to give Muir an early lead and Chris Laidlaw converted. However, the hosts fought back to square matters at half-time and went on to establish a 21-7 lead before Craig Keddie bagged a converted score to secure a narrow-defeat bonus point.

Heriot’s travelled to face Ayr at Millbrae, looking to repeat the win they had achieved at the same venue in last season’s play-off final. However, there was no repeat of that outcome as the Goldenacre side’s recent run of good results came to a juddering halt with a 30-14 defeat.

A Michael Liness try, converted by Alex Hagart, kept Heriot’s in the game at the break, which they reached 20-7 in arrears. The hoped-for fight back failed to materialise for Heriot’s and all they could muster was a self-converted score by Hagart.

The loss for Heriot’s was a boost for Currie, who stepped up the challenge for a play-off spot with an impressive 49-24 win at Gala.

Hamish Bain, Harvey Elms and Ben Robins scored a try apiece while Jamie Forbes kicked a conversion and a penalty to see Currie into a 20-10 half-time lead. Robbins secured the bonus-point score before a final quarter flurry produced touchdowns for Ross Weston, Robbie Nelson, and Charlie Shiel.