Second half fight-back as Blacks lose to leaders
Berwick 20-27 Hawick Harlequins
It was as if Berwick had two different teams out against league leaders Hawick Quins on Saturday.
In the first half Berwick stood back and always seemed to be on the back foot very rarely putting pressure on the Hawick team’s defence.
Last week against Linlithgow, Berwick put unnecessary pressure on themselves by concedingtoo many penalties and this week proved no different.
It was from a penalty given away in front of the posts that Hawick opened the scoring, however. after the kick off Berwick pressurised the Hawick side who gave away a penalty allowing Jamie Pick to level the score.
The Hawick side then started to run at the Berwick defence and only a great steal from Tom Jackson and try saving tackle from Jamie Pick prevented the visitors from scoring tries.
Berwick then gave away a series of penalties allowing Hawick to kick for the corner and from the resulting throw in they drove over in the corner to score an unconverted try.
Berwick replied straight away when from another rare foray up field they were awarded a penalty which Pick again converted to make the score 6-10 to the visitors.
With the Berwick line out malfunctioning and the Quins pressing forward they scored a well deserved converted try to make the score 6-17.
Soon after Berwick gifted another easy penalty and just before half time the Quins number 5 crossed the Berwick line to score another converted try to put them in the ascendency and make the half time score 6-27.
After what must have been a rather interesting half-time pep talk from coach Colin Young a very different Berwick team kicked off the second half and in a reversal of roles it was the Quins who found themselves under pressure.
From a scrum the Berwick forwards drove through the Hawick pack to allowing number 8 Andrew Forrest the easiest of touch downs which Pick converted from a difficult angle.
To the frustration of both players and supporters alike this proved to be the last scrum, because having dominated the scrums the Hawick hooker went off injured and with no replacement the scrums went uncontested.
The Berwick players didn’t allow this to upset their dominance and it was the Hawick side who started to concede penalties. one resulting in a yellow card.
With Berwick running hard at the Quins and asking questions of their defence, from a great handling move Gareth Hill crossed the line to score a fine try which was once again converted by Pick to make the score 20-27 with five minutes of time remaining.
Berwick pushed hard for the equaliser but the damage had been done in the first half, but at least they salvaged a losing bonus point to remain fourth in the league.
Hopefully in future weeks we will only see the Berwick team that came out in the second half, a team with great attitude and commitment.
The Blacks are at home again this Saturday with a home game against Ross High kicking off at 3pm.