GHA Gazelles 36 Anniesland Hawks 0

A meaty front five, some well-seasoned backs, and a generous sprinkling of youthful vigour. If it sounds like a winning recipe, then it was. With newcomers Scott Pickens in the back row, and Andy Mallin in the centre, and Gus Innes, David Currie and Chris Miller all becoming available, the mid week selection crisis was overcome, and then some.

The newly formed Anniesland Hawks visited Braidholm on the back of a league win at Hamilton, but were unlucky enough to meet a Gazelles team featuring not just brawn, but pace and invention.

A debut try from Pickens, at the heart of a driving maul settled GHA. A second score followed in quick succession, the Kiwi again featuring as he picked up from a scrum and fed scrum-half Booth, who nipped in at the corner flag.

Two scores ahead, and the Gazelles began to turn the screw. The Hawks scrum, under intense pressure, were unable to take their own ball. The Gazelles’ back row, arguably the fastest trio on the pitch scavenged relentlessly. And the backs, with Innes calling the shots at 10, and David Shields switching from centre to wing, made full use of the possession secured by the pack.

But credit to Hawks, who soaked up this pressure until the second half. Their defence did then crack, with first Harkness squeezing over from short range, then Booth adding his second, supporting the threequarters to run in on the right wing.

And in the last quarter of the game, with David Currie positively airborne in the lineout, and the pack taking scrum after scrum, slick handling and support saw McLean add number five, skipping round the wing to score under the posts, and finally Currie, surely running on Duracells, sprinting through a tiring Hawks’ defence to make it six tries.

Gus Innes added three conversions along the way.

Hawks were unlucky to lose their stand off early in the game, but did not give up against a very strong Gazelle line-up. One last mention should go to referee Jim Biggin, who had an excellent game.

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