Hawick 16 Aberdeen Grammar Rugby 23
Aberdeen Grammar coach Kevin Wyness was delighted to have launched his first game in charge with a Scottish Premiership win against Hawick but admitted that his side had been the “luckier” of the two on a greasy, difficult Mansfield Park pitch.
Fortune may have favoured his side but there was no hiding the delight on the new coach’s face.
He said: “I’m delighted to come away with four points. We were just a bit luckier.
“Both sides tried to play rugby, but there were lots of mistakes out there. It could have gone either way, though we got the breaks.
“It’s a great start to our season, winning away from home, especially in the Borders.”
Having had most of the play in an entertaining first half, the Greens looked to be in control. But two tries either side of half-time from hooker Sam Bingham turned the game the way of the Rubislaw side.
An efficient Grammar pack was well supported by the back three of Will Wardlaw, Angus Rennie and Erlend Oag.
Full back Wardlaw, who normally plays in the centre, turned in an outstanding performance – attacking and defending in equal good measure, while in the centre the new pairing of Harry Duthie and Peceli Nacamavuto were highly effective against the home team who were boosted by the presence of Edinburgh professional Gregor Hunter at sstand off.
Hunter and his Grammar counterpart Rob Aloe exchanged early penalties before Hawick momentum enabled Gary Johnstone to overlap for the first try of the day. With Hunter adding the conversion it was 10-3 for the home side.
Grammar then enjoyed a good spell during which Rennie, Nacamavuto and former Dundee favourite Duthie all went close. But it was left to Aloe to add a second penalty to reduce the gap. However, Hunter cancelled it out with a monster effort of his own from the half way mark.
Bingham then stepped up with his two touchdowns neither of which was converted, as Grammar led by the irrepressible Fraser started to bully the home pack.
With the wind in their sails, scrum half Morgan Ward nipped over for a third try, this time converted by Aloe.
Hawick had the last word to come within a converted score of the visitors total when Hunter kicked his third penalty, though captain Greig Ryan should have made it safe, electing to chip ahead inside the 22 when he had numbers left and right.
It mattered little as shortly after referee David Changleng blew for time to give Grammar a fine start to the new campaign and a third win this century at Mansfield Park.
Hawick: Ali Weir; Neill McColm, Lee Armstrong, Gary Johnstone, Greg Anderson; Gregor Hunter, Bruce Campbell; Shawn Muir, Lindsey Gibson, Liam Launders; Rob McAlpine, Kieran Williston; Stuart Graham, Keith Davies, Bruce McNeil.
Replacements: Matt Landels, Wullie Blacklock, Craig Smith, Scott McLeod, James Parker.
Aberdeen: Will Wardlw; Angus Rennie, Harry Duthie, Peceli Nacamavuto, Erlend Oag; Rob Aloe, Morgan Ward; Matt Dixon, Sam Bingham, Struan Cessford; Ed Nimmons, Jamie Metcalfe; Rob Cessford, Greig Ryan (c), Tom Preece
Replacements: Mike Cox, Nicki Fraser, Tont McGinness, Mark Ryan, Luke Earle-Wright.