Gala 29 Glasgow Hawks 14
“Yellow fever presents in most cases in humans with fever, chills, anorexia, nausea, muscle pain (with prominent backache) and headache, which generally subsides after several days.”
In the case of the Hawks, “yellow fever” could refer to the number of yellow cards they have received collectively since returning to the RBS Preniership. If you look at the statistics, there have been 9 in 13 matches and four other sides have had 10 so Hawks have been no worse than their competitors. But, if you look at the play on the pitch, you have the distinct impression Hawks are making things a lot harder for themselves than they should be.
The match actually started well for Hawks, the pack were dominant from the first kick of the ball. Indeed Hawks crossed the home line three times in the opening minutes, with the referee’s judgement that they had been held up over the line only preventing the try. It was almost inevitable when captain, Andrew Linton, went over from close range after six minutes and with Scott Wight converting the Glasgow side were ahead in quick time. (0-7)
Hawks continued to dominate the set piece and continued to threaten a Gala side who lacked composure. The forwards soared I the lineout with a highly mobile pack using the catch and drive to fantastic effect.
When Euan Scott slotted over a penalty in 18 minutes, it seemed to offer the Maroons a respite rather than a comeback, but unfortunately Scott was to take a bigger role later. (3-7)
Ross Miller came on just before the half hour mark slotting into his familiar back row slot. As he entered the field, the forwards were hammering away at the line and were awarded a 5 metre scrum after they were again over the line. The pack pushed Gala back and Miller took the ball from his feet driving low and across the line for a try which Wight converted. (7-14)
Gala had imperceptibly crept back into the play and the centres Scott and Chris Auld looking dangerous with their running at the visiting midfield. It was now that Hawks imploded, Wight kicked a penalty from his own 10 metre line and it went through the in-goal area. Gala had a scrum from the spot Wight had kicked from. This seemed to offer little threat as Hawks were still on top in the set piece and indeed the put a squeeze on. However, Gala held square long enough to secure the ball which went from Grayson Hart to David O’Hagan. The home stand off put a pass to Scott who burst through on an angled run catching the hawks defence cold. He was through like a hot knife in butter and touched down beside the right hand upright, giving himself an easy conversion. From nowhere the home side were back in it. (10-14)
It was then that “yellow fever” struck, miller received a yellow card and was banished to the touchline for 10 minutes. 14 men were left to the work of 15 as Gala started to ask questions of the visitor’s defence. It feel to Gala’s wing, Grant Somerville, to put Gala ahead for the first time just before half-time, getting the scoring pass from Scott who was fast becoming the home sides torturer in chief. As Scott then added a conversion Gala went in at half –time with a 3 point lead. (17-14)
The second half started with Hawks still down to 10 mean and they were punished again within minutes of the restart. Gala created an overlap which saw scrum-half Hart put the ball to loose-head Rory Sutherland, who in turn was supported by hooker Callum Mackintosh. The Gala number 2 then put the scoring pass to back-row Scott Chapman, who was over for 5 points. Scott, surprisingly missed the conversion but Hawks had now conceded 12 points with 14 men on the field. (22-14)
The momentum had swung entirely In Gala’s direction and before ten minutes of the second half and unsurprisingly inside-centre, Scott, secured the bonus point and killed off Hawks chances with his second score. Another Gala line-break saw him evade the defence to go over for the try under the posts and he then closed the scoring for the game with his final conversion. (29-14)
There was still 30 minutes on the clock and whilst Hawks threatened a couple of times they also did well to contain any further scores from Gala. When the final whistle came Gala had given Hawks their biggest beating of the season and it was obvious to anyone watching that their position at the top of the table was well deserved.
However, for the small group of Hawks’ supporters at the match, you couldn’t help but feel that the side had been complicit in their own downfall.t