Heart­break for Hawks as drawn tie trig­gers ‘rule’

League/cup dou­ble still on for He­riot’s af­ter ‘away’ vic­tory

The Herald - Herald Sport - - BT CUP SEMI-FINALS -

GLAS­GOW Hawks’ hopes of play­ing in the fi­nal of the Scot­tish Cup at BT Mur­ray­field were blown strato­spher­i­cally high not by the play of their semi­fi­nal op­po­nents, He­ri­ots, but by a wretched rule to de­cide the win­ners of a drawn match.

The rule in ques­tion states that in the event of no de­ci­sive re­sult be­ing achieved at the end of ex­tra time it is the ‘away’ team that goes through. And in a bu­reau­cratic stroke Glas­gow Hawks were out of the Scot­tish Cup.

Nei­ther of the coach­ing teams seemed aware of the reg­u­la­tion and in­deed the ref­eree Lloyd Lin­ton and his two as­sis­tants had to seek clar­i­fi­ca­tion be­fore declar­ing the win­ners.

It was a cruel way for Hawks to bow out of the com­pe­ti­tion and in many ways it was equally un­sat­is­fac­tory for the vic­tors. “I gen­uinely feel sorry for Hawks. They put in a tremen­dous ef­fort over one hun­dred min­utes of rugby. I’m gut­ted for them in the sense they haven’t lost the game.” said the He­riot’s head coach, Phil Smith, adding : “It was a scrappy game but we’ve played very lit­tle hard rugby in the past few weeks.”

The match threat­ened to be a dread­ful deja vu for Smith, whose He­riot’s side lost to Haw­ick at a barely playable Mans­field Park in last year’s semi-fi­nal af­ter hav­ing an 80th minute ‘try’ dis­al­lowed.

Twelve months on, there seemed to be restora­tive jus­tice for He­riot’s when at the same point in the game on Satur­day, the Gold­e­nacre side scored a match­sav­ing try af­ter a de­fen­sive er­ror by Hawks.

He­riot’s had brought on their Scot­land un­der-20 scrum half, Hugh Fraser, who made a telling con­tri­bu­tion with a teas­ing kick that sent the ball bob­bling close to the touch­line and to­wards the cor­ner. Hawks’ re­place­ment full back Pierre Mounal ap­peared to have con­trol of the situation but his fail­ure to kick the ball into touch al­lowed the fast ap­proach­ing Char­lie Simp­son to score in the cor­ner and level the points tally at 10-10.

Ear­lier He­riot’s had opened the scor­ing with a try by flanker Ian Wil­son from a driv­ing maul, coun­tered in the sec­ond half by the one gen­uine piece of rugby that gave Hawks wing Robert Beattie a score on the over­lap. Then from an­other driv­ing maul Fin­lay Gil­lies put Hawks into the lead only for Simp­son to spoil the party on the stroke of full time .

The game, played in wet and windy con­di­tions at Old An­nies­land and which saw four play­ers, two on each side, sent to the bin, could have been set­tled by goal kick­ing but on the day both Jack Steele for Hawks and John Sem­ple for He­riot’s could not hit the tar­get. Most pal­pa­ble was Sem­ple’s mis­cued kick in the sec­ond pe­riod of ex­tra time, which , had it been suc­cess­ful, would have given He­riot’s vic­tory with­out re­sort to ar­cane rules.

For Hawks it was a dis­mal end to their fif­teens sea­son but for He­riot’s, who face Cur­rie on Satur­day in the league semi-fi­nal play-off at Malleny Park, there is now the dream of a league/ cup dou­ble Scor­ers: Glas­gow Hawks: Tries – R Beattie, Gil­lies. He­riot’s: Tries – Wil­son, Simp­son

HALT: Glas­gow’s Bren­dan McGroarty launches a tackle on Roan van Heer­den

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