Aberdeen Grammar were brought down to earth with a bump by Glasgow Hawks at Balgray, despite winger Nathan Brown scoring a hat-trick of tries.
The Rubislaw side were never seriously in the game after losing three key players in the first half of the encounter.Head coach Ali O’Connor conceded injuries to prop Callum Reddish, lock Robin Cessford and No 8 Greig Ryan created major problems for the visitors.
He said: “Early changes always disrupt but we’ve got to got to have enough faith in players coming in for them to do a better job than they did.
“We’ve got to be able to adapt and carry on playing our game but the whole of the second half it just wasn’t quite there.
“Credit to Hawks. They stepped it up and took their chances but we are bitterly disappointed with our lack of composure. “Our error and penalty count were through the roof. Last week was a positive step. This week was two back, so we’ll need to regroup and come back stronger for the trip to Selkirk.”
Grammar took advantage of the home side being reduced to 14 men after Gary Strain was sin-binned for a high tackle on centre Nat Coe when stand-off and captain Sam Knudson ran back a loose kick, enabling flanker Chris Jollands, Ryan and Cessford to set up winger Brown for his fourth try of the season.
Hawks tied up the scores through centre Matthew Stewart, only for the Rubislaw side to intercept a loose pass, allowing Brown to race in at the corner for a try that was converted by centre Tom Aplin.
The home side levelled with another try from Stewart, which was added to by stand-off Liam Brims, a former Caithness player, to make it 12-12 at half-time. Brims kicked an early penalty to give his side the lead for the first time but Grammar surged back, with 19-year-old Brown demonstrating his footballing skills by dribbling past the bemused home defence for his third touchdown of the afternoon and a remarkable six in only three games.
Aplin kicked the extras, giving the visitors hope of a win at 19-15. However, from that point on it was all Hawks, who cashed in on the reshuffled Grammar pack by running in two more tries, scored by hooker Paul Cairncross, and a last-minute bonus try ran in by full-back Callum Harrison.
The reliable Brims kicked two more penalties between the touchdown, while converting the two tries, giving him a tally of 15 for the afternoon which belonged to the Hawks who had shrugged off last weekend’s 50-15 defeat at Selkirk where Grammar will be the visitors on Saturday.
The good news for the Rubislaw side is Selkirk were beaten 34-17 by Currie Chieftains at Malleny Park.
© Jack Nixon
Glasgow Hawks: Callum Harrison; Chris McCarron, Matthew Stewart, David Milne, Murray Godsman; Liam Brims, Kristian Kay; Lyall Archer, Paul Cairncross, Gary Strain; Sione Halafihi, Andrew Kirkland; Gavin Armstrong, Struan Dow, Ryan Sweeney.
Replacements: Paul Henderson, Ewan Rintoul, Sandy Greig, Max Preistly, Nathan Moffat.
Aberdeen Grammar: Sean Mills; Nathan Brown, Nat Coe, Tom Aplin, Doug Russell; Sam Knudson, Tom Morrison; Calum Reddish, Jonny Spence, Matthias Schosser; Jordan Robertson, Robin Cessford; Chris Jollands, Will Alton, Greig Ryan.
Replacements: Ross Anderson, Morgan Martin, Cameron Robertson, Patrick Ritchie, Bryn Perrott.