Hawick ................. 27

Watsonians .......... 24

Notwithstanding the minor embarrassment of failing to provide the line for Radio Borders' intended live coverage from Mansfield Park, new Premiership sponsors BT Scotland must be well pleased with their new rugby connection, such was the tone set by Hawick and Watsonians in a pulsating game on Saturday.

In all, there were seven tries scored, the last of these in injury time by centre Donald Hughes, that gave Hawick a dramatic, but not undeserved, win over their Edinburgh opponents.

The Hughes try also earned Hawick a bonus point and one which could be already valuable as the Greens set about improving on their fifth-finishing spot in the championship last season. Watsonians, too, took a bonus point, by dint of their small margin of defeat, and in turn the result of positive play by the Myresiders.

What was impressive about Hawick was the way in which their backs, after a jittery first half, found their form to turn good possession into points. For those who are sceptical about the value of sevens rugby in honing the skills of the XVs game, Hawick, consistent performers on the Border Spring Circuit, provided enough evidence to silence these doubters, with three second-half tries that were all about slick handling, and astutely angled running.

''We made a lot of handling errors in the first half, but I think that was down to nerves and the early season pressure. But this is a young back division, who,I think, can do well'' said Jim Renwick, the backs coach at Hawick.

Hawick, trailing 5-17 at half-time, began their fightback with a try by Gavin Douglas. Then Neil Douglas crossed for a glorious try, after taking the ball on the full from Kevin Reed's delicately placed kick.

Reed, too, was involved in the winning try, his reverse pass finding Stephen Cranston, another impressive performer for Hawick, who then put Hughes on his way to the line.

Hawick made their forward power count in scoring their only touchdown of the first half with a pushover try by Brian Renwick, who was making his return to Mansfield Park. It was the score Hawick desperately needed at a stage in the game when little was going right for the Greens in their attempts to emulate a slick-handling Watsonians team.

The Myresiders showed their scoring power after just five minutes with a try straight from the training ground, Andrew Garry looping round Scott Hastings and John Kerr coming in from the blindside to create a huge overlap for right wing Graeme Inglis.

Watsonians other first-half try was scored by flanker Nick Penny, now back in the side after an injury-enforced spell last season as non-playing captain, but thereafter Watsonians were unable to find the same fluency in attack albeit that they claimed one further score when prop Simon Orr was driven over for a second-half try.

All three of the Watsonian tries were converted by stand-off Bruce Aitchison, who in other areas of the game performed sufficiently well to suggest the potential he showed at Galashiels Academy is being realised.

Hawick - G Douglas; N Douglas, S Cranston, D Hughes, K Davidson; S McRae, K Reed; B McDonnell, M Landels, A Gillie, A Imray, I Elliot, A Stevenson (G Walker 58 min), B Renwick, D Landels.

Watsonians - P Smith; G Inglis, S Hastings, A Garry, J Kerr (N Tweedie 74 min); B Aitchison, C Black; A Moffat, K Stuart, S Orr, M McVie (J McAinsh 22-30), J Osborne, C Le Clos (R Forbes 34), C Brown, N Penny.

Referee - J Steele (Dumfries).

Scoring Sequence (Hawick first):0-7, 0-10, 5-10, 5-17 (half-time); 12-17, 15-17, 20-17, 20-24, 27-24.

Scorers: Hawick: Tries - Renwick (26 mins), G Douglas (48 min), N Douglas 61 mins), Hughes (81 min). Conversions - G Douglas (48 and 81 min). Penalties - G Douglas (56 mins). Watsonians: Tries - Inglis (5 min), Penny (41 min), Orr (74 min). Conversions - Aitchison (5 , 41 , and 74 min). Penalties - Aitchison (14 min).