Rugby Union: Hayes orchestrates Glasgow triumph

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The Independent Online
Glasgow Hawks 36 Kelso 14

TOMMY HAYES had a dream the other week. "I was out on the pitch at Murrayfield wearing a Scotland jersey," he recalled. Those with Scottish rugby close at heart will be hoping it was a vision of the prophetic variety.

In the Tennent's Velvet Scottish Cup final at Murrayfield on Saturday it was the skills of the overseas players that not only caught the eye but captured the silverware too. And Hayes, at outside-half for the Glasgow Hawks, was orchestrator of the show.

The 16 points he contributed with his right boot was two more than the 17 players of Kelso could collectively muster in reply. But the 23-year- old was no points-kicking automaton.

His influence was highlighted by the clinical incision through the Kelso back line which rather fittingly served the first of the Hawks's four tries on a plate for Derek Stark, the Scotland wing who was once dubbed "the fastest pastry chef in international rugby."

Hayes has already been in international rugby himself. He won two caps for the Cook Islands before leaving his native New Zealand last summer to join the new age force being gathered on Clydeside by Ian Russell.

The bitter-sweet irony for Russell on Saturday was that the team he has built into such a formidable power following the merger of Glasgow Academicals and Glasgow Hick-Kelvinside is to be dismantled because of the Scottish Rugby Union's masterplan for making the flower of Scotland bloom again.

The cream of the Caledonian crop have been contracted to two new "super district" teams, precluding them from club competition next season. Thus seven of the Hawks' cup-winning XV bade their farewells on Saturday night, leaving coach Russell with another side to build.

"We've got five players who will come up through the ranks," he said. "And we're looking to bring in another five, possibly exiled Scots from down south."

For Scotland, the international team-building will probably need more than a redistribution of talent from club to district competition. As this season has shown, the native playing resources north of the border are simply threadbare.

It is just as well that Glenn Metcalfe has tartan blood running through his Kiwi veins. The Hawks' full-back from Auckland has been claimed as a Caledonian. He tours Australia and Fiji with Scotland this summer.

Metcalfe has a super districts contract for next season. So does Hayes. The man of the match on Saturday is, in fact, the only player ineligible for Scotland to have been offered one.

Hayes, it seems, has no long lost granny from Stornoway. He is, however, considering qualifying for Scotland on residential grounds. So his dream may yet come true.

Glasgow Hawks: Tries Common 2, Stark, Mackay; Conversions Hayes 2; Penalties Hayes 4. Kelso: Tries Fairley, Wearne; Conversions Wearne 2.

Glasgow Hawks: G Metcalfe; D Stark, C Simmers (M McGrandles,80), D Wilson (capt), A Common; T Hayes (C McGregor, 78), S Simmers (C Little, 50); G McIlwham, C Docherty (K Horton, 78), M Beckham (M Blackie, 70), C Afuakwah, S Hutton, F Wallace, G Mackay (A Ness, 70), M Wallace.

Kelso: D Baird; S Ross, G Laing, I Fairley, C Jackson; J Wearne, G Cowe; S Murray ( R Hogarth, 68), K Thomson, D Howlett, I Fullarton, S Laing (S Rowley, 73), S Bennet, S Forsyth, A Roxburgh (capt).

Referee: C Muir (Langholm).