Carlisle continued their build up to the new season with a fine 40-24 home win against Hawick at Warwick Road.

Accepting a pre-season friendly against Scottish Tennents Premiership side Hawick might have seemed an over-ambitious appointment - not so!

There would have been some sore bodies over the rest of the Bank Holiday, but Carlisle can now reflect on a successful couple of pre-season friendlies. They had beaten Peebles 57-17 a week earlier.

Saturday’s performance was up among the best the side have put together this year. They will not meet many more competitive sides than Hawick this season, and the result will put them in good heart for this weekend’s County Cup date with Kendal.

Hawick had made a blistering start and after three minutes the pace in their back-line caught Carlisle flat and a scrambling defence were no match for the green machine as they flew under the posts for a converted try.

However, the ship was steadied and it was Carlisle that started to get front foot ball, with Hawick having to show some determined defence. The first couple of scrums demonstrated that Carlisle have not lost their prowess there despite a number of changes in personnel.

Carlisle continued to move the ball at pace and their endeavours were rewarded on the 15-minute mark when first centre Dan Homes crashed through to be stopped just short of the line, and then scrum half James Telford finished the move off, with Grant Connon converting to level the scores.

Carlisle got their noses in front five minutes later, as a Hawick defended well from a Carlisle scrum on the visitors 22, but as their defence pushed up, centre Holmes again sped through the line, feeding winger Yousef Abdul-Sahib for a walk-in try.

Carlisle added to the scoreline five minutes later, as flanker Kyle Lindsay managed to squeeze over from the bottom of a ruck, pushing Carlisle’s lead to 21-7 after 30minutes.

Hawick however grabbed a score back just short of the first break mark, to make it 21-12.

The visitors showed a bit more pace and intensity in the second period and Carlisle were pinned back in their 22, having to defend for all they were worth for the next 15 minutes.

However, the blue wall held firm, and Carlisle were next on the scoreboard as a break by Grant Connon down the right wing, saw him offload to centre Chris Auld, who finished the move off in the corner. Connon converted from the touchline to increase the lead to 28-12.

From the restart Carlisle moved the ball wide across the park, and Connon was again instrumental in the move which saw him, wrong foot the full-back, to go under the posts for Carlisle fifth try.

Hawick nicked one back just before the end of the second break, and then scored again six minutes into the final period to close the gap to 35-24.

However, Carlisle were not finished and Abdul-Sahib pounced on a ball deftly threaded through the Hawick defence by full-back Max Connon, for Carlisle’s sixth and last score of the game.

This was a cracking game to watch, with both sides keenly competitive. The conditions were testing in the heat, yet both teams managed it well.