Rbs Premier 1 Preview: Round Four

After last weekend’s enticing results RBS Premier 1 has moved up a gear stepping into the fourth round of competition.

This weekend Gala and Accies are back at home after two outstanding wins on the road. They will host Heriot’s and Boroughmuir respectively with the latter being the second Edinburgh derby of the season.

Joint league leaders Melrose and Dundee will be looking to maintain their position at the top. Melrose host Glasgow Hawks and Dundee travel to Stirling County for the second Caledonian derby in RBS Premier 1 as many weeks.

After last weekend’s enticing results RBS Premier 1 has moved up a gear stepping into the fourth round of competition.

This weekend Gala and Accies are back at home after two outstanding wins on the road. They will host Heriot’s and Boroughmuir respectively with the latter being the second Edinburgh derby of the season.

Joint league leaders Melrose and Dundee will be looking to maintain their position at the top. Melrose host Glasgow Hawks and Dundee travel to Stirling County for the second Caledonian derby in RBS Premier 1 as many weeks.

Elsewhere Hawick and Currie will be looking for their first wins of the season, as they both play at home this weekend. Hawick will challenge a confident Aberdeen Grammar and Currie will play Premier Cup champions Ayr.

 Image compliments of Gala RFC and Alan Johnstone

 Hawick v Aberdeen Grammar, Mansfield Park, 3pm

Hawick will be looking for their first win of the season, but it will be no easy feat with Aberdeen coming off the back of a victory over Currie last weekend. Derek Armstrong has opted to make six changes in his starting XV for the match at Mansfield Park. Aberdeen only make three changes from last week Morgan Ward takes up the berth at scrum half, Sandy Warnock moves to the blind-side and Callum McConnachie regains his starting position at tighthead.

Aberdeen Grammar head coach, Alex Duncan, said: “After our first RBS Premier 1 win against Currie last week the players are keen to back it up with a big performance at Hawick.

“We are clear in the knowledge that Hawick are in the position we were last week and are desperate for their first win.

“Fortunately we have avoided injuries to date and have a full and eager squad to choose from this week.”

Hawick team: Steven Anderson; Steven Douglas, Gary Johnstone, Dean McCracken, Graeme Anderson; Lee Armstrong, Greg Cottrell; Nicky Little, Matthew Landels, Sean Linton, Keiran Willison, Gavin Petrie, Nick MacTaggart, Ryan Hogg, Bruce McNeil (captain).
Replacements: Rory Sutherland, Neil McColm, Andrew Turnbull, Barrie Keown, Lindsey Gibson

Aberdeen Grammar team: Steven Aitken; Callum Anderson, Warwick Percival, Will Wardlaw, Erlend Oag; Rob Aloe (vice-captain), Morgan Ward; Nicki Fraser, Sean O’Connor, Callum McConnachie, Ed Nimmons, Murray Douglas (captain), Sandy Warnock, Tony McGuiness, Greig Ryan.
Replacements: Matt Dixon, Mike Cox, Angus Willis, Rob Lawson, Apelu Alapati.

 Currie v Ayr, Malleny Park, 3pm

Currie will be looking to use their home advantage to get their first win of the season and will be delighted to welcome Douglas Fife and Mark Entwhistle back into the starting XV. Robbie Ferguson returns in the centre for Ayr after his involvement in the Scotland 7s Youth Commonwealth Games team.

Currie head coach, Ally Donaldson, said: “Ayr are brimming with quality at the moment and will be disappointed to have lost last week.

“We’re desperate to get the show back on the road with a win this weekend. We are simply focusing on improving but are delighted to be back at Malleny Park.”

Ayr head coach, Kenny Murray, said: “I was bitterly disappointed with our second half display against Melrose last week, in particular the basic errors that we made. Melrose played well in the second half and deserved their win.

“We scored three good tries in the first half, but we must play for 80 minutes against top teams like Melrose and Currie.

“This week’s game against Currie will be another huge test for us, with Currie determined to get their season back on track.”

Currie team: Jamie Forbes; David Smith, James Johnstone, Andy MacMahon, Douglas Fife; Andrew Binikos, Richard Sneddon; John Cox, Fergus Scott, Colin Phillips, Adam Best, Gary Temple, Mark Cairns (captain), Malcolm Peacock, Ross Weston.
Replacements: Billy Elmslie, Ross Merrilees, Steve Burton, Mark Cairns, Barry Mansfield.

Ayr team: Grant Anderson; Steven Manning, Robbie Ferguson, Mark Stewart, Sylvain Diez; Ross Curle, AJ MacFarlane; Andy Kelly, Stuart Fenwick, Gordon Sykes, Scott Sutherland, Colin White, Graham Fisken, Ross Doneghan, Andy Dunlop.
Replacements: Hayden Wisneski, David Young, Callum Templeton, AJ MacFarlane, Andy Wilson.

Stirling County v Dundee HSFP, Bridgehaugh, 3pm

With a confident display last weekend Stirling County will be looking to threaten the league leaders Dundee with a win. The strength in the side is heightened by the return of Graeme Lindsay in the backs and Gary Mountford at prop. Moreover for Dundee, Ian Rankin shows his confidence in the front five, as they remain the same, and the depth that the replacements can bring.

Stirling County head coach, Eddie Pollock, said: “After a much improved performance at Meggetland last week we are keen to show our local support how we can play.”

Dundee HSFP head coach, Ian Rankin, said: “We have watched Stirling over the last few weeks and they have challenged in every game.

“We’re completely aware of their strengths, however with results not going their way they will be desperate to turn their efforts into points especially at home to improve their current league position.”

Stirling County team: Ben Addison; Graeme Lindsay, Danny Gilmour, Brian Archibald, Ross Aitken; Stuart Edwards, Sean, Kennedy; Steven Raby, Alex Moffat (captain), Gary Mountford, Craig Deacons, Robert McAlpine, Tim Clarke, Robbie Boswell, Steve Swindall.
Replacements: Andy Simpson, Craig Black, Jamie Mountford, Bengy Barsanti, Craig Robertson.

Dundee HSFP team: Cameron Wyper; Andrew McLean, Harry Duthie, Robbie Lavery, Jack Steele; Cam Brown, Andy Dymock; Neil Dymock (captain), Simon Forrest, Alan Brown, Richard Hawkins, Andy Redmanye, Chris Cumming, Danny Levison, Richie McIver.
Replacements: Darell Russell, Gavin Robertson, Andy Linton, Ryan Milne, Jamie Urquhart.

 Melrose v Glasgow Hawks, The Greenyards, 3pm

Melrose will look to continue their winning streak as they return home to the Greenyards, where as Hawks will be desperate to get a win after their defeat at home last week.

Melrose head coach, Craig Chalmers, said: “We’re looking forward to getting back home after a great result at Ayr last week.

“We will need to be a lot less sloppy in our defence as we are conceding far too many soft tries at the moment.

“On a positive note, we created far more try scoring opportunities last week and now have to get more clinical in that department.”

Glasgow Hawks head coach, Peter Wright, said: “After a disappointing result last week where we lost the game in the last few minutes to a very positive Gala side we head down to the Borders to play the reigning champions Melrose.

“The players are very much looking forward to the game knowing that it will be played at a fast and furious pace with a lot of rugby being played.”

Melrose team: Fraser Thomson; Alan Dodds, Jamie Murray, Cameron Murray, Joe Helps; Andrew Skeen, Scott McCormick; Chris Keen, Richard Ferguson, Gary Holborn, Gary Elder, Ross Miller, John Dalziel, Grant Runciman, Graham Dodds.
Replacements: Alan Walker, Keiran Cooney, Peter Eccles, Bruce Colvine, Bruce Dick.

Glasgow Hawks team: Craig Gossman; Tom Steven, Dean Kelbrick, Paddy Robinson, Kerr Gossman; Peter Jerevich, Kris Hamilton; Steven Findlay, Eric Milligan, Craig Williamson, Rory McKay (captain), Andy Kirkland, Steven Leckie, Rory Hamilton, Ross Miller.
Replacements: Jack MacFarlane, Paul Henderson, Bart Karalus, Sean Murray.

Edinburgh Accies v Boroughmuir, Raeburn Place, 3pm 

After winning the first Edinburgh derby of the season away to Heriot’s Accies will be confident in welcoming Boroughmuir to Raeburn Place for the second Edinburgh derby.

Edinburgh Accies head coach, Simon Cross, said: “After a decent performance against Heriot’s, we are looking to get our first home win against an organised Boroughmuir outfit.

“I expect a fairly open game, but we need to match Boroughmuir physically before we can attack the wide channels.

“I hope the introduction of Stuart McInally and Andrew Kelly will give us some extra ballast up front.”

Boroughmuir head coach, Fergus Pringle, said: “This week will be another hard game; Accies had a good performance by all accounts last week.

“We have to ensure that we keep the intensity and concentration up for the full 80 minutes after dropping off a bit last week in the second half of our game against Stirling.”

Edinburgh Accies team: Euan Bonner; Jamie Soul, Gavin Douglas, Iain Berthinussen, Josh Pecqueur; Ruaridh Bonner, Alex Black; Duncan MacLeod, Michael Liness, Chris Murray, Greg Campbell, Robin Snape, Dan Teague (captain), Jamie Taggart, Tom Drennan.
Replacements: Kenny Blyth, Andrew Kelly, Angus Graham, Stuart McInally, Mike Campbell.

Boroughmuir team: Sep Visser; Robert Cairns, Harry Leonard, Stephen Wilson, Jordan Webster; Ally Warnock, Sam Johnson; Nick Fraser, Sean Crombie, Bryce Blair, Greg Scott, Matt Harvey, Jamie Swanson, Alex Henderson, Iain Moddy.
Replacements: Callum MacKintosh, Robin Hislop, Cammy Orr, Mark Hare, Murray Buchan.

Gala v Heriot’s, Netherdale, 3pm

Between these two teams Gala currently have the upper hand in the league sitting in third a point of their opponents. Gala will come into the match off the back off a win at Hawks last week, while Heriot’s will be fired up to redeem their defeat at Goldenacre. Heriot’s coaches welcome Cammy Ferguson back into the starting line-up at 10.

Heriot’s head coaches, Mark Appleson and Graham Marshall, said: “Having won the opening two games of the season it was disappointing to end the week with a below par performance and result against a fired up Accies team last week.”

Gala team: Lee Millar; Shaun Law, Bryce Turner, Craig Borthwick, Craig Robertson; Andy McLean, George Graham; Lewis Bertram, Russell Anderson, Ewan McQuillin, Chris Weir, Opeta Palepoi, Dave Marshall, Garry Graham, Euan Dodds.
Replacements: Paul Stewart, Lewis Roden, Garry Lowrie, Chris Auld, Alan Emond.

Heriot’s team: Colin Goudie or Junior Bulawakao; Andy Scott, Max Nimmo, Calum Mark, Jordy Kohn; Cammy Ferguson, Graham Wilson; Alan Dymock, Kevin Bryce, Gavin Cameron, Ross Martin, CJ Osazuwa, Matt Reid, Robin Cessford, Jason Hill.
Replacements: Danny Thorburn, John Patrick-Ward, Michael Roy, Richard Train, Sai Vono.