Rbs Premier 1 Preview: Round Three

Round three of RBS Premier 1 sees current league holders Melrose take on Premier Cup champions, Ayr at Millbrae, while in the east we have our first Edinburgh derby with Heriot’s taking on Edinburgh Accies at home.

Also in Edinburgh Boroguhmuir will welcome Stirling County to Meggetland in their bid to defend the Bill McLaren Shield.

Furthermore, Dundee will be looking for a win worthy of the top spot against Hawick (they currently side alongside Heriot’s and Ayr, one point behind Melrose). Currie will want to move up the table with a win away to Aberdeen Grammar and Hawks have the duty of taming a confident Gala side at Old Anniesland.

Round three of RBS Premier 1 sees current league holders Melrose take on Premier Cup champions, Ayr at Millbrae, while in the east we have our first Edinburgh derby with Heriot’s taking on Edinburgh Accies at home.

Also in Edinburgh Boroguhmuir will welcome Stirling County to Meggetland in their bid to defend the Bill McLaren Shield.

Furthermore, Dundee will be looking for a win worthy of the top spot against Hawick (they currently side alongside Heriot’s and Ayr, one point behind Melrose). Currie will want to move up the table with a win away to Aberdeen Grammar and Hawks have the duty of taming a confident Gala side at Old Anniesland.

 

 Aberdeen Grammar v Currie, Rubislaw, 3pm

Both teams have lost their two opening games, however Aberdeen side higher in the league with three bonus points to Currie’s one. Both will be desperate for the win on Saturday. Greig Ryan makes his debut for Grammar, while Currie regulars James Johnstone, Gary Temple & Andrew Binikos return from injury.

Aderdeen Grammar head coach, Alex Duncan, said: “Game three and after two narrow defeats in two weeks the reality of RBS Premier 1 rugby is before us.

“Good performances for 40 minutes doesn’t win you games, the players are resilient in pursuit of that first RBS Premier 1 win.”

Currie head coach, Ally Donaldson, said: “It’s been a tough few weeks but we feel we are getting back to normal.

“Aberdeen are a strong side and after two near misses in the opening weeks they will be optimistic that they can get their first RBS Premier 1 victory.

“We look forward to our journey North.”

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

Currie team: Jamie Forbes; David Smith, James Johnstone, Andy MacMahon, Alan Whittingham; Andrew Binikos, Richard Sneddon; John Cox, Fergus Scott, Alastair Hamilton, Adam Best, Gary Temple, Mark Cairns (captain), Malcolm Peacock, Ross Weston.
Replacements: Neil Scobie, Ross Merrilees, Fraser Strachan, Arran Johnstone, Ross Neil.

 Dundee HSFP v Hawick, Mayfield, 3pm

Dundee are ready to tally up a second successive home win with Harry Duthie making a welcome return to the centre and Ross Lemon earning a starting berth on the wing.

Dundee HSFP head coach, Ian Rankin, said: “Having used all of our get-out-of-jail cards last week after a horrendously complacent first half we will be affording Hawick full respect and are prepared for the unrelenting challenge they always bring.”

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

Hawick team: Neil McColm; Graeme Anderson, Gary Johnstone, Tane Maneheri, Steven Anderson; Graham Hogg, Greg Cottrell; Nicky Little, Matthew Landels, Sean Linton, Keiran Willison, Barry Keown, Nick MacTaggart, Keith Davies, Bruce McNeil (captain).
Replacements: Lindsey Gibson, Rory Sutherland, Ryan Hogg, Lee Armstrong, Andrew Turnbull.

Ayr v Melrose, Millbrae, 3pm

Ayr having won their two opening games will be keen to get a third consecutive win, particularly against the current champions. However, Melrose will be just as adamant to continue their winning streak.

Ayr head coach, Kenny Murray, said: “Last weeks game against Gala was a tough encounter and we were happy to come away with a win. This week we play the league’s top team, Melrose, and we will have to be at our very best if we are to maintain our winning streak.

“In recent years our games against Melrose have been very tight and I anticipate that this encounter will be no different.”

Melrose head coach, Craig Chalmers, said: “After a good home win and a better performance against Currie we head to Millbrae to play Ayr in what should be a great game.

“Ayr have started well with two wins like ourselves, so something has to give this weekend. We don’t have a great record on the west coast, but have come close on a number of occasions.

“Let’s hope we can get that wee bit of luck that will get us a result on Saturday. It’s a huge challenge that I believe the boys are ready for.”

Ayr team: Grant Anderson; Steven Manning, Ross Curle, Mark Stewart, Andy Wilson; Nick Elrick, AJ MacFarlane; Andy Kelly, Stuart Fenwick, Gordon Sykes, Scott Sutherland, Josh Dunning, Colin White, Ross Doneghan, Andy Dunlop.
Replacements: Hayden Wisneski, David Young, Graham Fisken, Sylvain Diez, Murray McConnell.

Melrose team: F. Thomson; C. Anderson, J. Murray, C. Murray, A. Dodds; A. Skeen, S McCormick; C. Keen, R. Ferguson, G. Holborn, G. Elder, R. Miller, J. Dalziel, G. Runciman, G. Dodds.
Replacements: W. Mitchell, K. Cooney, P. Eccles, B. Colvine, B. Dick.

 Boroughmuir v Stirling County, Meggetland, 3pm

Here is a chance for Stirling County to become the second holders of the Bill McLaren Shield or for Boroughmuir to continue their claim to get their name engraved on the silverware with a second successive win. Whatever the result it is certain to be a thriller with both teams wanting the win.

Boroughmuir head coach, Derek Armstrong, said: “After the win over Hawick last week we look to be the first team to defend the Bill McLaren Shield at home. This will be a tough game as we look to build on last week.

“However, the selection process has been interesting this week with a number of players not available. Robin Hislop is away with Edinburgh so Bryce Blair receives his first start for the club and young Robbie Wilson returns to the bench after a good showing for the 2s last week.”

Stirling County head coach, Eddie Pollock, said: “We trained well on Tuesday and are looking forward to our match against Boroughmuir, It should be a cracking game.

“Robbie Boswell starts this week after a strong performance off the bench last week.”

Boroughmuir team: Sep Visser; Robert Cairns, Mike Crawley, Stephen Wilson, Jordan Webster; Ally Warnock, Sam Johnson; Nick Fraser, Sean Crombie, Bryce Blair, Greg Scott, Matt Harvey, Ali McLeod, Alex Henderson, Iain Moddy.
Replacements: Callum MacKintosh, Robbie Wilson, Cammy Orr, David Reekie, Mark Hare.

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

 Glasgow Hawks v Gala, Old Anniesland, 3pm

Hawks won’t underestimate the challenge that the newly promoted and extremely confident Gala will bring. However, Peter Wright has wrung a string of changes to the team who drew with Edinburgh Accies last weekend.

Glasgow Hawks head coach, Peter Wright, said: “We were very fortunate to get out with a draw last week against a very positive Edinburgh Accies team.

“This week doesn’t get any easier playing another promoted team who have already beaten Currie and by all accounts should have beaten Ayr last week.

“Gala have some good players and are on the crest of a wave and I have told my players that this has the potential to be one of the hardest games of the season.”

Glasgow Hawks team: Peter Jerevick (captain); Tom Steven, Paddy Robinson, Dean Kelbrick, Kerr Gossman; Mike Martin, Kris Hamilton; Steven Findlay, Jack MacFarlane, John Lohoar, David Ferguson, Andy Kirkland, Steven Leckie, Rory Hamilton, Ross Miller.
Replacements: Kenny Brown, Paul Henderson, Louis Kinsey, Craig Gossman, Jono Wright.

Gala team: Lee Millar; Craig Robertson, Bryce Turner, Craig Borthwick, Shaun Law; Andy McLean, George Graham; Ewan McQuillin, Russell Anderson, Lewis Bertram, David Marshall, Peta Palepoi, Garry Graham, Garry Lowrie, Euan Dodds.
Replacements: Jack GIlding, Craig Keddie, Steve Cairns, Alan Emond, Gavin Young.

Heriot’s v Edinburgh Accies, Goldenacre, 3pm

The first Edinburgh derby of the season, this is sure to be a feisty encounter between Heriot’s and Accies. Heriot’s will be looking to get the top spot, while Accies will be looking to build on last week’s draw with Hawks.

Edinburgh Accies head coach, Simon Cross, said: “This promises to be an intriguing Edinburgh derby particularly as both teams are happy to put width onto the ball.

“We’re just about at full strength after two gruelling games, which is encouraging. The players seem to be dealing with the physicality of RBS Premier 1 well.

“We were close to posting that first win last weekend, however, individual errors cost us but there were a number of encouraging signs, not least the amount of clean line breaks made.

“We’re looking to build on the Hawks performance with an accurate, high tempo game against Heriot’s.”

Heriots team: TBC
Replacements: TBC

Edinburgh Accies team: Jamie Sole; Matt Coupar, Gavin Douglas, Iain Berthinussen, Sam Atkin; Ruaridh Bonner, Alex Black; Duncan MacLeod, Michael Liness, Chris Murray, Greg Campbell, Angus Graham, Dan Teague (captain), Robin Snape, Tom Drennan.
Replacements: Johnny McSorley, Dan Driscoll, James Taggart, Josh Pecqueur, Stuart Evans.