BT Premiership Preview: Boroughmuir raring to go in Edinburgh Derby

Goldenacre hosts an Edinburgh derby this Saturday between Heriot’s and Boroughmuir as the visitors hope to build on their 55-17 win at home over Watsonians last weekend.

The Bill McLaren Shield is also up for grabs this weekend with Heriot’s defending the coveted shield for a third time; adding extra incentive to the winner of this fixture.

The ‘Muir put on a fine display of rugby at Meggetland in the first week back of the BT Premiership since the Autumn Tests as they came back to comfortably defeat Watsonians.

This win was long overdue for Boroughmuir, whose last victory was against Ayr (24-11) in early October.

Able to produce a score like this over one of the best teams in the league, Boroughmuir have shown they are capable of performing well, yet have struggled to remain consistent.

In selection, Head Coach Peter Wright has opted for a fairly settled squad and brings in Tom Gracie to start at tighthead prop instead of Dan Winning who loses out due to injury.

Wright hopes last week’s game will be a boost to his squad, and said: “A great result and performance from the boys last week, but it doesn’t mean much if we can’t back it up this week. 

It’s never an easy game at Goldenacre, but the players and coaching staff are looking forward to the upcoming Edinburgh derby.”

Heriot’s left Mansfield Park on Saturday disappointed after a 15-15 draw away to Hawick last weekend, but remain in fourth place and will want to return to winning ways at home to help maintain their top four spot.

Head Coach Phil Smith said: “Despite not getting the result we desired last week, we recognised that going to Hawick is always challenging and for some of the younger lads they have learned that all fixtures in this league are going to be competitive, hence taking our chances when they are on offer is key.

We now focus on a resurgent Boroughmuir team who have obviously had a great result to roll them into the visit to Goldenacre. We will welcome the opportunity to play at home and will aim to put in a more complete performance this weekend.”

Smith has made enforced changes to his squad as Russell Nimmo and Andrew Simmers drop out due to personal commitments, allowing Clarke Smith and Tom Wilson to stake a claim.

John Rae is out due to injury which sees John Semple go to fullback and Robbie Mulveena start at inside centre.

Elsewhere in the capital, Watsonians face Glasgow Hawks in what will be a tough match following Hawks’ 29-20 victory over Stirling County last weekend.

Despite this, Watsonians Head Coach Marcus Di Rollo said: “We know that last week wasn’t good enough and the boys are determined to bounce back against Hawks in front of a home crowd.”

League leaders Melrose host Borders’ rivals Gala at The Greenyards, with Melrose looking to use this fixture to gain as many points as possible to pull away from Ayr who are one point behind in second place.

Gala put in an 80-minute performance despite losing 28-38 to Ayr, and Head Coach Chris Dalgleish believes that if his team start off strong, they will make it difficult for Melrose.

Following their narrow 24-27 defeat to Melrose last weekend, Currie will be focused going into their match against Stirling County.

Stirling County expect this fixture to be a challenge, but look forward to playing at home and Head Coach David Adamson said: “With both sides attempting to put a run of victories together to continue their pursuit of a top four finish, it will hopefully be an exciting game.”

Ayr welcome Hawick to Millbrae as they seek a home victory to keep up with Melrose; with hopes of securing a bonus point victory to potentially steal first place from Melrose.

Hawick Head Coach Nikki Walker said: “Ayr is always a tough place to go as they are one of the big four in the league and are a team that has been performing extremely well this season.”

Regardless, Walker says his squad will give it their all. 

BT Premiership round thirteen (Saturday 10 December)

Heriot’s v Boroughmuir, Goldenacre, 2pm

Heriot’s:John Semple CAPTAIN; Charlie Simpson, Liam Steele, Robbie Mulveena, Gavin Parker; Alex Hagart, Tom Wilson; Martin Bouab, Michael Liness, Struan Cessford, Callum Marshall, Clarke Smith, Michael Maltman, Jack McLean, Struan Dewar. Replacements: Stewart Mustard, Gavin Cameron, Martin Hughes, Alex Ball, Robert Kay.

Boroughmuir: Rab Cairns; Jordan Edmunds, Ronan Kerr, Mark Hare, Grant McConnell; Chris Laidlaw, Blair Mills; Dale Robertson, Tristan King, Tom Gracie, Jamie Ure, Callum Atkinson, Aubrey Mcube, Matt Walker, Craig Keddie. Replacements: Stuart Clark, Michael Henry, Matt Tweddle, Dougie Steele, Greg Cannie.

Watsonians v Glasgow Hawks, Myreside, 3pm  

Watsonians:Andrew Chalmers; Mark Bertram, Scott McKean, DJ Innes, Keith Young; Ewan Scott, Reiss Cullen; Martin Christie CAPTAIN, Sean Crombie, Calum Eastwood, Matt Poole, Craig Borthwick, Villiami Fihaki, Angus Duckett, Rory Drummond. Replacements: Darren Miller, Kyle Whyte, Kenny Beattie, Euan McKirdy, Jack Ferguson.

Glasgow Hawks: Hagan Schulte; Junior Bulumakau, Brendan McGroarty, Jack Steele, Kerr Gossman; Josh Henderson, Grayson Hart; Steven Findlay, Cammy Fenton, Gary Strain, Kiran McDonald, Andrew Kirkland, Ross Miller, Matt Fagerson, Tommy Spinks CAPTAIN. Replacements: Johnny Spence, Chris Barnes, Bruce Flockhart, Mark New, Paddy Boyer.   

Melrose v Gala, The Greenyards, 2pm

Melrose: Fraser Thomson; Ross McCann, Nyal Godsmark, George Taylor, Austin Lockington; Craig Jackson, Struan Hutchison; Jamie Bhatti, Russell Anderson, Nick Beavon, James Head, Ruaridh Knott, Neil Irvine Hess, Grant Runciman CAPTAIN, Ian Moody. Replacements: Cammy Mckay, Dan Elkington, Ali Grieve, Murdo McAndrew, Sam Pecqueur.

Gala: Graham Speirs CAPTAIN; Ross Combe, Sasa Tofilau, Paul Hendry, Craig Robertson; Gregor Hunter, George Lott; Chris Keen, Matt Carryer, Terry Skeet, Rob Lowe, Chris Weir, Harry Borthwick, Fraser Hunter, Stevie Cairns. Replacements: Curtis Reynolds, Dean Brooker, Alan Emond, Rex Jeffrey, Lewis Berg.

Stirling County v Currie, Bridgehaugh, 3pm

Stirling County: Jonny Hope CAPTAIN; Bruce Sorbie, Craig Pringle, Alex Black, Logan Trotter; Ross Jones, Matt Donaldson; Colin Hutton, Reyner Kennedy, Adam Nicol, Hamilton Burr, Adam Sinclair, Alex Taylor, Lewis Wynne, Ruairidh Leishman. Replacements: Matt Emmison, Fergus Bradbury, Langilangi Haupeakui, Shaun MacDonald, Logan Bonar.

Currie: Harvey Elms; Ratu Tagive, Robbie Nelson, Cameron Hutchison, Ben Robbins; Jamie Forbes, Charlie Shiel; John Cox, Fergus Scott, Graeme Carson, Hamish Bain, Mike Vernel, Luke Crosbie, Stephen Ainslie, Ross Weston CAPTAIN. Replacements: AP McWilliam, Reece Patterson, Rhys Davies, Ruaraidh Smith, Richard Sneddon.

Ayr v Hawick, Millbrae, 3pm

Ayr: Grant Anderson; Danny McCluskey, Archie Russell, Ross Curle, Craig Gossman; Frazier Climo, Harry Warr; George Hunter, James Malcolm, Steven Longwell, Ruaridh McKenzie, Blair Macpherson, David Young, Will Bordill, Pete McCallum CAPTAIN. Replacements: Adam Prentice, Djustice Sears-Duru, Craig Stevenson, Richard Dalgleish, Stafford McDowall.  

Hawick: Kirk Ford; Darcy Graham, Grant Huggan, Kyle Brunton, Wesley Hamilton; Matt Douglas, Bruce Campbell; Shaun Muir, Fraser Renwick, Callum Mackintosh, David Lowrie, Keith McNeil, Ross Gibson, Stuart Graham, Bruce McNeil CAPTAIN. Replacements: Matt Landels, Dale Johnstone, Shaun Fairbairn, Tyler Corless, Sam Bandeen.