PREM PREVIEW | Heriot's welcome Edinburgh Academicals

This week sees the return of the Tennent’s Premiership after last week’s Scottish Cup action where Heriot’s will entertain Edinburgh Academicals at Goldenacre. 

The two teams produced an entertaining encounter last weekend when they met in the Cup - with Heriot’s winning 29-20 - and Accies Head Coach Derek O’Riordan is expecting another tight game, “I think we were underestimated by Phil and Heriots’ last week and that was reflected in their selection and poor start, when they appeared almost surprised that we came to play rugby. 

“I do not think we will be in for the same soft start this week and we need to adapt the way we play in anticipation of that. Heriot’s power game is there for all to see and we cannot allow ourselves to be sucked into that battle of attrition.”

Heriot’s Head Coach Phil Smith agreed with O’Riordan’s assessment, “Last week’s performance once again showed we have great fighting spirit but need to start better. We need to apply pressure better and for longer to give ourselves a foothold in the game from the first whistle.

“This is an area the boys recognise and will be hopeful of improving in the coming weeks, not just on Saturday.

“With our injury list beginning to ease I hope the pressure for starting places will increase the intensity of all parts of our game.”

It could prove to be an important weekend for the chasing pack who will look to put more pressure on league leaders, Ayr, with Melrose only a point behind in the table. 

Melrose won’t have an easy task on their hands, however, as they host Watsonians at the Greenyards. Ayr are well aware they won’t have their own way at Bridgehaugh when they face Stirling. 

Meanwhile, Hawick will look to build on their Scottish Cup success last weekend as they host Currie Chieftains and Boroughmuir take on Glasgow Hawks at Meggatland.

Teams  

Heriot’s:Rory McMichael; Alex Ball, Ross Jones, Dougie Steel; Craig Robertson, Stuart Edwards; Andrew Simmers, Martin Bouab; Michael Liness, Stuan Cessford, Charlie Jupp, Adam Sinclair, Martin Hughes, Jack Mclean, Ruaridh Leishman. Substitutes: Ali Johnstone, Josh Scott, Callum Marshall, Struan Dewar, Cameron Lineen. 

Edinburgh Academicals:Paddy Flood; Cammy Gray, Robbie Chalmers, Will Stephen; Robbie Kent, Vincent Hart, Max Love; Martin McGinley, Callum Black, Cole Imrie, Ronan Seydak, Robert Lovett, Michael Badenhorst, Jamie Sole, Lawrie Seydak. Substitutes: Rory Jackson, Cammy Taylor, Nick Stephen, Mark Sinclair, Ross Cameron. 

Tennent's Premier Fixtures  

Sat 1 Dec 2018

14.00 Melrose RFC v Watsonian FC
14.00 Heriot's v Edinburgh Academical FC
15.00 Boroughmuir v Glasgow Hawks RFC
15.00 Stirling County RFC v Ayr RFC
15.00 Hawick RFC v Currie Chieftains