2021 FOSROC Super6 Final: Preview
After ten rounds of competition, the first ever FOSROC Super6 Final takes place at The DAM Health stadium this afternoon.
The Southern Knights and Ayrshire Bulls will take to the pitch at 1.30pm with live coverage on FreeSports with commentary from Stuaurt MacFarlane, Chris Patterson and guests Gregor Townsend and Jim Mallinder.
Both the Southern Knights and Ayrshire Bulls have been two of the most consistent teams in the tournament this season.
Interestingly, both teams have scored the same amount of points this season, 268. After playing each other twice both sides have won once each.
Southern Knights have the metaphorical home advantage for this final fixture of the season with 36 league points and only 173 points against them to Bulls 183.
The Borders side opened their season on the road to Stirling County where, coincidently, they recorded exactly the same score as when they faced them in 2019, a 24-24 all draw.
They moved on to win over Heriot’s comfortably in round two before hosting the Bulls in round three, winning by only two points.
Knights made life difficult for themselves in the fourth round when they hosted Boroughmuir Bears, yet still found a way to win.
Just before the mid-season break, they fell to Watsonians under Friday night lights at Myreside, recording one of only two losses this season.
In rounds six, seven and eight they recorded comfortable wins over Boroughmuir Bears, Wastonians and Heriot’s respectively.
In torrential weather Knights travelled through to Ayr in round nine where the Bulls got the better of them on that occasion, arguably playing to the conditions better on the night.
Under the floodlights of their last home fixture, Knights produced a convincing performance over Stirling County to get back to winning ways and prepare themselves nicely for this afternoons fixture.
Ayrshire Bulls have had a mixed bag of results this season, but always managed to win when it counted.
Much has been said on the Bulls finding their form mid-way through the season, winning five games on the bounce, doing just enough to secure themselves a spot in the final, at the right time.
The Bulls opened their campaign but hosting the first Sunday game of the season at Millbrae, although they were unlucky to lose out to a strong Watsonians side by only four points.
In round two they recorded their first win of the season at home to Boroughmuir Bears before suffering a defeat on the road to this afternoon’s opponents, Southern Knights, by only two points.
Bulls were defeated on the road again in round four to Stirling County, when they gave away a penalty in the last play of the game. Reiterating just how fine the margins are in this league.
Just before the mid-season break the Bulls found their winning form in a convincing win at home to Heriot’s.
That win would put them on the start of a five-game winning streak as they carried their winning stride into round six when they got their own back over Stirling, in another convincing win on home soil.
Round seven saw the Bulls score 28 un-answered points over Heriots, the next weekend they triumphed over the Bears too.
When they hosted the Knights under Friday night lights at Millbrae they played the conditions well to deny the Knights the right to qualify for the final that evening.
That same weekend Watsonians lost to Boroughmuir Bears which meant that both the Knights and the Bulls could not be caught, as such qualifying them both for the Final.
In the final round of the regular fixtures Watsonians got the better of the Bulls, although it was not too much love lost for the Millbrae outfit as they were safely through.
On this afternoon's team selection Southern Knights Head Coach Rob Chrystie said: "There have been some really difficult decisions this weekend for the first FOSROC Super6 Final. Grant Shiells will lead the Squad out from loose head prop, while Patrick Anderson starts on the wing. A strong bench will all be raring to go for when their opportunity arises.
"It has taken a huge effort by everyone involved with the Southern Knights to get to the FOSROC Super6 Final and we are all looking forward to heading up to DAM Health Stadium.
We would like to thank our sponsors and supporters for everything they have done for us throughout the season.
Both teams know each other really well and have a good idea of what is expected. It is sure to be physical and nutritional as all finals are. Hopefully we get a high quality and exciting game for the large crowd that is expected."
Ayrshire Bulls Head Coach Pat MacArthur said: "There is a familour look to the team this week with Michael Scott, Alex Miguire, Ed Bloodworth, Yaree Fantini, Blair Macpherson, Tom Jordan, Tom Williams and Matt Davidson all returning to the starting XV. Rhodri Tanner, Ruairidh Sayce, Rory Jackson and Gavin Wilson revert to the bench.
"What a great way to end the season with the final at DAM Health stadium against Southern Knights.
"The league games against the same opposition was a very good contest with us sharing the spoils one a piece. The players have worked hard in training to improve a few key areas going into the game and the effort at training from players who knew they were unlikely to be involved in this game has been great to see, this has helped push the guys to have the best preparation.
"We know the challenge that the Knights will pose and we will have to be on the top of our game, with numerous buses making the trip from Millbrae to Murrayfield we want to do our supporters and ourselves proud."
Match Officials: Referee Keith Allen, AR1 David Sutherland, AR2 Finlay Brown, No4 Bob Nevins, Timekeeper Dr Rebecca Wheater
Southern Knights: 15. Jacob Henry 14. Patrick Anderson 13. Nyle Godsmark 12. Billy Wara 11. Sam Pecqueur 10. Jason Baggott 9. Murdo Mcandrew; 1. Grant Shiells CAPTAIN 2. Fraser Renwick 3. Euan Mclaren 4. Daniel Suddon 5. Angus Runciman 6. Harry Borthwick 7. Ruaridh Knott 8. Iain Moody
Replacements: 16. Russell Anderson 17. Shaun Gunn 18. Calum Crookshanks 19. Dalton Redpath 20. Allan Ferrie 21. Cameron Jones 22. Cameron Scott 23. Andrew Mitchell
Ayrshire Bulls: 15. Matt Davidson 14. Aaron Tait 13. Robert Beattie 12. Tom Williams 11. Elias Caven, 10. Tom Jordan 9. Jordan Lenac; 1. George Thornton 2. Alex McGuire 3. Michael Scott 4. Edward Bloodworth 5. Tom Everard 6. Ryan Sweeney 7. Yaree Fantini 8. Blair MacPherson CAPTAIN
Replacements: 19. Rhodri Tanner 17. Ruairidh Sayce 18. Calvin Henderson 16. Rory Jackson 20. Gavin Wilson 21. Harry Warr 22. Christian Townsend 23. Gavin Lowe