Tennent's Women's National Leagues Preview | 17 & 18 September
After a break in play as a mark of respect following the sad passing of Her Majesty the Queen, domestic rugby returns this weekend. Teams have been invited by Scottish Rugby to observe a moment of silence and wear black armbands at individual club's discretion.
Tennent's Women's Premiership
On Saturday it’s a double East versus West, beginning at Goldenacre where Heriot’s Blues will host Cartha Queens Park.
The delayed start to their league campaign certainly paid off for Heriot’s after they scooped a 22-12 win over Cougars in the last round of action, carrying with them five points into the table.
Reflecting on their league opener, Blues’ Head Coach Lucy Brown said: “Sunday really showed us where we are as a squad, there's belief and confidence that clearly showed in the game, really meeting the physicality that Cougars can bring.”
It’s been some time since Cartha have taken to the field, following breaks in play under circumstances outwith their control. However Head Coach Ritchie Bruce hasn't been phased by this pause and is eager to see Cartha return to the action this weekend.
“After an extended break from the field of play, the squad is really excited to get back out onto the pitch. It’s been a while now since our opening match against Watsonians, so we’ve had a decent amount of time to work on the learnings from that game”, said Bruce.
“Heriot’s Blues will no doubt present us with a physical challenge, but that is a challenge we are ready to meet and we look forward to seeing them at Goldenacre on Saturday.”
Goldenacre will be home to another Tennent's Premiership fixture this weekend, as the Men's Blues team are set to follow the Women on the main pitch against Currie Chieftains, kicking-off at 3pm.
Heriot’s Blues v Cartha Queens Park – Goldenacre, 1pm
In the second of Saturday’s fixtures Corstorphine Cougars will host Hillhead Jordanhill at Union Park.
Both teams sit with five league points, and will be looking to extend that position.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s encounter, Cougars Head Coach Eric Jones said: “In the last few years, Cougars versus Hills have been some of the best games we’ve been involved with. Four or five years ago there was a dread amongst the squad when the Hills fixture was coming up, however in the last few seasons it’s something we now look forward to.
“I actually think that the Sarah Beaney Cup semi-final last year was one of the best games of rugby across the board. Both teams left everything on the pitch and there was some great rugby played from both sides.
“The lead often changes hands a few times in Cougars versus Hills fixtures and we’re expecting the same again this weekend. We know that we made too many basic, unforced, errors against Heriot’s and we’ll be looking to bounce back from that performance.”
Corstorphine Cougars v Hillhead Jordanhill – Union Park, 2pm
It’s been a bumpy start to the competition for league newcomers Garioch, and they will be looking to bounce back into action on Sunday when they travel to Edinburgh to take on Wastonians.
Watsonians equally will be looking to return to winning form following on from their last minute loss against Stirling in the last round of competition.
Head Coach Bruce Millar, who joined the Edinburgh side this summer is looking forward said: "We’re excited to get back into action this weekend after a disappointing defeat against Stirling last time out. We’ve worked hard over the past fortnight and four players have earned their first start for the club, while Sarah Donnelly returns from injury and will add add power to the pack.
"We welcome newly-promoted Garioch to Myreside for the first time and look forward to the opportunity to continue developing our game plan."
Watsonian FC v Garioch – Myreside, 2pm
Stirling County currently sit in poll position with nine points in the table after a thrilling battle on Saturday 3 September against last year’s champions, Watsonians. A last minute try from Sky Phimister gave County a 14-17 win.
County will return to play next weekend on Saturday 24 September, hosting Cartha Queens Park at Bridgehaugh.
Tennent's Women's National 1
In the opening round of competition, Stewartry, Biggar and West of Scotland all emerged victorious, taking a full five points into the league table.
This weekend, Biggar will host Broughton at Hartree Mill whilst West of Scotland travel to Greenlaw to face Stewartry. Both fixtures kick-off at 3pm.
And finally, Howe of Fife will welcome Ayr to Duffus Park where both sides will be looking to claim their first win of the season. Kick-off is 3pm.