Preview - Round 5 FOSROC Super6
With the weather calling a halt to any FOSROC Super6 rugby last weekend all six teams are eager to play.
Heriot’s Rugby will travel to the Borders to take on the Southern Knights tomorrow afternoon (KO 4:30pm).
Boroughmuir Bears make the short trip to play Watsonians in an Edinburgh South Side derby on Sunday, while Ayrshire Bulls travel to take on Stirling County in a match that will be broadcast live on Scottish Rugby TV and on the BBC Sport Scotland website.
Saturday 7 December - Southern Knights Vs Heriot's Rugby - 4:30pm
Southern Knights will be looking to record their first win of the season and lift themselves off the bottom of the league table.
Experienced full back Fraser Thomson will captain the hosts with Edinburgh’s Jason Baggott controlling the backs from the number 10 jersey. Two FOSROC Academy players could make their first appearance in the FOSROC Super6. Finlay Scott has returned from a shoulder injury and Jacob Henry has impressed Head Coach Rob Chrystie during training, so earns a place on the bench.
Chrystie insists an improved performance is needed from his squad. He said: “The players and management have worked hard over the last two weeks and are in determined mood.
He added: “Heriot’s have shown that they are a very dangerous side. With their wide style of play I am sure Phil’s [Smith] team will be excited to play on the new 3G pitch at The Greenyards”
Phil Smith has made very few changes to his squad who were close to winning in the last phase of the game against Boroughmuir Bears two weekends ago under Friday Night Lights.
In the boiler house Callum Marshall and Ruairidh Leishman earn starting positions while Robbie Chalmers makes is way on to the bench as a replacement back three player.
With one win recorded out of three Heriot’s will be looking to correct their mistakes from previous games. Head Coach Phil Smith said: “The messages this weekend are simple, be more disciplined and lower our error count.
“The players recognise that these have been our biggest failings in our last two games and are aware that the Knights will readily pounce on these if they continue.”
Sunday 8 December - Watsonians Vs Boroughmuir Bears - 2pm
Watsonians host Boroughmuir Bears at Myreside in an Edinburgh South Side derby on Sunday which will have the added attraction of the first leg of the Allan McNish Memorial Trophy.
Allan McNish was a former Watsonians President who passed away in 1995, the trophy was introduced by his family to mark the special connection between the clubs. It was traditionally played for by the 1XV of the two clubs who agreed it should be contested for in the FOSROC Super6. The winner of the trophy will be the team with the best aggregate score from this weekend and the return fixture next weekend at Meggetland.
The hosts have made only three changes to the team who were due to play Ayrshire Bulls last weekend. The back line remains unchanged while Harrison Courtney and Cal Davies start in the front row and Finlay Simpson has a spot on the bench.
Although they sit top of the FOSROC Super6 league Head Coach Fergus Pringle knows that their opponents will not gift them an easy game. He said: “We know Boroughmuir Bears will come into the game full of confidence after their win against Heriots a couple weeks ago. They have proved to be difficult opponents in all of their games so far with a strong pack at set piece and some dangerous backs creating opportunities through transition play.
“Our players are raring to go after a week off and our focus is on bringing concentration and accuracy to our performance. We want to start the game better than our previous game, but we also know we’ll need an 80min performance as the Bears will stay in the fight for the whole game.”
Boroughmuir Bears will be looking to build upon their first win of the tournament. They have a settled look to their squad with Rory Arthur on the bench who could make his FOSROC Super6 debut alongside Glasgow Warriors Mesu Dolokoto and Charlie Chapps.
Head Coach Graham Shiel knows that it will be tough to take on the league leaders at home. He said: “Watsonians find themselves in fine form coming into this game unbeaten, but we continue to work hard to make gains both on and off the pitch, so we are excited to be able to go head to head with our neighbours to challenge ourselves and aim to produce another performance to be proud of.
“It’s the first time the Edinburgh South Side derby has graced the FOSROC Super6 competition, which brings a different feel to this game. With the Allan McNish Memorial Trophy to be played for between the two squads over consecutive weeks it’s set to be a special match”
Stirling County will host Ayrshire Bulls on Sunday afternoon as they look to climb above their opposition in the table.
Ben Cairns has selected a similar County side which would have played last weekend. Warriors Andrew Davidson starts in the second row with Ollie Barlett moving to the back row. The backline remains unchanged with Mark New and Euan Cunningham earning spots on the bench.
Stirling will be looking improve their performance after their last game against Watsonians saw them lose the game in the final ten minutes. Cairns said: “We feel like we are putting some good performances together at the minute and were keen to keep up that momentum.
“The free weekend has allowed us the opportunity to freshen up and prepare fully for this encounter.
He knows that the visitors will provide a tough battle. He added: “After a shaky start Pete has the Ayrshire Bulls firing. They come off the back of a weekend off too, but I am sure they will come with great confidence after their excellent display versus the Knights a couple of weeks ago.
“This is our first home broadcast game and we are determined to put in a performance we can be proud of. There was a cracking atmosphere for our first home match at Bridgehaugh and there’s certainly no place we’d rather be this Sunday.”
Ayrshire Bulls will travel to Bridgehaugh looking to gain the five league points available and stretch ahead of those who sit in the middle of the FOSROC Super6 table.
Peter Murchie has selected Tom Lewis and Matt Davidson to start on both wings. James Pinkerton has impressed Murchie in training and will get his first look at the FOSROC Super6.
Murchie said: “Stirling have been looking like a dangerous team in the first three rounds of the competition.
“We will be looking to continue to build the momentum in a game where we know we need to produce a good performance.”