Preview - Round 6 FOSROC Super6
The sixth round of the FOSROC Super6 sees back to back fixtures as they are reversed from last weekend.
Saturday 14 December - Heriot's Rugby v Southern Knights - 2pm
Tomorrow [Saturday] Southern Knights will travel to the capital to take on Heriot’s Rugby while Stirling County will travel to Millbrae to play Ayrshire Bulls.
Watsonians will make the short trip to Boroughmuir on Sunday in the game which will be broadcast live on Scottish Rugby TV and on BBC Sport Scotland.
Heriot’s will be looking to continue their improved performance from last weekend which saw them pick up four important league points in the Borders.
FOSROC Academy player Dan Gamble earns a starting position in the front row after impressing on Scotland U19 duties last weekend. In the second row Adam Sinclair and Charlie Jupp start as Rhuaridh Leishman was forced to miss out due to injury. The back line remains almost the same from last weekend with the added additions of scrum half Dan Nutton and winger Jack Blain earn starting spots.
Phil Smith’s team will take some confidence from their win last week. He said: “It was a strong performance. The boys will be buoyed going into the return leg of this double header. However, we will be fully aware that the Knights will have done their homework and be prepared to come up to Goldenacre.
“While we have a few changes to the squad, they are very clear on how we want to play and how to execute this.”
There are a few changes in the Southern Knight pack from last Saturday as James Head comes into the second row with youngster Harri Morris earning a start after also impressing on Scotland U19 duty.
Head Coach Rob Chrystie said: “Phil and his squad will be confident the win last weekend at The Greenyards. We know we will have to start well and stay focused on our individual roles if we are to get the desired result against the favourites in this battle.”
Saturday 14 December - Ayrshire Bulls v Stirling County - 2pm
Stirling County and Ayrshire Bulls have both dried out since they met at Bridgehaugh under challenging weather conditions last weekend.
County travel to Millbrae looking for an improved performance after their narrow loss last Sunday.
Prop Charlie Brown earns his second start of the season with his second row remining the same from last week. The visitors back row is all change as George Arnott, Matt Smith and Adam Ashe all have starting positions.
Head Coach Ben Cairns has stuck with the same backline as last weekend with Sean Kennedy on the bench, he could make his FOSROC Super6 debut.
Ben said: “It was another tough result for us last weekend. We put ourselves in a good position at half time but did not control the game and use the elements as well as we should have second half.
“Double headers always provide a great opportunity to put into practice some of the learnings from the first leg and we will aim to do that this weekend.
“We’d also hope the weather will be slightly better and allow both teams the opportunity to play a bit more rugby.”
The hosts welcome Marshall Sykes and Graham Geldenhuys to the starting forwards pack with Danny McCluskey earning a start in the back line.
Head Coach Peter Murchie said: “These fixtures give a unique opportunity to have another crack at each other and put some learnings into practice against the same opposition.
“The game last week was an arm wrestle in awful conditions, we were happy with the result and the determination shown. The challenge to our players is to improve as we know Stirling will be fired up for the game on Saturday.”
League leaders Watsonians make the short trip across the road to Boroughmuir Bears as they look to keep their 100% winning record.
The two teams have the added incentive of playing in the second leg of the Allan McNish Memorial Trophy.
Allan McNish was a former Watsonians President who passed away suddenly 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 after Watsonians won the first leg last weekend.
There are seven changes to the visitor’s team from last Sunday. Mesu Kunavula starts in the back row with Andrew Chalmers making a start at inside centre where he is joined by Lewis Berg and Ruaraidh Smith starting on the wing.
Although they are the only unbeaten team in the league Head Coach Fergus Pringle knows it will not be an easy task.
He said: “After a hard-fought game in tough conditions at Myreside, we are looking forward to the return fixture against the Bears at Meggetland.
“We know they have built a great match day atmosphere for their home games and Sundays game will be a tough challenge for us.
“Our squad have trained well this week, while we’ve gone about trying to improve aspects of our game that will help us put in a quality performance on Sunday against the Bears.”
The hosts team sees several changes from last weekend too. Johnny Matthews, Bruce Flockhart and Charlie Capps have all been released by Glasgow Warriors while current FOSROC Super6 top points scorer Kyle McGhie starts at scrum half with a settled back line behind him.
Head Coach Graham Sheil said: “After a disappointing outing at Watsonians last weekend, the squad are determined to put on a better performance for the return home fixture.
“Weather played a part in our poor performance, but a very strong Watsonians side managed the game more effectively and denied Boroughmuir Bears any opportunity to gain a foothold in the game.
“We have a lot of ground to make up to challenge Watsonians for the Allan McNish Memorial Trophy, but our main aim is to improve our performance and show improvement from where we were operating last weekend.”