Tennent’s Prem PREVIEW: Heriot’s take on Chieftains in Edinburgh derby play-off
Heriot’s will welcome the Currie Chieftains to Goldenacre today (23 March) in the Tennent’s Premiership play-off between second and third in the league (kick-off 3pm).
The game promises to be a keenly contested fixture, with both sides being evenly matched this season.
Heriot’s previously faced the Chieftains in January at Malleny Park, which saw Currie snatch victory in the dying moments of the game with a dramatic drop goal.
The hosts, who started the year strongly, put on a spirited performance against Hawick in their last fixture to claim a bonus point victory and secure second place on the table.
Heriot’s Head Coach, Phil Smith, has opted for a fairly settled squad and will be welcoming the inclusion of professionals Mark Bennett, Jack Cuthbert and Murray McCallum.
Smith said: “Our two league fixtures have been tight affairs with neither team really putting their best foot forward, or, both defences playing very well.
“The ingredients are certainly there to have supporters on the edge of their seats.
“We will look to our experienced players to guide the game plan to wherever it needs to go and be aware of the threats that Currie pose.”
Currie Chieftains will be eager to reach the Tennent’s Premiership final after losing out to Ayr on home turf in last season’s play-off.
The visitors have also made a few changes, with dynamic Edinburgh number 8 Luke Crosbie starting for the side and Thomas Gordon also making his return to the fold.
Glasgow Warriors have released Adam Nicol who will be looking to make an impact off the bench.
Currie Chieftains Head Coach, Mark Cairns, said: “We have been involved at this stage of the league for the last five years, so there is plenty experience throughout the squad.
“This season we have been on the right side of two very close games against Heriot’s and we know it will be an extremely physical match at Goldenacre.
“It’s all set up to be a really exciting game and I hope we produce the quality of rugby we know we are capable of.
“Saturday is not about reaching the final to have a chance of winning the league, but simply to have another opportunity to play together again.”
Heriot’s v Currie Chieftains, Goldenacre, 3pm
Heriot’s: Ross Jones; Jack Cuthbert, Mark Bennett, Robert Kay, Charlie Simpson; Stuart Edwards, Andrew Simmers; Josh Scott, Michael Liness, Struan Cessford, Ruaridh Leishman, Callum Marshall, Iain Wilson CAPTAIN, Jack McLean, Struan Dewar
Replacements: Ali Johnstone, Murray McCallum, Adam Sinclair, Martin Hughes, Jason Hill, Alex Ball, Rory Carmichael.
Currie Chieftains: Jamie Forbes; Ben Robbins, Joe Reynolds, Robbie Nelson CO-CAPTAIN, Matthew Hooks; Gregor Hunter, Chris Davies; Matias Sonzogni Argiro, Fergus Scott CO-CAPTAIN, Fraser Watt, Vince Wright, Mike Vernel, Marc Kelly, Thomas Gordon, Luke Crosbie
Replacements: Graeme Carson, AP McWilliam, Adam Nicol, Scott McGinley, Rhys Davies, Adam Hall, Steven Hamilton.