Men’s Premiership & National 1 Preview | Round 7
Another round of Premiership and National 1 competitions beckons upon us. Catch up on the latest results and look ahead to this weekend's action in our preview.
Kelso v Edinburgh Academical FC – Poynder Park, KO 3pm
Both Kelso and Edinburgh Accies were faced with the tightest of contests last weekend against Selkirk and Marr respectively, exciting matches for the neutral and nerve-wracking stuff for the stands packed with fans.
Despite Kelso going into the changing room at half-time with a 12-point lead, Selkirk fought back and claimed a last gasp victory scoring a converted try in the dying moments whilst Kelso were down to 14-men.
Speaking to scottishrugby.org, Kelso Player/Coach Bruce McNeil said: “Obviously we were disappointed with last week’s result, a game that we could of won but we didn’t quite control the last quarter the way we’d like to.
“Knowing how good Accies are, we know were going to have to be better all around the park with and without the ball. But we’re looking forward to another quality team coming down to Poynder Park.”
For Accies, it was a similar story. They lead 17-10 at half-time only to be outdone by Marr with a penalty and converted try in the latter stages of the second half.
Reflecting on the performance, Accies Head Coach Iain Berthinussen said: “Last Saturday we showed we have developed a physical edge to our side, the challenge for us is making sure we compete for more longer. We were disappointed as a group to lose this game but as always when losing you have an opportunity to learn why, that is something the players have taken real responsibility for this week.”
But as any team does, Accies now relishes the opportunity ahead of them against a somewhat more unfamiliar opposition in Kelso, as they meet for the first time since the Borders outfit joined the Premiership.
Berthinussen added: “This week we head to Poynder Park to play Kelso; a fantastic ground and club and it is great to see them back in the Premiership. However, this is a game we must win for us.”
Marr v Currie Chieftains – Fullerton Park, KO 3pm
An all too familiar fixture in season’s gone by, Marr host Currie Chieftains at Fullerton Park this weekend.
Marr have been digging deep since their first Round loss to Heriot’s Blues, it seems something in the past as the Troon side now lead in the table standings.
Last weekend Marr edged the win from Accies, coming back from 17-10 in the first half to seal the victory with an unanswered try from Ali Rogers plus a conversion and penalty from Colin Sturgeon.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s challenge against Currie, Marr Head Coach Kenny Diffenthal said: “Currie this weekend will be very tough for us as we have had a few battles over the past few years. Mark and Ali will have their troops well drilled and prepared for Fullarton.
“Stephen and myself have worked hard this week to right the wrongs from last weekend and again need to be very accurate in everything we do to try turn a strong Currie side over.”
With a game in hand after last weekend’s clash with Hawks was postponed due to a waterlogged Malleny, Currie are sitting pretty in third place on 20 points with four wins from five.
Chieftains Head Coach, Mark Cairns has been impressed by his squad’s run so far, and is looking forward to getting things back on track after last weekend’s unexpected break.
“I am really pleased with our start to the season and how the new players have integrated so quickly, we have good depth, which is driving competition for places”, said Cairns.
“We were disappointed with our performance against Hawick a couple of weeks ago and know that this was not a good representation of all the effort we put in on and off the pitch.
“Training has been excellent this week with an extra session against Heriot’s Super Series team after our game was cancelled last week.
“It’s always tough on the road to Marr and with them sitting top of the league it’s set to be a really challenging physical encounter.”
Selkirk v Heriot’s Blues – Philiphaugh, KO 3pm
This Saturday the Blues head to the Borders to face Selkirk at Philiphaugh.
Both Selkirk and Blues featured in close-encounter high drama fixtures last weekend, with Selkirk coming out on top over Kelso with a last-gasp try scored by Callum Anderson, whilst Heriot’s near draw with Musselburgh concluded in a home victory with a try scored in the dying moments.
For Selkirk, this weekend is a chance to back up last weekend’s performance, and for the Blues, it’s a chance to get back on track.
Speaking to scottishrugby.org, Blues Head Coach Phil Smith said: “It was a tough one to take last weekend, particularly after coming back from a large deficit at half time. However, the young squad are ready to go again and are looking forward to the tussle Selkirk will clearly provide.”
Looking at that squad, Smith has had some exciting changes to his line up, moving some key players from the 2XV squad into the 1XV.
“Rory Jackson starts at hooker with Danny Dineen earning a spot on the bench after impressing for the 2’s. In the backs Kenta Kutsuna returns meaning Luke Townsend drops to the bench where he is joined by the returning Rory Steele.”
Glasgow Hawks v Jed-Forest – KO 3pm
Last weekend Glasgow Hawks fell victims to the Scottish weather with Malleny Park hampered by rain, postponing their fixture against Currie Chieftains.
Jed-Forest struggled against a well drilled performance against the champions, Hawick, defeated 0-61.
As Hawks and Jed both find themselves at the bottom of the league table, this weekend gives both teams a chance to earn some needed league points which as they rounds roll in, will feel more and more crucial with each game.
National Division 1
Ayr will be looking to maintain their unbeaten string of performances this weekend when they host GHA at Millbrae, whilst bottom of the table Biggar will hope they can turn things around as they host Dundee.
Elsewhere, Highland make the journey south to the Borders to face Gala and GHK look to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to Dundee when they host Watsonians.
Finally, Melrose host Glasgow Accies in a mid-table clash, where a win for either side could see some exciting changes to the tables positions.
All five games kick-off at 3pm.