Men’s Premiership semi-finals | Preview

Men’s Premiership semi-finals | Preview

The two men's Premiership semi-finals take place tomorrow, as Hawick host Kelso and Marr take on Currie Chieftains.

Hawick v Kelso – Mansfield Park, 3pm

Regular season league leaders Hawick earned themselves a home semi-final, with Kelso securing the final play-off spot to give us a border derby.

Hawick lost just once in the regular campaign, picking up 16 wins and a draw to finish with 77 points.

Kelso’s nine wins, six losses and three draws saw them finish in fourth with 53 points.

Hawick were convincing winners in the first fixture between the two sides this season, as it finished 61-7 to the hosts at Mansfield Park in September.

And Hawick went on to complete the double over Kelso at Poynder Park, bagging a 28-20 win in November.

Hawick Director of Rugby Gary Muir said: “Whatever has happened in the previous 18 games are forgotten about now and there is no next week if you get it wrong.

“We have had a good couple of weeks preparing for this one and we are selecting from a fully fit squad for the first time in a long time so we can have no excuses from that point of view.

“Our boys are focused on the job in hand and are under no illusions as to the challenge Kelso will provide. I have complete faith in them that if they perform to their best and follow the game plan we will give ourselves the best opportunity to come out in the right side of the result at full time.

“Hold onto your hats though, this won’t be for the faint of heart!”

Kelso Player-Coach Bruce McNeil added: “Preparations have been good, training has been intense with competition for the jersey at an all time high,

“We know what we’re coming up against at Mansfield, but we must not come away from there with any regrets, so the message this week has been to go enjoy the occasion and meet fire with fire.”

Marr v Currie Chieftains – Fullarton Park, 3pm

The second semi-final sees second host third as Marr welcome Currie Chieftains to Fullarton Park.

Marr finished the regular season on 71 points, with 14 wins and 4 losses to secure them second.

12 wins, five losses and a draw saw Currie Chieftains finish just below in third with 65 points.

The most recent meeting between the two confirmed who would finish second and get a home semi-final, with Marr coming out 27-17 winners at Malleny Park.

That completed a double for Marr over Currie, after they had beaten the Edinburgh side 34-28 at Fullarton in October.

Marr Head coach Kenny Diffenthal said: “The boys have worked hard this week to try put our mistakes right from our last encounter, which was a battle at Malleny.

“Mark and his troops will bring physicality and intent so we need a really solid defensive effort. Myself and Stephen have worked hard on this this week.

“Hopefully we put on a show for the Fullarton faithful and it’s a great day. We look forward to the challenge, and everybody loves finals footy at home.”

Currie Chieftains Head Coach Mark Cairns added: “Marr got it spot on against us last time round at Malleny, and it was a tough one to take having started so well.

“The boys have picked themselves up quickly and we’ve had the last couple of weeks to prepare for the match and put things right.

“The last couple of encounters at Fullarton have come down to the final play and we are hoping to be in the fight right to the end.”


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