Preview: Scottish Cup competition returns this weekend
After a three-season hiatus, the Scottish Cup returns this weekend with five clashes as teams from the Tennent’s Premiership and National Division 1 begin their battle for the title.
In the first round, 10 teams have been given a bye in order to create a 16-team second-round, set to be played on Saturday 25 March.
In action this weekend, a classic Borders derby kickstarts things as Hawick host Jed-Forest in a at Mansfield Park.
Stirling County and Highland are both on the road, travelling in opposite directions, to face Aberdeen Grammar and Musselburgh respectively.
National Division 1 side, Gala will host Premiership side, Glasgow Hawks, at Netherdale.
Finally, a reunion between the recently promoted Heriot’s Blues and National Division 1 side, Biggar, will take place at Hartree Mill.
The Scottish Cup, which has been challenged for since 1995/96, was last contested in the 2018/19 season in an edge of the seat thriller at BT Murrayfield, as Ayr narrowly defeated Heriot’s for the win (27-25).
Last season, Scottish Rugby made the decision to postpone the Scottish Cup competition in order to allow clubs to fulfil their league matches as bad weather and covid-19 cases caused disruption to the calendar.
The previous two seasons (2019/20 and 2020/21) saw contact rugby shut-down due to the pandemic, leaving the trophy unclaimed for a total of three seasons.
Knock-out fixtures for the National Shield and Bowl have been taking place across the country throughout the season.
Round 1: Saturday 4 February
Aberdeen Grammar Rugby v Stirling County
Hawick v Jed Forest
Gala v Glasgow Hawks
Biggar v Heriot’s Blues
Musselburgh v Highland
Byes: Ayr, Currie Chieftains, Dundee Rugby, Edinburgh Academical, GHA, Kelso, Marr, Melrose Rugby, Selkirk & Watsonians.
There is also Men’s Tennent’s Premiership and National League Division 1 action this weekend.
In the Premiership, second-placed Currie Chieftains host fourth-placed Marr in a repeat of last year’s final.
A win for Currie will secure them second spot ahead of the playoffs, and keeps them in the hunt for first place.
This is Marr’s final game of the regular season, and a bonus point win would secure them a place in the playoffs.
Currie Chieftains v Marr – Malleny Park, 2pm.
In National League Division 1, Kelso will go top of the league with a win when they host Dundee.
And Watsonians, who are only outside of the relegation spots on points difference, will look to distance themselves from Stirling County with a win at home to third-placed Melrose.
This Saturday, Watsonians v Melrose is at 1.30pm, with Kelso v Dundee at 2pm.