Tennent’s Men’s Premiership and National League Division 1 2022/23 | Saturday 3 September Preview
The Tennent’s Men’s Premiership continues this weekend, whilst the Tennent's Men's National League Division 1 gets underway! Here we preview the fixtures from both leagues.
Tennent’s Men’s Premiership – Saturday 3 September
Heriot’s Blues play their first home game back in the Premiership as they host GHA at Goldenacre.
Heriot’s won the Tennent’s Men’s National League Division 1 by just one point last season to secure promotion.
After a disappointing start for both sides last weekend with losses to Hawks and Accies, both sides will be eager to claim their first win of the season.
Reflecting on last weekend’s loss, GHA captain Michael Fox said: “We were disappointed with the result last Saturday after a really positive start, where we played some great rugby. It was a great opportunity for our younger players to be exposed to Premiership rugby and the calibre of players in it.
“We’ve had a good week at training and really worked on the areas that let us down against Accies. Heriot’s I’m sure will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing result last week to Hawks and with it being their first home game of the season, I’m sure that will be extra motivation for them.
“It should be another good game, with both sides looking to play rugby on a good pitch.”
Heriot’s Blues v GHA – Goldenacre, 3pm
Last season’s runners up Currie Chieftains make the short journey to Stoneyhill to face Musselburgh.
Mark Cairns’ side secured a bonus score within the opening 40 last weekend at Maleny Park when they hosted Jed-Forest. Scoring eight tries (52-12), Chieftains go into Round 2 of the competition sitting top of the table.
Musselburgh on the other hand suffered a narrow defeat to defending Champions Marr, losing 47-31. Whilst it wasn’t quite enough from the Burgh boys to claim the win, they are on the table with a losing bonus point.
Reflecting on last weekends fixture against Marr, Head Coach Derek O’Riordan said: “I was pleased we picked up our first league points away from home since December 2019 and the manner in which we attacked the second half. In reality though we started poorly and our first phase defence was not where it needed to be and that gave Marr a head start that was difficult to pull back.
“Going into this weekend, we have made some adjustments to how we defend from centre field and added some detail around our set piece which will hopefully tidy things up defensively. We know Currie are dangerous off first and second phase ball and that’s a credit to how organised and well coached they are. Our focus has to be on the energy and intensity in our defence to give us an in to the game.
“We showed on the attacking side of the ball that we can be a handful and with some of tweaks to personnel this week I think we can fire some shots at Currie earlier than we did against Marr.”
Musselburgh v Currie Chieftains – Stoneyhill, 3pm
Glasgow Hawks will be hoping to continue their good start when they visit Selkirk after beating league newcomers Heriot’s Blues 31-19 last weekend.
Hawks picked up a try bonus point at Balgray and sit fourth after Round 1.
Selkirk on the other hand grabbed two points from their 20-20 draw with Hawick.
Reflecting on their performance last week Selkirk Head coach, Scott Wight said: “We’re very happy that we picked up points last week at Mansfield as that’s something a lot of teams struggled to do last year.
“This week it’s all about building momentum and putting in a performance at home which we’ve struggled with. We know what it’ll take to win especially after Hawks getting off to a great start last week against Heriot’s.”
Selkirk v Glasgow Hawks – Philiphaugh, 3pm
The second Border derby of the season takes place at Riverside Park where Jed-Forest host Hawick.
Jed-Forest started with a disappointing 52-12 defeat away to Currie Chieftains, whilst Hawick were involved in the aforementioned Border derby draw last weekend.
Colin Yourston from Jed-Forest said: “Training this week has gone really well, the squad is looking good and we look forward to playing Hawick this weekend at Riverside after a tough match against a strong Currie side in Round 1.”
Jed-Forest v Hawick – Riverside Park, 3pm
Last season’s champions Marr, who sit in third after last weekend’s win against Musselburgh, will this weekend travel to Edinburgh Academical.
The two sides last met in January where Marr claimed the victory by just five points, 21-26.
Last season’s play-off semi-finalists, Accies, sit one place above Marr after a 36-7 win at home against GHA on the opening day.
Edinburgh Academical v Marr – Raeburn Place, 3pm
Tennent’s Men’s National League Division 1 – Saturday 3 September
The Tennent’s Men’s National League Division 1 gets started for the 2022/23 season on Saturday.
Stirling County, who finished ninth last season, host Melrose, who secured fourth, at Bridgehaugh.
Last year’s runners up Gala, who finished just one point behind league winners Heriot’s Blues, get their campaign underway at home to Watsonians, who finished tenth.
Highland and Ayr had similar seasons last year, finishing 5th and 6th, and the two sides meet in their opening fixture at Canal Park.
After relegation from the Tennent’s Men’s Premiership, Aberdeen Grammar get underway in the National League Division 1 away to Kelso.
Biggar, who finished fourth and just four points behind Heriot’s Blues last season, host Dundee, who produced a mixed bag in 2021/22 and finished eighth. Biggar have fielded pre-season opposition against Premiership sides Currie Chieftains, Glasgow Hawks and Selkirk with the hope that these games can give them the edge this season.
Finally, the two teams promoted from the Tennent’s Men’s National League Division 2 go head-to-head as Stewart’s Melville host GHA. The hosts will welcome another exciting guest to Inverleith – the Calcutta Cup – chaperoned by Scottish Rugby President Colin Rigby.
All the fixtures this week kick off at 3pm.