Tennent’s Men’s Premiership Semi-Finals & National Leagues Preview | 4 March
Find out all you need to know ahead of the Tennent's Men's Premiership play off semi-finals and another round of National League Division 1 action.
In the first of the Tennent’s Premiership semi-finals, it’s 1st v 4th as Hawick host Marr at Mansfield Park.
Hawick finished the regular season in top spot, winning 17 games in a row after drawing their opening fixture. They finished on 80 points, with 10 try bonus points and a points difference of 329. This was the first time any side has gone unbeaten in a men’s Premiership season since Hawick themselves did it in 2001.
Last season’s champions Marr finished in fourth, with ten wins and eight defeats. They finished on 51 points, with nine try bonus points and two losing bonus points, and a points difference of 12.
Hawick won both meetings between the two sides in the regular season, winning 20-3 in Hawick in October and 29-10 away at Fullarton Park in January.
Ahead of the fixture, Hawick captain Matt Carryer said: “Obviously the team are looking forward to the play offs.
“We’ve had a great season so far going unbeaten but we know that counts for nothing now.
“It’s been a huge week of training in preparation for Marr coming to Mansfield.
“Marr are a good side, they’re last year’s champions so we know we will need to be at our best to get the result we want.
“The lads are excited for a good game on Saturday.”
Marr captain Conor Bickerstaff said: “As a squad we’re very excited to be in another Premiership semi-final which gives us the opportunity to defend our title from last season.
“Preparation this week was all about fine tuning the small details but we also don’t want to over complicate our game for a big occasion like Saturday.
“We know it’s going to take a monumental effort to get one over on Hawick who’ve been relentless this season so far, but it’s something we are focussed on achieving and we’re ready to take the challenge head on.”
Hawick v Marr – Mansfield Park, 3pm
In the other semi-final, it’s 2nd v 3rd as Currie Chieftains host Edinburgh Academical at Malleny Park.
Currie finished second in the regular season winning 14 games and losing four. They amassed 72 points, with 14 try bonus points and two losing bonus points, and a points difference of 223.
Accies finished third, with 13 wins and five losses. They earned 66 points, with 12 try bonus points and two losing bonus points, and a points difference of 151.
Currie won 50-18 in the Malleny Park fixture between the two in the regular season, but just one week later Accies defeated Currie 22-21 at Raeburn Place.
Ahead of the game, Currie Chieftains captain Graeme Carson said: “On a personal level it’s been very disappointing missing the last six months with a ruptured achilles, but I’m equally excited to watch the boys play in the play offs.
“The semi-final last year was an entertaining and closely fought game, and with one win each in the league this season I think Saturday will another tight one.
“Preparation has been good, there’s a real excitement amongst all the players and everyone is looking forward to playing in front of a noisy Malleny Park and hopefully getting a positive result.”
And Edinburgh Academical captain Jamie Loomes said: “We’ve really enjoyed preparing for this week’s semi-final at Malleny Park.
“Currie are a strong team and have again been incredibly consistent this year, deservedly securing a home semi-final.
“We have prepared well and the boys can’t wait for 3pm on Saturday.”
Currie Chieftains v Edinburgh Academical – Malleny Park, 3pm
In the men’s Tennent’s National League Division 1, there is an important game in the relegation battle as Aberdeen Grammar host GHK.
Ayr could finish the weekend at the top of the table with a win at home to Biggar.
Stewart’s Melville will be looking for a second win of the season when they travel up to Dundee.
Third-placed Melrose will hope to close the gap on the leaders when they host fifth-placed Highland.
Stirling County could climb out of the relegation places with a win at home to Gala.
But that won’t happen if Watsonians can win at home to league leaders Kelso.
This week, all of the games kick off at 3pm.