Currie coach Ben Cairns wants his men to adopt a more clinical approach to finishing off scoring opportunities when the Malleny Park men welcome Boroughmuir on BT Premiership duty tomorrow (kick-off 3pm), with both sides targeting a win that will boost their play-off aspirations.
Currie suffered a painful loss away to Hawick last week, a missed conversion in the final action of the match resulting in a one-point defeat. Coming seven days after a comprehensive win over Heriot’s, that result was frustrating for Currie, but also evidence of the competitive nature of the league.
Cairns, who has Richard Snedden and Jamie Forbes back in harness at half back, but otherwise names an unchanged starting side, was clear in identifying his team’s deficiencies.
“Hawick made us pay for not capitalising on the chances we created in the first half. Our decision making post break was poor last week and this is something we have worked hard on in training,” he said.
Tomorrow’s encounter features two of the most entertaining back lines in the club game but the protagonists have only two wins each in the seven matches to date, and will be looking to bounce back from being beaten last Saturday.
“Both teams are packed full of emerging talent so it should be a great showcase for some of Scotland’s future stars,” added Cairns.
Boroughmuir go into the match after a reverse against league leaders Glasgow Hawks. The Meggetland side’s ambition in playing open rugby has earned plaudits but, although he is happy to back that running style, coach Peter Wright has not achieved the results he is seeking.
Wright has Andy Rose at blindside flanker in place of Edinburgh professional Jamie Ritchie while Sam Johnson returns at scrum-half.
His players are desperate to bounce back from last week’s loss.
“They put a lot of effort into last week’s game and were bitterly disappointed not to get anything out of it,” said Wright. “But no time to wallow with a crucial game for both teams on Saturday.”
Another side looking to rediscover the winning feeling is Watsonians. Despite having lost against Gala and Melrose on successive weekends, Sonians occupy fourth place in the table. Coach Marcus Di Rollo has made four changes as the Myreside men head for Bridgehaugh to meet a Stirling County side that has played well in patches but has not yet performed consistently.
DJ Innes and Ewan Scott are restored among the backs, while Matt Poole and Diarmaid Dee return up front, an area Di Rollo expects to be crucial to the outcome. “We know that County have a strong pack so we will need to work hard to get the desired result,” he said.
With Glasgow Hawks, Melrose and Ayr all more than ten points clear of Sonians, it appears that the others are scrambling for only one play-off spot.
Among the sides eyeing that objective is Heriot’s. Although the defending champions have struggled to find the form that delivered the silverware last season, coach Phil Smith insists that he is seeing progress. That view was reinforced by a comfortable win at home to Gala last time out.
Smith’s players face a tough assignment when they travel to face Melrose. Matches between the two are normally hard-fought affairs although the Borderers will go into tomorrow’s clash with home advantage as well as the psychological benefit of having beaten Heriot’s in the season opening BT Charity Shield. Smith believes it will be won up front and has the luxury of naming an unchanged pack, which is bolstered by the return of George Turner and Russell Nimmo to the bench. Skipper Rory Carmichael and Josh Laird are absent from the backs, meaning Charlie Simpson moves to centre and John Rae starts on the wing.
“After putting in a more ‘Heriot’s’ like performance last weekend the boys are relishing the challenge ahead,” said Smith.