Phil Smith is confident there will be no repeat of the “deficiencies” on show in last weekend’s defeat at Melrose when Heriot’s welcome Ayr to Goldenacre tomorrow (3pm).
Coach Smith viewed two bonus points from the entertaining 44-43 defeat against the BT Premiership as scant consolation and is hopeful of a positive response. “While last week’s result brought us a couple of points, it did not hide our deficiencies,” he said. “We have worked hard this week to rectify them.”
Heriot’s, who will host a pre-match lunch for several of the club’s past internationals, have Ben Toolis on release from Edinburgh and skipper Jack Turley back in action after missing last week’s match.
Their presence should help bolster the home pack against an Ayr eight that includes British & Irish Lions prop Ryan Grant, while another Scotland cap, Jon Welsh, starts on the bench. “The inclusion of those on top of an already strong looking squad means we will have to be at our best at set-pieces to give us every opportunity to attack as well as we did last week,” added Smith.
Meanwhile, Currie coach Ben Cairns is desperate to halt a three-game losing run when Stirling County come calling. He said: “The focus this week has been solely on getting back to winning ways but we are under no illusions of how tough a task that will be.”
A side even more desperate for a taste of success is winless Edinburgh Accies. Their coach Phil Leck wants rid of the unlucky losers tag and he would like nothing more than to see the Raeburn Place men break their duck with a victory over his former team, Hawick. “We need a good win to kick ourselves into gear – being so close can no longer be an excuse,” he said.
Across the city, Boroughmuir have summer signing Chris Laidlaw back from injury and starting on the bench as they welcome Glasgow Hawks.
In addition to the four top-flight matches in the Capital, Watsonians welcome Hillhead/Jordanhill and Stewart’s Melville take on Biggar at Inverleith in BT National Division One. All games kick off at 3pm.