Stew/Mel bubbling up nicely in play-off bid

Scott Brewster in action
Scott Brewster in action
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Stewart’s/Melville will be hoping 13 proves lucky in National League rugby when entertaining Kelso at Inverleith tomorrow.

It is necessary to go back a dozen matches to mid-September for the last occasion Stew/Mel slipped up in the league and the run has taken them to second in the table.

What’s more, if Watsonians were to lose at GHA tomorrow then a Stew/Mel victory would guarantee them a play-off against the second bottom Premiership outfit for a place in the top tier.

Understandably, second row stalwart Scott Brewster is taking nothing for granted but admits: “There seems to be more pressure on Watsonians than us this weekend because they can’t afford to lose.

“We still have to visit them on the last day of the season when a win would put us into the play-off.”

There is an obvious key to Stew/Mel’s consistency according to Brewster who handed over the captaincy this season to stand off Nick McCashin.

“It’s all about momentum and a couple of seasons ago we managed to string ten games together unbeaten with many of the players involved still at the club and knowing how it is generated.

“Our points differential (+87) is pretty modest but that underlines an ability to dig out wins from tight contests.”

When it comes to finishing power wingers Alan Whittingham and Matt Morrell are a match for most and McCashin is a former Kiwi provincial player. However, it is up front that Brewster expects the game to be won and lost.

“I missed our visit to Kelso when, by all accounts, we gave one of our best performances so far in winning 32-12.

“What makes this latest match particularly intriguing is that we pride ourselves on scrummaging and reports of Kelso’s latest win credited them with putting Watsonians under a lot of pressure in the set-piece.

“Obviously a lot of people will be looking ahead to that potential play-off decider at ’Sonians but we are not thinking of anything other than taking the points from Kelso, hopefully in front of a couple of big crowds to end our league campaign.”

Stewart’s/Melville are unchanged while Watsonians head for GHA with Mike Ker returning from injury to show versatility by moving from stand off to scrum half. Also, Rory Steele is back on the wing although a final decision on the pack line-up is delayed.

National League champions Boroughmuir will collect their trophy tomorrow at Biggar where regulars Andy Rose and Cal Davies are benched to give opportunities to Neil Rodger and Andy Mackenzie.

In the Premiership, Heriot’s await Glasgow Hawks with Kevin Bryce starting at hooker, sevens cap Mike Maltman on the flank and Ben Toolis poised to debut off the bench at second row.

Currie entertain Hawick with George Horne at full back after Scotland Under-20 duty. Edinburgh pair Sean Cox and Joachnin Dominguez are expected to make first appearances for the club under the pro release scheme. Injuries to Hawick’s Ross Graham and Rory Scott mean a return for Matt Landels and Kieran Willison.

Heading for Ayr are Edinburgh Accies who have Alex Blair, Alex Allan, Phil Cringle and Ruairidh Young back in the squad and Greg Campbell recovered from injury.