Club rugby preview: Edinburgh Accies aiming for revenge at Heriot's

Edinburgh Accies coach Derek O'Riordan wants his men to learn from last week's cup exit at the hands of Heriot's when the sides meet again on Tennent's Premiership duty at Goldenacre tomorrow (2pm).

Friday, 30th November 2018, 6:30 am
Updated Friday, 30th November 2018, 10:10 am
Edinburgh Accies coach Derek O'Riordan

Accies led at half-time in the knockout competition before Heriot’s used the power of a solid pack to see off their near neighbours.

O’Riordan’s selection has been complicated by injury and unavailability, but he has restored Belgian internationalist Vincent Hart in his preferred stand-off berth after featuring at full-back, and he welcomes back Will Stephen at centre.

Of this latest clash, O’Riordan, pictured, said: “I don’t think we will be in for the same soft start this week and we need to adapt the way we play in anticipation of that. Heriot’s’ power game is there to see and we cannot allow ourselves to be sucked into that battle of attrition.”

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Heriot’s coach Phil Smith was angered by that poor first-half showing but was pleased with the recovery and he has left his players in no doubt about the importance of performing for the full 80 minutes.

“We need to apply pressure better and for longer to give ourselves a foothold in the game from the first whistle.”

Smith has promoted Michael Liness, Struan Cessford, Martin Hughes and Andrew Simmers from the bench as his side chase the win that would keep them in the play-off places.

Across the city, Boroughmuir welcome Glasgow Hawks (3pm), knowing that there is little margin for error as they bid to maintain their upturn in form and close in on the four teams above them.

Last of that leading quartet is Watsonians, who face the toughest assignment of the Capital clubs with a trip to face a Melrose outfit that is a point adrift of pacesetters Ayr.

Sonians coach Steve Lawrie has Greg Jackson, Ross Graham, Harry Fisher, Connor Boyle, Lee Millar and Andrew Chalmers back in his line-up for a fixture that could prove the catalyst for his men to mount a serious title challenge if they can chalk up a win.

Currie Chieftains will be looking to build on good performances over successive weekends that saw them bolster their bid in both league and cup. The Malleny Park men are close to full strength for the trip to meet Hawick, with coach Ben Cairns welcoming back Thomas Gordon, Gregor Hunter, Robbie Nelson and Ben Robbins.