Boroughmuir coach Peter Wright wants his men to build on last week’s hard-fought success at Glasgow Hawks when they welcome Watsonians for the Colinton Road derby tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).
The hosts sit fourth in the Tennent’s Premiership, although they are third in the try charts with 18 touchdowns so far. And the encounter promises to be another high scoring affair, with substantial firepower on both sides. Wright has leading points gatherers Johnny Matthews and Jordan Edmunds in their familiar berths of hooker and winger, while the home squad is boosted by the inclusion of Edinburgh professional Daryl Marfo, who will start at loosehead.
Wright always encourages his players to adopt an expansive style, but he is asking them to focus on managing the game better than they did last Saturday when it took a last-ditch score to snatch the win.
“We had a good start and finish to last week’s game but the stuff in between could have been better,” said Wright “We need to improve our decision making and accuracy to have any chance of beating Watsonians who will be hurting after their defeat last week.”
The match pits Muir flanker Rory Drummond against his former colleagues, who have had a mixed start to the campaign and go into the match with one win to their credit.
Watsonians coach Steve Lawrie is calling for greater composure than was evident at Myreside last weekend.
“Melrose thoroughly deserved their victory last week. However, we felt we played our part with some interesting decisions with ball in hand. Having highlighted no lack of effort in our performance, we have looked to iron out a few of our brain explosions this week at training,” he said.
Summer signing Josh Rowland has been a standout contributor, with tries in each of the opening three fixtures. The Irish sevens internationalist is joined in a back division bristling with pace by Edinburgh winger Darcy Graham, whose fellow former Hawick player Rory Hutton returns from injury.
Across the city, something has to give when Heriot’s host Ayr at Goldenacre, with both teams having achieved a perfect 15 points so far. The hosts have shown that they can win when coming from behind – as they did against Watsonians – as well as leading all the way, which was the case in last week’s 11-try demolition of Edinburgh Accies.
Even in that success, coach Phil Smith noted that his players appeared to ease off at the start of the second half, and he is warning them that such an approach tomorrow will be pounced upon by opponents who have also looked impressive in the early weeks of the campaign.
“The players recognise that Accies were a bit off colour, maybe even a bit deflated, last weekend and it was not a true reflection of what they are about,” conceded Smith. “We quickly turn, however, to what is the biggest game of our season so far with both ourselves and Ayr unbeaten.”
Heriot’s have picked up a few injuries, meaning that Finlay Munro and Callum Bell will make their first appearances. The coach will be hoping for Craig Robertson to continue his scoring sequence. The winger tops the try charts after dotting down six times against Accies.
Hard on Robertson’s heels is Ben Robbins of Currie Chieftains. He bagged a handful last week and will be looking to add to his tally away to Stirling County. Ben Cairns hands debuts to flanker Marc Kelly and scrum-half Roan Frostwick as Chieftains attempt to resume where they finished in the second half of last week’s win over Hawick.
Life is no easier for Accies, who travel to Melrose. The promoted side have yet to pick up a league point, but coach Derek O’Riordan believes his men can trouble the leaders if they start well, and that will be the focus.