Boroughmuir coach Bruce Aitchison will be looking for his men to shrug off the disappointment of last Saturday’s narrow opening day defeat when they make the short trip to face Edinburgh Accies at Raeburn Place in the first Capital derby of the BT Premiership programme tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).
Aitchison is desperate to address the next challenge, saying “There are too many days between Saturdays when you produce a performance like we did last weekend. But we’ve watched the video time and time again and there is a lot of good stuff in it.”
’Muir make one change in the backs, with Ed Farquharson taking the place of Ian Martin at full-back. In the pack, the Meggetland side have the services of Edinburgh pros Neil Cochrane – returning to the club where he played as a teenager – and Simon Berghan, while Ian Moody moves forward into the second row leaving Craig Keddie and Magnus Bradbury to start in the back row.
Home coach Phil Leck is relishing the opportunity to build on a solid showing in last week’s defeat away to Melrose, where Accies were unfortunate to emerge empty-handed.
“We are looking forward to our first home game and playing in front of our own crowd. Boroughmuir will be a good test and will be looking to put right their narrow defeat last week, so we will have to be on our best form to counter that,” said Leck. “We played some good rugby last week and the thoughts in our camp were that we were a lot closer to Melrose than the final score suggested. We need to build on that and get our first league points on the board.”
Accies still have eight men unavailable but will field Edinburgh pro Chris Dean as well as calling Duncan Morrison and Ronan Seydak into the pack, while Clement Lacour, James Munro and Gavin Douglas start on the bench. Currie, winners at home to Hawick last weekend, will be looking for a second Borders scalp with a trip to face a Gala side that was narrowly beaten at Ayr.
Currie coach Ben Cairns names Alistair Hamilton on the bench after the prop returned from a spell playing in Canada, while Kevin Bryce, who was capped by Scotland in the summer, starts at hooker.
“We were very happy to get off to a winning start last week but we know there is a lot to improve on if we are to get anything from this week’s encounter,” said Cairns who acknowledged that Gala will be keen to bounce back, adding, “They are a team capable of accumulating points very quickly, picking up the only try bonus point in the first round of games and we know we will need an 80-minute performance from the whole squad.” Hawick provide the opposition for a Heriot’s outfit looking to bounce back from their defeat by Glasgow Hawks last week and also desperate to post a win over the Borderers who were the only side to inflict defeats on the Goldenacre men home and away last season.
With Cammy Ferguson, a try scorer last week, out through injury, Rory Carmichael moves to fill the gap at centre, creating an opportunity for Gregor McNeish, a summer signing from Dunfermline, to make his debut at stand-off.
Heriot’s coach Phil Smith was unhappy with the defeat by Hawks and has made his displeasure clear to his players.
“Last week was hugely disappointing having had such a positive pre-season,” he said. “A high number of our squad simply did not perform to the level required, which they now know, and the task this week is to return to those levels individually and collectively.”
Down one tier, BT National Division One promises to be equally competitive. Stewart’s Melville came within 80 minutes of securing a place in the top flight before losing out to Edinburgh Accies in the promotion/relegation play-off at the end of last season.
The Inverleith men kick off with a home fixture against Aberdeen Grammar, who were demoted. Across the city, fellow promotion hopefuls Watsonians welcome GHA.