Ben Cairns admits that he is glad of this weekend’s respite from the pursuit of second place in the BT Rugby Premiership. However, the Currie coach is expecting nothing less than a keenly contested tie when Watsonians visit Malleny Park in the third round of the BT Cup (kick-off 2.30pm).
“Our first match in the cup brings with it a welcomed change of focus from the relentless nature of the league campaign and the boys are really looking forward to getting into the knockout competition,” said Cairns, who expects Sonians – the BT National Division One leaders – to target a performance that confirms the Myreside men are equipped to compete in the top flight next season should they make the step up.
Heriot’s will be buoyed by the win last Saturday that secured their Premiership play-off spot when they undertake the hazardous trip to face Jed-Forest with a place in the last eight up for grabs.
Recalling last season’s scare against Howe of Fife, when his men squeezed home in a high scoring affair, Heriot’s coach Phil Smith has reminded his men of the threat the Borderers pose.
“If there was one thing we learned last year in the cup it was to never underestimate any opposition,” he said. “Jed-Forest are having a terrific season and I sense this will focus our minds on making sure we are at the top of our game.”
Elsewhere, despite struggling for much of the season, Boroughmuir could yet finish fifth in the BT Premiership should they record wins in each of their two remaining fixtures. The first of those comes tomorrow when Glasgow Hawks are the visitors to Meggetland (kick-off 3pm).
Meanwhile, with Sonians on BT Cup duty, Marr will travel to face Musselburgh in BT National Division One eyeing a win by more than 40 points that would topple the Myreside men from top spot. Burgh could do with some points to move towards safety, and that is also true of Stewart’s Melville who host bottom side Peebles.
In Division Two, Preston Lodge, who have slipped to fifth in the table, travel to meet Whitecraigs, while relegation-threatened Lasswade are desperate to take something from their match at home to Hillhead/Jordanhill.
With successes on each of the past two Saturdays to their credit, RHC Cougars will go into their Division Three fixture at home to second-placed West of Scotland with confidence high.