Watsonians coach Marcus Di Rollo will leave his men in no doubt about the need to focus for 80 minutes when they host Stewart’s Melville in the BT Cup tonight (kick-off 8pm).
Sonians were overhauled in the second half of their league match against Jed-Forest two weeks ago then stumbled from the blocks, conceding three early tries against GHA before recovering to post a bonus-point win.
Di Rollo knows a repeat will cause the Myreside men to run the risk of being knocked out of the competition by their Edinburgh rivals.
Stew Mel also started slowly last Saturday but their fightback against Dundee High fell short. However, the prospect of a Capital derby and a place for the winner in the last 16 should be sufficient to motivate the Inverleith outfit.
Tonight’s clash kicks off a weekend of second-round cup action involving six BT Premiership sides – the absentees being the quartet who contested last season’s league play-offs.
Match of the day tomorrow will be at Meggetland where Boroughmuir and Hawick clash in a repeat of last year’s final (3pm). Defending champions Muir would settle for a repeat of the outcome that day, but current form shows the Borderers will be a different prospect this time.
Edinburgh Accies will be looking to oust higher league opposition when Stirling County are the visitors (1.30pm). Musselburgh will also seek a Premiership scalp on their trip to Selkirk. Preston Lodge will relish the chance to confront National Division One outfit Jed-Forest at Pennypit, while RHC Cougars are bidding to make home advantage count against Dumfries Saints.
Among those not entering the cup until the next round are Melrose and Currie, who clash on league duty at the Greenyards, with second place in the BT Premiership table at stake. The unavailability of professionals and players involved in the Scotland Under-20 squad, plus some injuries, means coach Ben Cairns makes several changes as he targets a win that would edge his side towards a home play-off.
“Another week and another huge game for both sides as they try to secure a home semi-final spot. Whoever comes out on top will put themselves in pole position to do just that,” he said. “We were relieved more than anything to come out of last week with the win but we know we will need a much-improved performance this time around to get anything from the match.”