A festive treat is on the cards for spectators at Goldenacre tomorrow (kick-off 2pm) as Heriot’s welcome Boroughmuir for a BT Premiership clash that is being eagerly anticipated by both coaches.
The teams delivered mixed performances last Saturday when Muir clicked into gear and moved away from the foot of the table with a comprehensive victory over Watsonians, while Heriot’s misfired at Hawick and had to settle for a share of the points.
“It was a great result and performance last week but it doesn’t mean much if we can’t back it up this week, said Muir coach Peter Wright whose only change to the starting line-up is Tom Gracie replacing the injured Dan Winning at prop. “I love playing against Heriot’s. They play good rugby and we always get good games. I’m expecting a humdinger.”
The hosts bring in Clarke Smith and Tom Wilson for the unavailable Russell Nimmo and Andrew Simmers, while an injury to John Rae sees John Semple switch to full-back with Robbie Mulveena starting at centre.
“Despite not getting the result we desired last week, we recognised that going to Hawick is always challenging and some of the younger lads have learned that all fixtures in this league are going to be competitive,“ said Heriot’s coach Phil Smith. “Hence taking our chances when they are on offer is key.”
Heriot’s remain in a play-off spot but are ten points adrift of third-placed Glasgow Hawks and only two clear of nearest pursuers Currie who travel to face Stirling County looking to bounce back from a narrow loss at the hands of leaders Melrose last time out. That match, despite the result, had many pleasing aspects for Currie coach Ben Cairns.
“Melrose are at the top of the league for a reason and we can take huge confidence in the way we went toe-to-toe with the league leaders,” said Cairns.
Meanwhile, Watsonians coach Marcus Di Rollo lists winger Mark Bertram and scrum-half Reiss Cullen in his back division plus lock Matt Poole, young prop Callum Eastwood and Edinburgh Rugby flanker Vili Fihaki in the pack as the Myreside men bid to halt a downturn in fortunes at home to Glasgow Hawks.
Di Rollo is confident that his players are ready for the challenge, saying: “We know that last week was not good enough and the boys are determined to bounce back.”