• Ayr will again be a dominant force — Ross Curle and Frazier Climo will continue to be hugely influential.


  • Stirling County and Watsonians have not taken long to gel after recruiting extensively during the summer — Sean Crombie is going to be a big player for Watsonians.


  • Melrose have a big pack — and eight tries on Saturday is an encouraging step towards the expansive game Robert Chrystie is advocating.


  • Hawick have a potentially fatal physicality problem.


  • With three outstanding youngsters in half-backs Josh Henderson and George Horne and flanker Matt Fagerson, Hawks could be the season’s dark horses.


  • Currie have some work to do — fortunately they have Ross Weston and Richard Snedden to lead the way.


  • Lewis Carmichael had an outstanding game for Melrose against Boroughmuir — pro player release will again be a critical factor this season.


  • Yellow cards can hurt — as Heriots’ flanker Dylan Mason found to his team’s cost at Myreside on Saturday.


  • Gala’s struggle for survival has been dealt a grievous body blow by the loss of four key players to Watsonians.


  • Peter Wright has not mellowed with age or change of club.
About David Barnes 4026 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.