National One preview: Biggar aim to put daylight between themselves and Heriot’s Blues

Hartreemill men have a big lead at the top of the table but are not quite home and hosed yet

Biggar defeated Heriot's Blues at Goldenacre in November. Image: Nigel Pacey
Biggar defeated Heriot's Blues at Goldenacre in November. Image: Nigel Pacey

BIGGAR could take a massive step towards securing the National One title on Saturday if they can beat second placed Heriot’s Blues at Hartreemill. David Wilson’s men have led the way for many months, but have not yet quite managed to shake-off their Edinburgh rivals, so this an opportunity for them to either widen the gap to 20 league points or it could be reduced to just ten points, and with Heriot’s having a game in hand that would mean a nervy few weeks for the South Lanarkshire side.

When the sides met at Goldenacre back in November, Luhan Kutze led the way as Biggar recorded a 36-14 bonus point triumph, but home player-coach Craig Borthwick reckons this one could be a bit tighter.  “The game needs no introduction, the two most consistent teams this year are battling it out in what I’m sure will be a cracker,” he said.

“We know we will have to be at our best to get what we want from this game, but I know that the boys are champing at the bit to get back out on the park again. “It is just another game for us to stick to what we have done all season and see where that takes us – one thing is for sure, given recent weather conditions there won’t be many clean jerseys by the end of the game.”

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Heriot’s head coach Jamie Parker said:  “We have prepared well this week and managed to finally get a training session outside which was good. With the ‘stop-start’ nature of things over the past few weeks, boys are looking forward to getting a game of rugby and having a crack at the top team in the league. I am expecting a physical game and hopefully the weather will hold out.”

Third placed Highland were given a boost by last week’s battling win at Gala and this time around they are on the road again to face an Ayr side who are just about safe from the drop in ninth place, but who will want to make sure of that by getting a positive result at Millbrae.

Fourth placed Melrose visit sixth placed Stirling Wolves in a game moved to Lornshill Academy to try and make sure it gets the go ahead. “We are looking forward to a tough fixture away at Stirling,” said Melrose head coach Stuart Johnson.

“We have had a good couple of weeks training building up to this game, with competition for places increasing due to guys returning from injury which is pleasing.

“The weather will have a big impact on this result, but if we can make sure our kicking game accurate and put in some big defensive sets on the back of this then we will give ourselves opportunities.”

At the bottom of the table, 11th placed Boroughmuir are 15 points from safety and need to start winning soon. They host Gala at Meggetland, with the Maroons having won the corresponding fixture 36-14 just short of four months ago.

Kelso are 10th and they are at home to Watsonians. The teams played out an exciting match when they met at Myreside in November, the Edinburgh side winning 42-30 in the end, and Bruce Ruthven’s side still harbour hopes of a top half finish.

Dundee High are already relegated and they are on the road to eighth placed Cartha Queens Park in a match moved from Dumbreck to Lochinch with a lunchtime kick-off.

This Saturday’s National League Division One fixtures (3pm unless stated)

Cartha Queens Park v Dundee High (1pm, Lochinch)

Stirling Wolves v Melrose (2pm, Lornshill Academy)

Kelso v Watsonians

Biggar v Heriot’s Blues

Boroughmuir v Gala

Ayr v Highland

How is stands 

Heriot's Blues19145067236530716173
Stirling Wolves18981413429-166347
Cartha QP197111559587-2811445
Dundee High203170313695-3823116

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Gary Heatly
About Gary Heatly 175 Articles
Gary has had a love for both rugby and writing for as far back as he can remember. Having cut his teeth in the ‘real world’ of journalism at the Midlothian Advertiser local newspaper for a couple of years between 2005 and 2007, he has since been kept busy covering sport, mainly rugby. He was a member of the editorial team at SCRUM Magazine for 11 years until recently and now provides regular rugby content to various national and local newspapers, magazines and websites via his company GH Media as well as hosting a podcast. Twitter: G_HMedia