National One preview: Stirling Wolves hunt revenge versus Heriot’s at Goldenacre

League leaders Biggar are away to Ayr, while Kelso hope to exorcise the demons of their heavy defeat against Cartha earleir in the campaign

Stirling Wolves will be looking to Bunce back after being thumped by Heriot's Blues earlier in the season. Image: Bryan Robertson
Stirling Wolves will be looking to Bunce back after being thumped by Heriot's Blues earlier in the season. Image: Bryan Robertson

HERIOT’S BLUES will be out to secure their tenth win of the National League One season when they host Stirling Wolves with an early (12.15pm) kick-off on Saturday, ahead of the club’s Super6 match against Southern Knights at 2pm.

The Goldenacre side are second in the table and defeated the Wolves convincingly 55-12 back in September at Bridgehaugh. That was a day to forget for Stirling and they go into this rematch sixth in the table and off the back of a hard fought win over Kelso.

Heriot’s, meanwhile, also picked up a confidence boosting win against Border opposition last weekend. “To go to The Greenyards and score six tries in tough conditions is testament to the players and the hard work they have been putting in,” said head coach Jamie Parker said about his side’s 40-13 win over Melrose. “Our set-piece functioned well and that gave the backs a good platform and we are keen to do that again against Stirling.”

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Leaders Biggar play in a late kick-off [4pm] when they go to Millbrae to face Ayr. That match will follow the Ayrshire Bulls’ Super6 match against Stirling County.

Biggar got a 62-15 win back in September against Stuart Fenwick’s men, but Ayr are a different proposition at home and beat Boroughmuir last time out.

It was a dark day for Kelso the last time they faced Cartha Queens Park, with  the Borderers losing 98-3 three months ago, but they have rallied since then and now just eight points separates the sides in the table.

“The boys that played that day were hugely embarrassed by the performance and we want to put it right this time,” said Kelso captain Murray Hastie. “Cartha are a good, physical team and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

In the other 3pm game Watsonians meet Melrose. The home side have back-row Stuart Allison and captain Chris Bell back after respective success with different select teams at the Dubai Sevens last week.

Melrose have named Stewart’s Melville College’s stand-off (and son of current Scotland head coach) Christian Townsend on the bench for the first time.

“Christian has always been a good player and led his school team to Scottish Schools Cup success last week,” said Melrose head coach Stuart Johnson. “He controls a game well for just 17 and I look forward to seeing him continuing his recent form with Melrose.

“We know this game will be tough as Watsonians have not lost at home. Having lost last week we have focused on ourselves this week and gone back to basics to get the confidence levels back up.”

At the bottom of the table, there is a big game with eleventh placed Boroughmuir hosting bottom outfit Dundee High at Meggetland.

“We are trying to learn all of the time from the challenging position we are in as we aim to pick up vital points,” said Boroughmuir head coach Richard Sievwright. “This week is particularly important and we know it won’t be easy against a Dundee team that have improved a lot since we last played them. The character of the players is being tested, but we are becoming stronger as a group because of the situation we are in.”

Dundee picked up their first win of the season at home to Watsonians last weekend and head coach Craig Sangster is looking for some continuity from that performance. “For the first time this season we will have a similar starting XV to the week before and that should help us,” he said. “We have something to build on after the win against Watsonians and the boys are looking forward to it.”

The Gala against Highland match has been postponed.

This weekend’s National League Division One fixtures –

Heriot’s Blues v Stirling Wolves (12.15pm)

Boroughmuir v Dundee High (2pm)

Kelso v Cartha Queens Park (3pm)

Watsonians v Melrose (3pm)

Ayr v Biggar (4pm)

Gala v Highland postponed

How it 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

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