National Two preview: Peebles get set to do battle with Hamilton Bulls

Bottom of the table Gordonians face a tough challenge at home against league leaders Dumfries Saints, while GHK are on the road to Stew-Mel

Peebles and Glasgow Accies in week-two action. Image: Stephen Mathison.

PEEBLES take their unbeaten start in National Two season to Laigh Bent on Saturday as they play Hamilton Bulls. The Gytes side won away at Gordonians in week one and backed it up with a 27-0 home win over Glasgow Accies last weekend, leaving head coach Lewis Bertram fairly satisfied with their start to the new campaign.

“I have been pleased with how the team have done so far,” the former Gala player said. “We had to dig in to win the first game, and then last week we were a bit more clinical in attack, while the most pleasing thing was that we managed to stop Accies from scoring.

“Now we want to build on that defensive display, but we know that Hamilton are a dangerous side who can score points if you give them a sniff. We have quite a few young players in our squad who are now into their second or third seasons of senior rugby and it’s good to see them growing together whilst playing for their local club.”

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Peebles have a number of players back for this clash, but captain Ryan Stewart has headed off to Japan to watch the World Cup. The Borderers are second in the table, while Kenny Brown’s Hamilton are in seventh after a win and a loss so far.

Like Peebles, GHK are on the road on Saturday when they take on unbeaten Stewart’s Melville at Inverleith. GHK lost a high-scoring game to Hamilton first up, but secured a comfortable win last time out against Falkirk.

“I was pleased with a number of things the guys did in attack against Falkirk,” GHK head coach Peter Wright said. “It was good for the boys to score 44 points. Now we have to really work out how to dig in and win games away from home as every match is going to count in this tight division. Stew Mel have had a good start and are coached well by Jonny Else who I worked with at Boroughmuir, so it will be a good game and I expect my squad to be up for it.”

Kirkcaldy have lost two from two, but have picked up three bonus points along the way and, according to director of rugby Corgi George, confidence is still high at Beveridge Park. The eighth-placed Fifers take on ninth-placed Whitecraigs this weekend and George said: “The boys are certainly not down. They know with a bit more luck we could have won both of our league games to date. They have been buzzing at training this week and are very much looking forward to having a home game on Saturday and being able to show people what they can do with ball in hand.”

Whitecraigs will have been licking their wounds this week after an 83-12 loss at Dumfries Saints last time out. That result put the Saints top of the table as the only side with ten points from ten and this time out they are making the long trip up to Gordonians. Every match away from home in this league will be tough so Dumfries head coach Euan Mack and his players will not be taking the challenge of Ryan Morrice’s bottom-of-the-table side lightly.

Preston Lodge have won one and drawn on so far and they take their unbeaten record to Glasgow Accies. The latter were frustrated by their bluntness in attack at Peebles and will want to make amends.

Falkirk, looking for their first league win of the season, are at home to Newton Stewart. They were edged out by Stew Mel in week one before GHK overpowered them in the second half last week. Newton Stewart will be tough opponents – they have a win and a draw under their belts already to sit sixth in the table.

This weekend’s National League Division Two fixtures (all 3pm) –

Stewart’s Melville v GHK

Hamilton Bulls v Peebles

Glasgow Accies v Preston Lodge

Gordonians v Dumfries Saints

Kirkcaldy v Whitecraigs

Falkirk v Newton Stewart

Dumfries Saints6600311852265029
Peebles RFC7520174138363124
Hamilton Bulls7430254187675223
Kirkcaldy RFC7430178129494222
Preston Lodge7331192201-95221
Newton Stewart733111311123219
Stewart's Mel642012012001118
Falkirk RFC7250178229-514113
Glasgow Accies7151101244-143208

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Gary Heatly
About Gary Heatly 74 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