Super Series Sprint: Ayrshire Bulls and Watsonians shoot it out for top of the table finish

Winner will qualify for play-off final with home advantage

Ayrshire Bulls and Watsonians will get to grips with each other at Millbrae tomorrow [Friday] night. Image: George McMillan
Ayrshire Bulls and Watsonians will get to grips with each other at Millbrae tomorrow [Friday] night. Image: George McMillan

THE mathematics are pretty simple. Whoever wins tomorrow [Friday] night’s clash between Ayrshire Bulls and Watsonians at Millbrae will have home advantage in next weekend’s Super Series Sprint 1st/2nd place play-off. Meanwhile, defeat – even with two bonus points – doesn’t automatically kill off that team’s chances of competing for the title, but will leave them reliant on Heriot’s and Stirling Wolves cancelling each other out in their last match of the regular season at Goldenacre on Saturday afternoon.

  • The match kicks-off at 7.35pm and tickets can be purchased HERE.

Home head coach Pat MacArthur has made only one change to the starting fifteen he fielded for last weekend’s draw against Heriot’s with Bobby Beattie returning at outside-centre and Jamie Shedden shifting to the wing in place of the unavailable Thomas Glendinning. William Farquhar and Archie Smeaton have recovered from injury to be named on the bench alongside Welsh stand-off Brad Roderick-Evans who is set for his Bulls debut having broken the the BUCS Super Rugby record for points scored in a single campaign last year whilst playing for Cardiff Met University.

“It doesn’t come much bigger than this,” said MacArthur. “With this effectively a semi-final and Watsonians on a good run of form, our players know exactly what is required from them. We have trained well, focusing on closing out the opportunities we create. The players are looking forward to the challenge especially in front of a vocal Millbrae support.”


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Opposite number Stevie Scott has made three changes to his team as he looks to build on recent wins on the road against Stirling Wolves and Boroughmuir Bears. Teenager Ben Riley, who impressed off the bench last weekend, starts in place of Ross McKnight on the wing. Murray Scott takes over the No 9 short from Murdo McAndrew, who retired early with a head injury against Bears last weekend and is also at his brother’s wedding this weekend. Finally, Campbell Wilson replaces Karl Main, who has a knee injury, at openside.

“Both teams will be ready to fight out for the top spot and home playoff spot so everything is on the line,” Scott surmised. 

 

Teams –

Ayrshire Bulls (versus Watsonians at Millbrae on Friday @ 7.35pm): E Caven; L Bardelli, R Beattie, K Yule, J Shedden; F Climo, G Baird; A Nimmo, G Stewart, C Henderson, E Bloodworth, R Jackson, R Sweeney, L McNamara, B Macpherson ©. Substituties: A McGuire, W Farquhar, C Miller, A Smeaton, B Jardine, B Afshar, B Roderick-Evans, C Elliot.

Watsonians: J Brown; B Riley, G Pringle, S King, A Guthrie; J Baggott, M Scott; H Courtney, C Davies ©, R Bratton, L Ball, J Berrisford, S Cecil, C Wilson, N Irvine-Hess. Substitutes: F Duraj, C Davidson, M Wilson, K Watt, J Morris, H Patterson, F Thomson, L Berg.

Key battle: Bobby Beattie versus George Pringle

Verdict: The return of Lewis Berg adds some punch to the away bench but Watsonians are still toiling under the weight of an extensive injury list to key players such as captain Lee Millar, Dom Coetzer, Lomond MacPherson, Ross Graham and now openside flanker Karl Main as well as scrum-half Murdo McAndrew. With home advantage, a settled team and a point to prove after letting a commanding lead slip through their fingers to end up escaping with a draw against Heriot’s last week, Ayrshire Bulls should have enough in the tank to secure a home win.


Super Series Sprint: all roads lead to Millbrae for Neil Irvine-Hess and Watsonians

About David Barnes 3989 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.

2 Comments

  1. Odd that our resident Dodson fan boy neglected to mention the inter district final…..no doubt an ‘honest error’….

  2. What a great week end of Scottish rugby. Glasgow in European final, a brilliant climax to what has been a very exciting Super 6 series and the Selkirk 7’s finishing of the club season. 🐻

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