Super Series Friday preview: Boroughmuir Bears host Heriot’s

Both sides hunting only second wins of campaign

Heriot's tackle Boroughmuir Bears at Meggetland tomorrow [Friday] night. Image: Calum Mackenzie
Heriot's tackle Boroughmuir Bears at Meggetland tomorrow [Friday] night. Image: Calum Mackenzie

AFTER  a week’s hiatus, the Super Series Sprint returns with the round four action kicking off under the Friday night lights at Meggetland, where hosts Boroughmuir Bears will look to bounce back from a heavy defeat to Ayrshire Bulls a fortnight ago against a Heriot’s side who will draw confidence from pushing Edinburgh ‘A’ all the way in their last outing.

Both sides are on one win and two losses after three rounds of matches, but a couple of extra bonus-points picked up means Heriot’s go into this game ranked third in the table while Bears are languishing in sixth spot.

“Heriot’s have experience and quality throughout their squad and ran a very good Edinburgh ‘A’ side close with their attacking brand of rugby last time out,” acknowledged home head coach Graham Shiel. “We are very aware of the size of the task in front of us this week and will need to be at our best to compete with Heriots. They bring a big physical pack with a threatening backline which is a tough combination to cope with.


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“We were no match for our opponents in round three, so our focus has been on ourselves and using the time between the rounds to freshen players up and continue to seek progression within the group. We did not respect the possession we had in round three, which against the calibre of teams in this competition, will hurt you. We need to be willing and work harder to retain possession and find ways to stress the opposition defense this week more often.

“Friday night lights at Meggetland is always a good occasion and with local rivals Heriots our opposition, we look forward to a fine evening of rugby.”

After cameoing at No 8 last time out, Corey Tait makes his first start of the campaign in his primary position of hooker, with Arthur Allen dropping to the bench; vice-captain Jack Fisher returns to the second-row in partnership with Max Laboda after a brief deployment at blindside flanker; and a new look back-row sees Myles Lowe return to the starting team wearing the No 6 jersey, Drew Davison start at No 8 and Lewis Calder come back into the match-day squad at openside.

Behind the scrum, Andy McLean starts for the first time in the Sprint at fly-half, Glasgow Warrior academy player Johnny Ventisei is promoted from the bench to partner skipper Scott Robeson in the centre, and Max Wallace will make his debut on the win  in a back-three which also features Matt Reid and Euan Muirhead.

With Josh Beveridge having departed to Australia to pursue rugby opportunities, Ross Cadzow joins the squad from Edinburgh Accies for the remainder of the Sprint and will cover scrum-half from the bench this week.

 

 

Sam Pecqueur rotating in on the wing for Lewis Wells is the only change to the visiting backline, while in the pack, Irishman Lawson Porter earns his first start at loose-head at the expense of Josh Scott, academy second-row Euan McVie returns fromEdinburgh ‘A’ duty in place of the injured Jamie Campbell, and Charlie Jupp returns from an injury to make his first appearance of the campaign ahead of Wallace Nelson at blindside flanker, so that Jason Hill can shift to No 8 as cover for the unavailable Ruairidh Leishman.

Heriot’s head coach Ben Cairns added: “On the bench, we welcome back Michael Liness, Chris Keen, who also picked up an injury in pre-season, and recent Premiership champion Ollie Blyth-Lafferty, who will all provide big front-row impact when they take the field. Finally, a debut lies in wait for the released [by Edinburgh academy] Jack Hocking.

“We are looking forward to getting back to Sprint action after the week off,” he continued. “Although we missed out on the final result versus Edinburgh ‘A’ a fortnight ago, we were buoyed by a vastly improved performance. That is now the bare minimum standard we must produce for the rest of the season.

“The Bears will be looking to get back to winning ways after a couple of poor results. Friday nights at Meggetland are always really good events and we look forward to going there for our first Friday night game of the season.”

 

Boroughmuir Bears (Heriot’s in round four of the Super Series Sprint at Meggetland on Friday @ 7.35pm): E Muirhead; M Reid, J Ventisei, S Robeson ©, M Wallace; A McLean, R  Swan; C McFeat Smith, C Tait, M McGinley, M Laboda, J Fisher, M Lowe, L Calder, D Davison. Replacements: A Allen, C Anderson, Z Toerien, R Burke, L Habib, R Cadzow, G Pail, R Stewart.

Heriot’s: C Townsend; S Pecqueur, M Davidson, A Hunter, J Blain; L Richman ©, S Smith; L Porter, C Fenton, E McLaren, R Seydak, E McVie, C Jupp, S Wallace, J Hill. Replacements: M Liness, C Keen, O Blyth-Lafferty, P Spence, W Nelson, S Broad, L Wells, J Hocking.

Referee: Ian Kenny

Ket battle: Johnny Ventisei versus Matt Davidson

Prediction: Visitors build on recent progress


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About David Barnes 4001 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.