Super Series Round Three Friday Preview: Watsonians v Boroughmuir Bears

Hosts looking to make it three from three at start of title defence

Luis Ball will once again be a key man for Watsonians versus Boroughmuir Bears. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Luis Ball will once again be a key man for Watsonians versus Boroughmuir Bears. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

LEAGUE leaders Watsonians are boosted by the return of Scotland Under-20s duo Matt Reid (at full-back) and Craig Davidson (at loose-head prop), as well Bobby Bratton (at tight-head prop) after serving a suspension, for their home match against Boroughmuir Bears in round three of the 2023 Super Series Championship at Myreside tomorrow (Friday) night.

“Bobby has worked extremely hard over his extended preseason so he is more than ready to go,” said head coach Nikki Walker. “The squad is now closer to its full complement, so training has been very good this week and we look forward to introducing more players to the 2023 Super Series Championship. We go with a six-two split on the replacements bench this week with the expectation of a very physical encounter.”

“Boroughmuir Bears put on a much improved performance last week against the FOSROC Future XV so we are fully aware of the physical challenge that is coming our way,” he added. “We have been reasonably happy with our own performances during week one and two but fully understand we still have a very long way to go to reach our full potential. We have
made some fix-ups this week in order to improve our performance level going into a fallow week.”


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Bears head coach Graham Shiel has gone with continuity after last week’s win with Ruairidh Swan swapping in at full-back for the benched Josh Beveridge the only change to the match-day 23.

“Although we are still some way off where we would like to be at this stage in the competition, it was pleasing to be able to make some steps in the right direction against the Future XV last week,” said Shiel. “We know, however, that we need to make further improvements to be more competitive and challenge for a top four spot.

“We have a few players almost ready to return, so hopefully we will be able to share a bit of the load moving forward.

“Being a tighter squad has its benefits, we have consistency in selection and an opportunity for the players to get plenty of game-time and opportunities to stake a claim for positions later in the competition.

“Last week there were some great examples of what we are looking to achieve, but at the same time our performance was punctuated with inaccuracy, which compromised the outcome. The group are working hard to find ways to become more consistent in the standards they reach and in turn find ways to be more competitive versus all of the teams in the Super Series on a week-by-week basis.

“Watsonians are the competition leaders and strong challengers as always. They have a very powerful squad and a game-plan to match. They have been impressive in the first two rounds, so this week will be a huge test for us, but, as always, it provides an opportunity to mix it with the best and provide further feedback on where we are as a group and what we need to do moving forward in our Championship campaign.”

 

Watsonians (versus Boroughmuir Bears at Myreside on Friday @ 7.35pm):M Reid; S King, G Pringle, L Berg, F Owsley; J Baggott, M McAndrew; B Bratton, J Kerr, M Wilson, K Van Niekerk, A Scopes L Ball, S Cecil, N Irvine-Hess©. Substitutes: C Davies, C Davidson, G Scougall, J Berrisford, K Watt, M Scott, G Welsh, C Wilson, D Williamson.

Boroughmuir Bears: E Muirhead; M Cullen, A Thom, S Robeson (co-©), J Jenkins; G Paul, R Swan, L Alessandri, A Allen, M McGinley, M Lodoba, J Fisher, J King, C Keddie (co-©), K Westlake. Substitutes: Z Griffiths, B Sweet, D Winning, L Habib, T Andrews, J Beveridge, C Anderson, C Ramm.

Referee: Jonny Perriam

Key battle: Luis Ball versus Josh King

Verdict: The Bears flexed their muscles against a young Future XV and barged their way to a nine tries to six win, but they won’t get the same change out of there line-out maul in this match, while there is plenty firepower across the home backline. Watsonians’ winning habit set to continue.


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About David Barnes 3912 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he 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. Last 3 articles regarding S6 nobody has posted any comments .
    Thought this was the bees knees in Scottish rugby ?
    Seems no one is interested

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