Super Series Saturday preview: Heriot’s v Edinburgh ‘A’ and Southern Knights v Watsonians

Goldenacre

Freddy Owsley will add pace on the wing for Watsonians against Southern Knights. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Freddy Owsley will add pace on the wing for Watsonians against Southern Knights. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

HERIOT’S head coach Ben Cairns is looking for his team to show that they have learned from the “wake up call” delivered by Stirling Wolves last weekend, when they attempt to get their Super Series Sprint campaign back on track at Goldenacre tomorrow [Saturday] afternoon against an Edinburgh ‘A’ side which has six full-time pros in the starting pack.

“A few changes to the side that underperformed against a strong Wolves side last weekend,” explained Cairns. “Lewis Wells rotates in for Sam Pecqueur, Angus Hunter and Wallace Nelson earn their first starts of the season at the expense of Fergus Wood and Jason Hill, and Cammy Fenton comes in for the injured Michael Liness.

“On the bench, Sinjin Broad makes his first appearance of the season as nine cover, Lawson Porter returns from injury, and debuts lie in wait for Pat Spence and Ross Dunbar, who has come in from Edinburgh Accies to provide us with emergency cover [at prop].


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“Last week was a big wake up call to the group, we hadn’t really been tested since our semi final defeat to the same opponents and we did not react well to the extra pressure Stirling Wolves put us under,” added Cairns.

“The games don’t get any easier with a massive test against Edinburgh ‘A’ who have gone unbeaten for a number of years. The guys have rallied this week and everyone is really excited to welcome the pro outfit to Goldenacre and put in a performance we can be proud of.”

Meanwhile, openside flanker Connor Boyle comes in to skipper Edinburgh ‘A’, who will be looking to build on their big win over Southern Knight in round one of this Sprint campaign, as one of only two changes following that Knights result.  The other changes is at scrum-half where academy prospect Fin Burgess replaces Charlie Shiel.

“We know that Heriot’s will provide a tough challenge. They play an expansive brand of rugby that is exciting to watch but also clinical. They finished top of the Championship earlier this season for a reason. They’re a strong side,” said Edinburgh ‘A’ and Academy coach Kris Burney.

“We know they’ll be disappointed with last week’s result so will be looking to bounce back, which is something we are prepared for. I expect it will be a great game to watch and we’re excited to get back out there as a group.

“We have pro-academy prop Ollie Blyth-Lafferty available, however we’ve made the decision to allow Ollie to play for Currie Chieftains in Saturday’s Premiership final, having played for the Malleny side throughout their campaign. The Premiership final is a vital fixture in the Scottish Rugby calendar, and Ollie featuring in a game of that calibre will be massive for his development. Our thanks to Glasgow for allowing Callum Norrie to feature in his stead, to cover at tighthead.”

 

Heriot’s (v Edinburgh ‘A’ in round three of Super Series Sprint at Goldenacre on Saturday @ 3pm): C Townsend; L Wells, M Davidson, A Hunter, J Blain; L Richman ©, S Smith; J Scott, C Fenton, E McLaren, R Seydak, J Campbell, W Nelson, S Wallace, R Leishman. Replacements: D Hood, J Hill, L Porter, R Dunbar, P Spence, S Broad, F Wood, S Pecqueur.

Edinburgh Rugby ‘A’: J Brown; N Moncrieff, S Leweni, J Hocking, F Douglas; C Scott, F Burgess; L de Bruin, P Harrison, A Williams, E McVie, R Carmichael, T Currie, C Boyle ©,  B Muncaster. Replacements: H Morris, R Deans, C Norrie, M Fyffe, F Douglas, H Patterson, M Wallace, F Doyle.

Referee: Hollie Davidson

Key battle: Matt Davidson versus Sam Lewini

Prediction: Hosts to bounce back if they can cope with pro power up front

 

 

Meanwhile, in the early evening match at Melrose, Southern Knights are hoping to build on their morale-boosting home win over Boroughmuir Bears last weekend when they host a Watsonians team who have yet to claim a league point this season following heavy away defeats to Heriot’s then Ayrshire Bulls.

Skipper Gregor McNeish switches up from full-back to his usual stand-off position for the hosts, while winger Robbie Chalmers, prop Calum Crookshanks and replacement scrum-half Patrick Ritchie all join the match day squad following the end of their club season with last weekend’s Scottish Cup beaten finalists Edinburgh Accies.,

“We’re excited to go again this weekend against Watsonians,” said forwards coach James Head. “Building on the performance we put in upfront last week versus the Bears is a key focus for us. Watsonians will bring a physical pack, so we need to make sure we’re on it from kick-off.”

Watsonians head coach Fraser Brown said: “We travel away again this weekend expecting another tough battle down in Melrose. Southern Knights were impressive last week in their win against the Bears, particularly dangerous from broken field situations.

“It’s a different style of play to what we faced last week against Ayrshire Bulls,” he added. “Knights enjoy moving the ball to width, exploiting space on the edge and are happy to attack from anywhere on the pitch.

“We will need to be much improved with our set-piece to give us opportunities to control possession and get a foothold in the game, we’ll need to be more clinical with ball in hand particularly inside the opposition’s 22.”

 

Southern Knights (v Watsonians in round three of Super Series Sprint at the Greenyards on Saturday @ 5pm): C Grieve; R Brett, A Hall, E Greenlaw, R Chalmers; G McNeish ©, C Davidson; J Dobie, F Scott, C Crookshanks, A Runciman, D Cockburn, M Badenhorst, A Ferrie, G Young. Replacements: M Brogan, A McGregor, Z Szwagrzak, B Singer, W Ferrie, P Ritchie, R Wolfenden, M Glen.

Watsonians: D Coetzer; J Mitchell, L Berg, F Thomson, F Owsley; J Baggott ©, M Scott; C Davidson, J Blyth-Lafferty, C Lamberton, L Ball, J Parkinson, S Cecil, O Gordon, K Van Niekerk. Replacements: G Parry, D Voas, R Whitefield, K Watt, A McInnes, H Flinn, A Lamb, R Coetzer.

Referee: Ruairidh Campbell

Key battle: Michael Badenhorst versus Seb Cecil

Prediction: Third time lucky for Watsonians


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About David Barnes 3957 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.

8 Comments

  1. Surely its unfair on club players who turn up to training every week only to get dropped and replaced by SRU project boys

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  2. Letting a player play in premiership final instead of S6 game
    It will aid his development they say .
    So he must wonder what he was doing inS6 in the first place
    Wasting his time ?
    Another contradiction to with Dodsons folly

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    • Playing a final under pressure with the chance of winning silverware as opposed to a glorified friendly. Surely that is a good thing.

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      • Playing pros against amateurs was deemed dangerous according to Dodson’s failed vision .
        It’s ok now for some reason .
        So why did they ditch the old Premiership .?
        It didn’t stop Hoggy .Darcy .Finn .+ many more making it to pro level
        You couldn’t make it up .

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    • Premiership rugby was said to be of a standard not good enough to progress up the ladder .
      Now they say it is for players to gain experience .
      This is how we’re in the mess now .
      run by numpties just making it up to suit themselves

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      • Yes they have. People have stopped believing the rubbish spouted by Dodson to justify his pay packet. Unfortunately he still has the money and the SRU coffers are empty.

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