Super Series: can Southern Knights derail Stirling Wolves’ title aspirations?

Any sort of win for visitors will book a place in next Saturday's Final

Craig Jackson will return to his old Greenyards stomping ground in Stirling Wolves colours on Friday night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Craig Jackson will return to his old Greenyards stomping ground in Stirling Wolves colours on Friday night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

STIRLING WOLVES need a win at the Greenyards tomorrow night to book their place in the last ever Super Series Sprint Final, but home coach Scott Wight has promised the visitors that they won’t have it all their own way, despite facing a Southern Knights team who currently prop up the table having managed their one and only win of the campaign so far against Boroughmuir Bears way back in round two (on 27th April).

“With it potentially being our last ever game at the Greenyards we’re looking to go out with a performance,” said Wight, whose team could still climb ahead of both Watsonians and Boroughmuir Bears if results go their way this weekend. “We’ve had a lot of positives throughout most games but we’ve got to be consistently better across the 80 minutes.

“We’re very much aware Stirling need to come down and win to be in the Ginal so it’s going to be very difficult, but it’s a challenge we’re looking forward,” added Wight, who has freshened up his pack by selecting an all-new front-row of Jack Dobie, Finlay Scott and Calum Crookshanks (with Harri Morris and Angus McGregor dropping to the bench, while Zen Szwagrzak is out of the match-day squad altogether).

The rejig is more comprehensive behind the scrum with Gregor McNeish returning to play full-back, Robbie Chalmers switching to the wing, Jeremy Civil moving into a centre partnership with Calum Grieve, and Roly Brett taking over from Grieve at stand-off.


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Meanwhile, Wolves have a settled squad, with three changes from last time out against Boroughmuir Bears. Macenzzie Duncan returns from injury to replace the unavailable Ruaridh Knott at blindside, while second-row Jare Oguntibeju and experienced stand-off Craig Jackson (facing his old team) rotate in for Archie Clarke and Euan Cunningham. JP Phelan returns to Wolves as an injury replacement for Ben Cullen.

“Knights had a strong second half against Heriot’s last week and are improving every week,” acknowledged Wolves head coach Eddie Pollock. “They are a committed, strong side playing at the Greenyards which is never an easy challenge. We need to match that physicality and commitment if we are to impose ourselves on the game.

“The result [against Bears] last week was pleasing however we were disappointed with our defensive effort and need to show a big improvement in all aspects of that area this week. The players know how important this game is and will be looking to put in a performance on both sides of the ball that gives us the best chance of a positive result.”

 

Southern Knights (v Stirling Wolves in round six of Super Series Sprint at The Greenyards on Friday @ 7.35pm): G McNeish; E McVicker, J Civil, C Grieve, R Chalmers; R Brett, C Davidson; J Dobie, F Scott, C Crookshanks, A Runciman ©, M Badenhorst, A Ferrie, Y Fantini, G Young. Replacements: H Morris, A McGregor, D Gamble, W Ferrie, M Rhodes, R Wolfenden, A Hall, E Greenlaw.

Stirling Wolves: G Bryce; M Heron, R Southern, M Holden ©, R McKnight; C Jackson, K McGhie; L Quarm, J Roberts, M Tamosaitis, J Pow, J Oguntibeju, M Duncan, S Macdonald, E Hasdell. Replacements: B Robertson, A Rogers, J Phelen A Clarke, F Read, E Davey, E Cunningham, C Ferrie.

Referee: Mike Adamson

Key battle: Garry Young versus Ed Hasdell

Prediction: Wolves book their place in the final


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About David Barnes 4011 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.

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