Super Series Sprint round four preview: Bears, Heriot’s, Knights and Bulls provide the Saturday action

Boroughmuir Bears host Heriot's and Southern Knights host Ayrshire Bulls

Blair Macpherson will lead Ayrshire Bulls against Southern Knights at the Greenyards in Saturday's 5pm game. Image: © Craig Watson -
Blair Macpherson will lead Ayrshire Bulls against Southern Knights at the Greenyards in Saturday's 5pm game. Image: © Craig Watson -

BOROUGHMUIR BEARS head coach Graham Shiel has named his youngest team yet as the Meggetland men look to build on last weekend’s morale-boosting win over Ayrshire Bulls with another positive home result against Heriot’s in tomorrow [Saturday] afternoon’s 3pm match.

Marcus Goodwin is the oldest front-five player at the grand old age of 23, while Scott Robeson is the geriatric of the inside backs aged 22. Brodie Young is rewarded for three positive contributions off the bench with promotion to the starting XV at scrum-half, with Scotland under-20s man Andy McLean retaining the No 10 jersey as his half-backs partner.

Shiel has named an unchanged pack, while Tom Quinlan has recovered from injury to take a place on the bench.

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“It was a much more pleasing performance versus Ayrshire Bulls in round three of this Sprint competition, having been completely outplayed by Glasgow Warriors  A at Meggetland the previous week,” said Shiel. “We took a huge amount of learning from that round two game and whilst not a nice experience, it certainly focused the group ahead of playing the Ayrshire Bulls. It is important that we continue our learning, as we grow and seek improvement individually and collectively.

“We are proud of the improvements we made in our game last week, as a group performing at a level which allowed us to compete and apply pressure on Bulls. Also pleasing was the fact that we had the ability to absorb pressure for long periods when Bulls had possession, which we had not been as effective at as we would have liked in the first two rounds of the competition.

“Heriot’s have had a good start to their season and carry threats across their squad making them dangerous opponents. They had a very positive result against current champions, Watsonians, last week, so they’ll come to Meggetland in good form. We know that every game requires us to perform to our potential, otherwise we are vulnerable, so nothing short of our best will do.”


Meanwhile, Heriot’s head coach Ben Cairns was in no mood to allow his team to rest on their laurels after last weekend’s promising draw against Watsonians when he drew up his team-sheet for this weekend.

“A decent reshuffle again this week as we continue to test different partnerships and rotate the squad,” he explained. “In the backs, Aidan Boyle drops out of the 23 with James Couper earning his second start of the season on the wing. The half-back combination of Cam Jones and Bruce Houston which has worked so well for Edinburgh A over the last couple of weeks reunite for us, with Ross Jones is unavailable and Euan McAra dropping to the bench.

“In the pack, Chris Keen returns at loose-head having missed last weekend and Euan McLaren rotates in for Cairn Ramsay at tight-head after impressing off the bench last week. Euan McVie drops back to the bench with Charlie Jupp moving from the back-row to the second-row, Wallace Nelson comes in for a deserved start at No 6, and Callum Anderson regains No 8 jersey with Ruairidh Leishman unavailable.

“There was a lot to like about last weekend’s performance against one of the best sides in the competition,” Cairns added. “We could not fault the groups effort and attitude, we made 100 more tackles than our opposition and managed to hang on for what could be a significant three points. However, we were disappointed with our lack of control, discipline and execution at key times and that is something we will look to improve this weekend.

“The challenge for us is to see whether we can go away from home for the first time and play with the same energy and commitment levels we produced last weekend.

“The Bears will be hugely buoyed by their fantatstic win over the Bulls last time out. They are a really cohesive group and that ability to stay in the fight and continue to scrap for each other was massive in their win. Our ability to dictate the tempo and excute our game-plan will be huge if we are to get anything out of the game.”


In the 5pm game, Southern Knights face a big challenge at home against Ayrshire Bulls as they look to pick up their first win of the campaign, but head coach Alan Tait believes his team should draw encouragement from the way they bounced back from 33-0 with just over half an hour played to make a real game of it against Edinburgh A last weekend.

The only change to his backline sees former Scotland Under-20s flyer Ollie Melville come in for Kieran Clark at full-back. In the pack, hooker Ben McLean, tight-head Eoin Harrison and recently released FOSROC Academy back-row Rudi Brown are added to the line-up.

A strong looking bench features team captain Russell Anderson, new signing Dan Gamble, and former Jed back-row Garry Young, who has recovered from an ankle injury which sidelined him for the first three rounds.

“There’s a lot of lads coming back from injury, putting their hands up in training and really testing the group,” said Tait. “The coaches have had a few good discussions about combinations and players and now it’s about putting our best team out to get us that win.

“The bench is very strong this week and we are hoping they make a real impact for the team when they come on.

“We are really looking forward to the game, we know how strong Ayrshire Bulls are, probably the most consistent team in Super Series. They’ve got a strong pack with a high work-rate so they’ll take a bit of looking after but I’m confident in this group.

“Its going to be another challenge, as all games are in Super Series, with the quality and standard week to week always improving, and it’s only getting quicker! We’re a young side that’s building but its key we get a collective performance from the group for 80 mins and really challenge ourselves and each other to get the best out of us and get that result I know the players and fans want and deserve.”

It is safe to assume that there were few choice words imparted to the Bulls squad after they let their unbeaten start to the season slip against Boroughmuir Bears last weekend.

The loss through injury of influential centre Bobby Beattie is offset by the return of livewire Elias Cavan at full-back, while player-coach Frazier Climo will provide a steadying hand at stand-off. Academy prospects Archie Smeaton, Christian Townsend and Jamie Drummond are all involved after returning from Glasgow Warriors A duty.

“Not the result we wanted last week,” said Bulls head coach Pat MacArthur. “We need to be more ruthless and take our opportunities. This week gives us another opportunity to show we can perform away from home.

“The Knights have some big forwards and exciting backs so we will have to be ready for the challenge that lies ahead. The players have trained well this week and know the performance levels that will be expected.


Teams –

Boroughmuir Bears (versus Heriot’s at Meggetland on Saturday 29th April – kick-off 3pm): C Ramm; M Cullen, A Thom, S Robeson, J Jenkins; A McLean, B Young; I Carmichael, C Tait, M Goodwin , J King, J Fisher, C Keddie©, S McGinley, T Andrews. Substitutes: A Allen, B Sweet, M McGinley, S Whittaker, K Westlake, R Swan, T Quinlan, A Scott.

Heriot’s: D King; J Couper, M Davidson, G Hughes, M Gray; B Houston, C Jones; C Keen, M Liness, E McLaren, C Jupp, R Seydak, W Nelson, I Wilson©, C Anderson. Substitutes: C Fenton, J Scott, C Ramsay, E McVie, C Cobbett, E McAra, M Russell, B Evans.

Key battle: Scott McGinley versus Iain Wilson

Verdict: Both teams will take encouragement from their respective performances and results last weekend, with the Bears’ win over Bulls was a particularly strong statement. Backing up one impressive win with another is not easy, however, and a bit more experience coming off the visiting bench might just edge a narrow away win.


Southern Knights (versus Ayrshire Bulls at The Greenyards on Saturday 29th April – kick-off 5pm): O Melville; A Cross, R Chalmers, A Hall, P Anderson; C Grieve, R Brand; J Dobie, B McLean, E Harrison, C Skeldon, E Demirel, S Derrick, A Ferrie, R Brown. Substitutes: R Anderson©, C Bachurzewski, D Gamble, J Campbell, G Young, C Davidson, H Rutherford, M Wilson.

Ayrshire Bulls: E Caven; L Bardelli, J Shedden, K Yule, T Glendinning; F Climo, G Baird; A Nimmo, G Stewart, C Henderson, E Bloodworth, R Jackson, A Smeaton, B Jardine, B Macpherson©. Substituties: R Sweeney, J Drummond, C Miller, E Hamilton-Bulger, L McNamara, R Cullen, C Townsend, C Elliot.

Key battle: Ollie Melville versus Eli Cavan

Verdict: Bulls struggled to cope with loss of Bobby Beattie after only four minutes of last week’s loss to the Bears and his absence this week will put the onus on those around him to step up to the plate. Knights are hanging in there and making incremental improvements, but breaking their duck is likely to be beyond them at this stage. Away win.

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About David Barnes 3383 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.


  1. Apart from the shocker of a haircut Frazier showed his class how many years after his touchline conversion at Murrayfield?
    No reason whatsoever for the obverse of ” if they’re big enough, they’re old enough” not to be applied.

  2. Apart from the shocker of a haircut Frazier showed his class how many years after his touchline conversion at Murrayfield?
    No reason whatsoever for the obverse of ” if they’re big enough, they’re old enough” not to be applied.

  3. Moody blues its not fraser climo fault.The guy has been a class player in his time he created 3 tries at melrose.The problem lies within the system why did he have to start and play 50min.You should speak to the bear he has all the answers for super 6.On another note there was approx 100 fans watching the game at the greenyards yesterday.So i think playing a 35 year old player is the least of super 6 problems

  4. Not sure what all the fuss is about the comments I’ve read. Better focussing on some great games with lots of youngsters getting a shot.

  5. That comment from Moody Blue is a continuation of a fine old Ayrshire tradition of giving the guys running the sports teams in God’s County pelters. I still chortle at the great
    Enclosure George Reid at Ayr United, watching 34-year-old George Burley, 35-year-old Arthur Albiston and 36-year-old Gordon Mair discussing what to wdo with a free kick, by telling the then Chairman – and everyone else inside Somerset Park: “Aye Mr Chairman, your youth policy is definitely working.

  6. After starting the first two games of season 1 of Super 6, before he was usurped in the Ayrshire Bulls team by the little known Ross Thompson and Tom Jordan, the highly promising 35 year old Frazier Climo finally regains the number 10 jersey 40 games later….go well young man!

    • Hey Moodie Blue, if that’s the best you can put out for a comment. I would suggest you don’t bother. If you only knew how influential Frazer Climo has been to Thomsom, Jordan and to currently injured Scotland U20 number 10 Simpson and the Nat 1 team at Ayr you would keep your not so funny comments to yourself.

      • Not every comment has to be taken as an insult, Scooter.

        I for one thought it was well worth pointing out that Frazier Climo started the first two Super6 games and is now starting his third game in the competition some 40 games later, so I’m grateful to Moody Blue for pointing it out.

        In future, please leave the policing of this comments section to the administrators and try to keep any contributions you do feel moved to make respectful.

      • For the avoidance of doubt Scooter, I am a fan of Frazier Climo and his influence on Jordan, Thompson, Simpson and, hopefully, Townsend. He was a class player, he clearly is an influential coach, and I wasn’t at all surprised that with Bobby Beattie injured, the Bulls selected Frazier at 10. It would do the world of good for young Kerr Yule to be playing beside him. I am sorry my previous comment was left open to misinterpretation.

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