UPDATE: Super6: Boroughmuir Bears v Ayrshire Bulls POSTPONED

Graham Shiel's side currently prop up the table and lost heavily last time out against Heriot's, so have a point to prove this weekend

Boroughmuir Bears are on the hunt for a morale boosting victory against Ayrshire Bulls. Image: George McMillan
Boroughmuir Bears are on the hunt for a morale boosting victory against Ayrshire Bulls. Image: George McMillan
  • THIS GAME HAS NOW BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO A WATERLOGGED PITCH

THE condensed format of Super6 means that every game is a bit like a cup final, but for Boroughmuir Bears there feels like there is an extra slice more at stake this weekend when they host Ayrshire Bulls at Meggetland [4pm kick-off on Saturday].

Graham Shiel’s side currently prop up the table, and given that they are 11 points adrift of the title play-offs with just two rounds of matches of the regular season to go, they are really only playing for pride – but that can be a huge motivating factor for competitive sports people, and after suffering a 53-10 mauling at Heriot’s in their last outing, the team really does have a point to prove.

But they are up against an Ayrshire Bulls outfit who have a few demons of their own to slay having lost their two matches so far this calendar year to Watsonians away on 18th January and Southern Knights the following week – meaning that they have dropped to third in the table and are now playing catch-up in the race for a home play-off draw.


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“It has been tough start to 2020 for the squad, however, they continue to work hard and look to make improvements individually and collectively,” said Shiel. “Ayrshire Bulls are always a tough side to play and we look forward to welcoming them to Meggetland this weekend as we look to improve our performance and measure ourselves against a strong outfit as we continue to learn as a group to become more accurate in all that we do to be competitive.”

Shiel has handed first Super6 starts to former Kenya Under-20s and Western Province academy hooker Toby Francombe and homegrown scrum-half Murray Johnstone, while captain Chris Laidlaw returns from injury to provide a valuable steadying hand at stand-off.

Meanwhile, Royal High School pupil Ben Grainger has been released by Edinburgh Accies to provide scrum-half cover from the bench, while Cameron Scott has been released by Scotland Under-20s to provide back-up in midfield.

The Bulls are boosted by the return from injury of former Scotland loose-head Gordon Reid. Harry Warr rotates in for David Armstrong at scrum-half, New Zealander Tom Jordan shifts in from centre to stand-off with Ross Thompson being handed the No 15 jersey, and Isaac McNulty makes his first start of the season alongside Danny McCluskey in the centre.

With a 6-2 split on the bench, it looks like head coach Peter Murchie is expecting a war of attrition in the midst of Storm Dennis.

“It seems like a long break from our last Super6 game, but we have trained hard and playing [a friendly] against Newcastle Falcons a fortnight ago has aided our preparation,” said Murchie. “We are really focused on this weekend against Boroughmuir Bears, there seems to be a determination to swing our momentum as we approach the business end of the season.”

Teams –

Boroughmuir Bears (versus Ayrshire Bulls at Meggetland, Saturday, kick-off: 4pm): Glen Faulds; Cammy Gray, Ronan Kerr, Greg Cannie, Jordan Edmunds; Chris Laidlaw©, Murray Johnstone; AP McWilliam, Toby Francombe, Dan Winning, Ewan Stewart, Callum Atkinson, David Medjebeur, Scott McGinley, Craig Keddie. Subs: George Shannon, Michael Downer, Ryan Montgomery, Will Inglis, Tom Drennan, Ben Grainger, Cameron Scott, Archie Russell.

Ayrshire Bulls: Ross Thompson; Matt Davidson, Danny McCluskey, Isaac McNulty, Craig Gossman; Tom Jordan, Harry Warr; Gordon Reid, Sam Kitchen, Nicolas Griffiths, Marshall Sykes, Lars Morrice, George Bordill, Peter McCallum©, Blair Macpherson. Subs: Alex McGuire, Michael Scott, Ruairidh Sayce, Fraser Hastie, Lewis Anderson, Graham Geldenhuys, David Armstrong, Tyler Beary.

How it stands –

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Boroughmuir Bears’ Callum Atkinson takes it all in his giant stride

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David Barnes
About David Barnes 1939 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.