Super6: Cairns calls for County reaction against Bears on busy weekend at Bridgehaugh

Both teams desperate to generate some momentum going into the final three matches of the campaign

Stirling County face Boroughmuir Bears at Bridgehaugh this Saturday afternoon. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Stirling County face Boroughmuir Bears at Bridgehaugh this Saturday afternoon. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

SUPER6’S two current basement-dwellers meet at Bridgehaugh tomorrow [Saturday] afternoon, with hosts Stirling County desperate to exorcise the demons of last weekend’s poor performance at Millbrae, and the visitors acutely aware that defeat could see them become detached at the foot of the table.

“Although it should add fuel to our collective fire this weekend, we’ve tried to erase the memory of last week’s performance as quickly as possible,” said home head coach Ben Cairns. “It was a very poor performance, particularly in the second-half, against a side who were full of confidence and who taught us a lesson in the importance of physicality. We expect our group to front-up this weekend.

“The Bears will see this as an opportunity to climb off the foot of the table and build some momentum into the final few fixtures. They’ve got some quality players who can hurt you if given time and space. We will need to play for the full 80 and be patient if we are to get the result we want and need.


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“It’s a big weekend at the club, Stirling Wolves take on Ayr under the lights on Friday and our youth teams will take on Boroughmuir in the National Conference over the weekend,” he added. “Saturday sees the pre-match Legends lunch providing an opportunity to pay tribute to the 1995 championship winning side, and our two U18s sides are taking on Boroughmuir as a curtain raiser to the Super6 match.

“Finally, Sunday will see our Women’s side play their first Premiership home match of the season versus Cartha. Bridgehaugh should be buzzing and we look forward to harnessing that energy and playing our part in what should be a great weekend all round at County.

Cairns has named Caleb Korteweg at scrum-half, meaning Grant Hughes shifts to centre in place of the injured Craig Jardine. Cole Lamberton is released once more on permit from Watsonians and starts at loose-head having impressed off the bench last time out, Josh King comes straight in to the starting line-up as a long term injury replacement for the unfortunate Alasdair Mackie, and fit again Dean Taylor-Menzies starts at No8 with George Arnott moving to number six and Callum Cruickshank to the bench.

“The bench is fully loaded with a huge amount of talent waiting to have a big impact on proceedings,” added Cairns. “This includes four Scotland U20 players, one of which is Rory Jackson who joins us as a permit player from the Ayrshire Bulls. We are thankful to both Watsonians and Bulls for their cooperation regarding permit players and look forward to providing Cole and Rory with some much needed game time.”

 

Meanwhile, Bears will draw comfort from the knowledge that they have continued to be competitive throughout this campaign, but shorelines don’t lie and they have consistently struggled to stay the distance, as happened last week when they coughed up 26 second-half points and scored only five, having held top of the table Southern Knights to 3-3 at the break.

“For many years we have craved a competition that challenges players and coaching teams, Super6 demands the very best performances to do it justice and to allow you to be competitive,” acknowledged Bears head coach Graham Shiel.

“We have a big challenge ahead travelling to Bridgehaugh, which is always a tough place to go to, as all teams have found so far this season. Bouroughmuir Bears need to be ready to do battle and put in a strong performance to compete. Round six didn’t quite go to plan for us, so it is important that we get back into our stride this week against Stirling County.”

Bears will draw confidence from having squeezed a 23-7 victory over County when the two sides met at Meggetland three weeks ago.

Finlay Scott earns his first start of the season at hooker, packing down with the experienced duo of Ross Dunbar and Dan Winning. Euan Ferrie is available this week after a frustrating period on the sidelines, so starts in the engine-room, and Rory Drummond is at blindside flanker having worked back from an injury earlier in the campaign.

The only change in the backline comes through Tom Brown’s unavailability and see’s Callum Ramm return from injury to start on the right wing with Glen Faulds moving across to full-back.

On the bench, AP McWilliam returns to Boroughmuir as emergency cover courtesy of Currie Chieftains, while co-captain Craig Keddie and Scott McGinley return from injury. Kyle McGhie and available again Duncan Munn are the backs replacements.

 

Stirling County (v Boroughmuir Bears at Bridgehaugh, Saturday 3pm): : C Robertson; S Hamilton, A Russell, G Hughes, T Roche; A Goudie, C Korteweg; C Lamberton, R Kennedy©, L Skinner, J Pow, J King, G Arnott, C Gordon, D Taylor-Menzies. Substitutes: A Fraser, B Dineen, G Breese, R Jackson, C Cruickshank, E Cunningham, L Hayes, R McKnight.

Boroughmuir Bears: G Faulds; C Ramm, R Kerr, R McCallum, J Edmunds; T Pittman, K Barreto; R Dunbar, F Scott, D Winning (co-captain), E Ferrie, W Inglis, R Drummond, R Tait, T Andrews.   Substitutes: C McKenzie, A McWilliam, M McGinley, J Fisher, C Keddie, D Munn, K McGhie, S McGinley.


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About David Barnes 2679 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.