AYRSHIRE BULLS head coach Pat MacArthur has warned his team against complacency ahead of tomorrow’s [Saturday] trip to Meggetland to take on bottom of the table Boroughmuir Bears.
The Bulls are currently second in the table and in a rich vein of form having won their last three matches by an average margin of 31 points, while the Bears have managed just two wins from seven outings so far this season. However, Graham Shiel‘s men have been competitive for at least an hour in almost all of their matches, and with players such as Jordan Edmunds, Tom Brown and Glen Faulds at the disposal they have some serious firepower if they can load the bullets.
“Travelling to play Boroughmuir away is always a real challenge,” said MacArthur. “They will be disappointed with their last result and we will need to be at our best. At the business end of the season, Saturdays game is critical for our bid to finish in the top two. The players know Boroughmuir have the firepower to pounce on any form of complacency.
“There is a familiur look to the squad this week with only three changes to the starting line-up,” he added. “George Thornton swaps places with Calvin Henderson on the bench, Aaron Tait starts for injured Robbie Nairn, and Rhodri Tanner returns form injury with Alex McGuire moving to the bench. Academy players Rory Jackson and Finn Callaghan join the squad on the bench.”
Meanwhile, Shiel insisted that his team are frustrated but not disillusioned. “Each week the challenges just get bigger and bigger for the Bears and this week is no exception,” he said. “Ayshire Bulls are a very strong squad and bring some very good form into this game.
“We know that only our very best will get close to Ayrshire, so we need to be focused and accurate in all we do this weekend to compete. We must keep striving for improvement in all areas collectively and individually and the weekend provides the sternest of tests to measure ourselves.”
“We are delighted to welcome [Edinburgh Academy loose-head prop] Michael Jones back to Meggetland and are very grateful to Heriots Rugby for allowing him to be available on a ‘permit’ loan this week. We also have Scott Habib joining the match day squad from our club 1st XV and we thank Richard Sievwright and his coaching team for allowing Scott to come in as an ‘emergency cover’.
“Trystan Andrews gets a well earned rest this week having impressed throughout the season and will enter the game from the bench. Mzwindile Mncube and Scott McGinley complete the forward contingent on the bench. Murray Johnstone earns a place in the squad this week alongside Martin Cimprich.”
Boroughmuir Bears (v Ayrshire Bulls at Meggetland, Saturday 2pm):: G Faulds; T Brown, D Munn, R McCallum, J Edmunds; T Pittman, K Barreto; R Dunbar, F Scott, M McGinley, W Inglis, J Fisher, E Ferrie, R Tait, C Keddie©. Replacements: C McKenzie, M Jones, S Habib, T Andrews, S McGinley, M Johnstone, M Cimprich, M Mncube..
Ayrshire Bulls: M Davidson; E Caven, R Beattie, T Williams, A Tait; T Jordan, H Warr; M Scott R Tanner, C Henderson, E Bloodworth, T Everard, R Sweeney, Y Fantini, B MacPherson©. Substitutes: A McGuire, R Sayce, G Thornton, R Jackson, G Wilson, F Callaghan, M Minogue, J Lenac.