IT’S not what you would call a winner-take-all clash between Heriot’s and Boroughmuir Bears at Goldenacre tomorrow [Saturday] afternoon, but the desire to avoid finishing bottom of the Super6 table at the end of the regular season and to secure a home draw in next weekend’s 5th/6th place play-off means that there is a fair bit on the line for both teams.
As it stands, hosts Heriot’s hold a slender one league-point advantage over their guests from across the capital, but the Bears will feel that momentum is on their side having picked up a morale-boosting away win over Watsonians last Sunday.
Heriot’s, meanwhile, are out to halt a three-match losing streak. “We are looking to give some of our younger guys a chance to perform at this level,” said head coach Andy Kelly. “The challenge for this group is to be more consistent with their execution in attack.
“We are looking to learn from our errors last week and put in a performance against Boroughmuir Bears,” he added. “The Bears will be confident after a good win against Watsons so it will be another tough encounter.”
Opposite number Graham Shiel has named a settled side, with Callum Ramm coming back in on the right wing, and Tom Brown shifting infield to full-back in place of Glen Faulds, the only change from last weekend’s starting XV. Cole Lamberton coming in as a ‘Permit Player’ from Watsonians covering loose-head prop from the bench is the only other change to the squad.
“We were pleased with the outcome last week as we strived for continued improvement individually and collectively, although conceding two late tries took the shine off an otherwise solid performance,” said Shield. “We were able to capitalise on moments of very good play last week which kept the scoreboard moving in the right direction for us and, fortunately, were able to hold off a late surge by Watsonians to cap off a very good afternoon.
“We recognise the potential that Heriot’s possess and the Bears need to match them in all areas, and find ways to perform at the best of our ability, repeating the good aspects of our performances throughout the 2021 season.”
Heriot’s Rugby (versus Boroughmuir Bears at Goldenacre on Saturday 9th August, kick-off 3pm): R Jones; B Evans, R McMichael, S Edwards, C Young; B Houston, L Wheeldon; M Jones, M Liness, D Gamble, C Marshall, F Hastie, R Leishman, I Wilson (captain), J Hill. Substitutes: C Keen A Nimmo, J Scott, R Seydak, J McLean, A Ball, M Russell, J Couper.
Boroughmuir Bears: T Brown; C Ramm, D Munn, R McCallum, J Edmunds; M Cimprich, K Barreto; R Dunbar, C McKenzie, M McGinley, E Ferrie, J Fisher, C Keddie, R Tait, T Andrews. Substitutes: F Scott, C Lamberton, S Habib, S McGinley, R Kerr, M Johnstone, K McGhie, M Mncube.
Referee: Finlay Brown