Super6 preview: Boroughmuir Bears aim to bounce back against top dogs Watsonians

Local bragging rights, the Allan McNish Trophy and valuable momentum means plenty to play for Meggetland

It's a west Edinburgh derby tomorrow with Boroughmuir Bears hosting Watsonians in round nine of Super6. Image: © Craig Watson -
It's a west Edinburgh derby tomorrow with Boroughmuir Bears hosting Watsonians in round nine of Super6. Image: © Craig Watson -

BOROUGHMUIR BEARS will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to Stirling Wolves when they take on near neighbours Watsonians at Meggetland tomorrow [Saturday] lunchtime in the Super6 Championship.

Both sides are through to the play-off semi-finals already, but they will want a positive result to build momentum ahead of the last regular season fixtures next weekend. And, of course, they could still meet in the semi-finals in a fortnight.

They will also be playing for the Allan McNish Trophy, this being the second leg of the contest with the Bears having a 21 point gap to make up having lost the first leg 31-10.

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Fit again Marcus Goodwin comes in at tight-head prop for the hosts with Callum McFeat Smith moving to loose-head. Jack Fisher takes a breather this week having played a lot of minutes for the Bears in recent weeks, which allows Glasgow Warriors academy player Euan Ferrie to return from injury to partner Callum Atkinson in the second-row.

An injury to Duncan Munn sees Adam Scott step in at 13, while Gala-product Kerr Johnston, 17, did very well last week in his first start at this level and he keeps his place on the wing.

On the bench, forward Josh King comes back into the squad after a couple of weeks out and teenage back Andy McLean (Glasgow Hawks) has been recruited to the bench as emergency cover after impressing many in the Premiership so far this season.

Also amongst the subs is Aaron Purewal who previously played for Boroughmuir in the Premiership and most recently played for Scotland Sevens at the World Cup.

“After so many positives in our season, last week was a bit frustrating for the Bears, we never really grabbed hold of the game and credit to the Wolves, they did,” head coach Graham Shiel said.

“If the Wolves presented a challenge last week, there is no doubt that we have a mountain to climb this week against competition leaders Watsonians. Whilst we are sitting in third position there is some distance between ourselves and them, so this week we must improve significantly.

“We know that whatever squad Watsonians field it will be strong, so we will need to perform at their absolute best in all areas to be able to compete.

“This is about stepping up and being prepared to go toe-to-toe with our near neighbours and compete for a full 80 minutes.”


Watsonians have Edinburgh Rugby’s Fijian tight-head prop Lee-Roy Atalifo released to play and he replaces Angus Williams in the number three jersey. Loose-head Harrison Courtney, hooker Patrick Harrison – the Edinburgh academy player back from his short-term loan at London Irish – Edinburgh second-row Pierce Phillips and back-row Seb Cecil have also been added to the starting XV, with the last of those names captaining the side.

Regular skipper Lee Millar is unavailable, so Jason Baggott is at stand-off with Glasgow academy winger Ross McKnight and centres Joe Reynolds and Lewis Berg joining the starting XV too.

Scotland cap Jamie Hodgson is on the bench via pro release from Edinburgh as he looks to build his match fitness back up following injury. Luis Ball returns to the squad having missed the last two games and he is added to the replacements along with Murray Scott.

“We’re looking forward to playing at Meggetland where we played some home games during the Sprint competition earlier in the year.,” head coach Fergus Pringle said.

“Boroughmuir’s home form has been strong throughout the Super6 Championship and having played each other three weeks ago in round six, we know the tough challenge we’ll face.

“We’re determined to keep improving our performances and will need a disciplined, 80 minute collective effort against the Bears to come out on top.”

Meanwhile, the eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that Cal Davies is not in the Watsonians squad this week which makes it the first Super6 match he will be missing since it all started back in 2019. He played in 36 consecutive matches.


Boroughmuir Bears (versus Watsonians @ Meggetland, Saturday 1pm): T Brown; K Johnston, A Scott, S Robeson, J Jenkins; J Bergin, R Swan; C McFeat Smith, J Blyth-Lafferty, M Goodwin, E Ferrie, C Atkinson, L McConnell, S McGinley, C Keddie©. Subs: I Carmichael, B Sweet, L Alessandri, J King, T Andrews, M Johnstone, A McLean, A Purewal.

Watsonians: D Coetzer; L MacPherson, L Berg, J Reynolds, R McKnight; J Baggott, R Frostwick; H Courtney, P Harrison, L Atalifo, P Phillips, J Berrisford, S Cecil©, K Main, K van Niekerk. Subs: C Wilson, C Lamberton, B Bratton, J Hodgson, L Ball, M Scott, A Guthrie, R Daley.

Referee: Finlay Brown


Key battle: Callum McFeat Smith versus Lee-Roy Atalifo


Verdict: Boroughmuir were clearly very frustrated by their loss to the Wolves last Friday. Back on home turf again they will be looking for a better showing and they should get it in this Edinburgh derby, but Watsonians are in form and the pro draft has been kind to them. They should keep their momentum going heading towards the play-offs.

Away win.

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About Gary Heatly 329 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.