Super6 preview: Watsonians welcome Boroughmuir Bears in top-two clash

Scotland A star Ben Muncaster starts for the Myreside men

Lewis Berg of Watsonians will be back in action against Boroughmuir Bears this weekend. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Lewis Berg of Watsonians will be back in action against Boroughmuir Bears this weekend. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

FIRST plays second in the FOSROC Super6 Championship on Saturday lunchtime when Watsonians take on the Boroughmuir Bears.

A fortnight ago the hosts defeated bottom side Stirling Wolves very comfortably and they have been further strengthened for this one with the availability of Scotland ‘A’ cap Ben Muncaster.

The 20-year-old Edinburgh Rugby man starts at No 8 in place of the unavailable Neil Irvine-Hess while fellow pro Pierce Phillips starts in the second-row.


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Edinburgh academy players Patrick Harrison and Harry Paterson start at hooker and on the wing respectively while Connor Eastgate comes in at 12 after scoring a late try versus the Wolves.

Rory Brand replaces the benched Murray Scott at scrum-half while Matt Currie, the Edinburgh centre who like Muncaster played for Scotland ‘A’ in the summer, is on the bench.

“The Bears have gone really well in the competition so far and they’re only going to get stronger with the return of some of their academy players and players on pro release,” head coach Fergus Pringle said.

“It’s a bit of a reset for us after the first round of games and a week off, having built some good momentum in the competition to the halfway point.

“We’re looking forward to a tough challenge at Myreside and we’ll need to be clinical and disciplined for the full 80 minutes to come out on top.”

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Like Watsonians, the Bears make the short trip across Colinton Road having won last time out two weeks ago against Heriot’s.

Up front, they have a settled front five while the back-row is reshaped and includes Glasgow academy players Euan Ferrie and Rhys Tait alongside No 8 Scott McGinley. The latter captains in Craig Keddie’s absence.

Adam Scott replaces Tom Brown at full-back while, on the bench, Glasgow pro Gregor Brown is included along with Scotland under-20 cap Liam McConnell who is an Edinburgh Rugby academy back-row. Scotland age-grade winger Kerr Johnstone is wearing 23 and could make his Super6 debut.

“The first five rounds stretched Boroughmuir Bears to and beyond their limits, but testament to the resilience of the tight group they have competed admirably,” head coach Graham Shiel said. “This is the first time in over 12 months, we have the ability to field a squad of 23 players without ‘emergency cover’ or ‘permit’ players in our match day squad.  Getting to the break was always going to be very tough for us, so a weekend off was very welcome,”

“The challenges only get bigger as we resume action this week against Watsonians in the first of five games in the second round. Whilst our return to Meggetland was brief, our two remaining away fixtures are within the City of Edinburgh boundaries, with this one for starters.

“Watsonians have a very enviable squad available to them and depth in abundance with quality, so whatever squad they field will be a challenge for us.

“Most pleasing in our last outing was our ability to find ways to bring all the best bits of our previous four performances in the Championship to remain competitive for a full 80 minutes.

“We know that anything less than a carbon copy of that performance will not be good enough to be able to compete with Watsonians.

“This will be a challenge and one that we are looking forward to. For all our players, these are the games that they want to play in and whilst we have competed well over the Super6 competition to date, we have yet to perform with consistency over a number of games and with intensity.

“The second half of the competition will act as a good indicator of whether we are making and/or have made progress as a squad and as a programme since the conception of Super6.”

 

Watsonians (versus Boroughmuir Bears @ Myreside, Saturday 1pm): D Coetzer; H Paterson, L Berg, C Eastgate, A Guthrie; L Millar©, R Brand; H Courtney, P Harrison, B Bratton, L Ball, P Phillips, S Cecil, C Wilson, B Muncaster. Substitutes: C Davies, C Lamberton, G Scougall, K van Niekerk, K Main, M Scott, J Reynolds, M Currie.

Boroughmuir Bears: A Scott; C Ramm, R Kerr, S Robeson, J Jenkins; J Bergin, R Swan; C McFeat Smith, I Carmichael, M Goodwin, J Fisher, C Atkinson, E Ferrie, R Tait, S McGinley©, Substitutes: J Blyth Lafferty, B Sweet, M McGinley, G Brown, L McConnell, P Bogie, M Johnstone, K Johnstone.

Referee: Ruairidh Campbell.

 

Key battle: Ben Muncaster versus Scott McGinley.

 

Verdict: This has all the makings of a cracker. The Bears have really stepped things up after the Sprint Series before the summer while Watsonians have carried on where they left off in that competition. The Bears have a pretty settled line-up and will be up for this one, but a stronger Watsonians bench may just help them home later on here.

Home win.


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About Gary Heatly 463 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.