THE top two sides in the Super6 table meet tomorrow [Friday] night when second-placed Ayrshire Bulls host leaders Southern Knight at Millbrae, with both teams knowing that the chance to confirm their place in the end of season 1st/2nd place play-off is on the table.
The Bulls need to take five league points (a bonus-point win) from this match to take themselves beyond the reach of third placed Watsonians with next week’s final round of regular season matches still to play, while the Knights need two league points (minimum of any draw or a loss within seven points and with four tries scored).
The 1st/2nd place play-off has been scheduled for Sunday 17th October at the DAM Health Stadium, on the back-pitches at Murrayfield.
Both sides have been in rich seams of form during the last month, and while neither team was at their dominant best last weekend, they did both manage to pick-up bonus-point wins to keep their momentum rolling.
Bulls head coach Pat MacArthur will be looking towards fit again Tom Jordan to add fluidity at stand-off. He will be partnered by Jordan Lenac at scrum-half, who swaps in for Harry Warr. In the pack, George Thornton and Alex McGuire are promoted from the bench to start at loose-head and hooker, respectively, while Michael Scott swaps the No1 for the No3 jersey.
“After a few weeks on the road, playing at home on Friday provides a great platform for us to raise our performance levels again for this top of the table clash,” said MacArthur. “Southern Knights are a good team who know how to win. We will need to be at our best if we want to secure a place in the final.
Meanwhile, Knights head coach Rob Chrystie has rewarded Andrew Mitchell‘s strong running off the bench against Heriot’s last weekend with a place in the starting XV at inside-centre, and Patrick Anderson is named on the wing. Iain Moody returns at No8, whilst Dalton Redpath packs down in the second-row.
“The atmosphere at Millbrae on Friday night is sure to be electric for this fixture,” said Chrystie. “The Bulls will be full of confidence having won convincingly in recent weeks. We have had another good weeks training and know we will need to be better than last week against a side that are hitting some excellent form.
Ayrshire Bulls (v Southern Knights at Millbrae on Friday 1st [email protected] 7.30pm): M Davidson; A Tait, R Beattie, T Williams, R Nairn; T Jordan, J Lenac; G Thornton, A McGuire, M Scott, E Bloodworth, T Everard, R Sweeney, Y Fantini, B MacPherson©. Substitutes: R Tanner R Sayce, C Henderson, R Jackson, G Wilson, F Callaghan, M Minogue, H Warr.
Southern Knights: J Jenkins; P Anderson, N Godsmark©, A Mitchell, S Pecqueur; J Baggott, C Jones; S Gunn, R Anderson, E McLaren, D Redpath, A Runciman, R Knott, A Ferrie, I Moody. Substitutes: F Renwick, G Shiells, C Crookshanks, D Suddon, H Borthwick, M McAndrew, B Wara, I Sim.