Tennent’s Premiership: Round Five preview – runners, riders and verdict

Craig Redpath's men take their unbeaten record on the road to a faltering Hawick side

Currie Chieftains v Edinburgh Accies
Currie Chieftains host Edinburgh Accies in an capital city derby at Malleny Park. Image: Fraser Gaffney

ALL eyes were on Fullarton Park last week as Marr and Currie Chieftains did battle at the top end of the table with the hosts putting in a superb performance to pick up a well-deserved win.

Now Craig Redpath’s men take their unbeaten record on the road to a faltering Hawick side while at the other end of the table Musselburgh and GHA will look to build on last week’s fine first league wins of 2019-20 when they face Aberdeen Grammar and Glasgow Hawks at home respectively.

Two derbies complete the round five fixture card with Selkirk taking on Jed-Forest at Philiphaugh and Currie  Chieftains welcoming Edinburgh Accies to Malleny Park.

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VENUE: Malleny Park @ 3.00pm


Currie Chieftains: C Brett; C Meager, S Hamilton, A Hall, A MacLean; C Scott, G Christie; G Carson, F Scott©, M Sonzogni Argiro, M Poole, M Vernel, H Ferguson, J O’Brien, W Nelson. Subs: G Williamson, C Ramsay, C Lessells, F Sayers, A Harley.

Edinburgh Accies: B Appleson; R Cameron, R Wilson, R Bonner, J Adamson; J Loomes, M Love; C Imrie, N Hall, C Lacour, C Thomson, A Inwood, P O’Sullivan, J Sole©, R Campbell. Subs: R Simpson, D Anderson, R McConnell, J Bruce, M Sinclair.


Currie Chieftains: It is a big day for Cammy Scott who starts at stand-off in place of the injured Gregor Hunter while young back Alex Harley returns on the bench.

Edinburgh Accies: The backline is re-jigged with Ben Appleson and Ruairidh Bonner coming in and Max Love moving to scrum-half. The front-row features Nick Hall and Clem Lacour.

KEY BATTLE: Hamish Ferguson v Patrick O’Sullivan.


“We were all extremely disappointed in our performance last week against Marr. We have worked very hard off the pitch to identify they key areas for improvement. So, we have trained like Tarzan… we now need an on pitch performance to get the momentum we had built up before Marr back. Accies will be relishing the opportunity to come to Malleny …” – Mark Cairns (Currie Chieftains)

“We took lots of lessons from last week’s game and look forward to the challenge Currie will present on Saturday …” – Iain Berthinussen (Edinburgh Accies)

VERDICT: Being on the road week after week is not helping Edinburgh Accies find any momentum. Chieftains have a big point to prove after last weekend’s set-back. Home win.


VENUE: Stoneyhill @ 3.00pm


Musselburgh: J Ferguson; S Watt, N Sweeney, R Watt, G Tait; P Cunningham, D Owenson©; R Stott, P Portsmouth, C Arthur, W Fleming, G McKinstry, C Pryde, M Outram, L Hutson. Subs: E Bonthron, J Haynes, C Champion, A Reddick, R Smith.

Aberdeen Grammar: T Morrison; N Brown, M Mitchell, T Aplin, D Russell; S Knudson©, J Troup; R Anderson, B Inglis, C Reddish, N Coe, R Cessford, C Jollands, W Alton, G Ryan. Subs: J Spence, A Cook, D Wallen, P Ritchie, C Shepherd.


Musselburgh: A settled side after a first win of the campaign last weekend. Calum Champion earns a spot on the bench to face his former club.

Aberdeen Grammar: Chris Jollands and Will Alton have shaken off injury concerns to take their places in the starting line-up.

KEY BATTLE: Luke Hutson v Greig Ryan.


“Clearly it was great to get our first win last week and we will be looking to build on that and create some consistent performances over the next few weeks as we try and push up the league. Aberdeen have started the season well, but I am confident if we stick to task then a win is well within our reach. The back-row will be a key area for both teams looking to create that continuity in attack or disruption in defence …” – Graeme Paterson (Musselburgh)

“Going to Musselburgh is always a tough challenge and with them on the back of a very good win last week we know we face a dangerous team who will see our visit as a chance to move up the table. Musselburgh have some excellent players out wide so our defence will need to be on top form in order for us to take anything from the game …” – Ali O’Connor (Aberdeen Grammar)

VERDICT: Musselburgh are on a high after their first win of the season against Glasgow Hawks while Grammar have had an encouraging start to the season. With two settled starting XVs this one really is a tight call. A narrow home win.


VENUE: Mansfield Park @ 3.00pm


Hawick: A Weir©; R McKean, A Mitchell, G Huggan, L Gordon-Woolley; K Brunton, D Lightfoot; D Johnstone, C Renwick, C Greer-Bucherzewski, D Suddon, S Fairbairn, S Graham, J Linton, B McNeil. Subs: M Carryer, R Toogood, M Renwick, K Ford, G Welsh.

Marr: G Montgomery; R Dalgleish, G Paxton, C Bickerstaff©, J Scott; C Sturgeon, J Preston; B Sweet, O Rossi, C Henderson, E Hamilton-Bulger, F Grant, M Pearce, R Brown, B Grant. Subs: J Drummond, W Farquhar, C Cunningham, J Harvey, I Turaga.


Hawick: Ali Weir returns at full-back and with Matty Carryer dropping to the bench he captains the side. Calum Renwick is at hooker.

Marr: Scott Bickerstaff was injured in the win over Currie Chieftains, so Richard Dalgleish moves to the wing with Gregor Paxton in at centre.

KEY BATTLE: Craig Greer-Bucherzewski v Brandon Sweet.


“A disappointing performance last week. It doesn’t get any easier this weekend when Marr make their way to Mansfield Park. They will be expecting to walk over us after our last couple of outings. We have become used to being the underdogs and we welcome it once again. I am expecting a huge reaction …” – George Graham (Hawick)

“After a good win and performance against Currie last week, we face another extremely tough fixture away to Hawick. Mansfield Park is always a difficult place to win at. After a loss and draw in the last two games Hawick will be determined to put in a performance and win against ourselves on Saturday. We look forward to the challenge and I am sure George will have his team prepared and fired up for the game …” – Craig Redpath (Marr)

VERDICT: Hawick will be hurting after a loss and a draw in their last two games, plus some harsh words from head coach George Graham ringing in their ears, so Marr and know they will be in for a battle at Mansfield Park but they have the momentum. Narrow away win.


VENUE: Braidholm @ 3.00pm


GHA: G Mollison; J Craig, C Lonergan, C King, J Baillie; J Anderson, A Gillman; T Brogan, H Clark, S Fisher, A Barnett, J McCarthy©, A Kerr, D Ewing, L McCutcheon. Subs: A Fox, M Fox, M Ryan, M Marinkovic, G Baird, R O’Keefe.

Glasgow Hawks: Y Alagilly; K Gossman, E Oag, C Harrison, M Godsman; L Brims, S Greig; L Archer, J Gemmell, G Strain, A Kirkland, S Leckey©, P Henderson, S Dow, F Christie, Subs: T McTeir, J McLean, M Priestly, C Holborn, K Henderson.


GHA: An unchanged starting XV following last week’s win against Edinburgh Accies, Milan Marinkovic and Mike Ryan come back into the squad on the bench.

Glasgow Hawks: Gary Strain and Kerr Gossman return to the starting XV with Erlend Oag moving into the centre to accomodate the latter. Paul Henderson earns a start in the back-row.

KEY BATTLE: Tony Brogan v Gary Strain.


“It’s over three years since we have played Glasgow Hawks which was in the Scottish Cup and we haven’t played a league match against them since 2008. The squad is looking forward to the resurrection of this Glasgow derby and the challenge that is front of us. We will be looking to push on from last weekend and secure another home victory …” – Trevor Carmichael (GHA)

“It’s been a couple of years since the last Glasgow derby between ourselves and GHA and this will be the first in the league for many a year. GHA play an exciting brand of rugby and like to play at tempo so it should make for a great match with both teams looking to pick up their second win of the season …” – Andy Hill (Glasgow Hawks)

VERDICT: Hawks will be boosted by the return of experienced duo Gary Strain and Kerr Gossman while for GHA to be able to name an unchanged XV is not a luxury that they had during the first month of the season. A big crowd should be at Braidholm to see this derby and with the teams ninth and eighth in the table there is a lot to play for. GHA to make it two wins on the spin.

The Thornwood
The Thornwood bar is delighted to support Glasgow Hawks


VENUE: Philiphaugh @ 3.00pm


Jed-Forest: L Young; C Young, R Marshall, R Yourston, Gregor Young©; M Mitchell, N Stingl; G Paxton, F Campbell, H Meadows, Gary Young, G Law, B McNeil, M Weekley, D Buckley. Subs: G Clarkson, A Keeler, K Lamont, D Grieve, J McGough.


Jed-Forest: Dom Buckley comes back in at No 8 and Ben McNeil moves to six in an otherwise unchanged side.


“We lacked composure at key moments last week in the loss to Grammar, although we made a huge contribution to a free-flowing game of rugby and were probably beaten by the better team. A settled side can hopefully stay more composed at key times …” – Gavin Kerr (Jed-Forest)

VERDICT: A tight Border derby between the sixth and seventh placed teams in the league. A settled Jed side should shade it. Away win.


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