Seven in a row is tar­get for Haw­ick

Winger step­ping up his come­back af­ter cameo against Blues

The Herald - Herald Sport - - RUGBY UNION -

KING OF THE SEV­ENS SE­RIES Af­ter the glam­our of the Green­yards last weekend, the Borders Sev­ens cir­cuit gath­ers pace this weekend with a dou­ble bill,

Haw­ick host the third leg of the Kings of the Sev­ens ti­tle race at Mans­field Park to­day while Scremerston is the venue for the Ber­wick tour­na­ment to­mor­row.

Haw­ick have had a firm grip on their own tour­na­ment over the past six years and will bid for a sev­enth straight ti­tle­to­day. They showed good form at Gala by reach­ing the semi-fi­nals while they had wins over Howe of Fife and Gala at Mel­rose last weekend, be­fore suc­cumb­ing to the power of the hosts.

Haw­ick must find a way past Jed-For­est, Ed­in­burgh Ac­cies, beaten fi­nal­ists last week, and Wat­so­ni­ans, un­less the guest side Trinidad and Tobago cause an up­set.

A boost for the Haw­ick event this year is that none of the Borders sides, nor ti­tle chal­lengers Ed­in­burgh Ac­cies or Wat­so­ni­ans, is in ac­tion at RBS Cup Fi­nals day at Cum­ber­nauld to­day. “It is al­ways a dif­fi­cult one for us with the cup fi­nal on the same day, as we lose some of the teams or they send weak­ened sides,” said Alan For­est, Haw­ick Sev­ens con­venor. “This year He­riot’s and Glas­gow Hawks have had to pull out.”

Mel­rose, who lead the Kings of the Sev­ens ti­tle race af­ter two rounds look likely to come through the top half of the draw un­scathed. DE­TAILS Haw­ick Sev­ens. Rd 1 Hamil­ton v Pres­i­dent’s VII, Gala v Northum­ber­land, Peebles v Ed­in­burgh Univer­sity, Haw­ick YM v Mel­rose, Jed­for­est v Haw­ick, Trinidad & Tobago v Ed­in­burgh Ac­cies, Selkirk v Langholm, Kelso v Wat­so­ni­ans Ber­wick Sev­ens. Rd 1 Gala v Mor­peth, Northum­ber­land v Wat­so­ni­ans, Earl­ston v Selkirk, Ed­in­burgh Ac­cies v Mel­rose, Ber­wick v Al­nwick, Ein­burgh Univer­sity v Haw­ick, Kelso v Peebles, Jed­for­est v Trinidad & Tobago Kings of the Sev­ens (af­ter 2 rounds) 1 Mel­rose 15pts, 2= Haw­ick & He­riot’s 8pts, 4= Ed­in­burgh Ac­cies & Wat­so­ni­ans 7pts, 6 Gala 5pts, 7= Selkirk, Peebles, Kelso 3pts 10 Jed-For­est 0pts PLANS for the Scot­land na­tional team’s sum­mer tour have been given a timely boost with Tim Visser, the winger who topped the RaboDirect PRO12 try-scor­ing chart for the last three sea­sons, mak­ing his first start for Ed­in­burgh to­day since break­ing hi s leg last Oc­to­ber, writ e s Stu­art McAl­lis­ter.

Visser did man­age a few min­utes off the bench in last week’s de­feat to Cardiff Blues but Alan Solomons, the head coach, had no hes­i­ta­tion in slot­ting him back into the start­ing team to face Ze­bre in Parma now that he has proved his fit­ness. “It’s ex­cel­lent to have him in the side, though we shouldn’t ex­pect too much from him as this is re­ally his first proper out­ing,” Solomons said.

While Edi n b u r g h are not arith­meti­cally out of the race for sixth place in the league and a spot in next sea­son’s Euro­pean Cham­pi­ons Cup – they are 10 points be­hind the Scar­lets with a game in hand – their real­is­tic prospects are close to zero, so their re­main­ing four matches, start­ing this af­ter­noon, are re­ally more about in­di­vid­u­als mak­ing a point in a much-changed side.

At lock, in­juries mean Ol­lie Atkins makes rare start and Ben Too­lis, a sum­mer sign­ing for the Academy pro­gramme, is given his first chance, while his twin brother Alex is on the bench. Carl Bezuiden­hout is given a run at fly-half, Wi­cus Blaauw makes a rare start at loose­head prop, and Sean Kennedy is given his first run-on game since re­turn­ing from his loan spell with Lon­don Ir­ish.

“I think it’s the right time to make a ro­ta­tion and see what they can do, it’s a good op­por­tu­nity,” Solomons, said.

With all the sig­nif­i­cant league prizes out of reach, the rest of the sea­son is a chance for the play­ers to jos­tle for po­si­tion ahead of the next cam­paign, and no role is likely to be more keenly con­tested than that of scrum-half.

Greig Laid­law’s de­ci­sion to head to Eng­land with Glouces­ter has left Kennedy, Grayson Hart, and Sam Hi­dalgo-Clyne all with real­is­tic hopes of dom­i­nat­ing the berth.

Solomons has shown he tends to de­cide on his top player and field him

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.