Gram­mar want day to re­mem­ber at Ru­bis­law

Rugby union: First win is tar­get and sup­port for leg­end Weir as Kelso call

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - SPORT -

Aberdeen Wan­der­ers re­sume ac­tion in Ca­ley 1 to­mor­row af­ter pro­gress­ing to the sec­ond round of the Na­tional Shield last week but will find Har­ris Academy FPs a tough test.

Fraser Burr, joint Wan­der­ers head coach, said: “Har­ris have started the sea­son well in both the league and shield and will be hard to beat on their own patch.”

In Ca­ley 2 North, the match of the day is at Red­cloak where Mackie FPs and El­lon meet, both un­beaten this sea­son and keen to main­tain their re­spec­tive pro­mo­tion hopes.

Mackie were im­pres­sive in see­ing Glenrothes off in the Na­tional Shield, while El­lon were ef­fec­tive when beat­ing In­ver­ness Craig Du­nain in the bowl.

Gar­i­och travel to Shet­land un­der new head coach Dave Duguid, a stal­wart at the club, and should pick up the max­i­mum for their new leader.

Mo­ray meet Aberdeen Gram­mar 2nds at El­gin, bid­ding to get back on track af­ter the shock of los­ing two weeks ago to Dee­side at Ban­chory.

RAF Lossiemouth travel to Aberdeen where they aim to keep their high scor­ing record go­ing at the ex­pense of Aberdeen Univer­sity Medics.

Ross Suther­land travel to Stornoway and High­land 2nds host Dee­side.

In Cale­do­nia 3 North there is an­other top-ofthe-ta­ble match at Kin­loss where the Ea­gles meet Aberdeen­shire 2nds.

Aberdeen Univer­sity make their first ap­pear­ance of the sea­son and, should the stu­dents’ key play­ers be back from the va­ca­tion, will threaten North Po­lice Scot­land’s un­beaten record.

Huntly are at home to Gor­do­nians 2nds, Peter­head host a game with In­ver­ness Craig Du­nain, Mo­ray 2nds meet Dyce and at Groats Road Aberdeen Wan­der­ers 2nds play Fraserburgh. Aberdeen Gram­mar winger Grant Walker wants five points and a big show of sup­port for for­mer Scot­tish rugby in­ter­na­tional Dod­die Weir when his side hosts Kelso to­mor­row.

Gram­mar will sup­port Weir, who earned 61 caps for Scot­land as well as rep­re­sent­ing the Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions, by rais­ing funds for the Euan Mac­don­ald Cen­tre at Ru­bis­law.

A silent auc­tion for Scot­tish rugby mem­o­ra­bilia, en­ter­tain­ment from Ru­bis­law Pipe Band and Aberdeen Univer­sity cheer­lead­ers as well as a show­case of lo­cal youth rugby will sup­port the Na­tional 1 fix­ture.

Money raised will go to­wards the char­ity which was high­lighted fol­low­ing Weir’s an­nounce­ment he has mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease this year.

Walker said: “Dod­die is a huge fig­ure in Scot­tish Gor­do­nians have adapted to Na­tional 3 in style by tak­ing max­i­mum points from their open­ing two games of the sea­son to lead the divi­sion but the league new­com­ers are not about to be lulled into a false sense of se­cu­rity.

Pres­i­dent Jim Sug­den is de­lighted to see his club lead­ing the way at the top of the league fol­low­ing wins against Perthshire and Orkney but he knows sterner tests lie ahead for his side.

He said: “It has been a fan­tas­tic start to the sea­son rugby and both he and his fa­mous tar­tan suits have been at ev­ery club in the coun­try in some shape or form.

“We’re do­ing our bit to sup­port him and we want to make the game a cup fi­nal oc­ca­sion. He has done so much for the game up here and hope­fully we can make it a day to re­mem­ber by putting on a show, win­ning the game, col­lect­ing five points and help raise a lot of money for him in the process.”

Walker will make his first ap­pear­ance of the sea­son fol­low­ing a six-week ab­sence due to a head knock suf­fered in pre-sea­son.

He said: “I’m glad to have been given the all-clear at last. It’s usu­ally a cou­ple of weeks but there are tests which need to be done to for us and we can’t ask for any more than win­ning our open­ing two games in Na­tional 3.

“It’s great to get the con­fi­dence up and the ta­ble makes for pleas­ant view­ing but we’re not get­ting car­ried show I’m symp­tom-free and I couldn’t quite get there to get the go-ahead to play again.

“Thank­fully, I’m fine now and I’m grate­ful to the med­i­cal team for its sup­port and treat­ment. We’re all hugely con­scious of con­cus­sion-re­lated in­juries th­ese days and it was im­por­tant I was back to 100% be­fore play­ing again.”

Walker’s re­turn comes at a good time for his club af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing start to the cam­paign.

Gram­mar were elim­i­nated from the Na­tional Cup be­fore los­ing their two open­ing league games and Walker is ea­ger to get a first win.

He said: “We need to get up and run­ning. It’s been a frus­trat­ing start as we re­ally wanted to kick on this sea­son. The play­ers put in a good shift against Gala but last week at Selkirk was frus­trat­ing. Those games are gone now and our fo­cus is firmly on Kelso. This is a big game and we re­ally need to win it.” away. We’ve got some re­ally tough games ahead of us and we’re play­ing against a bet­ter stan­dard of op­po­si­tion this year. It’s early days. We’ve got some re­ally tough away fix­tures.”

Gor­do­nians’ strong start is all the more im­pres­sive con­sid­er­ing the lengthy in­jury list they are con­tend­ing with.

Sug­den said: “We have an un­prece­dented num­ber of in­juries with as many as 15 guys out, which is an­other chal­lenge.

“An­drew Wil­son trained with us and tore his Achilles on his first night. He is work­ing his way back from that but for most of the squad it’s nig­gles, bumps and bruises they are deal­ing with but it has been enough to keep play­ers out of se­lec­tion.

“It’s tough on us but the sit­u­a­tion is giv­ing oth­ers a chance to show what they can do and stake a claim for a reg­u­lar place in the side.”

Gor­do­nians are on their trav­els again this week­end when they make the trip to Hadding­ton.

Sug­den said: “I watched them against High­land last week and they did bet­ter than the 31-10 score­line sug­gests. They’re a stuffy side with a big pack and we’ll have to han­dle that.

“They pro­duced a good spir­ited per­for­mance and it will be re­ally tough for us.” Orkney are still look­ing for their first Na­tional 3 win of the sea­son but head coach Paul Liv­ing­stone is con­vinced it is just around the cor­ner.

Ahead of to­mor­row’s home game against New­ton Ste­wart, Liv­ing­stone said: “Hope­fully, we can start the ball rolling on home soil. We have had a tough start to the sea­son due to a long list of in­juries car­ried over from last sea­son.

“We still have three guys with bro­ken bones and three with dis­lo­cated shoul­ders.

“Some of them may never play rugby again due to the in­juries they

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