TENSION is building at Philiphaugh as Selkirk’s 1st XV prepare to face visitors Hawick in an RBS Regional Cup showdown tomorrow.
Only one of the six Borders National and Championship League teams will go through to the quarter-final stages of the competition, along with Gala and Melrose, whose British and Irish Cup status secured their passages. And, as it stands at the moment, the Souters are in a perfect position to do just that, having won all three of their games so far.
Victory against the Green Machine would almost certainly secure them the prized place providing Peebles, who haven’t played any matches yet, don’t produce a sudden spurt of form and demolish the table.
Defeat to Hawick would leave everything hanging in the balance until the final games have been played.
Selkirk coach Brian Cassidy isn’t prepared to leave anything to chance, however, and is looking for his side to do the business tomorrow.
He pointed out: “A win would mean we had one foot in the quarter-finals – and that’s a huge incentive for the team.
“So far this season we are all-square against Hawick, having won one game each. We didn’t defend well the last time we played them, but that is down to the individual players. They know what they have to do and, hopefully, they will grab this chance with both hands.”
Selkirk currently head the table with 13 points. Hawick are next with one win and one defeat (6pts), followed by Kelso (4pts) with also a victory and a loss. Hawick YM (1pt) have lost the only game they have played, while Peebles, as mentioned earlier, have yet to get under way.
Jed-Forest are at the foot of the table, having played and lost two ties, with no bonus points to chalk up.
“On our day we are quite capable of beating Hawick by 30 points, but on the downside, if they are on form, they are capable of beating us by 30 points also,” added Cassidy. “I’ll settle for a scoreline of 30-29, with us on the winning end tomorrow.”
Last weekend Selkirk dropped to fifth place in the National League following a 28-12 reverse to Glasgow Hawks at Anniesland.
In a game which was a lot closer than the scoreline might suggest, Selkirk’s young players came up just short against promotion-seeking Hawks in a full-blooded contest.
Cassidy said he was particularly pleased by Selkirk’s scrummaging, with the front row of Clement Lacour, James Bett and Cata Graur coming in for special mention.
He added: “I also thought young Eddie Turner showed real promise in his first start for the club, and the fact we had three 19-year-olds on the bench augurs well for the future.”
Selkirk’s tries came from Rory Banks and Darren Clapperton, with Michael McVie converting the latter.
The team are back to full strength for this weekend’s cup clash which kicks off at 3pm.