Borders three are up for the cup

BY 4.30pm on Saturday, at least one Borders rugby club will have sealed a place in the RBS National Cup semi-finals and, with a bit of luck and some good play by George Graham’s men, there may even be two.

Being the only National League side, Selkirk perhaps have the toughest challenge ahead of them, but as far as coach Brian Cassidy is concerned, it will be business as usual down Philiphaugh way when Melrose come calling on Saturday.

“They are certainly favourites to win the game and quite rightly so,” he told TheSouthern.

“On our day, though, we will take anyone on and we feel if we can cut down our penalty count and keep with them going into the last quarter, then we may well be in with a shout.”

Melrose are certainly not taking anything for granted, but for player coach John Dalziel, the prospect of making it through to his fifth cup final in six seasons is incentive enough for both him and his team.

“We are certainly not underestimating the task,” he told us. “Selkirk are a good team and it’s a huge game for both sides.

“We have been playing with a relatively new team this season and now we are at a stage where we have to dig in and show what we can do. We still have a chance of securing a British and Irish Cup place and progressing in the RBS National Cup. Both mean a lot to the club and we will be doing everything we can to achieve both.”

Gala make the long journey north to face Aberdeen, and after missing out on a much sought-after league title to Ayr last weekend, the team will be going all out to retain the cup.

Influential captain Opeta Palepoi is ruled out with a knee injury, but the adopted Galalean will be on the sidelines lending his support. He told us: “I wouldn’t miss it. I feel really good about this game and I know the boys do too. We were very disappointed at getting so close to the league title and then losing it and individually everyone still hurts from that.

“As a team, however, it has made us all the more determined to come back fighting. We have been under-performing a bit and Saturday is our chance to rectify that and move on.”

The other two quarter-final ties are Currie v Dundee and Ayr v Stirling County. The semi-final draw will be made after Saturday’s fixtures are played out.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Jed-Forest continue their fight to stay in the National League, when they take on fellow stragglers Biggar at Hartreemill.

z Gala are to lose their star fly half Lee Millar at the end of the season.

Millar, who has scored 287 points for his club in all competitions this season, including 217 in the Premiership, has signed up with English Championship outfit London Scottish.