PEEBLES coach Gerry McGuinness is no stranger to hard work and back-to-basics rugby, writes Fiona Scott.
The former Hawick boss managed to get the Teries out of the mire that is Premier Two and back up to the top flight two seasons ago and is more than willing to help his current team do the same.
That particular ambition may take a wee bit longer to achieve for the Pee’s, who lost several key players during the summer, but being a patient man, McGuinness is ready to play the waiting game and is already seeing improvement in his young squad.
He told TheSouthern: “We knew this year was going to be tough. We are a fairly new side and are still settling in. You can’t be too disappointed with the way they have performed. They are doing so many good things it’s just going to be a case of sorting out the not so good and pull something out of the bag soon.”
This weekend, Peebles have a home tie against Kelso and are looking for their first win to get their campaign off the ground.
McGuinness added: “One of the good things about this team is that the heads don’t go down and they will keep trying right to the end. If we keep doing that on Saturday and don’t give away any soft scores we should get the result we are looking for.”
Elsewhere in Premier Two, Jed-Forest and Selkirk are both on the road to play Whitecraigs and Falkirk respectively.
All three Premier One teams are at home this weekend and looking ahead to his side’s tie against Glasgow Hawks at the Greenyards, Melrose coach Craig Chalmers said: “We are looking forward to getting back home after a great result at Ayr last week. We will need to be a lot less sloppy in our defence as we are conceding far too many soft tries at the moment. On a positive note, we created far more try-scoring opportunities last week and now have to get more clinical in that department.”
Melrose have only made one change to their starting line-up this week – Alan Walker returns from Edinburgh duty to replace Wayne Mitchell on the bench.
Hawick will also be looking to notch their first win when they take on Aberdeen at Mansfield Park, while Gala are hoping to continue their current winning form when Heriot’s come to Netherdale.
z Dan Parks kicked all of Scotland’s points in a wet Invercargill yesterday as Scotland secured a second successive World Cup victory against Georgia in a dour struggle.
In difficult, wet conditions, Parks kicked four penalties from seven attempts and landed a neat drop-goal late in the first half to land a 15-6 victory. Borderers Ross Ford (Kelso) and Kelly Brown (Melrose) threw their weight into the Scotland starting XV in which coach Andy Robinson had made 10 changes from the team that beat Romania last Saturday. Read Stuart Cameron’s thoughts on that match on page 27.
z Former England head coach Brian Ashton has accepted an invitation to prepare the Barbarians’ squad for the Bill McLaren Foundation Match against South of Scotland at Mansfield Park on Tuesday, October 11.
McLaren’s grandson, Jim Thompson, will be in the Baa-baas starting line-up at full back. For more info and tickets go to www.billmclarenfoundation.co.uk/south-v-barbarians