With week five of the season beckoning, two Borders teams book-ending the BT Premiership go into Saturday’s fixtures with equal ambitions – but for opposing reasons.
Melrose lead the pack after four wins from four, having seen off Gala by 43-27 in last weekend’s southern derby at Netherdale.
In the game of the day this Saturday, they head west to take on another unbeaten side, Ayr, who are already strongly tipped to be in the end-of-season play-offs.
At the opposite end of the table, Hawick are desperate to break a run of four straight losses.
But aspects of their performance in the 28-43 loss to Ayr last Saturday, in which they gained a bonus point, gave them cause to believe their first win may not be far away. They return to Mansfield Park this weekend against mid-table Boroughmuir.
Gala head to Stirling County, while in Division One, undefeated Jed-Forest, whose latest win was a 28-17 triumph over Stewarts Melville, are at home to struggling Howe of Fife.
Selkirk, relegated last season from the Premiership and whose results have varied starkly so far, travel to table-topping Falkirk, who have surprised many with three wins from three.