Hawick hope for landslide victory over local rivals

Selkirk vs Hillhead Jordanhill. Rory Banks for Selkirk.
Selkirk vs Hillhead Jordanhill. Rory Banks for Selkirk.

Passions are rising, allegiances sought and decisions on what side to take well established, and the only independent ref we are likely to hear about is the one in the middle of the pitch.

Yes it’s a Hawick v Gala match at Mansfield Park on Saturday, more than enough to stir the blood of any Borders Scot no matter what today’s referendum result should bring about.

Nikki Walker heads up the Greens’ campaign and, following his side’s narrow victory over Ayr, believes they can gain the edge over their local rivals.

He told The Southern: “The boys are ready for this next challenge.

“We should have won our first two games, but with changes in players and coaching staff we knew that it wasn’t going to click straight away.

“We have been working really hard, though, and the boys are in great shape, they have confidence and are in a good position for a home win on Saturday.”

Rallying the Gala troops following last week’s 29-10 win over Glasgow Hawks, legendary lock Opeta Palepoi said: “We have to take the momentum we have gained over the last two weeks and use that this weekend.”

Neither team has the use of pro players this weekend and Walker is looking forward to taking on the league leaders “on a level playing field”.

Still dealing with a multitude of injury problems, Melrose head up to Anniesland on Saturday to take on a Glasgow Hawks side that had their wings clipped by Gala last weekend.

And Melrose director of rugby Mike Dalgetty is expecting another difficult challenge for his team

He told us: “It’s a certainty that no favours will be offered and none expected, but the boys are in good fettle and looking forward to the challenge.”

In National League One, Selkirk are riding high at the top of the table following convincing wins in their opening two fixtures, but are expecting to see some resistance at Mayfield this weekend when they take on Dundee High School FP (read Peter Wright’s comments on page 118).

Jed-Forest will be looking to put last week’s narrow defeat behind them when visiting Watsonians, Kelso travel to play Hillhead Jordanhill and Peebles are at home to Biggar.