Harlequins hope to give Linden a harder game

Hawick Linden will be aiming to record their fourth successive win against Hawick Harlequins when the two sides renew their rivalry at Wilton Lodge Park in today’s Borders Shield clash.

Linden enter the local derby on a high after toppling Quins 32-18 in their last meeting, but for all the emphasis on past performances, expectations from the Volunteer Park side are that the competition this weekend will be a far more physical and intense than when the two last faced off.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s clash, Hawick Linden’s David Gray told the Hawick News: “Regardless of each of the two side’s current form or what it says on paper about the two of us, it will be a difficult game.

“These local derbies are hard, physical encounters and we are expecting a different battle to the one we had with them earlier this season.

“The league is very intense, with games coming thick and fast, so when you get to play these one-off Cup games a lot of the boys get really up for them as it is something else to fight for, and it also gives us a nice break from the usual league play.

“With the game being played at the much narrower Wilton Lodge Park, it means our usual expansive style of play will need to be reined in slightly as we won’t have as much space as we normally do on the Volunteer Park.

“But we will still try to toss the ball about and play to our strengths.”

Gray added: “Both clubs have had some difficult times this season with player shortages resulting in some games being cancelled, but I think this weekend, after a couple of weeks off playing, both clubs will have full-strength sides.

“These derbies always bring out the best in the players and they get really fired up to face some lads they have grown up with.

“We will have our squad ready to compete like it is a cup final and try to maintain our recent run of good results against them.”