School hopes to spring surprise in Plate clash

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High School coach David Marshall is hoping his young charges can be the surprise package of this year’s Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools Under-18 Plate, writes Alexander McLeman.

The Hawick lads swept Knox Academy aside by 28 points to 15 in last Wednesday’s regional final at Netherdale, and now enter the competition at national level with Wednesday’s quarter-final tie against reigning champions Marr College/Prestwick Academy composite at Mansfield Park (kick-off 2pm).

Marshall said: “Marr/Prestwick are a well-organised side who like to dominate using their powerful forwards, and their direct style of rugby with nothing fancy out wide. But we feel our strengths are matched up well against their weaknesses which should make for a great game.”

Marr College will provide formidable opposition for Hawick High, and have the added luxury of being able to choose players from nearby Prestwick Academy, while also testing themselves regularly against some of Glasgow’s independent schools.

“They pretty much are a club side who are well organised and have extensive playing experience together,” continued Marshall.

“We have been playing the underdog card all season and maybe going into Wednesday’s game as slight underdogs suits us. They will come here knowing that the pressure is on them to win, while we can hopefully surprise a few people.”

He added: “Marr won this title last year but there are parts of their game which we feel we can exploit.”