YM and Quins enter weekend ties with one aim: reach Murrayfield

Two Teri teams could blaze a trail to Murrayfield with victory in national semi finals this weekend.

Hawick YM will tomorrow contest their last-four tie at home to Musselburgh in the RBS National Shield, while Hawick Harlequins travel to East 2 rivals Dunbar in the RBS National Bowl.

Jammy McFarlane, the YM head coach, says tomorrow represents something of a no-win situation against the only opponents who have beaten his side this season.

“They’re horrible days, because you don’t get anything for winning a semi final and you feel empty if you lose one,” said McFarlane. “It’s a massive game for both teams. It was a close game that they won earlier in the season, and a close game at our place that we won.

“We’re always happy to get a home tie, but if we’d got an away tie we’d have used that to inspire us and motivate us.

“We’ll have a good crowd, but both sides will be well matched.”

Teenage prodigy Matty Douglas, who will join Newcastle Falcons in the summer, is included in the YM squad for tomorrow’s game but may miss out due to the outstanding form shown by his deputies in recent weeks.

“It may well be we don’t pick him,” admitted McFarlane. “He’s missed the last couple of games and the fella [Chris Ritson] who has taken his place hase done very well. I would find it really difficult to discard Chris.

“Every one of our players wants to be involved every week, which is good for morale. Generally, we have 23 or 24 people fighting for 18 jerseys.”

While McFarlane’s team will play for the right to face either Kilmarnock or Dunfermline in the final at Murrayfield, Ricki Kiore’s Quins side will hope to follow their neighbours on the road to Edinburgh to play Grangemouth or Helensburgh.

Before their thoughts drift to the Bowl showpiece, however, Kiore’s side must overcome the runaway leaders of their East 2 league, Dunbar.

“They’ve definitely had the upper hand on us, but we’ve run them close a couple of times,” said Kiore. “Defensively, we’ve been alright, but we just need to build phases and hold our position and try to break them down.

“Man for man, they’re a lot bigger than us and we’re going to have to play the best rugby we’ve played this season to beat them.”

n Hawick Linden have three seats available on their bus to the Edinburgh v Toulouse Heineken Cup quarter-final on April 7. The £25 cost covers both a seat on the bus and match ticket. If interested, contact George Wilson on 01835 830663.