Aberdeen Grammar’s players have had some “good, honest discussions” in recent days and know they must improve defensively if they are to kickstart their National Two campaign tomorrow.
Grammar have lost their opening matches to Stirling County and Falkirk and while they have picked up try bonus points in both outings, a failure to keep tries out at the other end has been their downfall.
Things do not get any easier this weekend as Lasswade, now coached by former Scotland prop Peter Wright, are the opposition and they have 10 points from 10 so far.
Aberdeen Grammar coach: ‘We need to be 75% better on the defensive side’
However, Grammar are back at home at Rubislaw after a road trip to Falkirk six days ago and head coach Eric Strachan said: “The boys have had some good, honest discussions this week about areas that require focus in the next few matches.
“We are scoring plenty of tries, but we need to be 75% better on the defensive side of the ball.
“The players have set their own targets in defence for this week and if the work goes in I do believe we can be a match for any team in the league.
“Our pack options are getting stronger by the week and experience could be key – I look forward to a good open match with two free scoring sides this weekend.”
Liam Buchan and Glen Robertson will return for this one in an ever-changing Grammar pack while behind the scrum the experienced Sam Knudson returns at 10 to offer guile and game management.
GoGos look to build momentum
In the same division, Gordonians will be looking to build on last week’s impressive bonus point win versus Kirkcaldy and they are on home turf again.
Stewart’s Melville, with a draw and a loss to date, are the visitors to Countesswells and Gordonians are boosted by the return of experienced centre Ross Findlay and similarly experienced forward Matthias Schosser who is back having returned from work commitments abroad.
There are also a few niggling injuries that are being monitoring with the hope that those suffering will be available.
“We are looking to build on a good home win again Kirkcaldy and back it up against Stewart’s Melville who will be looking to bounce back after a loss,” Gordonians head coach Ryan Morrice said.
“It will be a different game to last week and expect it to be quite high paced with both teams looking play in the wide channels.”
Highland’s great start to campaign
Highland have had a great start to the National One campaign and now they face their toughest test yet with a trip to Glasgow to face GHA.
GHA were relegated from the Premiership before the summer and are fourth in the fledgling table with Highland top.
“You never know how strong teams will be when they come down, but it is clear from watching some footage that GHA have some quality players,” Highland head coach Dave Carson said.
“They had a good win against Melrose in week one before just falling short versus Gala last time out and they have a big set of forwards.
“That will be a good test for our pack because they have been going well in the first two games.
“We couldn’t ask for any more from our first two games, 10 points from 10, and at the start of the season we looked at the first block of four as a real focus (that finishes versus GHK on September 23).
“While we scored a few points versus Watsonians last week, what was really pleasing was the defence and it’ll need to be sharp again at GHA.”
Second-row Rory Mighton and Rupeni Rokoduguni are missing this one, but on the plus side Grant Jamieson is back from injury.
In National Three, Orkney are at home once again, this time to Preston Lodge.
After two weeks of the season this is a second versus first clash with both teams on 10 points, so it has all the makings of a Pickaquoy classic.
Aberdeen Wanderers are still looking for their first North Conference win in Caledonia One.
They are taking on unbeaten Moray this time around at home while North Conference leaders Mackie are at Aberdeenshire.
In week five of the women’s Premiership, Garioch are on the road to Hillhead Jordanhill still looking for their first win.