Friday, 24 January 2014

Ayr v Glasgow Hawks preview

It's back to league business for Ayr after two weeks of British and Irish Cup matches, as they prepare to welcome Glasgow Hawks to Millbrae in a big weekend in the RBS Premiership.

There's a fierce yet friendly rivalry between the two clubs and it is expected to be an intense encounter, with the never-shy fans from both sides adding to the atmosphere in Alloway on the day of the birth of the village's most famous son, Robert Burns.

"This is a local derby we enjoy and it's good to have the home advantage," says Ayr head coach Peter Laverie.  "The players all know each other well, as do the coaches, so the touchline banter will be of the highest quality."

Laverie knows the threat the visitors pose.

"Hawks will set a stern challenge as they are a quick and competitive team and will be mustard keen to turn us over on our own patch."

In terms of his own team, Laverie notes: "It has a familiar look to it and although we have real competition for places, we've gone for what looks like a very settled side."

Grant Anderson captains from full-back, with Kerr Gossman returning to the left wing and Murray McConnell starting at scrum-half.

D'arcy Rae and James Malcolm are on Scotland under-20s duty ahead of their Six Nations competition, so David Young and Stuart Fenwick provide cover on the bench.

There are several important ties this Saturday, with Gala and Melrose's clash at Netherdale a crunch match in terms of where the league title could go. 

"You never know what can happen, so our focus will be on gaining a victory by using some of what we've learned in the last couple of weeks whilst on British and Irish Cup duty," concludes Laverie.


15. Grant Anderson (capt), 14. Craig Gossman, 13. Robbie Fergusson, 12. Dean Kelbrick, 11. Kerr Gossman; 10. Ross Curle, 9. Murray McConnell; 1. George Hunter, 2. Fergus Scott, 3. Nick Cox; 4. Callum Templeton, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. Graham Fisken, 7. Andrew Dunlop, 8. Peter McCallum.


16. David Young, 17. Stuart Fenwick, 18. Graham Williamson, 19. Peter Jericevich, 20. Ross Curle.

Kick-off 3pm.

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