Edinburgh Northern play their second game of the season this Saturday, facing Liberton away at Double Hedges. The pride of Stockbridge will travel to the south of the city with the intention of retaining their place at the top of the East 3 table with a win, and based on previous results against the hosts, hope to take a bonus point aswell.
Although both Liberton and Northern ended up languishing in the bottom part of last season’s table, the two fixtures were fairly even and offered a good contest as always in the forward. In the first game of last season, six tries were enough to give a stuttering Northern a bonus point 38-5 victory at Double Hedges. In the return leg, Northern were much more convincing, scoring ten tries including two hat-tricks, but a late surge by Liberton prevented Northern from keeping their visitors at nought.
Liberton have started the season well by all accounts, although they did lose 36-26 to Dalkeith last weekend. Having led at half-time, they were unlucky to see the resurgent Midlothian roar past them in the second half, but had enough firepower over 80 minutes to secure a losing try bonus. A tough test therefore
As for Northern, you can read how they got on last weekend here: http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/edinburghnorthernrfc/teams/25206/match-centre/1-3635211
Starting tomorrow is Kit Walker at tight-head, who is joined by the returning Tom Horton at hooker. Completing the front row trio is John Leatham, who scored his first try for almost a year in last week’s home victory.
In the second row, Calum Harper starts at 4, currently leading the try scoring stats for the season with 2. Following on from his excellent day last weekend, Paul Holland is promoted from the bench to form the familiar engine room partnership of last few seasons.
In the back-row, veteran Rory Pounds returns to the 1st XV at 6, and is joined across the other side by captain Dominic Harrison. After a stint in the front-row last week, Jeremy Dobrowsky returns to his happy space of No.8.
In the half-backs, Max Hoani starts at scrum-half for the second week running, looking to build on an assured performance. He is joined by Andrew Spiller, who’s glittering 30 minute cameo last weekend has seen him promoted to the starting fly half berth.
In the centres, traditionally an area of interchange for Northern we have our second centre partnership of the season. Aaron Laurenson is moved one out from fly-half to 12, whilst Jamie Thompson swaps out to 13 from last week.
In the back three, Jake Letham starts on the wing after recovering well from a knock last weekend, and he is joined on the other side of the field by Crawford Leslie, who was unlucky not to get off the mark against Queensferry. Aidan Gallagher complete the trio at 15.
The bench is made up by Baxter, Breslin and Tait.
ENRFC 1st XV (vs Liberton, 3.00pm, Double Hedges): Gallagher, Letham, Thompson, Laurenson, Leslie, Spiller, Hoani; Leatham, Horton, Walker, Harper, Holland, Pounds, Harrison ©, Dobrowsky. Subs: Baxter, Breslin, Tait.