Nov 7 2012 By Andrew Weston
Dalziel Rugby Club
Dalziel begin their West Regional Cup campaign this weekend with a mouth watering trip to Laigh Bent to face local rivals Hamilton.
The hosts, currently pitting their wits in the RBS National League, go into the game as heavy favourites with Dalziel struggling at the foot of RBS Championship A.
However coach Neil Livett is hoping his side can cause a shock in gameweek one and put recent league disappointments behind them.
“If the boys are not up for a big derby then there will be serious questions to ask,” he said this week. “But I’m sure they will be ready.
“I played a couple of inter-Police games and derby games in Yorkshire and they were always very interesting. It has been a long time since I played but there are the same feelings which don’t change. The passions are always high in these matches.”
He continued: “We need to make sure we are disciplined and don’t lose our heads and stick to the game plan.
“It’s like any other game. We have got to play our game on the day and make sure we stop them playing their game. It’s that simple.
“I am sure both parties will know each other very well and there will not be too many surprises from that point of view.
“Passions run high and it’s a case of keeping those in check and making the correct decisions in the right areas of the field.”
The format of the Regional Cup sees four teams playing each other on a home and away basis with the team at the top of the ladder qualifying for the knock-out stages.
Dalziel have been drawn to face fellow RBS Championship A outfits Cartha Queens Park and West of Scotland as well as Hamilton and Livett has questioned the value in playing Cartha and West what will be four times each this season.
He said: “I understand why they have changed things because clubs want more games but personally speaking I did like the format of the Cup, Bowls and Shield where every club had a realistic chance of getting to a final.
“If you look at this on paper then Hamilton should win this section. But even if we won you would then be looking at Melrose or Glasgow Hawks next. So even if you play well to get through the section, the club you next face will be a very big one in a straight knock-out.”
He added: “We are also playing Cartha and West an extra two times this year. It is not really conducive to developing players.
“It would have been good to play one or even two teams who are in Championship B. Okay it is more travelling but they are one off cup games effectively.
"I was at Caithness and apart from when we played Orkney it was two hours minimum to your nearest team. I also spent time in the USA where teams would travel eight hours to just play one game. Two hours in the central belt you can go from one side of the country to the other.”
– Dalziel’s league clash at Cartha Queens Park at Dumbreck Road on Saturday was postponed due a waterlogged pitch but the 3rd XV beat GHA, 50-5 at Auldhouse.