AYRSHIRE Bulls meet the Southern Knights at Millbrae tonight with one clear motivating factor for both teams: win the match, and a place in the Super6 final is guaranteed.

In fact, if the Bulls win with a bonus point and the Knights pick up two bonuses in defeat, both teams will have done enough to book their places.

But that scenario will certainly not appeal to the Knights, who are three points clear at the top after winning their last three matches.

And the home team, too, will be eager to qualify for the final at the first time of asking, knowing that if they lose tonight they could face what would amount to a straight knockout match with Watsonians in the final round of regular league fixtures next weekend. 

“After a few weeks on the road, playing at home on Friday provides a great platform for us to raise our performance levels again for this top of the table clash,” Bulls coach Pat MacArthur said after announcing his team. “Southern Knights are a good team that knows how to win. We will need to be at our best if we want to secure a place in the final.”

MacArthur’s counterpart Rob Chrystie, meanwhile, expects his team to be more clinical than they were in their last outing, when only a very late fightback secured the victory against Heriot’s at the Greenyards. “The atmosphere at Millbrae is sure to be electric,” Chrystie said. 

“The Bulls will be full of confidence having won convincingly in recent weeks. We have had another good week’s training and know we will need to be better than last week against a side that are hitting some excellent form.”

Heriot’s, who lost to the Knights seven days ago after conceding three late tries, need to win at home tomorrow against Stirling County to maintain their hopes of a top-four finish. Watsonians, who play Boroughmuir Bears at Myreside on Sunday, have to hope that this evening’s result from Millbrae has left them in with a chance of a top-two finish.

In today’s Premiership games, leaders Marr will be out to stretch their one-point advantage at the top when they welcome Jed-Forest to Fullarton Woods. Second-placed Glasgow Hawks have a tough trip to Hawick, while third plays fourth at Malleny Park, with both Currie Chieftains and Edinburgh Accies having a game in hand on the clubs above them. GHA are at home to Selkirk and Aberdeen Grammar visit Musselburgh.