When the Glasgow Tigers fixtures were released late last year, this game was undoubtedly going to be one of the most interesting weeks in the season.

After the East Kilbride Pirates dropped down from the Premiership last season, a new cross-city rivalry was born in Division 1. The Pirates had reigned as the established team in Scotland for a number of years but suffered a shock when they found themselves on the end of a winless season.

Despite a new challenge in a new division the Pirates have gone 2-0 in their first two games of the season and living up to pre-season pressure following last year’s disappointment. 

The Pirates move the ball against Yorkshire (Photo by Richard Lundy)

In the season opener the Pirates defeated the division’s other Scottish team, the Aberdeen Roughnecks,  23-12. The victory served as a marker for the Pirates this season – the side rushed for three touchdowns, all scored by veteran quarterback Neil Baptie.

Last week’s clash with the Yorkshire Academy Rams saw the Pirates record a 47-12 win. Led again by their running game, East Kilbride rushed for five touchdowns and passed for another two. QB Baptie’s 82-yard run was a highlight for the side in their strongest showing so far.

Quarterback Neil Baptie has come up big for the Pirates so far this year (Photo by Richard Lundy)

Though the two sides aren’t overly familiar with each other in competitive play, there are a number of players – particularly in the Tigers camp – with past experiences of the East Kilbride Pirates. The added edge that this off-the-field familiarity brings has helped make this one of the most anticipated league games this year.

The Tigers go into the game in fantastic form, with an offence and a defence both firing and Coach McCluskey’s side can go into Sunday’s Glasgow Derby filled with confidence that they can continue to defy expectation this season as they aim to steal a march on their city rivals in the league table.

This Sunday sees the Tigers return home to Nethercraigs as they host local rivals, the East Kilbride Pirates, in the first Glasgow Derby for a number of seasons. The game kicks off at 12pm, and admission is free. Check out the Facebook event for more information.

Categories: News