GAVIN EMERSON is looking for his Dunfermline Rugby Club first XV squad to finish their league programme "in a good space" ahead of entertaining Perthshire this weekend.

The McKane Park outfit, who were promoted into National League Division Four last season, have two matches of their league campaign left, with a trip to Strathmore to come at the end of the month.

In their first season at national league level since 2015, Dunfermline have secured their place in the division for next season, having won seven of their 16 matches played.

Emerson's side will be aiming to bounce back from a 57-0 loss in their last match, on February 17, to Garnock, who top the table and are on course to win the title, with a National League Cup, second round tie at home to either Stirling County on Hamilton Bulls due to be played seven days after the Perthshire encounter.

This Saturday's match was rescheduled from December 2, when it was postponed due to a frozen pitch, and Dunfermline will be aiming to complete the double over their third-bottom opponents, one place below them in the table, after a 27-22 victory on the road in September.

"Perth can't get out of the bottom three now but they'll want to come to McKane Park and show a good account of themselves," Emerson said.

"It's just finishing the season off in a good space, leaving with a bit of a positive taste, and letting the guys go into the off-season and looking forward to coming back and working hard.

"We've got Perth, then we've got another break, then a cup game and then Strathmore. It's a funny space at the minute."

Reflecting on their loss at Garnock, for which they had some players unavailable, Emerson said: "Basic skills let us down.

"We tried to get a foot in the game and then we'd drop a ball, or we'd get turned over, and we never really got any momentum. We never looked like we were going to score.

"Credit to them. They're a great outfit, they're a good solid squad, and they deserve to be where they are, but we were confident going in that we were capable of getting a point.

"There was loads to be taken from that game in terms of development, and having a real, good go at a good, experienced team, and just seeing where we shaped up, but we never really got out of first gear.

"As I've said plenty of times this season, we'll learn from that, and hopefully the guys will pull something from that, and just prepare.

"I'm sure we'll get the guys up and buzzing for Perth."

Saturday's match at McKane kicks off at midday.