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Building momentum is crucial for Highland 2nd XV

By Andrew Henderson

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Highland 2nd XV head coach Nathan McLaughlan wants to keep building momentum going into a crucial top of the table clash next weekend.

Ross Sutherland's George Richardson chases the ball coming out of a scrum against Highland 2nds. Picture: Peter Carson
Ross Sutherland's George Richardson chases the ball coming out of a scrum against Highland 2nds. Picture: Peter Carson

The defending champions sit at the top of Caledonia North Two, currently level on 20 points with Aberdeen Grammar 2nd XV, with the Raptors due to play their nearest challengers one week from Saturday.

First though, McLaughlan is preparing for a visit along the A98 to Banff this weekend.

He is not looking past Banff, who are second-bottom of the league as things stand, but he know that it is important to put together a string of wins going into what is on paper a more difficult test.

“What will be more telling for us is the game the following week through in Aberdeen, when we play Grammar 2nds,” McLaughlan insisted.

“We had two tough games against them last year and we will expect a tough game when we play them this year. We’re looking forward to that as well.

“It’s just the way that fixtures have worked out this year – we’ve got quite a few breaks up until January, and then I think we’ve got three games in January.

“Getting a few more wins on the board and a bit of momentum before the Christmas break is really important.”

McLaughlan will be aiming for a bonus-point win at the Duff House Grounds, but he knows that weather could play a factor.

With the cold flooding in as winter takes hold, pitch conditions will start to have an impact on how expansive teams like Highland are allowed to play.

Until game day, all the Raptors can do is hope, but from memory McLaughlan is optimistic that his team will be able to play fast, creative rugby.

“The only other times I’ve played on it, it has been ok – it hasn’t been the quagmire that some places turn into in late November or early December,” he remembered.

“If it’s a firm surface and we can play our fast game then that’s ideal for us. It’s the way we want to play even when the pitch isn’t great.

“Hopefully the sun will shine and it’s firm underfoot, that would suit us down to the ground.”

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