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Crunch period coming up for Highland Rugby Club in National One according to head coach Dave Carson

By Andrew Henderson

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Highland Rugby Club head coach Dave Carson believes his side is facing a crunch couple of weeks before National One goes on its winter break.

There are three games left before the division goes dormant for around a month over Christmas and New Year, and with the league still finely balanced it is an opportunity for someone to give themselves a chance to pull away in early 2022.

For Highland, it will be more about making sure they are not cut adrift, as they currently sit 11 points off the top of the table with a game in hand.

All three of Highland’s games before 2021 is out come against teams ahead of them. Following this weekend’s trip to Ayr, they will host Kelso before closing out the calendar year with a trip to Heriot’s Blues – who currently lead the way in National One.

Highland head coach Dave Carson knows the importance of the next three weeks for their National One hopes. Picture: Gary Anthony
Highland head coach Dave Carson knows the importance of the next three weeks for their National One hopes. Picture: Gary Anthony

Although every team in the league has lost, and barring one or two teams at the bottom of the table it appears as though any team is capable of beating any other on a given day, if Highland struggle to pick up points in the coming weeks it will all but end their title hopes.

“They’re going to be difficult matches,” Carson reasoned.

“We’ve got Kelso at home who put 40 points past us – which was unheard of at the beginning of the season.

“We will look forward to that one in a couple of weeks, but the two away games are against Heriots who are at the top of the league and Ayr who are second.

“They’re tough games, but if we can take something from the next three up to Christmas, with the way results are going you never know what will happen after Christmas.

“It’s a really interesting league, so we’ll just work hard again. We’ve had a good couple of weeks training, with the second and the thirds not playing at the moment we’ve taken the firsts away and had some really good sessions.”

Carson, though, feels his side have come on leaps and bounds since the start of the season, adding: “It has been a learning curve since the start of September.

“We’re starting to get there now. We would hope they’ve picked things up and learned, and that’s what they seem to be doing.”

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