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Highland boss happy with display despite defeat to Gala

By Andrew Henderson

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Highland Rugby Club head coach Dave Carson was still upbeat despite his side’s defeat to Gala last weekend.

Highland Rugby Club v Ayr - Canal Park, Inverness..Scot Fraser...Picture: Callum Mackay..
Highland Rugby Club v Ayr - Canal Park, Inverness..Scot Fraser...Picture: Callum Mackay..

In a dramatic closing few minutes after a back-and-forth match in National One, Highland conceded a penalty for a high tackle, allowing the visitors to Canal Park to convert a penalty that saw them snatch a 16–15 win.

The loss meant Highland fell seven points behind their opponents, sitting third with a game in hand, in the league table.

While it was a disappointing final outcome though, Carson was much happier with his side’s overall performance compared to previous defeats this season.

“Gala are a top side, they’ve only lost one game this season,” he reasoned.

“To be honest, I wasn’t as disappointed after that result as I was in the likes of the games against Ayr at home and down at Cartha.

“If we had dealt with those teams we would be sitting higher up the table.

“Gala are a good side, we are a good side, and it has just come down to the last kick to win the game. We did that before ourselves, we won against Heriots in the last minute, so it was fairly tight.

“It was a great game to watch, and we had a fantastic crowd.

“It was a great support as normal at Canal Park, but we couldn’t get over the line which was disappointing.

“I can’t slate the players for anything, they put 100 per cent into it. They never gave up and had a great second half against the wind to come back into it, they played really well. We’re disappointed, but it was a great game of rugby.”

Part of the reason Carson remained so positive in defeat was that his players had already battled back from going 10–0 down early on, so he is confident that on another day the points would have been Highland’s.

“We maybe had a couple of chances in the first half that we didn’t take,” Carson explained.

“We were on their line two or three times and only came away with one try, so we could have had another couple. They had a good defence though, and stopped us from getting over the line.

“We played really well in the second half against the wind, it was just a great game of rugby. It was hard and brutal with a lot of skill on show between two very good sides.

“It was a match that could have gone either way, and unluckily it didn’t go ours.”

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