Highland humble title winners Ayr with dominant victory in Inverness
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HIGHLAND produced some their finest rugby of the season to seal a stunning 35-12 victory over newly-crowned champions Ayr.
With a fierce gale against them in the first half, the hosts sent the visitors trudging into the interval 24-7 down.
Tries from Rupeni Rokoduguni, Calum MacPherson, and Mike Gray (2), were complemented by co-captain Scott Fraser’s kicking to make it 24-7 by the break. Two Fraser penalties in the second half, along with Gray’s third try, sealed a landmark win and to send Highland back second in National One.
Dave Carson’s squad now has two more fixtures, Glasgow Accies away this weekend and then Gala at home, with which to secure a club record high second place finish.
“I thought the first half was the best half of rugby we have put together this season,” Carson said.
“We played really good, intelligent rugby. We kept the pressure on and every time they got the ball, defensively, we were excellent and had the four-try bonus point in the bag by half time.
“For the first 20 minutes of the second half, they threw everything at us. We gave quite a few penalties away, but we kept them out. Scotty kicked a couple and we finished it off with another try from Mike.
“Overall, it was fantastic against a quality side who were worthy championship winners.”
Two bonus-point wins would guarantee second place.
Meanwhile, Highland’s 2nds went down 49-28 to hosts Ellon, just a place behind them in fourth in Caledonia One, while the 3rds lost 41-22 to Kinloss Eagles.
Highland women suffered a 29-15 defeat to Grangemouth Stags in their National Shield pool opener.