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Dave Carson looking for Highland Rugby Club to avenge 'biggest defeat of career' against Kelso in National One at Canal Park


By Andrew Henderson

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Head coach Dave Carson is looking for Highland to turn the tables on Kelso when the Borders side come calling at Canal Park in National One tomorrow.

The reverse fixture was possibly the lowest point of Highland’s season so far, losing by 40 points back in September.

Carson believes that was one of the biggest defeats of his coaching career, so unsurprisingly he and the playing squad are itching to put it right in the Highland capital this weekend.

“We were so far off the pace,” Carson recalled.

“It was the biggest defeat I’ve had in my coaching career I think, 40-odd points, we weren’t at the races that day.

Highland will be out to avenge their loss to Kelso at the start of the season, but Scott Fraser may miss out through injury. Picture: Callum Mackay
Highland will be out to avenge their loss to Kelso at the start of the season, but Scott Fraser may miss out through injury. Picture: Callum Mackay

“We’re in a good place now though mentally and physically, and we’re really managing games and playing in the right areas of the park. We’ve really grown since then.

“Over the last two or three weeks things have swung around for us. We’ve had some great performances, we’re using our heads a lot more and we’re playing really well.

“We certainly want to turn the scoreboard around on them this time around.”

That said, victory tomorrow is still the biggest prize in Carson’s mind, and not revenge.

“As long as we get a minimum of four points in the bag, I don’t really mind (what the score is),” he said.

“If we got five points with a few more tries, that would be great, but we just need to keep this winning momentum going.

“We’ve maybe looked too far ahead at times this season to big games against the likes of Heriots and Melrose.

“I think it was Lewis Sinclair who said we were looking too far ahead. It’s very much a football thing – we just have to focus on what’s in front of us and what the next thing we have to do is.

“We have to beat Kelso, so we can’t think about Heriots the week after and playing at the famous Goldenacre, we have to get this job done first.

“With Covid we’ve split the squads at training so that we don’t have any chance of infection between the first, seconds and thirds, and they’ve put in some quality work together.

“It has really paid dividends, and the results have shown that.”

Highland’s squad will be bolstered by the returns of brothers Andrew and Craig Findlater and Grant Jamieson’s injury comeback.


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