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Highland ready to rumble with league leaders Melrose in Inverness

By Alasdair Fraser

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DAVE Carson believes home advantage can help Highland secure a shock victory over league leaders Melrose this weekend.

Highland v Dundee, Canal Park, Inverness...Hugo Crush scored for Highland...Picture: Callum Mackay. Image No..
Highland v Dundee, Canal Park, Inverness...Hugo Crush scored for Highland...Picture: Callum Mackay. Image No..

The Canal Park hosts tend to revel in their own environs, with a big crowd expected for the eagerly-anticipated visit of the men from The Greenyards.

Six points will separate the sides at 3pm kick-off, with Melrose having suffered one loss to Biggar so far, while Highland have strung together four wins since a disappointing double defeat at the season’s outset.

Melrose are strong and dangerous, but far from infallible, head coach Carson believes, particularly at a ground where the team tend to thrive.

“It is a massive game for us. Melrose are top of the league, beaten just once,” Carson acknowledged.

“We’ve seen what they’ve done on videos and they’re a really good side. That said, we know everyone is beatable in this league at the moment.

“We’ll look at it this week and come up with something that can see us get a win against Melrose.”

Carson, happy with the strength of his squad and how they have been progressing since opening defeats to Ayr and Kelso, welcomed back scrum half Hugo Crush as a late replacement in last Saturday’s 40-10 victory at home to Watsonians.

Crush has swiftly overcome a serious ankle ligament injury and will be a welcome addition to a squad looking strong in recent matches.

Carson certainly feels the visit of Melrose comes at a good time, and feels that Melrose may venture north with a little trepidation.

“They are coming up to Inverness and our home ground,” he stressed. “We’re going into it looking to win and confident we can beat them. We certainly have the desire to do that.

“The big thing probably is they’re an 80-minute side. They’ve won their last three games in the last 10 minutes.

“They are certainly there to be beaten and we’re certainly not going to be over-awed by the prospect of Melrose coming up here.

“They should maybe be a bit worried about coming up to Inverness. We’ll see what they put out.”

Johnny Milton also came through the match on Saturday unscathed after his recent injury.

“We’re getting players back. There’s a couple more still to come longer term, but the squad is looking strong,” Carson added.

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