Highland turn on the style to batter Dundee in Inverness
HIGHLAND gave head coach Dave Carson “everything we asked for” as Saturday’s spectacular 66-17 trouncing of Dundee High thrilled the Canal Park faithful.
It was a rousing response to the previous weekend’s sluggish victory over Ayr, with Carson’s call for a positive reaction answered in full, barring a couple of early second-half lapses.
The victory and bonus point kept the Inverness in second place in National One heading into Saturday’s trip to face fourth-top Melrose at their iconic Greenyards ground.
“As I said to the boys, for 70 minutes they were fantastic and for 10 minutes they were asleep,” Carson stressed. “But the game was won by half-time. We played really well, scored some great tries and they gave everything we asked for.
“They were pumped up, clinical and put their bodies on the line to get the early scores. I was really pleased with it after the poor display last week.
“As the supporters were saying, we were back to our best.
The line-out didn’t function against Ayr.
So we spent a lot of time during the week working with them on it and we also stole a lot of ball from the Dundee line-out.
“It is really pleasing to see things you’ve worked on a Tuesday and Thursday taken into the game on Saturday.”
While there was fire in the bellies against the bottom of the table team, it was also a sharp and controlled display with six tries in the first 40 minutes, including four from rampant Hugo Crush and one each from Rupeni Rokoduguni, Oscar Baird and Stephen Murray. Scott Fraser converted four times to create a 38–3 lead at the break.
From the restart, Highland seemed set to continue from where they left off.
Fraser’s jinking solo run and score, plus conversion, making it 45–3.
Dundee then put together their best passage of play to hit back with a try from lock Finlay Ormiston, converted by stand-off Paul Kerr.
Highland teenager Tom Smith was yellow carded just minutes after coming on and, as a move broke down, Dundee’s Sean Gauld went the length of the park for a converted try to drag it back to 45–17.
From there, though, Highland rallied with Rokoduguni scoring his second try, before young Smith and Steven Rutledge also crossed the line.