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Inverness Craig Dunain are weeks away from reaching peak form as they prepare to face Turriff

By Andrew Henderson

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Inverness Craig Dunain’s men’s team manager Graeme Hislop believes the side are still weeks away from the level he wants them to be at.

John Stirling is with the ball. Picture: Callum Mackay
John Stirling is with the ball. Picture: Callum Mackay

Craig Dunain were thrown in at the deep end for the Caledonia North Four campaign, unable to arrange any pre-season friendlies.

That has shown in inconsistent performances at the start of the league, losing heavily away at Dyce before beating Fraserburgh 22-3 at home.

Hislop will continue to work with the players at training, though, and is confident he has identified the areas that need improving.

“In training this week we’ve got our format laid out already,” he said.

“Another two sessions will strengthen them and help their understanding of what we’re looking for.

“Our line-outs are normally pretty solid, so I was a little bit disappointed that they’ve been so poor.

“Hopefully this weekend can resolve that, and we’ll do some defensive work around the breakdown that we need to work on and make sure that if someone is tackled we need to secure the ball, make sure it’s ours, and not let any of the opposition come over the top.

“We’re a couple of weeks behind where I would like to be, but we’ve got other guys coming back that will give us stronger depth.”

With the ball is John Stirling. Picture: Callum Mackay
With the ball is John Stirling. Picture: Callum Mackay

Those extra bodies will be particularly appreciated considering ICD have had to rebuild their squad over the pandemic.

“We’ve got a lot of new players, a couple of young guys as well that have just joined us,” Hislop said.

“They’ve just had their first taste of what division four rugby is all about at men’s level over the last couple of weeks.

“To be fair to them they have held their own and done very well.

“I can’t fault their passion and how hard they have tackled, what they have put in at all.

“Basics like line-outs were scrappy, but the scrum was pretty secure, very solid, and then the backs are working in a relatively new system, so guys are still learning the codes and runs that we have. It will all just take time.”

Inverness Craig Dunain v Fraserburgh.
Inverness Craig Dunain v Fraserburgh.

Craig Dunain go on the road this Saturday, travelling to Turriff for a first time ever match.

ICD’s women’s team were also victorious last time out, winning 26-19 against Caithness in the Women’s North League at Ross Sutherland’s home in Invergordon.

They will be hoping to make it back-to-back triumphs away at Fraserburgh this weekend.

Inverness Craig Dunain v Fraserburgh. Picture: Callum Mackay
Inverness Craig Dunain v Fraserburgh. Picture: Callum Mackay

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