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Head coach Carson claims Highland deserved last-gasp winner over Heriots in National One

By Andrew Henderson

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A last-minute winner is always satisfying, but when that late drama provides a first win of the season it is all the sweeter.

That was certainly the case for Highland Rugby Club, who could not have left it later to pick up their first National One victory of the season last weekend against Heriots 28–27.

Eight minutes in the visitors took the lead at Canal Park, and for around 70 minutes Heriots were ahead on the scoreboard.

Seumas Ross did score a try in the first half, while Scott Fraser kicked a penalty, but Highland were still nine points behind.

Magnus Henry helped close that gap briefly, but even after two more penalties from Fraser they went into the closing stages six points behind.

Scott Fraser's kicking proved crucial as Highland grabbed a last-minute winner against Heriots. Picture: Callum Mackay
Scott Fraser's kicking proved crucial as Highland grabbed a last-minute winner against Heriots. Picture: Callum Mackay

Highland would get the last laugh through Rupeni Rokoduguni though, with Fraser converting to seal victory by the narrowest of margins.

“Scotty Fraser and Benn Morris kept putting the ball down behind their backs, and made sure their big forwards were running backwards all the time,” head coach Dave Carson said.

“It just wore them down eventually.

“We scored a fantastic try at the end to finish it, and Scotty had to slot it away from the touchline on his wrong side to win the game with a minute to go.

“You don’t get much more dramatic than that. In the second half our defence was immense, and all the guys that came on put a big amount into it as well.

“We really deserved it, without a doubt – we kept going and wore them down. They weren’t really in our half in the second half apart from their try.”

After defeats in each of their opening two league matches, Carson was especially pleased that it marked a return to form.

“We’re away to Boroughmuir next, so going to a tricky game away in Edinburgh off the back of three defeats would have piled the pressure on the players,” he said.

“They really found their feet and their freedom, they were outstanding. The structure we talked about all week was carried out to a tee. It was tough and we left it late, but to win was fantastic.”

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