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McLaughlan will stick to Highland principles to overcome Moray

By Andrew Henderson

Highland 2nd XV kick off their final run of games this season by hosting Moray at Canal Park tomorrow.

Highland 2ND XV v NORTH POLICE SCOTLAND RFC, Canal Park, Inverness...Calum McIntosh...Picture: Callum Mackay..
Highland 2ND XV v NORTH POLICE SCOTLAND RFC, Canal Park, Inverness...Calum McIntosh...Picture: Callum Mackay..

The Raptors end their campaign with four straight home matches, but are looking to bounce back after defeat to title challengers Aberdeen Grammar 2nd XV last time out.

The Greens counted themselves unlucky not to leave the granite city with a win, as they scored more tries than their opponents before going down 27-24 and having to settle for two bonus points instead.

Raptors’ head coach Nathan McLaughlan thinks Moray will try and pose a similar threat from set-pieces, but is adamant his side will not compromise their own style whatever the conditions facing them.

“I expect Moray to have a big, heavy pack and try and use that,” McLaughlan explained.

“We’ll be playing our kind of rugby regardless of the weather. We look to get the ball wide and get guys running with it.

“Obviously at home when we’re playing on a wide pitch with a good surface, that works for us.”

Highland 2nds have a five-point lead at the top of Caledonia North Two.

If they win the rest of their games, they will win the title for the second year in a row – an equation McLaughlan is delighted with.

“It’s great having that certainty at this point,” he said.

“We’ve got Grammar at home, we’ve got the derby against Ross Sutherland – it’s not going to be easy by any stretch, but it’s still in our own hands, which is great.”

Two divisions down in Caledonia North Four, Inverness Craig Dunain are approaching a ‘do or die’ period in their own title bid.

Craig Dunain are nine points off the top with a game in hand, so cannot afford any more slip-ups as they attempt to rein in Aberdeen University Medics and Ellon 2nd XV ahead of them.

They travel to Fraserburgh tomorrow, and should be confident after beating the Broch 27–12 in the Highland capital in October.

After two false starts in recent weeks, ICD Women should also be back in National Plate action.

They had two postponements trying to play Broughton, but host Shetland at Inverness High School tomorrow.

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