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Raptors getting first team help for crucial Grammar showdown in Aberdeen

By Andrew Henderson

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Highland 2nd XV have had the benefit of being put through their paces by the first team ahead of their crucial Caledonia North Two match against Aberdeen Grammar 2nd XV.

Connor Ross
Connor Ross

There are currently seven points between Grammar and the Raptors, but with the clubs facing each other twice before the end of the season that cushion could quickly disappear if results do not go Highland’s way.

On the other hand, a win would put them in the driving seat to go on and secure a second consecutive league title.

So with the Highland first team inactive this weekend as National One takes a break for the Six Nations, everything in training this week has been geared towards helping the Raptors.

“That’s definitely one of our strengths – that we’re training against a high quality side week in, week out,” Raptors’ head coach Nathan McLaughlin said.

“Quite often when they’ve got big games coming up, they will ask us to help them with specific things at training, and so this week they’re returning the favour. That’s exactly what we want as a club.

“We like to do what we can to help the other guys out when possible.

“And that’s exactly what the first team has been doing for us this week and it’s much appreciated.”

While Grammar have lost their last two matches, Highland will go into the game full of confidence after thrashing Mackie 57-0 at Canal Park last week.

“Mackie gave us a really tough game when we played them away from home, so to come away with a 57-0 victory was exactly what the boys needed,” McLaughlin added.

“We played some really good stuff, and we’ve got a lot of confidence going into the game this weekend.

“We’ll be looking to control the ball and control possession, like we did against Mackie. I’ll be hoping for a good performance again, matching what we did or even better.

“There are still things we can improve on, we’re always looking for those improvements.”

Connor Ross is available again for the Raptors, but winger Calum Anderson and centre Jack Sutherland will need to have injuries assessed.

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