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RUGBY: Highland chase a big high five finish in final league match

By Alasdair Fraser

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Highland face Gala on Saturday. Picture: Callum Mackay
Highland face Gala on Saturday. Picture: Callum Mackay

HIGHLAND will aim to wrap up another season of progress with a victory and four-try flourish to keep alive hopes of finishing second in the league.

Head coach Dave Carson knows victory is essential at Canal Park as the clash with Gala closes the National One campaign on Saturday.

Five points would not be enough to guarantee the runners-up spot behind champions Ayr, with Melrose, GHA and Glasgow Accies all retaining an interest, with two and three games to play, respectively.

Still, a rousing victory in front of the home crowd would be a satisfying finish for Carson and his ever-improving squad.

“It’s a massive finish for us, against a big club and a good side,” Carson said. “It is all to play for. I had a chat with the boys last night and we want to get five points and put ourselves in with a chance of second.

“We can’t worry about what the other teams could do. They have games in hand, but if we get five, we could finish second – we just need go for it.

“It is the last game of the season and it is great that falls in front of our home crowd. Regardless of whether five points is enough, it has been a good year. The rest is out of our hands.”

Highland pulled off a remarkable comeback the last time they crossed swords with Gala away from home, edging it 22-18.

It took three tries in the last six minutes, two from Magnus Henry and one from Dylan Monk, to turn the match on its head.

“They are a typical Borders side, very physical up front, with a good back row,” Carson said. “It has always been close against them, home or away.”

Highland will be without British Army soldiers Semesa Rokoduguni and Junior Waqaniban who are on duty in Kenya.

They will give Callum Carson every chance of shaking off his shoulder injury to play, with young Svend Pedersen on stand-by, but James Blair returns after six weeks out.

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