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Silver linings for Highland after defeat in Edinburgh

By Andrew Henderson

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Highland head coach Dave Carson was pleased with his players’ perseverance even in defeat against Heriots Blues.

Highland Rugby Club v Ayr - Canal Park, Inverness..Owen MacDonald gets the first try...Picture: Callum Mackay..
Highland Rugby Club v Ayr - Canal Park, Inverness..Owen MacDonald gets the first try...Picture: Callum Mackay..

Highland rounded off 2021 with a 36–26 defeat in the capital, but the scoreline could have been far worse than it ended up being.

At different times Carson’s men were 29–5 and 36–12 down, so they did display mental resilience to keep going and make the scoreline respectable – picking up a bonus point.

It is the mental side of the game Highland have needed to improve on at times this season, so that determination could bode well for the rest of the season.

“We never gave up, and we came back with three great tries ourselves to at least get a bonus point,” Carson explained.

“It was a disappointing result, but there were a couple of late changes on Friday due to Covid tests, which disrupted things. The boys coming in did a fantastic job considering it was late in the day.

“We’re disappointed, a win would have been a nice way to finish, and looking at how the other results went we wouldn’t have been far off top going into the break.

“That’s just the way it is, we have to learn from it.”

On the flip side of that positivity came frustration that Heriots were allowed to rack up such a lead in the first place, though.

“We were disappointed with the result,” Carson admitted.

“It was close, at half time I think we were two tries to one down and playing okay. They had threatened a couple of times, and they’ve got a really good back three – especially the full back, he’s a great player.

“Then the second half started and we asked for more of the same. They had a big pack, and they certainly tired when we ran around, but for the first 15 minutes we switched off and let in three soft tries.

“Really, the game was over at that point. Defensively we weren’t strong enough for that 15-minute spell and the game got away from us.”

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