Home   Sport   Article

Strong outing made life easy for head coach in Highland win over Melrose

By Andrew Henderson

Easier access to your trusted, local news. Have a look at our brand new digital subscription packages!

It is not often Highland Rugby Club have been underdogs in recent years, but last Saturday may have been one of those occasions on paper.

Highland v Stirling Wolves..Sean Blair in action...Picture: Gary Anthony. Image No..
Highland v Stirling Wolves..Sean Blair in action...Picture: Gary Anthony. Image No..

Rugby giants Melrose were the visitors to Canal Park, heading north with the confidence of knowing that they sat at the top of National One.

That only served to make Highland’s performance all the more impressive though, as they ensured a new team would move to the summit with a 26–20 victory.

Four penalties and two conversions from Scott Fraser, with the tries coming from Sean Blair and Ross Thomson made it three wins in-a-row at home for Highland, and head coach Dave Carson was delighted with the focus his players showed to execute their gameplan.

“They were the league leaders at the time, so it was a great result,” he said.

“We had a great week in training leading up to it, the boys were really focused, and we carried out the gameplan to a tee, so it was fantastic.

“It was probably one of the first times this season that we didn’t have to say too much to them at half time, it was just a case of carrying on what they were doing.

“The forwards were getting more and more dominant, the scrum was fantastic to the point they never got any decent ball and the line outs were going well.

“We just told them to keep going, Melrose would tire when our forwards wore them down, and that’s what happened.”

It was a nervy finish to the match though, with the visitors knowing that one try could still steal a win.

Highland held out for the points, but game management is something Carson will be looking to improve on in the weeks ahead.

“We made it difficult for ourselves in the last eight or nine minutes,” he admitted.

“We didn’t clear our lines and tried to play in our own half when we were six points up. They could still have won it if they got a try, but out defence was fantastic.

“That’s one thing we need to work on, how to see a game out in a bit more comfort than being camped on our own line. The Dundee game was exactly the same, so we’re getting in good situations and getting ahead, but maybe not far enough.

“We’ll certainly look to see where we can improve and what we need to do to make it a bit easier on the eye for the last 10 minutes instead of digging results out.”

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More