1st XV on road again, Raptors welcome Banff, 3rd XV Doctors appointment in Aberdeen
WATSONIAN FC v HIGHLAND RFC:
Myreside, Myreside Road, Edinburgh, EH10 5BZ, KO 3PM
The 1st XV are back on the road again this week to take on Watsonian FC at Myreside, Edinburgh.
We are expecting another tough game from a team who offered stuffy opposition with a young team for most of the game at Canal Park before Highland easing away at the end of the game running out 40-10 winners.
Since the fixture at Canal Park on 2nd October Watsonians have played 9 fixtures, winning two and losing 9. Sounds bad – but they have lost 3 of those game by a combined total of 6 points.
Last week they won 35-19 at home against Cartha Queens Park. So their tails are up and they’ll be keen to put on a good show in front of their home crowd at Myreside again this week.
Highlands tough 24-16 win at Dundee last week gave us a few work ons, but will also have given us confidence about how to close out a tough game, and on grass too.
Ultimately this game is about what we do, putting in the work rate, trusting our skills, and the processes developed by the players and Coaches Brian Bell, Davie Carson, and Junior Bulumakau to get the job done. The Highland lads are looking sharp in training and can’t wait to hit the field again this week.
Highland Raptors v Banff RFC,
Canal Park, Inverness, 2pm KO.
The Raptors are at home against Banff this weekend as they look to keep the pressure on the league leaders, Aberdeenshire who are not playing this weekend. Whilst the Raptors cannot be promoted out of this league there is still a championship to win. The current difference is 10 point between Raptors and ‘shire, but they have played 3 more games.
This game has to be looked at as an opportunity to half the deficit – but that can only happen if the Raptors pay credit to Banff by battling for everything, by going out to work hard for each other, and earning the win.
Neither team had a game last week. Highlands last game was the week before when they ran out 43-35 winners against fellow title contenders Moray RFC, but you have to go back to the first week of December for Banff’s last outing when they beat Aberdeen Grammar 2nd XV 19-14.
Coaches Nathan McLaughlan and Blair Lockwood will be fielding a strong team for this one, so why not get down to Canal Park and cheer on the Raptors.
Aberdeen University Medics RFC v Highland RFC 3rd XV,
Aberdeen University Campus, Aberdeen 2pm KO.
The 3rd XV are also on the road this week and are heading to Aberdeen for what will only be their 5th game of this, now curtailed season. It has now been decided due to difficulties in completing fixtures across the league earlier in the season that each team will now play each other once, rather than both home and away.
There is very little in the way of games that give us any insight to the Medics form, as you may well appreciate medical students were drafted in to help the NHS Frontline staff all over the country, and as a consequence rugby took a back seat and understandably so.
The Medics have in fact played the fewest of any team remaining in the competition with only 3 matches under their belt (2 wins and a loss). Their last outing was on 27th November when they beat current league leaders Deeside 24-29 on the road, before that they had won handsomely against Fraserburgh (16/10), which had followed an 8 point defeat to Dyce (2/10).
Medics will, off course, be training hard and will no doubt be keen to get on the field to show what they can do, but likewise Highland 3RD XV.
Highland have won all their games to date with bonus points, beating Caithness, Turriff, Deeside, & Inverness Craig Dunain.
We are all hoping for 3 wins this weekend and whilst we think about that it’s important to remember how lucky we are to be in a position to field 3 senior mens rugby teams in league competition at a time when participation numbers seem to be dropping in other parts of the country.