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Captain says heavy derby defeat can be making of Ross Sutherland squad


By Andrew Henderson

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Ross Sutherland’s opening day defeat to Highland could be the making of them this season, according to club captain Tom Bannerman.

Ross Sutherland try and break forward in their opening match of the 2021/22 Caledonia North Two season against Highland 2nds. Picture: Peter Carson
Ross Sutherland try and break forward in their opening match of the 2021/22 Caledonia North Two season against Highland 2nds. Picture: Peter Carson

The scoreline suggested it was a one-sided match, with the Raptors winning 41–0 in Invergordon.

Highland 2nds are expected to be challenging for the Caledonia North Two title this season, and things do not get any easier for the Stags as they travel to another side aiming for the top of the table tomorrow at Aberdeenshire.

However, Bannerman suspects it might well be a good thing that Ross Sutherland kick-off with arguably their two most difficult matches, as it shows them the standard they will need to compete at this season.

“It was a kick in the teeth but I think it will give us a good opportunity to assess what needs to be changed for the rest of the season,” Bannerman reasoned.

“People could argue that having easier games could build confidence, but I think having two hard games early will help us identify the gaps in our game.

“If we can deal with those issues early on, we will be a better squad because of it.

“Having that loss is going to stir boys to come back and really try at training, it will give us a bit of a drive to get the win on a Saturday.

“Boys want to come and actually win. They want to come and play rugby they enjoy, and I think winning is a factor in that.”

Bannerman has only just taken over the captaincy after coming through the youth squads at the Naval Grounds, but he already has an idea of what he wants to see from his peers – and it could bode well on the road tomorrow against Aberdeenshire and beyond.

“It’s all about positivity,” he insisted.

“I’ve said this before, and it was something I brought up again at training on Tuesday, it’s attitude.

“Being in the league we’re in and knowing the boys that we’ll be playing against, attitude makes the difference.

“If we have a positive attitude in training that will go forward into the game, and it will be positive afterwards when we spend time together.

“That will get us all coming back to training and it will feed back into itself, so starting with a positive attitude is huge.

“We’ve played Aberdeenshire before and especially away they are hard to face, so we need to go down with a full squad and play our own game.”


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