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Club coach says Ross Sutherland can end year well

By Andrew Henderson

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Ross Sutherland will be hoping for a better result than last weekend to close out 2021 in style.

Ross Sutherland's Jacob Andrew runs into trouble as he gets surrounded by Moray shirts. Picture: Peter Carson
Ross Sutherland's Jacob Andrew runs into trouble as he gets surrounded by Moray shirts. Picture: Peter Carson

Late call-offs meant that a weakened Stags squad lost by 40 points away at Moray, with the final result 58–18 to the Caledonia North Two league leaders.

There were some positives to take from the defeat, with a particularly competitive first and last 10 minutes pairing with structural improvements – it was just that individual errors were clinically punished by Ross Sutherland’s hosts.

Several returns for tomorrow’s match against Aberdeen Grammar in Invergordon, including captain Tom Bannerman, will see them optimistic of finishing the calendar year with a win.

Squad depth will hopefully be a far cry from when the Stags went on the road to Grammar, when they just barely had a full squad, although even on that occasion they picked up a win.

A repeat result, then, would be ideal tomorrow.

“Personally speaking I was hoping we were going to be very competitive last week, and it went against us,” club coach David Gill explained.

“I think we’ve still got a lot of good stuff to show, so hopefully games are on and it stays dry enough to have a nice, running game of rugby.

“The focus is on looking after the pill, and keeping switched on in defence as well when the time arises.

“We actually went down there with a squad of 15, of which Murray Kennedy was borderline and on the bench, so we picked up another lad and had a very strong win against them away.

“We were very much underdogs looking at them having a squad of 22 or 23, so we went in physical from the start and played a lot of good rugby.

“They were very good at the breakdown, they were very good at retaining quick ball, but I would think it should be another game we will target a win from this weekend.”

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