Statement victory left in past as Ross Sutherland prepare for Highland derby in Invergordon
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Ross Sutherland Rugby Club will not be getting carried away with their opening day statement victory over Caithness, according to coach Murray Kennedy.
A hard-fought opening 20 minutes gave way to a procession in Invergordon last Saturday, as the Stags ran out 80-21 winners.
By far the highest scorers in the Caledonia North Two, the result sent Ross Sutherland straight to the top of the table.
With what is sure to be another high-intensity fixture at the Naval Grounds on Saturday against close rivals Highland, though, Kennedy is taking nothing for granted.
“I think it was a statement,” Kennedy explained.
“First and foremost our focus has been on enjoying playing rugby and being together, getting that collective team mentality, but in terms of the league we’re quietly optimistic that we can do something by the end of the season, but it’s the old cliche of taking one game at a time.
“That’s definitely how we feel as a coaching team. It was a good start, but we’re on to the next game.
“We’re going to have to work for every win, no matter what, so as far as Highland goes they traditionally play a fast-paced brand of rugby and we’ll need to match that while using our physicality. We’ll see how it pans out.”
Ross Sutherland have a few knocks to check in on before the weekend, but they will be able to welcome back captain Andy Mair – and not a moment too soon for what will be the next chapter in a respectful rivalry.
“As a club, we’ve got an enormous amount of respect for the way Highland have built their club, and we’re not underestimating their third team at all,” Kennedy added.
“They will have some good players in there, so we’ll see what we can do.
“Last season we beat their second team at home, then got absolutely thumped by them in the last game of the season. We’ll just go in and try not to lose sight of how we like to play rugby.”