Highland flanker Andrew Findlater will not be overawed when his side hosts Premiership leaders Marr in tomorrow’s Scottish Cup quarter-final tie.
National 1 outfit Highland must do it the hard way if they are to progress to the last four of the cup, having been drawn against a Marr side sitting eight points clear at the summit of the top amateur division in Scotland.
Although Highland are third in their own division, he insists his side will be approaching tomorrow’s Canal Park tie with belief they can spring an upset.
Findlater said: “It will be a massive test. In terms of the amateur game, we are playing the very best.
“It’s something not to be frightened about, but to be excited about.
“When we play against the bigger teams we always talk about the fact they are human, and they make mistakes.
“It’s just a case of trying to impose ourselves.”
Highland have enjoyed an impressive rise in recent years, with a second successive promotion last season taking them to the second-tier of Scottish amateur rugby just five years after winning the Caledonia 2 north title.
Findlater feels coming up against Marr will be a useful learning tool in the Inverness outfit’s efforts to progress further.
He addedd: “Marr are a good community club, they take their players out of school and that feeds into their senior team.
“That’s what we are striving for. They are probably 10 years ahead of where we want to be as a club.
“We just need to keep working, and maybe one day we will be up there competing.
“We have crept inside the top 20 amateur clubs in Scotland, so that’s something we can be pleased about.
“It will be a good marker to see the difference looks like the 20th best club in the country and the best.”
“It will be a learning curve as much as a test.”
Head coach Davie Carson insists his side are not in the last eight to simply make up the numbers, but says Highland will need their best performance of the season in order to book a semi-final berth.
Carson, who has hooker Kevin Brown back from injury, added: “I would say this will be the toughest challenge this particular group has had.
“We have watched countless videos of Marr, they are a fantastic side.
“They have 11 guys in the Scottish club XV, while Conor Bickerstaff has just come back from the Scottish sevens team.
“As we have said to the guys – it’s a one-off cup-tie, we are at home with the crowd behind us.
““If everyone puts on their best display, anything is possible.
“We want to take Saturday’s performance against Watsonian with us and we will have to improve 25% to take on Marr – which we are more than capable of doing at home, as we have shown in the past.
“We will have to be right on top of our game.
“With their backs against the wall, these guys have shown they can rise to the occasion. They have had to do it many times.
“The only way we are going into this is looking for a victory to get into the next round.
“We asked anyone not thinking that way to put their hand up and we won’t bother selecting them – but everyone is desperate to play in this.”