Highland kept their dream of promotion to the Premiership alive with a 24-16 away win against Dundee.
Not for the first this season had to come from behind to win, enabling them to move into fourth place in National League 1 in the process.
Highland head coach Davie Carson hailed his team’s resilience which brought his side their fourth win on the road and kept them in touch with leaders Heriots who are eight points above them.
He said: “We were pretty ring rusty after five weeks without a game, but came good once we had adjusted to the pace of the game against a dogged Dundee side who kept coming back at us.
“In the end we picked up five valuable points.
“I am very proud of what we have achieved so far but there are some big challenges to come including away from home in the next two weeks, starting next week when we Watsonians in Edinburgh, followed by Biggar down there.
“But we are in good shape going into the last third of the campaign in a very competitive league.”
The Inverness side conceded 10 points in the first 10 minutes, leaking a converted try and a penalty before surging back in the contest on the back of two tries, one of which was converted by stand off Benn Morris. The touchdowns were attributed to centres Seamus Ross and Scott Fraser.
Dundee had the last word in an all action first half, slotting a penalty to go into the break with a slender 13-12 lead.
The second half belonged to the Canal Park visitors who added two more tries, as the home team wilted in the face of the highly organised Highland pack in which Johnny Milton was a stand out before he had to leave the action injured. His front row colleague Patrick Ratumaisee was no less impressive, putting in a huge shift, capping his afternoon with a fine try.
Highland spin the ball wide and Rupeni Rokoduguni dives in at the corner to score Highlands 4th try.
Scotty Fraser misses the conversion. @DundeeRugbyClub 16-24 @HighlandRFC pic.twitter.com/1XlRDLTYYd
— Highland Rugby Club 🦅 (@HighlandRFC) January 15, 2022
The other Highland touchdown came from winger Rupeni Rokoduguni as they visitors eased to victory, although an audacious drop goal made for uncomfortable last few minutes as High battled to overturn the 24-16 deficit.
But it was not to be as the northerners held on, recording their ninth win of the season, drawing level with Kelso who failed to pick up a try bonus point in their 23-3 win at home to Ayr, and six behind Biggar who were narrow 25-19 winners away to Melrose.
In the meantime leaders Heriots sent out the message that they are the ones to catch after thrashing Stirling Wolves 64-34 at Goldenacre.