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Aberdeen Grammar stalwart Doug Russell issues last-ditch rallying cry as club faces do-or-die weekend

Aberdeen Grammar stalwart Doug Russell.
Aberdeen Grammar stalwart Doug Russell.

This weekend could see Aberdeen Grammar have their Premiership fate sealed but for Doug Russell nothing is settled until the final whistle.

Defeat on the road against third-placed Hawick would finally see Grammar’s relegation to National One confirmed after a season of woe at Rubislaw.

To stage a remarkable escape, Grammar need to win their final three games – at least one by a bonus-point margin – and hope Selkirk fail to pick up anything from their final two games.

Aberdeen Grammar’s Doug Russell in action

It has been a challenge for Russell and the Grammar players to continually drag themselves from the canvas each week,

“Hawick are a class outfit in our league,” said Russell. “They’re challenging at the top of the table and we’ve obviously had our issues at the opposite end.

“It’s going to be a big challenge for us going down there and if we lose, then mathematically it’s impossible for us to stay in the league but I’m very much a never-say-never kind of guy.

“With the players that we have, we’re going to make sure the game is as competitive as possible and play in the spirit of the game.

“Other teams and critics don’t really expect anything from us and it’s almost like we’re expected to lose. If we can prove everyone wrong then that’s a bonus. It’s a fight-or-flight moment for the club.”

Grammar are at home to Selkirk next week, with the challenge to the players to make that game mean something.

“We came together after the Jed game and spoke about how we want to keep fighting, keep making sure we take small victories and win games,” added Russell.

“That Selkirk game at home should be a game we can do a job on them. For everyone who has helped the club, they deserve to have an enjoyable game to watch and more wins at Rubislaw.”

Russell accepts the odds are against Grammar this weekend and this season has seen a “perfect storm” of circumstances.

“It is tough but I guess we just have to keep going,” said Russell. “The most important thing is we turn up to games and make it as competitive as we can be, with the players we have.

“We’re going to keep doing that until the end of the season and then whatever happens, we’ll come together, rebuild and make sure we’re better next year.

“Every week has been a perfect storm. Guys getting concussed, getting injured, getting Covid, being unavailable due to work.

Aberdeen Grammar have endured a season of struggles in the Premiership
Aberdeen Grammar have endured a season of struggles in the Premiership

“An issue we’ve had for a number of years is our player pool is not that big and we rely on most of the same guys week in, week out. I guess commitment is more critical for us than any other club in Scotland because other teams have way bigger player pools.

“I was down at Highland last week and they had three teams out. We haven’t been that way for a number of years. The number of players in Aberdeen has completely depleted.

“There just isn’t the players coming through there used to be. That’s the hard truth of it.”

Rugby: Aberdeen Grammar promise thorough review after season of struggle in the Premiership

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