Highland hooker Kevin Brown wants to end round off their home fixtures on style on Saturday as they host rock-bottom National League 1 side Boroughmuir.
After defeating Stirling Wolves 47-12 a fortnight ago at Canal Park, they followed it up with a 47-17 victory over visitors Cartha Queens Park last weekend.
The back-to-back home wins leaves them two places and four points away from their recently targeted fifth position, but with a game in hand over Kelso and Ayr just above them.
Relegated Boroughmuir have won just two of their 21 matches this term and lost 42-10 when Highland were their visitors last September.
Brown’s chasing strong home finish
Brown is determined to help Highland to put on a crowd-pleasing performance before what should be a much sterner test against big-hitters Biggar, who are seeking to rise above leaders Gala and Heriots to land the title.
He said: “After winning our last two games, hopefully it will be more of the same and this will be a straight forward game against Boroughmuir, who are now relegated.
“Ideally we want to win this weekend before going to Biggar, although we know that will be a tough task, especially if they are still fighting for promotion next weekend.
“We want to see the season out at home with another win. It’s been a weird season where we’ve not been really consistent. We’ve had a lot of games on the road, which doesn’t help.
“But it would be great if we could complete another home match, having taken another five points.”
Better second half helped Highland
Looking back at the weekend’s display against second-bottom Cartha, Brown admits the side needed to raise their levels in the second period to advance the scoreline.
He said: “Cartha are fighting to avoid relegation and we had to weather the storm against them in the first half as they threw everything at us.
“However, we still went in at the break one try up. We sorted a few things out in the changing room at half-time and in the second half we played more like we would have expected to have started the game.
“It was a far better performance in the second half. We let in a couple of late tries at the end, but we had the game won with 10 minutes or so remaining.”
British Army joy for Highland ace
Highland star Rupeni Rokoduguni, meanwhile, had an occasion to remember on Saturday as he captained the British Army to a Melrose 7s success.
The victors, who held aloft the glittering 1883 Centenary Cup, defeated Samurai 26-14 in the final played at The Greenyards.
Brown was thrilled for winger ‘Rocko’, an influential member of the Highland side.
He said: “He’s been with us for a number of years and is a regular in our first-team. He’s a big player for us, very much a leader within the team.
“It was great to see him selected as the captain and lifting such an historic trophy. It was such a proud moment for Rocko, but also for the club.
“He has a few more British Army things to work on at the moment, but hopefully he will be back with us soon. He’s a great asset to our team and a fantastic player.”
Ex-Highland players stepping on up
At international level, two former Highland players have been mixing it with elite rivals when featuring for Scotland in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Singapore.
Paddy Kelly and Jacob Henry played in the 19-7 defeat to their Pool C winners New Zealand, after being substitutes in the 26-24 victory over Wales before Henry started in their 24-17 loss against Argentina.
New Zealand went all the way to the final, losing 28-17 against Fiji, while Scotland finished with a 27-10 ninth-place quarter-final defeat against Spain.
🦅🏴💚❤️ Two lads with a Highland connection facing up to the New Zealand challenge today !
Go well Paddy Kelly and Jacob Henry! 💪🏉🏴 https://t.co/5YgGyGboLz
— Highland Rugby Club 🦅 (@HighlandRFC) April 9, 2022
Their involvement in Scotland colours comes hot on the heels after former Highland age group player Alex Thom was selected in the national under-18s Six Nations Festival in France.
Brown is thrilled to see ex-players make such strides, having gained valuable early career experience with Highland.
He added: “It is great to see these former Highland players progressing to such top levels. Hopefully, we can produce a few more.
“It’s not very common for players up here to be representing their country. It’s normally Central Belt-based or Borders players, so the younger players can take inspiration and it can push them on.
“The club is always developing players these days. They go through weight sessions, strength and conditioning and have a high level of coaching.
“Everything is top level, so hopefully we will see even more of our younger players progressing up the ranks.”