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Good training environment can benefit Greens

By Matt Leslie

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Grant Anderson tries to muscle his way through the Berwick defence during the Greens' 38-10 defeat to the Northumberland side. Picture: James Gunn
Grant Anderson tries to muscle his way through the Berwick defence during the Greens' 38-10 defeat to the Northumberland side. Picture: James Gunn

Getting the boys back into training is the focus of Caithness interim head coach Ewen Boyd.

Despite a competitive first half, the Greens ran out of steam last Saturday as they fell 38-10 at home to new National League Three leaders Berwick.

Clearly a major rebuilding programme is required and, as the games quickly pass by, the spectre of dropping back to the Caledonia League will hover ever closer.

Low squad numbers coupled with injuries have seen the Millbank side plunged deep into a relegation dogfight, but Boyd insists that more productive training sessions can serve the team well.

"We've got to get our boys along to training and create an environment where they want to work hard, enjoy their rugby and of course be ready for Saturday,” he said.

"There's an old saying in the game that matches are not won by just turning up on the Saturday. They are won on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

"Our league position is not ideal but building up a game as 'must win' won't work. Players need to be in an environment to enjoy their rugby and then, hopefully, the results will follow.

"Getting numbers for away fixtures has been an issue but for Saturday's trip to West of Scotland we will have 22 players.

"Hopefully we can play our best and we'll see where that takes us at the end of the game."

Flickers of promise were in evidence during the first half against Berwick as the Greens took the game to the Northumberland side.

However, as has been the case of late, the opposition's superior fitness began to show in the second half with Berwick pulling away to seal the win.

Boyd added: "We got a try and we were playing well. The set-piece was good and we were very competitive.

"However, within the space of a few minutes, we had Kris Hamilton go off injured – he did something to one of his ribs and we're not yet sure if it's cracked or just a cartilage issue. Then Berwick scored a try after intercepting a pass.

"Berwick are a good team who have been used to winning of late and they started to impose themselves after that. Their fitness levels enabled them to move up a gear after half-time and they went on to win the game.

"We've had a few guys coming back from injury who are still getting themselves match-fit."

scott webster on a flying run
scott webster on a flying run

Berwick top the National League Three table after their win over the Greens was aided by results elsewhere.

Previous leaders Greenock Wanderers were thrashed 40-8 at Howe of Fife, who move to second spot – a point behind Berwick – and ahead of their vanquished visitors from Inverclyde who drop to fourth on points difference.

Ardrossan Academicals are in third place above Greenock despite their 18-12 defeat at home to Hillhead/Jordanhill.

Lasswade moved to fifth and three points off the lead following their 14-9 victory at relegation-threatened Carrick.

Murrayfield Wanderers racked up a 17-10 win at home to Strathmore while Perthshire are now among those struggling near the foot of the table after they lost 20-10 at home to West of Scotland.

National League Three fixtures for Saturday, November 16 (kick-offs 2pm): Berwick v Ardrossan Academicals; Greenock Wanderers v Murrayfield Wanderers; Hillhead/Jordanhill v Carrick; Lasswade v Howe of Fife; Perthshire v Strathmore; West of Scotland v Caithness.

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