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Greens coach admits forfeiting Carrick match is possible


By Matt Leslie

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Caithness coach George Sutherland has warned his side may have to forfeit Saturday's match at Carrick due to a lack of numbers.

A combination of injuries and players not being able to get time off from their work means the Greens are struggling to raise a team for the long haul down to Ayrshire.

Sutherland has highlighted this concern before but playing resources have now reached breaking point.

Should the Greens waive this fixture, a points deduction from the SRU awaits.

Action from Caithness v Carrick last October. The sides will meet against in Ayrshire this weekend – if the Greens are able to get a squad together. Picture: James Gunn
Action from Caithness v Carrick last October. The sides will meet against in Ayrshire this weekend – if the Greens are able to get a squad together. Picture: James Gunn

Sutherland said: "We might have to forfeit this one as it's possible we won't be able to get a team together.

"We've had our issues with injuries – which are still ongoing – and some of the boys will be away offshore with their work.

"We fully accept that we run the risk of losing points if we can't fulfil this fixture – we could well have our points tally reading minus four by this time next week.

"I don't think it will come to forfeiting a fixture but the possibility of it is real if we can't find the numbers needed."

Sutherland explained that other factors have come into play that have led to their personnel crisis.

We fully accept that we run the risk of losing points if we can't fulfil this fixture

He said: "We're an ageing team with many coming to the end of their careers, not to forget those players who have young families who wish to spend time with them instead of the long away trips.

"But crucially, we have no grassroots or youth players coming through the ranks to replace those older players who are hanging up their boots.

"We are working on resolving that but the measures we've put in place will take three years to bear fruit. Right now, we have to deal with what little resources we have at our disposal."

The Greens did cobble a team together for last week's hosting of Ardrossan at Millbank and would have pulled off a superb result had a refereeing blunder not gifted their visitors a late match-winning try. It finished 27-22 to Ardrossan.

Sutherland said: "I'm actually thinking of writing a report on that referee because it was a bad error he made.

"It's bad enough to get poor decisions in the first place but when schoolboy errors lead to you losing the match, it's harder to take.

"Ardrossan were awarded a penalty – which we don't dispute. However, one of their players got the ball and moved forward an extra 10 yards to take a tap penalty.

"Our players, thinking that the referee was going to pull him back to where the actual penalty offence took place, just stopped and watched on as the Ardrossan boy raced over the line to score a try.

"That guy cheated and the referee, instead of pulling him back like the rulebook says he should have done, let him get away with it.

"It was a poor way to end the game as it had been an exciting match and we had played well above our expectations.

"Should we manage to get ourselves down to Carrick, hopefully we can put in the same level of performance – although it will be tough.

"We're not game-fit yet and it will probably be around the fifth or sixth match of the season before we can get ourselves to that point."


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