Highland 62 Mackie 17
Mackie outclassed in Inverness
Mackie took on league rivals Highland in what was being touted as the clash of the season and were left reeling as they were quite simply outplayed in every facet of the game except the scrum, where tighthead Jackson gave his opposite number, Scotland U16 loose head a torrid time all afternoon and a lesson in scrumming he is not likely to forget in a hurry.
Mackie have been playing on the front foot all season and as such haven't had to defend much in any of their previous fixtures. It was evident from the very first whistle that they were not up to the task of defending against Highland, who were just too good on the day.
Mackie looked nervous from the kick off and it took until the second period for them to actually look like a rugby team whose position at the top of the table was in any way justified.
There were of course some fine individual performances with Beeton, Dunbar, Jackson, and Berrisford in fine fighting form. They fought for every ball and every metre of ground, but it takes more than a few determined players to play against a team. These four, along with Man of the Match Strachan, who simply does not know when to stop, caught the Highland coach’s eye as players who would be most welcome into his own squad. A compliment indeed.
A lesson learned by all we hope - and although the result is not catastrophic in terms of the league, the pressure is on to get straight back into winning ways if the team are to qualify for the Cup competition.
Sometimes you have to dig deep boys, take your lumps and move on.