Stewarts-Melville 2nd XV (72) v Dundee Titans (12), 23rd Jan 2016

Match Report Stewarts-Melville 2nd XV v Dundee Titans

It was again an unfamiliar XV which took the pitch on the Titan’s behalf, further modified as a result of four late call-offs by players with 1st XV experience.

It was perhaps no surprise, therefore, when Stew-Mel notched up a try bonus with their fourth after only13 minutes. Indeed it took only 2 minutes for the opening score, before a Dundee hand had touched the ball.

Dundee’s cause was not helped by their re-start kicks going straight, and unchallenged, to an opposition player and, from every kick-off, Stew-Mel were able immediately to regain momentum. A fifth try for Stew-Mel followed in 20 minutes, and all five were unconverted, making the score 25-0, but by this time, Dundee were able to absorb the relentless pressure to better effect and it took another 14 minutes before Stew-Mel scored again, this time their previously unsuccessful full back adding a conversion. 32 – 0.

With about three minutes to go to half-time, Dundee were awarded a penalty and found touch just inside the home half, the first time the Titans had been there, apart from at kick-offs. The ball was lost after the line-out, however, Stew-Mel kicked for territory, regained possession and the ball found its way to their left winger, who danced through for a sixth home try, converted and it was 39-0 .

There was more to come before the break. Dundee’s kick-off again went to an unchallenged Stew-Mel player and their big No 4 made much ground before passing to a supporting player who scored for a try which was converted. Dundee’s kick-off returned possession to Stew-Mel but the half was finished without further addition.

Half-time: Stewarts-Melville 46 Dundee Titans 0

Unremitting Stew-Mel possession and pressure made it a half to forget for a Dundee side which looked as though it hadn’t played together before. It hadn’t!

Having restarted the second half, Dundee were immediately in opposition territory, but lost possession when an interception by the Stew-Mel full back left him an unopposed run to the Dundee line for a try which he converted and Stew-Mel were ahead 53 – 0 with two minutes of the half played.

An odd feature of the second half was the somewhat skewed penalty count in Dundee’s favour and from one early penalty, Dundee took a quick tap and a rather surprised-looking Fez scurried through for a first Dundee try, converted by Craig Angus. 46 minutes played and the Titans’ fight-back begun – 53-7.

Fight-back? Stew-Mel hit back immediately from the kick-off running through to score in the corner a converted try which changed the score to 60 – 7 after 48 minutes.

No fight back either after Stew-Mel scored again immediately, following a surging break by their loose-head prop, with the scrum-half in support. An unconverted try and Stew-Mel were ahead 65-7 after 49 minutes.

The following period was typified by possession being won, then lost, then won, then lost, all in open play in the Dundee half, until a good clearance kick relieved the pressure for the visitors. They ran the ball back, however, and a fine handling movement ended with the No 13 crossing for a converted try. 72-7 after 56 minutes.

Dundee were then able to take advantage of a series of penalties against Stew-Mel and, after a scoring chance was spurned with a loose pass to the waiting Fez, a good burst by Scott Strachan took play into the home red zone. Another penalty to Dundee was taken quickly and Scott Doig barged over for an unconverted try. 63 minutes played and 72-12.

Loose play by Dundee in their 22 let Stew-Mel gain possession and with men in open space, the ball was worked left for their No 7 to dive over in the corner. The try was not converted and the score moved to 77 -12 after 65 minutes.

Stew-Mel knocked on while receiving the kick-off and the initiative became Dundee’s. Another penalty offence by Stew-Mel resulted in the kick being taken quickly sand after good driving play and good open possession, Christian dashed over for a try which was not converted, making the score 77-17 after 69 minutes.

The remaining minutes were played out without either side threatening to score.

Full time: Stewarts-Melville 2nd XV 77 Dundee Titans 17

A less discouraging second half in which Dundee managed to gain the opposition half for significant periods, but the unfamiliarity of the side, in which gallant Dougie Gray made a brief substitute appearance (at scrum-half!) was too great a handicap in the face of strong Stew-Mel opposition.

Scorers:

Tries: Fezan Mughal, Scott Doig, Christian Avis

Conversion: Craig Angus

1st XV to Face Falkirk, Saturday 30th January 2016, Mayfield

falkirk logo

 

1st XV to play Falkirk in the Cup on Saturday
is as follows. KO is 1.30pm so meet at Mayfield at 12 noon

15 Blair Cochrane

14 Mike Brown
13 Callum Bowie
12 Duncan Leese
11 Ronan Joy

10 Ewen Fox
9 Henry Sampson

1 Ant Kent
2 Darrell Russell
3 Alan Brown
4 James Mulligan
5 Connor Wood
6 Pete Redmayne
7 Paddy Hamilton
8 Gav Hughan

Substitutes

16 Jonny Gibson
17 Neil Dymock
18 Neil Turnbull
19 Andy Dymock
20 Matt O’Sullivan

Stewarts Melville FP (25) v Dundee HSFP (29), Inverleith , 23rd January 2016

Match Report

Rojo try

Stewarts Melville FP v Dundee HSFP , Inverleith , 23rd January 2016

2016 had not got off to the best start for Dundee , with the postponed match against Watsonians on 16 January denying the team the opportunity to get the win that would have made up for the defeat to Edinburgh Accies the previous week.
This made the match against Stewarts-Melville a “must win game” if promotion hopes were to remain intact.
The omens were not good when the overheating alarm on the Dundee bus sounded as it passed Longforgan. Paul the bus driver pulled into an A90 lay-by , carried out a quick diagnosis with the resultant conclusion that the bus was buggered . The passengers and kit were removed and a new bus was sent for.
As the Dundee committee and the supporters stood in the A90 lay-by looking forlornly at the stricken bus , it was a scene reminiscent of the classic 1989 Only Fools and Horses Christmas Special (Jolly Boys Outing to Margate) but thankfully the River Tay bus did not blow up on this occasion……
Anyway , new bus appeared , kit loaded on , players successfully transferred from bus to bus and thanks to Paul the bus driver going like the clappers , we arrived at Inverleith at 12.55pm.
The Dundee team was still not a full strength, with centre partnership Tim McKavanagh and Neil Herron still out injured . They were joined on the injured list by Matt and John Brady . In addition , Gavin Hughan , Andy Dymock , Ross Lemon , Ice and Jonny Petty were unavailable. Also on the injured list were the Robertson sisters , who joined the Dundee support along with their loyal parents who laudably make the trip from Earlston every week .18 year old Euan Fox, the current captain of the Dundee High school team , continued at 10 with 19 year old , Henry Sampson an ex Scotland age group scrum half making his debut at scrum half. The back row looked exciting and dynamic with Hamish and Paddy Hamilton packing down alongside Danny Levison.
As the Dundee support enjoyed their pre-match pints , it was noted that the todays team must have been of the youngest fielded by the club in recent years and indeed one of the youngest in senior rugby in Scotland.
The backs contained an 18 year old (Euan) , 3 19 year olds (Henry , Duncan and Ronan and a 20 year old (Blair). In the forwards the second rows (George and Conor) were 19 , with Paddy just turned 21 in the back row.
In particular , the midfield of Henry at 9 (19) , Euan at 10 (18) and Leesey at 12 (19) was ambitious proof of Head Coach’s philosophy that if he considered you to be good enough , you were considered to be old enough.
Dundee started the match at 100mph and were on top from the off and it could be seen that their players were well up for this match. Play was immediately forced in the Stew Mell 22 and after concerted pressure , Dundee were awarded a penalty on the 22 , straight in front of the posts.
A certain 3 point lead to Dundee ?
Well , you would have thought so , but Duncan managed to miss the target and send the ball past the posts. Legendary Dundee supporter Jim Scott was heard to comment that he could have kicked the penalty with his baffies on and no one argued.

Dundee however took the lead from the restart with a classic try. From the drop out , the ball was gathered by Paddy who linked up with the backs as the ball was shifted across the pitch with backs and forwards both involved.
Captain Broonie appeared on the left wing and showing the good hands that have been his hallmark since his days as a young ball-playing number 8 , he linked with Paddy. Paddy – involved in the move from the 3rd time – sent Ronan , who had cleverly come in from the wing – in near the posts.
Duncan converted.
7-0 Dundee.

Dundee were playing some great stuff at this stage , with the young midfield to the fore and it was no surprise when they went further ahead in 15 minutes.
Blair hit a great line , taking the ball from Duncan just outside the StewMel 22 and powered between the posts
Duncan again converted
14-0 Dundee.

StewMel then began to force themselves back into the game.
It was noted that their forwards were more experienced than the pack that they fielded earlier in the season at Mayfield and their big pack started to secure some possession , forcing play into the Dundee 22.
Dundee coped well with this and looked to be well in control.

However , following another StewMel foray in the Dundee 22 , they were gifted a score. A Dundee set scrum went wrong and after pass the parcel play amongst the backs , the ball found its way to Ronan in the corner behind his line. The obvious play was to boot the ball out of play but if this is what Ronan meant to do , then it did not work as the ball carried infield and straight into the hands of the grateful StewMel centre who scored between the posts.
The conversion was successful.
14-7 to Dundee

Half time – Stewarts Melville FP 7 Dundee HSFP 14
StewMel started the second half strongly and within 5 minutes were back in the game. The ball was turned over after a Dundee move broke down in midfield and found its to massive StewMel 2nd row Alex Rappestad who is rumoured to be a Swedish international. Anyway , this Nordic giant broke through the Dundee defence and the ball was shipped wide for a score near the corner. The conversion was missed
14-12 Dundee

To their credit , although the game was tighter than it should have been , the Dundee backs get the ball moving at every opportunity , with Henry’s service drawing praise from the crowd.
From another backs move , Blair again hit the line at pace , broke through a tackle and sent Ewan Fox in for the fly half’s first try for the club. Naturally , he jumped for joy at this and was embraced in celebration by Henry , Blair and Duncan.

This display of youthful joy did not impress the Robertson’s sister’s dad (Alastair) who was heard to state that Ewan should have concentrated at scoring underneath the posts instead of celebrating his try. Welcome to the unforgiving world of senior rugby ,Ewan…….

Old man Robertson’s mood was not improved when Leesey missed the conversion.
19-12 Dundee.

StewMel were awarded a penalty after the restart.
Fly half Hanning – who was showing himself to be a tidy kicker , nailed the penaly.
19-15 Dundee.

Half way through the second half , Dundee went further ahead due to quick thinking by Duncan Leese. Dundee were awarded a penalty in the StewMel 22 , Duncan tapped and ran and due to a combination of speed and power , made it across the line to secure a 4th try bonus point .He added the conversion
26-15 Dundee.

This gave Dundee breathing space , but following another move breakdown in midfield , StewMel forced play into the Dundee 22 , resulting in a score near the posts , converted by Hanning.
This was proving a tad concerning for the Dundee support who had seen their team in total dominance in the first quarter now but now hanging onto a slender lead . This slender lead was then cut to one point when StewMel scored another penalty to make the score 26-25 Dundee.

As the match entered the last 10 minutes , the Dundee team regained control and play was concentrated in to StewMel 22. Twice , following a number 8 pick up , Danny was held up just short of the line.
Dundee continued the pressure and were awarded a penalty in front of the posts which Duncan nailed.
Dundee comfortably played out the remaining few minutes record a notable victory.
Final Score – Stewarts Melville FP 25 Dundee HSFP 29

Reflections

A deserved victory by the young Dundee team who , in the first half in particular, played some exhilarating rugby.
Admittedly , there was a period in the second half when things were touch and go , but Dundee scored when it mattered and held out comfortably in the last 10 minutes.

Huge satisfaction will be taken by everyone at Mayfield at this victory by a young team , but the Titans heavy defeat to StewMel 2nds on the adjacent pitch is a reminder that there is still a lot of work to do to get the Club to achieve the standards across the board to which we aspire.

The bus made it back to Dundee without any incidents.

Titans Squad to face Stewarts Melville 2 XV, 23rd January 2016 at Inverleith

stewmel

Titans Squad for tomorrows Game v Stewarts Melville 2 XV at Inverleith 23.1.16.

Clinton Davey, Fraser Curran, Murray Devine, Andrew Clarkson, Scott Strachan, Michael Owen, Stuart Barlow, Ryan Milne, Niall Hall, Neil Turnbull, Scott Doig, Rab Pullar, Christian Avis, Fezan Mughal,Fraser Paterson, Jordan Wright, Paul Ritch, Craig Angus, Tim Mckavanagh.

 

Bus leaves at 11am

1st XV to Face Stew Mel, Saturday 23rd January 2016, Inverleith

stewmel

 

1st XV to play Stewart’s Melville on Saturday
is as follows. 2 pm ko. Bus leaves Mayfield at 11am.

15 Blair Cochrane

14 Mike Brown
13 Nick Alston
12 Duncan Leese
11 Ronan Joy

10 Ewen Fox
9 Henry Sampson

1 Ant Kent
2 Darrell Russell
3 Alan Brown
4 George Arnott
5 Connor Wood
6 Paddy Hamilton
7 Hamish Livingston
8 Danny Levison

Substitutes

16 Jonny Gibson
17 Owen Dyer
18 James Mulligan
19 Callum Bowie
20 Cammie McCrimmon