Tail’s from a Beaver’s adventure at the Dundee HSFP Rugby

An extract from Beaver’s Journal, former club member of DHSFP rugby, during his time in Dundee:

I arrived at Dundee a broken hallow shell of a man, at least that’s what I thought until I met Ken McKay (1 down 34 to go). When I was applying for a second masters, I informed an esteemed economics professor at the LSE (where I was doing my first one) who was of Scottish origin that I was probably going to Dundee for 6 months. He was quick to highlight his views on the sunniest city in Scotland; ‘it’s the pimple on the arsehole of Scotland’ (is what he actually said word for word). My expectations high, Dundee and the HSFPs could do nothing but impress, or so I thought …

I emailed the club 2 weeks before the start of the pre-season explaining that I couldn’t play anymore due to concussions (don’t worry most can’t tell the difference between the pre and post-concussion Beaver), but would be happy to do anything even fill water bottles or pick up cones (“I’m really good at both of those things!” said me while trying not to oversell my skill set). I just wanted to get stuck in. I was invited to the first training session and met Ranks and the lads.

Keg (who incidentally played for the same club as me in New Zealand) grabbed my number and got me out for a pint after Thursday training, ensuring that Saturday would be a good night out. Was it ever …

I’ve learned that they best way to gain credibility with a new club is to pull a fit bird on the first night out with the boys (a strategy that went terribly awry with another team in the Waikato province of New Zealand, where few women at the pub were under the age of 50 and fewer had enough teeth to consume solid food). So I found a bonny lass with flowing red locks and we had the most romantic evening ever, made possible by the outdoor smoking area at Liquid. We necked for a bit and then my bladder betrayed me. “Never forget me, while I go to the bathroom (I implored her).” But upon returning from a slash, I found her being chatted up by some other guy, not even one of our lads. What was this man doing, chatting up my future bride? I was in love and sort of remembered her name. Biff offered to help scare off the guy, but despite a herculean effort, this chap wouldn’t budge. Seeing him neck my wife was devastating to say the least (the pre-nup will have to be rock solid). Then her friends grabbed her and took her away to coat check. And she was gone out of my life forever, or so I thought. Luckily we had exchanged numbers and luckilier she was from Ayr and luckiliest she texted me on Monday. For full details and videos visit www.beavertails.com… (an actual pastry from my fair land)

Beaver's Date

 Beaver’s “Date”?

Ranks asked me if we could pick individual players and work with them on specific skills for 30 minutes before each training. The first candidate was Andy Dymock, former Scotland 7s international and a much better scrumhalf than I ever was. What do you work with such an outstanding athlete and rugby player on? His chat, it was Gargy after all. So I stood opposite him and said, what’s your best line? To which he responded; “Beaver, your fat and have too much facial hair for me.” “No Gargy, pretend I’m a fit bird!” “Right … Your wings are pretty and colorful.” “You’re absolutely useless. We’re going to work on box kicks because your chat is hopeless!”

 

I’ve been trying my best to figure out a way to roast the Dog (and that’s not an offensive comment regarding back alley food). I just remember not believing that that only one person could take up so much space and still get around the pitch. I’m happy I never had to play against him and so is Andre the Giant (well that was the worst roast ever Beaver (even Gerry Tosh could have done better)).

Does anyone remember that time Chicken ran in a try from 80m out and the entirety of the ground stopped and watched a pure moment of beauty? I do, because I heard the ref’s watch end the first team game while he and I were turned around watching from the other pitch as Flem set up the last kick of the game (he missed, but can be forgiven because Chicken).

Chicken Running

Callum Kerr Running in a Try

My club in Toronto has a Sterling Uni lad that played with Flem. He had a few mates in town and we figured out that we all new Fleming. They told me to tell Flem that he is shite at scoring tries. Might be why Sterling is terrible at rugby. Upon Fleming’s graduation, a player was overheard saying “thank god he’s graduating, I hated when he scored all those tries.” I told them about my last ever game with Dundee. We were playing Glasgow Hawks (it was the time Rory Pitman picked and drove 2 players over all by himself to score a try from 5 metres out) and it was Halloween, my birthday, and my last road trip with the club. Somehow Flem’s tee was put in the 2nds bag and the bus went with them. So I had the pleasure of borrowing a car and driving all over Scotland to find the other pitch to get the tee back 10 minutes before kickoff. Jamie Urquhart kicked that day.

What am I doing now? At least one person reading this might ask … Rugby wise, I’m entering my 4th year as the head coach of the Balmy Beach Senior Women’s Team and an assistant coach in the U18 women’s Ontario program (we got 2nd place at the Canadian National Championships and some of those girls have a legitimate shot at making the Canadian 7s team for the Olympics either this one or the next (no thanks to me)). Life wise, I’ve been working with early stage water technology companies to grow their business and traveling, mostly across North America, talking and frequent pubs (the masters in Dundee was on Water Governance and Conflict Resolution, so doing what I wanted to). Also, trying to make it back to Dundee as often as possible (so far once, but working on it again, hopefully end of summer early fall).

Beaver the coach

Beaver after mentoring/advising an up and coming coach

I grew up in a similar club, one that truly stays with you, one that is your home and your family. There are bigger clubs out there in larger cities who may have a few more national tops framed on their clubhouse walls but there aren’t many that could claim to produce better men.

International Man of Mystery

DHS FP has a proud history of student athletes, and every once in a while a special talent pushes themselves forward for higher honours.

There is a glittering array of international talent on display in the infamous “international lounge”, which contrary to the belief of some members is a shrine to the achievements of few and not a salt ring for club room wrestling.

Salt Ring

The International Lounge, AKA the Salt Ring

This is not a homage to our dual code warrior Stuart “Beezy” Barlow or recognition to Burhan Torgut the Cypriot half back, but the rumor mill is churning and it seems one of our 1st XV players is on the brink of receiving a call up for their first international cap.

In year three at College, Johnny Gibson (pictured below) is in contention to be named in the Caymen Island’s squad to face the Bahamas on 21st May 2016.

JonnyGibson

This would be an extraordinary rise to prominence for the young front rower, who has been playing very well for the 1st XV.

All at Dundee Rugby wish Johnny the best, and hope to see a new face in the international lounge shortly.

CRFU-logo

For details on the Caymen rugby union, follow this link.

1st XV to Face Marr, Saturday 25th March 2016, Mayfield

Team to play Marr on 26/3/16, 3pm Kick Off
15 Blair Cochrane
14 Ross Lemon
13 Callum Bowie
12 Stuart Barlow
11 Michael Brown
10 Duncan Leese
9 Andy Dymock 

8 Peter Redmayne
7 Hamish Livingston
6 Patrick Hamilton
5 Connor Wood
4 George Arnott
3 Alan Brown
2 Darrel Lindsay Russell
1 Neil Dymock
Substitutes
16 Ant Kent
17 Johnny Gibson
18 Ian Robertson
19 Josh Rutnagur
20 Matt O’Sullivan

Players to meet at 1.30pm

1st XV to Face Kelso, Saturday 19th March 2016, Mayfield

Team to play Kelso on 19/3/16, Mayfield,  players to meet at 1.30pm for 3pm Kick Off

15 Daniel Levison
14 Ross Lemon
13 Callum Bowie
12 Matt OSullivan
11 Mike Brown
10 Duncan Leese
9 Andy Dymock

8 Gavin Hugan
7 Patrick Hamilton
6 Hamish Livingston
5 Connor Wood
4 George Arnott
3 Alan Brown
2 Ant Kent
1 Johnny Gibson

Substitutes

16 Darrel Lindsay Russell
17 Neil Dymock
18 Ian Robertson
19 Josh Rutnagur
20 AN Other

 

GHA 2nd XV (40) v Dundee Titans (3), 12th March 2013.

Match Report

In the whole of Scottish (or even world) rugby, played at a serious level, can there be a half-back pairing with a combined age matching 93 years and 1 month? That’s what happened at Braidholm yesterday, when Dougie Gray and Dave Mason helped out by filling the 9 and 10 berths respectively for Dundee, and both played more than creditably.

In fact, in the first half, the whole team showed a big improvement on recent performances with a lively effort which kept them well in touch at half time, despite going behind after only 3 minutes. An early penalty against Dundee let GHA kick to touch on the right. The ball was moved left, then a cross -kick to the right was taken beautifully by former Dundee player Glen Scott, who made ground before passing inside for a colleague to score. The try was unconverted and Titans were 5-0 down.

With good handling and driving play, Dundee were on the attack from the re-start, reaching 2 metres from the GHA line, but GHA were penalised and Jordan Wright nailed the goal to reduce the lead: 5-3 after 6 minutes.

Although Dundee again resumed on the offensive, a penalty offence allowed GHA to clear their lines, and a good break saw them reach near the Dundee 22. When Dundee were again penalised, GHA worked the ball closely, before a break by their No 4 saw him reach the line, for a try converted by the stand-off. 13 minutes played and GHA ahead 12-3.

Dundee then dominated possession for the remainder of the first period, which was played mainly in the GHA half. Greater pace on the ball and security of handling, albeit much improved, could have helped put greater pressure on the GHA defence, however, and Dundee’s scoring chances were confined to two long-range penalty goal attempts, which were unsuccessful.

Half-time: GHA 12 Dundee Titans 3

In spite of another unfamiliar back-line, there was some optimism in the Dundee camp at the break, following a half with possession dominated by Titans in a much-improved performance.

GHA began the second half on the offensive, aided by a succession of penalties against Dundee. Having dominated possession for the first 10 minutes of the half, GHA launched a good attack before their stand-off chipped over the visiting defence and touched down the kick for a try which he converted to extend the lead: 19 – 3 after 50 minutes.

Dundee fought back, but lost possession and the GHA 13 hacked the ball from his own half to the Dundee 5 metre line. Although Dundee cleared, following a penalty against GHA, sustained pressure told and after 58 minutes, the GHA No 8 burst over for a try converted by the stand-off and the score moved, ominously for Dundee, to 26 -3.

It heralded a purple spell for GHA, who then killed the game off with two further tries in the next 7 minutes. From the restart, their good running play led to a try by their outside centre, converted by the stand-off with a drop kick, which he repeated four minutes later after their No 4 rounded off some good handling play with a try. 65 minutes played and GHA were ahead 40 – 3.

Game effectively over, but Dundee did not give up and made progress into the GHA red zone, where a number of penalties against the home side led to a series of Dundee 5-metre scrums. The GHA defence was equal to the pick-and-go drives however, and when Dundee knocked on and GHA cleared, the chance was gone.

Dundee continued to press, with some sustained spells of good handling, but were unable to make any inroads before being forced into touch, bringing the final whistle.

Full time: GHA 40 Dundee 3

A score, which on possession alone, perhaps flattered GHA slightly, but a greater cutting edge helped them to make the most of their opportunities in the second half. But for the fifteen-minute spell in the second half, when GHA scored four converted tries, Titans had as much, or more of the game, and with greater pace on the ball might have made the result closer.

Congratulations to Dougie and Dave, though, for an outstanding effort.

Scorer:

Penalty: Jordan Wright

Dundee Player of the Match: Dougie Gray

1st XV to Face GHA, Saturday 12th March 2016, Braidholm

ghaTeam to play GHA 12/3/16, 3pm Kick Off, Braidholm

15 Daniel Levison
14 Ross Lemon
13 Callum Bowie
12 Matt OSullivan
11 Andy Dymock
10 Duncan Leese
9 Henry Sampson

8 Gavin Hugan
7 Hamish Livingston
6 Patrick Hamilton
5 Connor Wood
4 George Arnott
3 Alan Brown
2 John Brady
1 Neil Dymock

Substitutes

16 Ant Kent
17 Johnny Gibson
18 Ian Robertson
19 Pete Redmayne

Bus LEAVES at 11.30am, there will be pasta put on from 11.00am

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Dundee Titans (0) v Mussleburgh 2nd XV (44), Mayfield 5th March

Match Report

It’s one of the perversities of the game, that a side which dominates a match is often on the wrong end of the penalty count. Seldom has this oddity been as evident as it was at Mayfield when Dundee Titans entertained Musselburgh on a soft pitch and with a keen northerly blowing across the pitch. In a match of far too many penalties, the count of 24 – 9 in Titans’ favour was almost embarrassing, all the more so because Dundee were unable to gain any capital from that benefit, ending up well beaten by a useful Mussleburgh side, in spite of Titans fielding a strong-looking pack, containing many established players with 1st XV experience, admittedly with a number of forwards in an ad hoc back-line.

The match began with a spell of equal sparring until, after 8 minutes the Musselburgh blind-side flanker broke from a scrum following a Dundee knock-on and made it to the line for the opening score, which was not converted, leaving the score at 0 – 5.

Dundee’s efforts to redress the balance were aided by penalties in their favour, but a free kick against them brought a huge clearance by Musselburgh. Dundee cleared, but a back-row combination saw the Musselburgh 6 burst through at pace for a second try, and this time their scrum-half landed an excellent conversion from the touchline. 21 minutes gone and the lead increased to 12 points, 0-12.

Musselburgh were now moving the ball and handling well, resulting in a good spell of possession in the Dundee 22, before they knocked on. There were soon back in possession, however, and landed a drop goal, something of a rarity nowadays, after 25 minutes, to move the score to 0 – 15.

Dundee were now playing with more of an apparent sense of purpose, and, with more penalty assistance, gained touch in the Musselburgh 22. They drove the won ball, but lost possession and Musselburgh cleared.

A scrappy spell of play ensued as half-time approached, with Musselburgh on top and pressing in the Dundee 22. Dundee broke out but it was soon Musselburgh back on the attack, moving the ball left for their outside centre to burst over after 2 minutes of stoppage time. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful and the half time whistle went.

Half-time: Dundee Titans 0 Mussleburgh 2nd XV 20

Some spirited, if disjointed, play by a Dundee side. If the penalty count remained so much in their favour, perhaps the second half would see a reversal of fortunes.

That this was not to be the case was perhaps indicated by Dundee’s kick-off going straight into touch. Although Musselburgh was penalised shortly afterwards, so, too were Dundee, and the Musselburgh scrum-half duly obliged with a goal which stretched the score to 0 – 23, with 3 minutes of the half played.

In spite of the next kick-off also going straight out, Dundee then managed to gain the Musselburgh 22, only for a penalty to be awarded against them and another long Musselburgh clearance took play to the home 22. The Musselburgh drive led to a penalty against Dundee, and another kick to touch, and drive, before the ball was moved left for the Musselburgh inside centre to score. Scrum-half converted and the score moved to 0-30 after 53 minutes.

A Dundee break out and kick ahead led to a penalty for a late tackle, and Dundee chose the scrum where the ball landed, leading to a good spell of Dundee pressure, until it was ended by a penalty against. When Dundee were penalised again and Musselburgh cleared, play moved to half way and another penalty against Dundee enabled the visitors to find touch on the Dundee 22. A great move from the line-out saw their No 4 burst through all the way to the line for a converted try, making the score 0 – 37, after 62 minutes.

Dundee pressed after the re-start and made it to the Musselburgh 5-metre line, only for poor execution to thwart their effort. A series of penalties against Musselburgh, including a yellow card dismissal, followed, with Dundee taking scrummage options, but Dundee were unable to take advantage of the temporary territorial and numerical superiority.

The match ended with a Musselburgh drive leading to a try by their No 8, converted again by their scrum-half, with the last kick of the match.

Full-time: Dundee Titans 0 Musselburgh 2nd XV 44

An error-strewn match, not helped by the number of penalties, which also contributed to a lack of cohesion. From a Dundee perspective it was particularly disappointing that a side which looked strong on paper, at least regarding the forwards, offered so little challenge.

Dundee Player of the Match: Andy Clarkson

1st XV to Face Musselburgh, Saturday 5th March 2016, Mayfield

Team to play Musselburgh on 5/3/16, Players to meet at 1.30 at Mayfield for a 3pm Kick Off

15 Cameron Mcrimmon
14 Josh Rutnagur
13 Callum Bowie
12 Matt OSullivan
11 Ronan Joy
10 Duncan Leese
9 Andy Dymock

8 Gavin Hugan
7 Patrick Hamilton
6 Hamish Livingston
5 Connor Wood
4 George Arnott
3 Alan Brown
2 John Brady
1 Neil Dymock

Substitutes

16 Ant Kent
17 Jonny Gibson
18 Pete Redmayne
19 Stuart Barlow
20 Henry Sampson