For years now, the advice of the medical staff at Mayfield has fallen on deaf ears.
With injuries at the fore of Head Coach Colin Sangster’s thoughts, a number of senior players have picked up injuries to accompany Dundee HSFPs promising start to their 2016/17 campaign.
Surely at this point in the league, when every point is a prisoner, a couple of prayers have been sent on a Monday evening ahead of the coach’s selection meeting?
Maybe that is what assistant coach JJ ‘the Moroccan mole’ van der Esch was spotted doing in this weeks players meeting. Or maybe he was just asleep… Regardless, this was not the most notable event of Tuesdays training session.
With what has been described as a recent ‘miracle’, it has become apparent that Ryan ‘the slug’ Milne may have made a miraculous recovery. Following a detailed evaluation of Ryan’s recent X-ray (below), ex-Club Doctor Tom Dymock blessed Ryan with his healing hands.
In what can only be described as an act of God, Ryan was seen casting aside his crutches and taking to the pitch for a light jog – surely not.
Ryan Seen casting the crutches aside
As Colin continues his bed-time prayers throughout the week in the hope that Ryan can grace the pitch with his presence, please spare a moment and #prayforryan. Any help raising awareness on social media with the above hashtag would be appreciated.
Do you want to be a Zebra, an officiator, a Referee? Maybe you are looking to help out with Eagles games on a Sunday or progress through the ranks. Either way you can’t do it without starting at the Level 1 Refereeing course. Click the Register Now button to get involved!
Sunday 2 October 2016 10am – 5pm Still spaces available REGISTER NOW
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If you make it through the course people will call you Sir!, unless you are female, in which case that’s just weird and probably merits a yellow card! Come on ladies let’s get more female ref’s on the circuit too!
“A thing of beauty is a joy forever” wrote the poet John Keats. It may not be a joy forever but Dundee’s fifth try, almost on full-time at Rubislaw certainly was a thing of beauty in an an otherwise drab encounter.
Grammar won the toss and chose to play with the wind at their backs on a grey Aberdeen day and were first on the attack. The first scrum suggested that Dundee were not going to find this phase easy and then after Dundee were penalised, Grammar took the kick quickly and their No 12, Conor Lavery, burst through for the opening score after only 2 minutes. The kick was unsuccessful, and Grammar were 5-0 ahead.
It was Dundee’s turn to attack from the restart and reached the Aberdeen 5 metre line with a penalty to the corner. Dundee lost the line-out but the ball was carried over by Grammar, for a Dundee scrum. Dundee’s No 8 Alasdair Mackie left the field with a shoulder injury, then Grammar were penalised at the re-scrum and Dundee took the kick quickly and fed the ball left for Tim McKavanagh to ground it over the Grammar line. Ewan Fox added the extras and, with 8 minutes played, Dundee were ahead 5 – 7.
Dundee managed a number of half-breaks in the following quarter of an hour but did not turn them into real threats. A penalty against Aberdeen led to a touch kick by Dundee, but the ball was blown back by the strong wind. Fraser McKay was following up well, however, and play moved to the Grammar 5-metre line. Dundee knocked on, Grammar cleared, but Dundee won the line-out and worked the ball well for Fraser McKay to score a try which was not converted. 5 – 12 after 22 minutes.
A great line-out take and drive by Dundee saw play move from half-way to the Grammar 22 and ended with a penalty against Grammar. The goal attempt was just short, but Grammar knocked on under the posts, Dundee won the scrum ball and drove it right, where Jonny Gibson barged over for the touch-down. The conversion attempt missed and Dundee’s lead was increased to 12 points: 5 – 17 after 26 minutes.
Grammar were not making best use of the strong wind, with penalty kicks to touch not gaining as much ground as might have been expected and their cause was not aided by a miss-firing line-out. As a result, Dundee were able to maintain a good grip on the game and with more secure handling, might have had more reward for their efforts. As it was, half-time was reached with no further scoring.
Half-time: Aberdeen Grammar 5 Dundee HSFP 17
A half which never really got going, but Dundee did well, not only in containing Grammar against the wind, but in turning with something of a safety margin. Cut out mistakes, exploit gaps in the Grammar defence and increase the tempo was the half-time message as Dundee looked to run away with things in the wind-assisted second half.
Dundee did begin the half with some determination and play soon reached the Grammar 22, where the home side knocked-on. Grammar were penalised at the scrum and then marched back 10 metres. Dundee kicked to touch and drove the won line-out ball. Grammar were penalised again, with the addition of a yellow card and this time, Dundee opted for a scrum. Dundee moved the ball and Blair Cochrane came in at pace, but was held up over the line. Grammar were penalised again, however, and Dundee took another scrum, which led to Ryan Milne bursting over from the base for a try converted by Foxy. 46 minutes played and Dundee were ahead 5 -24, with a try bonus point.
It was then Aberdeen’s turn on the attack, running the ball back before a series of drives ended with a try for loose-head, Colin Neilson, converted by stand-off Ali Addy: 50 minutes on the clock and 12 – 24.
Contrary to the expectations of the Dundee support, it was Grammar who had more of possession and play for the remainder of the half and, by keeping the ball in the forwards, were able to secure sustained periods of possession. Dundee, it seemed, had not been able to increase the tempo as had been requested at half-time and the game went flat. After having looked to run away with things in the second half, it was looking like Dundee would be happy just to get a way with a victory. Another converted score by Grammar and the game would take a distinctly nervous complexion for the visitors.
Slight drizzle was making the ball greasy and handling errors were rife, adding to the dreich spectacle on the pitch. Then, out of the blue, a moment of magic.
A Dundee scrum in their 22 saw the ball won and passed left through all the backs’ hands except Ice’s, to end with a great try by Blair. Foxy’s conversion attempt hit the post and Dundee were ahead 12 – 29 with 80 minutes played.
Having missed out on that last play, Ice was not to be denied and, deep into stoppage time, kicked through a ball stolen from Grammar possession. In typical style, Ice followed up at pace and, when Grammar failed to touch down, Ice pounced for a try which Foxy converted from the right-hand touch line, bringing the whistle for no-side.
Full-time: Aberdeen Grammar 12 Dundee HSFP 36
A forgettable game for both sides, although the bonus point win, plus the retention of the Dallas Allardice trophy, will have done Dundee’s cause no harm. Injury concerns continue, however, particularly in the back row, bringing new challenges for the weeks ahead.
Tries: Tim McKavanagh, Fraser McKay, Jonny Gibson, Ryan Milne, Blair Cochrane, Isao Matacagi
Conversions: Ewan Fox (3)
Dundee Man of the Match (selected by Grammar): Blair Cochrane.
The titans tied up the weekend with a win, in a one sided affair against Boroughmuir. The eventual scoreline was Titans 31- 0 Boroughmuir.
Titans Squad: Shaun Mc Donagh , Colin Whittaker, Rehan Baig , Jack Anderson , Struan Gartley, Thomas Harding, Andrew Clarkson, Fraser Curran, Clinton Davey, Niall Hall, Cameron Mathieson,James Buchanan, Michael Owen, Jamie Hughan, Ceillem Stewart, Andrew Burgess, Yousif Alagilly, Ewan Campbell, James Cosgrove, Ronan Joy,Cameron Gray, Fezan Mughal
Dundee HSFP & Aberdeen Grammar have contested the Allardice Trophy since 2012 in memory of a man who made a significant contribution to both sides before and after the World War II.
Dallas Allardice, a former Aberdeen Grammar pupil captained the Grammar FPs and won eight caps for Scotland before going on to teach at Aberdeen Grammar and Dundee High School.
The trophy has changed hands a few times over the years since it’s inception, but is currently held by Dundee. This should add another edge to the contest and hopefully Dundee can come back down the road with the cup in their possession.
With the news that the Caley Reds are back in action this November, we look over some potential Dundee candidates for this fixture:
1. Alan Brown: Big Broonie loves a rep game, he’s been involved with them since nineteen canteen and want’s more kit. Can the big lad shake a foot injury and get in contention. Surely not a better tight head in Caledonia? Also crucial for after match festivities. Have any of these soft southerners ever had a dog ride?
2. Cammy Ferguson: Days of future past, although in exile in Edinburgh and with a thinner hair line. Heriot’s answer to Patrick Bateman still has it; Goal kicking and a versatile back play exponent, makes the former Howe and Dundee man a shoe in?
3. Ross Lemon, has stated that it would round off a fine career pulling the Caley jersey over the egg one last time. “eh would probably retire efter it!”. If the coaches can’t be motivated by the prospect of getting rid of Roscoe once and for all, they can’t be motivated at all.
4. Richie “The Specimen” McIvor, Dundee born and bred and a rep of Harris FP and Dundee currently plying his trade in Londonshire. A former Scottish Premier 1 player of the year, he would no doubt be keen? “Caledonia is calling me, now I’m going home”. Also Richie can be relied on in a sticky situation, helping out physios when they are under stress in the tour environment.
5. Ian “Addie” Wilson & Andy “Grenade” Mclean, both former Howe and Dundee players are rumored to only be available if selected as a pair. Currently playing for nails, they share a flat/bed together and swap most things. A Quote from dynamic back row Wilson , “shaboyser, I’m only playing if Drew does, ken?”
6. Colin “CoCo” Whittaker, another experienced tight head. The only one to rival broon dog’s prowess in the front row. Recently returned to training and every bit as menacing as before. Coco beware!
7. Callum “the banter hound” Bowie, previously selected to keep tour morale high, this player would be a welcome addition to any representative team from this region. One of the first names on the team sheet at Mayfield now, can he squeeze his way in. Also we needed to shoe horn this picture in……
The coaches are taking all of these suggestions very seriously, a very unreliable source has informed. So let’s wait and see?
This Sat 17th is the biggest game yet as we pit our collective wits v Falkirk also top of the league (joint) with us. Something has to give so please come along and lend your support for this game. The Titans go West to West. All the best to all our players.
Sat 24th we travel to Aberdeen so two weeks on the trot we have important games.
Sat 1st Oct is another huge game v Marr at Mayfield.
Social stuff. The ladies lunch is Oct 15th and Mags Van der Esch is the prime mover so get in touch here, Maggie Vanderesch (firstname.lastname@example.org) Its only £25 and must be the best bargain in the world! Go ladies!
Cowboy stuff. News on the showdown at the OK Coral will need to wait another few weeks as the stage coach was held up again. Yeeha!
Hope you all enjoy the next few weeks of Rugby and look forward to the next TFI Friday on 30th Sept.
A perfect day at Mayfield, with no wind and warm sunshine, for this top of the table clash. Early days, but, in Cup and League, both teams had come out of the blocks like express trains. Speculation, then, was about which side would hit the buffers first, or become derailed, after all their training. (Enough already…Ed)
In the event, it was the visitors who deservedly maintained their unbeaten, and high-scoring record as a catalogue of misfortunes afflicted a Dundee side which struggled to realise its potential.
Early injuries to Danny Levison and Darrell Russell robbed Dundee of two influential players, although the side had the majority of the play in the first 20 minutes. Unusually, the set scrum was under pressure, and often retreating. Line-out accuracy was also questionable and errors in the Falkirk red zone meant that there was no scoring in the first quarter.
A long kick by Falkirk took play to the home 22 and, when Dundee were penalised, Falkirk stand-off Brims landed the straightforward penalty goal. 0 – 3 after 20 minutes.
Three minutes later he repeated the feat following a Dundee penalty and yellow card: 23 minutes gone and 0 – 6.
A few minutes later, following an exchange of punts, Dundee were reduced to 13 men with a second yellow card.
Dundee resisted well while at a numerical deficit, aided to some extent by Falkirk also losing a player to a temporary suspension. With the Dundee support calling for the return of the first suspended player, however, Falkirk pushed Dundee off a scrum ball and moved the ball well before centre Hamilton ran through for a try, converted by Brims. 25 minutes played and Falkirk’s lead extended, 0 – 13.
Dundee hit back almost immediately, however, and Ice outstripped the Falkirk defence in following a nicely-weighted kick through, which bounced up into his hands as he crossed the line and scampered behind the posts, leaving Ewan Fox a simple conversion. 7 – 13 after 38 minutes.
A break by Brims from half way to 15 metres from the Dundee line put Falkirk in a strong position and, when Dundee were penalised, he landed the goal to take the score to 7 – 16 after 40 minutes.
In added time, Dundee pressed into the Falkirk 22 and a penalty against Falkirk gave Dundee a chance. The penalty was quickly taken but the ball was lost and with it Dundee’s chance, as the whistle went for half-time.
Half-time: Dundee 7 Falkirk 16
Dundee had plenty of possession in the half, but a retreating scrum, unreliable line-out performance and errors at critical stages were preventing any real pressure being exerted on Falkirk. Although the performance was like a car running on three cylinders, Dundee were still in the game and greater composure was called for in the second half.
Play started evenly after the restart, flowing back and forth, until Falkirk were penalised about 25 metres out and Foxy slotted the goal to reduce the deficit. 47 minutes, and 10-16
Three minutes later, Falkirk were penalised after a touch judge’s intervention and Foxy was again successful, this time from the Falkirk 10 metre line, and home hopes were raised: only three points in it at 13-16 after 51 minutes.
Dundee’s injury difficulties continued, however, with Dayle Turner limping off, meaning centre Tim McKavanagh was pressed into service on the flank of the scrum. The cause was further hindered with the loss of Ewan Fox through injury and, with the Dundee scrum still under pressure and conceding penalties, Falkirk used the awards to take play well into the Dundee half, with a final penalty allowing Brims a goal chance, which he accepted. 13 – 19, with 65 minutes on the clock.
Two minutes later, Falkirk’s lead was increased, when right-winger, Brown chased down a kick-through a la Ice, and touched down out wide. Brims landed a fine conversion attempt and Falkirk were ahead 10 – 26, with 67 minutes played.
A third yellow card offence by Dundee gave Brims another penalty goal opportunity after 72 minutes and he duly obliged to extend the lead: 13 – 29 after 72 minutes.
Dundee hit back from the restart and a kick through by Blair Cochrane was followed up to put Falkirk under some rare pressure. After Falkirk were penalised, the ball was cross-kicked to the left where it was fielded by Christy O’Donnell to score. Phil Godman’s conversion attempt was unsuccessful, leaving the score at 18 – 29.
Dundee were playing with increased urgency, but their efforts came to naught when an interception gave the initiative back to Falkirk, who worked the ball to scrum-half Russell and he dived over in the right-hand corner. The unerring Brims was again successful with his conversion from the touchline and Falkirk were home at 18 – 36 with three minutes of regulation time remaining.
Dundee were still trying hard, but losing possession was a blight on the cause. A final knock-on gave Falkirk a scrum and when the retreating Dundee pack was penalised again, Falkirk ran the ball, but knocked-on with the Dundee line beckoning, bringing the whistle for no-side.
Full time: Dundee 18 Falkirk 36
“One of these days” for Dundee, with little improvement in the second half. Although circumstances contrived to make things difficult, the performance was judged as being too passive and a more committed Falkirk side clearly deserved their victory.