Well it’s another year done and a new one in the planning.
And the general message from club this year was one of thanks for the previous year to all of the many volunteers that make our club work.
Club President GT, as well as praising our volunteers, was keen to highlight two players retiring through injury Daz Lindsey & Ian Robertson and thank them for their service. Daz goes on to be S&C Coach, Ian hasn’t got a role yet, so we’re thinking club’s communications officer………
Also high on the agenda was acknowledgement of two club stalwarts from the coaching side, who will be stepping aside or onto new pastures, J J Van der Esch and Dougie Gray. Both with over 20 years service and commitment, as players, coaches and committee, we owe them a huge debt of gratitude and the loss of both (although JJ will still be around!) will be felt keenly by the club.
Gerry was also proud of the Eagles and Dundee rugby’s continued progression (including Dundee Rugby reaching tier 3 status) and thanked all involved including the two conveners Iain Landsburgh and Ben Dunn.
Andy Dymock’s captains report was positive and praised the support from the coaches, players, medical staff and volunteers. As well as this he felt that the introduction of youth to the side this year was a key aspect of our success on the field and something that we should be rightly proud of. The future looks bright! Andy said that being captain was a source of great pride, something that he had been building towards and passed on his gratitude for all the support he received in the last year.
Matt Scott reported that the club was in a stronger financial position that it has been in over the last few years. This due to continued efforts of club members and committee with fundraising and the vital support of our sponsors. We can be proud of the efforts in this area and we are in good health. Well done Matt!
One thing that needs to be highlighted is that the Mayfield Lotto has had to set up a new bank account, more to follow on this but we need to ensure that all current enrolled change their standing orders! And what’s more, we could do with a few new members. Get that extra Hundie in your Hippie. This is a crucial initiative which has brought in almost £3K to the club this year! Well done, but lets keep it going.
Minuets of the AGM will be circulated in due course, but the other item highlighted for change is to limit our personal liability by making the club a limited company. This author is an idiot and can’t explain it better, but for any questions speak to your favourite committee member.
The office bearers on the whole remain unchanged, however there are some new introductions. Ben Dunn is Dundee Rugby convener and joins the general committee. Well done Ben.
Lynda McKay becomes the AU Vice Chair. Well done Lynda, that’s our favourite appointment
Phil Godman is appointed 1st XV back’s coach and Clinton Davie takes the Titan’s tiller, with Sangster staying on as 1st XV head coach and forward’s coach.
It is also with great pride that we announce the newest 1st XV captain, Duncan Leese. Duncan is a former pupil and an ever present player. Congratulations Duncan.
Most importantly of all though, a new social convener has been appointed, he is also keen to get involved at committee level. The man to put the party back into the clubby, Mayfield’s new Pary Liaison Ronan “Greenhorn” Joy.
The club was in absolute raptures with this appointment, so in the words of Delia Smith “let’s be ‘avin you”.
The social secretary is a position coveted by many, and performed well by few.
He who controls the social side, controls the mood of the club.
Last year Owen Dyer was about as much use as his adored Arsene Wenger and apparently a plane has been chartered displaying a “crog out” banner to fly over Mayfield during the AGM.
Who will rise from the ashes like a Van Wilder Pheonix from the flames and lead the social calendar back to glory!?
Look no further for a new appointment is on the horizon, working tirelessly in the background (apparently with a great sand guy for a beach party). This club member is hungry for recognition and keen to take on a bigger role at the club and is really looking forward to working in close proximity to Homer.
We should salute this brave young buck. Let’s see who it is at the AGM.
All club members are invited to attend the Rugby Club AGM on Tuesday 30th May 2017 at Mayfield, 7.30pm.
In order to make this a productive meeting, a high attendance is appreciated.
Last year’s meeting brought up some key points like “why are we still selling Belhaven Best?, My friends don’t like it!” . For this and more important issues to be discussed, including the office bearers for the coming season, be there or be square!
For those of you who would like to study the agenda before arrival, please look here AGM Documents
International Tickets Season 2017-2018 – Season Passes Available
Season Passes to see all of Scotland’s Autumn Tests at BT Murrayfield and the Six Nations Home Matches against England and France are now available through the club.
The match details are
Scotland v Samoa Saturday 11 November 2017 KO TBC
Scotland v New Zealand Saturday 18 November 2017 KO TBC
Scotland v Australia Saturday 25 November 2017 KO TBC
Scotland v England Date and KO to be confirmed
Scotland v France Date and KO to be confirmed
Season Passes are priced as follows:
Gold Sections Adult £310 Under 18 N/A
Silver Sections Adult £222 Under 18 £137
Bronze Sections Adult £155 Under 18 £110
Any member wishing to purchase season passes through the club should contact the Ticket Secretary, Harvie Findlay (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than 22 May 2017 when payment will also be due. The club receives commission for all season passes sold.
Forms for individual Autumn Tests and for individual Six Nations matches will be issued to members in due course, probably in August 2017.
Dundee High Rugby Club would like to confirm our commitment to the Titans in light of the departure of coach Doug Gray who leaves the club after 25 years of great service.
We wish Doug well. The Club is focused on the future and continuous improvement of the coaching side.
In this regard the Club have pleasure in announcing our new S&C coach Darrel Russel for next season.
We are also delighted and proud to announce our new backs coach, Phil Godman. We are sure his 23 caps for Scotland will, along with his widely recognised coaching skills will bring a new dynamic to Dundee this coming season. Dundee High Rugby are widely acknowledged to be among the best organised and structured clubs anywhere and are determined to make it even better. If you would like to be part of this exciting expansion and improvement please get in touch with head coach
Well, the Apex has probably had more illustrious events hosted at their city quay hotel, but we’re second to none when it comes to having a good time! And I bet they’ve never had a topless wrestle before.
Superbly run by the McKays, this annual event was buzzing and well attended by around 180 revellers.
Eagles volunteers and committee, bufties, club members, players and support staff all enjoyed the end of season celebration of Dundee High Rugby, Dundee Eagles and Dundee Rugby.
The night began with some introductions and house keeping before an excellent three courser, followed by the annual players awards and finally dancing the night away.
To round off the evening, Daz also impressed the staff with his green fingers by demonstrating some ham fisted topiary.
The award winners were as follows:
Player of the Year: Isoa Matacagi (received by Baggady Bag)
Player’s Player: Geo Arnott
Titan of the Year: Struan Gartley
Most Improved: Danny McGinn
Terry Alison Award for Best Newcomer: Ally Mackie
Young Player of the Year: Angus Fraser
Try of the Year: Ryan Fairweather
Kicking Cup Winner: Duncan Leese
Clubman of the year: Gavin Robertson
Supporters of the year: Mr & Mrs Burgess
Thanks to all involved for a wonderful night, including the staff at the Apex who must have the patience of Angels. A shout out also goes to the lady in pink who was on the dance floor killing it like it was 1999.
Dundee High Rugby v Jedforest , Forfar Road , Dundee , Saturday 29 April 2017
As has been the case in recent weeks , Dundee fielded a very young side for this final league match of the season against Jedforest at Morgan’s Forfar Road ground – 12 players out of the starting line up were aged 22 or under.
The more mature members of the Dundee support recalled the “Busby Babes” , the famous young Manchester United team of the 1950/60s – and as the Dundee team lined up , they were christened “Sangster’s Bairns”.
The message to Sangster’s bairns was clear – a win with a bonus point would enable Dundee to finish the season in 4th place in the league . This would be a very commendable effort , given the brutal injury list which Colin and his coaching team have had to contend with throughout the season.
The match was reported to have a 2.30pm kick off , but for some reason (of which this reporter was blissfully unaware ), the match actually kicked off at 2.15pm. Indeed your reporter was still making his way pitchside when Dundee went ahead – George broke towards the line and offloaded to the supporting Sean Gauld who went over in the corner to score his first try for the club. A memorable moment for a lad who is still at school.
Fraser McKay nailed a super conversion to make the score 7-0.
Sean then went off injured to be replaced by Reggie , who along with Broonie and Ross , increased the average age of the team considerably.
Reggie moved into the row alongside Jack , with George moving to flank where he would be free to indulge his unique brand of unstructured , free spirit back row play.
After 18 minutes , Dundee went further ahead when Ronan Joy took the ball at a great angle and scored between the posts . Fraser successfully converted to make the score 14-0.
At this stage , Dundee were playing very open running rugby , taking full advantage of the excellent Forfar Road surface. A superb break by Andy Dymock , supported by George , led to the Dundee backs having a 3 man overlap which they did not take advantage of , but the next score was delayed only by a matter of minutes . A strong set piece in the Jed 22 , a powerful break to Ally Mackie and the ball was moved wide to Ronan who skinned his man to score in the corner.
Fraser kept up his 100% record with another great conversion from the corner.
21-0 and , after 30 minutes , the chat amongst the Dundee support was that the team looked well on track for the win and the bonus point.
Indeed the crucial 4th try came after 34 minutes when a probing kick by Josh took play deep into Jed territory . Following strong running by Ally and George the ball was recycled and Bagga went over in the corner.
Fraser continued his master class of kicking to convert and the scores was 28-0.
This lead was increased just before half time , when Broonie’s pass let in young hooker Angus Campbell (another player still at school) to score between the posts. Fraser naturally converted . 35-0 to Dundee who were rampant.
Dundee looked as if they would score each time they had possession , but the referee’s half time whistle took Jed out of their misery.
The half time thoughts amongst the Dundee support was that this had been a first class performance – exciting , attractive running rugby from a very young and talented side , as reflected by the fact that 2 out of the 5 tries so far had been scored by players who have been playing schools rugby this season.
At half time , Ryan Fairweather replaced Euan Campbell on the wing for Dundee.
The half time talk to the Dundee team was to keep the intensity going at the start of the second half , particularly recalling last weeks match when GHA scored 2 tries in the first 5 minutes of the second half.
This execution of this plan (ie keep things tight early doors in the second half) was not an overwhelming success as Jed scored a try with their first attack.
In an honest admission of shoddy journalism , I have no idea which Jedforest player scored as I was on my phone checking the football scores , but I do know that they missed the conversion. 35-5 to Dundee.
In a carbon copy of the GHA match, Jed then scored again and this time it was converted . 35-12 to Dundee.
Could a comeback be on ?
Dundee then woke up and following a rampaging run by Ally Mackie , the ball was moved out to the backs in space . Fraser threw a long well timed pass to Ronan who completed his hat trick of tries with a powerful burst into the corner. This was 4 tries in 2 games for Ronan who admitted after the match that he had taken coach Sangster’s advice to “use your pace and power to beat your man and not jump around like a kangaroo when you get the ball”.
Fraser missed the kick from the corner – understandable as Dundee were playing into a strong wind . Dundee up by 40 -12 after 50 minutes.
This settled Dundee down and they picked up again the high intensity ,strong running rugby that they had displayed throughout the first half.
This led to play being concentrated in the Jed 22 and interpassing between the Dundee forwards trio of Broonie , George and Jack left Jack with a run-in between the posts.
Fraser added the conversion – 47-12 to Dundee after 50 minutes.
To Jed’s eternal credit , they stayed focused and indeed were on top throughout the next 10 minutes when they controlled possession.
A memorable feature of this period was a run by Jed winger Robbie Shirra-Gibb which took him the length of the pitch and he seemed certain to score until , in a classic piece of Number 8 cover play , Ally Mackie covered across to put in a try-saving tackle just short of the line.
Later on Saturday night , Ally would be awarded the “Newcomer of the Year” award at the Club Dinner and this example of whole-hearted play explained why this award was unanimous.
The Jed winger however then did get on the score sheet following a period of Jed pressure. The try was converted by scrum half Gary Munro.
47-19 to Dundee.
Dundee then went further ahead following a break by captain Dymock , who then linked with Danny , Josh , and Ryan to put Fraser over for an excellent try.
The conversion was missed – 52-19 to Dundee after 65 minutes.
Yet again , Jed’s spirit was commendable as they dominated play and possession for the final 15 minutes and were rewarded in 70 minutes when prop Paulo Ferreira bundled over for a converted try. 52-26 to Dundee.
This was the burly prop’s last action as he lumbered off , but any thoughts that Dundee prop Jonny Gibson might have had that his afternoon was about to get easier were immediately dispelled when Jed brought on the biggest man in the borders as his replacement. This man had no number on his back , so he was not immediately identifiable . He therefore was referred to as the “Big Man.”
Indeed , following further Jed pressure , Big Man – it had to be him , hadn’t it – bounced over for a try for Jed beside the posts. This was converted by Gary Munro. 52-33 to Dundee.
The last few minutes were played out with a series of penalties for both sides and the referee’s whistle for no side sounded the end of the match and , indeed , the end of the season.
Final Score – Dundee Rugby 52 Jedforest 33
First things first – job done.
Win with bonus point secured 4th place , enabling us to leapfrog Falkirk and finish behind Marr , Edinburgh Accies and Jedforest .
Well done to the players and the coaching team – great effort.
For the second week in a row , a young Dundee team played some scintillating running rugby and to have put 60 points past GHA and 50 points past Jedforest in consecutive weeks is impressive indeed.
As will always be the case with a young side , there are areas to work on and the high penalty count against Dundee in recent weeks will have been a concern to the coaching staff.
However , overall , as season 2016/17 ends , there is a lot to be optimistic about for Dundee High rugby supporters.
We have a young team – consisting of several players who have come through the Eagles ranks , along with a steady pipeline of talented players coming from Dundee High School – adopting the coach’s philosophy of high tempo running rugby and who , crucially enjoying playing with each other.
Roll on season 2017/18 when surely it is not too much to ask that we will have better luck on the injury front.