TFI Friday™ 2nd March 2018

TFI Friday™ 2nd March 2018

Well now it is officially Spring (yes it is bursting out all over) the lighty nights are getting lightier and the bulbs are bursting out all over our gardens.

Only thing is we cant see them properly because of the effects of the beast from the east. The hysteria from Siberia or the pest from the west. I love Spring don’t you?

The new guess the wine competition is going well with points given for correct identification of, grape, age, alcohol content, country and style. So out of about 10 people only half a point was awarded last week between them all! Dear oh dear must try harder. It was a belter of a Crianza from 1999 a Tempranillo from Rioja in Spain at 13.5% from memory. This week we must apply our collective grey matter and do a bit better. FREE nibbles will be available to aid digestion and the bar will open at 5.35 due to snow in Aviemore.

Rugby. Last week started off well with the U20’s overcoming a massive England side. The Scotland team winning the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield for the first time since 2008 and our own Rugby Lunch at the Royal Scots Club in Edinburgh a sell out event again.

 

Gareth Chilcott was one of the best speakers we have had the privilege to listen to. Cooch was excellent.

This week we are back to league business with the visit of Jed Forest. KO at Mayfield is 3pm and we have a full lunch club again. The Titans host the Hawick Force. Two of the Borders best pitting their wits against the Beasts from the East yes Colin Sangster and Clinton Davey. Be there!

I wish you a smashing spring and a great rugby weekend.

Gerry Tosh

Ben 10/10 Named BT Volunteer of the Month by SRU

A committed coach at one of Scotland’s newest rugby clubs has been named BT Volunteer of the Month for his role in coaching and boosting participation of women and girls rugby.

Ben Dunn, who is also Chairman of Dundee Rugby, has played a central role in ensuring that girls rugby can flourish alongside a thriving boys programme.

His two sons both play at U18 level and now, thanks to developing his club’s girls team his daughter, 13, can play the sport she loves.

Teammates come from all over Tayside and Angus to join the sessions with Dundee providing an outlet for the growing demand for girls rugby in the region.

The girls team, which was founded a year ago, has grown to 22 squad members training twice a week. The club works with nearby teams, Howe of Fife and Angus, to offer U12 training sessions with a bigger pool of players.

Ben said: “It’s great to be presented with this award and very humbling. I’m honoured to accept it as an individual but really feel it’s recognition of all the volunteers involved at Dundee Rugby.

“My biggest hope is that this provides an opportunity to promote Dundee Rugby and all the parents and players who give their free time to make this club possible.

“The collaborative effort from clubs in Dundee and Angus, that create Dundee Rugby is vital to provide a real playing opportunity for boys and girls from U13 to U18 in our region.

“The future of Dundee Rugby is bright and it’s volunteers from every part of the rugby family in Dundee and Angus that ensure it’s a success. They make the difference to hundreds of local kids.”

Ben is ever-present at sessions and has put together a team of fundraisers to boost the young club’s finances.

He has recently undertaken a number of coaching courses and obtained his UKCC Level 2 qualification to make sure all the children involved get the best quality coaching they can as well as completing courses focusing on girls rugby.

On top of his coaching and fundraising efforts Ben has also taken steps to promote the club to the local community, producing posters and encouraging parents to get involved.

Josh Gabriel-Clarke, Dundee City Development Officer said: “Ben has made a significant contribution to the growth of youth rugby in Dundee through his hard work and commitment as Chairman of Dundee Rugby.

“The club provides extensive opportunities to boys and girls aged 12-18 in the local area to train and play in a fun, competitive environment.

Ben’s passion for the game and endeavour to ensure that all children and young people have the chance to play, regardless of experience and ability, are second to none. Well-deserved recognition for a good man.”

Dundee Rugby was founded to ensure that boys and girls from a number of the city’s clubs are given the chance to play regular rugby.

Coaches from Dundee Eagles, Dundee Wasps and Panmure Panthers collaborated to run sessions where over a hundred children could train and play.

Every winner of BT Club Volunteer of the Month is invited to BT Murrayfield, with nine friends, to attend the annual Scottish Rugby Club Awards Dinner.

At the Awards Dinner, each of the winners will be in with a chance to win the BT Club Volunteer of the Season award, which will be announced on the night.

The winner of the annual award will receive a £1,000 grant for their club.

To nominate your club, a volunteer or try for the BT Awards please visit: http://www.scottishrugby.org/clubnominations

Credit SRU website: http://www.scottishrugby.org/news/18/02/22/ben-bags-bt-volunteer-month-dedicated-work

 

Occasionals go down fighting

It was a glorious night in fife and under floodlights and the quality of the two teams on the magical surface in Glenrothes, you could be forgiven for feeling a tad romantic….

Jimmy the Pig (JTP), had assembled a squad with some youth and an abundance of experience.

Dundee started well with some barnstorming runs from Doigy setting the tone for a real blood and snotters encounter.

Dundee Scored two tries through Gargamel and the evergreen “Hello Douglas” Gray, to go into halftime in the lead.

JTP ring the changes at halftime and Glens got back into the game with some swashbuckling scores.

Not to be denied the occasionals hit back with a solo effort from captain for the day, “the mothership” Ross Lemon. As well as a lung busting run by the Gruffalo ending under the horns. Glenrothes were good for their victory though and secured a famous victory late in the game.

was also great to see smuglus McLaren see out the last 15 mins

The game was played mostly in the right spirit…

Special mention to Hughan who wrote himself off after 40mins

Well done to JTP and the mothership for organising the night

Dundee Occasionals Ride Again

Dundee Occasionals hit the road again tomorrow to take on Glenrothes Rugby Club

The team features some well known players and the squad assembled by Jimmy the Pig (JTP) includes :

Ross Lemon, Kenny Watt, Ewan Grewar, Alan Hay (Gruff), Mike Brown (worst dressed), Dougie McLaren, Neil McGregor, Neil & Andy Dymock, Dougie Gray and Thommo (Gaz).

The game Kicks Off in Glenrothes tomorrow evening Friday 23rd February @ 7.30pm in Glenrothes.

There is a full squad with subs, but any Occassionals looking to suit up are welcome, so get the studs looked out and let either JTP or Skipper Lemon know.

This is the first time Lemon has skippered a side since Gala 7’s in 2008 and we all know how that turned out……. There will be refeshments taken in Clarks Bar Dundee after the game where you will be able to listen to Watt Beast tell you how good he was. 

Georgia on my mind……

Georgia is located in the Cuacasus region of Eurasia and it boasts vehicles, ferro-alloys, fertilizers, nuts, scrap metal, gold, copper ores as their main exports. But the experts have it all wrong.

Their biggest and best export is without doubt Shotkina Tskobrabashvili.

Shota, was part of the successful Dundee team of Season 2008/2009 where Dundee achieved promotion to Premier One, coming straight back up after relegation in the 2007/2008 Season. He was also the first Georgian to play for Dundee.

We thought we’d catch up with the Georgian Bear to reflect on his time in Dundee and see what he is doing now.

DR: First of all how are you, and where are you now?

ST: I’m great, I’m back home in Tbilisi having recently moved from France.

DR: Brilliant, are you still playing rugby now?

ST: Yes I’m still playing for Junkers RC, and I think this will be my final club. Having moved around a bit and played professionally.

DR: What is your proudest rugby moment

ST: Playing for Georgia will always be the best for me.

DR:  What about your time in Dundee, did you enjoy that and who was your favourite player?

ST: For me it was so friendly situation and I remember everything from that year. It was very important in my rugby career. I learned lot of from Dundee club and this experience helped me very much to move onto the next stage in my rugby career and I’m very grateful for the opportunity. I was very grateful  for the friendly acceptance and encouragement I received and  which I will never forget.

 

My two favourite players were Alan Brown and Andy Dymock.

DR: Well it’s clear you have absolutely no taste what so ever, what about Clark’s bakery what was your order of choice?

ST: I can’t remember to be honest, but I loved the pasta we got after training.

DR: And do any nights out live long in your memory?

ST: I loved every night out with my team mates, but one just before Christmas when we were surprised with Santa’s helpers was the best!

 

Although not making a living from Rugby anymore Shota, 30 years old, is now a PR manager for a local company in Tibilisi. He is also now a family man with a wife and two young boys, Nugo-Tarash and Teiumuraz.

He’s come a long way from hitting the D Floor in Newcastle with Big Red and chewing Garlic, to remedy his cold, on the sofa of Alcatraz.

It’s great to hear from Shota, and to hear he has fond memories of his time in the city of Discovery and who knows hopefully he’s not the last Georgian to play for the crown.

 

Dundee Rugby included in Edinburgh’s Blitz event

 

Each season Edinburgh Rugby run a number of BLITZ events which consist of their full squad going out into the community and engaging with junior clubs through player appearances at youth and mini training sessions. Their next BLITZ event, on Wednesday the 14th March will see their squad spread across the Fife and Dundee region and Dundee Rugby have been selected to be a part of this day.

As well as having the opportunity to have a selection of the Edinburgh squad assist with our training session we will also receive a club commission discount form which can be used at Edinburgh’s following home game against Ulster the weekend of the 6th April.

We have been warned – the Edinburgh players will come ready to really get stuck in to assisting with a training session! These events can be a great way to spark a new love for the game amongst youngsters or consolidate a lifelong passion for the game by creating lasting memories, and here’s hoping as many as possible of our Dundee Rugby Juniors get a chance to take part with the Edinburgh stars

– including possibly our very own Alasdair Dickinson..

TFI Friday™ 23rd Feb 2018

TFI Friday™ 23rd Feb 2018

Last weeks wine was such a belter that the guesses came down to what the viniculturist was wearing when he made it. It was a head to head tie breaker going the way of a retired Doctor from near Carnoustie. Unfair said the losing finalist a handsome property genius from central Broughty Ferry.
This week we continue the tasting of fine wines and unusual cheeses with FREE nibbles available throughout the process. The Tele quiz was won by the quizmiester (funnily enough) and as a consequence has departed for foreign shores in disgrace. Bar opens a bit later at 5.34 due to traffic at the Friarton Bridge. Music provided by a musical maestro from the Hulltoon.

 

This week in history. In 1828 the Cherokees received their first printing press making smoke signals almost redundant.

In 1887 seven years after the rugby club was formed the Club had a pre-season tour to Ibiza. While there an Earthquake hits the Mediterranean but none of the touring party heard it as they were in a noisy disco. In 1868 Pres Andrew Johnston was impeached in the USA. Well that’s certainly topical! Follow the money they said!!
Rugby. Nice win away to Stew Mel last week and no games for a couple of weeks due to the 6 Nations.

Next game is at Mayfield on the 3rd March against Jed Forrest in second place in the league. We have a full lunch again that day and it’s a 3pm ko so please come along and support the guys.


This Sat we have our 10th Rugby Lunch at the Royal Scots Club in Edinburgh. It has been sold out since November and will be a great occasion again. Will we ever hold the Calcutta Cup aloft in victory? Lets hope this Sat delivers that outcome! A nation can dream cant they?
Hope you have a great rugby weekend and celebrate a famous victory over the auld enemy at Murrayfield.
Gerry Tosh

Match Report Stewarts-Melville FP v Dundee HSFP, Inverleith, 17th February 2018

Match Report
Stewarts-Melville FP v Dundee HSFP, Inverleith, 17th February 2018

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After last week’s win at Falkirk, Dundee were keen to continue to their rise up the league against a Stewarts-Melville side struggling to get above second bottom in the BT National One League table.
However, the coaching team’s task was hindered by a horrendous injury list, with no fewer than 19 1st XV players injured/unavailable for selection. Indeed, it was noted that Colin Sangster had selected 58 players to represent the 1st XV already this season – a quite staggering number.
The bus journey through followed the traditional and predictable pattern – bright sunshine in Dundee, rain in Kinross and bright sunshine again in Edinburgh. A quick look at Wikipedia shows that the city in the world with the most annual rainfall is Quibdo in Colombia , but surely Kinross is up there………
Dundee supporters made up the majority of attendees at the Stew Mel lunch at Inverleith. The large crowd that had travelled through were augmented by exiled Dundonians who had emigrated to the capital, including Frank and Pete Hadden, Eric Young and the ex Dundee High School bursar, Charles Sharp.
It was recognised that StewMel can also point to Rugby Royalty in their ranks, with the legends that are Fin Calder and Jim Calder as always being spotted at Inverleith this Saturday afternoon. The chat amongst Stew Mel committee was this was a match that they had to take something from to start to climb out of the relegation zone.
Coach Sangster did not have many options in his starting XV, which had Fraser McKay at 9 and a potentially electric centre combination in Neil and Ice. In the forwards, there was a welcome return for Broonie after his suspension and an interesting selection in the back row with Ally Mackie on the flank with Lewis McNamara at 8.
It was a bright sunny afternoon at the famous old Inverleith ground with the iconic stand reasonably well populated as Stew Mel kicked off towards the Ferry Road.
Play was concentrated in midfield for the opening period, but it was Dundee who drew first blood after 12 minutes . The ball was spread wide and space opened up for Ally Mackie to get momentum up going down the wing, bounce the covering StewMel tackle and score near the corner. Harvey missed the conversion. 5-0 Dundee
This settled Dundee down and for the next 10 minutes they dominated proceedings. Their lead was almost extended when Lewis and Ally for Ally to throw a pass which Ronan took like a train going down the wing. He seemed a certainty to score, but desperate StewMel defence kept him out.
Dundee continued to press near the Stew Mel line and were close to scoring on several occasions, with the final pass not going to hand. Somehow StewMel survived 5 minutes of unrelenting pressure and eventually a strong boot from their 10 cleared the danger. StewMel then advanced into the Dundee 22 and after a period of pressure , they drew level when Porteous went over near the posts. The conversion was successful . 7-5 StewMel
Dundee then got back on the offensive and camped in the Stew Mel 22 , but a combination of good defence and unforced errors stopped them from scoring. Bad luck then entered the mix when Dundee did cross the line but the referee called them back for a forward pass. Just when it seemed that Stew Mel would hold onto half time – which would have been a travesty given Dundee’s possession and territory, Dundee were awarded a penalty in front of the posts which Harvey nailed.
Half Time – Stew Mel 7 Dundee 8
The half time chat amongst the Dundee support was that this was too close for comfort, but surely Dundee’s domination would tell in the second half.
This was almost the case early in the second half when a storming break by Ally almost created a try for Lewis McNamara but the final pass did not go to hand.
Dundee then missed a couple of penalties and this let off, allied to the fact that Dundee had not capitalised on their territorial domination , seemed to encourage the home crowd to think that this could be their day and cries of “Come on Stew Mel” rang round the Inverleith ground.
Dundee then made a change with Henry coming on a 9, Fraser going to 15 and Kieran going off.
Eventually Dundee’s pressure told when Harvey made a good break from midfield and created space for Ronan to score a deserved try under the posts. Fraser converted to put Dundee 15-7 ahead.
It was expected that Dundee would then press ahead and make the game safe , but it was StewMel who scored next. Lock Fraser Morrison found acres of space to gallop in for a try .
The conversion was missed but it was game on at 15-12 to Dundee.
It was agreed on the terracing that the next score was crucial and thankfully it was Dundee who scored it. A break by Lewis McNamara (who had a super match) took him to the StewMel 22 where he was supported by Ice who cruised in for a try. Fraser’s conversion was unsuccessful. 20-12 Dundee
As the match entered its final stages, Dundee seemingly made the game safe and secure the bonus point when Ally barged over for another try. Conversion again missed
25-12 Dundee and game safe ?
Well , maybe not , as StewMel scored again in the last minute when winger Ferguson crossed for a try which was converted by Bowen. This made the score 25-19 with a final play left but Dundee held on to secure the victory.
Full Time – Stewarts Melville FP 19 Dundee HSFP 25
Reflections
A bonus point victory with an understrength team at a ground where Dundee have not had a good record in recent years points to “Job Done” for Colin Sangster and his team.
Sure , the margin could have been more with a number of try opportunities scorned and several kicks missed but having lost a number of games by a small margin this year , a close victory will do nicely thank you very much…………….
Indeed this victory puts Dundee up to 4th place , which is impressive given the injury problems with the team has had to contend with this season.
Conversely , there was pessimism amongst the Stew Mel committee after the match as the feeling was that StewMel now face a real uphill challenge to avoid relegation from BT National One.
Naturally your reporter has to adhere to journalistic principles and remain neutral but StewMel would be a sad loss to the league . It is always a pleasure to visit Inverleith which as we all know was the venue for Scotland’s home matches between 1899 and 1925.
As it stands , Kirkcaldy are top of BT National League 2 , with other promotion contenders Lasswade , Hamilton , Dumfries and Biggar.
I am sure readers will have their own views as to which teams they would prefer to face in BT National One next season.
No match for Dundee next Saturday , with the small matter of Scotland v England in the Calcutta Cup taking centre stage.

Diary of a Dundee Kid – Stellenbosch Acadamey of Sport

Diary of a Dundee Kid – Stellenbosch Acadamey of Sport

Our own Angus Fraser was selected for the Macphail Scholorship this year, a prestigious accolade which has included notable Scottish Rugby players in the past, Finn Russell, Johnny Gray and John Barclay to name a few.

We took the opportunity to catch up with the Dundonian  to see how he’s fairing in Africa, the cradle of civilisation.

DR: How’s the Stellenbosch Acadamey of Sport and how are you enjoying it so far?

AF:

“Ok so just started the seconded block of pre-season training which is focusing more on the contact point. In the first block it was a lot of fitness to get us started and then throughout both the weeks we have been going though technical points and shape of how we want to play but in the games. It’s been a great learning experience and the coaching has been at a high standard with all of the coaches being ex professionals, Ernst Jobert (Saracens) Chris Rossouw (Toulon) Corne Uys (Sale & Falcons). We have had a lot of time to work on skills and can see the improvements made especially with throwing.”

“Have been to 2 of the varsity cup games which have been amazing with over 15000 pupils there supporting Maties it is quite a atmosphere.”

DR: What are the digs like and the facilities? Do they rival the famed Dundee player’s accommodation lovingly known as Alcatraz?

AF:

“We’re in a block of flats right next to the main building and pitches it’s kinda like university halls but for athletes. We aren’t the only ones here Western Provence u19 and SA sevens team stay here too and different types of athletes like the Denmark Olympic triathlon people are here and swimmers and come and go for training camps”

DR: Who do you bunk down with?

AF:

“I’m with an American boy called Jonas who plays hooker too, he’s a typical Yankee Doodle loud as the come. But better than rooming with someone like Ceillem, he’s a total W**ker”

We’re not sure why Ceillem’s walking is such a problem for Angus, but hey!

DR: We know that Angus is a bit of a pie muncher, so we went straight for the most important questions.  What’s the food like and have you tried any local delicacy’s?

AF:

“Canteen food is a hit or a miss and the serve weird things like lamb neck stew. But it’s always a bit of meat potatoes or sweet potato and broccoli and cauliflower. My Afrikaans teammates have hosted a couple braais which were class cooking us south African sausages and steaks.”

 

DR: So when are your first games, and how can the Dundee faithful follow you?

AF:

First game is the 22nd of March, SAS (Stellenbosch Academy of Sport) is our team and they have a good social media so can get them on Facebook called SAS Rugby or Instagram SAS_Training.

DR: So how hard is training and are you getting much free time, how are your compatriots getting on?

AF: “The other boys are all doing well, training is hard with Tuesday and Thursday being our heavy training days. We haven’t had much free time yet, but it’s great fun and we’re enjoying the weather. We will be getting an Easter Break and we’re planning on maybe going to some of the South Africans boys place! ”

DR: Hanging around with the lads eh Angus, somethings never change? Have you even seen a SA female?

AF: I’m an absolute lady killer and the SA women are fawning over me (May not actually be a direct quote, please don’t ask the author about this…)

 

DR: Angus, do you have a message for the Dundee lads?

AF: “I have been following there games and has been looking good so keep it up and try to keep climbing the table I guess”

This author may have taken some liberties with Angus’ quotes, but it’s clear the youngster is doing well and loving life.

All at Dundee wish Angus all the best and will be following with great interest! #doingthecrownproud

Next week we catch up with former Dundee favourite front rower Shota the Georgian Bear.