Merry Christmas from Dundee High Rugby

Dundee High Rugby wish all members, supporters, players (of all ages) sponsors, volunteers and all the great Clubs who have visited us this year a very merry Xmas and a healthy, happy, sustainable New Year. Rugby in Dundee is changing for the better and our collaboration with Dundee Morgan is proof of this. The HIGH-flying Eagles soaring up and the strong youth of Dundee Rugby going from strength to strength is itself festive delight! To all involved with running these great institutions…. thank you and enjoy the (short) break! Merry Xmas everyone.

If you are around on New Years day pop in and first foot us at the Clubhouse from 1.30pm. More here,

TFI – Friday 21st December

This is NOT a TFI Friday™ notice. The last TFI Friday of the year was last week! So if you missed it that’s tough! You missed the most extravagant FREE Nibbles© provided by our favourite Hultoon hooswifey. Chipolatas done 9 ways will not be surpassed any time soon. Nobody won the guess the wine competition©. The bar opened at 5.36 and there was a rush of bar staff enjoying their Xmas night oot. “OOT of it” is a more accurate description. What is the collective noun for bar staff on their nite oot? The best was a “hooligan” of bar staff with a “BLOOTER of bar staff”  coming a close 2nd but a prize remains for a description that more accurately describes them? We will need to buy a new pole as the old one is bent. We did get some new interesting ways to ask for your P45. This week do NOT turn up. Its “aff”. CCTV footage is for sale on B/Ferry Gumtree. Cash only NO refunds. Viewer discretion deffo advised!

Rugby. Last Sat we travelled to Hamilton and won in atrocious conditions. Great result and great travelling support helped spur the lads on to victory then helped them relax on the way home on a reflective bus. This win ends our account this year in 9th place and our next home game is v Cartha Rfc on the 12th Jan 2019. Please get down to Mayfield to support our brave young men. There is also a game planned for 5th Jan v Dunfermline so please keep an eye on the website for details.

Please support live traditional music at the Presidents New Years Day party in the Clubhouse at Mayfield. It starts from 1.30 on the 1st Jan 2019 and please click here for more details. PS. Bring some chums!

The new Club vision for the next five years is being worked upon and we welcome any and all contributions from 3 strands of the club. The HIGH-Flying Eagles P1-P7) and Dundee Rugby Juniors S1 – U18’s) This is about improving Rugby in Dundee so please if you haven’t expressed already your interest to contribute do so by emailing me or any other committee sort. Be a part of the future.

All that remains is to wish all our members, sponsors, players, parents of players and especially our 120 or so volunteers, spread out across the 3 strands of our great club, a very merry Xmas and a happy and healthy New Year. This of course includes our friends and great supporters at Abertay University.

Gerry Tosh

Match Report – Dundee High 20-21 Gala – 8 December 2018

It was a full Lunch Club as 84 early Christmas revellers descended on Mayfield on a raw December morning, including 3 tables of guests at well known Dundee High Rugby supporter Colin Dargie’s birthday celebrations.

President Tosh was in fine form, insulting, in turn, the sponsors, the honourable guests and the Gala committee in such a kind and caring way that they laughed along with everyone else.

As the chat turned to the match, it was felt that the young – and again injury hit – Dundee side would have to be at their best against a Gala side sitting in mid-table. Vice President McDonald’s programme notes provided a sobering reminder of how rugby used to be down Gala way when he stated that in March 1971 there were 6 Gala men in the Scotland team that beat England in 2 successive Saturdays at Murrayfield. However, as Sandy pointed out . Dundee High School FP were also represented in the form of our legendary Chris Rea.

Changed days indeed.

A glance at the Dundee team saw a new name at 10 –  Harry Mercer , a 17 year old Madras Academy schoolboy. In recent years , Dundee High have fielded a number of 17 year olds –  Euan Fox , Chris Jollands , Sean Gauld , Angus Fraser –  so we are certainly doing our bit for Scottish youth rugby.

To accommodate Harry , Ross Aitken moves to 12 where his centre partner is Marshall McLeod. Marshall is the grandson of club legend Gordon Bruno Burnett  . The fact that Marshall has graduated from Oxford University , led to the question being asked at the Clubhouse Bar –  “name another Oxford  –  or indeed Cambridge graduate who has played for Dundee High Rugby “?”. Answers on a postcard , please………

And so to the match :

Dundee were attacking the Dalgleish Road end and were immediately under pressure – indeed camped in their 22 , as Gala went through several phases. A pattern emerged whereby the Dundee defence held firm , eventually won the ball , then kicked it back to Gala. Time after time Gala recycled the ball , but Dundee’s defence was looking up for the challenge and was not breached.

Eventually , Gala were awarded a penalty which seemed eminently kickable.

However Gala 10  Keddie –  in possibly his only mistake of the match –  pulled the kick wide.

However , rather than relieving the pressure , the Dundee drop out went straight to Gala who ran it back and the same pattern emerging. Once again the Dundee defence held firm , with the back row –  Gav , Gus Farquhar and Baz to the fore.

Unfortunately , Baz was deemed by the referee to be too much to the fore as one of his tackles was deemed to be a “no arms tackle” and a yellow was brandished.

This would not be the last of the menage a trois between the referee , his cards and  Baz…….

Although a man down , the Dundee defence held firm and eventually a Ross Aitken kick freed the pressure.

This allowed Dundee to spent time in the Gala half , but came up against determined Gala defence until Gav Hughan secured a turnover and a penalty.

Fraser nailed the kick.

Dundee High 3 Gala 0,

This seemed to give the young Dundee side confidence and they went further ahead , when following an Aitken  break  , the ball was moved wide and Harry combined with Marshall to send Gus Farquhar  over in the corner.

Fraser converted

Dundee High 10 Gala 0.

This was an impressive performance by Dundee given that they were down on 14 men and Baz then returned to take them back to full strength.

Things got better when following a Stuart Lathangie break , Gus was in support to take the ball forward  with Fraser set to take the ball on , Gala were penalised for blocking Fraser .

This seemed to upset the Gala bench and shouts of complaint were heard in an unfamiliar language –  not English – but thought to be a particular dialect of “Borders speak”.

Regardless , Fraser was not deterred and kicked the penalty.

Dundee High 13 Gala 0.

The pattern of the opening phase of the first half was then restored with Gala maintaining possession around the Dundee 22 , going through several phases , bur the Dundee defence in good form.

The Dundee defence stood firm to half time.

Half Time –  Dundee High 13 Gala 0.

At half time, Dundee brought on Franco for Stewart at hooker and Neil Turnbull replaced Euan Grewar in the second row.

The second half commenced in the same vein as the first half, with Gala basically having the ball and keeping the ball.

The feeling amongst the Dundee support was that this could be a long half if Gala continued to dominate possession and Dundee conceded early, particularly if Dundee conceded early in the half.

Unfortunately, 10 minutes into the second half Gala did score and it was unnecessary from a Dundee perspective. A squint thrown in near their line gave Gala a scrum, their number eight Euan Dodds picked up, and fed 9 Fairburn who waltzed unchallenged over the line.

Keddie converted with a super kick.

Dundee High 13 Gala 7.

Dundee then tried to force the play into Gala’s half , with young 10 Mercer showing admirable confidence in throwing the ball around.

Then , following a passage of play in midfield , Stuart Barlow did what seemed like a “tip tackle” on the Gala 9 . This did not go down well with the Gala players and there was a bit of handbags between the forwards. After the referee had resumed order , he went to have a consultation with the assistant referee. This episode was unlikely to end well for Baz who had already been yellow-carded in the first half , with the only question being which colour of card would be produced this time.

This question was answered when the referee flashed a red card and it was jotters for Baz.

Was it a red card offence ?

Your reporter took the views of 3 Mayfield legends on the touchline –  Harvey Wright , Sandy Hutch and Neil Paddy Paterson  and each confirmed that it was in their view a red , so it was difficult to complain about the ref’s decision.

This would undoubtedly make Dundee’s task harder  and Gala took advantage quickly .

After a period of possession near the Dundee line , one of their forwards burrowed over for a try.

Fly half Keddie’s conversion hit the post and in keeping with Dundee’s luck this season , dropped over the bar to get the extra 2 points.

Dundee High 13 Gala 14

With 10 minutes left , Gala went further ahead when centre Edmunds broke from midfield and went over.

Keddie again converted.

Dundee High 13 Gala 21

Gala were continuing to enjoy the majority of the possession at this stage and were looking to add to their lead , when a loose pass was intercepted by Dundee winger Paul Ritch who raced away to score , with Fraser converting well.

Dundee High 20 Gala 21.

This seemed to set things up for a grandstand finish , as the consensus of opinion amongst the Dundee supporters on the touchline was that there were around 5 minutes left,

However , after 2 minutes play in midfield , the referee’s whistle went for no side, to put the tin lid on a disappointing afternoon for Dundee.



It is always desperately disappointing to lose a match by  one point , but this was particularly agonising given that a conversion hitting the post and dropping over as opposed to short was the difference between Dundee winning and losing the match.

Gala could point to the fact that they had by far the greater share of possession , but the Dundee defence was strong and committed throughout.

The efforts and commitment of the Dundee players could not be faulted and more of the same will be required as the team head for Hamilton and a crucial match next Saturday.

Volunteer manager required

All Sports Clubs and Charities thrive as a direct result of volunteers. They are the life blood of all organisations. We at Dundee High Rugby, which incorporates the Eagles (P1-P7) and Dundee Rugby Juniors (S1-U18’s) are no different. We also have a Collaboration with Dundee Morgan RFC and we are keen to expand this type of collaboration. We are looking for a suitably qualified volunteer to look after around 120 current volunteers across the three distinct strands of our Club. We have a continual requirement to recruit, reward and retain our happy band of volunteers and are looking for someone to take on this crucial role. We also currently could do with help running the logistic side of running 3 senior teams. Team managers eg. We would welcome vols with Social Media experience. We need general managers who can help in many other areas. If you have a few hours to spare please get in touch with the writer at, Please tell us if you can help in any of these and/or other areas. You will be very welcome.

Gerry Tosh

Dundee High Rugby

TFI – Friday 14th December

Well here we are again as we approach the festive season and the thought of a New Year. What will it bring? New slippers? Brexit? Xmas cheer? Bacardi and diet coke with a slice of orange? Harry Redknapp to win a reality show? A win against Hamilton? Well maybe some of these but be careful what you wish for.

Last week’s TFI Friday’s wine tasting (world famous guess the wine competition) was inconclusive so no complete winner was adjudged, so the provider of this week’s donation is up for grabs. It could be you! If not…it will be me but please let me know to avoid double wine trouble. The bar will open at 5.34pm due to the traffic lights at Forfar Rd now been fixed.  FREE nibbles will again feature. Last week’s were really good provided by our favourite (sorry Neebs) Hulltoon resident. HOT hot hot and so were the nibbles! Boom boom!

This is the last TFI Friday of the year so it would be great to see as many as possible.

Rugby. Last Sat we hosted Gala and ran them close losing eventually by a single point. This week we travel to Hamilton needing a win to sign off for 2018.

The President’s New Years Day Party is Tuesday 1st Jan 2019 in the Clubhouse from 1.30 pm. This year we have a strong traditional music theme to look forward to. All the details here, Bring some chums, bring a few nibbles and bring a moothie. Celebrate the new year with a FREE drink at the bar and join in a song or three with yer pals.

Many thanks for all your support over the year for TFI Friday and all the events run by the Club. We take this opportunity to wish you a merry Xmas and a happy, healthy New Year.

TFI – Friday 7th December

Have you started your Xmas shopping yet? Did you participate in Red Friday, Black Monday and Cyber Tuesday? No? Me either! Just as well we have the distraction of another TFI Friday to keep us grounded. This week we have yet another TFI Friday™, as we do most weeks. There will be another belter of a wine to taste, a beautifully crafted and paired cheese to tickle your taste buds and of course some FREE nibbles© to enjoy at the bar. The aforesaid bar will open at 5.35pm a bit later than last week due to the snarl up caused by the Xmas shopping mayhem on Dock St.

Rugby. Last week we travelled to GHA who now are 2nd top of the league and although playing well at times eventually lost only for the 2nd time in 10 years there. Sat sees the visit of Gala RFC with the largest committee in Scottish Rugby keen to prove you can get more in a Gala committee man than an Asda trolley! Note to self….check the beer stock! The Titans are back in action at home this week and face Premier outfit B/Muir’s 3rd string the Bears. Dundee Morgan have a free week but are now back on top of their league. They have a full lunch club as we do on Saturday so there is plenty support for Rugby in Dundee.

The High School of Dundee U16’s played at Murrayfield on Wed night and narrowly lost to a stronger Watsons side. A great crowd mostly of Dundee supporters cheered the boys on. They must be very proud of their achievement as we are. Well done lads. Crown is the Crown.

Presidents New Years day Party is perhaps uncontroversially on New Years day (Tuesday 1st Jan) from 1.30pm and this year has a traditional music theme and loads ‘o singers, guitarists, fiddlers (musical), harpist (unconfirmed) and you will be delighted to know that the trombonist has a prior engagement elsewhere. Usual (a) FREE drink to welcome in the new year and some food provided but please bring a wee food parcel (times are tough) to share with your chums. Click here for more info

The Clubs vision meeting was held last Monday and we had a good attendance. If you would like to be involved and we hope you do, please get in touch as we want to get 5 or so task and finish groups established to explore in depth some of the important themes emanating from that meeting. Just pop me an email to

Hope you have a great Rugby weekend.

Presidents New Year’s day Party

HOT Breaking news…..Breaking News…..Breaking News…..Breaking News. ITS HOT…….

This year’s RUGBY CLUB New Year’s day party CONFIRMED for Tuesday the 1st of January 2019. Yes confirmed! There will be live traditional music served up by actual musicians! Fowk wi guitars, singers, possibly fiddles and maybe a harp but no trumpets. Deffo one ‘o these drum things. Bring yer own moothie! So come along and join in with Babs (local folk superstar and recording artist aka Barbara Dymock) and a band of several well-known artistes from the local folk scene. There will as usual be some hot food but your normal expensive contributions will be welcome. Please no Golden Eagle this year as it took 3 weeks to get rid of the feathers last time! Bring a sharing offering to the music gods. There will as usual be a FREE drink to welcome the New Year and feel free to first foot the Rugby Club from 1.30pm. All members, players, supporters and friends of the Crown are invited especially our two junior sections the HIGH flying Eagles and Dundee Rugby Juniors. In fact if you have ever seen a rugby game (or not) you are welcome.  Timings are as usual 1.30pm onwards. Please come along and help us welcome in the New Year at the Presidents New Year’s Day party. If you have one, bring a friend! Or even a few chums!  Look forward to welcoming you to family friendly Mayfield.

Gerry Tosh

Match Report – GHA 33-3 Dundee High – 1 December 2018

And so to Braidholm, home to that interesting rugby ménage a trois between Glasgow Southern, Hutchesons and Aloysians, known as GHA, whose happy cohabitation is still going strong to this day!   (Speaking of which, some of us old enough to remember the good old days when Britain and Europe fell for each other in the 70s, those innocent years before their bitter Brexit divorce battle of today, will also recall that Glasgow Southern were at that time known as Clarkston!)

The rain had been battering Braidholm for most of the week, with their pitch under pools of water on Friday, but the improved drainage (which has been an unexpected bonus from their construction of a 3G training pitch and lights on their 2nds pitch next door) meant the surface was perfectly playable and held up remarkably well for the whole 80 minutes.

Making his debut for Dundee at No. 10 was Harry Mercer, a 17 year old from Madras, who for one so young (and who due to injury had played so little rugby recently) had a very assured game, not looking out of place at all at a level considerably higher than any he had experienced before. Only 6 out of the 15 Dundee players lining up for the kick off had started in the corresponding fixture at Mayfield some 3 months ago, reflecting yet again the high rate of attrition that so plagues club rugby today.

The GHA pack looked a formidable unit as the game got under way, and they soon established themselves in Dundee’s half, where they were to spend much of the rest of the afternoon. But perhaps to GHA’s surprise, the Dundee scrum fronted up well all game, and the hard work put in at training during the past week meant Dundee were doing well in the set, both scrum and lineout. The backs defence however was taking a little time to come together, and two or three early line breaks put Dundee under pressure that GHA were unable to capitalise on.

With 15 minutes gone, Josh took a quick penalty and Dundee broke out into GHA’s half for the first time. Good rugby took the ball to within a yard of GHA’s line, where frustratingly a knock on ended the opportunity of a classic breakaway score. Dundee held GHA in and around their own 22 for quite some time after that, but without ever really threatening their try line again.

Gradually, GHA regrouped and ground their way back up the field, and went over the Dundee line in the 25th minute, only for the ‘score’ to be ruled out for a forward pass by referee Young, having a first-rate game in his first start at this level (where has he been?). Stand-off Mercer then made a good covering tackle as GHA pressed, and some poor kicking and wrong options meant that their first score was proving elusive.

They build them big in Texas. In fact, very, very big. And eventually the human oil rig known as big Bill Kaspar, visiting the UK for some months and playing in GHA’s second row, proved too much in the 29th minute, bulldozing through the Dundee defence for a touch down duly converted by scrum half George Baird. 7 – 0 to the home side.

Undaunted, Dundee took it to GHA following the restart, and after a scrum 15 metres out, Danny McGinn went in at the corner, only to be ruled out for a foot in touch. A couple of minutes later, however, a big hit on him meant he had to leave the field injured, Paul Ritch coming on in his place. As the first half drew to a close, Fraser McKay slotted a penalty (one of only 4 conceded by GHA in the entire match!) to make it 7 – 3 at half time.

Dundee had done well to keep GHA to one score so far – but would their power and perhaps some tactical rethinking prove too strong in the next 40 minutes?

‘Yes’ is unfortunately the answer to that rhetorical question, as straight after the break, GHA drove forward from a line out maul for the first time, disrupting the Dundee defence and after some good recycling letting No 8 Ross Angus drive over for another converted try. 14 – 3 to GHA.

Dundee were coming under increase pressure, trying to force plays from scraps of possession, with one hospital pass in particular putting scrum half Josh Rutnagur through the GHA mincing machine from which he was lucky to emerge still in one piece, looking as if he had just had 12 quick rounds with Tyson Fury.

GHA took 2 quick penalties on the Dundee 22, but a great Angus Farquhar steal, backed up by No. 8 Stuart Barlow, forced them back. However, possession was kicked away, and Big Bill revved it up once again to crash over for his 2nd try, stretching GHA to a 19 -3 lead after 47 minutes.

It was becoming one way traffic – when Dundee did have possession, all they could do was kick it back to GHA to run at them once more. Luckily, GHA at times once more started finding ways not to score, helped by some courageous and well organised Dundee defence which twice denied them touch downs when they were over the line.

But Dundee could only hold out for so long, and in the 63rd minute GHA centre Max MacFarlane went over for GHA’s 4th try, the conversion making it 26 -3. A flurry of substitutions for a tiring Dundee side around this time had seen Neil Turnbull come on for Angus Thomson, Lewis McLean for the combative Neil Dymock, Rory McGinn for Kieran D’Aeth, who had looked dangerous with limited possession, and Kevin Franco on for the ever willing Andrew Hamilton. Speaking of which, an injury to hooker Ceillem Stewart a few moments later meant an unexpected recall for Hammy, coffee cup still in hand, as Kevin Franco moved up to hooker and Hammy resumed his back row berth.

These changes gave Dundee some new energy. Paul Ritch had a good run into GHA’s 22, and shortly afterwards, Dundee’s best move of the game saw Fraser McKay just unable to find Stuart Barlow on GHA’s 22, with a clear run to the line if the pass had gone to hand. That was Dundee’s final flourish, however, and at the death another converted GHA try made it 33 -3 as the full time whistle went, a scoreline that did not really do justice to Dundee’s efforts and contribution to a very entertaining game of rugby.