Match Report – Selkirk 28-8 Dundee High Rugby – 19 January 2019

The threatened big freeze had failed to materialise, meaning Dundee kicked off against Selkirk in cold but perfectly playable conditions at Philiphaugh, under one of the best sets of floodlights in Scottish Rugby. Indeed, the whole of Philiphaugh was looking in great nick, a credit to the hard work that this friendliest of clubs (off the pitch!) put into the game.

Dundee’s only ever present so far this season, Angus Thomson, was missing for the first time, Andy Clarkson taking his place. Andy Dymock started at scrum half as a late replacement for the injured Stewart Lathangie, and Jack Newth made his league debut at loosehead prop, becoming the 50th different player to have played for our 1st XV this season.

Dundee’s first few lineouts in Selkirk’s half went well, with South African hooker Dylan Whitcombe hitting his man, but a couple of penalties as Dundee struggled to clear out break downs let Selkirk ease the pressure. Selkirk’s No. 15, Rory Banks, pushed a penalty attempt wide in the 9th minute, but Dundee failed to take advantage of that let off. A charged down kick on our 22 led to too many Dundee players failing to secure the loose ball. Selkirk’s No. 7 Higgins had no such inhibitions, however, touching it down among a posse of Dundee players as it bounced back over our line. No. 15 Banks slotted the conversion, and it was 7 – 0 to Selkirk after 10 minutes.

After some midfield exchanges, Selkirk increased their lead all too easily from 1st phase ball, when a big gap opened up in Dundee’s midfield as Selkirk’s winger Anderson cut back inside, cantering over under the posts for a converted try to make it 14 – 0 with just 18 minutes gone.

Dundee regrouped, and worked their way up to Selkirk’s 5 metre line. Under pressure, our line out throw went wrong, but Selkirk knocked on, giving us a second bite at the cherry. And we took full advantage, good handling leading to a Fijian style flipped pass from skipper McKay to No. 14 Kieran D’Aeth, who went over in the far corner. Fraser missed the kick, but at 14 – 5  with over 10 minutes of the first half still to go, the Dundee supporters felt their side were coming back into it.

Dundee’s Man of the Match, prop Harry Meadows, was prominent with a number of good carries, and the Dundee scrum started to cause Selkirk all sorts of problems in the set, with prop Jack Newth giving his opposite number what might be called a good working over! As the first half drew to a close, a tremendous break by centre Ross Aitken nearly pierced the Selkirk defence, but he just couldn’t quite link with the supporting Kieran Scoular, and Selkirk held out, albeit at the cost of a penalty which McKay popped over to make it 14 – 8 to Selkirk at half time.  Could Dundee keep up the standard of that last 20 minutes in the second half?

Sadly, the answer is not quite. After starting well, and scorning a couple of kicks at goal for 5 metre lineouts which misfired, a series of 3 penalties in as many minutes took play from Selkirk’s 5 metre line to ours. In a good illustration of the difference between the 2 sides, Selkirk then executed their lineout well, attacked patiently, and after 4 or 5 recycles the Dundee defence ran out of men, letting Selkirk’s No. 13 Clapperton trot over in the corner for a well converted try. Selkirk’s lead was 21 – 8 with 52 minutes gone, after what was their first visit into Dundee territory in the second half. Andy Clarkson, who had tackled well all afternoon, had received a bang in the face for his pains in the build up to the try, and was replaced by Niall Hall.

More changes followed, as Kieran Scoular and Neil Turnbull also both suffered knocks (Turnbull’s coming as he was just stopped short of the Selkirk line), with their respective replacements being Paul Ritch and a happily restored Clarkson. Dundee were working hard, with No. 9 Dymock making some sniping runs from the base of the break down, and young No. 10 Harry Mercer (who drew high words of praise from former Scotland and British Lion stand off John Rutherford after the game) trying all he knew to break through. However, the well organised Selkirk defence stood firm, snuffing out one great Niall Hall break on their 22 as Dundee failed to get men there quickly enough to retain possession. More knocks meant Andy Hamilton came on for flanker Angus Farquhar, who like his back row colleagues Lewis Macnamara and Kevin Franco had never stopped competing all afternoon, and Kieran returned for centre Duncan McIntyre, who had made a couple of good breaks to no avail in the 2nd half.

Dundee were tiring as their efforts to knock down Selkirk’s defensive brick wall came to nothing, and as so often happens, it was Selkirk who had the final say against a weary Dundee defence, Borthwick going over for a try in the very last minute of the game. Bank’s conversion made it 28 – 8 at full time, which the Dundee faithful felt was an unfair reflection on Dundee’s performance over the 80 minutes. However, our lack of penetration, often caused by our failure to secure quick ball from the break down, meant we never quite pressed Selkirk hard enough.

Dundee Team: 15 Fraser Mackay, 14 Kieran D’Aeth, 13 Duncan McIntyre, 12 Ross Aitken, 11 Kieran Scoular, 10 Harry Mercer, 9 Andy Dymock; 1 Jack Newth, 2 Dylan Whitcombe, 3 Harry Meadows, 4 Andy Clarkson, 5 Neil Turnbull, 6 Kev Franco, 7 Angus Farquhar, 8 Lewis Macnamara

Replacements 16 Taylor Smith, 17 Niall Hall, 18 Andrew Hamilton, 20 Paul Ritch

Match Report – Dundee High 33-36 Cartha Queens Park – 12 January 2019

On a beautiful day Dundee hosted Cartha, the team propping up the division. But all knew this would be a difficult encounter; and so it proved.

The afternoon started fair with president Gerry in acerbic form so soon after his 70th birthday bash.

Then ex-players joined the fray with Paul Rouse, Bruce Mclaren , Gus Carnegie and Stuart Wright to the fore. Bruce had travelled all the way from Nepal, sorry Bruce.

So to the game:

The pitch was splendid, the wind soft and someone said if you cant play in these conditions etc!

It was obvious from the off that Cartha were up for it and dominated the first 10 minutes. Then a flashing move from the visitors saw Dundee lucky to remain 0-0 as a knock on at the line denied Cartha an opening score.

Dundee’s scrum looked solid but it was the midfield pressure from Cartha that promised better things.

And so it proved, with the Glasgow team going through 5 phases before scoring to the right of the posts; 7-0 after 15 minutes, Cartha were exerting lots of effort. could they keep it up?

Sort answer: yes.

From the restart Cartha again ran from deep with Dundee’s defence embarrassed but given a reprieve with a Cartha knock-on when a score looked certain.

Dundee infringed at the resulting scrum. Cartha choose to kick for a line out and 5 phases later had their 2nd score; 14-0 after 23 minutes.

Devoted fans were becoming very concerned and after 26 minutes their weird was drawn as Dundee’s first meaningful attack foundered on a bad pass, allowing Cartha to counter from deep; 19-0 after 26 minutes

Then Dundee woke up and scruffy but gritty play led to Duncan Mcintyre scoring Dundee’s first; 19-5 after 37 minutes,

Dundee now realised that effort was required and pushed hard for the remainder of the half.

A great break from deep saw young stand off Harry Meadows clutching a pass he had no right to hold, the move continued and harry saw the ball over the whitewash – converted; 19-12 at half time

Dundee’s high hopes suffered a harsh blow 46 seconds into the second half. From Dundee’s ko Cartha ran the length of the park to score; 26 -12

I am sorry, but there was only one team in it, but credit to Dundee’s young team for sticking to the task. A pressure pen saw Cartha stretch ahead; 31-12

Dundee upped their game with aggression but no accuracy. The subs from both sides indicated that crucial 20 mins to go period.

Then out of nothing Lewis Macnamara made a wonderful break and fed skip Mackay, who scored and converted; 29-19

A resurgent Dundee then started playing muscle rugby to good effect, Neil Turnbull came to the fore, and his feed saw Andrew Thompson score under the posts. skip converted; 29-26 game on.

Then all hell broke loose with Dundee playing sevens’ style, and a great move ended with the captain putting in a great kick which saw Cartha preventing a try, result: penalty try and a yellow to the visitors.

33-29 Dundee with 13 minutes left, game management now needed.

And then with Cartha tiring, an aberration occurred, and it went against Dundee. A blatant block was missed by the officials, and Cartha went through the resultant hole to score; 36-33
and that’s how it ended.

Cartha played for 83 minutes Dundee for 20 but could and should have won it.

Adios

Volunteer Manager Appointment

Dundee High Rugby are delighted to announce a new innovative appointment to look after and expand our growing band of 120+ volunteers over the 3 strands of our club. The Club’s first Volunteer manager is Willie Stoops. Willie who played for the senior Club back in the day as well as Panmure, Harris and Morgan, joins us with a vast experience of all 3 strands of the Club. He accompanied his son Ollie right through the Eagles minis and midis and is now at the 2nd stage of Ollie’s rugby journey at Dundee Rugby Juniors with Ollie, who is in S1 where Willie is one of the coaches. Willie, as many will know, is also is a well-known local Midlands referee. Willie knows all about service having spent the last 29 years in The Royal Marine Reserves. We wish Willie all the best as we construct this new position. The challenges of recruiting, rewarding and retaining volunteers is an increasingly important area. Good luck Willie and thanks for your service.

Dundee High v Dunfermline – 5th Jan 2019

Dundee High v Dunfermline on Sat 5th Jan at the Oriam located at Heriot Watts Uni in Edinburgh
KO 6pm
Post code EH14 4AS

Great opportunity to keep up the fitness for the next league game on the 12th Jan at Mayfield v Cartha. Bus leaves Mayfield at 3pm. The Oriam is a fantastic venue and a great experience for players and spectators. It will be great to see some old friends from Dunfermline Rfc again. A Crown Happy New Year to all.