Joint Club Dinner 2019

On 13 April, the Morgan Clubhouse was at capacity for the first joint Dundee High / Morgan Dinner, when the principal guest speaker was SRU President Dee Bradbury, who emphasised the value of clubs working together. Excellent contributions were provided by Dundee High President, Gerry Tosh and Morgan ex-president Dave Adam, with current Morgan President, Derek Black, controlling proceedings. The evening also saw the presentation of players’ awards for both clubs and the Dundee High recipients were:

Player of the Year: Ross Aitken
Players’ Player of the Year: Harry Meadows
Most Improved Player: Harry Meadows
Best newcomer: Ross Aitken
Titans’ Player of the Year: Rory McGinn
Best Young Player: Harry Mercer
Laurie McHugh Kicking Cup: Angus Thomson

Dundee High Clubman of the Year and Supporter of the Year will be announced at the AGM on 30 May.

Tartan Touch with Dundee High & Morgan


Many thanks for the 100’s likes from Dundee High/Morgan Rfc’s! Its appreciated. Tartan Touch in Dundee is an exciting new fun way to keep fit in the summer. It starts on Tuesday 21st May at Morgan Rugby ground at Alloway Place at 7pm. Its for all ages, abilities and genders. Mixed teams and family teams encouraged. Why don’t you get a team organised now from your work, sports club or Uni? Bar is open after and changing facilities available. Please share this with as many as possible. If you want a poster to put up in your club/pub/work/Uni please just ask. Rugby in Dundee is changing so come and be part of it.

Job opportunities at Dundee High Rugby

Dundee High Rugby are at the forefront of Rugby on Tayside.

Several opportunities are available due to our Club vision keeping us at the top of Scottish Club Rugby.

We are looking for suitable people available to travel with both teams for home and away games.

The First Team manager works alongside the head coach handling admin and logistics as does the Titans Team Manager.

We also require a kit man/woman that can on game days organise the kit.

If you think you are qualified for any of these posts please contact Colin Sangster in the first instance by email, rugbydundee727@gmail.com with a short resume and why you would be interested.

Suitable packages are available for qualified candidates.

Match Report – Aberdeen Grammar 50-25 Dundee High Rugby – 6 April 2019

Somebody, it seems, has forgotten to tell the city of Aberdeen about global warming. The east wind, straight from the Siberian Steppes, the Baltic and then the North Sea, and most of the other cold places in the world as well, blew relentlessly straight across Rubislaw for 80 minutes as the soft Dundee supporters, swaddled like Michelin men, watched the proceedings through their frost covered faces (that last bit may be an exaggeration, but only just!) Frozen fingers googled wind chill factors and announced our life expectancy was probably less than an hour…

Meanwhile, out on the park, the players simply got on with it, in an entertaining final match of the season. Dundee kicked off, missing 4 key players from last week’s relegation saving performance against Kirkcaldy. Standouts Harry Meadows, Danny Levison and Lewis MacNamara were all absent from the pack, and Duncan McIntyre was a late call off from the backs, leaving Dundee with only 4 on the bench as Ruaridh Hood started on the wing, with Kieran Scoular moving in to centre. Darren Donaldson, in at tight head prop, and Liam Quarm, at 2nd row, were both making their first starts for Dundee this season.

Dundee were playing into the icy blast, and started well. Young stand off Harry Mercer drove ex Dundee stalwart Greig Ryan into touch straight from the kick off to set the tone for what was a combative first half.  And after 8 minutes gone, it got better for Dundee as lock Angus Thomson went over for the opening try, converted by Fraser McKay, after turning down a penalty opportunity yards out from the Aberdeen posts – a good decision! Two minutes later, it seemed Aberdeen were surely in for a try at the other end till winger Nat Coe suffered a “Stockdale” moment and dropped the ball with the line at his mercy. Maybe his hands were so cold he didn’t even know he had caught it in the first place…

However, in a worrying follow up, Aberdeen were all over the resulting Dundee scrum, and hooker Ben Inglis went over from close range for the equalising score. 7 all after 12 minutes.  5 minutes later, another Aberdeen try, after what seemed suspiciously like a forward pass in the build up, made it 12 – 7 to the home side. Yet Dundee responded well, and after a series of penalties in the Aberdeen half, chose to pop over a close range penalty with 25 minutes gone. 12 – 10.

However, the wind, and Aberdeen’s bigger pack (and bigger backs to boot, including Scottish rugby league international Murray Mitchell at 13) were putting them on the front foot, and a break by stand off Knudson soon let centre Aplin in under the posts. 19 – 10 to the home side, with half an hour gone. Could Dundee hold out for the last 10 minutes into the wind? Could their hypothermic supporters do likewise?

Luckily for Dundee, Aberdeen had been failing to harness the wind for nearly the whole of the first half, a series of kicks slicing off their boots “as if off threepenny bits”. Unfortunately, with half time looming, they finally got one right, and ex Dundee second row Robin Cessford took advantage of the 70 metres gained from that kick to plough over, making it 26 – 10 to the home side. A quick penalty in reply for Dundee made it 26 – 13 at the break, but injuries meant that by the break 2nd row Angus Thomson had been replaced by Sean Gauld, and winger Kieran D’Aeth by Josh Rutnagur, who took over the No. 9 role, with scrum half Lathangie moving to centre, and Scoular to the wing.

Manna from heaven could not have tasted better than the life saving hot pies consumed by the Dundee faithful at half time, but the thinking was that that last Aberdeen try had maybe just pushed the game out of reach.

A quick Aberdeen try after half time reinforced that view. As we tried to get back into the game, another injury blow meant centre Hamilton had to depart after a knock. Sean Gauld moved from the pack to centre, pairing up there with scrum half Lathangie, in what could only be called a rough and ready midfield combination! Taylor Smith came on at 2, with hooker Craig Mackenzie moving to the back row. The disrupted  Dundee team did well to keep competing against a good Aberdeen side, despite these enforced changes, with our starting back rowers of Barlow, Franco and Farquhar all still working tirelessly at the breakdown to help keep us in the game. The team got due reward as prop Jack Newth went over for his first Dundee try after a break by skipper Fraser McKay, whose successful conversion brought it back to 31- 20 after 55 minutes.

However, Aberdeen were too good not to take advantage of Dundee’s makeshift midfield defence, and centre Murray Mitchell eventually sliced through a few minutes later to make it 38 -20 and put the game beyond reach. Ruaridh Hood now went off injured, to be replaced by Danny McGinn, and though Dundee kept their heads up, their depleted side leaked two more tries as Aberdeen started to overpower them in open play and in the set in the final quarter. However, right on full time, Dundee had the last word, with another front rower, this time No. 2 Craig Mackenzie, touching down for the final try after good build up play by Josh Rutnagur and Stewart Lathangie. So it finished 50 – 25 to the home side, who retained the Dallas Allardice trophy, against a battling Dundee outfit who refused to lie down.

Reflections: An entertaining game, albeit perhaps one too far for a rather battle weary Dundee side who had put in a big effort to win their 3 previous games and stave off relegation! Four Dundee players departing injured in the one game shows the ridiculous attrition rate in modern rugby. 54 players have turned out for Dundee’s 1st XV this season, a statistic that will be familiar to quite a few other National One sides this season. (Check out the Player Stats on the website, which give full details for the season – https://www.dundeehighrugby.club/scorers/)

So now it’s on to next season, with the visits from the club sides of the Super 6, plus Kelso, Musselburgh, Cartha, Biggar and  (in all probability) Highland, not to mention the small matter of a Rugby World Cup,  now lying ahead, after the close season break from what has been another full on season. Bring it on!

Dundee Team: 15 Fraser Mackay, 14 Ruaridh Hood, 13 Kieran Scoular, 12 Andrew Hamilton, 11 Kieran D’Aeth, 10 Harry Mercer, 9 Stewart Lathangie; 1 Jack Newth, 2 Craig Mackenzie, 3 Darren Donaldson, 4 Liam Quarm 5 Angus Thomson, 6 Kev Franco, 7 Angus Farquhar, 8 Stuart Barlow

Replacements 16 Taylor Smith, 17 Sean Gauld, 18 Josh Rutnagur, 19 Danny McGinn

AGM Notice

AGM Notice and early notice of positions soon to be vacant

Dear Club members. Please be aware that the AGM of the Rugby Club and then the AU will be 7.30pm Thursday May 30 th at Mayfield. Bar open from 7pm. Please come along and contribute to your Club. A formal Agenda will be circulated nearer the time. We are very conscious of the age of some of your officials and some will be prepared to stand for another year and then be in supporting roles. Its time for a new generation of officials to step forward. Those wishing some specific further information are encouraged to get in touch with me (gerry@ppinvest.co.uk) or Sandy Macdonald (afmcd@aol.com) or Ken Andrew (kga@scot-int.com)

Club Rugby League Structure Season 2019/20

Your questions answered

Following the MacColl Governance Report, the SRU SGM on 22 March, and our win at Kirkcaldy last week, which guarantees we will not be relegated, a few members and supporters have been asking about the league structure for club rugby next season, and in  particular Dundee High Rugby’s place in it.

Q. How many teams will be in the top leagues?

The Premiership remains as a 10 team league, and National One as a 12 team league.

 

Q. Who will be in these leagues next season?

The Premiership next season will consist of the four non-Super 6 Premiership Clubs (Currie, Hawks, Hawick and Edinburgh Accies), plus the top 6 clubs in National 1, currently Marr, Jed, GHA, Selkirk, Aberdeen Grammar and Gala.

National One will consist of the “club” sides of the six Super 6 clubs (Ayr, Melrose, Heriots, Watsonians, Boroughmuir and Stirling), plus those clubs in positions 7 – 10 in National 1 this season (currently Musselburgh, Kelso, Dundee High Rugby and Cartha), plus 2 clubs promoted from National 2 (currently Biggar & Highland). The clubs in 11th  and 12th place in National 1 go down to National 2 (currently Kirkcaldy and Hamilton). So we get to play the club sides of the likes of Melrose, Ayr etc next season!

 

Q. What about promotion and relegation?

From next season onwards, only 1 club will be promoted from National 1 to the Premiership, with no 2nd place play off. 2 teams will be relegated from National One.

 

Q. What about the Cup?

It looks like we may be in a slightly expanded Scottish Cup again next season (i.e. the top Scottish competition) but that is not yet finalised.

 

Q. What else?

A lot of thought is now being given to any player movement between the S6 semi pro teams, and club sides. Playing down from S6 in the Premier League/National 1 seems out meantime, playing up is still being considered.  “Amateurism” for players below the Super 6 level has meantime been postponed for a season until 2020/21, and a lot of debate around that issue is sure to happen over the next 12 months.

 

Q. And the Titans?

At Reserve team level, consultation is ongoing about structure for next season, including possibly greater regionalisation of Reserve Leagues etc. At present, our Titans are 1 point above relegation, but with the team below us, Selkirk A, having one game left to play.

 

Q. What about Dundee Morgan?

They finished second in Caledonia 3, and will play in that League again next season.

 

Q. And our 2 junior sections?

Dundee Rugby Juniors (S1 – U18) will once more play in Tier 3 of the SRU Conferences next season, and girls rugby there is also beginning to take root. And Dundee Eagles (P1 – P7) will once more be starting our future 1st XV players out on their rugby journey, on their usual Sunday morning slot!

TFI – Friday 5th April

This is the last hurrah of the season as far as TFI Fridays goes. Please try to support this gourmet adventure. There will be wine of course and the inevitable cheese but what will they be and who will be supplying them? Reasonable questions all! There will be FREE nibbles© strewn seemingly randomly along the length and depth of the bar. The bar itself will open at the popular hour of 5.33pm. Of course, if you are intending using Arbroath Rd or Dundee Rd please allow an extra 7 mins for your journey time. Dura St seems to be ok at last.

RUGBY. Dundee High Rugby having won a few games (the latest victory over old rivals Kirkcaldy scoring 70 points last Sat) have secured their position in Nat 1 for next season. It will be an interesting league next term with all the 2nd teams of the Super 6 sides playing. So, look forward to some great games next season. There is one last game to play and the Dallas Alllardice trophy at stake up in Aberdeen this Sat. Kick off is 3pm. Last game of the season so please make the effort to get along and support the team. Its been a tough season in some ways and the coaches and players have done a great job so many thanks to them all.

Joint Club players awards dinner (Dundee High/Morgan) is at Morgan Club Rooms on Friday 12th April. If you want to go please get in touch with Colin Sangster or myself. Tickets are £25. gerry@ppinvest.co.uk  Places are limited!

The inaugural Hall of Fame Dinner at the Invercarse Hotel 17th May is fully booked and the 250 guests looking forward to a comprehensive evening of entertainment. Some surprises guaranteed!

The Club AGM is scheduled for Thursday 30th May. More info soon.

Many thanks for all your support this season and please have a great rugby weekend and a good Spring and Summer. Please keep up to date by checking the Club website and FB pages.

Match Report – Kirkcaldy 26-70 Dundee High Rugby – 30 March 2019

And so to the Kingdom of Fife this week – Beveridge Park  to be precise – where for the first time in many years we travelled to take on old rivals Kirkcaldy RFC on their home patch. We narrowly won the corresponding fixture at Mayfield earlier in the season in a thrilling match, a game which Courier Rugby correspondent Steve Scott described as one of the best adverts for club rugby he had ever seen. The large Mayfield faithful travelling support were hoping for more of the same…

Dundee were missing influential playmaker Ross Aitken and the experienced Donald Sangster from last week’s starting XV, as well as hooker Andy Elton, but it was good to see Danny McGinn returning to the squad after being out injured since December. Ex-Dundee player Dayle Turner started for Kirkcaldy, who fielded an impressive centre pairing of ex Leeds Carnegie professional Axle Black and the talented local boy Josh Laird.

Last week, scrum half Stewart Lathangie scored his first try of the season. For him, tries are clearly a bit like buses – score one and next thing four more come along!  His first today came as he dummied over from a ruck near the Kirkcaldy line in the 5th minute, after a fast start by an initially dominant Dundee had seen No. 8 Danny Levison just fail to score seconds earlier.  Fraser McKay missed the conversion, but popped over a penalty a few minutes later to make it 8 – 0 Dundee. Straight from the kick off, No. 4 Lewis Macnamara took and drove, No. 10 Harry Mercer made 50 yards, and Kieran Scoular went over in the far corner to make it 13 – 0 Dundee.

The previous fixture had seen Kirkcaldy jump out to a convincing lead, only to be gradually overhauled by a determined Dundee side. For the next few minutes, it suddenly seemed like the same in reverse might be happening, as the Kirkcaldy team abruptly came to life, using their big forwards to drive at the Dundee defence. And as too often the case this season, Dundee started to miss some first up tackles, with first Kirkcaldy’s lock forward Struan Robertson, and then ex Dundee man Dayle Turner, going over for tries. Had both been converted, Kirkcaldy would have been in the lead after the first quarter, much against the run of play, but with one attempt going just astray, Dundee still held a narrow one point lead, 13 – 12.

Sport is all about turning points, and luckily for a rattled Dundee, one was just around the corner. Try scorer Turner went from saint to sinner as he was yellow carded some 10 metres out from the Kirkcaldy line. And Dundee took full advantage, scoring 3 tries during his enforced 10 minute absence. In a carbon copy of his first try, No. 9 Lathangie once more dummied over from close range, with Fraser adding the 2 point extras. Dundee 20, Kirkcaldy 12 after half an hour. Straight from the kick off, Angus Thomson fielded and made good yards, Harry Meadows took it on and did the same, and good hands let Fraser McKay cross in the far corner, to increase the lead to 25 – 12.

The first scrum of the game came, surprisingly, after 37 minutes, and the Dundee eight twice drove the short-handed Kirkcaldy scrum backwards in their own 22 at a rate of knots, with Danny Levison picking up at the base and going over for another converted try, to make it 32 – 12 to Dundee. Kirkcaldy were reeling, and after a trademark Levy take from the kick off, centre Duncan McIntyre made a good break down the middle, and cleverly fed Stewart Lathangie to let him round the full back at pace and score his 3rd try of the half. The conversion made it 39 -12 to Dundee at the break.

It took just 3 minutes of the 2nd half for Dundee to score their 7th try, No. 9 Lathangie crossing under the posts to take it out to 46 – 12 to Dundee. It looked like another score might come straight from kick off as receiver Stuart Barlow burst some Kirkcaldy tackles, and Man of the Match Craig Mackenzie, who had been finding his man well at the line out all afternoon, drove on into the Kirkcaldy 22, but the move petered out.  The score wasn’t long in coming, however, as Fraser McKay put in a kick ahead for Duncan McIntyre to win the race and touch the ball down. The successful conversion made it 53 – 12.

With the clock starting to wind down, Liam Quarm came on for Jack Newth at loosehead, as fellow prop Harry Meadows got in on the scoring act under the posts in the 60th minute, the kick making it 60 – 12. More replacements followed, with Kevin Franco replacing Angus Thomson and Ruaridh Hood taking over from Kieran D’Aeth. And it was Ruaridh who sparked a quality try for Dundee down the far touch line, running from his own half and linking with Harry Mercer, then on to Fraser McKay, who put in a lovely grubber kick for No. 8 Levison to get the score in one the best demonstrations of support play you’ll see. That lung bursting effort proved to be his last contribution, with Taylor Smith coming on in his place.

After a lengthy injury stoppage for one of the Kirkcaldy forwards, some of the energy understandably went out of the Dundee team. Although Stuart Barlow scored a final try, making it 11 in all for Dundee, two late Kirkcaldy efforts secured them their try bonus point, bringing the game to a close with the final score reading Dundee 70, Kirkcaldy 26.

Reflections: so Dundee escape the relegation trap door, after 3 wins on the bounce, and a huge improvement on earlier season displays. Coach Colin Sangster was rightly satisfied afterwards, by the planning undertaken early in the New Year as to how to turn things around, by the commitment shown by the boys in training, especially throughout the 6 weeks off during the Six Nations in February, and by the much improved team performances in March. Building for next season starts now…!

Dundee Team: 15 Fraser Mackay, 14 Kieran Scoular, 13 Duncan McIntyre, 12 Andrew Hamilton, 11, Kieran D’Aeth 10, Harry Mercer 9 Stewart Lathangie; 1 Jack Newth, 2 Craig Mackenzie, 3 Harry Meadows, 4 Lewis Macnamara, 5, 6 Stuart Barlow, 7 Angus Farquhar, 8 Danny Levison

Replacements 16 Taylor Smith, 17 Liam Quarm, 18 Kevin Franco, 19 Danny McGinn, 20 Ruaridh Hood