Match Report Jed-Forest RFC 24 Dundee High Rugby  20, Saturday 21st Oct 17

Jed-Forest RFC 24 Dundee High Rugby  20

21 October 2017

There are few more beautiful spots on an autumn afternoon than Riverside Park in Jedburgh, with the autumnal trees providing a glorious back drop on what was an afternoon made for rugby. “Just like Mayfield, but without the oilrigs” was how one Dundee wag saw it. Indeed, it was just as well there was something nice to look at for the travelling supporters, as they had a whole 2 hours to kill after the supercharged Smith & Sons team bus had rolled into Jed a record breaking 2 plus hours before kick-off.

All week, coach Colin Sangster had been hammering home the message, “The first 20 minutes is vital.” Yet in contrast to the bus’s performance, Dundee started the game so sluggishly that it seemed like they were stuck in neutral, let alone first gear, and after 20 minutes they found themselves 14 points down to a Jed side who were willing and able to run back any possession Dundee obligingly gave them.

Dundee had kicked off with what breeze there was, with full back Kieran Scoular pulling a penalty chance wide from 30 metres out after 4 minutes. The first scrum followed moments later, and in a sign of things to come led to one of many cutting breaks by the Jed backs, with Jed’s No. 11 Robbie Shirra-Gibb doing the damage this time. Good scramble defence stopped them just short of the line, Dundee disrupted the ensuing Jed scrum, and the danger was cleared. However, alarm bells were clearly ringing in the Dundee camp, and for the next 10 minutes it was all Jed – constant pressure, penalties and driving line out mauls. Finally, from 15 metres out, Jed scrum half Sean Goodfellow sniped round the side and Rory McGinn was unable to hold him up over the line. No. 10 Yourston converted and it was 7 – 0 to Jed with just under a quarter of an hour gone.

There was no respite for a Dundee team who were very much under siege as their slow start continued, and Jed were soon back knocking on Dundee’s line. From a 5 metre lineout, following a number of recycles, Jed’s No. 1 Connor Hogg battered over from round the side of a ruck, with Yourston again adding the extra points to make it Jed 14 Dundee 0, with around 20 minutes gone.

At last Dundee started to edge back into the game, and after a good  spell in Jed’s half, which made for a welcome change, a Scoular penalty on 26 minutes put Dundee on the scoreboard, albeit still 14 – 3 down. It proved to be a brief respite, however, with Dundee all too often giving Jed easy possession, which they were delighted to return with interest. An 80 metre break led to a desperate chase as Jed’s quality full back, Lewis Young, chipped over the last Dundee defender, and Evan Fairweather did well to get back to the ball first and snuff out a likely try. However, just a few minutes later, after a Dundee lineout deep in Jed’s 22 had misfired, once again Jed ran first phase ball from the resulting scrum and this time full back Young kept ball in hand and outpaced everyone on a 75 metre run to score in the left hand corner. Yourston landed the difficult conversion with ease. Jed 21 Dundee 3, with just a few minutes left till half time.

Dundee regrouped, Scoular landed another penalty, and in the last play of the half, as we at last put some good pressure on the Jed defence, Alan Brown forced his way over from short range but frustratingly was held up over the line – no try. The half time whistle sounded to leave it still 21 – 6 in Jed’s favour, and with plenty for Dundee to think about during the interval.

Dundee made 2 changes at half time, Ally Mackie coming on for Neil Turnbull, with Geo moving up to 2nd row, and in the backs Josh Rutnagur replacing  Henry Samson at scrum half.

Once again, Dundee started slowly after the break, and Jed made good use of Dundee errors and turnovers to keep asking questions of an often stretched Dundee defence. Gradually, however, Dundee were starting to gel more, and Ally Mackie, prominent since his introduction, intercepted a Jed pass and set off for the Jed line. Hauled down on the Jed 22, the ball broke to Dundee No. 1 James Forrester, who looked like he would go over, but was denied just short, and another gilt edged chance had gone abegging. Dundee centre Neil Herron, also showing up well, was next to break off a Dundee scrum, but his kick ahead was scrambled clear.

A slew of penalties in Dundee’s favour was helping their cause, but despite a number of warnings, the referee seemed reluctant to go to his pocket and produce the yellow card. However, a penalty against Jed for collapsing the scrum led eventually to Ally Mackie being driven over from short range, with Kieran Scoular’s conversion making the score Jed 21 Dundee 13 after 63 minutes. Somehow, Dundee were still well in contention, and at last looking like they might start to fire on all cylinders. Unfortunately, a Jed penalty, slotted by their No. 10 kicking machine after 68 minutes, made it Jed 24 Dundee 13, and stalled some of Dundee’s growing momentum.

It was a see saw game. Much to the dismay of the Jed faithful, referee Todd called back Jed No. 12 Monty Mitchell after he had burst clear, from what looked like a forward pass to all concerned – other of course than those wearing Jed colours! Dundee were then lucky not to concede another try as full back Scoular just won the race in the in-goal area to defuse a Jed kick ahead.


Dundee MotM Lewis McNamara

In an absorbing encounter, Dundee once more threw everything at Jed as the clock ticked down and after a fine break by scrum half Josh Rutnagur, a try looked on until Dundee’s man of the match, No. 7 Lewis McNamara, was halted 10 metres out by some abrasive Jed defence, forcing him to leave the field with a bloodied nose. Neil Turnbull went back on, as did Henry Sampson to replace a limping Rory McGinn. Time was running out, and a couple of penalties helped Jed work their way back to the Dundee 22, where they opted for the scrum, rather than kick the penalty, hoping to get the try that would give them the bonus point. Instead, it was Dundee who got the try, Neil Herron intercepting and setting off on a 90 metre run to the Jed line, with Scoular adding the 2 points. That, however, proved to be the last play of the game, and so it finished Jed-Forest 24 Dundee 20.

Reflections Dundee were far from their best, and we did well to run high flying Jed as closely as they did, given the way we played. However, there is far more to come from this Dundee side, and the coaches’ challenge is how to draw that out of this young side, especially on their travels.


  1. Kieran Scoular, 14. Evan Fairweather, 13. Neil Herron, 12. Andrew Hamilton, 11. Danny McGinn, 10. Rory McGinn; 9. Henry Sampson

    8. Danny Levison, 7. Lewis McNamara, 6. George Arnott, 5. Andy Redmayne, 4. Neil Turnbull, 3. Alan Brown, 2. Angus Fraser, 1. James Forrester

    Substitutes 16. Chris Cartmell, 17. Lewis Mclean, 18. Alasdair Mackie, 19. Josh Rutnagur, 20. Sean Gauld


Match Report Dundee HSFP v Stewarts Melville, Mayfield , 14thth October 2017

Match Report
Dundee HSFP v Stewarts Melville, Mayfield , 14thth October 2017

Dundee went into this match in 6th place in BT National One, buoyed by their most impressive performance of the season the previous Saturday away to GHA. Their opponents, Stewarts Melville conversely had suffered a heavy defeat to Aberdeen Grammar last week, and were encountering a difficult start to the season , currently lying second from bottom of the league.
However, this was no foregone conclusion and Dundee’s home form this season (2 losses out of 3 matches) had given rise to a concern that the players were feeling under pressure playing in front of their own supporters,
The Dundee team published on the website on Friday showed 3 changes from the team that started against GHA. Neil Herron replaced Ross Lemon in the centre, Josh came back in from Henry at 9 and Danny Levison came in at 8, with George moving to flank and Angus Farquar dropping to the bench. Neil and Danny were to justify their inclusion with sublime performances.
That all seemed fine, but this is amateur rugby we are talking about so a curveball was to hit coach Sangster on Friday evening. Young Angus Fraser, a SRU Academy player , who had been superb at hooker at GHA , failed to recover from a shoulder injury and so his place was taken by Chris Cartnell , a St Andrews Uni student.
Injuries still ruled out Leesey, Ronan, Fraser, Ally Mackie and Paddy , while Ice was on World War 3 alert in Cyprus.
The Pre Match Lunch Club hosted 68 guests , including a table of former Club Presidents , wallowing in nostalgia , red wine and whisky.
This was a table of veritable legends – the great and the good of Dundee High Rugby – each man with his name engraved on the Clubhouse wall as a permanent reminder of their contribution to the Club.
It is only right that these legends are named – Messrs Clark , Dryden , Burnett , Scott , Reoch , Dymock and Lawson .

Not to forget Ex President Nicol, who through choice was forgoing his seat at the Legends Table to carry out his normal Saturday car parking duties ,Ex President Macdonald , having a well earned break in Spain and of course Ken Andrew, not at the match due to a family commitment.
And also current incumbent President Tosh , still performing his duties enthusiastically with his enviable joie de vivre approach which goes down so well with Lunch Club guests and opposing team officials.
The combined years of service of these geezers does not bear thinking about – Bruno alone played his first match for the club in 1956 and has been a stalwart ever since.
As for their combined ages, well that is certainly not one for recording in public .
Gentlemen – we salute you.
Could the players do it for the legends?
Well, they certainly looked up for it, as the Dundee pack took control from the off and dominated the opening minutes with play concentrated in the Stew Mel half.
Dundee went ahead in 5 minutes – a well-executed line out – accurate throw by Chris, gobbled up by Andy Redmayne, created a driving maul over the Stew Mel line enabling Broonie to touch down. Keiran Scoular added the conversion to make it 7-0 to Dundee.
Following the kick off, StewMel enjoyed a period of possession for the first time and a penalty decision against Dundee on their 22 enable StewMel to open their account when centre Morrison kicked the penalty. 7-3 Dundee.
With 15 minutes on the clock, Dundee went further ahead.
A quickly taken penalty by Josh enabled him to break towards the StewMel 22, Danny was there in support and the ball was shipped to George who showed strength and athleticism to reach over the line to touch down.
Keiran added the conversion – 12-3 Dundee.

The next score went StewMel’s way when Morrison nailed a penalty for a Dundee infringement just outside the 22. 12-6 Dundee.
There then followed a period of play in midfield when both sides struggling to find fluency and rhythm. However after 28 minutes, a clever kick by centre Andy Hamiltion created space in the corner – Evan Fairweather kicked the loose ball into the goal area and defeated his opposite number in the race to touch down for a try. The conversion was missed. 17-6 Dundee.
Announcer McKay – never one to miss a trick – told the crowd that Evan – the scorer of this spectacular try – had no sponsor. There seemed to be no takers, but hopefully some watcher will have been suitably impressed to call Derek Lawson this week to offer his/her support – and of course his/her money – to sponsor Evan.
In the last play of the half, Dundee scored again.
Ferocious pressure on the Stew Mel line, led by Neil, Andy and Danny, was somehow repelled albeit with a penalty to Dundee and a yellow card for the StewMel 6. A kick to touch and following a line out near the line (the lineouts were working like a dream, as last week – so well done Chris Cartnell), Andy gathered, the pack drove and Lewis McNamara went over for what I think is his first try for the club.
Keiran added the conversion.
Half Time – Dundee 24 Stew Mel 6.
The feeling at half time that the Dundee team had not yet clicked into gear, even though 4 tries had been scored and a bonus point secured.
The first indication that Dundee were “getting it together” came only 3 minutes into the second half, when following more forward pressure , Lewis went over again in the corner . No successful conversion so the score was now Dundee 29 StewMel 6.
5 minutes later, the next score arrived, again through the line out route, this time with a line out outside the StewMel 22. Andy, who was imperious in the line out throughout – secured the ball and laid it back for Danny on the charge. Danny using his potent combination of skill strength and athleticism

burst through the cover defence and outpaced the backs to score between the posts. Keiran converted. Dundee 36 StewMel 6.
Although the scoreboard was mounting, credit is due to the StewMel team who continued to show an admirable spirit and togetherness and also continued to try to play open rugby. Unfortunately, this did not work out in their favour as a loose pass on the half way was intercepted by Neil who raced half the length of the pitch to score between the posts. Keiran converted to make the score Dundee 43 StewMel 6.
The Dundee machine was clicking into gear now. Had the team been playing in their tangerine change strip, I would have used the term “tangerine machine”. However, they were playing in blue so I will have to settle for “blue machine” which does not roll off the tongue so well.
The next score was not long delayed. Forward domination , quick ball, shipped through the backs and good support play created a gap for Neil to sidestep his way through the StewMel defence for a great try under the posts.
This took the score to 48-6 and your reporter at this stage was noting down that Keiran’s conversion made the score 50-6.
But it didn’t.
Keiran hit the post with the conversion. He looked suitably embarrassed and held his head in his hands before doing the walk of shame though his team back to his full back position. Broonie’s comments to Keiran as he passed him are not for publication.
The Dundee pack’s domination meant that Dundee had most of the ball now but StewMel showed spirited defence .
However, the next Dundee try was only delayed and what a try it was.
There seemed no imminent danger when Neil received the ball just inside the StewMel 22 with the entire StewMel team in front of him.
However, with a speed of movement that bamboozled not just the StewMel defence but the entire Mayfield crowd , twinkle toes Herron put on his
dancing shoes and sidestepped , dummied and shimmied his way through the defence , to emerge in isolation to score near the posts. A remarkable try from a talented player. Keiran redeemed himself by converting. Dundee 55 StewMel 6.
Dundee were rampant now and the final try involved skilful handling at pace which must have given coaches Colin and Phil huge satisfaction. The ball went through several pairs of hands at speed before Andy Redmayne linked with replacement Sean Gauld to allow prop James Forrester to score his second try in 2 weeks.
Keiran converted to make the score 62-6.
Final Score – Dundee HSFP 62 StewartMelville Rugby 6.

The team did exactly what the coaches demanded and followed on from last week’s win with another very impressive performance. In the second half in particular, some of the rugby was of the top drawer.
Once again, forward domination was the key – exceptional work by the front row, Andy and George dominated the line out, Danny Levison was , well , Danny Levison – enough said – and 3 try man of the match

Dundee MOTM Neil Herron


Neil Herron gave a virtuoso performance of skilful centre play.
StewMel would have been entitled to contend that the 62-6 scoreline gives an unfair reflection of their committed defence and commitment to running rugby , but as we have all seen throughout the years , when your luck is out everything goes against you.
A word of praise for young referee Fergus Hollins, who gave a first class performance and was always in control. It was noted that Scotland rugby refereeing legend Jim Fleming was at Mayfield to assess Fergus – hope you gave him the good marks he deserved, Jim.

A final footnote – this Dundee team can play some superb rugby, as demonstrated in the last 2 weeks. The coaches philosophy of high tempo rugby suits the players and is great to watch.
It is therefore disappointing to report that it was a sparse crowd at Mayfield that witnessed this performance.
It deserved more, so the appeal to the Mayfield faithful is (a) thanks for your support – the committee , the coaches and the players appreciate it , (b) look forward to seeing you at the next home match on October 28th v Musselburgh and (c) bring a friend with you. In fact it does not have to be a friend . It can be someone you don’t like but, either way, bring somebody with them and give them the opportunity to watch this tean.
This team and coaching staff have developed a style of rugby that is great to watch and deserves bigger crowds, so let’s all do our bit to get more punters on the Mayfield slopes.
Next week , the 1st XV are away to Jedforest and a hard match surely in prospect.

Match Report GHA v Dundee HSFP, Braidholm , 7th October 2017

Match Report
GHA v Dundee HSFP, Braidholm , 7th October 2017


Both Dundee and GHA were looking for this game to give them a “pick me up”, following Dundee’s disappointing home loss against Edinburgh Accies last Saturday and GHA’s traumatic defeat to Aberdeen Grammar at Rubislaw the same day when their 24-3 lead was overturned to a 29-24 reverse.
It was an unfamiliar Dundee 1st XV that was published on the website on Thursday night, with several regulars missing. Injuries had ruled out Leesey, Ronan, Fraser, Ally Mackie and Paddy , while unavailability due to work commitments meant the services of Josh , Neil and Danny were denied . In addition, Ice was still defending the realm in Cyprus and Andy Dymock was in Copenhagen improving diplomatic , trade and social relations between Scotland and Denmark.
This meant a first team debut for Angus Farquhar, an ex Currie player now at Dundee Uni on the flank, a start for another Dundee Uni player Lewis McNamara on the other flank, a return for Andy Redmayne at lock and a youthful half back combination of Rory McGinn and Henry Sampson. Not quite so youthful, but just as welcome, was the return on Ross Lemon in the centre.
The bus set off for Glasgow in sunshine, with the Titans team on board boasting a full complement of 20, including several students from each of Dundee, Abertay and St Andrews making their first appearances for the Crown.
As the bus approached Glasgow – passing Bishopbriggs to be exact – the rain came on. No surprise there, then….

Alan Brown stepped in as Skip

Broonie the captain led the players out and the word from the coaches were that the players were up for this one, they had a game plan and were confident that a victory be secured.
They certainly looked up for it, as the Dundee pack took control from the off and dominated the opening minutes with play concentrated in the GHA half.

Dundee went ahead in 8 minutes – a rampaging break by George, good back up by Henry and Rory, ball recycled and then passed through the backs for Evan Fairweather to cross the line. Keiran Scoular added the conversion to make it 7-0 to Dundee.
Following the kick off, GHA enjoyed a period of possession for the first time although not threatening the Dundee line. However a high tackle by Broonie saw him receive a yellow card and Dundee down to 10 men.
You would not have thought so though, as the Dundee pack continued to dominate and Keiran scored a penalty after 20 minutes. 10 -0 to Dundee.
Almost immediately after Dundee went further ahead.
Another break took George from the half way to the 22, ball was recycled and following Neil battering at the line, Henry and Rory created space for centre Andy Hamilton to go over near the posts.
Keiran converted to make it 17-0 to Dundee after 22 minutes.
Broonie then returned and the Dundee pack domination continued. In particular, the line outs were working like a dream with Angus’s accurate throws being swallowed up by Andy Redmayne and George.
It was therefore no surprise when Dundee scored again after 31 minutes.
A driving maul took play into the Glasgow 22 and good hands saw the ball quickly shipped out to Danny who crossed in the corner. Kieran narrowly missed the conversion. 22-0 to Dundee.
At this stage, a wee Glasgow wifie standing within earshot of your reporter was heard to say “maybe it’s time for uncontested scrums”.
This struck a raw nerve within the Dundee contingent, bringing back painful memories of the corresponding fixture last year when Dundee, with its pack in complete control were 19-0 up and cruising. A GHA prop then went off injured, followed in what seemed like indecent haste by another prop going off injured and so uncontested scrums. GHA took heart from this and overturned the 19 point deficit to run out winners.

Could this have been a dastardly plot of which GHA supporters were all part of ?
Could it happen again ??
Any concern re this subsided when Dundee scored again, with a try in a similar mould to the 3rd try. A powerful scrum, quick and accurate passing giving Danny the space to go over again. This time Keiran converted . 27-0 to Dundee.
It was then agreed amongst the Dundee support that the wee Glasgow wifie (who would probably prefer to be referred to a refined East Renfrewshire lady , but wee Glasgow wifie runs off the tongue better) would require more than her wish of uncontested scrums to turn this match around.
Indeed , nothing short of Hurricane Nate making a detour from Louisiana to Giffnock would offer GHA respite from the dominant Dundee pack.
Half time came with Dundee on the attack again.
Half Time – GHA 0 Dundee 27.
Sensational , stupendous , scintillating – any of these words could be used to sum up the first half from a Dundee perspective as the team had just delivered easily their best 40 minutes of the season so far.
Positive chat was exchanged amongst the Dundee support on the touchline until Alastair Robertson – father of dedicated duo Gavin and Ian and passionate Borderer – pointed out that it was not over yet as last year Dundee had been 19-0 up and had still lost.
This brought to mind the old phrase that it has never been hard to tell the difference between a Borderer and a ray of sunshine………………….
Old man Robertson’s mood was not improved 5 minutes into the second half when following a period of pressure, GHA scored a try with lock Adam Kerr going over in the corner.
Conversion missed. 27-7 to Dundee.

This gave GHA encouragement and for the first time in the match they had a period of concerted pressure. The Dundee defence held firm with centre Hamilton’s tackling particularly impressive.
Dundee were now not as dominant as the first half and GHA scored again when winger Spowart went over. Stand off Goudie converted. 27-12 to Dundee.
The chat amongst the Dundee support was the next score was important. If GHA scored again, it was game on, but another Dundee score should put daylight between the teams.
Dundee then regained control and play was concentrated in the GHA half. A couple of opportunities were missed and until a dominant scrum near the GHA line created the platform for James Forrester to batter over near the posts.
Kieran again converted. 34-12 to Dundee.
This score seemed to settle the team down and they regained their domination as the match entered the last quarter.
Coach Sangster used his replacement bench to add freshness and captain Broonie departed the scene to be replaced by Neil Dymock. Keg entered the pitch to a shout from Coach Sangster to “take over as Captain” and Neil led his young charges comfortably through the last quarter , with no further scoring.
Final Score – GHA 12 Dundee HSFP 34.
This was one impressive performace.
Forward domination was the key – exceptional work by the front row , Andy was imperious in the line out , Neil battered all day , with Lewis putting in an impressive shift on the flank. In addition , George was Man of the Match – says it all.

In the backs, Henry gave superb service all day , Rory’s composed performance belied his years and centre Hammy had a great match. Credit too to the back 3, who scored 24 out of the 34 points.
After the post match meal and couple of beers – thanks to Brian and GHA guys for their hospitality – the happy Dundee party departed for the return journey.
First stop was Morrisons in Giffnock where a carry out was purchased.
This may seem like a simple transaction , but in fact , the process is a major logistical exercise , involving hiring 3 skips to get the alcohol purchased from the supermarket to the bus and then a human chain of players formed passing the various products up the chain with the same accuracy and concentration that had been used to pass the ball during the match.
To the uninitiated , this was not a normal carry out along the lines of “4 crates of Tennants Lager” , but this was a carry out , exceptional in both volume and variety.
Volume in that there was enough alcohol to keep the Chinese Army in booze for a month.
Variety in that the following delights were noted as being passed through the human chain – WKD , Bacardi breezer , port , Caribbean twist , Low value lager , Vodka , Stella Artois , Milk , chocolate doughnuts , a tin of Ambrosia creamed rice , a pink ladies vest and 3 pairs of white male underpants.


Party Boys

Strict protocol , under the principle of “what goes on on tour stays on tour” means that no further details of the bus activities can be divulged , but fair to say that it was a happy bus that bounced its way home.
Discussion with coach Sangster on the way home – at the relatively sensible front of the bus – revealed that he was very happy with that performance. As he said , we have good players, we had a game plan , we executed it .Job Done.
Roll on the match v Stewarts Melville next Saturday.

Match Report Dundee HSFP v Edinburgh Accies , Mayfield , 30th September 2017

Match Report
Dundee HSFP v Edinburgh Accies , Mayfield , 30th September 2017


Dundee went into this game in 6th place of BT National League One , on the back of an encouraging victory at Kelso last week , against an Edinburgh Accies side with 4 wins out of 4 and sitting top of the League alongside Gala and Selkirk.
The chat at the Mayfield bar before kick off was that this was a hard game to call , with no clues given from the previous 2 matches between the clubs at Mayfield. Last season , Accies won comfortably 40-6 , whereas in 2015/16 , a Neil Herron-inspired Dundee had cruised to a 48-14 victory.
Dundee’s previous 3 matches had been against border teams (Gala , Selkirk and Kelso) , but Accies’s perceived position as the City Slickers was given credence when the Edinburgh team arrived at Mayfield in a luxurious team coach which would not have looked out of place carrying the Barcelona football team. It was noted – possibly unkindly – by a worthy at the Mayfield bar that the Dundee team bus – particularly in previous seasons – in comparison looked like a berry bus.
For those readers under 18 ,ask your parents what a berry bus is.
The teams came out in glorious sunshine , as announcer McKay thanked the match sponsors Thorntons and the Lunch Club Sponsor , that world famous Rugby Club of finely tuned athletes , Dundee Collegians.
Those on the far side touchline were then treated to the sight of the assistant referee (still linesman to me , but that is betraying my age and my curmudgeonly nature) , running to the touchline , turning round and promptly falling over the McGills board. This raised suspicions amongst the spectators that the said assistant referee had enjoyed fine and sustained hospitality at the Collegians table at the Lunch Club , but this was denied by the assistant referee.
The Dundee team were missing long term injured players Duncan Leese and Fraser McKay , while Danny Levison was unavailable and the McGinn brothers lined up with Rory at 10 and Danny on the wing.
The rugby anoraks in the crowd noted that there were 2 sons of Scotland Grand Slam legends on the pitch . Neil Turnbull , son of Derek Turnbull the Hawick forward who played for Scotland in the 1984 Grand Slam , was in the Dundee pack , while the Accies flanker was Jamie Sole , whose father David famously walked Scotland out to victory in the 1990 Grand Slam Murrayfield victory v England.
It was first blood to Dundee after 3 minutes ,when they were awarded a penalty in front of the Accies post. Full back Keiran Scoular , a former Edinburgh Accies player , nailed the kick to put Dundee 3-0 ahead.
The lead did not last long however as a Dundee clearing kick was gathered in space by Accies winger Matt Coupar , who used pace and a sidestep to beat 2 Dundee players and set up an attack that sent second row Robert Lovett in between the posts. Richard Mill converted . 7-3 to Accies , 10 minutes gone.
Play was then concentrated in midfield when long time Dundee supporter Jim Scott tried to move to get a better view of the action and fell over the same McGills board in exactly the same manner that the assistant referee had done 10 minutes previously.
The McGills board was then given a severe kicking by friends of Jim Scott and moved safely out of the reach of the supporters.
The next score then went Dundee’s way when Keiran Scoular hit a superb penalty from the half way line. 7-6 to Accies , 15 minutes.
Accies then began to dominate possession and , as has always been the case with the Edinburgh Accies sides over the years , they had fast skilful backs . These backs were seeing plenty of the ball but the Dundee defence held firm. At this stage , Dundee were struggling to get any rhythm going, with the line-outs not functioning as efficiently as the coaches would have wanted and the backs finding it difficult to generate space.
Accies then got a powerful drive going with the momentum winning several yards , but Dundee managed to stop as it entered their 22. The referee decided that the method used was illegal and , to add insult to injury , flashed a yellow card at Paddy Hamilton.
It has to be said that Paddy is not a stranger to yellow cards – in fact ,this one was his third in 3 matches , but the view on the Mayfield touchline was that this one was harsh.
Not that Accies worried about that one jot , as after winning the line out from the penalty to touch , they recycled the ball and created the space for centre Neil Armstrong to score between the posts. Your reporter is tempted to report that Neil Armstrong was over the moon to score , but that would be a tired ,cliched attempt at humour and not befitting the Crown.
Richard Mill added the conversion.
14-6 to Accies.
Dundee then enjoyed a spell of possession when they started to get some fluency into their play and were rewarded with another long range penalty from Keiran Scoular to reduce the leeway to 14-9. 30 mins gone.
Accies however regained the momentum from the kick off and continued possession saw them camped in the Dundee 22 . The Dundee defence was committed but a rolling maul saw prop James Pearse drive over for a try.
Richard Mill again converted to put Accies 21-9 ahead at 32 minutes.
When Accies again took possession from the kick off and forced their way into the Dundee 22 , there looked like another score was on the cards , but committed Dundee defence , with Paddy back on , held out. The Dundee support were at this stage willing their team to hang on until half time , but after a penalty to Dundee relieved the pressure. This led to a further penalty which Keiran launched into the Accies 22.
2 minutes left until half time – could Dundee get the score to bring them back into the game ?
The answer seemed to be yes as Ally Mackie made a trademark run and was heading for the line , only to be stopped by a high tackle.
Penalty given to Dundee, with the expectation that a yellow card to the Accies culprit would follow.
However much to the astonishment of the Mayfield faithful , no yellow card was produced. This resulted in passionate debates in the stand and on the touchlines , along the lines of “how come Paddy got a yellow for bringing down a maul as it approached the Dundee 22 , yet their guy did an illegal high tackle on Ally when he was heading for the line and is still on the pitch ?”
Passions were rising as Dundee opted for the scrum near the Accies line . Angus hooked the ball and the pack were looking to drive Accies over their own line when the referee’s popularity at Mayfield increased hugely when he awarded Dundee a penalty try.
21-16 Accies Half Time.
The new rule whereby a penalty try generates 7 points without the requirement for a conversion was unknown to several worthies on the Mayfield touchline , so thanks to the charming lady who pointed out the rules to Hutch and myself as we , in our blissful ignorance , awaited the kick to be taken.
So , 21-16 at half time , a score which you suspected Dundee would be happier with than Accies.
The chat amongst the Dundee support at half time was that if Dundee could get the next score , then the pressure would be on Accies.
Dundee made a change at half time with returning Prodigal Son and Mayfield favourite Andy Dymock coming on at 9 , Josh moving to 10 and Rory going off.
The Dundee support optimism was shattered 5 minutes into the half when Richard Mill kicked a penalty for Accies. It was noted that the Accies 10 was a tidy kicker , with each kicking opportunity nailed.
24-16 to Accies.
As the second half progressed ,Dundee began to ring the changes, with Lewis McNamara replacing Paddy – a case of one prominent Northern Ireland schools player being replaced by another.
Accies however continued to have more of the ball , with their backs looking threatening particularly when they got space to run.
This is exactly what happened when fullback Luther Hirini took the ball at pace and created space for the dangerous Matt Coupar to score.
This delighted the Accies chappies on the far touchline and the cries of “Accies!!!” were heard again when Richard Mill – who was becoming a right royal pain in the erse with his immaculate kicking – converted.
31-16 to Accies and it would seem , daylight between the sides.
Dundee then had a period of sustained pressure for the first time in the match with several close calls near the Accies line . Indeed , there were a number of claims for scores as Dundee players tried to force over the line. This pressure eventually told when Danny McGinn went in at the corner.
Keiran missed the conversion but at 31-21 , Dundee had hope again , with 15 minutes left.
Dundee then had their best spell of the match , sensing that a comeback was one and the braying of the Accies chappies was temporarily silenced.
Unfortunately , the achilles heel of the Dundee side so far this season – a tendency to give away too many penalties – came to light again , although it was considered on the touchline that a number of the penalties were of the dubious variety.
As the match moved towards the last few minutes , Neil Turnbull took the ball on the run into space , only for the referee to give a forward pass , a decision certainly not greeted with universal approval on the Mayfield touchlines.
This was Dundee’s last chance and Accies showed them how to take chances with a fine move resulting in Jordan Thompson scoring a try in the corner.
Richard Mill – naturally – converted .
Final Score – Dundee 21 Edinburgh Accies 38.

It was generally accepted in the Mayfield bar after the match that Edinburgh Accies deserved their win and ,in any case , the try count of 5 to 2 is hard to argue against.
The Accies backs looked dangerous and this added to a well drilled pack suggests that they will be around the top of the league throughout the season.
Dundee’s young team played well in flashes when they showed what they are capable of and certainly did not get the rub of the green at key stages in the match.
Next week sees Dundee on the road to Glasgow to take on GHA


Kelso v Dundee HSFP 23 September 2017

Kelso v Dundee HSFP
23 September 2017


16 weeks is a long time in Rugby. On 2 June, Gordon “Bruno” Burnett was being justifiably feted at the SRU Awards Dinner, with the Spirit of Rugby award.




Then, just 16 weeks later, he was unintentionally left behind as the team bus made for Kelso, following a lunch stop at Earlston Rugby Club. It was certainly a talking point among the Kelso pre-match lunchers when the team bus arrived sans Bruno.

Not that the rugby was overshadowed by the faltering transport arrangements. On the contrary, the match was an intense affair, with plenty of on-field action. It was one of those odd days, though, when the side playing against the wind seemed to have the greater share of possession and pressure.

After a lively start by both sides, Dundee were first to show and, after a penalty was kicked to touch in the Kelso 22, Dundee pressed on until Alan Brown barrelled over from 5 metres out. Hammy’s conversion attempt was just wide, and Dundee were ahead, 0-5 after 12 minutes.

A fairly even, if relatively uneventful spell followed, with Kelso gradually coming more into the game after the visitors’ early dominance. Dundee survived a missed penalty goal attempt, but were penalised again shortly afterwards and Kelso kicked into the Dundee 22. The home line-out had stuttered throughout the game and, on this occasion, Dundee stole the ball and drove out of defence. Good handling led to a break by Geo before the ball was passed to Neil Herron who touched down (or not – he carried on to make for a spot nearer the posts, but the referee had already blown) out wide. Gareth Bale would have been proud of the strike as Hammy’s effort sailed between the posts and Dundee’s lead was extended, 0-12 with 37 minutes played.

Taking the ball from Kelso’s line-outs was aiding Dundee’s cause and enabled the visitors to clear play from their own 22, before a penalty against Kelso let Dundee kick to touch and bring the half to a close.

Half-time: Kelso 0 Dundee 12

A lively, open and fairly even match so far, with limited scoring opportunities and with Dundee perhaps having a little more of a cutting edge and keeping the Kelso attacks under control. A pleasing feature from a Dundee perspective, after recent performances, was the penalty count of 5-4 in Dundee’s favour.

The second half was only 2 minutes old, when Kelso had a chance to reduce the deficit with a penalty and stand-off Craig Dods duly obliged: 3-12.

Perhaps heartened by the score, Kelso were in the ascendancy, forcing the Dundee defence to be at its best. Fortunately for the visitors, in spite of how much Kelso huffed and puffed, the Dundee house was not for falling down and some huge shifts were put in, none more so than by Paddy Hamilton, Dundee’s man of the match.

Dundee held out until full-time was in sight and then, with 6 minutes remaining, Kelso let the ball go loose and it was pounced on, with a break by Andy Redmayne before the ball was passed to George Arnott, who galloped on to the line. Kieran Scoular’s conversion attempt flew wide, but Dundee were in a bit more comfortable position, even if two converted tried would have brought Kelso on level terms.

As it was, in spite of continued efforts, Kelso did not come close to scoring and the game petered out, much to Dundee’s satisfaction.

Full time: Kelso 3 Dundee 17

An all too rare, and valuable win in the Borders for a young Dundee side which had to absorb a fair degree of pressure, especially in the second half, but which rose to the task manfully. Slightly troubling may have been a suggestion of a return to old ways in the second half, where the penalty count was 8-2 against.

Bruno’s revenge was not long in coming, however, as he was the only bufty aboard when the team bus departed Poynder Park after the match, leaving the remaining elders to intercept the bus at Sainsbury.

Dundee scorers:
Tries: Alan Brown, Neil Herron, George Arnott
Conversion: Andrew Hamilton



Dundee Man of the Match: Patrick Hamilton

Dundee HSFP v Selkirk, Mayfield , 16th September 2017

Match Report

Dundee HSFP v Selkirk, Mayfield , 16th September 2017


President Tosh’s witty and exceptionally funny address, delivered in his inimitable style , to the Lunch Club guests in the Mayfield clubhouse got the pre match entertainment off to a splendid start . There were several well kent faces at the Lunch Club, none more welcome that Campbell Cunningham, the Dundee flanker who suffered a broken ankle in the previous home match . Your reporter is delighted to confirm that Campbell is in good spirits and looking to get fit again as soon as possible. They make them tough in the Marines……..

The prematch chat amongst the Mayfield faithful was the need for Dundee to get a home victory against Selkirk, following the close defeat at Gala the previous week. However, it was noted that Selkirk had enjoyed a good start to the season , with 2 wins out of 2 against Musselburgh and Aberdeen Grammar.

The Dundee starting line-up showed a number of changes from the team that played Gala.  Ronan was out with a back injury, young Cammie Mathieson replaced Chris Cartnell at hooker and there were welcome returns for George Arnot  and Danny Levison . Big bad Broonie was also a late call off, with Lewis McLean replacing him and Neil Dymock taking Lewis’s place on the bench.

Unfortunately –  in fact , more than unfortunately –  certainly sadly and even bordering on the tragically  – came the news that  the fans favourite and potential match winner Ice would be missing from the Dundee line up for the next 3 months as his latest Army assignment takes him to Cyprus. Whilst it is recognised that Defence of the Realm is important, surely with United Kingdom’s official terror threat alert having been raised to critical this week, a role could have been found for Ice within these shores………………

There were audible gasps from the crowd as Dundee took the field , for the first time resplendent in their new change strip , a bright orange/tangerine/old gold (more of which later). It was certainly distinctive and certainly could not be confused with Selkirk’s comparatively dowdy blue strip.

Once again, the Mayfield crowd got 2 games for the price of one, with Dundee Titans facing Selkirk on the bottom pitch. The return of the University students had resulted in a healthy turn out at training, with coaching and management team of Clinton Davey, Ian Robertson and Jimmy Michie having a strong team out.

The Ist XV match got under way, with the play concentrated in midfield for the opening exchanges. It was noted that Selkirk had some big units in their team and they looked very comfortable in possession. Early on, it became apparent that this was going to be no repetition of Dundee’s 60 point win the last time Selkirk came to Mayfield.

However, it was Dundee who took the lead after 10 minutes. Following a ruck outside their 22, the Selkirk 10 did the wrong thing –  he aimed his clearing kick in the direction of Danny Levison. Danny took the ball on the run , bounced one Selkirk player out of the way , sidestepped another and the gave a well timed pass for Danny McGinn to sprint for the line. Danny was caught, but the ball was recycled for Neil Turnbull to rumble over the line.

Fraser McKay added the conversion. 7-0 to Dundee 10 mins.

Following the restart , Selkirk enjoyed a period of sustained pressure , retaining possession admirably. However a loose pass on the Dundee 22 was intercepted by Fraser McKay who set off for the long sprint to the Selkirk line. As he made it past the Selkirk 22 , it seemed likely that he would be caught by the Selkirk winger , but remarkably Fraser got there to score between the posts.

He then dusted himself down and made a successful conversion. 14-0 Dundee 15 mins.

While 2 converted tries in the first 15 minutes is a good start in any match, there was still an uneasy feeling amongst the Dundee support on the touchline as Selklrk had by far more possession, and , as in previous weeks , the penalty count against Dundee was mounting.

The Dundee defence was impressive, but after 25 minutes the inevitable happened when hooker Forrest scored in the corner . This was converted by Banks . 14-7 Dundee.

At this point, Danny McGinn limped off to be replaced by Jack Paladini , son of well known Broughty Ferryite Sandro. Jack is an ex captain of the Dundee High school team and Dundee Eagles and he received a warm welcome from the crowd –  it is always good when one of “your ain” return.

Selkirk continued to dominate, spreading the ball wide to their wingers, who then brought the ball back in to be moved again, with newcomers Dama and Wagner  –  unlikely to have been of pure Borders stock but certainly giving their all for the Selkirk jersey  –  to the fore.

This tactic was stretching the Dundee defence as it was no surprise when centre McColm scored a try for Selkirk.  The conversion was missed . 14-12 Dundee.

2 minutes later, Selkirk scored again, with a couple of missed tackles enabling winger Hendrie to score in the corner.  17-14 Selkirk, 35 minutes gone.

The Dundee support at this stage had turned grumpy, having witnessed the match go pear-shaped, and the earlier 14-0 lead being wiped out

However, smiles were soon back in evidence , as in what seemed like their first attack for around half an hour , Dundee retained their lead with a try by Dundee flanker Paddy Hamilton. The conversion was missed, followed by the half time whistle.

Half Time – Dundee 19 Selkirk 17.

The new Dundee strip was the talk of the steamie at half time , with differing views as  to the both the attractiveness of the top and also what actual colour it was . In general , there was a  positive response to the colour , although  Gavin Garden –  never one to toe the party line or indeed to hold back his views  –  though that the top was awful. Well , his actual comments were more explicit than that and are certainly not for publication , but thanks Gavin –  your views are noted.

As regards the colour , the popular choices seemed to be orange , tangerine or old gold and in order to test the views of the Mayfield faithful , your reporter carried out a straw poll amongst the crowd at half time.

Old gold was understandably favoured by the traditionalists.

There was general opposition to the word  “orange” as it was feared that there were connotations with this word ie it could be pre-fixed by the world “Loyal”  and  there was no great desire amongst the troops on the touchline and in the stand to see the Dundee team marched onto the pitch by a flute band  with “The Sash” being belted out on the PA system.

The proposal that the strip was tangerine also provoked seriously strong reactions.

Those misguided enough to be of a Dens Park persuasion were not keen at all on this idea, with Gary Stewart , father of hooker Cammie , declaring the views of many that  he never could and never would support an team in tangerine .

Conversely the Arabs in the Mayfield crowd thought that Dundee High Rugby playing in tangerine was a jolly splendid idea as it would give them the opportunity to watch a team in tangerine that were entertaining to watch , as opposed to the turgid fare being served up by the lot currently wearing tangerine at Tannadice.

Overall, the support for each colour was roughly the same, so your reporter took the responsibility of making the casting vote.

As a long standing Arab , there was a no brainer.

And the winner is…………………… TANGERINE .

So, for the rest of the season , in your reporter’s match report, the change strip will be referred to as tangerine.

One supporter pointed out that regardless whether it was called orange , tangerine or old gold , the top clashed with the red and blue socks. The supporter was female. Not gender neutral. Female.

Whilst this may be a valid point , it was unlikely that this was uppermost in coach Sangster’s thoughts as he addressed his team at half time. The message was –  get the ball, keep it , get some rhythm going and cut down on the penalties.

Unfortunately, the second half started in the same manner as the first half –  Selkirk securing the ball and retaining possession. A couple of quickfire penalties to Selkirk confirmed the fear that the second half would be more of the same and from one of these penalties , fly half Banks scored to put Selkirk back in the lead. 20-19 to Selkirk.

Following this score , Dundee at last got some rhythm going –  the tangerine machine eventually clicking into gear –  and following strong forward play , number 8 Ally Mackie barged over near the touchline.

Fraser made a great conversion. 26-20 to Dundee.

The game then continued in the familiar pattern  –  Selkirk retaining possession , being very comfortable in possession , but strong Dundee defence keeping them out. Worryingly , Dundee continued to give away penalties.

However , there were occasional flashes of the high tempo running rugby that Dundee can play and one of these patches of play took Dundee into the Selkirk 22 . The ball came out along the backs and Fraser , displaying a keen rugby brain as well as excellent football skills , smashed over  a drop goal.

29-20 Dundee.

As the match entered the last 10 minutes, the hope was that Dundee could hold on against constant Selkirk pressure. Another penalty was conceded and this time Paddy Hamilton was shown a yellow card by the referee.

Selkirk kept up the pressure , and after moving the ball along the line , winger Wagman scored in the corner.

The conversion was missed. 29-25 Dundee.

Stress levels and blood pressure levels were now rising amongst the Dundee support as Selkirk were continuing to dominate and looking dangerous each time they had the ball . The Mayfield supporters fears were justified as in the last minute some tired tackling allowed replacement Anderson to score a try which was converted to put Selkirk 32-29 ahead.

As the game entered stoppage time , Dundee forced play into the Selkirk 22 and following frantic pressure , Selkirk encroached offside and a penalty was awarded to Dundee in front of the posts.

Decision time !!!!!!

Take the points and claim an honourable draw  –  Fraser could have kicked it with his flip-flops on –  or go for glory , take a scrum , and back yourself to go for a winning score.

This is a Dundee team with self-belief so it was not a huge surprise that the team went for the win and opted for a scrum.

Fortune favours the brave ?

Well , not this time as a knock on meant no score , end of match and a Selkirk victory.



Overall , naturally a disappointing result. The players were keen to win all the matches at Mayfield this season and this aspiration has been scuppered after only 2 matches.

Although never hitting the heights that they are capable of , Dundee had chances to win this match and as coach Sangster said , they should not have lost from a position of being 9 points up with 5 minutes to play.

However , from an unbiased perspective –  not mine  , as I am unashamedly and proudly  biased and as long as I prepare these match reports I will adhere to my journalistic principles of being biased –  Selkirk had far more possession , played an attractive style of rugby , took their chances and probably deserved their win.

Another high penalty count did not help Dundee and there is no doubt that this continues to frustrate Colin Sangster  .

It should be noted that the Dundee Titans had a convincing victory over Selkirk and with good numbers at training , it will make for interesting team selections for the matches v Kelso (1st XV) and Boroughmuir (Titans) next weekend.

Match Report Dundee High Rugby v Jedforest , Forfar Road , Dundee , Saturday 29 April 2017

Match Report

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.

Sean’s first Try for the club

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”.

Sound advice.

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.

Ally Mackie

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.

Match Report Dundee v GHA 22nd April 17

Dundee HSFP v GHA

22 April 2017

Was it the time of year? Something in the chill wind? There were four matches played in National 1 and 2 and the average number of points scored over the four was 89, ranging from 81 to 95!

In the early stages of this re-arranged fixture, which took place at the ground of Morgan RFC, there was no suggestion of the try-fest which was to follow. Early indications possibly favoured GHA, but the insecure handling which was to afflict much of their efforts, cost them the initial score. Shaun Gauld seized a loose ball and set of from his own half. In support were George Arnott and Andy Dymock, the latter finishing off with the opening try, easily converted by Fraser McKay and Dundee were 7-0 ahead after 7 minutes.

A fairly even spell followed, peppered with some loose play by both sides, until a penalty offence by the visitors allowed Dundee to find touch some 10 metres from the GHA line. Dundee drove the line-out maul then opened out leading to another penalty against GHA and Fraser McKay slotted the kick to extend the home lead. 10 – 0 with 18 minutes on the clock.

GHA’s attacking efforts were being hampered by handling errors and, when Dundee were able to take advantage, to relieve pressure in their 22, a line-out resulted on the 22-metre line, with a Dundee throw. A throw to the front and a break up the right touch-line followed, then the ball was moved across the park and Dundee were forced into touch on the left, 10 metres from the GHA line. GHA offended, and Dundee won the resultant scrum, with the ball being moved out until a clear space opened for Ali Mackie under the posts, for a try converted by Fraser McKay. 17 – 0 to Dundee with 29 minutes gone.

Almost immediately, the lead was extended. A break by Geo from the re-start took the ball into the GHA 22, where it was re-cycled for a try by Josh Rutnagur. The conversion attempt was missed but the Dundee support was delighted with the securing of the try bonus point, all-important in the quest for a fourth-place finish in the league. 32 minutes played and 22 – 0

Dundee continued in that mould when another breakout followed the kick-off, the ball moving through three pairs of hands before Ronan Joy scampered some 50 metres for a try, well converted by Fraser McKay. Dundee looking good at 29 – 0 after 36 minutes.

Half-time: Dundee HSFP 29 – GHA 0

A pleasing score-line for the Dundee faithful, although the points were secured without the side really seeming to find top gear. Indeed handling errors were a feature of play from both sides, especially affecting GHA. The half-time exhortations for Dundee included the warning to be aware of GHA’s second half performance, as evidenced by the game at Braidholm and GHA’s recent second half against league champions Marr.

In the event, it was therefore ironic that the next scores were by GHA. Already on the attack from the re-start, their cause was aided by a yellow card against Dundee. GHA quickly took the resultant penalty and Peter Jericevich nipped over for a try under the posts, converted by Andrew Goudie. 29 – 7 after 43 minutes.

Still on the offensive, GHA moved the ball from the kick-off and a long run from his own half by left-winger Andrew Spowart ended with the supporting Andrew Goudie touching down in the right corner, for a try well-converted by himself, and the deficit was reduced: 29 -14.

Dundee redressed the balance, however, with the next score, Josh Rutnagur claiming his second try, and Fraser McKay adding the extras with a fine conversion from out wide. Dundee now ahead 36 – 14 with 50 minutes played.

The strings were coming loose now, tries following thick and fast.

53 minutes: Dundee knocked on at the kick-off. GHA ran the ball from the scrum and Andrew Goudie scored in the corner for an unconverted try. 36 – 19

55 minutes: GHA lost the ball and Dundee launched a narrow attack down the right hand touchline, ending with Ice sliding through for an uncoverted try. 41 – 19

58 minutes: Dundee sustained possession and a break by Colin Strachan led to an unconverted try by Fraser Mckay; 46 – 19

65 minutes: GHA’s turn. Penalty offences were leading to a loss of Dundee momentum, then a kick through by GHA was pounced on by full-back, Nigel Kelly. Uncoverted, but a try bonus for GHA. 46-24.

72 minutes: The only two penalties of the half against GHA let Dundee into the GHA 22. Although the ball was initially lost, possession was regained and the ball was worked though hands for a second try by Ali Mackie, unconverted. 51 – 24.

76 minutes: In spite of a second yellow card, Dundee scored again after stealing the ball from GHA. Colin Strachan passed to Geo about half-way and he reached the GHA line for a try converted by Fraser. 58 – 24.

80 minutes: Despite being a man down again, it was Dundee who finished off the scoring with Dundee’s tenth and, perhaps, best try of the game. Dundee line-out possession was moved through the backs, with Ice on a loop move followed by the ball being moved through several pairs of hands and ending with a try by Henry Sampson. Fraser duly obliged and the whistle sounded for no-side. 65 – 24.

A bizarre game, with 89 almost ad hoc points scored without any obvious signs of structure: loose play and insecure handling perhaps featuring more. Satisfying from Dundee’s point of view, however, with a boost to the points differential and the all-important bonus point well-secured. Less satisfying, however, was another heavily-skewed second-half penalty count, which will be a focus of attention.

Dundee scorers:

Tries: Ali Mackie (2), Josh Rutnagur (2), Andy Dymock, Ronan Joy, Fraser McKay, Isao Matacagi, George Arnott, Henry Sampson

Conversions: Fraser McKay (6)

Penalty: Fraser McKay

Dundee Man of the Match: DannyMcGinn

Match Report Dundee v Aberdeen Grammar

Dundee High Rugby 19 Aberdeen Grammar Rugby 12



As is so often the case at Riverside (the posts now being down at Mayfield), the wind dominated proceedings as Dundee took on traditional rivals Aberdeen Grammar both for important league points and also the Dallas Allardice Trophy. Watched by a healthy sized crowd, Dundee won the toss and elected to play with the wind in the first half, which was blowing straight down the pitch.

Despite playing into the teeth of the wind, the sizeable Grammar team, fielding a number of big units both up front and in the backs, mounted early pressure and it looked like they would soon muscle their way over in the early exchanges, until driven back by a great Cammy Mathieson goal line tackle. Unfortunately, Cammy saw yellow as he was penalised for not rolling away from the tackle, and Dundee were down to 14 men for the next 10 minutes. Aberdeen pressed hard again, until a great steal by Ronan Joy eventually lifted the siege.

Ali Mackie then made a fine break off a Dundee scrum that was under a fair bit of pressure throughout the game, No. 10 Josh Rutnugar linked, and as play swung left with a big Dundee overlap a score looked on until a pass was spilled on the Grammar 22. It was not long delayed, however, as a good Fraser McKay kick ahead put Aberdeen into all sorts of bother, and Colin Strachan regained possession and went over for the first try of the game, converted by Fraser. Dundee 7-0 ahead, after quarter of an hour had gone.

Five minutes later, Strachan was the main man once again, making a great break and linking with McKay, whose searching kick ahead once more caused consternation in the Aberdeen ranks, until eventually the danger was snuffed out. Not for long, however, as from the resulting lineout, stand off Josh popped up a short pass to Ali Mackie, running a great angle, who went over under the sticks against his former teammates. McKay added the extras, and Dundee led 14 – 0 after 25 minutes.

Dundee were in the midst of a purple patch, and shortly after the restart another crunching tackle by Cammy Mathieson on halfway knocked the ball loose, and Mackie kicked ahead to eventually force a lineout on the Grammar 5 metre line. Mackie himself stole the poor Grammar throw and touched down for his second and Dundee’s third try, after less than half an hour had gone. Dundee 19 – Aberdeen 0.

The remainder of the first half descended into a midfield battle, as the wind and a number of penalties took their toll on both sides’ attempts at continuity. The first half ended with a pass from Moose to Goose going loose, as Colin Strachan again made some hard yards, but Angus Campbell, showing up well in his first start for the 1st XV with some great breaks, was unable to cling onto the ball with a try threatening.

Would 19 first half points prove to be enough for Dundee,  playing into the mini-gale in the second half against a powerful Aberdeen side?

Dundee were forced into an early change after the restart as Cammy Mathieson was injured in a tackle, Niall Hall slotting in at hooker, and Angus Campbell moving to wing forward. Aberdeen made an fine early break, with No. 14 Walker, proving a real handful for the Dundee defence,  creating the initial line break, and a try looked likely until Ronan Joy, covering across from the other wing, put in a good tackle. Aberdeen were camped on the Dundee 22, and Dundee were again creaking until a Fraser McKay interception once more pushed Grammar back and earned Dundee some hard won breathing space. But these were rare moments as Aberdeen’s pressure mounted, and so did the penalty count against Dundee.

Luckily for the home side, Aberdeen’s attack became increasingly one dimensional in the windy conditions, and outstanding defence against Aberdeen’s bash it up approach meant Dundee’s line remained intact as the clock continued to tick down. Ronan made another big challenge, full back Danny McGinn did the same to frustrate another possible try, and then Colin Strachan joined in the defensive party with a couple of big hits as Aberdeen continued to bang their heads against the brick wall that was Dundee defence.

But Dundee’s defensive efforts were taking their toll. Fraser McKay had to leave the field injured, and Struan Gartley came on at wing forward, with Danny Levison moving out into the centre. Penalties then turned into yellow cards as first Niall Hall, then Broonie, were sent to the bin for 10 minutes each, and for a while Dundee were down to 13 men. Inevitably, Aberdeen’s extra numbers told, and at last Dundee’s line was breached as Aberdeen’s Dougie Russell went over to make it Dundee 19 Aberdeen 5 after 72 minutes.

Dundee were under the cosh again immediately from the kick off, until a 40 yard break by Ali Mackie gave them some breathing space. However, failure to retain possession, a problem throughout the second half, let Aberdeen press back towards the Dundee line, and with Dundee tiring Aberdeen centre Radcliffe went over, Knudson slotting the conversion. Dundee 19 Aberdeen 12, with just 2 minutes to go.

Broonie was back on by now, along with Lewis McLean in the front row, with Jonny Gibson coming off. A good restart saw Dundee work their way up to the Aberdeen 22, until another Aberdeen penalty (the second half count was 14 penalties to Aberdeen, 2 to Dundee) gave the men from Rubislaw one last chance to draw level in injury time, as the clock ticked past 80 minutes. And to their credit Aberdeen nearly took it, producing a great 5 minute spell of precision pick and drive, or one out rugby, and grinding their way steadily down the pitch to Dundee’s 22. At last, however, Dundee’s outstanding defensive commitment, combined with Aberdeen’s lack of a cutting edge, proved too much for the away team, and a knock on led to the referee blowing for full time to the relief of the Mayfield team and supporters.


Summary – A young Dundee team could be proud of their second half defensive efforts, which meant the Dallas Allardice cup stayed in Dundee, and was presented to skipper Andy Dymock after the match by Lorna and Catrina, 2 of Dallas’s daughters.


Dundee team:

  1. Danny McGinn, 14. Ewan Campbell, 13. Fraser McKay, 12 Colin Strachan, 11. Ronan Joy, 10. Josh Rutnagur, 9. Andy Dymock, 1. Jonny Gibson 2. Angus Campbell, 3. Alan Brown, 4. George Arnott, 5. Jack Anderson 6. Cameron Mathieson, 7. Danny Levison, 8. Ali Mackie

Bench: 16. Niall Hall, 17. Lewis McLean, 18. Struan Gartley, 19. Kaleem Barreto, 20. Andrew Burgess


Match Report Boroughmuir 3rd XV v Dundee Titans, 1st April 2015

Boroughmuir 3rd XV v Dundee Titans

1 April 2017

If there was anything familiar, it was another unfamiliar Titans line-up, which took the field at Boroughmuir, on a bright spring afternoon with a strong breeze blowing down the pitch. Traffic delays, firstly in Dundee, and latterly on the approaches to the Forth Road Bridge, meant a delayed kick-off, and, even then, two players had not arrived by the time the whistle went, forcing coach Dougie Gray to take the field temporarily.

Titans won the toss and elected to play with the wind in the first half. After firstly falling foul of over-kicking in the wind, Titans began to harness it better and kept themselves in the game, until a clearance kick failed to reach touch and the ball was run back by Boroughmuir, with their loose-head prop bursting through to open the scoring. The try was converted and the home side were ahead, 7 – 0.

Although Boroughmuir ran the ball back from the kick-off, Dundee stole possession and, when Boroughmuir were penalised, Yousif Alagilly slotted the kick to reduce the deficit: 7 – 3.

Dundee continued to use the wind to advantage and another offence by Boroughmuir gave Yousif a second penalty opportunity, but, this time, the kick was sent wide and it was Boroughmuir which were next to score. A good burst by their inside centre, followed by two passes, saw the ball touched down for an unconverted try, putting Boroughmuir 12 – 3 ahead.

Dundee were up to strength, but an injury to Scott Strachan brought Dougie Gray back into the fray and Titans held out until just on half-time, when a good burst by their outside centre brought a try which was converted, bringing the half-time whistle and a score of 19 – 3 in Boroughmuir’s favour.

Half-time: Boroughmuir 3rd XV 19 Dundee Titans 3

Titans would need to look after the ball better against the wind in the second half and would need to improve their tackling, as well as their speed of reaction.

In the event, it was poor tackling which allowed Boroughmuir to stretch their lead with but a minute of the half played. Their No 7 ran through several attempted tackles before off-loading and the inside centre claimed the try which the stand-off converted, and Boroughmuir were 26 – 3 ahead.

Although playing with little structure, as might be expected from the unfamiliar team which they were, Dundee held out until a miss-field in 58 minutes allowed Boroughmuir possession in the Dundee 22, the ball being gathered and passed for a second score by the outside-centre, converted by the stand-off. 33 – 3

Boroughmuir were in the driving seat now and further tries followed in 64, 67, 69 and 73 minutes, with three converted, to take the score to 59 – 3.

Titans’ closing efforts prevented further Boroughmuir scoring, but brought no further scores for the visitors and that’s how it finished.

Full-time: Boroughmuir 3rd XV 59  Dundee Titans 3

Dougie Gray in action for the Titans earlier this year

A disjointed, shapeless, ad hoc performance by the Titans, which is hardly surprising, given the make-shift nature of the side, and it is to their credit that they continued to give their all to the end. Special mention to coach, Dougie Gray, who played most of the game in spite of still recovering from a severe chest infection.

Titans’ scorers:

Penalty: Yousif Alagilly