Match Report – Boroughmuir Bears 24-31 Dundee Titans – 15 September 2018

A changed Titans team with more unfamiliar faces? Surely not? Yes indeed, it was a new-look Dundee side which kicked off at a breezy Meggatland, with the wind behind their backs. Two early penalties by the home side gave Dundee a penalty goal chance, but the kick was just wide. Dundee won possession after the drop-out and were on the attack, with good possession, breaks and re-cycling leading to the opening score when Ceillem Stewart crashed over under the posts, leaving Grant Paterson a simple conversion. Ten minutes gone and Dundee were ahead 0-7.

Despite their unfamiliarity with one another, the Dundee side was performing well, with strong defence and counter-attack, but it was a penalty offence by Boroughmuir which brought the next scoring opportunity, duly accepted by Grant and the lead was increased to 10 points: 0-10 after 20 minutes.

The Bears clawed the three points back with a penalty themselves 6 minutes later to make the score 3-10, but Dundee had the last word in the half. After the narrowest of penalty misses, Dundee won the ball at the restart and then again at a line-out some ten metres from the home line. A series of post-line-out drives ended with Grant bursting over between the posts and he added the extras on the stroke of half-time to enable Dundee to turn round 3-17 ahead.

Half-time: Boroughmuir Bears 3 Dundee Titans 17

A pleasing first-half from the Titans, with some encouraging individual performances. If some team cohesion could be generated, a promising result could be in prospect, but would the strong wind give Boroughmuir a lift?

As it happened, Dundee began the second half with another spell of good possession and, after they stole the ball following a scrum, Cammy Gray dotted down to stretch the visitors’ lead. 3-24 after 46 minutes.

Boroughmuir then began to take a hold of the game and, after a good try by their right winger, converted by the stand-off, to make the score 10-24 after 52 minutes, their tails were up and, following a series of close-quarter drives, their powerful tight head prop crashed over and the stand-off once more converted, to narrow the gap. 60 minutes played and the score moved to 17-24.

Boroughmuir were in the ascendancy and, in 68 minutes, the scores were equal following a penalty offence by Dundee. ‘Muir kicked to touch and drove the resultant line-out ball over. The ball was not touched down, but Dundee were adjudged guilty of a try-preventing offence and a penalty try was awarded. 24-all after 68 minutes, and next try the winner?

Dundee were getting some momentum going again and their potential was increased when the home tight-head retired and the Dundee scrum began to shove their opponents. When a free-kick was awarded against Boroughmuir a desperate Dundee attack was mounted, reaching 5 metres from the Bear’s line. Boroughmuir were penalised, Dundee took the penalty quickly and Iain Lockhart crashed over for a score on the right, which Grant converted. Would this indeed be the winning score, after 81 minutes?

Dundee knocked on at the re-start and in the tense remaining minutes, Boroughmuir strove hard for another score, only to be thwarted at the last by a penalty for crossing. Dundee kicked the ball dead and no-side arrived, to the relief of the Titans.

Full-time: Boroughmuir Bears 24 Dundee Titans 31

The Titans maintained their maximum point start to the season with an eventually hard-fought win, and there were encouraging signs of individual ability, good work at the breakdown, support and off-loads. The opportunity to develop cohesion and structure would add to the team’s potential, especially in the face of the next fixture, at home to the very strong Edinburgh Accies’ side.

Dundee scorers:

Tries: Ceillem Stewart, Grant Paterson, Cameron Gray, Iain Lockhart
Conversions: Grant Paterson (4)
Penalty: Grant Paterson

Match Report – Stewart’s Melville 2nd XV 31-38 Dundee Titans – 1 September 2018

The first League game of a new season, but there was something familiar about it, with a Titans XV short of two players and some irregular players among those listed. As it happened, Stew-Mel provided two players from their ranks so that the game started at 15-all.

The Inverleith pitches were looking immaculate, and refurbished changing rooms made for a good start to the afternoon. The day became even better, with the Titans moving ahead after only 5 minutes when a long Duncan Leese pass put Scott Lothian in for a try. The conversion was unsuccessful, but Dundee were ahead, 0-5.

Stew-Mel attacks were foundering on a resolute Dundee defence and insecure handling and it was the visitors who went further ahead in 15 minutes, when Dundee kicked a penalty to touch and drove the resulting line-out maul, ending in a try for Duncan Leese, which he converted to make the score 0-12.

Dundee were proving dominant in open play and, particularly in the set scrum, pushing Stew-Mel back at each opportunity. When Stew-Mel were penalised on their 5 -metre line, Dundee opted for the scrum and drove Stew-Mel back, causing them to break up and concede a penalty try.

32 minutes gone and Dundee further ahead, 0-19.

Stew-Mel lost possession after the kick-off, Dundee collected and Duncan Leese put Scott Lothian clear, with a 60 metre run ahead, which he duly completed, for an unconverted try and the lead was increased: 0-24 after 34 minutes.

Dundee lost the ball after the re-start, allowing Stew-Mel a rare opportunity to attack in the Dundee 22 and, when Dundee were penalised 10 metres out, the penalty was taken quickly and their replacement flanker crossed for an unconverted try. 5 -24 with 27 minutes played.

Half time: Stewart’s Melville 2nd XV 5 Dundee Titans 24

An encouraging half by Dundee, with good, “up-quickly”, defence limiting Stew-Mel opportunities and forcing handling errors. Up front, the Dundee scrum was super-dominant at the set piece and Iain Lockhart was proving a useful resource in the line-out. Would Dundee be able to maintain their fitness in the second half, and remain on top, was the question.

Not sure if the term’s been used before, but this turned out to be a game of two halves, and for two reasons. Firstly, Stew-Mel took back one of their loan players, Freddie, who, it is believed, had not played for them before, but had shown himself to be among the best players on the park. Secondly, before the second half had much progressed, a Stew-Mel prop went off injured, and uncontested scrums were ordained, denying Dundee that area of absolute dominance.

In the event, it was the visitors who went further ahead, 6 minutes into the half, after a penalty against Stew-Mel gave Dundee the chance to reach touch some 12 metres out. Good Dundee handling and drives led to another penalty against the home side, and this time it was quickly taken and Andrew Clarkson crashed over from short range, with Duncan Leese adding the extras to extend Dundee’s lead: 5-31 after 46 minutes.

Shortly after this, uncontested scrums were introduced, signalling an opportunity for Stew-Mel to come back into the game.

In 51 minutes, their stand-off burst over for a try, converted by the full-back, for 12-31, then, with Stew-Mel gaining more of the possession, another try followed, with their full-back crossing in 56 minutes for an unconverted try, making the score 17 – 31 after 56 minutes.

Stew-Mel now had their tails up and continued to press and scored again through their No 6, with a try converted by their stand-off and Stew-Mel were within striking distance, at 24-32, with 60 minutes played.

The game was becoming peppered with penalties, most of which were going in the home side’s
favour, then a great break by Duncan Leese took play to 10 metres from the Stew-Mel line and, when tackled, he passed to Andrew Clarkson who completed the move, only for the referee to adjudge a forward pass.

This heralded a spell of good Dundee possession and pressure, but a kick through by Stew-Mel led to the ball being given away to the Stew-Mel scrum-half who touched down. The stand-off converted and the scores were level, 31-all with 10 minutes remaining.

The loss of the lead seemed to inspire Dundee and they were soon on the attack and pressing in the Stew-Mel red zone. After a number of phases with Dundee in possession, Ruaridh Hood crossed for Dundee, and Duncan Leese converted, restoring the lead to Dundee, 31-38 with two minutes remaining. Two minutes which were played out without further score, much to the relief of the visitors.

Full-time: Stewarts-Melville 2nd XV 31 Dundee Titans 38

In spite of the eventual closeness of the result, to this observer, this performance was among the best seen from the Titans in recent seasons. The dominance of the pack in the first half, the individual performances, the organisation and effectiveness of the defence, and the control exercised by Duncan Leese, were all very pleasing at this stage of the season and with such an unfamiliar line-up.

Although the Titans turned up with less than a full complement, Stew-Mel Chairman, Finlay Calder, graciously confirmed, post-match, that the result would stand as a bona fide league result, so, a five-point win and well done, the Titans!

Titans Scorers
Tries: Scott Lothian (2), Duncan Leese, Andrew Clarkson, Ruairdh Hood, penalty try.
Conversions: Duncan Leese (4)

Dundee Player of the Match: Duncan Leese

It’s all happening at Mayfield!

Well the dust hasn’t settled long on the 17/18 season but we’re already looking ahead to next!

Changes are afoot in the Mayfield think tank.

The club has galvanised after the reeling sting of missing out on Super 6 and is looking ahead to a possible future expansion to super 8! So what are we doing off the field to move to that goal.

Well several things in fact!

We have established a blossoming new relationship with Abertay University, that will see them supporting the club in various different roles.

The Crown and the Stag have combined, but not in a Robert Baratheon sort of way. Morgan Rugby Club and Dundee HSFP combine forces to welcome a new dawn in Dundee Rugby. Hopefully more playing opportunities and shared resource will see this venture as a success.

Colin Sangster

Colin Sangster has completed his level 4 coaching badge, making him one of the most qualified coaches in the country and a real asset to the club and the city.

Bill Campbell, our new BDM

Bill Campbell has committed to becoming our first ever Business Development Manager! Bill has been involved, with great success, on the commercial side of the club for some time and with this new role will no doubt increase his positive influence.

And we all love social media, so we’ve upped our game here too. Bringing in the vastly experienced Holly Good to steer the ship through our social media expeditions and press releases.

Hopefully we don’t have to follow Geo’s snapchat to find out whats happening anymore!

Fraser McKay, our new skip, in action

And last but not least the club captain for 2018/19 has been announced. And we are pleased to report that Fraser McKay fills the void left by outgoing skip Duncan Leese.

Great praise must go to Duncs, who asked in parting that we pull together as a club to move forward into a new era. Thank you for your commitment and unwavering enthusiasm last year Dunc. We know we are in good hands both on and off the pitch with Fraser and wish him all the best for the upcoming season.

We hope everyone associated with the club will welcome our new recruits and are looking forward to the new season getting underway. See you at Mayfield

Postumi della Sbornia

What’s the Italian for Hangover……. What a cracker of a weekend of six nations rugby.

We have some footage of some Dundonian Scotland Supporters in the Olympic Sadium in Rome on Saturday on what was a quiet affair.

Wee Greig saved the day on the pitch but there was never any doubt that the Dundee contingent would enjoy themselves.

And just for the hell of it here is something to cheer up all our supporters, who no doubt enjoyed this weekend’s rugby viewing… just have a look at fith place.

But all good things come to an end and we must turn our attentions back to the domestic calendar and both our teams are away to Musselburgh

It might not have the romance of the eternal city but there are crucial league points up for grabs, especially for the Titans, so hopefully we will get a good travelling support.

 

 

Match Report Dundee Titans v Hawick Force, Mayfield , 10th March 2018

Match Report

Dundee Titans v Hawick Force, Mayfield , 10th March 2018

Would the weather in Dundee get better after the week of the “Beast from the East”?

Well, maybe but it was still a brutal Saturday lunchtime when the Titans kicked off against Hawick Force at 12.15pm. Horizontal wind and rain and a sodden Mayfield pitch.

So,  fair play to the team that from Hawick that had pitched up in numbers in Dundee after  a 3 hour bus journey with a full bench and an full back up team on a day when surely the tempting option would have been to stay in your scratcher , have a long lie , get up at lunchtime for a couple of beers  , then sit in the clubhouse bar to watch Ireland v Scotland and then France v England in the 6 Nations…….

Bill McLaren, Hawick’s most famous resident, would have been proud of them.

One of Bill’s famous phrases was “a day out of Hawick is a day wasted”.

An alternative view from your reporter –  who prefers the bright lights of the city to the peacefulness of the Borders – would be “ a day in Hawick is a day wasted”….but I will let the readers may up their own minds.

The Dundee Titans fielded what looked like a strong team –  Hughan and Franco brothers to the fore. For the Hughans ,it was a family affair –  Jamie was at 9 , Gav was at 8 and mum and dad and the dog were in the stand .The Kray brothers –  sorry the Francos – were in the , back row , with Titans stalwarts Andy Clarkson and Struan Gartley in the second row. In the backs, to the huge disappointment of the crowd, Hamish Livingstone was not in the centre , with Ronan Joy taking his place and Rory McGinn at 10. The front row of Lewis McLean, Ceillem and Scott Doig looked tasty. Youth was represented in the form of young Aengus McCrimmon (no I have not mis-spelt the name –  his mother is Irish), a member of the Dundee High School 1st XV, taking his place on the wing.

I have not got a scooby what the Hawick Force team was as there was no programme, but they played in green.

The match kicked off in the pissing rain.

Your reporter apologises for the seemingly industrial language, but this is considered necessary to give the reader the impression that, yes , it was not pleasant weather as we shivered in the Mayfield stand.

The initial phases of the match were a forwards battle , with the ball not seeing life beyond either teams tens.

In the first ten minutes, there were around 8 scrums –  none of which were conclusive –  and this set the tone for the afternoon.

The referee was strict as to his view as to scrum etiquette – both 9s were penalised for seemingly squint put ins –  and running rugby was understandably at a minimum.

Hawick took the lead after 15 minutes when their 10 –  who looked a tidy player-  nailed a close-range penalty after another scrum infringement.     3-0 Hawick.

In the next 10 minutes, the ball got its first airing, primarily through Hawick hands.

It was noticed amongst the inhabitants of the Mayfield stand that the Hawick left winger bore a remarkable resemblance to Hen Broon.

For younger readers who do not know who Hen Broon is,ask your Dad and Mum with the clue being Sunday Post/Broons , but the one time Hen got in full flow , Ronan covered across and absolutely flattened him.

Dundee Titans were taking a time to get into their stride, but eventually Sean Gauld in the centre had a couple of breaks that gained territory, but on a couple of occasions the final pass let the Titans down.

Hawick then forced play into the Dundee half and a good break by their number 8 created space for their right winger to head for the corner.

As noted above, the Hawick left winger was a dead ringer for Hen Broon, but the right winger was a different shape, more akin to Daphne Broon.

Anyway , Daphne scampered off for the corner , eluded the Dundee defence and scored in the corner. The conversion was missed.                                        8-0 Hawick.

The forwards battle then recommenced , with the Titans now coming more into the game , with Gavin Hughan to the fore.

The last 10 minutes of the half were spent predominantly in the Hawick 22 but the Titans found themselves up against a determined defence and when chances were created , the final pass did not go to hand and opportunities lost –  a situation which would be unfortunately mirrored against a  team in green at the Aviva stadium in a couple of hours time…..

Half time came with the Titans unable to penetrate the Hawick defence.

Half Time –  Dundee Titans 0 Hawick Force 8.

 

Coaching supremo Clinton rang the changes at half time. Jamie came off and Ceillem showed his versatility by moving from hooker to 9. Niall came on at hooker.

Dr Thomas Harding –  he with several degrees as well as being a doctor and basically all round clever bloke – also came on to exponentially increase the overall IQ level on the pitch , with Ronan going off and Clarkson moving to set up a twinkle-toes centre combination with Sean.

The second half immediately followed the same pattern as the first half ie scrum after scrum. Wayne Barnes may have let the game flow more, but unfortunately he was preparing to referee Ireland v Scotland.

Titans had the bulk of the territory in the early part of the second half but the curse of final passes not going to hand was still in evident, against it has to be said spirited defence.

Hawick then forced play towards the Titans 22 and after a period of pressure were awarded a penalty in front of the posts which their 10 nailed.     11-0 Hawick.

As the rain continued –  in fact it was generally miserable conditions all round –  the Titans approach was to keep the ball in the forwards with Struan Gartley to the fore, with several powerful runs.

However, following another move broke down, the Hawick 10 launched the ball towards the Dundee 22 and Hawick had a period of pressure . A penalty award followed which was taken successfully.                                                            14-0 Hawick.

The feeling amongst the frozen masses in the stand was that this was not going to be the Titans day. At this stage it is only appropriate that credit is given to the stalwarts that pitched up in the rain to watch the match –  President Tosh was , as always , to the fore alongside Messrs Reoch , Wright and Nicol . Gartley senior was as always good company keeping a running total of the numbers of scrums.

Special mention must be made of Captain Duncan Leese, who took his place in the stands to watch his troops. Duncan, in his final year at Uni studying for an MSc in how to save the world  , let it be known that he had a bunch of Uni work to do which had to take priority that day , so he had the choice of either watching the Titans or watching Ireland v Scotland so he had chosen , yes , the Titans…….

Dunc –  that is devotion , beyond the call of duty .  Millions would not have made your choice.

The Titans kept on going , mindful of the fact that a bonus point would prove invaluable as the end of the season beckoned and coach Clinton brought himself on to rally the troops , but once again spirited defence and a couple of unsympathetic refereeing decisions kept them out.

The final whistle went –  credit must be given to the referee  –  not many would have done his job in these miserable conditions –  and the players headed eagerly for the showers.

 

Full Time –  Dundee Titans 0 Hawick Force 14

Reflections

It must have been miserable to play in that match, so credit to the players.

Did Hawick deserve to win –  yeah probably for 2 reasons –  they took their chances and their defence was solid throughout the match.

Another narrow defeat for the Titans did not do much for Clinton’s blood pressure and also not much for their league position which is still perilous. 3 games left and points have to be won. They certainly did not get the rub of the green in this match and on another day, this could easily have been a narrow victory.

Talking about rub of the green, it was certainly the weekend for the teams in green to win –  Hawick, Ireland , Celtic , Hibs.

No doubt Lochee Harp would have made it 5 out of 5, but their match v Blairgowrie was cancelled.

No matches for the Dundee 1st XV or the Titans next weekend, with all eyes on the final Saturday in the 6 Nations.

Come along to the Mayfield clubhouse for Super Saturday and for those Club stalwarts going to Italy , enjoy and , as you will no doubt know , the important phrase in Italian is “un’altra birra per favore”.

Saluti.

 

Titans Return

The Titans return to action this week after a week off, and hit the road again with the 1st XV.

Tensions are high in the Titans camp after being frustrated with no fixture last weekend. This resulted in some of the Crown’s second tier sticking it to the 1st XV at training. The titans scrum was said to be “much better than the 1st XV” by an anonymous African with a bandage fetish.

With the influx of new students in the City, the Titans seem to be putting together a good squad capable of competing in their league and providing depth to the 1st XV.

That bodes well for competition for places and also means a fired up side will head to Braidhome on Saturday, looking to claim a double victory in the West.

But who are the Titans Coaching Staff:

Head Coach, Clinton Davie

Clinton is still fighting the urge not to play, this South African Stalwart has been assistant to Dougie Gray over several years and now steps up to the hot seat. Clinton is not a sympathetic coach, he comes from the school of “get on with it”,  but his enthusiasm rubs off. Clinton has close links with Dundee University having coached at Riverside for the last couple of seasons.

Ian Robertson Assistant Coach/Borders Survivor:

Former Player retired through injury, Ian bolsters the coaching options for the Titans this year. A P.E teacher by trade, he comes with coaching experience and a knowledge of the club and players. He wouldn’t be described as articulate but his love of lineouts (bordering on obsession) and Martin Johnston are a site to behold.

 

Team Manager Jimmy The Pig (JTP):

You’ve heard of the Matalan Morinho, we have the Pot Bellied Pochettino. Titan’s manager Jimmy returns for his second spell at the club, bringing a wealth of knowledge on local players and brings an organisation and behind the scenes work that so often gets overlooked or cannot be handled by the coaches.  Jimmy also has an interesting method of encouragement for the players offering unique Smirnoff based incentives.