Dundee High Rugby 10-36 Gala – Match Report

Dundee welcomed the famous maroon colours of Gala to Mayfield on what was otherwise a very gray autumnal day indeed at Mayfield. There was hardly a breath of wind in the air to trouble the players, but that also meant the pitch was still a bit greasy on top, making the ball a bit like the proverbial bar of soap at times. It felt almost like being in Japan, as one World Cup aficionado who had clearly overdosed on their recent surfeit of sofa rugby, remarked!

Colin Sangster, Dundee’s oppo to Eddie Jones, had once more been forced to shuffle his deck, with 9 changes from last week’s squad of 20. It was good to see Rhuairidh Hood returning to the wing after a few weeks out injured. Dundee kicked off, but Gala were quickly on the attack and winger Cooke slotted a straightforward penalty after 3 minutes to edge them ahead. Dundee surged right back, and from a fine midfield break by centre Rory McGinn the ball was slipped on to No. 8 Finlay Ormiston. With just the full back to beat, perhaps he should have backed himself, but instead his attempted pass to the Dundee support was batted down by the Gala defender, and the chance was gone.

And then Dundee’s usual injury woes started to kick in. Hooker Andrew Elton was forced off after less than 10 minutes, with Ceillem Stewart coming on in his place. Meantime, Gala were busy establishing squatting rights in Dundee’s half, as, for the next half hour, Dundee found it virtually impossible to get past the halfway line. The pressure first told after 12 minutes. A scrum 5 metres out was well held by the Dundee 8, so Gala ran the ball but turned it over, and the danger seemed have been cleared as Dundee punted to touch. However, Gala’s quick throw bamboozled the defence, and Cooke streaked over for a bit of a sucker try in the far corner, well converted by himself. 10 – 0 to the Maroons.

From the restart, Gala simply steamrollered their way back into attack, and only some good scramble defence, plus a couple of notable tackles by Hoffie and McGinn, kept the maroon tide at bay. Three times Gala were held up when over the try line, and each time Dundee somehow held out from the resulting 5 metre scrum. The third time, a scrum penalty awarded to Dundee was gratefully accepted with both hands, and the pressure was momentarily relieved.

But only momentarily…for eventually the Dundee resistance crumbled, as first winger Johnston got on the scoresheet with a try after half an hour, followed by another 3 minutes later from centre Nicholson, from a midfield break. Both were converted by Cooke, pushing Gala out to a 24 point lead.

As the half drew to a close, however, Dundee at last got on the front foot, and some sustained attacking in the Gala 22 saw the ball well recycled a number of times, until eventually space opened up on the right for winger Hood to finish off a good spell of play in the corner, well converted by No. 10 Paul Kerr.

Half time reflections: Dundee’s try at the end of the first half had given them a glimmer of hope, with the scoreline now standing at 24 – 7, but with Gala’s bigger pack dominating the line out and giving us problems in the set scrum, it was hard to see a way back.

As the second half started, Dundee’s replacement hooker Stewart also had to leave the pitch injured, and on came No. 18 Sam Cardosi as our 3rd hooker of the match! The first 20 minutes of the 2nd half were something of a no scoring stalemate. One promising Dundee attack broke down on Gala’s 22 and their kick ahead from there put Dundee in all sorts of bother as No. 10 Kerr scrambled to tidy up in his own 22, but he was forced to hold on on the deck as the Dundee support were slow in arriving. Gala went for the corner from the penalty, and Dundee did well to hold out from the resulting 5 metre lineout.

Sean Gauld came on for 2nd row Iain Lockhart, and Andrew Hamilton for Callum Hoffie, either side of a Dundee penalty after 20 minutes, kicked by Kerr, which brought them back to 24 – 10 down. Sam Cardosi then showed good footballing skills to trap a Gala kick ahead, following which Kerr’s clearing kick and chase put us back in the Gala 22. But gradually Gala’s power was wearing Dundee down, and as play moved back towards Dundee’s line, a 25 metre rolling maul sucked in all the Dundee defence, letting winger Johnston cross comfortably for Gala’s bonus point try, and making it 29 – 10 with 15 minutes left.

Flanker Tim Brown now limped off, and Dundee’s last replacement Addie Weir came on. Now Addie is an out and out prop! To accommodate him at tight head, James Shellard moved across to loosehead prop, with Jack Newth moving to hooker and Sam Cardosi to the back row, meaning Dundee now had their 4th different player at hooker during the game, but still with contested scrums! That can’t happen often.

Frustration was now creeping in on both sides. Gala’s No.5, John Crown got shown a yellow card for a high tackle on Rhuairidh Hood. Then some tetchy pushing and shoving between the teams, following a knock on by full back Gavin Ross, as Gala winger Fergus Johnston milked the error, led to Ross also being yellow carded, although Johnston looked equally culpable. As the game petered out, Gala got a closing try, with No. 17 Chambers crossing and Cooke converting, to make the final score Dundee 10, Gala 36.

Full time reflections: the final scoreline was probably just about right, unfortunately. 2 tough away trips to Kelso and Heriot’s Blues lie ahead in the next 2 weeks – it doesn’t get any easier! The Thorntons Dundee Man of the Match was No. 8 Finlay Ormiston.

Dundee team 15 Gavin Ross 14 Rhuairidh Hood 13 Callum Hoffie 12 Rory McGinn 11 Cailean Baird-Chalmers 10 Paul Kerr 9 Finlay Jacobs 1 Jack Newth 2 Andy Elton 3 James Shellard 4 Angus Thomson 5 Iain Lockhart 6 Fraser Black 7 Tim Brown 8 Finlay Ormiston

Replacements 16 Ceillem Stewart 17 Addi Weir 18 Sam Cardosi 19 Andrew Hamilton 20 Sean Gauld

John Coletta

The Club is deeply saddened to learn of the death of former captain, John Coletta. A member of the PE staff at the School, and a strong-running centre, John captained the Club in season 1966-67, and was influential in starting the Club’s direction towards the force it has since become. He was a 100% Rugby man and, after leaving Dundee, was a founder-member and committee man of Cumbernauld Rugby Club in 1970.

John’s funeral will take place at St Joseph’s Church, Cumbernauld on Thursday 21 November at 10.00.

We offer our sincere condolences to John’s family in their sad loss.

1st XV vs Gala | Saturday 16 November | 2pm

15 – Gavin Ross
14 – Rhuairidh Hood
13 – Kieran D’Aeth
12 – Rory McGinn
11 – Callum Hoffie
10 – Paul Kerr
9 – Finlay Jacobs

1 – Jack Newth
2 – Andy Elton
3 – James Shellard
4 – Angus Thomson
5 – Iain Lockhart
6 – Fraser Black
7 – Tim Brown
8 – Finlay Ormiston


16 – Ceillem Stewart
17 – Addi Weir
18 – Sam Cardosi
19 – Andrew Hamilton
20 –

Highland 66-17 Dundee High Rugby – Match Report

A first visit to Highland RFC in many a long year (a quarter of a century?) and a chance to see their spanking new clubhouse and state of the art 3G pitch, funded courtesy of the local council. And a great set up it is too, with a very friendly welcome (off the pitch!) from our hosts. Very appropriate too, for, believe it or not, this is their local derby – every other league match for them is further away than Dundee! (Next week, for example, they have the 200 mile, 5 hour trip to Melrose to look forward to…!)

Highland’s programme notes recorded that so far this season they have ‘already’ used 37 players in their 1st XV. We have so far fielded a staggering 51, and in today’s much changed team, with 10 of last week’s squad unavailable, there were yet another 5 new faces. Our appreciation goes to both Ross Sutherland RFC and Falkirk RFC , who each lent us a front row player to let the game go ahead, and there were season’s debuts for our own Charlie Wilson, Cailean Baird-Chalmers and Max Morrison as well.

Highland are a club on the up, and sit in 2nd place in the National 1 table, tucked in behind the other newly promoted club, Biggar. Very often, clubs promoted to National 1 have struggled with the step up in quality, but not in this topsy turvy season in the brave new world created by the Super6 league and all its knock on ramifications.

But we had I fear better get to the match itself… Our makeshift team were up against class opposition, on what was a very fast paced (and often good to watch) game on their 3G pitch. In the first half, we simply could not compete, and were 38 – 3 down by half time, with only a Paul Kerr penalty on the board for our efforts. The boys had all stuck in, but we were inevitably at times in that first half playing like 15 individuals against a well-drilled, cohesive side.

However, coaches Colin Sangster, well known and well respected in this part of the world, and Ian Robertson worked a minor miracle during the break, because for the next 35 minutes, Dundee were winning the 2nd half. After leaking an early try, suddenly it all gelled, and 2 Dundee tries (about which more in a minute!) meant we were ‘leading’ 14 – 7 in the 2nd half with 5 minutes to go. Frustratingly, 3 Highland tries in those last 5 minutes, a couple a touch fortuitous, against a tiring Dundee side who had given their all, meant the final score ended up as 66 to 17 – but it might have been much closer.

Our joint men of the match were flanker Tim Brown up front, who competed tirelessly all game and put in some great hits, as well as linking well, and full-back Callum Nicol, who made some fine breaks, and contributed a couple of thumping tackles as well as the last line in defence. And both our 2nd half tries were terrific efforts. The first was scored by No. 5 Finlay Ormiston, new to the club this year and so far a near ever present in the side, who has a great engine and a lot of potential, linking well with Tim Brown to finish off a classy handling move under the posts, converted by Paul Kerr. But this was just for starters, for the try of the match came a few minutes later when Ormiston again broke from his own 22, and combined well with Paul Kerr who carried on the move. He in turn found Sean Gauld at his side on Highland’s 22, after a lung bursting effort to get up in support. There was no way he was going to be stopped from there, and he duly made the try line, with Kerr adding the 2 extra points.

It’s wrong to single out individuals, as all the guys did what they could, but perhaps a special mention could go to today James Shellard, an 18 year old prop who has played in every game this season, and who kept going manfully in the 2nd half to help our set scrum get back to near parity after its first half woes against a powerful Highland eight. Credit also to evergreen Davie Mason, who played for 45 minutes as sub – would we all had his commitment to the cause! And credit in fact to all the boys, who went through the wringer a bit, but kept competing and playing rugby right to the end.

Dundee team
15 Callum Nicol 14 Gavin Ross 13 Andrew Hamilton 12 Rory McGinn 11 Cailean Baird-Chalmers 10 Paul Kerr 9 Stuart Kirk 1 Aonghas Maciver 2 Charles Wilson 3 James Shellard 4 Angus Thomson 5 Finlay Ormiston 6 Fraser Black 7 Tim Brown 8 Sean Gauld

16 Davie Mason 17 Mitchell McSpadden 18 Craig Shearer 19 Max Morrison 20 Ryan Doherty

SRU Online Season Structure Consultation

Dear all

Please see the email below about the SRU Consultation on the Adult Male Season Structure, just received by us yesterday, and on which the SRU want the club’s reply by 17 November.

There will be an open discussion about this at Mayfield Clubhouse next Tuesday 12th November at 8.30pm, which all are welcome to attend and express their views. Following that, the club will submit its response. We apologise for the short timescale, which is not of our making!

Gerry Tosh, President

“Online Season Structure Consultation

Rugby Development department now seeks feedback from clubs on the set of recommendations created as a result of the information and views gathered so far.

Recommendations document – click here

• Feedback deadline is 17th November 2019.
• Feedback is sought on a club by club basis, with one submission per club permitted.
• Clubs are encouraged to consult with their players and coaches before providing feedback


In conjunction with the Scottish Rugby Council’s Standing Committee on Governance, 16 open club consultations workshops through May – October 2019 were held to gather views on the future of male adult season and competitions structures.

Workshop feedback has informed a set of recommendations for changes to season structure, league format, cup competitions, reserve team structures, development and retention programmes to improve the male adult game.

As part of the ongoing consultation process, the Rugby Development department now seeks feedback from clubs on the set of recommendations created as a result of the information and views gathered so far.

Once feedback has been gathered from member clubs, a final set of recommendations will be created and submitted to the Scottish Rugby Council’s Standing Committee on Governance for consideration.

Many thanks to clubs for their continued support to this process.

Sheila Begbie
Director of Rugby Development”

1st XV vs Highland | Saturday 9 November | 3pm

15 – Callum Nicol
14 – Gavin Ross
13 – Andrew Hamilton
12 – Rory Mcginn
11 – Cailean Baird-Chalmers
10 – Paul Kerr
9 – Stuart Kirk

1 – Richard Sabelberg
2 – Charlie Wilson
3 – James Shellard
4 – Angus Thomson
5 – Finlay Ormiston
6 – Fraser Black
7 – Tim Brown
8 – Sean Gauld


16 – Davie Mason
17 – Addison Weir
18 – Craig Shearer
19 –
20 – Ryan Doherty