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.
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