1st XV Match Reports

Aberdeen Rugby 12 Dundee High Rugby 36

Any aspirations Aberdeen Grammar had of gaining promotion from National 1 were blown away at Rubislaw on Saturday.

It was not so much the talents of derby rivals Dundee High, but the home side’s appalling mediocrity that meant they stumbled to an embarrassing six-try defeat.

“It was offensive on the eye. We can never expect to win games if we continue to make so many errors. It was a shocking performance,” said Grammar head coach Ali O’Connor.

“Dundee’s players did not have to be at their best. It’s back to the drawing board, but it’s up to the players. It’s them who must want it if we are to improve.”

The home side took an early lead when winger Grant Walker set up centre Conor Lavery for a fine try in the corner, giving rise to the hope of more to come from the Granite City men.

It was not to be as Grammar disappeared as an attacking force for the rest of the half, Allowing the Mayfield side the freedom of the pitch.

They took it with aplomb, running in three tries – from centre Tim McKavanagh, winger Fraser McKay and prop Jonny Gibson, one of which was converted by stand off Ewan Fox – to lead 17-5 at half-time. A fourth try for Dundee came five minutes after the break when flanker Ryan Milne caught the home defence napping – and not for the first time in the game – to score a try which was converted by the boot of the reliable Fox.

The try bonus point won, Dundee’s players relaxed, allowing Grammar back into the game through their persistent prop Colin Neilson, who was one of the few successes in the home team. His try was converted by Ali Addy.

Despite enjoying territorial advantage, Grammar never remotely looked like staging a comeback, and it was no surprise when Dundee ended the game as a contest with late tries from full back Blair Cochrane and winger Isoa Matacagi, the latter being converted by Fox to make it 36-12 on the stroke of the final whistle.

The reverse leaves the home side to contemplate a thoroughly poor performance, while looking at another stern test of their resolve on Saturday when they travel to visit league leaders Falkirk, who boast a 100% record.

Dundee head coach added: “We were badly under-strength, but it was generally a poor quality game.”

© Jack Nixon

Aberdeen Rugby: Doug Russell; Grant Walker, Matt Arnold, Conor Lavery, Calum Ruxton; Ali Addy, Sam Knudson; Colin Neilson, Frank Selbie, Chris Prentice, Aaron Robertson, Robin Cessford; Jordan Robertson, Chris Jollands, Calum Champion (c)

Replacements: Rob Ellinson, Fergus McKenzie, William Inglis, Matt McCall, Jake Gray. 

Dundee High: Blair Cochrane; Isoa Matacagi, Callum Bowie, Tim McKavanagh, Fraser McKay; Ewan Fox, Andy Dymock; Jonny Gibson, Johj Brady, Lewis McLean; Ian Robertson, Chris Cumming; Ryan Milne, Dayle Turner, Ali Mackie.

Replacements: Scott Strachan, Scott Doig, Kevin Franco, Kaleem Barretto, Josh Rutnugar.