Author: HillheadJordanhillRFC

New Hillhead Jordanhill Women’s Head Coach Required

Hillhead Jordanhill Women, the current BT Premier League and Sarah Beaney Cup champions, wish to appoint a dynamic Head Coach to coach alongside and co-ordinate a coaching team.

What are we looking for?

If you are ambitious, driven, and a good team player who wishes to take their coaching skills to the next level then we would like to hear from you.

The applicant can have either a backs or forwards specialism. You will be willing to combine your skills and knowledge with the rest of the coaching team to maximise the strengths of that team. You will possess or be aspiring towards a UKCC Level 3 award.

You can view and download the job description here. Applications for this position are invited and to be submitted to Fiona Dorman at fiona.dorman@live.co.uk by 18 May 2018 at 5 pm. Interviews will be week beginning 28 May 2018.

Back to school for Hills’ coaches

Coaches from the minis section and also senior players from the Men’s 1XV, 2XV and 2As made up more than half the participants on a recent UKCC Level 1 course at Hughenden. Over the course of two evening sessions and a full day session, this was one of the SRU’s largest ever early years coaching courses. 

A group discussion between Hills’ coaches.

A hugely enjoyable and intensive learning experience for all concerned led by professionals from the SRU. The course educators included Hills’ own Lindsey Smith, current Women’s 1XV and Scotland player, and David “Mini” Mitchell, former Men’s 1XV player and now lecturer.

The Hills’ coaching group after successfully passing the course!

Featuring hands on practical fun activities, it demonstrates Hills’ commitment to getting the coaching right for all our youngsters while providing a fun and safe environment for them to thrive as they start their rugby careers.

Want To Help Out?

If you’re interested in helping out with the Hills Mini section, please get in touch with Ken or Ali on mini-rugby@hjrfc.com. All coaches must have completed the Rugby Ready online course and also completed a PVG check. 

Words: Alisdair Matheson
Pictures: Hamish Adamson & @eck84

HJRFC Sign New Partnership with PSL

We are pleased to announce that we will be working with local supplier PSL Team Sports (Provan Sports Ltd.) who will be supplying us with Canterbury kit and merchandise from Summer onwards. PSL are located in Hillington, Glasgow and have a retail premises where you will be able to try on all kit and merchandise before purchasing.

Members of HJRFC will be entitled to a 10% discount on all non-club merchandise such as; boots, SRU clothing (Scottish Rugby, Glasgow Warriors & Edinburgh Rugby), protection wear and more.

Further details will be made available to members soon. If you have any suggestions or requests for off the field merchandise then please email Grant Payne at merchandise@hjrfc.com.

“It’s great to have a good, local company on our side. The improvements have been seen all around the club with all teams improving on last season. The club have a good foundation for the Men’s teams to progress in the next few years and for the Women to reach new heights of success.”

Owen Gemmell, Men’s 1st XV Captain

Louise McMillan our Women’s 1st XV Co-Captain returned from Italy yesterday with our Women’s Six Nations squad – alongside Sister, Siobhan McMillan and HJRFC team mates, Lindsey Smith & Hannah Smith (not siblings). She had the following to say on the appointment of PSL as our new supplier:

“We are excited to be wearing Canterbury once again. It will be great for the club to play in a fresh look”

Please feel free to browse PSL’s website to view their range of goods, our club shop will be online Summer 2018:

Michael, Hills P7, Takes Captain Barclay to Battle

Ever since I started playing rugby, I always wanted to be there in person to support Scotland in a rugby game. I felt amazing when I was picked as one of the mascots for the Scotland vs. England Rugby game. I felt like the luckiest person on earth. A few days later when the tickets for the game arrived, I was so happy and I was filled with excitement and I was looking forward to the game.

On the day of the event, the mascots were gathered together to rehears and practice running onto the pitch before the game. I was at the front of the line, meaning I would run out first from the tunnel. Upon running out of the tunnel, I noticed how large the stadium was and how many seats there were and it made me feel very excited and proud, but also a tad nervous.

When the actual event started, I was so lucky to hold the Scottish Team Captain — John Barclay’s hand. He said to me, “I really hope that we win the game.” And with enthusiasm I smiled and answered, “Don’t hope, know! Cause I know you’ve already won the game and so should you, I believe in you!” John smiled down at me and said, “Thanks Michael, that really helps.

Before we were even on the pitch, we could hear the roar of the crowd. As we ran on I could hear people banging the side of the tunnel and people screaming with joy and excitement and encouragement to the team. The words ‘Scotland, Scotland.’ were chanted repeatedly by supporters. You could feel the noise waving through you. My fellow mascots kneeled to the right of me as I did too. And the rugby players stood behind us. Princess Anne was there also and she was shaking the hands with the Sottish players. All I could see were people all around me, screaming with passion and anticipation. The mascots stood as the English anthem was sung, before we got to sing the Scottish anthem, which I sung loudly with pride.

After the anthem we were sent back through the tunnel to be collected by our parents before we went to watch the game. Scotland played amazing and won the game 25-13 and the Scottish fans cheered.
Afterwards I got to meet the players and get signatures from some of them, even took a few selfies! All in all, it was a brilliant experience and an outstanding match. I hope to be picked again next year and this was an experience I’ll never forget.

Report by Michael Hildrey (Hills P7)

Pictures courtesy of SNS PIX

Mini-HillJills Strike Again and Reach Cup Quarters

Sunday saw our U18 Girls drawn to play Cartha in the first round of the Girls club cup! The girls were in confident mood following last weeks try fest v Annan! (55-0 at Hughenden for those who missed it)

Hills girls were on fire right from the start and took the game to their opposition straight from the kick off!
Strong running from the forwards and some dazzling back play saw the Hills blow Cartha away, scoring 8 tries in the process!
2 tries each for Zoë Toner, Anne Young and Erinn Foley and a try a piece for Melanie Grant and Jess Murphy with a number of fine conversions from Mel seen the girls run out 52-0 winners and progress through to the 1/4 finals of the cup!

Our forwards had stranglehold on possession with numerous strikes against the head in the scrum and stealing most of Cartha’s line-outs! Anne, Chiara and Aimee provided a strong set piece platform with Juliet and Eve in the engine room! This allowed us to launch No8 Erinn Foley at the Cartha defence time and again!

The backs are starting to string some moves together and with each match improve! The midfield of Brogan, Abbé and Mel has a nice balance to it and this in turn is providing good ball for the back 3 to explore and Zoë, Heather and Bethany/Jess lapped it up!

Report by Andrew Johnston

Hills/Loch Lomond U13 Back on the Grass

After a couple of cancelled matches it was great to finally have our combined Hills/Loch Lomond U13 out on the grass for their first match of the year. Any cobwebs were soon cleared when playing three 15 minute sets against a hard tackling Strathaven.

Both teams brought 17 or 18 boys so our boys had their first experience of fifteens over the thirteen usually played at S1.

Our scrum was good and we saw Strathaven going backwards on more than one occasion. We had some good phases of play and an excellent try in the first period. The game became more broken in the latter periods and Strathaven played better as a team in coming up in a defensive line and their support play and rucking.

Our front pack individually were good and will come together even more as our fixtures continue. Our rucking was sometimes tentative leading to turn-overs and we probably need to get more tackling from the backs. Combining with Lomond is great for us and the boys are getting on well together and getting to know each other better.

This fixture was a repeat of one in November and on this occasion we were clearly more competitive.

Big thanks to referee Stella Kyalikunda

By Gary Gillespie, U13 Coach

2A’s Break 2018 Duck Against Dalziel

Hillhead Jordanhill 2A XV 17 – Dalziel 3XV 14

Saturday saw a strong Hills 2A’s side host Dalziel in repeat of the close November encounter which saw Hills overcome Dalziel 31-33 away. After the previous week’s fixture with Greenock postponed due to flooded pitch, Hughenden was fortunate to enjoy excellent playing conditions this time round.

In the opening exchanges of the game it was Dalziel who demonstrated a greater physicality and managed to keep ball tight to the pack to maintain the initial possession advantage. However it was Hills that looked more dangerous ball-in-hand with some great runs in open play from both wing-forwards and a feisty Fergus Denton at 8. The midfield partnership of Euan McMahon and Ben Chaddock had pretty lean ball in opening quarter but made some good carries and distributed well to a strong back line after an excellent break from scrum-half Dean Campbell Drummond sent Dalziel defense scrambling. Some quick hands off the ruck finally managed to connect a flying Andy Bolster who duly held his man to put William Murphy away in the corner for the first score of the game.

However Hills failed to capitalize on the score and after many punishing phases Dalziel had won their way to 5 meters out and took advantage with a pick and go to ground behind the Hills posts.

Hills appeared to be in the ascendancy again before the break and in the next phase of possession Tom Donaldson tried to capitalize on a stretched defense with a cross-field kick to wing which did not quite come off. With the score 7-5 in favour of Dalziel at the break, Hills needed to focus on providing a better platform to execute more attacking options and take advantage of our pace out wide.

The start of the second half mirrored the start of the game with Dalziel claiming opening set-pieces to find themselves winning a scrum from a knock-on 10 meters out. Hills had defended well the repeated charges of Dalziel’s pack. But a scything run from the Dalziel outhalf stretched the Hills midfield to expose a gap which allowed him to cut inside for an easy try which he duly converted (i.e. a mis-tackle in the back line allowed them to score after being bounced by our pack…).

In the next phases Hills re-grouped with the front row matching the Dalziel challenge in the scrum to work the home side inside the Dalziel half before Tom Donaldson punted a sharp and rangy grubber through a gap to force a line out behind the 22. Hills, now looking more urgent, presented multiple attacking options before Finlay McMillan crashed over the line off the back of a ruck 2m out. The conversion went through the posts to put Hills in close range with 12-14 to the guests.

The following period saw lean pickings for both sides with some broken play and steely defenses halting momentum. However this ended with an inspired and incisive try from Dean Campbell Drummond, aka Dynamite Dean, who exploited a very narrow but exposed blind side from 10 meters out. The kick stayed shy of the posts but put Hills ahead 17-14. The game closed with Dalziel throwing repeated charges down the slope to take back the score. Hills defended well and demonstrated good enough discipline to ensure there was not a point taken in the Dalziel challenge until the liberating final whistle.

Hills will now look to build on this first win of ‘18 for the 2A’s with solid defense, discipline and more confident handling as positive improvements over the last few difficult games.

This game also saw a beautiful and too rare event to go unnoticed, as Niall Houston* received his first senior front rower star. Congratulations to him!

Report: Stephen Cunniffe
Picture: Ian McLennagham

Hills P7 into the Lights at Scotstoun

The Hills P7 squad were recently lucky enough to be invited to a pre-match tournament on the 3G at Scotstoun, the glittering prize on offer was a chance for four of the eight teams to play on the pitch at half-time, with the runners-up providing a Guard of Honour as the professionals of the Glasgow Warriors and Toyota Cheetahs took to the pitch.

On a night which started clear and crisp, and swiftly became wet and windy; Hills set-out against their opening opponents. In a group containing Paisley, Howe of Fife and Dumfries, Paisley were first up.

With each game only lasting 7 minutes, and no set-piece or rucking (players simply had to release and get back onside after a tackle, all re-starts were taps) the stage was set for running rugby. Against Paisley, our good support lines and overall pace saw Hills run away with a well deserved victory. First game of the year, and first win.

Howe of Fife proved a much stronger opposition, and their accuracy, size, pace and support proved too much for Hills. Beautiful tackles were executed, and defensive lines were set, but unfortunately Howe always seemed to be able to offload out of the tackle to a runner coming at pace. In the end we were undone by some very good rugby.

On to a decider against Dumfries Saints. A win, or a draw in which we scored first, would see us under the bright lights at half-time. It was a very closely fought match; crunching tackles, silky side-steps, and quick ball abounded. A score at one end was followed swiftly by a score at the other, with two very different teams unable to squeeze an advantage. Ultimately, the referee blew for full-time with the score at 2 each; unfortunately the first of these had been scored by Dumfries and Hills had to settle for providing the Guard of Honour.

The group have done a lot of training over the winter, and these games were a good chance to practice our running lines and handling. The team did well, and we are all looking forward to our first full game away to Irvine on the 4th of March (where we will endeavour to get them to stand still long enough for a proper squad photo).

Report by Stewart Robison, P7 Coach

Summer is Coming, and Tartan Touch at Hughenden

Hillhead Jordanhill RFC is very proud to have been selected as a new Tartan Touch Hub this season!
This summer, The Hills will host sessions at Hughenden of this very integrative and simplified non-contact version of Rugby. Minis, junior and senior players will all mix in, and welcome any new comers to the game and the club.

The rules are very easy and designed to maximise the fun around a rugby ball; please visit tartantouch.org for a preview.

More information will come following this announcement, stay tuned for details!

Hilljills Put on a Glorious Sight to Secure League Title

“Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive: Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,” This could be mistaken as a side-line description of a rugby game, of a pack of forwards hungry for the ball in a scrum. However, it is taken from Rabbie Burns’ “Address to a Haggis”, describing a hungry pack of diners devouring their dinner.

The game which took place between Hilljills and Stirling County on the day after we celebrated the great Robert Burns could be summed up in a much simpler phrase, taken from the same poem: “O what a glorious sight”. The supporters who ventured out in the plummeting temperatures were entertained under the lights of Hughenden by a display of clinical set pieces, precise passing and fast powerful running which saw Hillhead Jordanhill run in 13 tries overall, of which 7 were converted. Stirling, as always, put up a strong fight and at times had a solid defence and some clever play saw them touch down early into the second half, hinting at a possible comeback, which never showed face.

The game was off to powerful start with Sophie Anderson breaking a tackle and crashing over the line with only 3 minutes gone on the clock. 5 minutes later fullback Amanda Moore threw a clever dummy to put herself over the try line. Play then slowed down as the forwards took centre stage and competed in a number of scrums on Stirling’s 5m line before the ball was shipped once again to Moore who crossed the line and subsequently converted the try to bring it to 17 points in the same number of minutes.

The rest of the 9 tries in the first half came from a mix of backs and forwards, clearly showing the depth of talent in the Hilljills squad. A side step master class was performed by backs Sarah and Hannah Smith who ran in 1 and 2 tries respectively. Constant powerful running by Abi Evans was rewarded when a lineout ball was shipped across field to put her in at the corner. With forwards not wanting to shy away from the points tally both Hannah Telling and Kirsty McConnell showed pure class to beat the defence and cross the line. All but 3 of the first half tries were converted by full back Amanda Moore bringing the half time score to 57-0.

The second half took a slightly slower pace with Stirling County showing both a strong defence and keen attack. They were rewarded for this early on when they fought back and claimed their first try of the night; a missed conversion brought the score to 57-5. From here supporters might have mistaken the game for a round from the Australian Open as the ball was kicked back and forth down the pitch as both teams fought to settle back in to the game. Thankfully, the cold was there to remind us we were at Hughenden and after a slow advance from Hilljills, Hannah Smith reached out to put the ball over the line, claiming her hat-trick and bringing the score to 62-5.

Once again the forwards stood up to the mark with a scrum on Stirling’s 5m line. A keen eye for space came from Hilljills skipper Louise McMillan who opted to pick and go left before shipping it out to winger Emma Barlow who danced over the line in fine form.

The second hat-trick of the night came deservingly to Amanda Moore who backed herself from half way, beat the Stirling defence and crashed over the line, she then converted to bring her personal points tally for the night to an impressive 29. This solid display of attack paired with a number of critical tackles earned Moore Player of the Match. The final try of the night came from Abi Evans who once again showed impressive pace to cross the line at the corner.

The final minutes of the game showed a revival of the strong Stirling defence who held off any Hilljills advances. Credit must be given to the Stirling side who showed fight and determination throughout the entire game in the face of a relentless Hilljills. The final whistle came with the scoreboard sitting at 79-5, giving Hilljills a bonus point win and putting them 11 points clear at the top of the table with only 2 games to go. This crowns Hillhead/ Jordanhill as winners of the BT Women’s Premier League.

Scottish Rugby were there to present the well-deserved trophy to the squad whose hard work throughout the season has been outstanding both on and off the field. With Hilljills regularly turning out 20 plus girls for training each week it is clear to see the foundations of this team are built on hard work and a hunger for perfection, which is now paying off. Captain Louise McMillan reflected on this after the game: “The girls have been rewarded for the hard work put into the season so far. Our focus now turns to the Premier Development Cup and Sarah Beaney Cup where we hope to retain both titles to take 3 out of 3.”

Hillhead/Jordanhill Squad: Siobhan McMillan, Lindsey Smith, Heather Lockhart, Hannah Telling, Sophie Anderson, Marta Estellés Chaparro, Kirsty McConnell, Louise McMillan (C), Rachael Whyte, Sarah Smith, Lucy Mills, Hannah Smith, Abi Evans, Aimée Watson, Amanda Moore, Debbie Falconer, Fiona Reardon, Stella Kyalikunda, Ally Cook, Emma Barlow

Stirling County Squad: Megan Kennedy, Tracy Scott, Rowan McNeil, Sarah Murdoch, Shannon Goundry, Nikki McLeod, Heather Davis, Lyndsay O’Donnell, Jodie, Hutton, Rachel Shankland (C), Amy Bilsborough, Siobhan Cattigan, Katrina Roszynski, Katie Mcliwraith, Lindsay Macnaughton, Ashley Aitken, Lara Flint, Rhonwyn Spence, Jenny Menday, Eilidh McNab

Hilljills now move on to the next challenge of The Premier Development Cup. Round 1 is away against Stewartry Women on Sunday 4th February, 14:00 KO.

Report: Hannah McHugh
Pictures: Hannah McHugh; Grant Payne

More photos from the game can be seen on the snsgroup website