Category: All Club News

Hilljills with Scotland 7s

HJRFC is proud to have several members of our women’s squad representing Scotland during a magnificent summer of sevens.

Our girls Ellie Burr, Eve Thomson and Zoe Toner have been working hard over the summer break as they train with the U18 Scotland 7s squad, coached by our own Graeme Blackhall.Eve Thomson was selected to play in two Home Nations U18 tournaments in July – the first one was at Peffermill, Edinburgh on 7th/8th and second one in Birmingham on 21st/22nd.
After two days of tough competition and finishing 4th overall, Coach Graeme said “The girls have learnt a huge amount from their experiences this weekend and I can only praise them for their attitude and determination. Although the scoreboard didn’t always reflect their efforts, they should take massive confidence from how far they have come as a squad.”

The club stands behind the girls as they prepare for an internal exhibition match at BT Murrayfield this Sunday 12th August.

We are also proud to stand behind several members of our senior women’s team who have been named in the Scotland 7s training squad ahead of the second and final leg of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series in Kazan, Russia (Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd September). Hannah Smith, Abi Evans, Mairi McDonald and Louise McMillan have been training hard during the summer months as they hope to secure a top-ten overall spot to guarantee a spot in next year’s Grand Prix Series.
All the best ladies! We are so proud of you and all of your accomplishments!

Pictures: Estelle Rodden

Hills Call to Next Generation Players

Hillhead Jordanhill RFC, Jordanhill School and other West End schools have forged a strong link and will play as Hills. All pupils keen for more Rugby are welcome.

Hillhead Jordanhill RFC are seeking to develop players, boys and girls, from U13 to U18 for season 2018-19 and beyond. Hills rugby is in addition to any rugby provided through schools and Hills continue to provide mini rugby on Sunday mornings.

We would like to invite students from local schools including: Hillhead High, Gaelic, Hyndland, Cleveden, St Thomas Aquinas, Knightswood, and John Paul Schools to join. Students outside of those schools are also encouraged to join Hills, where all will have the opportunity to train midweek and play rugby at the weekend. The training and matches should be seen as an addition to rugby currently offered in school.

Schedule

Boys across U13-U18 will play under the Hills banner in the Barbarian Conference in season 2018-19 . Boys will play every Saturday morning. Hills already run successful Girls U15 and U18 rugby in the Mirage Conference, an U14 Girls team will be added with the support of Jordanhill School.

We are excited about what we can achieve and hopefully you can support us in being successful.

Any question can be directed to boys-rugby@hjrfc.com or girls-rugby@hjrfc.com

Hills Women Appoint Fresh Coaching Team

Hills Women are delighted to announce the appointment of Aird Jardine as Head Coach for Women’s Rugby for Season 2018/19.  Aird joins us from Biggar RFC where he was the Women’s Head Coach, Under 18 Girls Coach, Under 16 Boys Coach and Coach at the Biggar Academy.

Aird will be responsible for providing and co-ordinating bi-weekly training sessions for the Women on Wednesdays and Thursday nights at 6:45 for 7pm, player profiling and match analysis. He will also be responsible for the provision of the Hills Junior Girl’s Academy.

Tonci Buzov, the Women’s Strength and Conditioning and Assistant Coach for Season 2017/18, will be retaining his role.  Tonci, a capped Croatian International and Head Coach of the Croatian International Mens squad, will also have the responsibility of mentoring our Forwards pack.  He will provide weekly strength and conditioning sessions on Monday nights throughout the playing season.

Hills Women are currently recruiting for a third coach.  Applications are initially only being accepted from internal candidates – watch this space for more information!

Hills Women train Wednesday and Thursday nights at 6:45 for 7pm. All level of ability is welcome – including those who have never picked up a ball before. Please bring suitable footwear for the hard surface (not trainers) and your own water bottle.

Action Required From All Players

The SRU player registration process and system has changed for this season. Every player, or parent / guardian for players Under 18, has to log into the new SRU registration system, SCRUMS, search for their details and verify them or add their details if not already there.

This is a new requirement in the past these details were entered into the previous registration system by club volunteers.

This link takes you to the login screen for SRU registration system, SCRUMS.

https://scrums.scottishrugby.org/login

The link below takes you to the part of the SRU website where all the training material and guidance for the new SCRUMS system is published.

Please look at either the Registration Guide or the Registration Guide Youth Players (for parents) as appropriate.

http://www.scottishrugby.org/domestic-rugby/club-services/scrums-management-system

Once complete you will receive an automated message from SCRUMS to confirm that the email address provided is a valid one. This email will request the player / parent to click on a link to verify their email address.

Players will be unable to play league or cup fixtures without being first registered as an active player in the SRU registration system SCRUMS and of course be a member of the Club.

Membership of the club is a sperate task from SRU registration. You can join online by following the link below:

http://www.hillheadsportsclub.com/membership/

Please register now

Thanks for your help

Andy Scott

President, Hillhead Jordanhill RFC

Boat Racing – for Real

On a glorious Saturday in early June, Captain Kitchener lead a Hills squad to the annual Bobath Dragon boat. Clear blue skies and a gentle breeze blowing across Loch Lomond made it a perfect day for the occasion.

Hills got off to a flying start, winning the first race of the day by a comfortable margin of at least one boat length, lead by the inspiring roar of Fiona’s voice and drumming to keep us all in sync.

Unfortunately the second race didn’t go so well, under advice from the Coxen we moved some team members around to even up the weight distribution. This, combined with getting a bit out of sync with each other and attempting to go too fast before we were at a steady pace lead to several clashed paddles, a 2nd place finish and a time several seconds off the original run.

The 3rd race was an enjoyable one for the spectators, we got off to a great start and everything was neck and neck between all three boats when we got hit by a wave which when combined with the unsecure seat for our drummer, lead to near-capsize situation and a (wo)man overboard!

After a brief moment of hesitation, the crew nobly decided to carry on as there was still everything to play for. The Coxen however had other ideas and ordered us to stop and to reverse back until the safety boat could pick up our stranded crew member. We knew all was well when we were affectionately referred to as “you b*#£erds” as Fiona bobbed her way to shore.

After claiming an “equipment malfunction” the event organisers generously let us complete a solo timed run to qualify for the final by achieving one of the 3 fastest times. We lined up with our eyes on the prize and everyone gave 110% as we managed to produce our best time of the day, shaving 3 seconds to our previous PB. Unfortunately we missed out on the final by a precise 0.14 seconds; so close, yet so far. We could hold our heads high knowing that the finalists were seasoned contenders, we gave them a good run for their money.

Over £1,000 has been raised already for this great cause thanks to Kitch and donations are still kindly received as his Just Giving page is open for a while longer. We all concurred that we should put in a team next year as it was a great day out for a fantastic cause.

Reporting by Andrew Park

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.

Hills Golden Girls Shine on Silver Saturday

Hillhead Jordanhill 68 pts Watsonians 12 pts

By beating their Edinburgh rivals in the Sarah Beaney Cup Final on Silver Saturday at BT Murrayfield, HillJills completed a league and cup double for season 2017/18. A half time score of thirty two points to nil left too much of a gap for the brave Watsons team to make up, although they did cross the victor’s line twice in the second half to bring some respectability to the final score.

The basis of the victory was a superior team performance and four standout players on the day : no. 8 and captain, Louise McMillan, who consistently distributed the ball well from the base of the scrum and also carried well in the loose; Lindsey Smith, at tight head prop, whose scrummaging was too robust for her opposite number ; Abi Evans, at full back, who ran well in open play and whose changes of direction Watsonians could not cope with ; and the player of the match, Hannah Smith, whose beautifully balanced running and physicality in ball carrying caused the Edinburgh side traumas the whole game. Watsons could offer only Lana Skeldon in direct comparison.

HillJills scrummaging was dynamic and kept their opposition on the back foot the whole of the game thereby providing a regular supply of ball. The veteran Rachael Whyte also had a fine game at scrum half and ensured a plentiful flow of ball was moved wide. First half scorers were Erinn Foley who touched down first from close range, followed by Abi Evans (three tries) , Emma “Gary” Barlow (one) and Hannah Smith (one). Uncharacteristically, Ally Cook had an off day with her goal kicking and converted only one of the six first half tries, although she more than made up for these lapses with a fine game in midfield. Second half scores were recorded by Hannah Smith (three), Louise McMillan (one), Lucy Mills (one) and Abi Evans (one). Replacement full back Amanda Moore added two conversions and Sophie Anderson one. Second rower Sophie had to be taken from the field with what looked like a serious leg injury, but she bravely returned on crutches to take her place with the rest of the squad for the medals presentation.

 

The Golden Girls can then look back on a very successful season, losing only one league game against Wandies away back in November 2017. Their coaching triumvirate of Thomas Davidson, Morgan Martin and Tonci Buzov deserve credit for their professionalism at the many training sessions throughout a long and demanding season.

Words: Bernie Mitchell
Pictures: David Whyte

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

The Season Isn’t Over Yet!

This weekend there will again be four senior teams representing Hillhead Jordanhill and that is without the Men’s 2XV or Women’s 2XV being in action. The U15 Girls will also be taking on Caithness in the semi final of their cup competition. This is a considerable feat of organisation and a testament to all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes at the club. Particularly so, when you compare the number of senior teams our nearest neighbours put out. Your correspondent is in the midst of a UKCC Level 1 coaching qualification, being hosted at Hughenden, where one of the key themes is how we keep players in the game long term. For Hillhead Jordanhill, with the progress being made in the Mini and Midi sections, the future on that front must surely be bright! Now, to the weekends action!

This Weekends Match Schedules

20th April
Stirling County v Hillhead Jordanhill Women’s 1XV – KO 20:00 at Bridgehaugh, Stirling

21st April
Hillhead Jordanhill Men’s 1XV v Newton Stewart – KO 15:00 at Hughenden
Greenock Wanderers 2XV v Hillhead Jordanhill 2A – KO 15:00 at Fort Matilda playing fields, Greenock
Cartha Queens Park Veterans v Hillhead Jordanhill 4XV (Veterans) – KO 12:30 at Dumbreck

22nd April

Hillhead Jordanhill U15 v Caithness -KO 13:00 at Hughenden

Ladies Penultimate Match Before The Sarah Beaney Cup

The HillJills take on Stirling County in their final league match of the season. This will be the ladies last competitive fixture before the final of the Sarah Beaney Cup. The two sides last met on 26th January, with the HillJills running out comfortable winners in a 79 – 5 win at Hughenden. The league title was secured the same evening. The coaches will no doubt be looking for an assured performance to help prepare for the cup final. Coach Thomas Davidson should also be congratulated for his recent award as Stirling University Sports Coach of the Year. The two student teams under his watchful eye have both won their respective leagues. With a league win for the HillJills also under his coaching belt at Hughenden, a win in the Cup must surely be high on the wishlist to finish the season in style!

Silver Saturday, featuring the Sarah Beaney Cup, will take place on Saturday 28th April at BT Murrayfield. The ladies cup final will kick off at 14:10, on the main international pitch. Tickets are £20 for Adults, £10 for concessions, and £5 for Under-18s. You can support the club by purchasing your tickets for Silver Saturday via this link, https://www.eticketing.co.uk/scottishrugby/?advcode=HillJor.

The Silver Saturday Details.

Final Match Of The Season For Men’s 1XV

As this is the final match for the Men’s 1XV, it seems like an apt time to reflect on how far the team has come on. Last season the Men’s 1XV finished dead last in National 2. With no league wins to their name, the team scored a total of 229 points and conceded 1052. A points differential of -823. No try bonus points were won, with only 1 losing bonus point obtained in their 22 league matches. This meant the team finished on 1 point for the season.

Going into their final league match of the 2017/18 season, the Men’s 1XV sit 8th in National 3. The team has obtained 45 points. Out of 21 league matches played, the team has won 8 and lost 12. They have scored 396 points, conceding 580. A points differential of -184. Try bonus points have totalled 7, with losing bonus points coming in at 2. As it stands, the team is sitting on a points tally of 45.

If ever recognition for a steadying set of hands was deserved, coaches Dean Kelbrick and Graeme Blackhall are two worthy candidates. The number of points scored has increased by over 70% and the number of points conceded has been reduced by over 40%. No mean feat considering where the team was at the end of last season.

Our opponents this Saturday are Newton Stewart. The last meeting of these two sides resulted in a comfortable 45 – 3 win for Newton at home. They currently sit 4th in National 2, knowing that two bonus wins in their last two matches will keep them in the hunt for promotion. This will be a challenging match for Hills, no doubt about it.

2A’s Aim To Finish On A High Against Greenock

With two matches to go in West Reserve League 2, the Hills 2A squad will be pushing to finish as high up the table as possible. Of 18 matches played, the team has conceded only one due to not being able to field a team. Compare this to the rest of the league and you won’t find a club with anywhere near as good a record. For this reason, many of the other teams in the league have as many as six matches still to play. This means Hills won’t know their final league position for some weeks. However, they will be keen to finish strongly. Hills beat Greenock Wanderers 62 – 20 at Hughenden, so expectations for a similar result will be high.

Vets Reunited!

After a hugely successful rebirth of the 4XV in January, another invite from Cartha Queens Park RFC has been received to get the old boys of the sofa for a few hours. Hector MacIntyre has been putting together a motley crew of Hills legends in the last few weeks. Hills ran out winners last time round, 17 – 45. Rumour has it that the infamous Jimmy Gow could be making an appearance, who knows how that could affect the result on Saturday!

Some of the Hills “Vets” at the previous match in January.

Dates For Your Diary

28th April | Silver Saturday, featuring the HillJills v Watsonians – KO 14:10 at BT Murrayfield
30th April | Hillhead Jordanhill RFC AGM – 19:00 in the Yill Hoose at Hillhead Sports Club
4th May | End of Season Dinner – 19:00 at Hillhead Sports Club. Tickets available at training from Dougie Grove and Sarah Smith or by email from Dougie on grovedougie@gmail.com
6th May | Hills Legends Lunch, 12:30 at Hillhead Sports Club. Our annual celebration of Hills legends, get your tickets from John MacLean on jnm@kelvinassociates.co.uk

HillJills Book Their Sarah Beaney Cup Final Place

Hillhead Jordanhill 1XV 42 – 7 Stirling County 1XV

The balance of power in this match was evident in the line up of the two sides in this Sarah Beaney Cup semi final. “Hilljills” fielded four of the current National Ladies team, Lindsey Smith and the McMillan sisters, captain Louise and Siobhan, in the forwards with Hannah Smith in the centre. The visitors Stirling had only two players with current representative experience, Siobhan Cattigan and Megan Kennedy. Additionally, the home team were able to field two vastly experienced players in former Six Nations veteran prop forward, Heather Lockhart, and Rachael Whyte at scrum half. 

Sophie Anderson bursting through the “County” defence.

Dominant First Half

The first half was very tough for County. The home side was dominant in both the set piece and line out, creating shoals of possession for the speedy three quarters to use. When they were halted by a steady visitors defence, breakdown ball was quickly moved by the lively Rachael Whyte to the powerful second row, Sophie Anderson, and no. 8 Kirsty McConnell. It was only stout County defence that kept the score to twenty seven points to nil at half time. Sophie Anderson touched down twice, Emma “Gary” Barlow and Siobhan McMillan once each and a penalty try was conceded by the visitors, who were unable to resist the fierce pressure from the home scrummage.

County Fought Back in Second Half

Stirling came into the game more in the second half and Abi Evan’s quick thinking in defence saved “HillJills” on more than one occasion. The visitors were, however, unable to live with the home team’s dynamic style. The physicality of Lindsey Smith at hooker also posed a threat, who showed no mercy in handing off many would be defenders when driving in open play. Despite “HillJills” fielding most of their bench, tries continued to come from Emma Barlow who seemed to be wearing roller skates on the wing such was her speed, Kirsty McConnell and Hannah McHugh, the new recruit who on this display showed that a “day out of Hawick is NOT wasted”. The only flaw in the home performance was the absence of a reliable goal kicker with Amanda Jane absent from the line up. Despite their fatigue, Stirling rallied well in the last five minutes to score a well worked close range try which they converted to provide some respectability to the final score line of forty two points to seven for the home team.

Nothing is getting in Lindsey Smith’s way.

Cup Final Beckons

This win takes “HillJills” to the Sarah Beaney Cup final at Murrayfield on the 28th April, kick-off 2.10pm, International Pitch, where they will take on Watsonians after their shock defeat of Murrayfield Wanderers. The final will be part of Silver Saturday, where all the Women’s and Men’s Cup Finals will take place, along with the 1872 Cup between Edinburgh and Glasgow, tickets can be bought here. Further details around travel and information for Hillhead Jordanhill supporters will follow in due course.

Winners are grinners!

Words: Bernie Mitchell
Images: Hamish Adamson