Category: All Club News

Hills 2XV Continue Their Unbeaten Run

In what was to be the toughest match of their season so far the Hills 2’s took on West of Scotland 2XV, a healthy rivalry to put it mildly. West were clipping at our heels in second place in the West Reserve League 1, so it was an important fixture.

The tone of the match was set early on to be a tight game but Hills scored an early try by Nathan McCann putting us up to 7-0. Discipline in the ruck was not the Hills forte however and our penalty count against finally resulted in a successful penalty kick for West.

Hills were denied what should have been a penalty try after a high tackle prevented from crossing the line. Alas the referee didn’t give it and the match went on.

After putting pressure on their line for a good while, our hearts sank as West intercepted the ball and sprinted down the line to score. A galling moment for players and spectators alike.

7-10 at half time, the top table clash was holding its promises, and it was far from over.

Hills starting the second half gunning down the slope and converting pressure through James Maddox crossing the line for our second try. The tension increased further as West replied with a try of their own. With the score line at 12-15 going into the final ten minutes it was unsure what way the match was going to go.

Soon though, Hills was again bringing the game in West 22’s, and a Northern Irish wrecking ball in the form of Adam Eakin powered from 15m out over the line to take the score the match, with West players hanging off him as he went.

The final minutes of the game were electric, West throwing all their last effort into an empowered Hills defence which would break…
Hills 2XV 19-15 West 2XV final score, raising fists for the hosts.

Notable performances included flanker Tom Primrose who was an ever present force on the pitch, Fergus Denton for a clearance kick more questionable than Tiam’s choice in post match attire. Men of the Match went to the French dream team pairing of Alban and Hugo in the back line who consistently bring it up a notch and are forever reliable. Shout out to the their French entourage that just about doubled the spectators.

So will the Multicoloured Men from Hughenden continue their dominance over the West Reserve 1 league? Absolutely #TwosDontLose

Report by Will McLean

Good Performance but Tough Outcome

Hillhead Jordanhill 17 points – Gordonians 25 points

This defeat was a disappointing outcome for the Hills players, coaches and supporters in that, despite all their efforts exerted in a much improved performance, Gordonians overturned a 17-15 score in the home team’s favour in the final five minutes of this engrossing encounter to run out winners by 25 points to 17, thereby denying Hills a consolation bonus point.

From the start Hills, hitting down the Hughenden slope, looked lively both at scrum and line out where Charlie Smillie proved a reliable provider of ball . The midfield triangle of Euan Brown at stand off, and Rory Harte and Damien Genocchio in the centre were all full of running but the visitors defence stood firm until the 15th minute when the lively Andy Blair at scrum half nipped over from close range to score a fine try which Euan Brown converted. Gordonians, however, were no slouches in attack and they came back strongly at the Hills by finishing well for three tries to take the score at halftime to 15 points to 10 in their favour, Euan Brown having kicked a penalty goal.

The next thirty minutes were full of end to end of end stuff with both XV’s making excellent progress through their big ball carriers. For Hills, Chris Warnock and Alec Cameron excelled in all the unglamorous chores of ball carrying, while Charlie Smillie ran like a demented giraffe any time he received the ball in open play. But it fell to “Goldenballs”, Rory Harte to put the points on the board with a solo move, which involved more spins that “Strictly Come Dancing” provides, to score to the extreme left of the posts. Euan Brown nailed the conversion and Hills were in front with all their supporters nervously studying the time left.


But it was the visitors from Aberdeen who rose to the challenge to protect their unbeaten league record. Their forwards were relentless and remorseless in the closing minutes with eight phases of recycling producing a close range try which their fullback converted, his first successful kick of the game. Immediate breakdown pressure on the restart provided another opportunity for the Gordonians full back Crawford to kick at goal, and he was again accurate, making sure of his side’s victory with a well struck penalty from 35 metres. Gordonians were ecstatic while Hills were deflated but the losers will reflect on a spirited performance which they most take forward to their next game.

Saturday the 6th October finds Hills at Burnbrae with a KO 15.00. “West” have made a fine start to their season but if Hills can build on this performance this derby will be some game.

Hills 1st XV – Craig Colvin (c) (Roger Webster), Jamie Franklin (Graham Davidson), Damien Genocchio, Rory Harte, Roger Webster (Jimmy Griffith), Euan Brown, Andy Blair (Craig Colvin), Ross Ferguson, Harry Perston, Paul Howell (Blair Mackenzie), Charlie Smillie, Chris Warnock, David Vallance (Chris Crome), Alec Cameron and Preston MA McGoldrick

Report/Pictures BBM

The Hilljills matchday squad proudly sporting their new playing kit

HillJills Battle Hard for Victory on the Road

Stirling County Women 28 – Hillhead Jordanhill Women 48

Aird Jardine, assisted by Rory Harte, travelled with their squad to Stirling County’s picturesque grounds, Bridehaugh.

Prior to the match Stirling were sat level with Hills having won all four of their opening matches, and as such the game was always going to be fierce test. True to their form, Stirling opened the scoring by crossing the whitewash in the first five minutes. The flow of the game soon changed and Hills began to assert their dominance, with physicality from the forwards and dynamic runs from the backs. Stirling weren’t completely out of the picture, scoring two tries to Hills’ four by the end of the first half.

HJ on the attack
HJ on the attack

Heather Lockhart really came into her stride during the second half, her trustworthy hands and big tackles saw her awarded Aird’s player of the match. The McMillan sisters, Louise (Captain) and Siobhan brought their A-game with clinical big hits, strong carries and troubled Stirling in the rucks. Centre duo, Hannah Smith and Abi Evans ran some greatly effective lines that had the Stirling defence working overtime, earning themselves a lion’s share of the tries. Mairi McDonald had a flawless game at Scrum Half, supplying the ball with clinical precision. Starting wings, Emma Barlow and Lucy Mills enjoyed their day, recording a try each – Emma continuing her impressive form having made the transition from Hockey to Rugby last season. Emma’s second half replacement, Juliet Ross also made an impression as a safe pair of hands and held the defensive line well. Lucy and Juliet have both recently made the seamless transition from age-grade rugby to senior rugby in the Scottish Premiership, with their performances justifying their place in the 1st XV squad.

Hills secure the set-piece
Hills secure the set-piece

Stand-Off, Phillipene Mias is new to the club, joining us from FC Grenoble Rugby. She’s made her name a top priority for Aird’s selection process, demonstrating this by controlling play with a calm and cool head, key attributes of a great 10. Later in the game Aimee Watson made some great tackles, hitting Stirling’s attack low and hard. Full back Amanda Jane had solid game managing the back 3 with experience and efficiency. Forwards, Hannah Telling and Kirsty McConnell brought their usual energy to pack, quick off the line in defence they ensured that Stirling were under constant pressure, hampering their attempts at progress. Stella Kyalikunda, Fiona Dorman, Kirsty Reid and Rachel Kerr all played their part in the success with their work rate and resolve. In summary, a great team effort all round by Hills!

Tries: Abi Evans (5), Hannah Smith, Lucy Mills, Emma Barlow
Conversions: Amanda Jane (4)

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