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

2018-19 Senior Pre-season Kicks Off

Growing older has occasionally some benefits. One of these is the appreciation that your days of attending rugby preseason training and thereby feeling the vivifying muscle pain, not only the morning after your first session, but also of the second day are now firmly behind you.

Instead, visiting a pre-season session at Hughenden allows an insight into the fact that today’s players are better equipped to undertake and withstand the rigours of conditioning activities than their predecessors were some years ago.

Training began on Thursday the 12th July at Hughenden for Hills 2018-19 season and coaches, Dean Kelbrick and Graeme Blackhall, had some 35 players to put through an eighty minute session, interspersed with frequent water breaks. It was encouraging to note and welcome many new faces to the club, along with the well established  Rorys, Dans, Harrys, Prestons and Ryans.

We have room for plenty more at our next session on Tuesday 17th and thereafter every Thursday and Tuesday. Players are expected at18.45 to prepare for the real action which starts at 19.00 PROMPT. Please bring your water bottle along with you : “top up with tap water”

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

Hills Outgunned in Final Quarter of Pulsating Game

HILLHEAD JORDANHILL 1st XV 5 pts NEWTON STEWART 1st XV 35 pts

On a day stolen from the height of mid-summer, Hills battled bravely against a physically superior and more abrasive Newton Stewart side, but ultimately succumbed by five goals to one try, a margin which slightly flattered the victors. Hills had to rely on all their defensive skills in a fierce opening burst from Newton which found them pinned back in their twenty two for most of the opening quarter. Break outs were limited, and when they occurred, stand-off Rory Harte, was almost always the instigator. Following a longish injury break for attention to second rower, Alex Armstrong, who happily recovered well, Harte took play downfield with a fine crossfield kick which bounced wickedly for the visiting defence. Jimmy Griffith pounced quickly on the loose ball to set up the attacking ruck, and three phases later, fullback Arnaud Bauchet beat the Newton cover out wide to score. This was the last occasion, after twenty eight minutes of the game, that Hills would trouble the scoreboard operator, but their contribution thereafter to what was an enjoyable high tempo game was considerable. Certainly the clash of heads which caused centre Scott Halliday to leave the field with a badly gashed forehead did not assist their efforts, but replacement Michael Jones fitted in well on his 1st XV debut, some 42 years after his father, Gordon first played in a Hillhead jersey.

There were two principal differences between the sides. The visitors, whenever they entered the home twenty two, always seemed to come away with a try whereas the Hills for all their efforts at times over elaborated and were predictable in their approach, unless Harte added a cross kick or change in the point of attack. Additionally, Newton had more damaging broken play runners with the ball in hand than Hills, and it was the cumulative effect of continuous tackling and defensive chores at the breakdown that eventually sapped the resolve of the Hills in the final quarter when they had little left to offer. Yet for all their relative physical inferiority, the Hills set scrum was solid all afternoon, and occasionally caused some degree of discomfort on the visitors put in.

Season 2017/18 concluded then with a home defeat but the Hills, their coaching team, players and supporters can take some comfort from the fact that after three very poor seasons in the leagues some degree of stability has now been achieved which gives hope for a renaissance in 2018/19.

Hills 1st XV: Arnaud Bauchet, Jamie Maddox (Graham Davidson), Scott Halliday (Michael Jones), Scott Busby, Jimmy Griffith, Rory Harte, Dan Williams (C), Blair Mackenzie (Ross Jackson), Harry Perston, Mo Adams (Ross Ferguson), Bill Kenny, Alex Armstrong, Conor Ferguson, James Reekie, Preston McGoldrick Subs all used.