Dundee HSFP 65 GHA 24

GHA earned a bonus point by scoring four tries in the space of 19 minutes in the BT National League Division 1 match against Dundee at the Morgan FP ground on Saturday. But those were only flashes of brilliance in an otherwise disappointing display as Dundee scored 10 tries.

Four of those tries were in the first half, with Dundee leading 29-0 at the interval. By then the result seemed secured for the hosts as GHA has shown little sign of the rugby which had already earned nine four-try bonuses in the season.

In the early stages of this re-arranged fixture, which took place at the ground of Morgan RFC, there was no suggestion of the try-fest which was to follow. Early indications possibly favoured GHA, but the insecure handling which was to afflict much of their efforts, cost them the initial score. Shaun Gauld seized a loose ball and set of from his own half. In support were George Arnott and Andy Dymock, the latter finishing off with the opening try, easily converted by Fraser McKay and Dundee were 7-0 ahead after 7 minutes.

A fairly even spell followed, peppered with some loose play by both sides, until a penalty offence by the visitors allowed Dundee to find touch some 10 metres from the GHA line. Dundee drove the line-out maul then opened out leading to another penalty against GHA and Fraser McKay slotted the kick to extend the home lead. 10 – 0 with 18 minutes on the clock.

GHA’s attacking efforts were being hampered by handling errors and, when Dundee were able to take advantage, to relieve pressure in their 22, a line-out resulted on the 22-metre line, with a Dundee throw. A throw to the front and a break up the right touch-line followed, then the ball was moved across the park and Dundee were forced into touch on the left, 10 metres from the GHA line. GHA offended, and Dundee won the resultant scrum, with the ball being moved out until a clear space opened for Ali Mackie under the posts, for a try converted by Fraser McKay. 17 – 0 to Dundee with 29 minutes gone.

Almost immediately, the lead was extended. A break by Geo from the re-start took the ball into the GHA 22, where it was re-cycled for a try by Josh Rutnagur. The conversion attempt was missed but the Dundee support was delighted with the securing of the try bonus point, all-important in the quest for a fourth-place finish in the league. 32 minutes played and 22 – 0

Dundee continued in that mould when another breakout followed the kick-off, the ball moving through three pairs of hands before Ronan Joy scampered some 50 metres for a try, well converted by Fraser McKay. Dundee looking good at 29 – 0 after 36 minutes.

Suddenly, GHA sprung to life and opened the second half by going deep into the Dundee 22. It was close enough for Peter Jericevich to create a try for himself.

Andrew Goudie (pictured) converted from in front of the posts, and almost from the restart GHA swept the ball to the left for Andrew Spowart to escape up the touchline and swerve diagonally across to the right for Goudie to finish off with a try. The stand-off also added the goal points from close to the right touchline.

Goudie scored again in 51 minutes, this with a chip and chase, and the same play by the stand-off  11 minutes later opened the way for Nigel Kelly to score. Neither try was converted.

In that time, though, Dundee had three more tries of their own – one between GHA’s second and third and two sandwiched by the third and fourth. By the time Kelly’s try earned GHA’s bonus Dundee were still comfortably ahead by 46-24. Three more Dundee tries followed in the final quarter.

GHA’s cause was hampered by the loss of Mike Ryan and Euan Greer mid-match through injury. However, in general terms, the visitors’ rugby outside the third quarter was incredibly short of their best – too many missed tackles, too many handling errors, too many times turned over. It was a ring-rusty performance that could have been excused in the first friendly of the season rather than the last league match. Also, GHA had had three weeks off since their penultimate match whereas Dundee were in the middle of a three-match late-season roll as the sought to make sure of finishing in the top six to qualify for the new-style Scottish Cup.

GHA, as seventh in National 1, are the top qualifiers for the new National Cup. That is to be contested by six from National 1 and all 24 from National Divisions 2 and 3. Let’s now look forward to expecting a good run in that competition.

Dundee – Danny McGinn; Isoa Matacagi, Fraser McKay, Colin Strachan, Ronan Joy; Josh Rutnagur, Andy Dymock; Jonny Gibson, Angus Campbell, Alan Brown, George Arnott, Jack Anderson, Gavin Hughan, Shaun Gauld, Alasdair Mackie – Replacements: Neil Dymock, Lewis McLean, Andy Clarkson, Henry Sampson, Ewan Campbell.

Scorers: T – Mackie (2), Rutnagur (2), Arnott, A. Dymock, Joy, Matacagi, McKay, Sampson C – McKay (6) P – McKay

GHA – Nigel Kelly, Andrew Spowart, Ben Addison (captain), Cameron King, Euan Greer; Andrew Goudie, Peter Jericevich; Scott Carson, Seitaro Usuda, Michael Scott, Adam Kerr, Adam Barnett, Paul Harkins, Mike Ryan, Ross Angus – Replacements: Luis Barron, Michael Fox, Luther Michael Mavunga, Glen Scott, Murray Houston.

Scorers: T – Goudie (2), Jericevich, Kelly C – Goudie (2)

Referee: Mr K. White

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