Dundee High Rugby got their Scottish Hydro Premier One league campaign up and running today with well-worked 5-47 win over Stewart’s-Melville today at Inverleith.
The clubs – both promoted from Premier 2 this season – arrived at the match looking for their first win in their new league and, while Dundee haven’t tasted victory at Inverleith since 2002, it was the visitors who showed all of the accuracy and pace of a side capable of staying in the top division.
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Dundee dominated from the start and, after 10 minutes, some fantastic footwork from right-wing James Fleming gave Dundee the lead.
A cross-kicked high ball was spilled backwards yet rescued as it was scooped off the deck and into Fleming’s hand who, despite operating in narrow confines on the far touchline, jinked his way past two defenders before running in – and converting – the score, 0-7.
Fleming was involved in Dundee’s next score just six minutes later when he did we well to avoid contact and present the ball to his man in support who then popped back inside to full-back Aubrey Horton.
The powerful Horton opened the throttle and, after putting the last defender off balance with a series of fakes to change direction, handed off superbly to trot in unopposed.
Fleming added the extras, 0-14.
As the game progressed there were little signs of where the hosts would find their way back into the game. Unable to match Dundee’s power up front and threat from outside backs who thus far had linked to such devastating effect.
Dundee’s contrasting left-winger, Matt Smith, then underlined their threat when he powered through a gap on the near side touch line and gunned for the posts only to be brought down by a scrambling Stewart’s Melville defence.
Despite their dogged efforts Dundee secured possession from the ruck and, with five unmarked blue jerseys lined up in space, second-row Chris Cumming gladly accepted the pass and crossed unchallenged to dot down. Fleming converted, 0-21.
Five minutes from the break it was all looking a little bleak for Stewart’s-Melville however when they found themselves on the Dundee 5m line they made it count.
Good spoil work from the forwards saw them snatch a Dundee lineout deep in the red zone and the forwards rallied round and barged over the line with number 8, Stuart Clark, dotting down the unconverted score.
Unfortunately for the home side their cheers were short-lived as Horton turned from scorer to provider when he put lock and captain, Richie Hawkins, in for a converted score minutes before time.
HALF TIME: 5-28
The second-half continued as the first had ended with Dundee’s outside backs causing more problems for Stewart’s-Melville.
A miss-pass found Fleming out-wide but the winger had to jump to keep it the ball in play before executing a deft flick back inside while he continued into touch.
The ball landed in the hands of the supporting Horton who ran through the gap in the stretched defence for his hat-trick. Fleming made no mistake with the conversion, 5-40.
With 20 minutes left and the result all but decided the tempo of the match dropped noticeably however. with just five minutes on the clock. Fleming showed impressive fitness to gas through the slightest of gaps in the Stewart’s-Melville midfield before arcing towards the posts to score.
Fleming then converted his try for the second time in the match to complete the afternoon’s scoring.
FULL TIME: 5-47
Dundee director of rugby, Ian Rankin, said: “The platform that we’ve had for the last three weeks from the set piece is an area we’ve worked really hard on because we know if you can get that established it makes it so much easier.
“The back three have this raw ability to run and it puts so much fear in the opposition of what their going to do – they know if they kick badly they’ll come back at them
“I’m delighted. I think everybody put in a good shift and everybody had a smile on their face at the end”
|STEWART'S-MELVILLE 1st XV|
DUNDEE 1st XV
15 Hayden Linden CAPTIAN
14 Harry Boisseau
10 Stuart Kerr
1 Ruairi McLeod
Replacements (all used)
15 Aubrey Horton
14 Matt Smith
10 Cammy Ferguson
1 David Young
Match official: Malcolm Changleng