Friday 21 February 2014

Programme Notes – Cup v Aberdeen, 22 February

Welcome to Murrayfield!

As last week's postponed game was an RBS Cup game, the rearranged game has to take place on the first available designated stand-by date, which happens to be today, consequently the Premiership game against Heriot’s is postponed again.

Also the Cup 'rules' say if the game does not take place today, because the pitch is unfit, the result will be decided by cutting a pack of cards!! We had a pitch inspection yesterday and decided not to risk it, so with many thanks to the SRU, we find ourselves at Murrayfield and the fantoosh 3G pitch – a first for Accies 1XV.

We welcome Aberdeen GSFP, their Chairman, Gordon Thomson, and supporters to Murrayfield for the quarter final of the RBS Scottish Cup. Aberdeen qualified for the quarter finals by winning the Caledonian Regional Cup Competition League, winning all five of their games. Accies, as with the other Scottish B&I Cup representatives, automatically qualified for the quarter finals.

A big thanks and welcome also to our match officials - referee Mr Peter Allan and assistants Messrs Daniel Shaw and Graeme Marshall - for without them there would be no game.

You will notice that professional players are allowed to play in Cup games between Premiership teams this season. It was a change made to the Premiership Rugby and Professional Club Protocol Arrangements for the 2013/14 season, at the request of the pro teams and agreed by the Premiership Forum last May - and forgotten by most until a reminder came round a week or so ago!

The Protocol Arrangements have been the subject for much debate this season, especially around clubs who don't want to play their 'allocated' pros and the numbers released to various clubs - there are still areas to be resolved - I hope they are sorted for next season.

There is one new face in our squad today, Jack Marples, who played for Sydney University on their recent 150th Anniversary Tour of Britain and Ireland and made arrangements to stay on in Edinburgh after that tour ended. A big welcome Jack and we hope you enjoy the game today!

The Premiership game against Heriot’s has now been put back to the 8th March. Next week, it's back to the Premiership with an away game at Ayr, kicking off at 3pm.

I hope you all enjoy your visit to Murrayfield today and I look forward to seeing you back in the clubhouse at Raeburn Place - the historic ‘cradle of rugby football in Scotland’ – for a couple of post-match drinks!

John Wright, President, EAFC

Coach's Comments

We welcome Aberdeen today (again!) to Raeburn Place, as we play out first National Cup game of the season. We are all excited at being in the quarter finals, but know that today's game is going to be a huge challenge. Kevin will have his men prepared and ready to be physical and take the game to us. Aberdeen will also be encouraged by their last performance against Heriot’s, where they matched one of the form teams in the league.

For those of you who braved the weather on 1st February at Netherdale, you would have witnessed a frustrating day. I thought we started well, attacked with intent in the first half and defended as if our lives depended on it. Alex Toolis was stealing ball at the front of the lineout and Mike and Alex played in the right areas of the pitch. With two minutes to go before half time we had played well. Then, one silly penalty and Gala kicked to the corner and scored. The second half performance, after an encouraging opening 10 minutes, turned into a difficult afternoon’s work. Mistake was compounded by another mistake and, with strong field position, Gala were able to punish us. We did finish strongly, with Chris Dean scoring a fine kick and rush try at the end.

We are absolutely determined to play this game today and as a result we took the hard (but sensible) decision yesterday afternoon to move the game to Murrayfield and a big thank you to the SRU for loaning us their pitch. A huge amount of effort went into preparing the pitch at RP last weekend and myself, Malcy and the players can't thank Bob, Pete Drennan and Euan Macfie enough. Although we didn't play, the pitch is in much better condition for their efforts. The work continued this week with the players manually rolling the pitch, pulling the roller up and down, in the dark, on Tuesday night. I think this attitude sums up the values of our great club - volunteers and players pulling together to make sure that this club functions, without moaning or making a song or dance about it.

We have trained well this week and the players and pitch are ready (at the time of writing!) so it promises to be a cracking game.

As always, your support is greatly appreciated by myself, Malcy and the boys - enjoy the game!

Jonny Else Head Coach, EAFC

View from the Touch Line

We are delighted that Aberdeen GSFP have travelled down – for the second time in a week - to Murrayfield for today's RBS Cup quarter final fixture. As always, our visitors from Aberdeen are most welcome and, although we have won both our RBS League fixtures against them this season, you can be certain that we will not be taking anything for granted this afternoon.

As you will be aware from reading the press, the ‘Murrayfield Mandarins’, with little or no consultation with Scottish Rugby's constituent membership (the clubs!), thought it fit and proper to produce a strategy document before Christmas with the grand title 'The Way Forward 2016 and Beyond Policy Initiatives’. The 5 initiatives in the document covered: ‘Rugby Academies’, ‘Coaching Pathways’, ‘A Strategy for working with Clubs’, ‘Youth Rugby - a Strategy for Schools’ and ‘A future for Women's Rugby’. To be fair (although rather belatedly), some consultation has been done recently with the clubs. And, surprise, surprise, there was a muted announcement last week (when everyone was focussed on the Calcutta Cup - am I a sceptic or what?!) that the main initiative i.e. 'A Strategy for working with Clubs' has been put off for at least 2 years!

Talking of RBS Six Nations, those of you who watched the international matches here with me in our Clubhouse a couple of weeks ago will vouch for the fact that I did not gloat too much or cause too much damage! So, I hope that you will appreciate my response to a friend's e-mail about the respective matches: 'The rugby on Saturday was awful – the weather, the pitch, the game, the score – thank goodness I did not go.' 'The rugby on Saturday was super - the weather was fine, pitch was perfect, the game was excellent, score was fair - sadly, I was not there!'

Finally, in this our 156th season, I hope that you enjoy a superb game of fast, free flowing rugby this afternoon and, dare I say it, an Accies victory! And it goes without saying - no matter the result - lots of liquid refreshment and good banter in the clubhouse bar back at RP with our ‘Granite’ friends!

Vincent O'Donoghue

Edinburgh BATs Rugby

RUGBY FOR ALL ….. in the North Edinburgh Community

BATs Training Times:

  • BATs U16 and U18 squads train on Wednesday evenings @ Raeburn Place from 6.30-7.30pm
  • BATs S1 & S2 sides train on Sunday mornings @ Raeburn Place from 10.30-12.00 noon
  • BATs P6 & P7 sides train on Sunday mornings @ Raeburn Place from 10.30-12.00 noon

 If you would like to join and play for BATs or volunteer and help BATs in any way - be it coaching, fund-raising or just joining the committee - please contact Iain on the contact details below.

Good luck to all teams involved this weekend for Broughton, Edinburgh Accies and Trinity.

The BATs are the future of rugby in the community……… and that future is bright.

BATs Web: click; Twitter: click  

Iain Berthinussen, Rugby Development Officer, 0783 469 2823;

EAFC Minis Rugby

It’s been rather quiet on the Mini’s front as a result of the biblical weather we are all experiencing. However, when and where possible, we have continued to train as we prepare for the run of end of season tournaments.

On the 16th March we will be holding our own tournament for the P3-P7 age groups at Newfield and we’d be delighted to see as many supporters and players from the senior club come down to see the boys in action – who knows, you may even spot a ‘star of the future’ amongst the wealth of young talent on display?

Good luck to the 1st XV today against Aberdeen.

Please refer to our website for up to date info: click here  

Remember, ANY player from ANY school is welcome to join the Accies Minis!

David Crawley, President, EAFC Mini Rugby, M 07715 555 005, E


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