Tuesday 12 November 2013

Programme notes v Ayr, 9 November 2013

Welcome to Raeburn Place

Today we welcome Ayr - our fellow Scottish representatives in the B&I Cup - their President, Billy McHarg, and supporters to Raeburn Place. A big thanks and welcome also to our match officials - referee Mr James Matthew and assistants Mr Paul Cyphus and Mr Gus Tweedale - for without them there would be no game.

We have both found it hard going in the first two B&I Cup games - Ayr against Jersey and Cornish Pirates - and us against Pontypridd and London Scottish. In our case, we had our first ever game against a fully pro side, London Scottish, but we found both teams very clinical and they made the most of our mistakes.

In the Premiership, Ayr have come back from a poor start (for them!) and, in the last two weeks, have beaten Stirling at home and Melrose away to climb to third in the league, having won 7 from 9. After our win last week against Aberdeen at RP, we moved up to sixth place in the league, having won 5 from 9. The Premiership has been as competitive as ever - a quarter of the games have been won by less than 7 points - and no results can be guaranteed. The last time we played Ayr at home we lost a nail-biter 18-20 and in the return game went down 11-22, but the result was in the balance right up to the last few minutes.

This week, we heard the good news that Lewis Niven has been chosen to represent the Barbarians against the Combined Services this coming Tuesday. Lewis of course played for Accies before moving on to Edinburgh, but what gives me great pleasure is that Lewis is the first BATs player ever to don the famous black and white hoops of the Baa-Baas. When we set up BATs with our partners Broughton RFC and Trinity Accies RFC nine years ago, we had dreams of what we could do - Lewis has helped deliver some of those dreams - thanks and well done Lewis, enjoy your game. And remember where you came from - you could wear your Accies OR BATs socks!

Next Friday, in partnership with The Bill McLaren Foundation, we have the ‘Long Lunch with John Allan & Special Guests’ at Prestonfield House Hotel. John, who was born in Scotland and raised in South Africa, was a member of the Accies team from 1989-92 and went on to represent Scotland 9 times, including the 1991 Rugby World Cup. John then returned to South Africa where he continued to play for the Sharks and donned the Springbok jersey 13 times. His playing career spanned from 1981-97 where he then made the transition to coaching, charitable causes and commentating. We look forward to welcoming John back to Edinburgh, to an entertaining afternoon and the renewal of some old friendships. Details of the lunch over the page.

After today's game, the Scotland vs. Japan international will be on TV - why not stay on and watch it with us in the Clubhouse?

Finally, I hope you all enjoy your visit to Raeburn Place, the 'cradle of rugby football in Scotland' and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.

John Wright, President, EAFC

Coach's Comments

Last week’s result was much needed. We started extremely well and attacked with intent and direction right from the start. Our forward pack looked dynamic and sharp and Mike and Alex controlled the game well. When it was on to play, Ewen and Iain in the centres unleashed our exciting and talented back three. Even in the second half, when the conditions deteriorated, we looked like we wanted to play with ball in hand. After a difficult month of results, it was very pleasing to get a result with an improved performance.

However, our minds were sharpened when we remembered that we are playing Ayr this afternoon. Ayr have built an impressive squad and have been consistent over a number of years. They have huge strength in depth and any team that they put out will challenge anyone in Scottish rugby. They are well drilled up front, while Ross Curle pulls the strings in the backs. This will be a challenge - but one that we are excited about and relishing.

After picking up injuries to Tom Drennan, Andrew Findlater and Alex Blair recently we are now seeing the strength and quality of our whole club. Players are making the smooth transition from the Whites and Development XVs to the 2nd XV; and the 2nd XV players into the 1st XV. This is down to the excellent coaching set-up, developed by our Director of Rugby, Bob Easson. Our weekly coaching is focused on player development and ensuring that we improve our current playing base. While some players leave (for various reasons) we, as coaches, focus intently on improving our own. Andrew Easson is doing an excellent job leading the 2nd XV. Alongside his sidekicks, Graham Bonner and Duncan McLeod, they are moulding a 2nd XV squad that is capable of competing and pushing the 1st XV. The 2nd XV really is at the core of the Club.

I hope you enjoy the game today.

Jonny Else, Head Coach, EAFC

Edinburgh BATs Rugby

RUGBY FOR ALL ….. in the North Edinburgh Community

Broughton High’s S1/2 side (run by Edinburgh BATs Rugby) had the pleasure of training with the Japan national team on Thursday prior to this weekend’s international. We had 21 players in attendance - and certainly some of the skills they learnt were on show at Friday’s City of Edinburgh S1/2 Rugby Tournament. Let’s hope that the players enjoy the main event at Murrayfield this weekend thanks to Scottish Rugby giving each player a ticket to the game – great to see.

Last Sunday, the S1 side finally pulled on the BATs strip in a game against Dunfermline. They ran away with the game in the end with a good all round performance; however, Dunfermline certainly made them work hard for the victory. Unfortunately, our U16 lost to a very good Linlithgow side in the Edinburgh & Midlothian League.

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.

Finally good luck to Broughton RFC, Trinity Accies RFC in there league fixtures this weekend and of course Edinburgh Accies who play the club’s first ever B&I Cup game vs. Pontypridd at Raeburn Place.

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;berti@edinburghaccies.com

EAFC Minis Rugby

A mixed bag of results for the EAFC Minis and BATs S1 teams last weekend. The Minis travelled to St Andrews for the Madrascals Tournie and faced some stiff competition from both Stirling County and Melrose. Well done to all the boys who made the long journey and especially to our P3’s, coached by Hamish Macdonell and his team, who were unbeaten.

The S1’s had their first run out of the season against Dunfermline at RP on Sunday morning. After a slow start, the boys really made the most of playing on the 1st XV pitch and ran in a series of tries, most of which resulted from some impressive running and passing. A special mention to Ramsay Hodgson who scored the ‘try of the day’ using just about every skill in the book to score a brilliant individual try – more of that please Ramsay! The time and effort the coaches put in to training our young players is quite extraordinary and I’m delighted to say that all 42 of our Minis and S1 coaches have now successfully completed the SRU Rugby Ready minimum coaching qualification. Well done and thanks.

Good luck to the guys this afternoon and here’s hoping for a win for both the Accies and Scotland.

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, Eminis@edinburghaccies.com


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