Club Newsletter Match Day Programme – Week 13
Have a read of the latest news from the Old Pavilion, hear from President Gav McQuillan, a review of last weekends games and a look forward to tomorrows matches.
Meet the player is Connor Mitchell.
Grab a coffee, sit back and relax and enjoy the read
Club President : Gavin McQuillan
Both senior teams head off on their travels as the 1s head to Livingston and the 2s make the short trip for their must anticipated derby with Dalkeith.
Lots of positives to take from last weekend and it was great to see the club so busy. Despite a great effort for the first hour the 1xv eventually ran out of steam to Langholm, who will,I would think go on to be worthy league winners.
With second place still up for grabs a bit of hard work and commitment over the next few weeks could see the firsts make a little bit of history for themselves and claim second spot – with only 4 games left in the season I would ask all our senior players to be around for selection to give us the best chance of achieving something special.
Best of luck to the 2s who will be keen to continue their winning ways as Dalkeith. With a nice blend of experience and youth in the team I’m sure it will be an entertaining afternoon.
Weather permitting the minis are also back playing welcoming Leith on Sunday morning. So you are spoilt for choice this weekend if your are looking for some live rugby and as always all teams would value your support.
Finally a big thank you to Russell at Black Diamond radio and the Midlothian Advertiser for making us the feature article on the back page this week. Great profile for the club and as always brilliant to have a huge selection of photos to use from our resident official photographer Bob.
Enjoy your rugby this weekend.
Congratulations to Ross Mitchell who was Decembers 200 club winner and also to Alun Semple who won the Christmas Bonus draw.
If you would like to take part in the draw, the profits from which support the club and its rugby activities, please speak to Andy Mitchell or Andy Law.
Thanks to everyone who has stepped forward and sponsored a player for season 2022/23. The new sponsors board is ready for printing, please check the foyer next time your in.
We look forward to welcoming all our sponsors for our sponsors day on January 21st, if you haven’t already replied to you email invite please let Gavin or Robbie know
To see all our player sponsors please check out the Squad sectionhttps://penicuikrugby.org/our-squad/ , click on the sponsors logo to be directed to their web page and coming soon to the website will be a sponsors directory which will encourage all members to use when they looking for services.
Director of Rugby : Mark Blair
Penicuik 1xv v Livingston
We stuck in for 60 mins last weekend and held Langholm to 0-0 before finally running out of steam and letting Langholm ship 31 past us in a 20min spell.
But we move onwards to Livingston who sit one place ahead of us. We won at home to Livingston earlier in the season 35-27, however we spent the last 10mins of that game on our try line defending for our life to ensure the win. Livingston have had a similar season to our own in terms of results, however the one extra bonus point they have (coupled with a better pts diff) puts them just ahead.
We were in a similar position this time last season following a good spell before the festive period and I hope the boys don’t repeat their mistakes from 2022 and let the league run away from them.
Training conditions have been awful this week with heavy rain, sodden pitch and blowing gales. However the boys have stood up at training and have trained hard putting in a solid effort.
The squad is light this week with injuries and unavailability. Ideally it would have been great to have one of our stand off’s available and also one of our props, but we are where we are. It’ll also be good to meet up again with former player James Groom, who starts today at 13 for Livingston.
We lost Tom Barker to injury last Saturday and with Ross Liddle unavailable we are light at Stand Off. Oscar Malone steps up to lead the backline at 10. The forward pack remains the same as last week, but its great Cammy Crawford has made the bench following a long recovery from injury.
Here’s the rest of todays league fixtures
2xv coach : Rich Mann
Penicuik 2xv v Dalkeith 2xv
This week sees the 2nd XV travelling to play in the Midlothian derby over at Dalkeith.
Last season saw our 2nd XV play against a Dalkeith mixed 1st and 2nd XV and lose the match in most probability due to the duping of the referee by the Dalkeith coach. However there is now a new team running Dalkeith and a breath of fresh air has been brought to their club which is good for Midlothian rugby.
The 2nd XV are already guaranteed a top 6 finish which means 5 games in the coming 2 months to decide where the league title goes to. It’s looking like 4 of those game will be at home so great times ahead at the Old Pavilion. This along with the attitude of the players in both the 1st and 2nd XVS (we had almost 40 players at training on a horrible Tuesday night this week) will mean we all have a great end to the season no matter how the scores go.
Last weekend saw the 2nd XV host Lismore and Watsonians in a round robin friendly. The mighty 2s won both matches. The first a 28 – 0 win over Lismore with Tries from Randall, Graham, Smith and Cartwright and conversions by McCormick. The 2nd game was a cracker with Watsonians chucking everything at us but we prevailed with a 14 – 7 win, with a debut try for Butch Forrester and a solo effort from McNeill at 10. Both scores were converted for a good win. Watsonians were too strong for Lismore in the fading light to win the final match.
Big kudos for us hosting these games. The word is out that this format works and is great for bringing teams together. Once again Penicuik are at the forefront of raising the domestic rugby flag.
It is great to have a full squad available for selection, also a bonus to have a strong bench with Max and Simon back in the mix. The foundation of the team is our strong front row, Fraser Wilson has made himself available and props down alongside Greg Borthwick with Paddy continuing his experiment at hooker.
The Randall brothers return and winger Luke will be looking to add to his 8 league tries this season (top PRFC try scorer to date). John Graham continues on the left wing and as always will be looking for space to exploit out wide. We welcome Callum Phillips onto the bench for his Penicuik Debut
1xv captain : Aidan Dean
At first glance we look like we got pasted last week. But to hold any team to nil for 60mins shows a solid defensive display.
Unfortunately we didn’t main that against a well drilled Langholm team who proved why they are cruising at the top of the league.
This week we take on Livingston away who have had an up down season much like ourselves. Excited to see Oscar trying out a new position with Ketchen coming into 13 to offer a different attacking outlet for us in the midfield.
excited to see how we react to last weekend and hopefully it leads us getting our season back on track and aiming for those top spots.
Meet the player
Connor joined us late in life following a career playing junior football. It took several of his employees telling him how good rugby was to pursued Connor to try the egg shaped ball and he hasn’t looked back since. His physical strength from his career as a landscape gardener is an ideal fit for the back row.
However its Connors attitude to the Penicuik Rugby family that stands him out. He stepped forward to sponsor the end of year awards through his company https://www.mitchellgardens.co.uk and donated his dinner tickets to other members of the squad who weren’t in a position to attend. He is also the proud sponsor of 1xv full back Oscar Malone and his logo can also be found on the shirts of Murrayfield Wanderers.
Connor’s son also plays for our mini section and is looking like a star of the future.
Sponsored by :
Position : Flanker
Age : 33
Favourite chat group : 1st XV group chat purely for the verbal tennis with our captain
Last song listened Spotify/Apple musics etc : The lonely Island – mother lover featuring JT
Current box set watching : Happy valley, I can’t get enough of Sarah Lancashire
Current job : Director of Mitchell Gardens and Landscapes
Who do you sit next to in changing room : South African juggernaut Connor Clark and Oscar I haven’t kicked a ball in 6 weeks Malone
Tell us something your team mates don’t know : When I was 16 I got stuck in a baby swing in St Andrews for 2 hours eventually being rescued by the fire service
Mini/Midi Rugby This January
Here are the Mini fixtures and U16 fixtures for January. We have fixtures for our U14 and waiting for confirmation before posting
In and around the Club House
Following an ACL tear sustained during the spring of 2022, 1xv player Finn Tait was given the news he’d spend the next 12 months on the sidelines from once surgery was completed on the reconstruction. This would ultimately rule him out this season and also season 2023 for Penicuik Cricket.
During this time Finn has taken up a new role as rugby correspondence for online rugby site https://www.theoffsideline.com , although he has yet to feature a Penicuik article (hint hint) he is busy putting together a Six Nations preview special, once posted we will send the link out to our members. If you haven’t already seen the excellent website set up by legendary Scottish Rugby journalist David Barnes then please have a look.
Rugby Development Officer : Arran Thomas has decided to take on a DO role over at Kirkcaldy RFC, Arran lives out that way and with a young family it makes life easier for him, We wish to thank Arran for all the work he has carried out for us in taking rugby back into the schools. Last week we appointed Midlothian based Josh Dibble as our new DO and he started in role on the 9th January. A full Q&A with Josh will be published shortly and we look forward to working with him.
Referees : This weekend the club have 2 referees taking charge of games. Andy Law has the whistle for Haddington v Forrester and Les Whatford is overseeing Dunbar v Dalkeith. The SRU are actively looking for new referees and if interested please click the link https://scottishrugby.org/clubs-and-schools/training-and-education/match-officials/ #samegamedifferentshirt
Touring Team News: We’ve lined up a couple touring games to keep our boys playing rugby and also to fill the club house. Firstly Streatham-Croydon are calling up on Friday 7th April, then on Friday 26th May we host Garndiffaith RFC who are touring for their centenary tour. Mark these dates in your diary as its always a special atmosphere in the clubhouse when we host touring sides, especially the Garndiffaith game as this is the Friday of Gala weekend and the shows will be open on our doorstep.
Club Dinner 2023: Save the date – Saturday the 13th May. Details to be released closer to the time. Join us for our 99th year of celebrating rugby in Penicuik
Clubhouse Lounge Opening Times : A reminder to all members we open from 7:30pm on Fridays where a member of the management will be happy to serve your drinks, live rugby is shown where possible, and we have coffee now available behind the bar. Our prices remain one of the lowest in Penicuik, why not bring some friends down or use the club as a stepping stone if you are heading into Penicuik or Edinburgh. For those on dry January we also stock a range of non-alcoholic beers, Guinness and spirits. Saturdays we are open during match times and from 5pm where no game.
Members Special Offer
Looking to end the reliance on plastics and want to support the Penicuik Rugby Family?
Look no further than Arran’s soap on a rope.
Choose from 2 scents in the colours of Penicuik Rugby
A fantastic gift for the rugby lover in your life and an excellent alternative to shower gels in plastic containers.
£4 each or £5 with a soap bag or stand. Peppermint or bergamot scents available
Arran is one of our up and coming players in our U14 side and also player sponsor of 1XV stand off Thomas Barker
2022/23 Player Points
No change from last weekend with 1xv recording nil points. With 2 league games today we should see a movement in the table..
Joint 5th is Aidan Dean also on 30pts
Penicuik Rugby Principal Sponsors
Penicuik Rugby Player Sponsors