Duns beat Belleville Bulldogs in first clash of Canada tour

Duns RFC who are on tour in Canada
Duns RFC who are on tour in Canada

Duns RFC gave Toronto team the Belleville Bulldogs a schooling in Scottish rugby on Saturday, beating their host club 38-7.

Duns flew to Toronto, Canada, on Friday to represent Berwickshire in three games of rugby and kick start their season in the newly formed East League 1.

They first travelled two hours from Toronto to Belleville, to take on the Bulldogs.

In a sweltering, hard-hitting affair, Duns played tough, fast rugby, despite early concerns the Scots were going to suffer in the sweltering conditions.

Duns coach Brian Richardson praised his charges for overcoming early fears that the Canadians would be acclimatised to the July Ontario rugby conditions, saying his players stepped up to the challenge on their first game of a three-match Ontario tour.

“The lads were tired, having got in on Friday afternoon after an 18-hour travel day, but soon gained their legs and played a reasonably technical game against some bigger, stronger Belleville players,” Richardson said.

“It was a good test for the boys who now can go on with a bit of confidence that they can handle the toughest Ontario rugby can throw at them.”

Scoring for Duns in the opening match of the tour were Ged Lamb, Richard Burns, David Hutchison, Jamie Renton and David Andrews.

Dale Robertson and his deadly accurate kicking boot potted four converts and one penalty goal, but maddeningly missed a dead simple drop goal for three points from 20 metres between the posts late in the match.

Danny Lamb slotted one convert.

For Bulldogs, who fielded a combination side of firsts, seconds and U19s, Jesse Gunter scored the try and Graham Abbott hit the convert.

On Monday Duns travelled to Peterborough, one hour north of Belleville, in Kawartha Lakes country for a match last night (Wednesday) against the Pagans.

Pagans play in a division senior to the Belleville Bulldogs, the Ontario Rugby Union premier league, and are due to be the hardest of Duns’ tour opponents this time round.

Duns now move on to face their old friends Brock RFC. Brock is a very rural, farming part of Ontario - similar to Duns in many respects, except the weather!

Duns have toured to and hosted Brock many times over the years, and manager Peter Gallagher, one of the driving forces behind the tour, has many friends over there.

The Canada tour is the perfect way to celebrate Duns’ highly successful season last year, when they won both the League and The Murrayfield Bowl competition.

Duns RFC would like to take this opportunity to thank the community, supporters, sponsors, members and also the Tour committee.

Without the fundraising support and the huge amount of work and effort from everyone, this tour would never have been achieved. Touring is an important side to Club rugby and maintains the friendly atmosphere enjoyed in the game.

If you wish to join Duns RFC this year, training is at the Hardens Pitch at 6.45pm on Tuesday and Thursday nights starting on the team’s return from Canada on August 4 - everyone is welcome.

Visit club Website for updates throughout the tour