The Scottish-based Xodus Steelers beat English charity side Christina Noble thanks to a last ditch try from former All Black Caleb Ralph to win the International Veterans tens tournament.
On front of a packed stadium and about 50,000 spectators the Steelers went ahead thanks to Caleb Ralph's seventh try of the tournament with former Scotland fly-half Duncan Hodge adding the extras.
In the second half Christina Noble - who have won the tournament for the last five years- replied with two tries of their own to go ahead 10-7.
As the siren went to signal the end of the game, former England 7s star Howard Graham started a move which led to a dramatic climax.
Graham offloaded to former Springbox Thinus Delport, who ran the length of the pitch sidestepping Kingsley Jones, before passing to Caleb Ralph to score his eighth try of the tournament under the posts to seal the win for the Steelers. Duncan Hodge kicked his second conversion of the game to make the full-time score 14-10.
Caleb Ralph said: "It was an unbelievable end to the game. I just stayed close to Thinus, who created the space for me to score. It feels amazing to win this tournament, all the boys have worked extremely hard this week and in the end we've achieved what we came here to do.
"I've really enjoyed playing for the Steelers this week in Dubai and I hope to be able to play for them again sometime."
Coach Frank Hadden added: "We prepared well for each game and it's a fantastic achievement for a Scottish-based team to win this tournament."
Manager Rowen Shepherd said: "We must thank the sponsors (Xodus Group, OKI and The Famous Grouse) for their support over the last four years, not only in Dubai but also for the games we play in Scotland.
"It was a huge effort from all involved and we'll always remember the day we won in Dubai."
The Xodus Steelers will play on front of 50,000 people tomorrow afternoon on the main pitch at the Dubai Rugby Sevens, when they take on English-based Christina Noble in the final of the International Veterans Tens tournament.
The Scottish-based invitational side - led by former Scotland coach Frank Hadden - progressed to the final after beating the Bali Legends 19-0 in the quarter-final and Joining Jack 25-0 in the semis. Joining Jack, an English-based charity team, included the likes of Paul Sculthorpe, Jason Robinson and Sean Long
In the quarter-final against the Bali Legends, former All Black Caleb Ralph scored twice and former Scotland fly-half Duncan Hodge also touched down and added a conversion. The other points came from the boot of former England 7s star Howard Graham.
Former Springbok Thinus Delport scored the opening try against Joining Jack in the semi-final after some nice build-up play involving Caleb Ralph, with Howard Graham kicking the conversion and a subsequent penalty. Duncan Hodge scored his second try of the day before Ralph touched down for his sixth try of the tournament. Dave Gorrie added a fourth just before the final whistle to wrap up the win.
Caleb Ralph said: "I'm really enjoying my week in Dubai, the guys are starting to gel and we played some excellent rugby today. Both games were extremely tough but we battled hard and managed to score a few tries.
"We now have a final to look forward to on the main pitch, but we're playing a very good side so we'll need to be at our best. We came here to try and win the tournament and we'll do everything we can to do just that."
The Xodus Steelers kicked-off their 2012 Dubai Sevens campaign with a 12-5 victory over The Royals, a combined Welsh and English select team led by Colin Charvis and Leigh Davies.
The Xodus Steelers, made up of former internationalists from Scotland, England, South Africa and New Zealand went behind early on but came back to win the game thanks to excellent link-up play between former All Black Caleb Ralph and former Springbok Thinus Delport, who both scored a try each. Former England Sevens player Howard Graham scored the games only conversion for the Steelers.
In their second game against TSB PB Slammers Legends the Xodus Steelers ran in eight tries to win 48-0 and progress to the quarter-finals. Gavin Kerr, Ralph (x 2), Delport (x 2), Graham, Mustchin and Lee all scored for the Scottish-based team.
The Xodus Steelers will play the Bali Legends in tomorrow's International Veterans Tens quarter-final.
After the games Thinus Delport said: "It was good to blow away the cobwebs in the first game and against the Slammers we were able to run in a few tries and win slightly more convincingly.
"I'm really enjoying playing with Caleb (Ralph) - he has unbelievable spacial recognition and we seem to be building up a good partnership.
"We know the quarter-final tomorrow will be really tough but we're looking forward to it and hopefully we can step it up again."
Former Springbok Thinus Delport is excited about finally playing alongside former All Black Caleb Ralph instead of against him.
The two have faced each other on a number of occasions in the past, but this week they will be teammates for the first time - playing for the Xodus Steelers at the Dubai Rugby Sevens.
Speaking exclusively to steelersrugby.com Thinus Delport said: "I know Caleb from playing against the Classic All Blacks for a World XV select side. We always played against each other when we were back in South Africa and New Zealand and we both had stints in Japan and played against each other there too, so it will be great to finally play alongside him.
"He's massively experienced and during his time with the Crusaders he was one of those guys that could finish and he brings that experience and ability to recognise space and attack that space, so I'm very excited about playing alongside him and feeding off him in terms of the spacial recognition that he has."
Thinus doesn't know many of his new teammates but he's looking forward to getting to know them quickly before the tournament kicks-off on Thursday.
He said: "I don't many of the guys in the squad but I'm pretty sure that after our first captain's meeting we'll have swapped some great stories from our glory days! It's really inspirational to see so many experienced guys getting back out there and putting a bit of hard graft back into it.
"My preparation has gone well, it's been great to have a bit of a motivator to get myself out to do a bit of training and I'm really looking forward to the challenge that's been set."
The Xodus Steelers will be competing in the International Veterans Tens tournament at the Dubai Rugby Sevens from 29 Nov - 1 Dec. Follow them all this week on Twitter @SteelersRugby
Caleb Ralph is second on the all-time list of Super Rugby try scorers, just one behind Doug Howlett and this week in Dubai he's hoping to run in a few more tries - this time for the Xodus Steelers in the International Veterans Tens tournament.
The former All Black played 15 times for New Zealand and during an illustrious career represented the Chiefs, Blues and Crusaders, as well as the New Zealand national sevens team.
Speaking exclusively to steelersrugby.com ahead of the Dubai Sevens, which kicks-off on Thursday, he said: "I've only been to Dubai once when I played for New Zealand in 1995 and I'm really looking forward to going back there. I've just turned 35 and I'm feeling pretty fit, so I'm hoping to score a few tries this week "
Although he enjoyed playing sevens, Caleb believes playing 15s is the highlight of every player's career.
"I love sevens because it's a bit more relaxed and by playing a few shorter games each day you get a bit more down time. With only 12 guys in the squad you get pretty close to them compared to the normal 30-man squads you get in the 15-a-side game.
"15s is the pinnacle for everyone and looking back now I realise how special playing for the All Blacks actually was. At the time you're just a young guy doing what you love with your mates but when you finish you definitely appreciate what it means to you."
The Xodus Steelers will be competing in the International Veterans Tens tournament at the Dubai Rugby Sevens from 29 Nov - 1 Dec. Follow them all this week on Twitter @SteelersRugby.
Caleb Ralph, who has been named in the Xodus Steelers squad for the Dubai Sevens later this month, played for the All Blacks 15 times and represented Crusaders on 126 occasions. He also played for the Chiefs and Blues and amassed an incredible 58 tries in Super Rugby - the second highest number of tries scored in the competition's history - just one behind Doug Howlett.
Now living in Australia Caleb knows more than most about Scotland's opposition this weekend and speaking exclusively to www.steelersrugby.com he believes this New Zealand team seems pretty much untouchable coming of the back of successes at the World Cup and Four Nations.
However, he believes they'll play a number of inexperienced players in their first two tests against Scotland and Italy and that could be one area for Scotland to try and exploit.
He said: "They've got a few young guys in the squad so the games against Scotland and Italy will be a good opportunity to blood them alongside some of the more experienced players.
"Steve Hansen has said he's going to try and give everyone game time in those first two tests as he probably has a few names up in the air, so depending on how those guys do he'll finalise his strongest team for the last two games against Wales and England."
Ralph has huge admiration for captain Richie McCaw, who has played an incredible 113 times for the All Blacks, and believes he's up there as one of the all-time greats to have pulled on the famous black shirt.
"He consistently performs and especially in that position where he's obviously targeted he's done tremendously well to perform like that. Just having his presence out there gives everyone a huge lift.
"Only he'll know when he's ready to stop playing but it would be awesome to see him out there for a while yet, although I think he's probably feeling it a bit these days."
Playing for the All Blacks was the pinnacle of Ralph's career but he says at the time he maybe didn't appreciate it as much as he does now.
"I think looking back now I realise how special it actually was. At the time you're a young guy playing and just doing what you love with your mates and it can't get any better than that, but when you finish you definitely appreciate what it means to you."
Caleb feels that Scotland will have to raise their game to another level against the All Blacks, following their successful summer tour to the Southern Hemisphere, which included wins against Australia, Fiji and Samoa.
"I don't get to see Scotland play much living in Australia and although the Wallabies probably weren't at their best when they lost to Scotland, any test win is good and Scotland will have been happy with that.
"Obviously Scotland will be ready for New Zealand but I think it'll be a different level for them than it was against Australia."
You can follow the progress of the Xodus Steelers at the Dubai Rugby Sevens with live coverage from Sunday 25 November at www.twitter.com/SteelersRugby
The Xodus Steelers have launched their new 2012 Canterbury kit, which they'll wear at this month's Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament.
The stunning new pink and blue kit has a reversible shirt, offering two sets of colours for the team to wear when they compete in the International Veterans Tens tournament from 29 November to 3 December.
Former Scotland captain and Steelers' ambassador Jason White launched the kit in Edinburgh, along with former Scotland prop, Gavin Kerr, who joins former Springbok Thinus Delport and All Black Caleb Ralph in this year's squad for Dubai. The remaining 12 players will be announced on www.steelersrugby.com on Sunday11 November.
The home shirt is predominantly pink with a blue trim and the change shirt is predominantly blue with a pink trim. Both shirts include the Xodus Group logo on the front and back, the OKI logo on the front and left arm, the Red Sky Management logo on the right arm and on the back is the Famous Grouse logo and a saltire. The shorts are blue and the socks are pink with blue hoops.
A limited number of the 2012 Xodus Steelers shirts are now available to buy online at www.steelersdirect.co.uk.
Gavin Kerr has 50 for Scotland and represented Leeds Tykes, Border Reivers, Edinburgh and Sale Sharks, before retiring in 2010.
Jason White amassed 77 caps for Scotland and led his country to famous wins over France and England at Murrayfield in 2006. The versatile forward played for Glasgow, Sale Sharks and Clermont, before retiring at the end of last season.
Jason White, who'll be traveling with the squad to Dubai this year as one of the coaches, said: "I love the new kit and I'm sure the boys will too. It's really comfortable to wear and will definitely stand out in Dubai.
"This is my first trip with the Steelers and Frank (Hadden) and I will be working hard to ensure the team is well prepared for each game."
Gavin Kerr added: "From what I've heard it'll be a fun trip. We've all been training hard over the last few months and we now just want to get out there and start playing."
Two Southern Hemisphere rugby heavyweights will be joining up with the Xodus Steelers squad in Dubai next month.
South Africa's Thinus Delport and All Black Caleb Ralph will be part of the Steelers' 15-man squad that will compete in the international vets tournament at this year's Dubai Rugby Sevens.
Caleb has been capped 15 times for the All Blacks and has represented the New Zealand national sevens team. He is the second top try scorer of all time in Super Rugby with 58 tries, just one behind Doug Howlett and ahead of the likes of Christian Cullen and Dan Carter.
The former Auckland and Canterbury centre had spells with the Chiefs and Blues before going onto to play 126 times for the Crusaders.
Thinus has 18 caps for the Springboks and has played in English rugby for Gloucester and Worcester. The pacy winger, who can also play at full-back, represented Worcester more than 100 times, scoring 112 points for the Premiership club.
The versatile back can play at centre or on the wing and has scored more than 330 points during an illustrious career.
The Xodus Steelers, who are sponsored by the Xodus Group, OKI and The Famous Grouse, will compete at the Dubai Rugby Sevens from 29 November until 1 December.
The full Xodus Steelers squad for this year's tournament will be announced over the next few weeks.
Thinus Delport said: "I've heard so much about the Steelers and I'm really looking forward to competing in Dubai. We have a strong squad with a lot of international experience and that will help us to gel quickly."
Caleb Ralph commented: "This is a fantastic opportunity for me to return to Dubai to play in a tournament which is highly regarded throughout the world.
"My former team-mate Brad Fleming played for the Steelers in Dubai and from what I've heard we'll have to work extremely hard to have a successful week out there."
Frank Hadden, Xodus Steelers manager added: "These two individuals have achieved so much in the game and have played at the very highest level. It is a major coup for us to have them in our group next month."
Scottish-based invitational rugby club, the Xodus Steelers have today agreed a shirt sponsorship deal with global whisky brand, The Famous Grouse.
The Famous Grouse logo will be displayed on the back of the 2012 Xodus Steelers shirt, which will be worn at the Dubai Rugby Sevens in November.
The Famous Grouse has been synonymous with the Scottish national rugby team since 1990 and the partnership with the SRU is the longest national team sponsorship in the world of rugby.
The Xodus Steelers have recently announced new sponsorship deals with Aberdeen-based Xodus Group and OKI.
Glen Gribbon, director of The Famous Grouse said: "We have a long standing relationship with Scottish rugby and this helps continue that association. The Steelers have quickly established themselves at the Dubai Rugby Sevens and we hope to help them achieve more success this year."
Frank Hadden, Xodus Steelers head coach said: "It is a major deal for us to be associated with a world famous brand synonymous with Scottish rugby. We welcome Famous Grouse on board for the third year running and look forward to working closely with them."
The Xodus Steelers will compete in the International Veterans Tens tournament at the Dubai Rugby Sevens from 29 November to 1 December.
Scottish-based invitational rugby club, the Xodus Steelers will play against Caithness RFC on Saturday 18 August, under the guidance of former Scotland coach Frank Hadden.
The match will be played in Thurso and will kick off the club’s 50th anniversary celebrations with the Xodus Steelers squad including Scottish rugby legends Rowen Shepherd, Craig Joiner, Jonny Petrie, Cammy Mather, Gavin Kerr, Derrick Lee, Stuart Reid and Duncan Hodge. The Steelers have never played a 15 a-side fixture on home soil before.
Frank Hadden was Head Coach of Scotland from 2005 until 2009 and has joined the Xodus Steelers coaching team following Gregor Townsend’s appointment as head coach of Glasgow Warriors.
The Game in Caithness will be covered live on the Xodus Steelers twitter feed (@SteelersRugby).
The team will once again complete at this year’s Dubai Rugby Sevens from 29 November until 1 December 2012 and have recently announced new sponsorship deals with Xodus Group and OKI.
Xodus Steelers head coach, Frank Hadden said: “I am honoured to join the Xodus Steelers coaching team ahead of this special game against Caithness RFC. We were thrilled to be invited up to take part in the celebrations and we will be fielding as strong a team as possible in what will be a unique game for us.”
Rowen Shepherd added: “Caithness Rugby Club is where it all began for me so it will be a great game to play in. The Dubai Sevens is an important tournament for us but it is nice to be able to support Caithness RFC and bring such an exciting squad to the far north of the country.’’
Scottish-based invitational rugby club, the Xodus Steelers and global brand, OKI have agreed a shirt sponsorship deal for 2012.
The deal means that the OKI logo will once again be displayed on the Xodus Steelers kit, which will be worn at the Dubai Rugby Sevens in November and at a tournament in Scotland in August. It will be the fourth consecutive year that OKI has sponsored the Steelers.
OKI employs 17,000 people across the world and is represented in 125 countries, including Dubai in the UAE. The global business-to-business brand is dedicated to creating professional printed communications products, applications and services.
John Ross of OKI said: "Xodus Steelers and OKI work really well together. We have supported the team since 2008 and we are excited about the opportunity of continuing our association with them."
"We had no hesitation in getting involved again this year and we look forward to cheering on the team in Dubai."
Rowen Shepherd of the Xodus Steelers added: "It is a huge boost to everyone associated with the Xodus Steelers to have OKI on board again for 2012. We have worked closely with them over the last few years to ensure that the return on their investment is maximised and they are now seeing the benefits of this.
"The support of our sponsors is crucial to us being able to compete each year in Dubai and we are hugely grateful to OKI for their continued backing of the team. This announcement demonstrates there is a strong appetite amongst global brands to be associated with the Steelers."
The Xodus Steelers will compete in the International Veterans Tens tournament at the Dubai Rugby Sevens from 29 November to 1 December.
Steelers Rugby has today announced that the international energy consultancy, Xodus Group, has renewed its title sponsorship of the team.
The Xodus Steelers will once again compete at the Dubai Rugby Sevens in December and are also set to play in an additional tournament on home soil, with more details to be announced soon.
The Xodus Group has sponsored the Steelers since 2010 and during this time the team has reached two Dubai finals, with a group of players including, Duncan Hodge, Gregor Townsend and James McLaren.
Stephen Swindell Chief Operating Officer of Xodus Group said: "We are thrilled to have agreed an extension to our title sponsorship deal with the Steelers. It is very exciting to have the additional tournament this year and we look forward to supporting the team both at home and in Dubai."
Rowen Shepherd of the Xodus Steelers added: "This is further evidence that we can attract and retain high quality sponsors. We have been busy working on this deal since the turn of the year and we are hugely grateful to the Xodus Group for their continued support of the team."
The Xodus Steelers have raised £1200 from the auction of Bill McLaren’s ‘big sheet’ from Scotland v England in 2000, signed by Scotland’s point scorer Duncan Hodge.
The money raised will be split equally between The Bill McLaren Foundation and the Steelers official charity Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres.
Last year the Steelers raised £1000 for Maggie’s and are already more than halfway to achieving that amount again in 2012.
Steelers Rugby is delighted to announce an exclusive auction in aid of Maggies Cancer Caring Centres and the Bill McLaren Foundation, during the build-up to this year’s Calcutta Cup showdown between Scotland and England on 4 February.
For the first time a limed edition print of Bill McLaren’s pre-match note sheet used during Scotland’s famous 19-13 victory over England at Murrayfield in 2000, is available in our special online auction. Duncan Hodge, who scored all of Scotland’s 19 points that day has only signed three of these special prints and will never individually sign anymore.
In the run up to every game legendary Scottish rugby commentator, Bill McLaren added every detail of the match to a large blank piece of paper, taken from his database of players, officials and grounds, to create the work of art that his family call ‘Bill’s Big Sheets’.
Duncan Hodge said: “It was an incredible day back in 2000 and one which I’ll remember for the rest of my life. This sheet is very special and I will only ever sign three of them individually. The detail that went into Bill’s preparation is astonishing and quite simply he was the best rugby commentator of all time.”
The auction will end on Saturday 4 February, the day of this year’s Calcutta Cup match at Murrayfield so to bid for Bill’s Big Sheet’ click here now:
The Teams (Sunday 2 April 2000):
Scotland: Paterson, Moir, Townsend, McLaren, G. Metcalfe, Hodge, Nicol, Smith, Brotherstone, Stewart, S. Murray, R. Metcalfe, White, Pountney, M. Leslie.
Replacements: McIlwham, G. Scott, Grimes, Reid, Redpath, Shiel, A. Bulloch.
England: Perry, Healey, Tindall, Catt, Cohen, Wilkinson, Dawson, Leonard, Greening, Vickery, Archer, Shaw, Hill, Back, Dallaglio.
Replacements: McCarthy, Woodman, Corry, Worsley, Gomarsall, King, Balshaw.