Mini Tournamant - results

Sunday dawned and with it Biggar’s Annual Mini tournament. With some 300+ players and attendant parents and supporters this is always a very busy day.

Very luckily the weather forecast which had all week suggested heavy rain for Sunday was not quite correct, the bulk of the games having finished just prior to the one and only downpour. This didn’t stop the event from being a great success and with some excellent rugby on show to boot.

 

The day is huge in all sorts of ways and the club owes a massive thank you to all those who helped in any way (too many to name individually, but all crucial to the success of today’s event).

Thanks then first and foremost to the players who played with spirit and endeavour all day long.

But also to....

Pam Tennant and her large, very welcome organising team and kitchen helpers/Hugh and Kev for lining the pitches/all those who helped collect cash and park cars/those who manned the tombola and tuck shop/GY on the bar/Nic Humphries band of referees (many of whom were taking their first steps into the officials world)/visiting coaches and teams/all other visitors/score-keeper Eric Shearer/D. M. Clarkson (Borderline Garage) for car-parking space... and of course to Mini Convenor Laura Watson who was in overall charge.

Special thank you also to our guests, Glasgow Warriors players Niko Matawalu and Brandon Thomson Special who both thoroughly enjoyed their day and making the most of their time posing happily for pictures and chatting with the mini players (and coaches!).

Also thanks to Aileen Campbell (Scottish Government Minister for Public Health and Sport and our Clydesdale MSP) and Alex Allison (our local councillor for Clydesdale East).

Results were as follows:

 

                Runners-up                   Winners

P4           Boroughmuir                 East Kilbride

P5           Melrose                         Currie

P6           Biggar                           Stirling County

P7           Currie                            Stirling County


Biggar reps in Glasgow and West squad for BT Academy matches

BT Academy District series
On Sunday the BT Academy District programme came to its climax with matches for 3rd/4th, 1st/2nd places all taking part at BT Murrayfield. Biggar did not have representatives at U-16 age group but as has been the case for this series there was a host of players involved at U-18 and three at U-20.

The U-18 match for 3rd/4th spot saw Glasgow and the West take on Edinburgh. Biggar had 6 players in the starting line up with centre Andrew Jardine again Captain. Props Andrew Nimmo and Guy Kelly featured in the pack with scrum half Lohann Kotze, stand off Rory McGinn and centre Matthew Stewart completing the contingent. On the bench were hooker Jordan Gray and back row forward Lewis Stewart who have been part of the squad but not given game time, until this final match. All played well, contributing positively with both Gray and Lewis Stewart showing up well, the latter scoring ta crucial try which, when converted, earned Glasgow a 19-19 draw.

At U-20 level Glasgow took on Edinburgh for the final match. Ross Jackson had a great game at No 8, scoring a try while winger Peter Steele did well when he came off the bench. Peter has recently opted to leave Biggar for Glasgow Hawks and while the club is obviously disappointed to see him go, he goes with the club's best wishes for his time with his new club. Calum Braid, a recruit last season from Moffat but someone who is struggling to get time for play this season, also featured.

Coincidentally, three of the matches from the 6 played on Sunday saw the result hinging on the last kick of the match. Glasgow lost the 16's match by 26-24, missing the last kick of the game to tie the scores, the 18's drew their match with the last kick at 19-19 while the 20's lost out by 24-22. Nip and tuck all the way!

Biggar were given some welcome and generous publicity by stadium announcer Chris Cruise ( a Biggar lad of course), who, in his own inimitable style, read out the team sheet but only announcing Biggar players by their club or school!


Biggar Youth rugby

Biggar RFC Youth section caters for those of high school age. We currently have teams in U13, U14, U15 and U16 age categories, as well as U12, U15 and U18 girls teams. The gradual incorporation of full rugby union rules over the different age grades makes Youth rugby the perfect stepping stone for progression onto under 18s rugby and then to the senior game.

 

The sides compete at the very highest level available to Youth rugby in Scotland with the Boys competing in the Mitsubishi Shogun Conference while the Girls are in the Mitsubishi Mirage Conference.

 

Training takes place as follows:-

Tues U13

 

Wed U16 and all girls squads

 

Thurs U14 and U15

 

For further information please contact

Boys Youth: Paula Yardley paulayardley@btinternet.com

 

Girls Youth: Tammy Mitchell dtdkn.5@btconnect.com


Summer Rugby Camp 2018


U14’s find going tough in last 2 matches

Biggar 3 points v Perthshire 43 points

Wanted – “Under 14 boys who are over 6 feet tall”.

There must be something in the water in the Biggar area but our boys don’t seem to grow till they are about 16 years old unlike other teams who can field tall boys who look like menat under 14 age group.

 

Each week our boys go out onto the field and have to look up to their opposition.

 

So, what do we have?

 

Bunch of boys who often have to go through the hard school of knocks but their hearts allow them to just keep going at any team.

 

Many previous Biggar under 14 boy’s teams have been no different. Then as they grow older they catch up becoming taller and stronger and along with these strong hearts and determination become a match for any team in the land. Just look at some of the Under 18 and 16 teams over the last 6 to 7 years. I should know. They just get better and better.

 

Nobody should worry – it will come and often it’s the hard days that they have learned that will see them through. Everyone has a challenge at some point and they learn from it.

 

Although Biggar were well beaten on Sunday by a superior team in all senses they will just move on. In fact, the more they get knocked down the more they just keep getting back up. Hard to beat anyone who never gives up.

 

Biggar did not field their full squad again, forcing Doug Roper to put some into unfamiliar positions in important areas.

 

Perthshire continually attacked throughout this game, forcing Biggar to have a day of defence. But if some will not put in the tackles then it makes it even harder for the others to do extra on a day like Sunday.

 

Biggar did score late on with Thomas Young taking quick penalty to Rory Hill who then put the pass to Lewis Stewart to go over. Lewis often has a football game on a Sunday but makes sure he puts in all effort to get back for the rugby. Good on him and shows the spirit with these boys.

 

Scorers

Lewis Robertson- 1 try

 

 

Biggar 11 points v Waysiders 19 points

 

Biggar knew that they let this game slip away from them as they went 2 scores up early in the game and looked comfortable , not allowing Waysiders to get into the contest.

 

However, Waysiders did manage to respond as Biggar failed to take control and in fact eased off the pedal thinking this would not be a hard contest. How wrong they were !!.

 

Once Waysiders scored again Biggar failed to positively respond and some started to drop heads which impacted on the whole squad.

 

Too often simple errors caused problems such as constant infringements or offside at the ruck. As a team all the players need to take their share of the tackling.

 

Discipline slipped on Sunday and lessons must be learned. The boys also must take in what is coached to them.

 

“Alone we can do so little – together we can do so much”.

 

On the positives there were many players who just got on with it such as Christopher Barrett who was playing out of position but was constantly causing Waysiders issues with his strong running.

 

Callum McLemon again was strong in his running but direction of travel is often an issue.

 

The boys did stick to their tasks and the game was close right down to the end but a knock on allowed Waysiders to kick ahead and they were 1st to the ball over the line. This really was a hammer blow to the boys.

 

The boys keep going but it is hard to keep continuity in the team on the park as Coach Doug Roper has rarely been able to field a full strength team this season as each week there are call offs or non availability. Really need everyone always.

 

The boys can do it when they stick to their tasks.

 

Scorers

Callum McLemon - 1 try

Christopher Barrett – 1 try

Ciaran Bell – 1 try

Finlay Crozier converted 2 from 3.


U15 Boys also on winning run


The Boys U15’s meanwhile travelled to Fife to take on Dunfermline RFC.

 

They returned from Dunfermline with a 97 - 7 win. This included lots of good running lines and support play.

 

Some good kicking to space and nice grubber kicks through to runners.

 

All good preparation for Thursdays Semi final against Strathaven and next weekends tour to Kirby Londsdale and Penrith.
 


U15 Girls record a good win over The Borders Girls


On Sunday the U15 girls hosted a ‘Borders Girls’ team in the quarter final of the National Shield competition.

 

On another pleasant morning the Biggar Girls ran out 44-19 winners in what was an enthralling contest.

 

This was perfect timing to reward the hard effort the girls have put into their training.

 

Good teamwork- fast hands - good decision making - good tackling - good defence.

Lana Bell was Girl of the Game for us and our Capt Emma Orr was picked by Borders. This was a tough call because lots of the girls were worthy of the title.

 

The reward is a trip to Inverness to play Highland on 22nd April. Emma Orr, Mariana Finlayson and Emily Wood-Kidd each scored once, Lana Bell scored twice and Alexandra Phillips scored three times. Emma and Louisa Steele each converted a try.


Colts host Howe

The Colts continued their preparation for their Glasgow Cup final on 28th April with a match against Howe of Fife who are themselves preparing for their Caledonia Shield quarter final.

 

Played on the 1st pitch the Biggar lads gave height and weight away to their opponents but gave their all in terms of tenacity and determination and managed to record an excellent win over their visitors.

 

The match was ably refereed by Biggar Colt Cameron Forrest who is now looking to progress as an official in preference to playing. A difficult task but one which is essential if people wish to play the game – any others interested should get in touch with Cameron.

 

The squad have had another match since Saturday when they travelled to take on local rivals Strathaven. Biggar maintained their winning ways with another good display in the second half.


1sts round off in style

Biggar 55 Preston Lodge 12

Biggar brought their League campaign to a close with another comprehensive, bonus point win, to put visitors PL to the sword and give them a real fighting chance of finishing in 5th spot. In addition it looks a real possibility that the side will finish the season as top points scorers in the Division, Kirkcaldy and Hamilton with 2 games in hand (each), the only sides able to beat Biggar’s 613 point tally.

 

On what would almost equate to a ‘spring’ afternoon, Biggar began where they had left off last week at West, throwing the ball about as often as possible and running penalties whenever they could. This tactic paid dividends and had their opponents in all sorts of bother, a series of errors – something which admittedly on another day might have proved costly – preventing them from running up a cricket score, though 55 is still a handsome return.

 

As importantly was the involvement from the bench of another of this season’s Colts as the youngsters advance to the Senior match, the Stewart twins from Lanark (Lewis and Matthew) both acquitting themselves admirably and looking every inch ready for the step up. When last week’s youngsters are included it means that no fewer than 8 of the recent Colts have gained valuable 1st XV experience this season. If the club can hang onto these the guys the future is, as the saying goes, bright!

 

The lambing season had its usual effect on team selection, some players unavailable while others due to the fact that this was a home game, able to ‘escape’ the lambing paddock for the couple of hours it takes to play a match.

 

While Andrew Nimmo was one such absentee, Skipper Alan Warnock, Jamie Orr and Ross Jackson returned and they were joined in the pack by Donald Voas, the big man taking over from Dan O’Connell who, after 4 excellent years in a Biggar shirt, has retired (again). The latter’s decision to retire was perhaps something the club could have worked on but his house move to Ardrossan will make any further involvement with Biggar a real test!

 

In the backs, Conor Lavery resumed at No10 while Ryan Moffat moved back to centre from the second row – albeit for just half the match – with Aird Jardine preferred at fullback over Euan Bogle who took his place on the bench alongside the twins.

 

Conor Lavery opened the Biggar account after just 6 minutes, a nice show and go flummoxing the PL defence from close range. He added the conversion for 7-0.

 

Andrew Orr was again in the van as a ball carrier and his departure to pastures new – he studies in Stirling and is unable to commit the time to travel so will most likely ply his trade at Stirling County next season – will be a big loss.

 

Just short of the 20 minute mark and Biggar added a second try as Robbie Lavery and Rowan Stewart combined well on the left flank to create a simple score for the former. The other Lavery was wide with the conversion.

 

A marginal forward pass in the PL backs saved Biggar but shortly afterwards a penalty gave Biggar the chance to kick to the corner. A training ground move saw play taken to the PL 5 metre area and after a breenge to the line from Moffat, scrum half Luhann Kotze burrowed under the PL defence for a fine try, Lavery converting from in front of the posts for 19-0.

 

An Andrew Orr midfield surge carried on by Conor Lavery came unstuck as an offload failed to go to hand but minutes later Biggar profited from a great Jamie Orr lineout take to give the backs another tilt at the PL line. A PL interception threatened to put paid to this score but Rowan Stewart gathered to take the ball forward where he found winger Ross Bradford in support to go over for try number 4 the all important bonus point try. The conversion from Lavery put Biggar ahead at 26-0, and within sight of half time. There was still time for another however, Gregor Stewart taking the restart to set up a ruck, and with ball recycled quickly, Kotze needed no second invitation to pick and go, the youngsters sprint and then acceleration leaving the PL defence in his wake. A fourth conversion from Lavery saw Biggar clear at 33-0.

 

A Biggar try after 5 minutes of the restart, the position created by a midfield burst from Warnock was followed by a neat inside pass from stand off Lavery to the supporting Calvin Henderson which saw the prop over for his second try in as many games - trademark smile in place as he flopped over the line.

 

Unsurprisingly PL, who last week had recorded a surprise win over Peebles, came back into things after this, as they enjoyed a period of much better play which forced Biggar into defensive mode for the first time in the match. While the home side coped with this fairly well pressure eventually told and Scott King forced his way over, Guy Hillhouse converting for 38-7.

 

Biggar then rang the changes as they brought on their bench. Matthew Stewart was the first, he taking over at centre with Moffat resuming at flanker. Indeed Moffat was next on the score sheet as a result of his being closer to the action, Lavery’s conversion just drifting wide.

 

Shortly after the restart stand off conor Lavery created space for Matthew Stewart, the youngster timing his pass to the supporting centre Robbie Lavery to perfection to allow him to nab his second score of the afternoon.

 

Lewis Stewart and Euan Bogle all came into the action at this point, these lads all full of running in comparison to those filling the PL bench who looked far less eager, but given the score this is perhaps not altogether a surprise.

 

Rowan Stewart ran a great line off his wing with a juggle in the catch helping create space for the try which Bogle converted, the new start taking over the kicking duties from Lavery and then Moffat.

 

With Biggar chasing the 60 point total, PL had the last word, centre Paul Dixon making the most of a decent PL attack as referee George Pounder awarded a handful of penalties to PL. The try was unconverted and as this was the last kick of the match, Biggar were home and dry at 55-12.

 

It has been a very exciting season all told. Biggar’s ability to play attractive running rugby has been enthralling and while again on Saturday not every pass went to hand, it is encouraging to see the players try to keep the ball moving. As previously suggested this might not be the best way to play against every team and there have been occasions when the side has lost out by making unforced errors, but practice will always improve performance and so the club can look forward with much optimism to next season.

 

Biggar

D. Voas, E. Stewart, C. Henderson, A. Warnock, J. Orr, R. Jackson, G. Stewart, A. Orr, L. Kutze, C. Lavery, R. Stewart, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine. Reps: E. Bogle, L. Stewart, M. Stewart.

 

The involvement in the squad of 5 players with surname Stewart and 2 with surname Lavery will continue to make reporting and report reading a tad tricky! Apologies…...


City of Derry tourists

Friday evening saw the Boys U16 squad entertain visitors from City of Derry, a club the group had visited last August when they were in Ireland on tour.

 

A very entertaining contest took place despite the best efforts of a strong, blustery wind which made handling and passing a real skill. With a huge visiting squad Biggar faced almost two different sides in the match, Derry making wholesale changes at half time.

 

In August Biggar had just sneaked the win (12-7) and they managed to repeat the ressult this time round as well, the final score reading 29-19.

 

Post match, the squads enjoyed some cracking haggis, neaps and tatties while presentations were made to the clubs by the respective captains. An excellent advert for the game!


Biggar push Kirkcaldy all the way.

Biggar 10 Kirkcaldy 13

Saturday had everything…...a packed clubhouse for Ladies Day, freezing ‘spring’ conditions including snow, the attendance of two of Biggar’s greatest ‘imports’ in Quintan Sanft (Kirkcaldy coach) and Tony Walker (visitor), a debut try from Colt scrum half Luhann Kutze (he just one of 4 teenagers in the Biggar ranks with 8 of the 18 man squad under 23), and a really strong 1st XV performance against league leaders Kirkcaldy. Finally however, and arguably the best news of all, came with the news that Dundee 2nd XV lost out to Marr meaning that Biggar’s 2nd XV will retain their National Reserve League 2 status for next season!!

 

On the day the 2nds lost out to a strong Musselburgh outfit but there were another handful of Colts making the step up into the senior game and all acquitted themselves admirably, this a very real boost for the future.

 

Kirkcaldy came to Biggar with a fairly formidable record having lost just twice this season (to Lasswade and Dumfries) while their 40-13 win over Biggar back in October is still the club’s biggest defeat of this league campaign and one of only two defeats from which Biggar have failed to collect a losing bonus (the other was against Dumfries).

 

Possessing a massive pack the Fife outfit have a very tight, some would say limited game plan, playing to their strengths with picking and driving, a tactic, which when allied to their strong scrummage, has steamrollered opponents off the park throughout this campaign.

 

There was a certain inevitability about the outcome therefore, although Biggar were well aware that a win would make the Kirkcaldy ‘run in’ as they sought the league title ever so slightly more fraught.

 

Biggar welcomed Colt Luhann Kutze to their side, the youngster having had age group experience with the Glasgow Academy and unlucky not to have been included in the Scotland U18 squad currently in Wales for the inaugural U18 6 Nations festival. That the youngster performed exceptionally well is not in doubt, early pre-match nerves invisible once the action started. A debut try in the second half was just reward for his efforts.

 

In addition and due to the unavailability of Conor Lavery and Aird Jardine Biggar fielded Iain Renwick at stand off, he the third player to fulfil that role in as many games. Gregor Stewart returned to the back row where he joined Andrew Nimmo and Ross Jackson, Andrew Orr fielded at hooker in place of the injured Ewan Stewart.

 

The backs, other than those changes already noted were the same as last week.

 

In blustery, cold conditions Biggar kicked off with the elements in their favour but found the visitors in determined mood attacking with some conviction. This set the scene for much of the match, Kirkcaldy running hard, short lines and meeting a very resolute Biggar defence with all contributing to the cause.

 

An initial Kirkcaldy thrust was halted with a thumping tackle from Renwick which was enough to create a turnover just metres from the Biggar line while another break from flanker Rory Brown which took him some 30 metres to within 5 of the Biggar line saw lock Connor Wood put under pressure by Nimmo and drop the ball with the line well within reach.

 

Biggar’s plan was to run ball back at the heavier Kirkcaldy pack and this they managed with some neat touches from forwards and backs alike as they strove to break free form the Kirkcaldy grip.

 

Ross Bradford made good yards while Ryan Moffat and Robbie Lavery, prompted by the quick fire service of Kutze and Renwick also made good ground. In the pack, all played their role well, Orr and Ross Jackson leading the way with some forceful carries although a piece of back-chat by Orr ended in him receiving a yellow card. This necessitated a switch in the pack to accommodate the lack of their first choice hooker, Donald Voas coming on to the front row at the expense of Gregor Stewart who sat the next 10 minutes out.

 

Good ground from Rowan Stewart and Jackson from a couple of Biggar penalties might have promised more bar for the Kirkcaldy cover which snuffed these out, the first score coming shortly afterwards and on the 25 minute mark, just a couple of minutes before the return of Orr from the sin bin. Having managed to hold the initial Kirkcaldy scrums Biggar faltered on their own ball – the only occasion in the match that this happened - and the Fifers took full advantage to pick and go, taking play in to the Biggar 22. Another ruck and the ball was spun to their right where they had a huge overlap. Two transfers and fullback Finlay Smith was set free to dive over in the corner. He was unable to add the conversion but the visitors took a 5-0 lead.

 

Kirkcaldy ran hard again on the restart but a couple of priceless turnovers by Biggar and another great break by Jackson pinned the Fifers in their own half. This field position was held for another salvo before Bogle elected to go for goal from a penalty, his kick spot on to open Biggar’s account.

 

The half ended with the Fife side again on the attack but meeting solid defence, the Biggar pack again holding up the attack and gaining the referee’s favour as he awarded a Biggar scrum from the maul.

 

Half time then with Biggar turning round to face the breeze, the 5-3 scoreline a decent return for their efforts, the only try coming when Biggar were short-handed. Dan O’Connell made way for Voas.

 

Biggar opened really strongly, some great carries by the Orr’s, Calvin Henderson and others taking play into the Kirkcaldy 22 where an offload by Moffat was snaffled by the Kirkcaldy cover. Shortly afterwards when Kirkcaldy coughed up possession a tap penalty was taken and advanced by Kutze and Renwick. Should the penalty have been kicked, always an easy decision with hindsight but even against the wind, the kick might have seen Biggar take the lead.

 

Another couple of Biggar errors led to successive turnovers, this giving Kirkcaldy a bit of relief.

 

A really harsh penalty against Kutze was advanced a further 10 metres as Biggar sought to unwisely question the decision, this giving Kirkcaldy an ideal attacking platform from which they took to drive the Biggar side deep into their own 22. Some massive defensive efforts kept the Fife side out however Henderson able to win a great turnover after a series of attacking phases.

 

Biggar engineered a breakout from a penalty and with Nimmo making good yards ball was transferred on the blindside to Lavery who ghosted through the initial defence to set up an overlap with Kutze and Rowan Stewart open for the pass. Kutze took the ball to sprint over for a great score and one which, following Bogle’s conversion took Biggar into the lead at 10-5.

 

Sadly the lead did not last long as the Fife pack took control again, play quickly returned to the Biggar 22 where a series of drives eventually paid off, flanker Brown getting the touchdown despite some really excellent defence from all the boys in black.

 

The conversion drifted wide and so at 10-10 the game was really finely balanced. That Biggar could not get the all important winning score was as much to do with a number of handling errors as it was to the Kirkcaldy side’s play. On several plays in promising attacking and threatening positions Biggar’s efforts ended as they contrived to lose control of the ball via knock-ons and or dropped balls.

 

With some 5 minutes remaining Kirkcaldy got their chance a penalty awarded as Biggar held on in the tackle seeing Smith take a pot at goal. His kick split the posts and Kirkcaldy were 13-10 ahead.

 

The restart saw a massive collision between the two Kirkcaldy receivers which fortunately did not result in any serious injury, Biggar gaining the scrum put in but again although yards were won the position was lost as ball possession was lost.

 

This game was another which just got away. Biggar had ample possession and territory to win the contest and they certainly gave the league leaders a massive shock. Another losing bonus was all that Biggar could garner from the huge effort they made.

 

Many congratulations to all 18 Biggar players involved in this match. No one took a step backwards and all will bear the bruises to show for that.

 

Sport is often about small margins and this was never nearer the truth than on Saturday.

 

The side has two games left, the first this weekend against West (away) and then the last against Preston Lodge (home) on April 14th. Two wins would be a fitting way to finish.

 

Biggar

D. O’Connell, A. Orr, C. Henderson, J. Orr, A. Warnock, A. Nimmo, G. Stewart, R. Jackson, L. Kutze, I. Renwick, G. Stewart, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, E. Bogle Reps: D. Voas, G. Hamilton, C. Muir

 

The 2nd XV were beaten in what was their final league match of this season but with Dundee’s defeat came the news that Biggar can finish no lower then 2nd bottom and with Gala’s earlier withdrawal from the league only one team will be relegated, this dubious honour going to Boroughmuir 3rds (at the moment).


West Area cup progress for U16’s

Sunday 11 March 2018

Annan 5 v 70 Biggar U16’s

The under 16’s third West Region Cup fixture, unfortunately turned into a very one sided affair. With Annan a man short from the start, Biggar’s Josh Foster was loaned to the opposition to balance the numbers, but this did not prevent Biggar getting off to a flying start. Callum Smith opened the scoring after Euan Barr picked-up a loose ball and having drawn in the Annan defenders slipped a pass to Callum to run-in unchallenged. Calum McCallum kicked the conversion for Biggar to lead 7-0. Then some excellent forward play led to the ball being spun down the back line to Shane Bolan who touched down in the corner, although the kick was missed to take the score to 12-0. Next Callum Smith scored his second by catching a kicked clearance from Annan’s 10 yard line on just about half-way and running it straight back under the posts. Callum McCallum made the kick to extend the lead 19-0.

 

Unfortunately the Biggar boys began to get complacent and as Annan once again kicked forward from the base of a scrum no one but the Annan centres chased the ball. As the Biggar defenders watched the ball bounce the Annan man picked it up and ran in from distance with only the Biggar full-back making any effort to get to him. Annan missed the conversion but they had put points on the board to bring the score to 19-5.

 

Biggar responded almost immediately from the kick-off gaining a line out and winning the ball through Andrew “pine-tree” Barratt, before taking a driving maul some thirty yards for Seth Jamieson to touch down for the try. This was closely followed by Euan Barr’s second of the game as after a solid hand off he found himself free to sail in under posts. Just before half-time a Biggar scrum on the Annan five yard line led to Cameron Gray picking up and scrambling over the line, although he had an excellent dummy run from fly-half Greggor McPhearson to thank for clearing the way for him. With Calum McCallum making all three conversions the lead was extended to 40-5 as the half-time whistle blew.

 

Despite being so far in front the Biggar boys received a rollicking half-time team talk from coach Andy, who was unhappy at the complacency and showboating that was creeping into their game. This clearly had the desired effect as the boys became much more focussed in the second half and began to play the sort of rugby that any team would find hard to combat. The boys managed to run in a further 5 unanswered tries in the second half. First up, after a long series of phases with the backs criss-crossing the pitch, Euan Barr notched up his second of the match.

 

Next, Will Kelly found himself on the end of another series of back plays and ended up running in from 20+ yards (a record for Will) as the Annan defenders bounced off him along the way. It was Will Kelly again for the next try, this time in the more familiar forwards fashion as he finished off a set play from the Biggar line-out.

 

Try number ten came from another unstoppable Biggar rolling maul, although I am sure at one point there were at least 13 Biggar men involved as Seth Jamieson finally touched down for his second of the game. That only left Cameron Gray to complete the try-fest as he skilfully got on the end of a kick through from Calum McCallum and touched down for his second of the game also. With Calum McCallum kicking three of the five second half conversions the score was extended to 70-7 at which point the coaches called the game.

 

An emphatic victory for the boys but much to work on as they next face Allen Glens the other undefeated side in the cup pool.

 

Sunday 25 March 2018

Biggar U16’s 36 v 22 Allen Glens

This was a big game for the U16’s, a battle between the two undefeated teams in the West Regional Cup pool, which would determine who would top the group. With regular coaches Andy and Aird both unavailable our thanks go to Nick for standing in and keeping the boys on track. The Biggar boys started the game well, with the majority of the first fifteen minutes ensconced in the Allen Glens half, though they were unable to turn the possession and the territory into points. It was the Glens who eventually opened the scoring with a try totally against the run of play, though they missed the conversion for a 5-0 lead. Biggar struck back with their signature driving maul which saw Cameron Gray touching down and Calum McCallum kicking the conversion to make it 7-5.

 

As both teams settled into their game it was end to end stuff. Biggar extended the lead with a Callum Smith try breaking from the half-way line and speeding past all of the Glens defenders to score. Calum McCallum made the kick for 14-5. But then came a second try from Glens to bring it back to 14-10 as they once again missed the conversion. After some excellent rucking play from the Biggar forwards, which saw them progress down the field to the Glens try line, it was Calum McCallum who scrambled over the line from the back of the ruck. Though he missed the kick it was 19-10 as the ref blew for half-time.

 

Biggar opened the second-half with another score straight from the kick-off. Calum McCallum caught the Glens kick making several yards before setting the ball up for a pick-up and go from Seth Jamieson, who after making considerable ground, popped a pass to Callum Smith to score by out pacing the last of the defenders. Though the kick was missed this was an excellent start to the second-half and extended the Biggar to 24-10.

 

Once again though Glens kept themselves in the game with their third try and a successful conversion pulling it back to 24-17. Next up, Euan Barr finished off a series of back moves shuffling the ball back and forward across the park to score, shrugging off three Glens tacklers as he did so. Calum McCallum kicked the conversion to extend the lead to 31-17. Still the game was not over, as the Glens came back again, scoring a try but missing the conversion to make it 31-22, with less than 10 minutes to go.

 

It looked as if things were going down to the wire but another solo run from Callum Smith, sailing down the touchline past several defenders who were just unable able to catch him and scoring in the corner. Although the kick was missed the lead was stretched to 36-22 and the Biggar boys just held on to the ball to see out the clock.

 

An excellent team performance and a well deserved victory for the boys, who topped the group with a 100% record. Next stop the semi-final against GHA!


Mixed fortunes for Girls Youth U15’s and U18’s

Sunday was another of those mega-days when the club hosted no fewer than 5 games with another side, the Girls U15 squad on duty in Banchory against a Grampian XV.

They found the going tough in this match and lost out by 47-22. This brings an end to Biggar’s 3 year U15 national cup dominance, but with a very young squad who worked tirelessly and who will have learned a lot from the experience, they will be back!

 

 

Biggar U18 girls v Caithness 75-0 win

 

Biggar U18 Girls progress to the Semi Final of the Scottish Club Cup after a convincing victory over the Caithness squad.

 

Match Report: Many thanks to Bill Denholm

 

On what was a very busy day at Hartreemill this Quarterfinal tie was played for the most part in the March sunshine.

 

Caithness having undertaken the long journey south on Saturday arrived with a squad of 17 and with Biggar able to pick from a squad of 20 girls, this was a welcome opportunity for both teams to get some much needed game time after the severe weather experienced over the previous months.

 

Biggar started the game very well and applied early pressure and were two tries up within the first 10 minutes. Caithness however came back strongly and scored a very good try to take the score to 10-5.

 

The Biggar girls were playing in a very controlled way and scored a further 5 tries taking the score to 39-5 at half time.

 

The second half was to unfold in a similar way with Biggar maintaining the pressure and with very good link play scored a further 5 unanswered tries. The Caithness girls to their credit did not allow their heads to drop and competed to the end.

 

All 20 Biggar girls were able to get some game time including a new face Shania, who travelled all the way from Kelso for training on Wednesday and for this game. Final score 70-5. Despite the margin of the victory the game was competitive and played in very good spirit.

 

The Biggar coaches will be very pleased with the controlled manner in which the girls played as a team with some very good decision making, excellent link play and very few errors (Well done Girls). Scorers: Tries Geri (4), Rachel, Kaylee (2), Emelia (4), Emily. Conversions Kaylee (4).

 

The girls now travel to Hillhead for the semi-final on the 8th April.

 

Many thanks to Richard for filming the game and to Ally Bandtock and Jennifer Bailee for their work in the kitchen. Thanks also to Dave Simpson for supporting the girls in their warm up and as medic for the match – this was a great help to both girls and coaches.


Youth U14’s v Dunfermline

Biggar U14 v Dunfermline 22-14 defeat

 

(Many thanks to Gavin Hill for this report)

 

Just 4 weeks ago Dunfermline gave Biggar a very stern test winning comfortably using their size and skill levels.

 

On Sunday Dunfermline left Hartreemill knowing that they had been in a game right up to the final whistle winning by 22 points to 14points. Dunfermline coaches felt Biggar had noticeably improved since they last met.

 

Yes, Dunfermline again showed why they have few games over the season but they were matched by a team with determination.

 

As one Biggar boy said 'I'm not that big, physically. I'm just big where it counts - I got a big heart!'

 

That sums up this team and they will go far together.

 

Throughout the game a couple of the Dunfermline boys caused issues. Biggar don’t have individuals they have a team that will do so much together.

 

Biggar did have their share of the ball but they were letting themselves down in the rucking as Dunfermline constantly counter rucked to turn over ball. Also lack of communication at the restart lead to ball being given to Dunfermline too easy.

 

With Morris McDiarmid showing great maturity, the ball was being well used in the backs and this allowed Ben MacBride to show tremendous pace throughout the game. Gregor Forrest was causing their midfield issues and was being well supported by Alexander Walpole.

 

Too often in recent weeks Tom Roper and Rory Hill have had to carry a high percentage of the work in the forwards but Callum McLemon, Christopher Barrett and Ciaran Bell really made a difference on Sunday and this allowed the pack to often take control up front. Christopher and Ciaran really were impressive to watch. The forwards are now showing their potential. If they could all match the determination and improvement of Kyle Frame then we can only go one way- onwards and upwards.

 

The game was open throughout and another 5 minutes played and the game would have been in the balance as the boys were well on top and the Biggar backs were playing excellent rugby which Dunfermline were unable to handle as Morris McDiarmid caused issues with his continual switching of play.

 

What a great game. Well done to all.

 

The hard work of head coach Doug Roper is coming through and he has strong back up with Mark Yates, Jordan Gary and Gavin Hill. The learning of technical skills is coming through on the pitch now.

 

Scorers

Callum McLemon - 1 try

Ben MacBride - 1 try

Morris McDiarmid- 1 try

Gregor Forrest – 1 try

Finlay Crozier converted 2 from 4.


Colts in semi-final win

Colts halt Bulls Charge at Laigh Bent

 

(Many thanks to Simon Low for this report)

 

A semi-final, a beautiful sunny day and a South Lanarkshire derby. What more can you ask for on a Saturday? This wasn’t a classic in the free-flowing rugby sense but what a game these young men served up. Both sides showed heart, fight and determination from the first to the last minute and right up until the final score from Finlay Stewart with 2 minutes left on the clock both Hamilton and Biggar believed they could win it.

 

It started so well for Biggar. They kicked off into a swirling breeze with Ali Steele sending a beautifully accurate kick bouncing and into touch inside the Bulls 22. The Bulls hooker overthrew with Dan McConkey catching the ball and taking off for the Bulls try line. A couple of players got hold of him but couldn’t stop his charge. With Ali kicking the extras Biggar were 7-0 up with barely 2 minutes on the clock.

 

A penalty from Ali in front of the posts not long after extended that lead to 10-0 after Hamilton were pinged for not releasing. Great start for Biggar and everyone was hoping that they would go on and build up a decent score!

 

Hamilton were having none of that. They came storming back and had Biggar camped in their own half for the next 20 minutes. During that time Biggar seemed to lose discipline and were guilty of giving away a significant number of penalties either for not releasing or offside. Hamilton kicked 2 of these penalties and scored an unconverted try to take the lead 11-10. Hamilton were fighting hard for this game with their big pack and very mobile backs causing problems.

 

Having surrendered the lead, Biggar took the game back to Hamilton. With 5 minutes to half time, there was plenty time to get back ahead and they did just that. From a well taken scrum, Finlay Stewart made a strong run and stormed into the Bulls half. He played a great pass to Rowan Stewart who ghosted through the defensive line to go over between the posts with Ali kicking the extras.

 

Biggar took the restart and went on the hunt for another try and right on the stroke of half time they were rewarded. Some really good tackling from the whole defensive line was pushing Hamilton back and seemed to have them trapped inside their 22. They kicked for territory and only found Ali Steele who went for a run back at the defence. Ali was tackled but with the forwards there the ball was recycled quickly to Robbie Orr. The Bulls defence was stretched and he was able to burst over the line to score. Ali kicked the conversion which brought the referees whistle.

 

Half Time Hamilton 11 – Biggar 24

 

Into the second half and it was Hamilton who came flying out of the blocks again. Their first score was an excellent chip through the defence inside the Biggar 22. Great awareness from the Hamilton 10 and support from his wings saw them touch down under the posts. This got the Bulls tails up again and when their big number 19, who had arrived at half time, barged through a tackle on half way he showed a great turn of pace to get to the line and score. With both tries converted, Hamilton had the lead again. Still plenty of time left but what reaction would come from Biggar?

 

The answer was an excellent one. It had become a real battle up front with neither pack able to dominate. The Biggar front 5 of Hugo Baillie, Rhys Thompson, Harry Low, Harry Archibald and Scott Paton were showing real strength in the tackle and the ruck and with some really strong runs from Hugo and Scott in particular, they started to turn the screw on Hamilton. This showed at a scrum on 48 minutes. With Hamilton putting in just on their 22, Biggar got a real shove on. With their pack going backwards, Finn Barr was able to put pressure on the ball and it was turned over. This gave the backs a real chance to run at the defence and a great long pass from Robbie was taken by Finlay Stewart to go over. Ali again kicked the conversion.

 

Next to score was Rowan Stewart. He played a superb 70 minutes in the centre for Biggar and his 2 tries were fully deserved. A penalty for Biggar in the middle of the Hamilton half was moved forward 10 for back chat. From the 22 Finn Barr took a quick tap and Rowan burst on to the ball. Hamilton knew what was coming but were unable to stop it as he dived over. With the conversion Biggar were 13 points ahead again.

 

This knocked the stuffing out of Hamilton a little and a quieter spell followed. With the wind at their backs Biggar did the simple things well. Any time they got possession Ali would kick Hamilton back into their 22 and Biggar would force them to work hard to get back over the gain line. This was working well until the Hamilton number 19 burst through a tackle and stormed clear to score again. With the covering defence closing fast he was forced to touch down out wide. Given the tight score-line, the extras would be crucial so the Biggar support held their breaths as the Hamilton 10 pulled his kick just wide. With 8 minutes left, Biggar were 8 points ahead. A grand stand finish was expected.

 

Biggar did not disappoint. They took the game to Hamilton again and were rewarded with a penalty inside the Hamilton 22. Ali showed nerves of steel(e)! to kick the 3 and hopefully seal the game.

 

The icing on the cake came with 2 minutes left. Biggar were awarded a penalty inside the Hamilton half and with the fans thinking a kick for 3 should be the option Ali went for the corner. The line out was lost and Hamilton started driving out of their 22. A great tackle from Cameron Snell and a steal from Craig Frame got the ball back for Biggar who spun the ball wide. Again the combination from Robbie to Finlay paid off and Biggar had gone over.

 

Full time Hamilton 30 - Biggar 48

 

Another really good display from the boys on Saturday with every man coming off the pitch having given his all. Hamilton are a good side and pushed them all the way. A bit of an off day with the line outs in the wind and a couple of missed tackles were punished by Hamilton but this was still a really good battling performance. An end of season West Region Cup Final now awaits on April 28th with the opposition to be decided by the Ayr v West Of Scotland semi-final which has been delayed.


Lasswade defeat

Lasswade 24 Biggar 20

With 4 games remaining Biggar were keen to finish on a high with a series of good performances which would cement a 5th place finish.

 

Try as they did however they could not quite get the better of Lasswade who, courtesy of 3 second half tries, took the honours on Saturday.

 

In typically breezy conditions Biggar’s half time lead of 10-0 was not enough although a mix up which gave the home side a gift of a try within the first minute of the restart was one of a few unforced errors which would cost the side dear.

 

While the pack was on familiar lines the back division showed a few changes with Iain Renwick at scrum half for the injured Davy Reive, Aird Jardine back in at No 10 in place of the unavailable Conor Lavery and Gregor Stewart on the wing – the third starting position the youngster has filled this season, this due to the unavailability of wingers Alistair Sinclair and Rowan Stewart (playing with the Colts).

 

It was also good to see Douglas Notman return for a stint on the bench alongside Andrew Nimmo who has been out of the side for some time due to injury. Donald Voas was also due to be on the bench but an accident travelling to the game meant that he was unable to make the game.

 

Playing with the wind Biggar had to have the better of the first half and this they largely did, some resolute defence preventing Lasswade from scoring while a series of decisions, which could as easily been awarded to Lasswade, went their way. Biggar’s cause was not helped by an injury to flanker Euan Sanderson, this a recurrence of a shoulder injury sustained earlier in the season and one which flared up after a typically brave defensive tackle. Notman, who has played only a couple of matches since before Christmas could hardly have expected (or wished!?) to be called into action as early although he lasted the pace pretty well despite his lack of match fitness.

 

The scoring was opened with Ross Bradford making the most of a great break by Ross Jackson whose run took him through and round the ‘Wade defence, a suspicion of a knock-on being missed by referee George Pounder, but not by the ‘Wade support or players – their belief that the game would be stopped proving fatal, as play continued, allowing Jackson to make many yards deep into the home 22 before freeing Bradford for a run to the line.

 

Ewan Bogle added the conversion for 7-0.

 

Just 5 minutes later and Bogle had a chance to extend his sides lead from a penalty award, but he was just off target.

 

Biggar seemed up against things in the tight scrum although this early pressure did not last while neither side were anything like as comfy at the lineout as they would have wished, the breezy conditions ultimately making it difficult for the hookers.

 

Play was pretty frantic as Biggar were able to clear downfield fairly easily while ‘Wade were forced to run ball back, their pack doing their bit but being let down a bit by some uncharacteristically wayward handling by the backs which saw ball spilled in attacking moves which promised much. It was a pity that Biggar couldn’t make more from these errors, their only other opportunity for points coming from Bogle who slotted a penalty with just 2 minutes remaining of the half.

 

Both teams took to the dressing room at the break, Biggar reappearing without hooker Ewan Stewart who had struggled after a head lock in an earlier play, his place taken by No 8 Andrew Orr with sub Nimmo introduced on the flank.

 

Then cane the ‘gift’, a Biggar pass floating past the two players on the blindside and onto the ground and into the path of winger Smith who hacked forward before pouncing for the try. Stand off Bell knocked the conversion over and having done so much to control the game and take the lead, Biggar found themselves just 3 points ahead at 10-7.

 

Some great, belligerent running and carries by Andrew Orr, Ryan Moffat, Robbie Lavery, Nimmo and Jardine took the eye although as is often the case few fail to deliver and all contribute to the cause. A forward pass foiled one promising move but this saw a penalty award for a previous infringement, Bogle kicking well to extend the Biggar lead to 13–7.

 

Things got better as Biggar continued to run well at the ‘Wade defence, ball switched from side to side as Biggar probed. Having taken ball up the left wing play was then swept back right where Moffat provided a good offload to Notman who appeared on the wing. Having made a run into the ‘Wade 22 he popped the ball inside to centre Lavery who managed to cross for a great score, despite the attentions of the ‘Wade cover defence, and one which Bogle converted for 20-7.

 

Skipper Alan Warnock made a great take and tilt on the restart but just when they should have been looking to control play and calm things down a lineout loss paved the way for a ‘Wade counter, lock Hunter on the end of a series of ‘pick and go’s’ to crash over for a try which Bell converted to make it a ‘one score’ game yet again at 20-14.

 

With some 30+ minutes remaining other scores were more than likely but play was fairly even as neither side were able to put phases together to enjoy or take advantage of any sustained periods of pressure.

 

In attack, Biggar then coughed up possession in the ‘Wade 22 and a kick and chase ensued, winger Stewart just getting to the ball first but unable due to the chasing ‘Wade players boot to control the ball. He was then unfortunately penalised for playing the man (or ball?) whilst on the ground. As Biggar regrouped ‘Wade tapped the penalty and laid siege to the Biggar line where a crash ball was taken at pace by centre Smith who took the ball over for what turned out to be a crucial and match-winning try.

 

Bell converted – Biggar’s touch judge Reive could hardly have raised his flag more grudgingly! - and Lasswade took the lead for the first time in the match at 21-20. With 10 minutes now left there was still time to retake the lead, but a number of errors crept into the Biggar play and decisions which hitherto had gone their way were awarded to ‘Wade.

 

The home side stretched their lead with 5 minutes remaining with a Bell penalty for 24-20. Biggar’s hopes were raised with a final flurry, Bogle set free on the left flank for a run and then grubber which took play to within 5metres of the ‘Wade line and while Biggar retained possession again a knock-on brought the final whistle.

 

Another frustrating afternoon for the Biggar outfit although ‘Wade have just been ahead this season and indeed are still within sight of promotion.

 

For Biggar the next task is a bigger one again as league leaders Kirkcaldy come to Hartree Mill on Saturday. Having lost just 2 matches - to Dumfries and Lasswade – the Fife side sit atop National 2 and are virtually promoted although with 4 matches to go they could still be caught – a Biggar win would certainly make for an entertaining finish!

 

Biggar

D. O’Connell, E. Stewart, C. Henderson, J. Orr, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, R. Jackson, A. Orr, I. Renwick, A. Jardine, G. Stewart, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, E. Bogle Reps: D. Voas, A. Nimmo, D. Notman, J. Barr

 

The 2nd XV set out with just 12 players to take on league leaders and league champions elect Hawick Force. It came as no surprise that Biggar ended up on the wrong end of a hefty defeat. Perhaps all the more galling was the reluctance of the Hawick squad to ‘loan’ any players to Biggar until the second half when they were miles ahead.

 

Not surprisingly Biggar declined the offer at that point and bravely soldiered on. Hawick took the title with this win and all good luck to them in the Division above.

 

A big pat on the back for a the trusty 12 who ventured south, Andrew Howatson fulsome in his praise of his sides efforts in the face of an unstoppable force.


Colts battle Saints and Elements in Dumfries

Dumfries 0 Biggar 78

In what can only be described as atrocious conditions, the Colts kicked off their final West Region group match at Park Farm. A biting wind bringing in driving snow suggested a tight game but the colts were having none of that. The warm up showed they meant business and when the game started they took it straight to the Saints.

 

From kick off they ran at the Saints trying to find a gap but with some hands were not as warm as they might be a couple of misplaced passes and knock-ons saw an initial scoreless phase. That would not continue for too long. Having lost a couple of early scrums inside the Saints 22, a scrum was called on the Saints 5M line. This one was held well and the ball was moved out through the backs to Rowan who barrelled over to open the scoring. Ali added the extras from a tough angle.

 

This warmed everyone up (thankfully) and was the start of a great run of play from all in the Red and Black strips. Biggar scored a second straight from the kick off. A great take on the move from Finn Barr saw him drive at the Saints. Good quick ball out saw Ali bursting through the line and took Biggar well into the Saints half. Good support from Lohan saw him rewarded with a score as Ali found him with a pass and he touched down out wide. Again Ali added the extras.

 

Next up was a score from Robbie Orr. Saints had been galvanised by a chat behind the posts and had the Biggar line under pressure. Great defensive work saw the ball turned over and gave Biggar a line out inside their 22. The ball was well won and Stewart Forrest made a great break. He was eventually brought down but Dan McConkey supported superbly and took the ball into the Saints half. With the Saints defence scrambling backwards the ball was threaded through the backs to Robbie who cut a great line and went over. Really good simple rugby and it was paying dividends.

 

A pattern was now developing that Saints were just not able to prevent. From kick off, the Biggar forwards were working well drawing in the defence and then the backs were using pace, power and really good hands to get in for each score. The next Score from Sam Wallis was exactly in that vein. Dumfries had the ball in hand and were probing inside the Biggar half. Their big prop spotted a gap and went for a run. He was absolutely hammered by Charles and spilled the ball. Finn Barr did the tidy up work and make some ground. Then the backs did the rest. Out wide to Sam on the wing. He still had a lot to do but he did it well. Another really good team effort to score.

 

The next score straight from kick off was an “all back” affair. A really good kick off take from Lohan and he ran at the defensive line. Popped the ball to Robbie who broke through with Rowan in support. A well timed pass and he was in. A very good try and I think a number of the forwards were still in their kick off positions as Rowan touched down! 

 

23 minutes gone – 33 – 0 to Biggar. It was proving to be a tough shift for Dumfries. To be fair to them they then came in to a really good 10 minute spell both defensively and in attack and Biggar were forced to defend well. There was a real determination to keep a clean sheet and Biggar worked well to protect it during this spell.

 

Having weathered the storm Biggar went on the hunt for more tries. Next up to score was Finlay Stewart. A great break through the heart of the defensive line from Harry Low found the big tighthead facing a one on one with the Saints fullback. Harry did what any self-respecting front row forward should do in this situation and found a team mate!! Craig Frame was in support and took the ball on and with the Saints defence turned, Lohan got the ball out to the backs in support and wide to Finlay to touch down.

 

Right on the stroke of half time, Biggar scored their 7th try of the game. Dan McConkey took the kick off and was supported well by Craig Frame. Craig was tackled and from the ruck Lohan spotted a gap, picked up the ball and ran though for the score.

 

Half Time – Dumfries 0 – Biggar 45

 

Into the second half and there would be no let up from Biggar. With a number of substitutions made Dumfries would now be seeing double with Lewis Stewart entering the fray. Clearly itching to get on to the pitch he set about the task of creating more havoc for the Saints defence with gusto. Biggar kicked off and the ball was knocked on by Saints. Lewis dived onto the ball and recovered it for Biggar. The ball was recycled and Lewis took the ball on again with a great break towards the line. With the Saints defence tied up, the ball was spun along the backs for Rowan to score and complete his hat trick!

 

Next up was a score for Robbie that looked simple but involved real determination and strong running. A clearing kick was put up by the Saints number 9 but failed to find touch. Instead he found Robbie in the open with a clear sight of the line in front of him. He ran a great line and over for the score.

 

Ali Steele then decided to get in on the try scoring act on 50 minutes. With a scrum awarded to Biggar just on the Saints 22 a big blind side was calling. Lohan took the invitation and seemed to be running out of room but Ali ran a great line and took the pass and go over.

 

Finlay Stewart got his second of the game and Biggars 11th when the ball was worked well along the line and Saints simply ran out of defenders. It looked like Biggar could score at will and it seemed like only a matter of time before the ref called full time.

 

Matthew brought the scoring to a close with a fine try on 56 minutes. With Saints now well beaten and looking to the changing rooms a line out was won by Lewis and spun wide by Lohan. Matthew ran a great line and got the ball in hand and broke the defensive line to score. With the conversion made by Ali/Lohan/Robbie?

 

Full Time – Dumfries 0 – Biggar 78

 

It would have been easy for the colts to switch off during this game and coast through the second half knowing that the points were already in the bag and it was great to see that this did not happen. Much tougher games lie in wait – not least a cup semi-final against Hamilton next week. This was all about the performance and hard work that each player put in today. There is competition for every place in this team and that showed for each of the 55 minutes played. A great team effort from all and some real individual team skill too. A really good game to watch from a Biggar perspective.

 

Ayr will play West in the other semi final the date for which is 21st April! This is because Ayr have to play the National Cup Final match against Stirling County on Saturday, this match having been postponed because of snow. That will mean a lengthy wait for the Biggar/Hamilton winners.


Colts engineer excellent second half performance over Kilmarnock

Biggar Colts  43   Kilmarnock U18   17

The cynic may say game 3 in the West Cup competition served up a bit of a stinker. Or was it?

 

This was a match full of contradiction. 

 

In the first 35 you would question if the Colts can learn from previous experience and whether the boys are actually listening. Would something internally have to fundamentally change?

 

The second 35 was a display of astonishing teamwork, not totally devoid of mistakes but completely comfortable, characterful and, for the most part, assured.

 

Even though Biggar hit the cold ground running and looked in decent working order it was actually a false picture. 

 

Stuart Forrest got things going as Biggar won the early territorial battle with the No.8 picking up from the base of the scrum, going on the blind and reaching for the line to log the first points. Promising signs.

 

However, Biggar Colts are a real target for teams these days and Kilmarnock had designs on upsetting the apple cart and were making a damn good job of it. Biggar would do well to learn from the sheer determination and team spirit that their visitors displayed. 

 

The East Ayrshire outfit went through the phases very well and broke the Colts defence down to go in for an unconverted try.

 

Four minutes later they would be at it again and you had to admire their drive. Their pack was strong on the hoof and Biggar couldn't halt the attack. Not through lack of trying though. 

 

The home team committed themselves to a policy of holding off and selecting summer rugby options. Kilmarnock stuck it to them, but strangely Biggar never looked in any real trouble, as hard as it was to watch at times.

 

Both teams lost numerous line-outs, largely down to weather conditions, but despite what appeared to be a heavier Kilmarnock pack Biggar dominated in that department.

 

Both Klimarnock and Biggar didn't need an invitation to advance but both were guilty of over thinking and making basic errors.

 

Colts managed to draw level with a penalty after Kilmarnock off-side. Steele struck well to bring the score to ten a piece.

 

Killie punished Biggar for handling mistakes at the end of the first half and with the lofty full-back stretching his legs they were nearly under the posts again were it not for a last ditch Orr tackle. 

 

Weather conditions continued to play havoc. It was pretty cold too and not a day for hanging about. As the half-time whistle sounded Colts were off the pitch and in the changing rooms. Killie stayed on the field. Was this Biggar playing mind games? No, it was just bloody freezing!

 

Rumour has it that Jock had made hot tea and warm scones. No jam though!

 

Just like the time he served red wine with the fish course, the players were having none of it and returned to the field for the re-start.

 

The second half was warmly received, any boy it had to be, but not before Kilmarnock slapped Biggar in the face again to register their third try and converted well too. The visitors were up at 10-17 but they suffered a blow soon after when two of their own players clashed heads. It was a nasty one that saw one being replaced. Whether this affected Killie's performance was hard to say but the tide turned quickly in Biggar's favour.

 

Colts finally worked out how to play the conditions and commanded possession. 

 

Ali Steele bulldozed his way through on 45 minutes to level things again and converted his own score.

 

Robbie Orr then put Biggar clear after a scrum was won against the head. 

 

Colts advanced again and got into the groove. Finlay Barr spotted the unguarded ruck on Killie's 5m. The srum-half made no mistake and added to the score sheet.

 

Biggar tails were now up. A Biggar penalty inside their own half saw them opt for a tap and go. With the ball finding its way into Matthew Stewart's hands the centre switched on the afterburners and touched down from 60 metres with limited company.

 

Ali Steele loves a show and right at the death his trademark leaping salmon after a superb solo run entertained the crowd to top off a fine second half performance.

 

The match was poor on quality at times but ultimately enough to secure a Biggar win. 

 

You can make all the excuses under the sun about the weather but, lets be honest, there's been worse. It took 40 minutes to properly get it together but when they did it was structured and purposeful.

 

A notable performance came from Ethan Webb at wing. The first year Colt was industrious and made yards at every opportunity, just missing out on a score of his own. 

 

The Colts are on the road to Dumfries next time with an opportunity to top the Group B table.

 

Tries: Stuart Forrest, Ali Steele (2), Robbie Orr, Finlay Barr, Matthew Stewart.

Conv: Ali Steele (5)

Pen: Ali Steele


Biggar dump Howe

Biggar 26 Howe of Fife 0

Biggar recorded a deserved bonus point win on saturday in what was a re-arranged League fixture with Perthshire side Howe of Fife.

 

Played as an early kick off to allow playesr and spectators alike to watch the 6 Nations clash between Ireland and Scotland thanks go to Howe for agreeing to this and travelling down in the morning.

 

In dreary conditions – but still completely different from those which existed just the previous week – Biggar had a dream opening when Rowan Stewart appeared on the right wing from his berth on the left to rip through and round the Howe defence for a cracking try. Ewan Bogle was unable to convert from far out but Biggar were 5-0 ahead.

 

Biggar seeemd to have increrased their lead just minutes later when Andrew Orr was in control at the back of a driving maul and appeared to get the ball over the line. The referee was unimpressed however and Biggar ahd to be content with their lead.

 

This score had perhaps been too easy and it was hardly unexpected that Howe gained in confidence after their poor start to put some pressure on the home XV. The defensive line held intact however and depsite their best efforts Howe were unable to make it through to the line.

 

Biggar’s next score came a handful of minutes beofre half time, Rowan’s brother Gregor getting in on the act as he, in similar fashion to Orr earlier, took the ball over the line from a lineout drive. This time the ball was grounded to the referee’s satisfaction and with Bogle adding the conversion, Biggar increased their lead to 12-0 at half time.

 

A pleasing aspect of the first half was the return of prop Donald Voas who repleced Dan O’Connell and did his bit to maintain Biggar’s dominance in the tight scrum. Indeed, credit to Howe No 8 and scrum half who managed to tidy ball up pretty well in what were trying circumstances as the Howe pack were shunted back at almost every scrum.

 

The second half did not begin too well as scrum half Davy reive who had tracked back well from a Howe kick ahead was felled by the follow up tackle, the Biggar No 9 clearly injured and unable to continue after a smash to the cheekbone. His replacement was Aird Jardine who made a return to action after several weeks off.

 

Rowan Stewart then crossed for his second score, this a much simpler effort but one which came from a Gregor Stewart turnover and some super and secure handling by the Biggar three-quarters which had Howe grasping at shadows.

 

Bogle was wide with the conversion but Biggar had a 17-0 lead.

 

Bogle as the next to suffer from an off-the-ball incident and while there was no real suggestion of intent at the time, the video certainly suggests that Biggar should have been awarded a pernalty at the very least.

 

As it was James Barr came on at stand off, Conor Lavery moving to fullback. Alistair Sinclair who had earlier replaced Ross Bradfford meant that the full bench of 4 had been used.

 

Howe who ahd struggled somewhat with the early kick off had just two replacments and this meant that after their porp was hurt scrums were uncontested, this giving the vistors some parity up front and reducing Biggar’s atttacking power.

 

The final score was a cracker and saw several players involved with some great slieght of hand giving sinclair a relatively easy run in at the corner.

 

A break by skipper alan warnock saw the ball moved to Conor Lavery who slipped a neat pass ‘out the back’ to new stand off Barr. He made good yards before retunring the ball to Laevry who was almost at the line when he popped the ball inside to supporting winger Sinclair. Excellent! Ryan Moffat took over the kikcing duties and he added the cobnversion for the 26 point total.

 

There was still tim eto reatsrt thje game and for birthday boy andrew Orr to pick up a yellow card for a stramash with one of the Howe pack but the game was by this time over, Biggar having pciked up a valuable bonus point win.

 

Biggar

D. O’Connell, E. Stewart, C. Henderson, J. Orr, C. Dunlop, G. Stewart, A. Warnock, A. Orr, D. Reive, C. Lavery, R. Stewart, R. Lavery, R. Moffat, R. Bradford, E. Bogle. Reps: D. Voas, A. Sinclair, J. Barr, A. Jardine.


Colts are run away winners against Hamilton


Biggar Colts   55   Hamilton Bulls   12


Things are normally tight against these two sides and to all intents and purposes they were, for the first half.


Colts triumphed this time round but the victory was anything but pretty. Lets just say that Biggar hit the ugly tree right from the start and hit every branch on the way down for the next 30 minutes!


It was a game of two half's really with the least said about the first by virtue of the passive nature of Biggar's defence and lack of drive.


Yes, Connolly and Wallis touched down respectively within 15 minutes and that should be commended, Connolly's a result of Hamilton indecision at a defensive line-out and Wallis's bourne from the basics and determination.


Hamilton split the two unconverted Biggar tries with one of their own and went ahead in 23 minutes with a converted effort to take the visitors 2 points clear at 10-12.


This was not comfortable to watch. It was an out-of-sorts Colts side.


They weren't at the level they needed to be and Hamilton were punishing the fragmented Biggar structure. Bulls centre partnership was strong and when there is a departure of tackle technique, verging on non-existent, there is only going to be one result.


Hamilton had plenty of weight about them and Biggar handled the physicality well but the real physical battles needed by the front 5 were being fought by others. Throw into the mix ball watching, poor decision making and communication breakdown and what you have is head-in-hands stuff.


Hamilton Bulls were worth every penny of their first half lead and understandably buoyed.


So to the second-half then.......


Never mind the 'Beast from the East' that's headed our way. In the end up Biggar sent a chill into the marrow of the visitors with an encompassing second 35  that put any hopes of Hamilton registering a victory against their South Lanarkshire counterparts into cold storage. Their ambitions lay scattered across the showfield  turf.


The game remained a full-bloodied encounter but this time round Biggar played with more zest. It would see the Black and Red register a further seven tries with no reply.


Ali Steele bagged one 9 minutes after the restart and converted well. That was enough to get the momentum going.


It doesn't pay to take your eyes off players like Daniel McConkey as there is always a sense of possibility in what he does. The forward found a purple patch.


Hamilton were starting to go backwards and McConkey exploited the gaps. His vision was rewarded in 50 minutes when he picked up from the back of a ruck 3 metres from the Bulls line. Speed of thought saw him dive through the bodies to score. He was on a roll and 2 minutes later a brilliant line-break afforded him space to off-load to Lewis Stewart who ran in from the opposition 22m. Steele added the extras.


Finlay Barr, tenacious as ever, didn't disappoint on the day either even though his playing position varies greatly from one game to another. It shows real resilience that other players can feed off. Scott Paton's try in 65 minutes was built on that same resilience. The prop crashed through, much like McConkeys effort, to open his account on the day.


Matthew Stewart then bagged a double. The first from an Orr kick in behind the Hamilton defence and some decent sprint technique to win the foot race.


The second was a show of initial strength to halt Bulls in their tracks, get back on his feet then receive the ball again from Barr and run in from 40 metres.


Ali Steele finished things off to add to his ever increasing tally for the season at the point where Hamilton had nothing left to give.
Moving forward, things are great when you're winning but you simply cannot take your eye off the ball at this level and squander chances or lose your shape. There are times when it will matter and all players must hold themselves to account if they want success.


Tries: Charles Connolly, Sam Wallis, Ali Steele (2), Daniel McConkey, Scott Paton, Lewis Stewart, Matthew Stewart (2).
Conv: Ali Steele (5)
 


1sts manage a draw at whitecraigs

Whitecraigs 15 Biggar15

The first encounter in October saw Biggar rack up a deserved 5 league points in a 45-24 win at Hartree Mill.

 

That the return would prove so very different means that any lingering hopes of promotion are now over, Biggar in 5th spot but with Peebles and others in close contention and with games to play with.

 

The postponement from last Saturday was frustrating and in order to avoid an April date for the rescheduled match both clubs opted to play under floodlights on Friday evening.

 

Biggar were without a couple of key players, Carne Green having now returned home to NZ, while Ewan Stewart was unavailable due to illness. Neither absence can be levelled as an excuse however and there was considerable frustration again within the Biggar camp at the inconsistencies of performance.

 

Possessing a huge pack Whitecraigs did much to deny Biggar any quality possession for large chunks of the game and as a result they just couldn’t manage to string together sufficient phases to break down the ‘Craigs defence.

 

The game opened brightly enough with flanker Gregor Stewart taking full advantage of a ‘Craigs overthrow to pinch possession before rounding the cover defence for a good try in the corner, though just too far out for Euan Bogle to strike the conversion.

 

‘Craigs replied some 10 minutes later with a second opportunist try, this time for their scrum half who exploited a gap in the Biggar defence to nip through for a try from some 20 metres. This try was also unconverted and this was the case for the third try of the match, this credited to the home side and which gave them a 10-5 half time lead.

 

Biggar would have expected to kick on from here and in some respects this is indeed what they did, Bogle striking a penalty to reduce the deficit before adding a conversion to a try from centre Ryan Moffat, this a try he set up with a good midfield break. Jamie Orr took play forward from the Moffat off-load and then the centre regained possession to barge over.

 

The 15-10 score was a whole lot more encouraging but a susceptibility to concede penalties, something which this squad have not been particularly guilty of, reared its ugly head. This gave the home side the initiative and the opportunity to maintain pressure on the visitors and the inevitable then came to pass, namely a yellow card to centre Robbie Lavery – the second in as many games, and this a ‘team’ yellow in that it was for persistent infringement.

 

Down to 14 men Biggar’s chances were then further reduced with a second yellow, this to replacement Callum Dunlop, which meant for an approximate 5 minute overlap, Biggar were 2 men down. Dunlop had come on in the first half for Calum Braid who aggravated a shoulder injury. Rowan Stewart had replaced Alistair Sinclair at half time.

 

Having defended pretty well Biggar then put themselves under pressure by failing to clear their 22 properly, ‘Craigs taking full advantage to launch a series of pick-and-go’s from the pack. This eventually paid off, with space created on the wing for the ‘Craigs winger to squeeze in at the corner.

 

A successful conversion and the win would have been just reward for ‘Craigs efforts but from a Biggar point of view the ball happily missed its target and so the game was drawn.

 

‘Craigs have only had one win this season and so this was their second best result. For Biggar it marks the end of any promotion hopes they may have had although as they have the top 2 still to play, they will have a major say in which teams do finally get the two promotion spots.

 

Biggar

C. Henderson, K. Robison, D. O’Connell, A. Warnock, J. Orr, G. Stewart, C. Braid, A. Orr, D. Reive, C. Lavery, A. Sinclair, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, E. Bogle Reps: , R. Stewart, C. Dunlop, J. Barr

 

First up however is Preston Lodge who come to Hartree Mill on Saturday. Biggar will be looking to regain their form and ensure they gain a good home win.

 

There was no 2nd XV match but there was action on Saturday when the Colts hosted local rivals Hamilton in a friendly. This was played at The Showfield because the Hartree Mill pitches were frost bound.

The visitors held Biggar well in the first half but the home side ran in a host of tries after the break to record a well deserved win.

 

All Sundays matches were cancelled because of the overnight frost and so members and rugby fans were able to relive the heady heights of Saturdays Calcutta Cup match! What an occasion it was for the rugby community – two top sides going at it hammer and tong with little quarter asked or given.

 

That Scotland won was fantastic but what was as important was they manner in which they won with a 3-1 try count evidence of their ability to break down the opponents defence. Just reward for their efforts.

Though ex-Biggar man Scot Lawson didn’t get into the action from the bench was disappointing but to be part of the occasion and to be part of the celebrations was clearly fantastic.


Weekend match reports: Colts v Allen Glens and 16’s v Loch Lomond

Biggar Colts Dominate Against Allan Glens

Biggar Colts had their second run out in the West Region cup completion on Saturday at Hartree Mill with Allan Glens the visitors. Glens finished third in their Galant Conference and last week had posted a 66 point win over Ardrossan so a tight game was expected. Having said that, it had been nearly 3 months since the last home game for the Biggar Colts so the boys came out determined to put on a show for the good sized crowd that had turned up.

 

The early stages were a tight affair. Both teams making handling errors and the odd misplaced pass just leading to a move breaking down when it looked like something was developing. It was a very physical affair with Biggar making some really big tackles and knocking their opponents back on a number of occasions.

 

The first score came for Glens on 13 minutes. With Biggar working to get out of their 22 they were penalised for a hand in the ruck and Glens opted for the 3 points. This seemed to wake up the Biggar attacking intent and they would go on to run in 8 tries.

 

First up a score for Stuart Forrest. I am sure everyone at the club will be delighted to see Stuart pulling on a Biggar shirt again. Returning from 2 broken legs he eased himself back into the game and it was fantastic to see him get on the scoresheet. The try was simple but very well executed. Glens were penalised for an offside just outside their 22. Ali Steele sent a pinpoint kick to secure a 5 metre line. Rhys Thompson hit his man perfectly form the lineout and the catch and drive from the rest of the pack was superb. Glens couldn’t stop the drive and Stuart at the back of the maul broke from a yard out and touched down. It was clear to see how much it meant to him and also his teammates as they celebrated with him. The conversion was missed by Ali.

 

Next up a great team effort which led to a touchdown for Sam Wallis. Another line out for the forwards this time a bit further out so the catch was taken and the ball spread quickly through the backs hands. An excellent offload from Finlay Stewart got the ball out to Sam on the wing and he sped over. Again simple rugby but executed very well by Biggar. Ali nailed the conversion from wide left with a really good kick.

 

Robbie Orr was next to get on the scoresheet and whilst his quick thinking and support play was excellent a great deal of credit needs to go to Ali Steele at fullback. A clearing kick from Glens was taken well by Ali and he clearly spied a gap up the left hand side. Through one tackle then past 2 more defenders he got well into the Glens 22 before popping to Robbie who was running well in support. Robbie still had plenty to do and when he was tackled, Glens were penalised for hand on the floor. Robbie show great awareness to tap quickly and dive over while the decision was being debated. Another tough wide left conversion was landed by Ali.

 

Half time – Biggar 24 Allan Glens 3

 

Into the second half and again Glens came out with real fire and determination. The started to push Biggar back into their own 22 but couldn’t really trouble the try line. The Biggar scrum was dominant with the front 5 of Hugo Baillie, Rhys Thompson, Harry Low, Harry Archibald and Josh JVR really laying down a marker every time there was a scrum called. The back row of Charles Connolly, Craig Frame and Dan McConkey seemed to be everywhere. It really was a very dominant display from every one of the pack (including the replacements).

 

Glens maybe realised that they were struggling to get over the line and when another penalty was awarded inside the 22 and they opted for the 3 points which were well taken. Unfortunately for Glens as with in the first half, this seemed to stir the attacking zeal of the Biggar backs with 4 more scorers touching down.

 

First to go over was Ali and as with the first half it was doing the simple stuff really well that led to the score from Biggar. A scrum was called inside the Glens 22, the ball was won easily and then fed out quickly through the hands. Ali burst in from full back to go through between the posts. Ali converted his own try.

 

Next up Rowan Stewart got the score that his play deserved. Initially the ball was kept in the pack with 4 or 5 pick and drives gaining ground and tying in defenders. Quick hands got the ball out and Rowan cut a great line to steer clear of the chasing defence. This try went unconverted.

 

Biggar were now dominating the game and looked like they could score at any time and next to go over was Finn Barr. He had a really good game at scrum half never giving his opposite numbers a minutes peace. It was that harrying that got him his score. Deep inside the Glens 22 Biggar looked to go over but a knock on gave Glens the scrum. With the Biggar pack dominating there was real pressure on the scrum half to get the ball in and out quickly. With that and the chasing he was getting from Finn he took his eye off the ball and it squirmed out of the back of the scrum. Finn reacted before anyone and pounced on the ball. A really good effort from the scrum half. Again Ali converted well.

 

Final try of the game went to Jamie Bell who had come on as sub on the wing. A big tackle as Glens made their way out of their 22 saw the ball knocked on by Glens. Quick reactions from Biggar secured the ball and it was passed out to Bell on the wing who had plenty still to do but dashed over for the score. Ali then converted with a fantastic drop kick from the touchline which drew a well-deserved cheer as it really was a cracking kick!

 

Full time - Biggar 50 – Allan Glens 6

 

A very good game to watch and a potential banana skin avoided for the Colts in their quest for cup glory. Glens were clearly a decent outfit but Biggar dominated them from early on until the final score. It was great to see all 15 men still fighting for every yard when Glens won a scrum under the Biggar posts in the dying minutes. The game was won but the determination not to concede a try was there for all to see. Some great tackling, superb running and above all getting the basics spot on were the basis for this win. Really good to see and clearly the result of hard work on the training pitch.

 

Final word has to go to Stuart Forrest - great to see you back playing and hopefully Sunday wasn’t too painful!

 

Sunday 18 February 2018

Loch Lomond 10 v 65 Biggar U16’s

Despite the one week layoff it was business as usual for the U16’s as they travelled to Loch Lomond for their second West Region Cup fixture.

 

Despite the constant drizzle and poor conditions the boys got off to a flying start when with 5 minutes on the clock having retained possession through a number of forward phases the ball sailed down the back line for Callum Smith to score in the corner. Calum McCallum put an excellent kick over for a 0-7 lead for Biggar.

 

Next came another good series of forward phases and a touch down from Seth Jamison, although the kick was missed, making it 0-12 to Biggar.

 

Loch Lomond kept themselves in it when a quick line-out by them caught Biggar by surprise and they scored in the corner, but also missed their kick to pull it back to 5-12.

 

The opposition’s score only served to spur Biggar on and they began to dominate the game in both the forwards and the backs. It seemed as though the only time Loch Lomond got a touch of the ball was when Biggar either dropped it, or a wayward pass gifted the ball back to them.

 

In a dominant 20-25 minute spell Biggar ran in five unanswered tries.

 

First Cameron Gray dived over from a 5 yard line-out, then Callum Smith ran in one of his trademark solo efforts sprinting past almost the entire Loch Lomond defensive line. Although both kicks were missed the lead was extended to 5-22.

 

Louis Henderson charged over a few minutes later to round off some excellent forwards phases. Then it was the backs turn again as Aaron Thomson sold an sublime side-step to create a gap for him to sail through the defensive line and score. It was then back to the forwards again who drove the Loch Lomond forwards back to their 10 yard line before Seth Jamison dived over for his second try of the game. With Calum McCallum kicking all three conversions the lead was extended to 5-43.

 

Loch Lomond managed to add to their tally from a kick into space, which Biggar should have dealt with, but the opposition picked up the loose ball and scored in the corner again. They also missed their kick making it 10-43 at the half-time interval.

 

The second half went much the same way as the first, with Biggar maintaining control of the game.

 

Callum Smith sailed over for his hat-trick a few minutes in to the half and with another missed conversion the score was 10-48.

 

Next came the best try of the game with the phases between forwards and backs beginning from almost our own try line.

 

A break from Cameron Snell saw him charging down the line with Josh Foster in hot pursuit. As Cammy drew the tackle and popped the pass to Josh he just continued to sailed down the line, out pacing the last of the defenders, to score in the corner. His first try for Biggar – much to the delight of all his team mates! With the kick missed again the lead was extended to 10-53.

 

Though given the option to concede victory, Loch Lomond to their credit chose to see out the game. There was time on the clock for Cameron Gray to score his second try of the day with a good pick-up and charge and for Callum Smith to complete the try fest with his fourth of the match. Calum McCallum missed one but kicked the other conversion to round the game off at 10-65.

 

Another good all round performance by the boys despite the poor weather conditions. With eleven tries and five conversions there could be little to complain about but the boys were unhappy at giving away two easy tries and not keeping a clean sheet. Next week we have a friendly at home to Dumfries.


Biggar Youth Rugby Round up from 4th Feb

U14’s Biggar 7 Highland 25

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts” and this is what the Under 14 boys continue to do and will succeed as they build each week. Together they will achieve.

 

On a cracking bright and warm day for rugby, Highland U14 had a successful long trip from Inverness to Hartree Mill with a 7 tries to 2 tries win.

 

Biggar, although bolstered with a few eligible U15 team members could not match the size and maturity of their counterparts.

 

There must be something in the water in the Biggar area but we just never seem to rear 6-foot giants - unlike other teams. As with Dunfermline, differences in stature came to the fore but as usual the Biggar boys stuck in and gave Highland a great game.

 

Highland dominated up front and were well coached in the lineout and drive which they used to their benefit scoring 3 tries in the process.

 

Their backs were well structured and the stand-off had a rugby brain with clever line running, kicking to space and knowing when to get his backs moving.

 

Where Biggar were getting the better of Highland was wide out and when quick ball could be moved, Ben McBride used his tremendous speed and evasive running to score the try of the day which was well received by the supporters.

 

The other try came from Gregor Forrest who was an inspiration to the boys with his strong running and tackling in the centre which made a difference. Gregor will be a major asset to the boys in the coming weeks and when the others missing on Sunday appear back there will be strong competition for all places.

 

Biggar were given a lesson in match play and how much they still need to improve but as usual they never lost heart and put all their effort in.

 

However, the team must move forward together but are still lacking in that some of the boys still needing to be seen in both attack and defence. Together we can do so much.

Scorers

Gregor Forrest – 1 try

Ben McBride - 1 try

Finlay Crozier -1 conversion.

 

 

Biggar U16’s 55 v 0 East Kilbride/Cumnock

This was the U16’s opening fixture in the West Region Cup and it was clear from the start that the boys were up and ready for the game. Biggar took it to the opposition from the start with Jack McAlister and Liam Bockwell in particular gaining more yards from their ball carries than the entire Scotland team had managed the day before. The opening score game from a scrum with the ball being carried wide from the pick-up and flipped passed to Callum Smith on the wing just inside his own half. “Smithy” still had a lot to do but managed to skip past the EK tacklers and keep his feet in field as he sailed down the line to score in the corner. Calum McCallum made the conversion look easy for and early 7-0 lead. Cameron Gray extended the lead a few minutes later when from a five yard scrum he picked up from the number eight position and dived over the line. With the conversion missed it was 12-0.

 

Biggar’s next score came from some excellent forward play, as the boys went through phase after phase, steadily moving the ball down the pitch. It was Jack McAlister who took the final pop pass and barged his way through three tackles to touchdown for the try. Again the conversion was missed but it was 17-0. EK kept plugging away but the Biggar defence was holding firm and it was a ball lost by EK in the tackle that led to try number four. Callum Smith pounced on the loose ball and flew down the wing past several EK players. Having drawn what remained of the defence to him “Smithy” popped a pass to Calum McCallum who also touched down in the corner. With Calum Mc missing his third kick in a row it was looking like he had left his kicking boots at home but the lead was now extended to 22-0.

 

Biggar’s next scores came from individual breaks with first Callum Smith picking up another loose ball and running through four or five opposition players to score his second try under the posts. Then it was Seth Jamieson who finished off a number of forward phases by breaking through several tackles and touching down between the posts. With Calum McCallum converting both kicks the score was stretched to 36-0 at the half-time whistle.

 

The second half continued in the same vein with Biggar dominating in the forwards and the defensive line handling anything EK could throw at them. Cameron Gray scored his second try of the game touching down after some excellent line-out play from Biggar. But with another missed kick the score moved to 41-0. Callum Smith made it a hat-trick of tries for him flying down the wing again leaving everyone in his wake, before cutting in to score under the posts. This time Calum McCallum did make kick to extend the lead to 48-0. It was another series of forward phases that led to the final score, with Cameron Gray breaking the tackle and popping a pass to Calum McCallum who outpaced the remaining defenders to score his second of the game in the corner. Calum made the final conversion to bring the score to 55-0 and shortly after the ref ended the match.

 

A fine victory for the boys with some very good individual performances, but more importantly an excellent overall team performance, with every player contributing to the win. With nine tries and five conversions and most pleasing of all a clean sheet, the game stats speak for themselves. Next weekend is a free week and we can only hope the boys can keep the momentum going for the Loch Lomond game in two weeks.


Mixed fortunes for Biggar’s Youth sides in Fife

U13's v Dunfermline

The Shogun Conference was a significant challenge for the U13s, coaches and players alike. It's important to take stock from time to time and realise just how far you have come.

 

We started the season with a squad of 13, just enough to field the squad size required at U13, assuming everyone available and no subs. Thanks, in large part, to the work of the development team and the School of Rugby program we now have a squad of 21.

 

With two front row players unavailable and a couple of late call-offs we faced Dunfermline on their home turf for the very first time (if we have met before neither Andrew nor I can remember). We had 15 players available but Dunfermline only 13 so our planned wing forwards started on the bench.

 

I don't have a play by play account of the match as I was organising, encouraging and deliberating with Craig and Graeme who were part of the coaching team on the day. I will cover the highlights of the play.

 

We did the following well: strong ball carries; mixed up narrow and wide attacks; tenacity to finish; set pieces; targeting the ball to good effect.

 

We were reasonable at the following: support running; tackling (some excellent, most physical, some not as low as the should have been).

 

We could have been better at the following: speed into rucks on own ball; body position in rucks; defensive organisation.

 

It's hard to single out individuals for praise when it was a real team performance but I will:
Josh- 2 tries, strong carries, important tackles and great lineout defence;
Max B- 2 tries, 1 conversion, well timed rips and good support;
Ryan- strong carries, effective use of draw and pass;
Robert-1 try, solid scrum;
William- solid scrum, good carries;
Stewart- big improvement in carries, keeping the ball secure and available;
Morgan- fabulous physical performance, good yards and secure ball carrying;
Kai- improvement in carrying straight, physical in contact;
Hamish-1 try. Really sound performance at 9, his first whole game in this position, try saving defence;
Connor D- made so many yards, so hard to stop, even carrying a stone of mud on his shorts;
Gregor- 1 try, 1 conversion, an assured performance at 10, some great defence;
Max G- 2 tries, great awareness of space and support. First time in the centre, well handled.
Fergus W- 3 tries, excellent draw and pass, usual combative defence;
Connor J- fabulous attacks down the narrow channels, so hard to stop, try saving tackles.
Angus- composed performance from one of the newer team members, strong carries, linking and brave defence.


Yea, that was them all but they all merited mention.


I have no doubt that the big teams will continue to pose a big challenge but we need games like this to show how we stand against teams other than the best in Scotland. The occasional big win is good for the soul

 

Dunfermline 28points v Biggar 11 points.

“Determination” is a word often associated with these under 14 boys. No matter what is thrown at them they will not give in and they just keep getting back up, determined to do better and make it happen. The boys have turned the season round and won many games but some reality came back on Sunday.

 

No excuses can be made but Dunfermline has one of the most mature teams that they Biggar boys will have played against for some time. Dunfermline had a large squad with 4 individuals who would easily blend in with many under 16 teams.

 

Often there is one outstanding more physical player but this time there were more throughout the field and the Biggar boys just do not have the size which at this level is a crucial factor.

 

However, they do have big hearts and determination and will grow and bulk out well soon , so obtaining all that is needed.

 

On Sunday on an atrocious pitch Biggar found it hard early on to adjust and were 3 tries down early on. Chances were going amiss due to handling errors and too often failing to hold on to the ball when tackled. In defence yet again too, few making the tackles and doing the rucking.

They did eventually shut the door and came into the game with the whole team working together.

 

After some repositioning of the team the game was very much in the balance.

 

The second half was a different contest early on and Biggar were very much getting the upper hand with both Rory Hill and Ben McBride scoring well taken tries after constant Biggar pressure.

 

Another score came from Gregor (from Dunfermline) who helped Biggar out due to them going short of players due to injuries.

 

With no replacements, Biggar boys tired and Dunfermline put a few late tries away.

 

This was again just another challenge on the long road ahead but no one can doubt the Under 14 team have made the biggest improvement this year and will achieve much.

 

Scorers

Rory Hill – 1 try

Ben McBride - 1 try

Gregor- 1 try

Finlay Crozier converted 2 out of the 3.


Colts grab extras in West area Cup debut

West Area Cup: Group B

Ardrossan Accies U18   5    Biggar Colts    62

Biggar Colts could not have asked for more in their pursuit of West Regional Cup success. They orchestrated a thrashing of their North Ayrshire opponents with a ten-try thumping and a display of relentless pressure wrapped up in notable skill we can certainly write home about.

 

Biggar dominated in all departments but Ardrossan weren't completely powerless and had bulk,  however they could do nothing to stop the Colts running riot. It wasn't a free-for-all though, it was a structured approach and despite the soggy conditions Colts played an expansive

game of rugby which worked well.

The game burst into life immediately and Sam Wallis scored the first in 6 minutes, wonderful in its simplicity, finishing off after a big shove from the forwards preceding a lovely passing move from left to right. Biggar accelerated through the gears thereafter. 

 

Connolly was next in line through a sweetly delivered flat ball and covered 40 yards with pace to touch down. Steele added the extras.

 

Kotze was sharp all day and helped himself to some points of his own to bag Biggar's third.  The scrum-half exploited a fragmented Accies defence in the 12th minute. It came off the back of a strong Harry Low break and some excellent support play - a feature that would be present throughout the match.

 

The gains seemed more obvious this time round with dazzling performances from the backs, complimented by hard accuracy in the loose by the hungry mobile forwards - Archibald and JVR showing much improvement.

 

Accies came back for a bit and kicked over the advancing Colts but Ali Steele was on hand to collect, turn on the power, and crash back through the middle. Matthew Stewart linked well with the full-back and the physical centre made no mistake about the direction of travel. Encouragingly he had three other Colts following his trail, any one of them available for the off-load.....just in case. No need though. He would be sliding in for his first of three.

 

Twenty minutes played and Ardrossan found an ignition source. Biggar needed to defend well and defend they did, albeit self inflicted grief as a result of unnecessary indiscipline. However,  line speed aggression broke the hosts down and a loose pass was intercepted by Matthew Stewart. A 70 yard sprint to the line was rewarded with a score and only the ball and try line for company, although his namesake Finlay Stewart was never that far away. On that note, this Centre partnership was an omnipresent threat.

 

Biggar picked up another two scores through Wallis and Connolly, again, to bring the score to 43 nil. It was thrilling stuff.

 

Finlay Barr was relishing the physical contest at openside and his rugby knowledge was evident. His licence to push the boundaries, however, expired just before the break after being warned earlier. A sneaky hand in the ruck was spotted by the ref, and everyone else in Ardrossan and Saltcoats. 10 minutes on the naughty step young man!

 

Coaches made some changes for the second half and mixed things up a bit.

 

There was a collective confidence in the whole team and decision making was sound even with players out-with their comfort zone.

 

There was little in the way of drama but tempo and physicality was good. 

 

Matthew Stewart picked up his third 5 minutes after the restart and then replacement Cammy Snell showed real belief and backed himself to outrun the scrambling Accies defence to open his account with his first touch of the ball.

 

Biggar's 10th and final try was a fine interplay effort touched down finally by Robbie Orr.

 

No doubt this was a bitter pill for Ardrossan to swallow and we know how that feels because we've all been there. Its important to acknowledge Ardrossan's guts and determination. They hung in stoutly throughout  and in the dying minutes despite Biggar disrupting things managed a consolation try.

 

It was a first class performance by Biggar but not completely devoid of development areas.

 

They must ensure their power supply is spread across the board as there are tougher games on the horizon. If Biggar Colts want pool supremacy they must continue to seek improvement week on week. They have the talent to achieve that.

 

Tries: Matthew Stewart (3), Sam Wallis (2), Charles Connolly (2), Luhann Kotze, Cameron Snell, Robbie Orr.

Conv: Ali Steele (5), Finlay Stewart.


2nds gain important victory over Boroughmuir

Biggar 2nds 17 Boroughmuir 3rds 0

On the neighbouring pitch a strong 2nd XV got the better of Boroughmuir 3rds in what was a vital win which just keeps the side in the hunt to retain Reserve League status.

 

It was really encouraging to see several ‘old' faces make a return to action and they did the club proud with an encouraging display both in defence and in attack when they repelled a stout B’muir XV.

 

For the record tries were scored by Ewan Bogle, Callum Dunlop and Douglas Notman with Bogle kicking a conversion.

 

As the 1sts match finished a few minutes before the 2nds it was great to see the bulk of the 1st XV squad lend their support to their mates in the 2nds. One Club, One Family!


Bonus point win against GHK

Biggar 34 GHK 10

The frustration felt after last Saturday’s disappointment at Dumfries was banished as Biggar blasted GHK to record a valuable bonus point win. To make things even more interesting Dumfries lost to Hamilton and so the clubs vying for second spot are now once again separated by just a handful of points with the following number of games played Dumfries on 45 after 14 games, Lasswade on 42 after 12, Biggar on 41 after 13. Lasswade would then appear to be in the driving seat, but Biggar have still to play them. No matter however as first up (on 10th Feb) is Hamilton which, while always a hum-dinger, now takes on added significance.

 

Again, as is often the case, although the win was important, the performance (particularly in the second half) was what was the most pleasing factor; not one of the 19 involved playing poorly, all stepping up a couple of gears from the previous week and all contributing to the cause. In a squad who are all worthy of plaudits, special mention to Dan O’Connell who returned after a long period of unavailability and who did much to nullify the GHK scrum, Andrew Orr who again gained the nod as Biggar man-of-the-match after a powerful display and debutant Rowan Stewart who is the latest in a long line of Colts to take the step up and play for the senior squad, acquitting himself well and nabbing a try to boot!

 

This was the 3rd meeting between these two sides, Biggar winning the League encounter while the Glasgow side took some revenge when they battered Biggar in the Cup.

 

Well though Andrew Peacock played last week after the loss of Calum Braid to a damaged shoulder, the props absence in the loose contributed to derail Biggar’s plans at Dumfries and so the return of O’Connell was timely, the Biggar pack always on the front foot with a penalty try just reward for their dominance, albeit that that score came when the GHK scrum looked less in trouble than it had on a couple of earlier occasions.

 

There were only a couple of changes to Biggar’s starting XV from that which took the field the previous week, Ewan Stewart returning at hooker with Andrew Orr dropping into the back row and Peacock joining Aird Jardine and the Stewart brothers on the bench. The backs were unchanged.

 

Despite the quick thaw and the torrential rain of Tuesday the Biggar pitches were in remarkably good condition although overhead conditions with a biting, blustery wind having a considerable impact on the proceedings.

 

The match was fast and furious as expected, GHK playing against the elements and opting again to run the ball at every opportunity. In this they always threatened with some good support play but the Biggar defence was up to the task and play was largely confined to the visitors half. On those occasions when GHK did gain a foothold in Biggar territory they were quickly sent scurrying back to their half a with variety of kicks from Carne Green and Conor Lavery turning defence into attack.

 

Biggar opened the scoring on 10 minutes after a couple of penalties were taken as scrums and as Biggar set out their stall in the tight. It was Orr at No8 who took and went blind to score, his bulk and power aided by the support of at least three other Biggar players. Green added the conversion for 7-0.

 

Bravely though GHK ran out of defence Biggar enjoyed the lions share of possession and they should undoubtedly have increased their tally bar for the fact that they perhaps forced the pass and were guilty of chasing the points, trys missed because of passing errors or over complication of running angles. GHK escaped further punishment therefore, until that is Biggar gained another attacking position in the GHK 22. After a couple of line drives which GHK held, a Biggar scrum drive which had GHK going backwards saw referee Ormiston run to the posts to award the penalty try. There are no conversions in such circumstances and so Biggar’s total was immediately doubled to 14-0.

 

This score came on the half hour mark and given the wind Biggar would have hoped to have been farther ahead. In fact however, Biggar’s cause was not aided by a yellow card shown to Jamie Orr for a tip tackle and then an injury to hooker Ewan Stewart, his replacement being Gregor Stewart (no relation!) and so the only other score in the half fell to GHK, a loose pass on the Biggar 10m line gifting possession to centre Danny Campbell who needed no invitation to sprint clear of the Biggar cover to dot down for the try. The wind played havoc with conversions into the wind and with Campbell’s conversion attempt off target, the half came to a close with Biggar ahead at 14-5. There were many Biggar supporters who feared that this 5 point lead would not be sufficient and that Biggar would have a tough time when GHK had the wind on their backs.

 

As it turned out it, was the side playing against the elements which played best, Biggar turning in a masterful display of rugby after the break in which they ran some excellent lines and supported each other equally well, choking the visitors at source. For their part, GHK failed to use the elements wisely or to their advantage, their backs rarely offering to kick clear and opting again to run with the ball in hand. In this while they undoubtedly gained ground it was hard won yards, even with the wind and generally the Biggar defence was up to the mark to tidy play up.

 

A number of penalties threatened initially to trouble Biggar’s attack but happily these came to nought either via passing movements or the boot, Campbell missing and the score remaining at 14-5.

 

Still in their own 22 Biggar then took a leaf from GHK’s book and ran ball out of defence. A Jackson pick up took ball infield before Davy Reive switched play back to the blindside, Stewart providing the link to Green whose quick off-load found Bradford. The winger made ground then popped the ball to Orr who immediately transferred the ball back inside to Lavery who ran from the GHK 10 for an excellent score. From wide out there was little or no chance of the conversion but nevertheless Biggar were now 2 scores clear at 19-5.

 

More importantly the side attacked again right from the restart putting together a series of 21 phases when nearly every player made a contribution of some sort, Moffat then Renwick almost getting to the line before a quick transfer from Green to Lavery gave the fullback just enough room to creep in at the corner for his second try of the afternoon. A fantastic team try and crucially the 4 try bonus point secured. 24-5.

 

This was soon to become 29-5 as with the bit between their teeth and with all again running angles well, Biggar engineered an attacking position from a penalty kick to touch some 5 metres out. A shortened lineout and a successful take from skipper Alan Warnock led to a line drive and with Orr in the van the lock crashed over for the try.

 

At this juncture Reive gave way at scrum half to Aird Jardine.

 

A turnover from the GHK restart kick forced Renwick to concede a 5 metre scrum and gave the visitors their first real attacking venture of the half. They used this opportunity well to create space wide out for Blair Forsyth to dive over for their second try. 29-10.

 

Any thought of a late comeback were soon put to bed when another handling error in midfield saw a turnover courtesy of Calvin Henderson. His pass found his fellow prop O’Connell who set up the ruck from which the Orr's secured an attacking position on the left hand side. A quick 1-2 between the latest replacement Rowan Stewart (who came on for Renwick) and Green saw ball shifted to Jackson, the No 8 racing upfield before delivering a well-timed pass to debutant Stewart who dived for a popular score. 34-10.

 

O’Connell gave way to Peacock for the last 10 minutes. GHK had a decent period of attacking play to round off the match and might have fared better with some novel lineout moves had their handling not let them down before referee Ormiston brought proceedings to a close.

 

A much improved display with as suggested all making their presence felt. The hard yards were made by the pack but they were ably abetted by the three-quarters who were actively seeking to be involved in attack – Bradford a good example – while at the same time adding much in defence, GHK unable to break through hard though they tried.

 

The opening round of the 6-Nations means that there is no match this weekend and so the squad have a fortnight to prepare for the Hamilton test. They will use the time wisely and will need to be at the same level if they are to win the local Lanarkshire derby.

 

Congratulations to the whole squad!

Biggar

D. O’Connell, A. Orr, C. Henderson, J. Orr, A. Warnock, A. Orr, E. Sanderson, R. Jackson, D. Reive, C. Green, I. Renwick, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, C. Lavery Reps: A. Peacock, G. Stewart, A. Jardine, R. Stewart


Biggar beat the snow but cannot beat Dumfries

Dumfries 22 Biggar 10

 

Biggar’s title challenge faltered on Saturday when they were defeated at The Park by a stout Dumfries squad.

 

At Hartree Mill in the first clash Biggar eschewed the 3 points offered by a penalty to tie the match, preferring instead to go for the winning try. It was anticipated then that this would be another tight contest with little or no margin for error. This indeed proved to be the case with a couple of errors at crucial times costing Biggar the win. It is far from over however as there are still 8 games remaining with a barrow load of possible pints to collect. A better result on Saturday however would have put Biggar right in the mix and to leave without any points at all is a blow. Perhaps an even grater blow however was the loss early on of prop Callum Braid with a dislocated shoulder. Given the scarcity of props in the club game across the board, his absence going forward will be significant.

 

The biggest surprise to all at Biggar was that this game went ahead at all, Lanarkshire succumbing to heavy snow throughout the week which prevented any thought of outdoor sessions and the Tuesday session in its entirety. A sharp contrast to Dumfries who amazingly escaped the worst of the weather, the snow line ending short of the town and leaving the pitch both dry and very playable.

 

Biggar fielded a similar XV to that which got the better of Peebles a fortnight ago with the unavailable Ewan Stewart the one absentee while Ross Jackson made a return to Biggar colours from Marr.

 

The game opened at breakneck speed with both sides playing an expansive game and making errors which saw play swing from end to end. Carne Green was just wide with the first scoring opportunity while Dumfries forced Biggar to concede a drop out minutes later. Some quick offensive defence from Jamie Orr and some neat footballing skills from skipper Alan Warnock took play to the Dumfries line where the width of the post protectors was all that prevented a Biggar try. Almost immediately Dumfries replied, with some great tracking by Conor Lavery and Iain Renwick combining to halt the attack. A penalty was conceded however and this was converted by centre John Carlisle to take the home side into a 3-0 lead.

 

Dumfries were keen to run from almost anywhere and they made good ground off these plays Biggar’s defence looking slightly slower than would have been preferred and a blindside break gave stand off Jordan Kerr a chance which he took to cross for a good try which Carlisle converted for 10-0.

 

Kerr was unlucky shortly after the restart when he just failed to collect a chip ahead which would have given him a clear run in.

 

Biggar then lost the services of Braid who was, as usual, putting in some great tackles whilst also carrying well. Gregor Stewart came on as replacement while Andrew Peacock deputised at prop and from the next scrum Biggar mounted an attack from their own 22 with Conor Lavery taking Green’s pass out wide. His run created space and his pass to Ross Bradford saw the winger make good ground before freeing Robbie Lavery for a run to the line and try which Green converted for 10-7.

 

The topsy-turvy nature of the match continued with both sides contributing to what was an entertaining match. Biggar’s rhythm was further disrupted by an ankle injury to Green which saw him replaced albeit only temporarily by Aird Jardine. Ryan Moffat took a long pot at goal from a penalty but this fell short.

 

Another chip and chase saw Renwick back again to save the day while a driven line by Biggar in the Dumfries 22 came to nought as the pack split and Dumfries forced the scrum. Another Biggar attack ended with a crossing offence and then the final minutes of the half saw Biggar forced into defensive mode as Dumfries put together a sustained attacking phase. It was very definitely a case of all hands to the pumps and it is to Biggar’s credit, although few will see it a positive given the final result, that they held their line intact, this down to some sterling work from among others Davy Reive and Euan Sanderson. A timely interception by Bradford put paid to the Dumfries efforts and while there were still some nervous moments before half time, Biggar were in the game at 10-7.

 

A good positive start saw Biggar earn a penalty which Green kicked to equalise the scores and a second award might have given the visitors the lead but this was just pulled wide.

 

Dumfries escaped further punishment when an offside allowed them to clear when under pressure and in fact had Biggar managed another score of any type at this point things might have been very different.

 

Moffat gave way to Jardine this seeing Conor Lavery team up with Robbie Lavery (no relation!) in the centre. Dumfries continued to press although again Biggar’s defence held up well. A continuing factor however was the several unforced errors – from both sides – which broke attacking plays up, balls dropped or passes mistimed which on other occasions might well have seen scores. Biggar suffered somewhat from their flat alignment as referee Clark pinged them for a number of forward passes, this of course all down to angles. There have been many pro games when such passes have gone unpunished but Biggar did suffer!

 

A passage of play similar to that enjoyed by Dumfries at the end of the first half then ensued, Biggar under the cosh somewhat and conceding penalties as they defended desperately. Biggar then lost Peacock to injury, this leading to uncontested scrums, a repeat of the match at Hartree. Callum Dunlop replaced the luckless Peacock. Alistair Sinclair also took to the field at this point to replace Bradford.

 

Able to take a pick up from a steady scrum Dumfries exploited the blind side and in the melee which followed referee Clark awarded the home side a score which although not converted gave then the lead to 15-10.

 

Restarting well Biggar earned a penalty which was advanced as Dumfries made an ill-advised comment. The kick to touch saw Warnock take well and initiate a line drive but this was held up and ball was moved to the backs - Lavery's long pass to Renwick adjudged to have been forward.

 

Biggar remained on the attack and another neat break from green saw him pop ball to Stewart who in turn off-loaded to Orr who crossed for what would have been a cracking score, save that the penultimate pass was again deemed to have been forward.

 

A Dumfries break out and a an error gave the home side good field position. As the game wore on it became increasingly obvious that Biggar’s lack of bulk was having an effect, the Dumfries squad while not necessarily taller of stature, clearly heavier and giving them an advantage in the contact, their forwards able to make yards before being brought down whereas Biggar’s efforts were gaining far less yardage.

 

Exerting further pressure from a series of pick and go’s it was almost inevitable that despite their best efforts Biggar’s line would be breached and so it proved, the 3rd Dumfries try when converted putting them clear at 22-10.

 

Despite their best efforts which saw Biggar encamped in the Dumfries 22 for much of the remaining 5 minutes as they chased the elusive losing bonus point, the home defence stood firm and as a turnover was won there was much joy in the Dumfries camp as referee Clark brought proceedings to a close.

 

There was considerable disappointment felt amongst the Biggar squad. The Park has never been a particularly profitable hunting ground for Biggar and so it proved again on Saturday, this the sides first visit on league duty for several years. But Biggar now have a home game to look forward to as GHK travel to Hartree. This will be third fixture between the sides this season, Biggar winning the league match but coming second to the Glasgow side in the Cup.

 

 

Biggar

C. Braid, A. Orr, C. Henderson, J. Orr, A. Peacock, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, R. Jackson, D. Reive, C. Green, I. Renwick, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, C. Lavery Reps: C. Dunlop, G. Stewart, A. Jardine, A. Sinclair.

 

The weather put paid to all other Biggar rugby at the weekend. Hopes are that the snow will have cleared by Saturday to allow play this coming weekend. Players of all ages are keen to get back into action!


U14’s in the Capital

Under 14 Friendly

Heriots 27points v Biggar 20 points.

 

“Never give up and never give in” is certainly the moto of this group of boys. This Biggar team are an excellent team who might not be the biggest in size but they certainly have the biggest hearts.

 

Biggar travelled to Heriots after the festive break knowing they would have to put in a good performance against a Heriots team who would take them to their limits due to their advantage of most of them being trained most days at school. Heriots contained few older players with 1 notable being over 6 feet tall and certainly would not look out of place in a Colts team.

 

However what Heriots were about to find out was this is a talented Biggar team and they are hard to beat as they never give up.

 

Biggar held firmly with some great tackling but Heriots used their big players well who exploited gaps early on to go 3 tries in front. At this time, the tackling was being done by the usual few.

 

Biggar knew they just had to fill these gaps more and this they did and then started their own attacking from deep with both Ben McBride and Morris McDiarmid scoring excellent individual tries to narrow the deficit to 2 points. Biggar then before half time went ahead after Nathan Balkwill took a pass at speed from 5 metres out to crash over for a well deserved try.

 

Half time – Biggar up by 2 points.

 

The confidence this bunch of boys have was clearly seen at the start of the 2nd half. They knew that their tackling was stopping Heriots launch their attacks especially Rory Hill and Tom Roper in the forwards along with the midfield backs of Morris McDiarmid , Lewis Robertson and Alexander Walpole. From the start Biggar put the ball out to Lewis Robertson who showed tremendous speed to further put the boys ahead. Speed of Lewis and Ben is a massive asset for the team.

 

Biggar were now in full control and a break by Biggar from their own half and with quick hands the final pass was put to Ben McBride to run in from 40 yards.

 

However, Heriots were not finished and started to put their forwards to good use by dominating at the ruck and breakdown and therefore starving Biggar of any ball. Then their backs continually showed clean hands passing to their winger who was quick enough to go around the Biggar defence to score 3 tries. Unfortunately, 2 of these tries should not have been allowed and it was the Heriots coaches who made these comments before the Biggar coaches could grumble.

 

Heriots scored 1 more final try to win this game but it was a great game between 2 very talented teams played in the best way.


 

Scorers

Ben McBride - 2 tries

Lewis Robertson– 1 try

Morris McDiarmid – 1 try

Nathan Balkwill – 1 try

Finlay Crozier converted all 5 conversions. Some were from far out and what a difference for the team when you have a kicker of Finlay’s ability.


Colts win in local derby against Peebles

The Colts meanwhile travelled to take on near neighbours Peebles, their aim clearly to replicate the 1st XV who manged a rare win at The Gytes last weekend. Thanks to Alistair Stewart (Lanark) for this report.

 

Peebles Colts  14   Biggar Colts  48

A friendly match to warm-up for the forthcoming regional cup competition was the order of the day and it was hard to know what to expect from this local derby really following an indifferent run-out against Dunfermline last week. However , Biggar have clearly adapted their game to cope with both the predictable and unpredictable might and aggression that is the Shogun Conference. 

 

It was the Black and Red exposing the hosts to a style of rugby that perhaps they were unfamiliar with showing an intensity that lasted the full 70 minutes. That said, Peebles' two scores opened Biggar up as they exploited some brief slack defence and who's to say it wouldn't have been more were it not for a wayward pass or two.

 

Biggar's first of eight tries saw Robbie Orr perform daylight robbery on the Peebles 22m. The steal on 4 minutes caught Peebles on the back foot and Orr picking up the first of his hat-trick. Steele added the extras.

 

A textbook line-out drive led to the second 3 minutes later. Kotze collected out the back just before the line and nipped through the Peebles cover to touch down.

 

Peebles mounted an attack and got one back in 14 minutes.

 

With the Line-out drive working well early on the Colts managed a carbon copy following a fine push up the left wing. Charles Connolly the recipient this time bagging Biggar's third.

 

On 21 minutes Orr put a penalty into the corner, the line-out was secured and Craig Frame got on the back of an irresistible maul to get on the score sheet.

 

The forwards were all working well with Connolly catching the eye at his bulldozing best to bring the half-tine score to 26-7 to Biggar.

 

It was clear at the start of the second half that Biggar thought they had it 'in the bag' but pay attention Colts, your hosts just kicked you in the pants for showing complacency. Peebles were well worth their converted try just after the restart and were showing signs of ascendency.

 

Biggar Colts got back on track though and Orr picked up his second with a quick tap penalty on the Peebles 22m and his trademark kick over the defence was collected well. Steele again striking well for the conversion.

 

Matthew Stewart swatted a couple of defenders away in the 46th minute before running in from 30 metres to take things out of reach for the Borders side.

 

The ever present Luhann Kotze helped himself to his second in 58 minutes and Orr collected the match ball for his hat-trick with 2 minutes to play.

 

Verdict: A comfortable display with Biggar showing good discipline, line speed and gain-line success. Yes, the older boys had to use their bucket and spades a couple of times to get out of the occasional hole but all-in-all a fine team performance. The 1st year Colts made their presence felt and you could sense a more motivated and confident approach.

 

A reasonably well executed defensive display was also encouraging to watch. 

 

The whole package underlines how competitive Biggar Colts can be.

 

Next weeks opponents, Ardrossan Accies,  are a somewhat unknown quantity but if Biggar Colts focus on team adhesion, spirit and cement a winning mentality it should be a fine encounter. 

 

Tries: Robbie Orr (3), Luhann Kotze (2), Charles Connolly, Craig Frame, Matthew Stewart.

Conv: Ali Steele (4)


2nds record great win over Selkirk

Biggar 19 Selkirk 7

With no 1st XV match the Hartree spotlight fell on the 2nds who, in hosting Selkirk, were opening their account for 2018 and playing just their 8th competitive fixture this season.

 

In the end the win was deserved and proved to be vital for the squad as they seek to climb out of bottom place and fend off relegation. The next few weeks will also be cricual to their survival and all are asked to make themsleves available in the quest for points.

 

There were several quality performances with lock Callum Dunlop, stand off James Barr and centres Stuart Alder and Rowan Stewart all catching the eye. The last named made his senior home debut and took the field alongside brother Gregor for the first time – a memorable occasion for both.

 

First and foremost however, this was a great team peformance and in defeating the Border outfit who are in 4th spot in the league, the result gives a clear indication – if there were any lingering doubts - of the potential in the squad.

 

James Barr with a bullocking burst through the Border defence opend Biggar’s account in the first half – Ewan Bogle kicking the conversion for 7-0.

 

After the break, Dunlop and then towards the death, Alder, both benfited from some indecision in the Selkirk ranks to claim excellent tries.

 

Well done to all concerned!

 

Many thanks to Grounds Convenor Hugh Barr for his hospitality prior to the match, this to celebrate his 60th birthday! Many happy returns Hugh!


Colts struggle at Dunfermline

The Colts travelled with a scratch squad to Dunfermline on Saturday, a whole batch of players unavailable as the festive period comes to an end. In a tough match against a competent Fife XV Biggar lost out by 40-15.


Biggar edge out in Peebles derby

Peebles 10 Biggar 15

 

This first match of 2018 may have lacked a similar high score to the encounter between the same two teams back in September (Peebles won that one by 33-30) but it had everything else which marks a memorable local derby – one red card, three yellow cards, and a 10 minute long nail-biting finish as both teams strove to win the match.

 

Neither side was under-strength going into the match but equally neither side was as well prepared as they would have wished as the poor weather prior to Christmas prevented proper training while the excesses of the festive period were visible for all to see! Unusually prolific handling errors, slack lineout play and tired legs showed through for both sides but this did lead to an enthralling contest.

 

That Biggar won was down to a really determined second half display when it was a case of all hands to the pumps, players pushing themselves to get to the contact to halt the Peebles attacks but as keen to take ball on when in possession. This of course was all the more important given that Biggar had eschewed at least two first half scores and conceded a somewhat soft try as the first half dragged on seemingly well over the allotted 40 minutes.

 

In bitterly cols conditions this was an exciting match and with after the two games honours were even with still everything to play for, Biggar jumping into 3rd spot with Peebles just two places behind.

 

Biggar were able to select from a full squad, the festive break allowing players with niggling injuries to get rest. There were changes to the starting line up however, backs Iain Renwick and Conor Lavery preferred to Alistair Sinclair and Aird Jardine at wing and full-back respectively. Up front things were on generally similar lines although with front row cover down to a bare minimum.

 

The match started at a cracking pace as Biggar set the tone for much of the first period, enjoying most of the territory and possession but unable to crack the Peebles defence.

 

The Peebles pack had the ascendancy in the tight scrum, Biggar conceding penalty after penalty as referee found fault with the angle of push and/or binding. As is often the case with decisions in and around the scrum it is very difficult to determine who was guilty of what but Biggar suffered badly in this area.

 

Lineouts were also a bit of a lottery as the whole shebang – recognising codes, the throw, timing lifting and jumping - all depend on much more regular practice than has been available of late. There were squint throws, handling errors and mis-directed tap-downs a-plenty but again this all added to the contest.

 

Biggar had the first real scoring chance as a lineout drive which was more akin to a runaway train took play to just 5 minutes short, Peebles penalised for taking the maul down. Unfortunately the lineout drive saw Biggar knock-on and the resultant scrum penalty allowed Peebles to clear.

 

A breenge by lock Arnoldas Patskocimas took Peebles into the Biggar half for the first time but this attack was foiled as Peebles were penalised for a high tackle.

 

A head knock deprived the home side of flanker Thomas Jeffrey while Biggar stand off Carne Green kicked Biggar into an excellent attacking position just short of the Peebles line. A lineout error prevented the attack from being converted into points, the resultant scrum penalty allowing Peebles stand off Greg Raeburn to kick clear.

 

Just prior to the half hour mark Biggar had the best chances of a score. A penalty award saw Green push the ball wide but shortly afterwards a neat pass from the stand off put Ewan Stewart into a perfect gap, the hooker galloping clear of the Peebles defence for some 30 metres. When tackled he found Davy Reive in support. With the line in his sights Reive made the right decision to pass to supporting lock Jamie Orr but the pass was a tad too short and Peebles escaped punishment.

 

With further errors it looked as though the half might end scoreless but the home side was in a different mindset and they pummelled the Biggar line, only stout defence keeping the line intact. A priceless turnover seemed to have done the trick but it brought a lineout rather than the anticipated half time. Indeed there was time for not only the lineout but another penalty to the corner this eventually bringing a timely score for scrum half Anderson and the home side which when converted by Raeburn gave them a 7-0 lead going into the break.

 

Biggar made one change at the break Andrew Peacock making way for Stevie Campbell.

 

A sound take at the restart from skipper Alan Warnock promised better but a turnover in midfield from a dropped pass gave Peebles the ideal attacking opportunity which they took to again test the Biggar defence. A series of penalties came from the scrum and then the scrum reset, Biggar support fearful that another such award would see the home side gain a penalty try and potentially a yellow card for persistent infringement. And then a mighty Biggar scrum and some great yards from flanker Andrew Orr relieved the pressure and gave Biggar some respite.

 

Minutes later and after another breakout Biggar opened their account. A lung-bursting breenge – one of many from among others flankers Orr and Euan Sanderson and prop Callum Braid – saw ball moved from Reive to Green. His pass went to Robbie Lavery who drew his man before passing to Jamie Orr. The lock passed to Ryan Moffat and then to to winger Ross Bradford who touched down – Green just off target with the conversion but his side were now back in the game.

 

In what was now a see-saw match play moved from end to end as both sides strove to get a score and a hold on the match.

 

Conor Lavery made several telling breaks but to no avail while crucial turnovers were engineered to ease pressure and gain ball from which to attack.

 

For their part Peebles threatened every time they got hands on the ball although they seemed less keen to play a wide game, preferring instead to keep play in the middle channels.

 

With another 10 minutes or so gone and as the game entered its final quarter Biggar struck again. A mazy run by Green created the attacking position and forced Peebles to concede a lineout close to their line. Biggar’s initial attack was thwarted but Reive popped the ball to centre Moffat whose crash ball effort from some 5 metres out proved unstoppable. Green’s conversion took Biggar ahead for the first time at 12-7.

 

Just 3 minutes later and as is often their wont Biggar conceded a score after their own, Raeburn kicking one of the few kick-able chances for 12-10. With around 10 minutes remaining the scene was set as the game was a one-score contest.

 

As players tired changes were made, Moffat giving way to Gregor Stewart with Lavery struggling with cramp. And then as the minutes ticked by a penalty to Biggar kicked by Green to open up the gap to 5 once more (15-10).

 

The last minutes were frenetic to say the least. Peebles came back strongly to launch wave after wave on the Biggar line, forcing Biggar into a stout rear-guard action. There were inevitable errors and Biggar lost Euan Sanderson to a yellow as he interfered with one Peebles attack. As this card was being brandished a typical pile up continued and as tension was keen and tempers high a stramash broke out. This upshot saw Biggar’s Robbie Lavery shown a yellow but worse for Peebles as prop William Napier was shown a red for a punch.

 

The penalty tap saw further drama as the Peebles pack launched themselves once more into Biggar’s defence. Douglas Voas was the next to try to break through but as ball came back centre Brown put a kick through and behind the Biggar line, winger Stoddart getting the touchdown, Cue Peebles celebrations – albeit that these were short-lived as Stoddart was rightly penalised for being off-side, Biggar gaining a relieving penalty to touch.

 

This relief was also short-lived as Peebles were awarded another penalty which again they opted to tap and go. Their charges were met with some great offensive defence but able to retain possession this assault lasted for some 13 phases with the 13th being the unlucky one and ending with a knock-on which brought the game to its close – players from both sides flopping to the ground in a mixture of fatigue and euphoria/fatigue and disappointment.

 

Biggar

C. Braid, E. Stewart, C. Henderson, J. Orr, A. Peacock, A. Warnock, C. Braid, E. Sanderson, A. Orr, D. Reive, C. Green, I. Renwick, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, C. Lavery Reps: S. Campbell, G. Stewart, A. Jardine, A. Sinclair.

 

Biggar have another blank weekend coming up as the scheduled fixture was against Aberdeenshire who have withdrawn from the League. This means that they will have a couple of weeks to prepare for yet another big test, an away fixture to second top Dumfries who proved to be a real handful when they travelled to Hartree Mill last autumn.

 

The 2nds who were without a fixture on Saturday as Gala have withdrawn from the Reserve League entertain Selkirk this Saturday (KO 2pm). Their season has been stop start from day 1 but there is the prospect of a run of matches coming up and all available are asked to make themselves available for these matches.


Latest Gold Club Draws

Biggar RFC Gold Club Winners for this season 2017/18

September.           

£250    -    199   Brian Dickie

£100    -     109   Michael Booth
£100    -     45     Tom Moffat
£100    -     95     Bill Warnock
£100    -     73     John Turnbull
£100    -     191   Laura Watson]


September

£250    -     231   Darren Burns
£100    -      334   Jan Harper
£100    -      236   Peter Kinstrey
£100    -      302   David Raftery
£100    -      104   Ian Barr
£100    -      43     Matt McKendrick

October

£250    -     91    Stuart Mcgregor

£100    -     200  Andrew & Joyce Clark
£100    -     118   Kevin Dempster
£100    -     213   Grant Sutherland
£100    -     181   Martyn Ward
£100    -      334   Jan Harper

November
£250   -   222   Davina Howatson


£100   -   9       J.B.Hamilton
£100   -   70     Yvonne Moorhouse
£100   -   1       Bob Drife
£100   -   303   John Bogle
£100   -   25     Mike Hunter

Congratulations to the following for their Christmas bonus!

December
£250   -   167   Lorna Gooch


£100   -   20    Andrew Duncan
£100   -   220   Ian Goodall
£100   -   236   Peter Kinstrey
£100   -   308   Angus Thomson
£100   -   1       Bob Drife

 


27/01/18   £250    -   95   Bill Warnock


                 £100   -   200  Andrew and Joyce Clark
                 £100   -   303  John Bogle
                 £100   -   228  Andrew Cairns
                 £100   -   76    Robert Paterson
                 £100   -   199  Brian Dickie


03/03/18   £250   -   30   Andrew Warnock


                 £100   -   204  Gillian McDonald
                 £100   -   286  Trina Watson
                 £100   -   102  Stuart Harrison
                 £100   -   143  John Renwick
                 £100   -   145  Blair Hill


31/03/18   £250   -   333  Sue Pacey


                 £100   -   143  John Renwick
                 £100   -   239  Anne Godfrey
                 £100   -   97    Tom Tennant
                 £100   -   191  Laura Watson
                 £100   -   96    Shona Dale

 


Biggar Youth frustrate West

U16’s v West

A great 38 -0 win for the U16 boys against West of Scotland today at Hartree Mill. After a tight first 15 minutes the Biggar boys built on their excellent defence to wear down West in a really structured multi-phase game in attack and scored a number of hard worked tries. A super turnaround from the close fought match earlier in the season to run out convincing winners. One for the coaches to savour from the boys, but still lots of areas to work on and improve.


One more conference match left against Highland next week. So lots of hard work and focus in training this week and let's aim to turn that result around too ! Well done young Rams

 

U15’s

The U15s returned to winning ways with an entertaining 38 - 7 win against West today. After last weeks narrow, last minute loss to Ayr it was important to deliver a similarly physical performance which the boys did in spades. Missing numerous players this was a chance to try a few new combinations and for others to step up.

 

Its fair to say everyone of the team stepped up and delivered 110%. The support running regaining the levels seen earlier in the season. Well done boys.

 

U14's: West of Scotland 4 points v Biggar 15 points.

The Under 14 boys returned from West after giving their best performance to date winning by 4 tries to 1. What is remarkable is that only 2 months ago they were well beaten by West at Biggar but such has been the improvement in these boys that dominated West all through the game on Sunday.

 

It was rewarding for the team to receive such positive feedback form the West coaches who could not believe the improvement in the Biggar boys but also how they are well structured and motivated to work for each other.

 

Remember it was only August when we wondered if we would have a team as there was only 9 boys and now there is 20.

We have come together which is the beginning

We have keep together which is the progress and

We now work together which is success.

Right from the start the boys stuck to their game plan to subdue the West forwards who were bigger and stronger. Biggar's pack held them and this then allowed Calum McClemon to gain yardage and when ball was set the backs caused damage and this they did especially wide out with Ben McBride.

However, for many periods of play Biggar had to defend Biggars defence was their attack and they showed all-round ability throughout the team to cause West issues everywhere.
Although this was a great team effort, notable performances came from:

In the backs, Ben McBride scoring 3 tries, two weeks in a row and Morris McDiarmid who was outstanding in both defence and attack. With the forwards Calum Mclemon continues to inspire the boys but his running lines tend to puzzle his own team mates when trying to follow him. Rory Hill and Tom Roper put in awesome performances in tackling which really stopped West getting any momentum up in the game.

Scorers

Ben McBride - 3 tries

Calum McLemon - 1 try

Finlay Crozier converted 3 of the 4 conversions.


‘Colts five of the best, enough to dispatch West’


West of Scotland U18 25 - Biggar Colts 31

'Colts five of the best, enough to dispatch West'

 

Put simply, the win was unremarkable but the game was infinitely watchable.

 

Forget the competitive scoreline. It wasn't the end-to-end, tit-for-tat contest that could go any way. Biggar Colts pulled something out the bag with five tries to secure their mid-table position.

 

They had to because things were not looking good at half-time.

 

It wasn't the best first-half we've seen from a Colts side but it was certainly on the podium for the best second-half award. The two sides were relatively evenly matched but you felt that Biggar had slightly more flair. That's not to say that West lacked spark or endeavour, anything but. The hosts were always a threat.

 

There was a five or six minute spell in the second half though where Biggar well and truly pulled their hosts apart. It was like an all-you-can-eat-buffet....on a stopwatch. The problem with that is, you get indigestion and need to take a break before desert.

 

Finlay Stewart, who looked pretty secure all day, set the stall out early doors with an excellent run up the left wing. After being bumped into touch, West secured their line-out and cleared their lines. Colts won a scrum in open play soon after. A line break by Orr from the set piece, offload to Kotze, pop out to the supporting Rowan Stewart, run in from opposition 22m, score! Stewart converts. Easy! Only 3 minutes gone.

 

However, within the next 3 minutes West were Level through a well worked try. Strong phase play by the West pack broke the Biggar defence down and their hooker would be in for his first of two. It looked at that very early stage, with both sides pushing hard, that a cricket score was on the cards. Neither side was particularly structured and gaps were forming. West went on the march and Colts were found wanting on 12 minutes.

 

Poor line-out defence and again the hosts went over unopposed through their No.2. It was a soft try to give away. Biggar were caught napping and they knew it. The shot in the arm seemed to work for a time at least. In fact, to say that Finlay Barr's defensive performance was impressive is a bit of an understatement. Drew Brewster's attacking intent caught the eye too.

 

Colts were down to 14 men in the 16th minute when Cammy Snell mistimed his tackle on his opposite number as he collected a high ball. Snell was committed and it was quite an impact, in the air, but credit to the West recipient, he didn't complain and the Biggar player was remorseful but, by the letter of the law, the referee gave him 10 minutes on the naughty step to think about it. No complaints really.

 

West exploited the fact that Biggar heads went down and swiftly ploughed yet another furrow over their visitor's line to lead by 19 to 7. West were awarded a number of penalties for Biggar petulance and back-chat and were unlucky not to be further ahead after a missed attempt at the posts.

 

There was much puffing and blowing from the Biggar support wondering how the team were going to wriggle their way out of this one. But wriggle they did! In truth Biggar had all the chemicals in the pot. They just needed a catalyst to get the reaction going. It appeared to come in the form of Lewis Stewart. The back row forward was brought on in 24 minutes. Back from injury and hungry, he got things going, bringing momentum and support when it was needed most.

 

It allowed the centre axis of Stewart and Brewster to shine in the roles they were there to do without having to run headlong into West's physical defence all the time. They were almost over the line at the tail end of the first 35 but the half-time whistle halted progress.

 

With the reset button pressed for the start of the second half Biggar were a different team altogether. Exuberant, flamboyant and damn well committed. The Colts scored three in quick succession. 5 minutes in fact.

 

Each one as varied and exciting as the next. The first was the result of a quality driving maul from 10m. Luhann Kotze collected out of the back, saw the space and dived over for the first of his hat-trick. Kotze was on fire.

 

His line break from the West restart set the wheels in motion for Biggar's 3rd try. A full team effort with real momentum and quality phases saw the ball in Robbie Orr's hands. The West defence was drawn in and the fly-half launched his trademark wide pass right into the bread basket of Sam Wallis on the right wing who wasn't going to be stopped from 10m.

 

The fourth Biggar try was magical and a sheer delight to watch. Lewis Stewart collected the West kick-off, off loaded to Snell who drew the defence and took the ball into contact. The ball out the back of the ruck found Orr again. Excellent vision noticing the West defence had pushed up, he kicked in behind and Rowan Stewart was following up like a steam train and with a favourable bounce he collected well at pace and delivered the scoring pass for Kotze who scored in the left corner. 24-19 to Biggar.

 

The hits just kept on coming. Remember the indigestion? West bagged two penalties to go a single point ahead at 25-24. Charles Connolly got over excited and got a yellow card for a late tackle. Down to 14 men for the second time.

 

Biggar Colts showed real resilience though and hit back. As they moved up the right, pressure on the West defence led to a Biggar scrum on their 22m line. Kotze was sharp. He sniped round the blind, grubbered through the narrow gap, followed up and beat the scrambling West defence to touch down first. That was the scrum-half's third and Biggar's winner. Rowan Stewart nailed the desert/conversion from a tight angle and added the extras.

 

The final whistle came at the right time for Biggar because as much as they were on top in the latter stages West didn't want to let go. Don't think I could have managed cheese and biscuits anyway!! Highland next week. Last game of the Shogun League campaign. Enjoy.

 

Tries: Luhann Kotze (3), Rowan Stewart, Sam Wallis. Conv: Rowan Stewart (3)
 


Biggar swamp West

Biggar 62 West of Scotland 10

Biggar swarmed over a weakened West on Saturday to record 60+ points for the 3rd time this League campaign, albeit that in the wake of Aberdeenshire dropping out of the League, only two of these are still recorded.

 

A half time score of 31-5 was then doubled for the final tally, and this with at least another 4 scores having gone a-begging as balls were dropped when players were in scoring positions.

 

It was a hard day for the Glasgow side and there was some sympathy for at least two of their number, Angus Thomson and Andrew Goodall, both hailing from Biggar and both contributing manfully in what was a torrid afternoon for those in the red and yellow colours.

 

This win lifts Biggar to 4th spot in the League although as Hamilton who are in 6th spot have a game in hand and one they would expect to win as it is against bottom of the table Whitecraigs, they would jump ahead of Biggar.

 

But, and it is a BIG but, this Saturday’s match sees the two Lanarkshire sides pitted against each other at Laigh Bent in the first match of the return fixtures and so, the winner – whoever that is - will gain a big advantage over the other. Biggar recorded an excellent 24-17 home win in that first encounter and their away form has been very good with only one defeat and that to league leaders Kirkcaldy. Hamilton meanwhile, who have improved greatly since that opening match, lost out at home to Kirkcaldy on Saturday, and so the match is set up perfectly for a great contest.

 

Biggar were back to full strength following the autumn international break with all those who had been carrying injuries recovered to take their place, the one exception being Douglas Notman who was still injured following the GHK Cup match. His replacement was No8 Stevie Campbell who had been missing following an ankle injury sustained several weeks ago but who was fit for action once again. Prop Callum Braid switched from his usual berth to back row while fit-again Jamie Orr partnered skipper Alan Warnock at lock.

 

The hard frost of Wednesday and Thursday which had led to the cancellation of the Ladies game against Currie on Friday night had relented sufficiently by Saturday and while the pitch wasn’t playable at the time of the 10am pitch inspection, there was sufficient ‘warmth’ in the air to suggest that things would be fine for the 2pm kick off. Referee Morrison took a little time before he was completely satisfied that play should go ahead but happily he gave the thumbs up and play got under way.

 

West had a marginally better record going into this match having most recently accounted for Dumfries while Biggar with 0 from 3 were desperately looking for what this season is a rare home win.

 

Playing away from the clubhouse Biggar opened their account with a penalty from Carne Green after just 2 minutes. This set the tone for the much of the rest of the match, Biggar enjoying a barrow-load of possession and territory and exerting much pressure on the visitors. In the first quarter Biggar scored tries from Ewan Stewart (the hooker rounding off a sparkling move begun deep in the Biggar half) and Callum Braid (this a terrific pick and go from some 10metres), both converted by Green who had a faultless display with the boot to claim a personal haul of 22 points.

 

Aside from the restarts after Biggar scores, almost 20 minutes had elapsed before West managed to get the ball into the Biggar 22.

 

With pressure maintained Biggar also had their fair share of good fortune, a West grubber kick in attack being blocked by Green and seeing the ball hacked forward by Bradford. The winger almost made the line, but was held short, Green’s clear out spawning ball for Warnock who crossed for try number 3.

 

A brilliant combination of support and good passing between Green and Euan Sanderson should have seen the latter claim Biggar’s 4th try but the ball just eluded the flanker with the line in his sights.

 

West hit back following a Green clearance and an opportune step by fullback Mark Sim who saw a gap on the wing. He burst past Alistair Sinclair and although the winger got back to make the tackle Sim scored the try.

 

This try heralded a slightly better phase for West who saw more of the ball as Biggar struggled to maintain their earlier control. The Biggar pack enjoyed the better of the tight scrum exchanges while the lineout continued to stutter – neither side able to take quality ball from this set piece.

 

Biggar’s aggressive defence and abrasive loose play was a feature of the game, this a most welcome sight after the most recent matches when Biggar have come off second best to for example Kirkcaldy and GHK. Campbell and Braid were to the fore in this respect although all played their part, Andrew Nimmo and Sanderson others to consistently make yards.

 

With half time approaching Biggar needed another score and this they duly got, Jardine taking ball on the West 22 before stepping his way through the cover to cross under the posts for the all-important bonus point try which was then converted by Green.

 

The kick off took play back to the Biggar half but an electric breakout started by Sanderson saw play quickly transferred the length of the pitch. Bradford was taken high and from the resultant kick to touch lineout ball won by Sanderson paved the way for Nimmo to make a charge for the line. West’s Thomson made the tackle and while Nimmo was over the line the ball was held up and referee Morrison brought play to a halt.

 

With injuries besetting the West pack the decision was taken to make scrums uncontested. This was unfortunate as Biggar had been in the ascendancy in this area but Biggar had found themselves in a similar position against Kirkcaldy and there is sometimes no option. As it was Biggar had an early opportunity to add to their tally a great breakout off a weak West clearance seeing play swept upfield via Robbie Lavery, Braid and Ryan Moffat. Nimmo took the ball on further and found Sanderson with the offload. The flanker looked to be home and dry but a fortuitous tap tackle put him to the ground with the ball squirting frustratingly from his grasp.

 

The position was maintained however as Campbell charged down the West clearance. A second attempt got to touch but Euan Bogle (who had replaced Sinclair at the break) took a quick lineout, and with ball advanced further to towards the West 22, Moffat popped the ball to Bradford who stepped his way to the West line. Green’s conversion took the Biggar total to 38-5.

 

As had been the case before half time, West claimed a try, this initiated from a well-controlled driven line out. Ball was passed right and then back left and Thomson all but made the line before stand off Fisken picked to cross at the corner.

 

Back on the attack West escaped as a pass to Bogle was deemed to have been forward but another phase saw West infringe and with the penalty advantage, Green dropped a neat goal from some 30 metres to take Biggar’s total to 41.

 

Lavery was the next to rue a dropped ball, he latching onto – almost – a kick ahead by Green which had it stuck would have seen the centre over for a try.

 

Looking to run the ball from everywhere and anywhere and enjoying the opportunity to do so – clearly a spin off from how Scotland played against Australia - some excellent interplay between Peacock, Reive, Warnock and Nimmo saw the latter cross from 10 metres despite the attentions of the cover defence.

 

Green added the conversion to this and then to a score from Andrew Orr who managed to retain possession in a maul which was on the line before spinning free to dive over under the posts. Having taken the restart Biggar mounted another attack immediately, Andrew Peacock who had previously replaced Orr at lock, setting off upfield for some 20 metres before feeding Sanderson. The flanker then passed inside to Ewan Stewart who sprinted clear for his second try.

 

Green’s 22 point tally took him beyond the 100 point mark for Biggar this season – well done to him for that but well done to the squad as the sides Points Differential at 109 is now the best in the Division!

 

All in all a great performance from the 19 involved. West were clearly not at their best however and the test to be posed by Hamilton on Saturday will require another step up in terms of ball security and offensive defence. That said it was great to see the team running and passing and making good ground as well.

 

Man of the match was deservedly awarded to Ewan Sanderson who put in a power of work in both attack and in defence although he was one of several who could also have taken the honours.

 

Biggar

A. Nimmo, E. Stewart, D. O’Connell, J. Orr, A. Warnock, C. Braid, E. Sanderson, S. Campbell, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine Reps: A. Orr, A. Peacock, G. Stewart, E. Bogle.

 

Another blank weekend for the 2nd XV who will surely get back to the pitch and some long awaited action on Saturday when they host Dundee High.


U18 Scottish Schools Cup, Boys Youth East v West and Club News

ON Sunday many of the Clubs U18 girls were playing at Scotstoun in Glasgow, representing Biggar High in the Scottish Schools Cup Final.

Pitched against the Community School of Auchterarder the Biggar girls were not quite able to retain the trophy they won last year (when they defeated the same opponents).

Biggar ran out of numbers, their cause not helped as several players were unavailable prior to the match while there were three more injuries on the day, this leaving the side at just 14.

Pluckily though the remaining squad performed, they were not able to get back into the match and lost by 39-29.

This was a great match however and all involved – from both sides - can take great credit for the way in which they played.

 

Congratulations as well to all those players – present and former – who were part of the West team that defeated east on Sunday at the Orium.

Current 1st XV member Andrew Nimmo started the match. He was joined by Ross Jackson (now with Marr) while Andrew Jardine (now with Melrose) was on the bench.

The West side ran out convincing winners by 61-26.

 

 

Many thanks to all who supported the club on Friday at Late Night shopping and on Saturday at the Skippinish Concert. Both events were very successful and were enjoyed by all present.

A massive thank you to GY for his organisation throughout.


Shotgun Conference win for U14’s

Under 14 Shogun Conference

Biggar 38 points v Ayr 4 points (thanks as always to gavin Hill for the report)

One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation and that’s exactly what the Biggar Under 14 boys did on Sunday. They approached kick off ready to take the game to Ayr and this they did and from the start their attack punched holes in the Ayr defense straight away. Ayr simply did not know what had hit them and within 5 minutes, Biggar were 2 tries ahead. Calum McLemon was as usual leading the boys from the front and this was a vital key to the performance.

Another key to victory is believing you have a team worth fighting for and each player put in an impressive display, working for each other.

Ayr just could not settle into the game as Biggar launched attack after attack in various areas of the field which was proving hard to contain.

When Ayr did get the ball the Biggar centres blitzed their midfield which denied any of the Ayr centres getting the ball with time to then attack. With the centres denied the Ayr standoff resorted to kicking which again played into the Biggar hands as they ran back at them at every opportunity especially when Ben McBride was being given space.

Biggar commanded all areas and it was rewarding to see excellent lineouts and drives which have been worked on at training which then resulted in peeling off the maul to score.

Forwards were working as a unit and when time was right the ball was moved out to the backs to make space.

This team have now scored 20 tries in their last 2 games and continues to work hard and create the desire to succeed
 

Scorers

Calum McLemon - 4 tries

Ben McBride - 3 tries

Alexander Walpole 2 tries.

Morris McDiarmid- 1 try

 

Finlay Crozier had a great day converting 7 of the 10 tries with one being from the side line. Another conversion was awarded automatically after the penalty try.


Colts travel to Ayr

Colts serve up Friday night Try-fest with Ayr

 

Biggar Colts travelled to Troon on Friday night for their latest Shogun Conference game and with strong winds, rain, sleet and border-line freezing temperatures something was needed to warm everyone up. A sizzling game of rugby did just that!

 

Ayr came fizzing out of the blocks and had Biggar pinned in their own 22 for the first 10 minutes of the match. Great defence from Biggar kept the try line intact along with some poor hands and ill-discipline from Ayr. Indeed it was from a piece of Ayr ill-discipline that Biggar made the breakthrough. A Biggar knock on inside their own 5m line looked to have given Ayr a very good attacking position but the Ayr number 9 followed through with a late shoulder on Rowan Stewart resulting in a penalty to Biggar and allowing the Biggar man to clear to touch.

 

This got Biggar out of their half and led to a great score from Drew Brewster. A clean lineout was taken and the ball was fed to the backs where Stewart made a powerful break. The ball was recycled quickly and popped to Josh JVR who made a number of big runs breaking the gain line through the game and turned the Ayr defence. Quick ball was created again and passed out to Brewster who spotted a gap in the defence and went for it. He broke through and a beautiful step took the full back out of the game and he was over. Stewart added the extras.

 

Ayr were stung by this and really took the game to Biggar trying to use their big pack to dominate proceedings. They were camped in the Biggar 22 and once again the defence was excellent. The ball was turned over in contact and kept in the forwards to try and gain some ground. A couple of hits from Guy Kelly and Dan McConkey made a meter or 2 but then Josh JVR found a gap and made a great break. The ball was recycled well to Robbie Orr who spotted a gap and went for it. With Finn Stewart and Cammy Snell in support Orr put in a superb kick to turn the back-tracking Ayr defence. Finn Stewart took off down the wing showing incredible pace and dived on the ball ahead to the Ayr full back. A really superb break and a great team try. Rowan Stewart missed the conversion from a tough angle to the right of the posts.

 

This clearly stung the Ayr team and a strongly worded clear the air conference was held behind the posts and appeared to have the desired effect. They came on strong and again had Biggar pinned in their 22. This time they held their collective nerves and kept tying up defensive numbers until they created the overlap to go over in the corner.

 

Just before half time, Ayr scored a classic forwards try. A good line out take, a maul formed and then a cracking drive took them over the line. With both Ayr conversions missed, Biggar were still ahead so it was hoped they could hold on to go in ahead. Unfortunately the restart went long and Ayr broke well from their resultant scrum. Good possession rugby was played winning the rucks and spreading the ball to go over again.

 

Half Time Ayr 17- Biggar 12

 

Ayr started the second half as they started the first. They have big strong running forwards and big fast backs – a great combination but Biggar were defending manfully. Tackling, rucking and most positively of all teamwork were in evidence in spades. Ayr should have scored early in the second half when they managed to create a 3 on 1 on their left inside the 22. Great drifting defence from Finlay Stewart narrowed the attack and a crunching tackle took man and ball into touch.

 

Ayr got their noses further in front from a good running try and as they ran back from the score you could see their tales were up. Some outstanding play from Biggar was about to quell that fire however. First up was Robbie Orr.

 

From the kick off, the ball was secured by the forwards and with a few pick and drives they made ground towards the Ayr half. The ball was then fired into the backs and Rowan Stewart made a great break through the line. Orr was on his shoulder and an excellent pass took the defence out of the game. Orr went over but the try went unconverted.

Orr scored the next one as well but massive credit to Dan McConkey who took the restart superbly and went through the Ayr defensive line. Ayr seemed to fall asleep and allowed the ball to be fed to Rowan Stewart who had Orr in support. They played a couple of “1-2’s” around the defence and Orr went over under the posts. Rowan Stewart kicked the extras to put Biggar ahead by 2 points.

 

With only 52 minutes on the clock, Ayr got the games’ final score. Biggar worked tirelessly to get back ahead but were forced to defend in numbers inside their own 22 for long periods. Some of the hits made during that spell were massive and Biggar should take great credit for holding out under extreme pressure.

 

With no time left on the clock, Biggar went on a run with Drew Brewster supported by a number of backs. Just inside the Ayr half and everyone had fingers and toes crossed but it was not to be as Ayr defended superbly and booted the ball out for the win.

 

Full Time Ayr 29 – Biggar 24

 

The Ayr celebrations at full time showed what this game meant. Having beaten Biggar convincingly at Hartree Mill they may have expected an easy Friday night and this was anything but easy. Every single man for Biggar was outstanding and this was by far and away the best performance of the season from Biggar regardless of the result. Obviously no-one likes to lose but sometimes it is the manner of the loss that is important. In this case it was fighting for every ball, contesting every ruck and hitting every tackle. It was playing as a team!!

 

The standard has been set –the challenge now is to maintain it.


Colts earn plaudits despite defeat.

Colts show up well in tough Stirling Encounter

 

Stirling County Colts arrived at Hartree Mill on Saturday sporting a perfect 10 – 0 league record in the Shogun conference and whilst that record never looked in doubt, as County played some excellent rugby and scored some very good tries, they were made to work all the way by a determined and well-drilled Biggar team.

 

It really was down to the bare bones in terms of numbers on Saturday with only 17 men in the squad for the home favourites and one or two of those included were not 100% fit. Contrast that with the 22 man squad that Stirling travelled with and the dozen or so young men supporting them on the side lines and you get an idea of the gulf in terms of squad sizes.

 

County play a superb expansive form of rugby. They almost seem to have 17 men on the pitch as there is always support for an off load or pass. They kept the ball well and really forced Biggar to work for possession. That said, for long spells of this match Biggar really took the game to County and made them work too. Biggar tackled superbly for the whole 70 minutes, the rucking was really strong and some of the running on display from both backs and forwards showed how good this team can be.

 

With Guy Kelly leading the pack, they really discovered their pick and drive ball and it worked well on a number of occasions. Some very powerful runs were evident from a few forwards. Josh JVR hit some great lines and consistently got over the gain line and was well assisted in that area by Harry Low with Craig Frame and Dan McConkey putting in a great shift with the ball in hand too.

 

The backs seemed galvanised following a great run out last week. Robbie Orr and Rowan Stewart caused the County defence problems all day with their intelligent running and consistently made gains. Finlay Stewart again made some great tackles on the wing and Ali Steele again made some excellent ground with some really good kicking.

 

Biggar got 2 scores out of the game. The first a relatively simple kick from Ali Steele in the first half to get points on the board following a Country offside and the second a really well earned forwards try from Guy Kelly in the second half. A penalty from half way was launched perfectly by Ali well into the County 22. From the resultant line out a great throw from Rhys Thompson was taken into the maul and Biggar got the drive on. They were stopped just at the line but Kelly broke off, spun and got over. A hard earned score but something that the pack can take great pride in. This is practiced as part of the hard work in training week in week out and when it goes right, it is almost impossible to defend against.

 

Final Score Biggar 10 – Stirling County 55

 

After a tough loss, it’s easy to focus on negatives there can be no merit in that after a game like this. Being down by 30 points at half time it would have been easy to crumble and County could have run in a cricket score but that didn’t happen. Having lost Ethan Webb to a nasty looking bump and then Scott Paton too they needed every person to step up and that is what happened. Every single man in the 17 stood up and fought for every yard and Stirling will have woken up on Sunday knowing they were in a game. You can see the tackling, rucking and support play of this relatively young team improving every week and that will be needed for the last 3 games of the Shogun conference season. If they keep this standard of play up, I have every faith that they can get something out of each of those games.


U18 Girls lose out in Conference finals

Biggar girls lose out on league decider thriller

Biggar travelled to Stirling for their final game in the current campaign and what was set up to be the league decider. Biggar were victorious in the previous encounter at the start of the season although it was a very close competitive game and this return fixture promised more of the same. A pitch inspection earlier in the day had declared the game on and “game on” was certainly what was delivered up.

 

Stirling started very strongly and attacked for the first 10 minutes but as had been the case in the previous game the Biggar defence was solid and it was Biggar that broke the deadlock with their first try after 15 minutes. Stirling struck back with a try after 20 minutes to level the score. Both teams exerted pressure with some fierce tackling by the Stirling girls and some strong direct running by the Biggar team and it was Biggar who scored on the 30 minute mark and this was to remain the score until half time. (10-5)

 

The first half had flown past due to the pace and excitement of the game.

 

The second half started with equal intensity with Biggar scoring a further converted try after only 2 minutes of the restart to take the score to 17 – 5. Stirling however continued to apply pressure to Biggar with double tackles taking the momentum out of the Biggar play. The strong Stirling centres and speedy wings were a constant threat and Stirling scored a further try and conversion to take the score to 17 -12.

 

Both teams were playing some very attractive rugby and the match was in the balance at this stage. Stirling continued to pressurise the Biggar line which for a period held intact through some very good defensive play but eventually they broke through and scored a further converted try to take the score to 17 all.

 

Stirling secured a further score (22-17). The drive of the Biggar girls was evident and they came close to scoring only to be out done by some immense tackling from Stirling and with 5 minutes remaining it was Stirling who claimed the final score and despite a great effort from the whole Biggar team they could not reduce the deficit and the final score remained at 29 – 17 to Stirling.

 

All the spectators, coaches and officials agreed that this had been the most exciting, entertaining and skilful game of the season and for the most part could have gone either way. All the Biggar girls gave their all and should be so proud of their efforts and whilst it was Stirling who clinched the decision on the day, it was Scottish U18 Girls rugby that was the Winner.

 

Biggar try scorers - Geri, Ailie, Abi and Emily (conversion)

 

Man of the match (from Stirling) - Geri

 

Many thanks to Richard Robinson for filming the game. We would also like to thank Stirling for their hospitality – the girls all mixed together after the game and both teams were quick to praise their opposition – surely this is what rugby is all about. Biggar would like to congratulate Stirling on their fantastic season of rugby and on winning the league. We look forward to the next encounter.

 

In the U15 match Stirling also triumphed, their 47-0 win ensuring that the Stirling club won the Mirage Conference title


Girls defeat Murrayfield Wanderers in Conference matches

On Sunday the Youth sections were in action.

 

The Girls headed to Murrayfield where they took on Murrayfield Wanderers. The Biggar girls maintained their winning run with two good victories although the hosts were struggling for numbers in both sides. For the record the U15’s won 36-0 while the U18’s won 64-14.

These results ensure that Biggar remain on equal points with Stirling County, which will mean that the final games of the Conference this Sunday (19th November) at Stirling, will be the decider. Exciting prospect!

 

In another guise, that of Biggar High School, the Biggar girls deserve great praise for their efforts midweek when they played Shawlands Academy in the semi-finals of the Scottish Schools Cup.

 

While the U15 girls lost out (52-10 defeat) the U18’s won (43-5) which means they will make a return trip to Scotstoun to defend the title they won last year. This match is scheduled for Nov 26th with a 1.45pm kick off. Their opponents on the day will be either Carrick Academy or the Community School of Auchterarder.

 

More details nearer the time, but an excellent performance and victory girls, well done!


Over 35’s defeated by Peebles

On Saturday it was the turn of the elder statesmen who took on Peebles in the annual Over 35’s joust.

 

Hitherto neither side had managed an away win but this run was ended when the visitors ended handsome winners by 29-7.

 

The Peebles squad was a little younger than their hosts and they were certainly much better drilled as befits a team which has had an outing already this season. Able to win ball at will at the lineout stand off Keith Nisbet then sent the Biggar side scuttling back in defence with a variety of kicks.

 

Biggar managed a consolation score with what turned out to be the last movement of the game, this from Nic Humphries which helped save the blushes a little. Although he did miss the relatively easy conversion…...

 

There was a good atmosphere throughout with plaudits to teenage referee Cameron Forrest who, in what is a very challenging role given the combatants - controlled things well.

 

The Peebles points were scored by Neil Cruikshanks, Mark Smith (2), Richard Johnson and Keith Nisbet (1 try and 2 conversions).


Ladies get the better of Livi Bulls

The Ladies meanwhile in what was only their second match of the season ran out winners over visitors Livi Bulls, this a combine side made up of players from Hamilton and Livingston rugby clubs.

A very encouraging and healthy 20 player squad gave lots of opportunity for coach Aird Jardine to

rest and test players. Significant performances came from the Brewster sisters (Laura and Corrie) who in what was their first appearance together ripped through the Livi side in attack and were solid in defence. There were excellent débuts from among others, newcomers Laini Howard and Tina McDonald (daughter of former player Jim and who deservedly won player of the match) and Megan McCarry.


Colts trun on the style against Currie

Friday Night Fireworks at Hartree Mill (thanks to Simon Low for this report)

Friday night saw a fund raising dinner held for MND at Hartree Mill with a 3 game extravaganza under the lights. Entering the arena first accompanied by coach John Archibald’s pyrotechnic wizardry were the Colts playing their Shogun Conference fixture against Currie. Any hopes of a fizzing derby game were extinguished early with Currie arriving with only 12 boys. Biggar handed over 3 “volunteers” and a 15 a side development game kicked off. With the points already in the bag for Biggar you could have forgiven them for taking it easy but they didn’t.

 

Four Shogun Conference débutantes took their bows for the Colts team today 2 new faces and 2 not so new. Starting were Cameron Snell making the step up from under 16’s and the returning Rowan Stewart – making a welcome comeback after injury. On the subs bench Lee Smith who unfortunately can’t make Saturday games and Guy Kelly – still able to play Colts rugby this year but fresh from playing for the Firsts against Kirkcaldy last week. Indeed there was an instant impact into the game from one of these new starters.

 

Biggar had the kick off and kicking into a deceptively strong wind, the ball did not travel 10. From the scrum restart Biggar scored the first of their 6 tries of the day. Finlay Barr who was excellent for the whole game disrupted the Currie 9 and managed to get his hands on the ball. He popped the ball to Robbie who found Rowan running onto the ball at pace. From just inside the Currie half Rowan pinned his ears back and was off. What a start for Biggar and for Rowan. 1 minute of rugby for the season and 1 try with more to come! With the aforementioned blustery win making kicking very difficult Ali Steele had a tough day on the tee but still managed to slot 3 of 6 kicks. This first one was however missed.

 

A tight game ensued Biggar backs looked very tidy and were increasing the pressure on Currie but the Malleny Park outfit were no mugs and tackled hard leading to a bit of a midfield slog. The next Biggar score was came from a good tight forward play and the backs letting loose and running hard. An initial break by Rowan saw the ball deep into the Currie 22. Great support and a quick ball out through the hands to Robbie who sped over for the score.

 

Half Time Biggar 12 – Currie 0

 

Into the second half and game management was going to be key. With the wind at their backs, exerting pressure on Currie would be key and Biggar did this well. First up with his second score of the game was Robbie Orr. A well worked Line out from the forwards got the ball going forwards. Out along the hands and the backs really taking the contact to Currie. Recycled ball back along the line to Robbie who saw a gap and went for it. He waltzed around 3 or 4 defenders to go over for the score out wide.

 

The next 2 tries were both down to excellent kicking from hand from Robbie. The first one was a long clearing kick when Currie left themselves with limited cover in behind. The ball landed inside the 22 and rolled tantalisingly into the in goal area. With Rowan sprinting to the line the Currie Full back got himself mixed up and missed the last bounce. As the ball went one way, he went another and Rowan pounced. Great score, great pressure and great determination.

 

The 5th Biggar try owed as much to great defence as to good kicking. A chip over the defensive line from the Currie 10 saw him running clear and looking as though he might go all the way. Superb back tracking from Jack Blaikhill and a really excellent cover tackle saw the Currie man caught. The ball was won by Biggar but under real pressure, Robbie sent another great kick into the Currie 22. This time saw Sam Wallis take off after it. Picked up by the Currie wing Sam made an excellent tackle and bounced straight back up to steal the ball. Great support from Finn Barr saw him get the try his overall play deserved as Sam popped the ball to him to allow the score.


Colts regain winning ways

Youth rugby: Mitsubishi Shogun Conference

'Colts grab last-gasp try for dramatic win over Hamilton'

Hamilton U18 15  Biggar Colts 18

Thrilling gladiatorial finishes like this one are impossible to resist and Biggar's last-gasp heist in their South Lanarkshire hosts back yard will reverberate for some time.

 

In truth, Hamilton must be wondering how on earth they lost the game just as much as Biggar wondered how we won it!

 

Hamilton will be gutted because the game had seemed up, a well executed penalty kick appeared to have punished the visitors for several moments of defensive naivety with three minutes left. Instead it was merely a prelude to a compelling final act that saw Charles Connolly crash over the line in the last minute to sicken the home side. This followed a perfect kick off from Ali Steele, placing the ball with real precision to see it rolling in to touch several metres from the Hamilton line, this immediately put huge pressure on the Hamilton line out, pressure that ultimately they could not handle.

 

Given that Biggar Colts have been affected by injuries and were short of a few influential players, the league's fifth-placed side deserved their first win in five games for perseverance alone.

 

Biggar got off to a flying start and showed the structured move stuff that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy. Biggar expected the customary big start from the heavy Hamilton forwards, but credit to the front five of Low, Thomson, Baillie, Archibald, van Rensberg who turned the tables and dominated in the first half. Five minutes of doing the basics well led to Ali Steele going over the line using his power to take the last tackler over the line with him. The Full-back converted his own try and all was well at 7 nil.....sort of.

 

Ground conditions were wet and greasy with both sides struggling to keep the ball in hand, the proverbial bar of soap seeming to have a mind of its own. Simple hand-catch and pass skills eluded both sides for a bit although the long pass was over used when basic short slick passing would have yielded results for the Biggar three quarters with the overlap beckoning on several occasions after excellent carries by the forwards, Frame, McConkey, van Rensberg and Connolly making inroads in the close quarters contact.

 

Amongst the scrappy play it was Jack Blaikhill that nearly added to the tally when he switched on the afterburners up the left wing. The pacy back was bumped into touch 3 metres from the line after his 50 metre sprint.

 

A lot of the first-half was played in the Bulls half and Biggar competed better of late in the breakdown forcing a couple turnovers but poor decision making halted any significant progress.

 

Hamilton got their tails up though and were briefly impactful, albeit somewhat lateral, and that's what slowed the hosts down. Biggar forced the issue with a drift defence that brought about Hamilton errors, Wallis effectively shutting down the Hamilton danger man time and time again, once the defensive communication was functioning.

 

The Bulls continued with positive intent but it was mainly in the middle of the pitch. A missed long range penalty kick attempt in 23 minutes maintained Biggar's clean sheet.

 

Josh van Rensberg saw yellow for a late tackle with 6 minutes of the first half to go but the visitors held out to go into the break ahead.

 

Biggar's lead didn't last long and 2 minutes hadn't passed into the second-half when Hamilton pounced and wasted no time in reminding everyone that the hosts had strength and determination. A characteristic break by the No.10 opened up acres of space and yielded a predictable outcome. The Fly-half ran in unchallenged for a converted score, a reminder that defensive focus and intent cannot lapse at any time.

 

Biggar hit back with a pair of successful penalty kicks from Steele to bring the score to 7-13. Line speed and collective defensive effort forced errors that resulted in Hamilton conceding penalties, it is always great to see this type of offensive defence.

 

The customary massive work rate by Orr set an example to all, tackling time and time again, snubbing out threatening situations and stealing precious ball. The helter-skelter mood continued for a good while. It became a matter of waiting to see which team could retain their composure.

 

It happened to be Hamilton. They were on top and good for it. They forced a penalty and narrowly missed the kick. Biggar were going backwards.

 

Hamilton scored another try out wide and with only one point adrift at 12-13 they could smell victory.

 

Bulls kept coming at Biggar and were nearly in for the deadly score on the hour mark. A Hamilton try at that point would have destroyed the visitors. However, if there was ever a moment that in itself deserved to win a game it arrived in that 60th minute. At full tilt, Matthew Stewart sprinted across the width of the pitch following his initial tackle, tracking the slick Hamilton backs move that found the existing Biggar defence floundering. As the only player left, the inside centre broke the winger's heart, as he was probably planning his picture perfect dive in his head, by halting him merely a couple of feet from the line. Although the wing wasn't in touch, Craig Frame, who was tenacious all day, showed speed of thought and arrived early to rip the ball from the isolated back. Biggar cleared their lines and there was well deserved back slapping all round. 

 

But haud the bus.....

 

Hamilton weren't finished. You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you didn't want that something horrible to happen...then it did? Well, it did!

 

Colts lost their discipline and conceded a penalty within kicking distance. Hamilton obliged and stroked it between the posts.

 

3 minutes to go, 15-13 to Bulls and to all intents and purposes the game was done. The home support went mad. And who could blame them.

 

But haud the bus......again!

 

Biggar weren't finished. Ali Steele's re-start was long and pin-point accurate. Hamilton would have to deal with a line-out on their own 5m line. The pressure showed. Line-out not straight, scrum 5 to Biggar. 1st Phase...Halted. 2nd phase.....Halted. Hamilton defended like demons. 3rd phase, a break down the blindside, a rampaging burst from Connolly, just enough to outfox the home cover....Try!

 

The away support went mad. And who could blame them.

 

A nervy last minute ensued with Hamilton piling on the pressure but Biggar held out. Final score, Hamilton 15 Biggar 18.

 

Biggar urgently needed something to brighten up their season and this game certainly did that. No-one said it was going to be easy and the boys need to realise that. Let’s not beat about the bush here, things need to improve, for their own sake,  if they want to make an impression in this league and it IS achievable. The coaches will never accept mediocrity. With that in mind players must focus on work-ons and be brutally honest about what they want to achieve. No, it's not the Pro 14 or a case of life and death. It's more than that!

 

It was a very important victory that will boost the team and is particularly pleasing to see the 15 on the pitch at the end that dragged the victory from the jaws of defeat. Well done everyone.


Kirkcaldy pack too strong for Biggar

Kirkcaldy 40 Biggar 13

With several regulars unavailable and with a number carrying knocks the League break for the Autumn internationals has come about a week too late for Biggar. It is also an indication of how small the senior squad is although very pleasingly, a side did represent the 2nds as they travelled to Musselburgh. While they too, returned defeated, there was plenty to suggest that a full, fit XV would have made it a real contest. As always all credit to those boys who managed to play and who worked so hard in the contest.

 

Biggar’s front row comprised two 18 year olds and a 22 year old while the absence of recognised ball carriers was always going to make this a really tough ask – especially against a side reknowned for having a big pack and playing almost throughout, to that strength. Biggar’s cause was not helped by inmjury during the warm up to Calum Braid, his failure to make the kick off compounded by the fact that Biggar’s bench was also deprived and therefore an even greater strain was placed on the squad of 18.

 

Having faced a well-drilled Lasswade pack last week, there was going to be no surprises at Kirkcaldys choice of tactic for this encounter, and so it proved, Biggar on the defensive for long periods of the match and, while all stuck to the task of tackle, tackle and tackle again, there was an inevitability that Biggar’s line would be breached.

 

An early penalty from Carne Green gave Biggar some hope but they were soon under the cosh as Kirkcaldy gave their visitors little respite, each and every penalty – and there were plenty awarded – seeing the Fife side kick for territory and then drive for the line. Biggar have been so much better with regard to on-field discipline this season but it all seemed to go wrong at Kirkcaldy, referee Iain Morrison finding fault on a very regular basis with penalties awarded for offside and no release. That he is the sole judge and arbiter is not in question, but there seemed far too many occasions when the 50-50 decision went to the home side. There were some questionable decisions against Kirkcaldy too however, with one penalty in particular, awarded against the home side for not retiring in time advanced at least 20 metres further up the park than it should have been!

 

After long periods of play when a side is struggling to get possession seem to be relieved by a good turnover, which is then penalised, it is hardly surprising that players get frustrated.

 

Hooker Greg Wallace was the first to cross, his angled run from some 5 metres almost impossible to halt while on a good day with the boot, fullback Finlay Smith added the conversion, this the first two points of what was to become a handsome 10 point total.

 

With just over a quarter of the match gone No8 Dayle Turner rounded off a scrummage drive to touchdown and then jastb after the half hour flanker Rhys Bonner took the Kirkcaldy try tally to 3. A half time score then of 19-3.

 

With a swirling wind which rarely gave either side a real advantage Biggar were now ‘uphill’. Guy Kelly who had engineered a couple fo great ‘steals’ at the breakdown then succumbed to another charge and was forced from the field. With the Kirkcaldy front row comprising of some real old heads – prop Mangalo weighing in at some 24 stone – it was hardly surprising that the Biggar youngesters would creak. Not that any of the side could be criticised for lack of effort, the tackle count indicative of that effort. Everyone played their part but credit to hooker Ewan Stewart who put in a huge shift, the aforemontioned Nimmo and Kelly who belied their youth, captain Alan warnock who stood strong despite a 3 week old nose break and to flanker Lewis McLachlan who made his first appearance this years and who typically ran himself into the ground with a prominent role in both attack abnd defence. The backs contributed consdierably although they were employed primarily in defence. When given the opportunity they ran some good lines and asked some questions of the Kirkcaldy defence which was pleasing to see and suggsted that with more and especially ‘go-forward’ ball, that they might have had more success.

 

Scrums were then uncontested, much to Kirkcaldy’s chagrin and while this was unfortunate and certainly not what Biggar wished, the ‘cheat’ jibes from some of the home support were equally unfortunate.

 

Cousins Conor Lavery and Gregor Stewart were introduced to the action, they replacing Aird Jardine and Kelly respectively. Uncontested scrums are not particualrly helpful to either side as although possession inevitably goes with the put in the defending sides back row are always primed and ready to pounce. This was much the case, both sides running at pace and making some big hits. The fact that Kirkcaldy possessed the much heavier pack menat that they were usually able to make inroads through Biggar’s first line of defence or at worst force Biaggr to hastily regroup. This again took its toll with wallace notching try number two within 5 minutes of the restart.

 

This was of course the 4th and bonus point try and so in a sense it was ‘job done’ for the league leaders.

 

This did seem to coincide with a much better passage of play for Biggar as they managed to retain possession over a number of phases. On a good few occasions it was only some stout Kirkcaldy defence which prevented Biggar from scoring although when a side is desperate to score, chances must be taken and Biggar, on another day, might have scored from two opportinities but passes which should have been made weren’t, while others ended in errors. This only added to the frustration.

 

Biggar vaired their attack with a selection of chips and grubbers in their attempts to breach the Kirkcaldy line but in the absence of any real ball-carryiong forwards the Kirkcaldy defence was able to string itself across the pitch. This proved pretty efective and it denied bIggar a try when they so desperately deserved a score.

 

Forced back and conceding possession, Kirkcaldy engineered a breakout and after a series of probing runs and thrusts, scrum half Gavin McKenzie burst through Biggar’s stretched defence for another try to take the Fife total to 33.

 

There were several Kirkcaldy tackles which seemed high some of which were unpunished so it was harsh to the Biggar support at least when perhaps the first such high tackle by Biggar resulted in Andrew Peacock being shown a yellow and confined to a 10 minute watching brief.

 

Unsurprsingly, Kirkcaldy added to their tally from the penalty award.

 

Now leaving nothing in the locker, Biggar opened out throwing the ball about in an attempt to break through, their reward eventually coming as Ryan Moffat crashed over for a try. With limited time remaining, Green opted for the drop goal attempt, this going wide.

 

Back on the attack after the restart, Biggar nabbed s scond score, winger aloistauir Sinclair latching on to a Green grubber kick to cross in the corner. Greens’ conversion rebounded off the upright and shortly afterwards referee Morrsion brought the contest to an end, much to the jubilation of the home side.

 

This was Biggar’s first defeat away from home! This is an astounding statistic and a really odd one at that, especially as most club’s approach is to win the home games and sneak a few away wins! It’s the opposite for Biggar in this campaign as the home record of played 5 won 2 lost 3 does not make very good reading, and especially when compared to their away record of played 5 won 4 lost 1!

 

The league now breaks for the Autumn international series. That will hopefully allow all those who are carrying knocks to recover and re-energise before the visit of West of Scotland. The Glasgow side rocked the boat a bit on Saturday when they recorded a surprise win over Dumfries.

 

With Lasswade winning Biggar drop to 5th spot, 10 points behind Kirkcaldy but just 7 from Lasswade in 2nd place. There is still everyhting to play for then and lots of good rubgy to come from this side.

 

Biggar

A. Nimmo, E. Stewart, G. Kelly, A. Peacock, A. Warnock, A. Orr, L. McLachlan, D. Notman, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine Reps: C. Braid, K. Robison, G. Stewart, C. Lavery.

 

Post script

Among Biggar's usual travelling support were Peter and Sandy Green, parents of stand off Carne. On a holiday/business trip from New Zealand they were able to spend some time in Biggar with Carne as well as seeing some of Scotland. Steeped in rugby with the Petone club from Wellington, they were disappointed they did not see Biggar win but they enjoyed their stay in the town, leaving on Sunday for Edinburgh and then south to England to catch up with Sandy's family. Haste ye back!

 

As previously mentioned the 2nd XV succumbed to Musselburgh. In second bottom spot of National Reserve League 2, Biggar face an uphill struggle to retaining their place in this division but again there is still a lot of rugby to be played.


Mirage win as 15’s defeat Ayr

Biggar 62 Ayr 21

 

U15 Girls put in another fab exhibition of Rugby today with their counterparts from Ayr. Some lovely plays of skill and teamwork.

 

Very well lead by Capt Emma Orr and Vice Mariana Finlayson with some promising future candidates also contributing to the direction of the match.

 

The team all played strongly, again with some players adopting new positions and adapting well. We would benefit from being a little fitter! But that will come!

 

This was a fast moving game with a lot of effort being put in from our girls. Mariana got Girl of the Game from Ayr, With Lana Bell nominated by Ayr.

 

62 - 21 Final score to Biggar. Well done girls we’re proud of you all.


Ladies host Annan in first match


Biggar Ladies first match.

A great start for the Ladies on Friday. Annan were clearly stronger in all aspects as befits a side who have played together for some 3 seasons. Biggar worked hard throughout and their determination paid off in the final quarter when Corrie Brewster ran the length of the pitch to score
a try - which got the biggest cheer of the evening!

Congratulations to all the Ladies who wore the red and black, several of whom were making their very first match appearance. There is plenty to suggest that they will learn quickly and develop well as a team.


Biggar Youth draw a blank against Boroughmuir


Boroughmuir recorded wins at Colts level on Saturday and their other youth sides also triumphed on Sunday at each age group. A tough day!
 

Biggar Under 14’s

Boroughmuir arrived confident that they would easily put Biggar to the sword but came away from Hartree knowing that although they had won 24 - 3 they had been in a very competitive game.

 

Boroughmuir were quick to praise the improvement in Biggar compared to the start of the season when Biggar could only field 9 players. Now they have a squad of 18 and each player is proud to be part of it. Each week they move on and it is so good to see.

 

Boroughmuir were not allowed to play early on with Biggar frustrating them and it was not until well through the half before they scored.

 

Half time 12 to 0 for Boroughmuir.

 

Biggar had chances and plenty procession but they were not matching the direct running that their opponents were.

 

However, they did score in the 2nd half through Calum McLemon but were not able to put any further tries on the score board.


Colts falter at Boroughmuir

Another Tough Shift for Biggar Colts:

Boroughmuir 45 Biggar 12

 

Biggar Colts kicked off the second half of their Shogun Conference fixtures with a trip to Meggetland to face Boroughmuir Colts. The home fixture, played in mid-August brought back memories of summer with short sleeves, flowing rugby and Biggar winning 25-8. Unfortunately the weather on Saturday was nothing like mid-August. With the wind gusting from left to right, tactics were always going to be key - kick well with the wind and stick it up the jumper when playing against it.

 

‘Muir did this superbly. First half they absorbed lots of Biggar pressure waited on a mistake and sent the ball 60 yards down the pitch forcing Biggar to start again. Second half they kept the ball in their pack tied up defenders than hit on the break with their pacey backs. This was to prove a winning combination.

 

Biggar tried to play a passing game throughout and sometimes the weather just isn’t right for that. Long looping miss passes seemed to be the order of the day with the result more often than not a knock-on, lost ball or forward pass being called. Having conceded an early try Biggar got themselves well into the ‘Muir 22. A penalty was taken popped to Josh JVR who was stopped just short. It looked primed for a rumble from the forwards but instead a 30 yard pass was the option taken. Result – lineout ‘Muir who kicked well clear.

 

Having conceded again, Biggar got back in the game. This time a penalty in the ‘Muir 22 was kept in the forwards and once space was created Matthew dived over for the score. Ali kicked the conversion well in a very strong wind.

 

14 - 7 at the half would, have been a good 35 minutes work but ‘Muir went over with the last play of the half so 21-7 it was.

 

Into the second half playing with the wind can sometimes be just as tricky. Biggar kicked well and had ‘Muir camped inside their own 22 almost permanently but a loose pass or knock on would result in ‘Muir snaffling the ball and hitting on the break. They scored 4 almost carbon copy try’s in the second half with only a Robbie score showing for Biggar following excellent work from the pack.

 

Full Time – ‘Muir 45 – Biggar 12

 

Biggar need to learn from these games as although ‘Muir were a good side, they were beatable. They were simply far more clinical in taking their chances than Biggar scoring almost every time they got a chance. Biggar scored 2 try’s but had 4 or 5 other really good chances that were not taken. Decision making is key in these situations and in a lot of cases this was where Biggar fell down.

 

To be fair to Biggar they kept going manfully and were unlucky not to keep the game much tighter but decision making let them down. It does sometimes look like players are looking for the right man to pass to rather than the right pass. Too often a long pass was picked as the option when a short pass would have kept the ball with Biggar rather than being turned over.


Biggar lose at home to Lasswade

Biggar 13 Lasswade 19

On the back of three, five point wins Biggar were in relatively confident mood going into this They were well aware however that the visitors, in the shape of Lasswade, had been going particularly well as well, their win over top of the table Kirkcaldy the previous week giving plenty indication of a side playing to their strengths, namely their pack.

 

Biggar welcomed back hooker Ewan Stewart for this match and were forced into a change in the back row, Euan Sanderson having been concussed last week at PL and replaced by Craig McDonald who had taken over from Sanderson. In the backs Ryan Moffat returned to replace Gregor Stewart who took his place on the bench where he was joined by Guy Kelly, Kev Robison and Conor Lavery, the last two having joined the fray from the 2nd XV match against Hawick Force which kicked off at 2pm.

 

In blustery conditions Lasswade were quickly on the attack, notching their first try within the first 5 minutes, This was scored by winger Matthew Smith who came onto a good line from some 5 metres out, wrong footing the Biggar defence. Converted by Andy Bell, Lasswade were 7-0 ahead.

 

Against the strong wind there were few opportunities and little point in kicking clear and so Biggar employed their pack and ball-carriers to take them upfield. This proved fairly successful and Biggar were able to work their way upfield with some good work from all. There were occasions however when Lasswade managed to either strip the ball carriers or contest the ball on the4 ground this slowing play up or ending in penalties which the visitors used to return play to the Biggar half.

 

On balance however Biggar did enjoy good territorial position, running ball back to Lasswade whenever they could.

 

With good ball provided by the pack, the backs all made good ground, Alistair Sinclair and Aird Jardine combining well after one Lasswade clearance to take play up the left wing. A couple of passes later and Jamie Orr burst clear to cross from some 40 metres out and by beating the cover defence on the way. Kicking into the wind was always going to be tricky in the conditions and so it proved as Carne Green was off target with his conversion attempt and then again some 10 minutes later when the ball rebounded out off the upright.

 

Able to maintain the pressure Biggar should probably have added to their tally especially when Lasswade had one of their number sin-binned for failing to retreat at a Biggar penalty which Green ran. It was not to be however as Lasswade were very competitive at the breakdown and in mauls, their persistence paying off well as they frustrated the Biggar attack.

 

Having had the better slice of possession Biggar were then forced onto the defensive as visiting scrum half Daniel Ritchie put in a nice wee grubber kick to the Biggar 22. The follow up was deemed illegal by referee Fergus Collins and Green kicked for the lineout. A rare error on the take spawned ball for Lasswade and a barnstorming run from lock Stephen Hunter took play to the Biggar line, winger Ross Bradford just getting the big man down inches from the line. Recycled ball was quick however and Ritchie was on hand to pop the ball to hooker Darren Tiffney who crashed over from a few feet for a try which, when converted by Bell, put Lasswade ahead at 14-5 with just minutes of the half remaining.

 

Having conceded a try just before the break Biggar needed a quick riposte that this they got within minutes of the restart. Now with the wind on their backs play was quickly taken into the Lasswade 22.

 

From a Biggar scrum Moffat, Peacock, Orr, McDonald and Nimmo all made good ground before play was switched back right Bradford making another burst. Revive fed Green who popped the ball inside to Stewart who crossed for the try. The try-scorer had earlier been on for Jamie Orr who sustained a shoulder injury and while the big man returned he was clearly not at full strength and Stewart, normally a centre joined McDonald, another whose preference is in the backs in the back row. Green’s conversion attempt was wide but at 14-10 Biggar were back in the mix. The try and Stewart's all-round combatative play throughout the match - particualrly in defence - was a major factor in his selection as Biggar's man of the match.

 

Almost directly from the restart Biggar had another opportunity, another inside pass to Green finding Stewart who broke the line to set off on a long run. Running into the Lasswade defence the off-load failed to go to hand and Lasswade fullback Niall Gray was able to secure possession on the ground from which Lasswade engaged their pack on what was to become standard fare for the half, the pack picking and going as they strove to get out of their half.

 

A knock on ceded possession to Biggar and after a neat interchange between Ewan Stewart, Peacock and skipper Alan Warnock the big lock was set free into the Lasswade 22. A last ditch tackle from centre Mark Wilson saved the day although he was adjudged to have prevented fair release, Green kicking the penalty for 14-13 as Lasswade were again reduced to 14 men.

 

And that was almost that! Having enjoyed their fair share of possession and territory both now virtually ceased as Lasswade cleverly took a stranglehold on, in particular, possession. Using the short pass to pods of two or three scrum half Ritchie popped the ball left and then right and the left again. Without gaining many yards this proved to be very effective, Biggar unable to get their hands on the ball and reduced to defensive tackling. There seemed no way to get possession back, later criticism suggesting that the offensive defence was too passive but every time a Lasswade player was tackled their body position was low and gong to ground was easy, the ball then efficiently sealed off by the support. Pretty it was certainly not, but it was frustrating for the home side.

 

On the rare occasion Biggar did get the ball they were able to kick clear, one good tackle chase by Sinclair seeing Lasswade knock on at the ruck base but an altercation between Robbie Lavery and Ritchie saw the decision reversed allowing Lasswade to kick clear.

 

Guy Kelly became the 3rd Biggar replacement (for O’Connell) , Robison having earlier replaced McDonald. Lasswade then exerted huge pressure on the younger Biggar front row, this enabling them to spoil possession for Biggar.

 

As the half wore on it became clear that with just one point separating the sides the next score would most likely be the winning score. Unable to sustain possession in their opponents half things were not too positive for Biggar although there was always the hope that they would eventually break free, even just to win a penalty.

 

It was not to be however and having taken play back into Biggar’s 22 another series of probing runs shed ball for Ritchie who fed centre Wilson. There appeared to be cover but his pace took him clear and over for what turned out to be a decisive try.

 

There was at least 8 minutes on the clock but with their tails up there was much less chance of Lasswade conceding possession now. A Biggar penalty saw Green kick to some 5 metres out but having found the visitors adept at the maul and driving play Biggar’s line drive faltered giving Lasswade the scrum and a chance to clear.

 

Throughout there had been penalty awards to both sides which were difficult to understand and there were a couple in the last few minutes which went against Biggar but Lasswade rode their luck, the final award seeing them tap and kick to touch to end the game.

 

Massive disappointment then for Biggar, tempered only by the fact that they at least won a losing bonus point. Having last season had a difficulty in winning ‘on the road’ Biggar’s home record is the much poorer this season, their 3 defeats all being at Hartree. There would be huge satisfaction if their winning run away from home were to continue this Saturday when they journey to Fife and league leaders Kirkcaldy.

 

There seems every chance that Biggar will have to endure another match with a forward pack adept at the pick and go as the Kirkcaldy side are well known for this approach. It promises to be another difficult day!

 

Please note that while the kick offs are now scheduled for 2pm, Kirkcaldy have requested a 3pm start, and this will in fact be the case.

 

Biggar

D. O’Connell, E. Stewart, A. Nimmo, J. Orr, A. Peacock, A. Warnock, C. McDonald, A. Orr, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine Reps: G. Kelly, K. Robison, G. Stewart, C. Lavery.

 

Perhaps the best news of what turned out to be a challenging weekend with all League sides on Saturday losing out – and indeed all boys youth sides on the wrong end of the score line on Sunday – was the re-appearance of the 2nd XV. This has been a challenging few weeks as there have been a number of regulars unavailable due to injury and work commitments. Importantly however the ‘call to arms’ was answered on Saturday and a side was fielded. This included several who were making a return to the action with all to be congratulated on their considerable efforts.

 

Of these Callum Taylor deserves praise while Robison and Lavery who both played for almost the whole game then turned out for the 1sts on the bench.

 

That the 2nd XV faced runaway league leaders Hawick force did nothing to east the situation, the Border side running out winners by 38-6 win.


Girls win in Glasgow


On Sunday it was again only the Girls who were in competitive action (the Boys Youth teams were on their 2nd week of the October break while the micros and minis matches at Dalziel were postponed due to water-logged pitches). In the Girls Mirage Conference Biggar travelled to Glasgow to take on Hillhead Jordanhill. It was a disappointing time for the U18’s who were again forced to play just a Development match as the home side did not have a full complement of players.

 

U18 Girls v Hillhead

This match was played as Development as Hills were only able to field 11 players. Three periods of 20 minutes were played with Biggar providing 2 girls for the opposition in each period. The conditions were favourable for good running rugby. The bulk of the first period was evenly matched with both sides performing well in attack and defence. The first score came from a maul turnover by Biggar and quick hands and good support led to the try with the conversion added (7-0). Biggar added an early score in the second period but Hills responded quickly and added a try of their own. Biggar girls then had a period of sustained pressure with good distribution and handling and added two further converted tries (26-5).

 

Biggar scored a further three converted tries in the third period with Hills scoring a further try. With several team members on holiday and four forwards out through injury this allowed the Biggar coaches the opportunity to give game time to the less experienced players and all acquitted themselves well with good support from the more experienced players. Hills played a fast offloading game so the Biggar coaches with be pleased with the overall performance of the squad and with the overall spirit evident on the day. Final score (47-12). Tries - Feebi (2), Geri (3), Rachel and Rebecca. Conversions- Emily (6).

 

Finally, Emily Armstrong was named Man of the Match and had a strong game which was capped with two chop tackles toward the end that any Internationalist would have been proud of- Well Done Emily.

 

The U15’s did play a competitive match however and they returned with a good 36-25 win to maintain their second spot in their Conference programme.


PL put to the sword

Preston Lodge 6 Biggar 62

There were two issues plaguing Biggar’s statisticians in the aftermath of this match. When did Biggar last defeat Preston Lodge at Pennypit and when did Biggar last record three 5-point wins on the bounce?

 

The first of these was slightly harder as Biggar’s last win at Pennypit is believed to have been in the last century (early 1990’s) while ‘never’ was the simplest and easiest answer to the second question. This latest result and others elsewhere which saw both Kirkcaldy and Dumfries defeated and Hamilton without a match, means that Biggar jump to joint second top spot, just behind Kirkcaldy and still level with Lasswade. The exciting prospect of course is that Biggar meet these two sides in the next two weeks and so come the league break Biggar should know whether or not they are in real contention for one of the two promotion spots – although there is obviously still an awful long way to go in the league programme.

 

Biggar fielded a similar XV to that which played last week against Whitecraigs, save that in the pack Kevin Robison started the match, Andrew Orr reverting to the back row with Alan Warnock and Euan Sanderson, Douglas Notman unavailable due to a hand injury. Andrew Peacock came into the side at lock.

 

In the backs, Gregor Stewart started in place of Ryan Moffat who was doubtful due to shift work, (although he did in the end make the game, coming on after the break) while Ewan Bogle, who was down to start in place of Alistair Sinclair, pulled out during the warm up with asthma. Craig McDonald joined Andrew Nimmo on the bench, the young prop making a welcome return to action after a month out. These three were joined by Conor Lavery who was making a return to action for Biggar after several seasons with Aberdeen Grammar.

 

The match itself saw Biggar put an injury-ravaged PL to the sword with a sound display of running rugby which resulted in a 10-0 try count, PL’s points coming from a penalty and a drop goal, both credited to scrum half Brian Walls.

 

That Biggar ‘played’ for the full 80 minutes was as pleasing as the result, recent games seeing the side stutter for at least a half of each match. Not so on Saturday when they controlled things pretty well throughout, save perhaps for the opening exchanges when, as expected, the home side enjoyed the territorial advantage and ran with some conviction, only stout defence and a couple of handling errors denying them a score.

 

The East Lothian side were not helped by an injury to lock Jonny Sked, the big man twisted in a tackle and sustaining a neck injury, this the third such injury in as many Biggar games. On this occasion, while an ambulance was immediately summoned, there was a delay of just over an hour with the match official Ramsay Darroch making a decision to continue only after the paramedics had assessed Sked and were prepared to have him stretchered off the pitch. This is never a nice situation for any team and the best wishes of Biggar go to Jonny who is by all accounts recovering.

 

With some 7 minutes remaining of the half, Biggar were reduced to 14 men just after the match restarted, Andrew Peacock shown a yellow and the side had to defend hard to keep PL out. This achieved, they managed a crucial try of their own just before the break.

 

This was their third score and Nimmo’s second and was converted by Carne Green for a 17-6 half time lead, the first two scores credited to Sinclair and of course Nimmo who certainly made an impact when he came on for Dan O’Connell. Both of the first scores were long range efforts involving good passing and real pace.

 

Neither side had found the re-start after such a long delay easy and they were then brought o a halt again as the usual half time break was called. As time was marching on the PL club had their floodlights primed for the second half.

 

Having just stretched ahead Biggar could not have wished for a better start as almost directly from the kick off a Green kick had PL fullback Jonathan Brash in bother. The resultant scrum provided good ball for scrum half Davy Reive who fed Green. The stand off made one of his trademark miss passes to find Aird Jardine. The fullback popped the ball to winger Ross Bradford whose pace took him clear of the cover and over for a try which Green converted for 24-6.

 

Robison thought he was over for a try after a lineout error but play was pulled back, this coinciding with the return of Peacock. PL had a period of better play when their pack went for a lineout drive, this eventually brought to an end as referee Darroch, having issued an instruction to ‘use it’ had no option as the pack retained possession, to blow for a Biggar scrum.

 

Having extricated themselves from their 22 Biggar scored their 5th try through Sinclair, the winger benefiting as Jamie Orr took a ball from the PL throw. Green’s conversion struck the upright before bouncing out.

 

Makeshift flanker Craig McDonald, who had come on in the fist half after a clash of heads between Warnock and Calum Braid left the former with an ugly cut to the nose, was next to cross. Taking a neat off load he bundled his way over from some 10 metres showing great determination in the process.

 

The next three tries went to Green in what was a remarkable 10 minute spell for the Kiwi stand off. The first saw him make a neat dummy before sprinting past the missing PL defence, the second after he won the chase to his own neat grubber kick and then the third after he took an interception pass from PL stand off Chris Dixon who was gamely looking to keep play moving. PL’s was a tired and disheartened back division however and the very same fate befell Dixon’s next movement, Robbie Lavery nipping in to take another interception to run in from half way. Green’s tries and conversions left him with a personal tally of 27 points.

 

That Biggar won was due in no small part to the relentless driving and carrying play of the pack. All 8 were involved and this meant that PL were as often as not on the defensive, two players or more comitted to pulling the Biggar players down. Add some genuine pace and a little confidence and the win was there. PL were not the worst side Biggar have played to date and they did pose problems while Biggar should have scored at least two other first half tries, these coming to grief as errors were made and balls dropped.

 

There was a great deal of satisfaction at this comprehensive victory however, one which the very welcome travelling support thoroughly enjoyed and which put to bed somewhat the recent poor set of results and performances Biggar have endured at PL’s hands.

 

The surprise results from Dumfries and Kirkcaldy made the win all the sweeter of course.

 

Next up is a home match against Lasswade. A big support would be most welcome, so if you can, please get along on Saturday. KO 3pm

 

Of course as delighted as the club was at this result and the league position, there was a cautionary tale as for the second week running there was no 2nd XV. Tup sales, holidays and injuries have taken their toll but it is really important that the club gets a 2nd XV out. To that end all players are asked to make themselves available for this Saturday when Hawick Force make the trip to Hartree Mill.

 

Biggar

D. O’Connell, K. Robison, C. Braid, J. Orr, A. Peacock, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, A. Orr, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, G. Stewart, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine Reps: A. Nimmo, C. McDonald, C. Lavery, R. Moffat


Girls host Caithness


On Sunday it was only the Girls who were in competitive action (the Boys Youth teams were on their October break while the micros and minis were training). In the Girls Mirage Conference Biggar hosted the far-travelled Caithness teams at both U15 and U18 age groups. The U15’s ran out winners by 55-31 while the U18’s also came out on top by 64-19 although this was a development match as Caithness struggled to get a full team out. Thanks to Bill Denholm for the following report.

 

Biggar U18's

Biggar’s first game of the season was at Caithness and this time Caithness made the long journey south for the return leg. Caithness, however, were only able to travel with 11 players and the game was played as a development game.

 

With the conditions overcast and with a fairly strong breeze, three periods of twenty minutes were played. Biggar provided a player to Caithness for the first period and the game was played at 12 aside.

 

With some of the regular team away on Duke of Edinburgh Silver expedition or on holiday, Biggar were able to give new team members the opportunity to get some valuable game time.

 

The first period saw Biggar take control scoring three tries to Caithness’s one, although the Caithness girls always posed a threat. (19 – 7).

 

In the second period, all the girls started to gel as a team with the newer players learning from the more experienced players and they scored four unanswered tries (45 -7).

 

The third period saw some good kicking from hand from Geraldine Kimm and was competitive to the end with Biggar scoring three tries to two from Caithness. The game was played in very good spirits and both squads will have gained valuable experience.

 

Final score (64-19).Try scorers for Biggar, Geri (4), Feebi (2), Ailie, Abi, Emily and Lucy. Conversions, Emily (7).

 

Caithness awarded Emily Armstrong man of the match and Biggar gave the award to the Caithness Fly half. Biggar’s man of the match went to Lucy Blackie for her impressive display after just a few weeks of rugby and scoring her first try.

 

Thanks to the SRU referee and to Tammy Mitchell and Jane Stevens for preparing some hearty food to send the Caithness squad off on their long journey and to Jane Robinson for filming the game. Thanks also to Fairlee Kimm and Ally Bandtock for their sterling efforts in the kitchen alongside the under 15 parents.

 

We are awaiting news of Chloe Nelson who in her first game went off to the hospital with a suspected broken collar bone, we wish her well.

 

Next game is away next week to Hillhead.


Another 5 pointer as Whitecraigs come calling

Biggar 45 Whitecraigs 24

Another 5-pointer for Biggar as they ran in 7 tries (to 3) against Glasgow side Whitecraigs.

 

In reality this was pretty much the result that had been expected as Whitecraigs currently languish in second bottom spot of National 2. Nothing can be taken for granted however and while Biggar shot into an early lead and were 30 points to the good at the break, a much improved performance by the visitors had Biggar reeling and at one point threatening to lose the match.

 

Fortunately things got back on track and normal service was resumed, Biggar notching a late try to end the match on a positive note.

 

This was another entertaining match and another of two distinct halves, Biggar on this occasion starting really well before losing their place somewhat for the third quarter when Whitecraigs got far more of the ball and began to dictate.

 

The very unlucky Ewan Stewart was ruled out of action following a hand injury sustained last week against GHK, Andrew Orr moving forward from the back row to hooker. Douglas Notman returned at No 8 to join Alan Warnock while Andrew Peacock played at lock. The backs were as last week with the other changes on the bench, Kevan Robison and Ross Bradford joining last weeks replacements Gregor Stewart and Guy Kelly.

 

In relatively bright conditions and with Scotland’s lady referee Alex Pratt in charge Biggar opened at a cracking pace, scoring a try through Euan Bogle after just 5 minutes, this following a clearance kick from Whitecraigs which failed to find touch and which gave Biggar the chance to counter. Several simple passes later and Robbie Lavery had options to go left or right. In choosing left Bogle was given a clear run to the corner. Carne Green was not able to add the conversion from far out.

 

Whitecraigs hit back with a penalty from fullback Stephen Gillies but this was against the run of play, Biggar scoring a second try after a patient build up when they retained possession through a number of phases. There were a number of charges to the line, these from Callum Braid, Notman and Green before ball was whipped back left to Jamie Orr who crashed over. The young lock had a cracking match throughout deservedly earning him the man-of-the-match award although other contenders included Braid and Ewan Sanderson who as always put in big hits from start to finish.

 

Shortly after the restart Orr initiated a midfield break, his off-load finding Braid who set off for the line some 40m distant. A despairing tap tackle was all that prevented him from scoring and while a ruck spawned ball for Davy Reive who looked to most to have scored, Ms Pratt was not so convinced, awarding Biggar a scrum some 5m out instead.

 

A handful of probing runs took play to the line again and again, a pass to Alistair Sinclair seeing him claim the space for a try in the corner….but no, not this time either as Ms Pratt gave the visitors a 5m scrum. Having made things really difficult for Whitecraigs from the scrum, Biggar pounced on the loose ball, Reive seeking out Ryan Moffat with what, to all intents and purposes was a crash ball, the centre crossing for another good score. Green added the conversion and Biggar were 19-3 up.

 

Minutes later and Biggar claimed their 4-try bonus point, the all-important try credited to Bogle who cleverly chased and won the race to his own kick ahead.

 

Biggar were handling with some confidence which was great to see and which ended with their 5th try, this again following a kick and chase, this time from Aird Jardine who crossed virtually under the posts and which Green converted.

 

The second period began with a much fresher Whitecraigs approach, all of the players buying into the run-it-from-everywhere approach and in sharp contrast to GHK last week, ‘Craigs managed to hold onto their ball quite easily, which continued to put the Biggar defence under real pressure.

 

Biggar managed to hold their line intact to begin with time but would eventually tell and this was the case as flanker Neil Alexander drove over from close range for a try which was converted by Gillies. 33-10

 

Biggar then lost the services of Bogle who was guilty of a late hit on ‘Craigs stand off Stuart Henderson. Enjoying the 1-man advantage so provided, ‘Craigs continued to press and enjoyed this prolonged passage of play which they used to dictate the pace of the match. Following a penalty award which was tapped and given to replacement Chris O’Donnell, there was really no way which Biggar could have employed to halt this giant’s charge for the line. Needing no second invitation the big man crashed over for a try converted by Gillies for 33-17. Things were now getting quite interesting and there were many Biggar supporters who began to unhappily cast their minds back to the Peebles match when things went very wrong and when Biggar contrived to lose a match they had hitherto had under control.

 

Having made a couple of changes, perhaps the most significant being the replacement at scrum half of Reive by Jardine, Biggar managed to sort themselves out a bit. The next score came out of the blue however and was sparked when a loose ball was gathered by Moffat. The centre broke through some unconvincing initial defence before breaking clear into midfield. Having made 40m he popped the ball to the ever-present Orr, who in turn fed Sanderson. The flanker took the ball on and when eventually hauled down, found Jardine with a neat offload, the fullback running in close to the posts – a well worked try. Green added the conversion for 40-17

 

‘Craigs were not down and out however and they responded well with their third score, this after they had enjoyed another sustained passage of play in the Biggar 22, No 7 Ross McDonald credited with the score, Gillies adding the 2 points for 40-24.

 

There followed a prolonged stoppage after ‘Craigs centre Wamberg collided with Moffat, both players complicit in the collision as both were arguably too high in contact. While Moffat sustained a blow to his cheek he was able to continue, Wamberg less fortunate and he was stretchered from the field with a neck brace. This (happily) proved to be precautionary and he was back on his feet after the match.

 

The final try went fittingly to Orr who rounded off an excellent display with this his second score. He was almost over minutes earlier and he could have set Stewart in at the corner but the try was merely delayed as Biggar pummelled the ‘Craigs line before Jardine and Green combined well to free the lock for a dive at the corner.

 

 

Although there was time for the restart the game was virtually over and the next stoppage saw referee Pratt blow for full time.

 

Plus points came in the form of Jamie Orr who was prominent in every aspect – restarts, lineouts, defence and attack – while the mobility of prop Callum Braid, another who shines in the loose as well as doing his bit in the tight, continues to impress. It would again be hard to pick any one player who did not make a very positive contribution to the game at some point, the trick for coaches Mercer and Wilson, both of whom were on a school trip to France at the weekend, being how they can get the squad to play for a whole 80 minutes, the general feeling being that if they could, they would be a match for any team in the league.

 

So Biggar cling onto joint 4th spot with Lasswade, the East Lothian side also claiming a 4-try bonus.

 

This weekend Biggar journey to Preston Lodge, a trip they have never relished and at which they have seldom triumphed. Onward and upward!

 

Biggar

D. O’Connell, A. Orr, C. Braid, J. Orr, A. Peacock, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, D. Notman, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, E. Bogle, A. Jardine Reps: K. Robison, G. Kelly, R. Bradford, G. Stewart.

 

 

The 2nd XV were forced to postpone their match after they suffered a large number of call off's due to work and injury. This is really disappointing as again there were many players who missed out on thier game. To that end if you are of playing age, PLEASE make yourself available. Your Club Needs You!


Gold Club Season 21017-18

Gold Club Prize winners for this season:


2nd September.       £250    -    199   Brian Dickie
                                     £100    -     109   Michael Booth
                                     £100    -     45     Tom Moffat
                                     £100    -     95     Bill Warnock
                                     £100    -     73     John Turnbull
                                     £100    -     191   Laura Watson


16th September     £250    -     231   Darren Burns
                                    £100    -      334   Jan Harper
                                    £100    -      236   Peter Kinstrey
                                    £100    -      302   David Raftery
                                    £100    -      104   Ian Barr
                                    £100    -      43     Matt McKendrick

14th  October           £250    -     91    Stuart Mcgregor
                                     £100    -     200  Andrew & Joyce Clark
                                     £100    -     118   Kevin Dempster
                                     £100    -     213   Grant Sutherland
                                     £100    -     181   Martyn Ward
                                     £100    -      334   Jan Harper
 


Mirage Conference Biggar v Ayr

U18 Girls Ayr 15 Biggar 41

Biggar girls travelled to Ayr for the re-scheduled match from earlier in the season which was postponed due to waterlogged pitches. Biggar travelled with a full squad however the hosts were only able to field 11 players and the match was played as a development game.

 

It was agreed by the coaches and the referee that three periods of twenty minutes would be played with Biggar providing three players to Ayr for each period. The game was played in good spirits and both sides were able to gain some worthwhile experience and the new players to the Biggar squad (Megan Paterson, Lucy Blackie and Megan Forster) were able to take part in all the sessions. The Biggar girls came out on top with a final score of 41 – 15.

 

Many thanks go to the coaches, Charlie and Callum who was ably assisted by Rory and in particular Hamish.

 

U15's Ayr 10 Biggar 40

Our girls worked well as a team today and it showed. Excellent performances from all, with at least 3 contenders for Girl of the Game! Great leadership from our Capt Emma Orr and Vice Mariana Finlayson and team spirit from everyone. We’re proud of you. As a side we won 40 - 10.

The girls next game is against Caithness at home on Sunday 15th October, with kick off at midday for both the under 15 and under 18 squads and any support would be greatly appreciated.


Shogun Conference update


In the Shogun Conference the Colts on Saturday preceded the 15’s and 16’s in journeying north to Inverness for their matches against Highland RFC.

 

It was not an easy day for the Colts who lost out heavily by 92-7 while the 16’s were also defeated by 52-15.

 

It was left to the 15’s to return with a win, their 50-0 victory being a great result.

 

Highland were unable to send their S1 and S2 sides south as was scheduled as this weekend coincided with their October week holiday. The Conference matches are now suspended as most other regions have their Autumn break.
 


Fantastic come back at GHK earns 5 points

GHK 26 Biggar 38

This was another incident packed contest, another game of two distinct halves, another with a barrow load of tries (9 in total) and another with some great running rugby from both sides. It’s not clear quite how much of this the loyal Biggar support can take – their side was 14-0 down before they came into the match – but if they can continue to mount second half revivals on the scale of these last two outings then it is going to be a long yet exciting season!

 

Calum Braid - who was later awarded the man-of-the-match award for his contribution in both attack and defence – returned to the front row for the unavailable Donald Voas, this allowing Euan Sanderson to return to the starting line up, one of his fellow back row being none other than Ross Jackson who was without a match at his new club Marr, but who is dual registered and only too keen to pull on the Biggar jersey once again.

 

Ross Bradford was a late injury call off in the backs and his place was taken by Euan Bogle with James Barr called up from 2nd XV action to the bench.

 

GHK and their fellow pitch-sharing mates Glasgow Hawks have not had their troubles to seek this season after a ‘sink-hole’ appeared slap bang in their 1st XV pitch. They have been forced to scour Glasgow for alternative temporary accommodation and while several games have been played at Balgray (home of Kelvinside Academy) the pitch there has not been able to withstand the extra traffic and so Saturday’s match took place on one of the back pitches at Old Anniesland. While there was no doubting the quality of the surface there was some concern over the absence of a pitch surround rope which meant that spectators were right on the touchline. This made the touch-judges task all the more difficult. Fortunately nothing untoward occurred but it is something which the club should address before their next match.

 

Kicking off and starting in similar fashion to Dumfries last week GHK put Biggar under immediate pressure, stand off Danny Campbell hitting a great line off quick ruck ball to crash over for the opening score. He added the conversion for an all too easy 7-0 lead.

 

Running ball at every opportunity GHK were soon back on the attack and on 12 minutes their big prop strolled through a somewhat weak Biggar defence for the second score and with Campbell adding the conversion it was 14-0 for the city side.

 

Biggar had their moments but too often play broke down as penalties were conceded or as ball was fumbled. A Carne Green penalty attempt rebounded off the upright to give GHK some panicky moments but a forward pass from the Biggar attack allowed GHK to clear.

 

Biggar still enjoyed territorial position however and a penalty gave them good field position on the GHK 22. Ball moved right saw Braid and then Ewan Stewart handle before Ryan Moffit took a crash ball, his run taking him over for Biggar’s opening score. Green’s conversion made it 14-7.

 

Although neither side’s lineout was working particularly well both sides engineered important steals on their opponents throw, Alan Warnock taking one such steal when GHK were next in a good attacking position.

 

This was quickly followed a by a neat break from Green which took him through the GHK defence and into open space. He elected to pass wide to Bogle who also made good yards before a great cover tackle ended the move. Unfortunately the tackle ended in a pile up which left the GHK flanker Jamie Cook prone. A prolonged stoppage was necessary while he received attention. Ultimately, while there was discussion about moving the match to the adjoining pitch, the player was transferred to a stretcher and moved out of harm’s way.

 

It is understood that Jamie recieved a 'stinger' and that he is recovering. Best wishes from BRFC.

 

Play had been held up for some 15 minutes and whether this had a major impact on the match is difficult to tell save that Biggar seemed to play with greater authority after the stoppage then they had before.

 

Penalties were awarded on a fairly regular basis by referee Ruaridh Smith and while this didn’t really allow the game to flow all were easy decisions to make and in the most, fairly clear cut. Neither side gained a particular advantage either, save that later in the game, it seemed likely that a GHK player was shown a yellow although this never happened.

 

Gregor Stewart and Douglas Notman had replaced Robbie Lavery and Andrew Orr respectively and both made telling contributions, Stewart with some good hands and Notman with typical belligerence in and around the contact area.

 

A second penalty kick from Green was pushed wide while a similar award to GHK saw them tap and go, this causing all sorts of problems for the Biggar defence and somewhat against the recent run of play, eventually a 3rd try, this falling to winger Marc Taylor and coming just before half time. Campbell’s excellent touchline conversion rebounded off the upright before slipping over for 21-7.

 

Biggar mounted an attack on the restart, this after a GHK fumble, and they should probably have scored from two good attacks, one on each wing, but on each occasion the GHK scramble defence was up to the task. A penalty award led to a lineout but a knock on allowed GHK to kick the ball dead for the break.

 

Having conceded a score just before the break Biggar needed a quick riposte although this didn’t come in the normal manner. An early GHK attack stretched Biggar’s defence but Green took a gamble – much in the same way as Ruardhi Jackson had done in the Glasgow game the night before - and made a timely interception, this taking him clear to the line although it couldn’t come quick enough as the cover defence was getting back quickly. Bogle added the conversion for 21-14.

 

Able to get straight back on the attack courtesy of a Jamie Orr tackle and Sanderson jackal, Biggar kicked for the corner and an attacking line. Braid advanced play and then Reive found Green from the ruck. A huge miss pass was then delivered to Stewart who had a relatively easy run in for Biggar’s 3rd try which, when converted well by Bogle, had the sides level at 21 a-piece.

 

‘Can’t kick, won’t kick’ was certainly the GHK mantra, their desire to run ball from everywhere admirable but if the handling isn’t good then the side is immediately put under lots of pressure and this was definitely the case as time after time when field position could so easily have been gained by a clearing kick, the decision to run was taken. And almost inevitably ground lost as passes were fumbled.

 

Biggar’s lineout was struggling to function efficiently, especially as hooker Ewan Stewart had taken a knock to the hand, Orr eventually deputising in this role. Moffit profited from a good quick pass and perhaps should have made the line but his off-load failed to go to hand, Lavery knocking on with the line easily reachable. Bogle was just wide with a penalty but struck the next cleanly to give his side the lead for the first time at 24-21.

 

To add insult to injury GHK’s restart was kicked dead (this to add to several missed touches in the first half) and play taken back to half way.

 

In contrast to GHK’s ‘no kick’ ploys Biggar controlled proceedings pretty well with Reive, Green and Jardine ensuring ball was kept in front of the pack with a variety of box and grubber kicks. In addition the ferocious offensive tackling from Notman, Braid, Jamie Orr and Sanderson and their work at contact meant that GHK were given precious little time on the ball.

 

Bogle scored the 4th Biggar try, this of course a bonus point score, the winger tearing in at the corner after Green had combined well with Lavery, the centre’s miss pass finding Bogle who slid in at the corner. The conversion from out wide was just short but at 29-21 the advantage was at last Biggar’s.

 

GHK had a chance to put Biggar under pressure following a high tackle from Bogle but frustratingly for the home support the penalty was kicked long and dead allowing Biggar another escape.

 

Back on the attack and up quickly to defend as GHK ran again with some purpose – their backs will surely never make as many handling errors again this season – Lavery took a fumbled pass to pop ball to Green on Biggar’s 10m line. The stand off had the legs (just) of the cover defence and ran in for his second try of the afternoon. Bogle added the conversion to take Biggar two scores clear.

 

It’s been done before of course (Peebles is still too fresh in the memory) and there remained some nervous moments as GHK flung everything they had left at Biggar. Stout defence did its job but with the final movement of the match a driven maul did end on a positive note for the home side as they notched their 4 try bonus point.

 

It was Biggar however who took the lion’s share of the spoils to remain in 4th spot in the league behind Kirkcaldy, Hamilton (who ended Dumfries’ winning run on Saturday) and Dumfries. It is not too often Biggar return from the city with a 5 pointer, rarer still after being two scores down at the break…..but it would be good not to have to rely on second half comebacks!

 

Biggar

D. O’Connell, E. Stewart, C. Braid, J. Orr, A. Warnock, A. Orr, E. Sanderson, R. Jackson, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffit, R. Lavery, E. Bogle, A. Jardine Reps: D. Notman, G. Kelly, J. Barr, G. Stewart.

 

 

The Biggar support on Saturday was, as always, excellent. It was supplemented on Saturday by Biggar Young Farmers who were hosting exchangees from Gower YF in Wales. The visitors had a great afternoon and livened things up with a number of touchline songs with lock forward Jamie Orr their clear favourite!

 

 

The 2nd XV had their first outing for a month on Saturday when they travelled to take on Boroughmuir 3rds. To frustrate Biggar the city side triumphed with what was virtually the last play of the game. 17-13 was the final score.


Biggar Girls in Mirage Conference action

Mirage Conference

U15 Girls

Stirling County proved to be a much improved squad from previous years while Biggar’s U15’s include several who are new to the game.

 

As a result the strong running of the Stirling girls made this a very difficult day for the Biggar squad, the visitors running in a barrow load of scores. On a positive note however, the Biggar effort never once wavered and the girls deserve great credit for their efforts in very challenging circumstances.

 

U18 Girls

Biggar 22 Stirling 14

With both clubs able to field full teams and with neither side having lost so far this season, this was always destined to be a very competitive match and so it turned out.

 

Stirling started with the strong wind at their back and applied constant pressure for the first 15 minutes although a very resolute Biggar defence prevented any score. Biggar then began to find their form and after a period of sustained pressure scored their first try when Biggar No.10 Sarah Denholm spotted a gap in the Stirling defence and scored between the posts, conversion added by Emily Armstrong. Biggar continued to secure good ball and a second try was scored by Julia Bell. Both sides continued to play good rugby and Stirling scored a converted try to take the score to 12 – 7 at half time.

 

Biggar started the second half very strongly with constant pressure resulting in Stirling giving away a whole string of penalties and the Biggar squad kept their composure to secure a third try scored by Abi Bandtock taking the score to 17 – 7. Stirling challenged the Biggar defence and after a well worked move with the point of attack changing several times, scored under the posts with the extra conversion points added taking the score to 17 – 14.

 

With the match very even at this point it was Biggar who continued to press strongly and after a penalty kicked to touch secured the ball from the resulting lineout and after several phases of play touched down their fourth try and second for Julia Bell. This took the score to 22 – 14 and it was to remain at this through to the final whistle. This was a very entertaining game showing good skills from both teams and the Biggar coaches will be very satisfied by the all-round team performance particularly in defence.

 

Thanks must also go to Jane Robinson for videoing the game and to Jane and Murray Brown and Marion Hughes for their sterling work in the kitchen.


Colts come up short against West


Shogun Conference Biggar Colts 12 West of Scotland U18 17

 

Following the dreadful news about his involvement in a car accident mid-week, Jordan Gray was absent from the team and awaiting surgery to repair broken bones. This is a massive loss to the team but, most importantly, Jordan will be around to tell us all the tale when he gets home. The Colts wish Jordan all the very best and a speedy recovery.

 

The dull thud of last weeks defeat at the hands of Ayr left a nasty taste in the mouth but in truth it's always a challenge for coaches to establish real continuity when you have players away on other duties.

 

West were decisive from the kick-off and didn't waste any time in getting the scoreboard going with a converted try after 3 minutes. The visitors were playing with intensity. Take heed Biggar.....your opponents are well and truly up for this.

 

Biggar didn't realise at this point, but the next 67 minutes would be full of set-backs, and dull thuds. The first one of those saw the premature departure of Lewis Stewart who had to leave the field after 5 minutes following a meaty challenge with his opposite back rower (suspected Collar bone). Colts pulled together swiftly and Matthew Stewart's try on 8 mins displayed true quality. The precise and simple nature of the move from the set piece scrum on the West 22 was a joy to watch. It was built on defiance, attitude and opportunism. A real team effort.

 

But after that the game turned frantic and disjointed, however Biggar were still advancing and with good numbers too. Drew Brewster's line breaks were effective which put West on the back foot and saw them penalised for not rolling away. Steele pulled the place kick.

 

Biggar pushed forward again and tried to recycle the ball quickly. West not 10. Another penalty. Another miss from the tee. Most definitely out of character for the full-back.

 

A lot of the game was played in the middle of the pitch and no one had any real control. It was West that pulled away at the end of the first half with a penalty kick to bring the score line to 5-10.

 

Biggar's early efficiency had melted into uncertainty. When Steele's penalty kick to touch earned them a throw five metres from the West line it was as if they could just help themselves to the ball.

 

Biggar conceded a rash of penalties in front of their posts and West exploited the mistakes to score another converted try to extend their lead. It was symbolic of a second half that deteriorated into a fractious affair and to add to the frustration Colts lost scrum-half Finlay Barr to an ankle injury. Wallis deputised.

 

There was a glimmer of hope because the most of the second half was played fairly well in the West half but there remained uncertainty and imprecision. That hope took another blow when Andrew Reid was knocked out and had to be stretchered off.

 

Biggar had to bring something to the party and eventually did with a good period of pressure and a healthy mix of vim and vigour. Daniel McConkey and Craig Frame showing leadership in the pack and moving forward at every opportunity.

 

Scott Paton nailed his first try of the season by crashing over the line to close the gap to 5 points. It may not have been as pretty as the first try but that didn't matter. The forward had a bit of work to do and showed strength and determination. Ali Steele added the extras.

 

A possible victory could be had although the clock was ticking down. Too little, too late. Biggar couldn't capitalise on the territory they had and it was nothing like enough to close things out. The game ended with that same bitter taste sampled the week previous. West would need scraped off the ceiling with delight and only their second win of the season. Biggar would be left climbing the walls!

 

Tries: Matthew Stewart, Scott Paton Conv: Ali Steele
 


Shogun Conference update

On Sunday the Boys were in action against West in the Shogun Conference.

The S1 and S2 sides were at home but neither side could get the better of their visitors, West claiming the points with a 31-0 win at S1 and a 21-11 win at S2.

Biggar Under 14’s

The boys put in another terrific display against West of Scotland in a highly competitive encounter on Sunday losing by 21 points to 11 points.

Although West went in front with 2 early tries it was Biggar who gained the upper hand towards the end of the 1st half replying with a try from Callum McLemon but also losing out on 2 further scores which should have been taken.

The West winger was being given space to get his pace up and angle running which Biggar failed to deal with. However, Biggar never given in and often put West on the back foot to score a further 2 tries from Ben McBride and Christopher Barrett . Finlay Crozier converted two of three tries.

Biggar attack is as strong as any other team in this league but too often it is the defence (tackling) which needs continual work on. Everyone needs to tackle not just a few.

We must not take away how well these boys have moved forward in the last few weeks with coaches Doug Roper and Mark Yates driving the boys from the front.

Attitudes have changed and its these little things that make a big difference.

The other change is that they now have a squad and they are all proud to be playing for each other. This team will not give up and they really are great to watch.

The glory in this team is their ability to rise every time they fall. Many others could learn from these boys.

 

The 15’s and 16’s were at Burnbrae.

The U15s returned to winning ways with a 52 - 0 win away at West on their 4G pitch.

 

Scoring started after 4 minutes with a direct run and try from Jonathan Smith. West then put the boys under 10 minutes solid pressure with the ball being held up over the try line a couple of times. The defence remained strong and organised and when Biggar eventually got the ball they started to link up and the trys followed.

 

First of all for outside centre Lewis Campbell with a try collected perfectly form a bouncing ball after a kick over the top from Euan Laing followed by one from flanker Kaleb Millar with a drive through the middle. Next up was Murray Lean with a strong inside centre cut back from 10 yards out to cut through a wall of defence.

 

In the second half the forwards got more of the trys with first Fraser Simpson breaking through the middle for a break away try. This was followed up by Jonathan Smith's and Kaleb Millar's second and topped off with an injured Sam Taylor keeping his try scoring count continuing.

 

6 of the 8 trys were converted by captain for the day Euan Laing.

 

The rain barely stopped and their was lots spilled ball and knock on's but by keeping West out and the score board moving the team was able to play lots of people in different positions and gain lots and lots of experience.

 

Thanks to hosts for a match always played in the best tradition of rugby.

 

In a close but very high-scoring match the 16’s lost out by 44-38 (loss)

 

The Colts, 15’s and 16’s face a long trip north at the weekend when they journey to Inverness to take on Highland

 

Unfortunately their S1 and S2 sides cannot make the trip south as this weekend coincides with the Inverness October holiday which means they cannot raise numbers to travel. While Biggar are seeking alternative fixtures it might mean a week off for these sides but with a scheduled break in the programme to cater for the October week break here this may mean a fortnight’s break.


Biggar and Dumfries serve up a thriller

Biggar 26 Dumfries 29

It seems that Biggar’s matches this season are proving to be not only particularly exciting affairs but also full of incident – sufficient to ensure there is plenty of post match debate at least.

 

The first match of the season saw the side notch up a win against a confident Hamilton side; a fortnight ago against Peebles, Biggar managed to lose a game in the dying minutes which they had hitherto seemingly had in the bag; last week in Aberdeen the side racked up Biggar’s largest league total for many a year while on Saturday the side clawed their way back into a match most present felt at half time (when they were 24-5 down) they had lost. More was to follow as in the last minute the decision was taken opt for a scrum and a try to win, instead of what appeared to be a relatively simple penalty which would have given them a valuable draw and which would have perhaps, more importantly, ended Dumfries’ winning run.

 

Was it bravado, bravery, foolhardy…..each opinion had its backers in the post match chat, with a general failure in communication deemed the reason for opting for the scrum though there seems no doubt either that the second half finished abruptly, there having been a prolonged period of injury time after a clash of heads which might have seen Dumfries claw their way back from the kick off had Biggar kicked the penalty.

 

No matter, Biggar collected 2 points courtesy of their losing and 4-try bonus, Dumfries picking up a maximum 5 from their part in the 8-try feast.

 

Unbeaten before the match and unbeaten after the match, Dumfries were delighted to record their win and so they should be, their side easily the best prepared Biggar have encountered to date and clearly relishing their promotion from National 3 last season.

 

Biggar rang the changes again as injury/illness deprived them of Euan Sanderson and Andrew Nimmo, their deputies being Donald Voas and Douglas Notman, the No8/flanker returning after injury. Jamie Orr replaced Callum Dunlop at lock while in the backs a fit again Ryan Moffit returned to the centre, Gregor Stewart dropping to the bench where he was joined again by Andrew Peacock, Euan Bogle and Guy Kelly.

 

This was the ultimate in those matches which fall into the category of being a ‘game of two halves’, Biggar down and out at 24-0 and then 24-5 at the break and yet managing to win the second half by 21-5.

 

An early barrage of attacking play by the visitors saw Biggar on the ropes as Dumfries ran at great pace, posing all sorts of questions to the Biggar side. Within three minutes of the start a rumble by Dumfries prop Scott Goodwin saw the Biggar line breached and gave fullback Sam Hiddleston a relatively easy run in under the posts, John Carlisle easily adding the conversion for 7-0.

 

Robbie Lavery got back well to thwart a breenge by hooker Zeke Dyson and Carlisle missed a penalty while a break by Hiddleston on the right flank should have perhaps seen Dumfries score again, Biggar just managing to scramble back and defend their line.

 

In their 22 again skipper Alan Warnock who, as usual, provided a captains lead throughout, tidied a lose ball in the Biggar 22, but it was Dumfries who were calling the shots at this point, the National 2 newcomers running some great angles and at real pace.

 

Biggar’s defence has not been under just as much sustained pressure in any other game although they did have some forays up into the Dumfries half where they met some resolute defence and where they found it difficult to hold onto possession. At every opportunity Dumfries ran the ball or kicked it back to resume their threat. Another penalty from Carlisle proved tantalisingly close as it rebounded off the upright and which had Biggar scrambling as Warnock tidied again and Green kicked clear.

 

Ironically, however, the next try came not from a sortie by Dumfries but instead as a result of a real mix up between Biggar centres Moffit and Lavery and when Biggar were in possession, albeit in their half and when running out of defence. Stand off Carne Green shaped to go and pass left but his pass fell to the ground as the centres collided, the ball kicked on and then picked up gratefully by Carlisle who ran through for a score which he again converted for 14-0.

 

A Biggar attack 10 minutes later foundered as they were penalised, Carlisle kicking to 5 metres out where ball won by Michael Thomson was shipped right, Hiddleston in at a great angle to crash through the despairing Biggar defence for a third Dumfries try which when converted gave them a 21-0 lead.

 

Biggar then lost the services of hooker Ewan Stewart after a head knock. In reality he should have departed earlier but referee Adam Morrison who is a Kiwi not long arrived in the country and who had a good game otherwise, was content to allow Stewart to stay on and this despite the protestations of Davy Reive. Peacock came on for the unlucky Stewart who will now miss out the next fortnight or so.

 

Just minutes later and another Dumfries penalty was converted for 24-0.

 

This seemed at last to galvanise the Biggar effort, the hosts finishing the half on the ascendancy, a series of pick and goes with Orr, Braid, Voas, Green et al in the van taking play deep into the Dumfries 22. Pressure was at last sustained and Dumfries were forced to defend. This they managed although Notman and Jardine both came within metres of the try line. Two penalties conceded by Dumfries both of which were eminently kick-able saw Biggar opt for a scrum and then a tap and go, this eventually spawning ball which Green used right. His wide pass was taken by Lavery who managed to off-load in the tackle to Alistair Sinclair who scampered over for a try which gave Biggar a 24-5 lifeline for the second half.

 

Biggar began the second period in fine style although crucially they were unable to add to their tally, ball lost when in promising positions and Dumfries managing to escape the immediate threat.

 

Having survived this initial period Dumfries then scored their 4th try, this coming after the Biggar defence was strung wide and far, Rory Steele crossing with a wee show and go. Carlisle was off target with his wide conversion but at 29-5 it didn’t look good for the home side.

 

The players had different ideas however and quickly had Dumfries back in their own half and on the defensive again. Voas who saw so much more of the ball this game then in any other so far this season made valuable inroads as did Notman, Braid and Orr with Jardine and Bradford helping by running ball back when Dumfries kicked clear. A hard won penalty gave Biggar an attacking opportunity and in similar fashion to the Dumfries score in the first half, ball won in the air by Jamie Orr was carried forward by Voas. Reive popped the ball out to Moffit, the big man almost unstoppable from close range and crashing over from some 10 metres out although he needed to stretch for the try. Green converted for 29-12.

 

Now, in what was a purple patch, Biggar probed once again, with all taking ball into contact with a new found confidence. Off-loads which had previously proved inconsistent seemed to stick to hand and Biggar made ground slowly but surely. Euan Bogle who had replaced Sinclair at half time made some good yards with quick feet but it was that man Moffit (having easily his best game so far) who grabbed the next try.

 

A penalty to the Dumfries 22 saw ball won again by Orr, Reive on hand to provide the link to Moffit who came again as first receiver. His drive seemed destined to come to a swift end such was the Dumfries cover but miraculously he managed to stay on his feet before being half tackled. Able to continue on he burst through the remaining cover to stretch once again for the line, referee Morrison on hand to award the try. Green’s conversion made it 29-19!

 

With a quarter of the match still remaining it was very much a case of game well and truly on!

 

In what was real harem, scarem period a clash of heads saw Biggar’s Braid and Dumfries’ McCall depart, this leading to uncontested scrums which with Biggar just edging their opponents in this area, nullified that slim advantage.

 

The pace of the game was beginning to tell although those who felt Biggar were down and out at half time and breathing too heavily would be delighted to note their continued efforts to take the points from this match. Dumfries were now confined to a defensive role as Biggar continued to press. The precise control which was required was just not quite there however with a couple of lineouts and passes not as accurate as would have been wished.

 

An injury to Jardine saw him replaced by Stewart who played on the wing with Bradford reverting to fullback. As Kelly had come on earlier for Braid, Biggar had now used all their bench.

 

Continuing to press Biggar were awarded a penalty which with several minutes remaining they opted to kick for the corner. While the initial foray was halted on the left, play was switched back to the right where Green’s long pass found Notman in acres of space and with a clear overlap. The flanker put his head down though and crashed over for a try which when converted by Green took Biggar within 3 points at 29-26.

 

And so to the final minute of drama. While Dumfries might have thought that the restart would give them good field position Biggar had different ideas and a break from Green took play deep into their opponents half. Some great interplay between Warnock, Peacock and Lavery maintained the momentum with the two Orr’s providing suitable battering rams to continue the onslaught.

 

A penalty award came Biggar’s way and in the middle of the park on the Dumfries 22 there was a great opportunity to tie the match.

 

The rest is now history, a break by Bradford and then by Bogle allowed Biggar to press but each sortie was met by stout defence. A ruck formed and for once Dumfries opted to go for the counter ruck, and as Biggar attempted to scramble the ball back referee Morrison blew for a penalty – cue manic celebrations from the Dumfries squad who knew that the kick to touch would end the match.

 

For the neutral a cracking match, and while there was understandable frustration and disappointment in the Biggar ranks, the squad can take great heart and solace for the way in which they came back into the match, scoring 4 tries in the process and matching their opponents in every area, save for the penalty count…….

 

Next up is a tough trip to GHK, the Glasgow side not playing just as well as they did last year but a difficult proposition in the city. Biggar will have to dig deep and rely on their reserve strength as there were a few sore bodies at the end of the game.

 

Biggar

D. Voas, E. Stewart, D. O’Connell, J. Orr, A. Warnock, C. Braid, A. Orr, D. Notman, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffit, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine Reps: D. Voas, G. Kelly, E. Bogle, G. Stewart.


Shogun Conference details from Biggar v Ayr

On Saturday and Sunday Biggar’s Colts and Youth sides were pitched in Shogun Conference action against Ayr.

The west coast side inflicted the first full set of defeats over Biggar with none of the sides able to challenge their opponents, well though they played and hard though they tried.

The Colts lost a handful of players to holidays and District commitments and this dealt the side a real blow from which they were always going to struggle, particualrly against one of the top colts sides in the country.

 

The final tally saw Ayr run out by 47-7.

 

On Sunday the Youth section posted the following results:

 

U16's: 0-74 (loss)

 

U15s: 7-57 (loss)

Following a string of good results and accomplished performances from the Biggar boys this was a harsh lesson in the standard the team is working to reach and how difficult it is to play rugby without retaining the ball.

A very different Ayr team, from the one the boys beat in previous years were quicker and more physical all around the pitch, only heroic tackling from Biggar kept Ayr out for long stretches as Ayr kept winning and retained possession.

One lost match doesn't detract from some fine performances to date and simply refocuses the squad on the work required to compete at this level.

 

U14s: 10-30 (loss)

The boys retuned from Ayr with their heads held high after competing for much of the game but were unable to overcome a well organised Ayr team losing 30 points to 10 points.

The boys are not interested in offering excuses “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one”.

The attack was as effective as Ayr, with which their coaches agreed and the results were 3 fine tries by Calum McLemon (2) and Finlay Crozier who also converted one.

At half time the game was evenly poised but in the second half , Ayr with the benefit of a full squad were able to bring on fresh legs.

The boys stuck in well and each week keep moving on positively and more importantly together. They really do encourage each other

Areas of defence and positioning still need worked on but they will take this in their stride and work to get it right.

“Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained in the struggle against overwhelming odds.

 

U13s: 0-30 (loss)

The U13s played in atrocious muddy conditions today In Ayr. They even used the showers afterwards which really is a first!
It's hugely frustrating for all involved, that the team consistantly plays competitive rugby that is in no way reflected by the 30-0 scoreline against them.
Biggar absolutely dominate the set piece, winning every scrum, every line out, smashes every ruck, and yet they fumble the ball and cannot stop one or two fast players in the counterattack.
Our S1 squad comprises lots of inexperienced players, who lack the confidence and instinct to tackle without hesitation or to create flowing phases of rugby. BUT this is something that can be fixed, it will take a couple of seasons, but this team will sort this out and will become a force to be reckoned with.


Biggar Colts find Ayr a tough challenge

Biggar 7 Ayr 47

Biggar Colts took to the field for their 3rd home game of the season with Ayr colts the opposition at Hartree Mill. A number of regulars were missing from the team due to other commitments so the team had a number of changes to contend with. This unfortunately showed in the performance as Ayr steamrollered the Rams.

 

Ayr were a big workmanlike team with good level of skill but on too many occasions they were not made to work for their score. The first score for Ayr came from a home lineout inside the Biggar 22. Ayr having had the throw in threw it squint. Biggar got the option line or scrum and somehow chose line! It went all wrong and was won by Ayr. Quick ball and they were over.

 

The lineout misfired nearly all day and another carbon copy score was almost conceded from exactly the same position. Unfortunately no-one seemed to switch on for Biggar until 50 minutes had passed. By then it was 40 nil to Ayr and the game was already done. For the last 20 minutes Biggar got their tails up and showed what they can do. They worked their socks off and got an excellent try in the corner. A great break from Drew Brewster saw the ball won and recycled quickly to Jordan Gray. He broke again and fed Ali who got the offload to Jamie Bell for the score.

 

Final score Biggar 7 Ayr 47

 

A bad day at the office for Biggar against a team who did not seem that much better but on the day they simply appeared to be much more up for the game than their Biggar counterparts. No-one likes to lose but the nature of this one must give the coaches some concern. The boys need to generate some fire in the belly next week for the home match against West of Scotland to prove this was a one off.


 


 


 


 


Biggar 1sts rampant in Aberdeen win

Aberdeenshire 0 Biggar 67

Aberdeenshire have finished in the top 5 in the last two National 2 league seasons and have dished out large defeats to Biggar sides when they have journeyed north, these including 51-27 and 49-5 routs. There was some satisfaction then for those Biggar players who had been beaten on these occasions when on Saturday Biggar swamped their hosts with an 11 try, 6 conversion performance. That ‘Shire were seldom if ever in the Biggar 22 is only part of the story as the total could/should have been closer to 100, a number of errors seeing ball dropped or ‘Shire’s last ditch defence preventing scores. On three other occasions Biggar men had ‘scored’ as referee Graeme Ormiston blew his whistle for forward passes.

 

The satisfaction gleaned from the win – Biggar’s biggest league win for many years and the largest defeat suffered by ‘Shire so far this season - was tempered somewhat by the fact that ‘Shire are clearly suffering badly and that after just 5 games, they appear almost certain to be relegated to National 3 at the end of the campaign.

 

Biggar’s squad was on familiar lines save for the absence of forwards Jamie Orr (unavailable) and Douglas Notman (injury) and back Stuart Hull (injury). Callum Dunlop (making his league debut at 1st XV level) and Andrew Nimmo (fielded at back instead of front row) came into the pack while Ryan Moffit replaced Hull. Euan Bogle and Guy Kelly on the bench, were others to make their debut appearance at this level.

 

In warm, sunny conditions but on a pitch with grass so long it had those from the farming fraternity looking for a silage chopper, Biggar were ahead after just 3 minutes. An initial attack ended with an attacking scrum and swift hands moved the ball left to Ross Bradford who cruised over for the first try. While Carne Green was off target with this conversion he made amends with the next, this after Moffit side-stepped the cover defence. His contribution was virtualy overa s shortly afterwards the big centre was up ended in what looked to be a tip tackle, his head rebounding off the turf and ending with him walking shakily to the touchline. Gregor Stewart came on as his replacement.

 

Play continued with Biggar on the attack, ball carried by Nimmo, Andrew Orr, Euan Sanderson and Callum Baird in turn and then advanced via the backs with alistair Sinclair claiming the first of what would be a hatttrick followed by Bradford’s second – this after a quick tap penalty.

 

Nimmo was next up, he making good ground every time he was on the ball, this try taking the score to 31-0 and half time.

 

The chat at the break had been to match the first half tally and this with ‘Shire so out of sorts Biggar managed comfortably with a further 36 points. As suggested the total should have been greater as a desire to get to the line and at times an over-complication of plays led to ball being spilled and opportunities lost. This was somewhat understandable however as rarely in league rugby do sides get the opportunity to play with so little real opposition. Not that the ‘Shire effort faded, their attitude and determination to play, and this after 4 heavy defeats, highly commendable. There is spirit a-plenty which if there is a glimmer of hope for the side may yet stand them in good stead.

 

Tries after the break came from Donald Voas (he and Kelly replaced Dan O’Connell and Braid) then Kelly, the young prop seeing his feat matched by the other debutant Bogle (who had replaced Sinclair). The winger/fullback was just off target with his conversion attempt but had better fortune from his next attempt, this to Bradford’s hat-trick score.

 

With coach David Wilson ringing the changes, Sinclair nabbed his second and then at the death, his third to round off the day.

 

After the huge disappointment that saw the side throw their lead away against Peebles the previous week, this was the only possible response for Biggar and so it was very much a case of ‘mission accomplished’. Errors there were without doubt and on another day these might have proved costly but the accumulatuion of 60+ points is not to be sniffed at and something very few Biggar sides have ever managed.

 

Things will be very different this coming week when Dumfries Saints, promoted from National 3 last year and currently unbeaten come to Hartree Mill. This will be a massive test for both sides and rekindles another of those ‘derby’ matches with the two clubs having ‘enjoyed’ many previous tight and challenging encounters over the years.

 

Biggar

C. Braid, E. Stewart, D. O’Connell, C. Dunlop, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, A. Orr, A. Nimmo, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffit, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine Reps: D. Voas, G. Kelly, E. Bogle, G. Stewart.

 

Work commitments, injury and unavailablity meant that despite valiant efforts Biggar were unable to field a 2nd XV at the weekend for their trip to Selkirk. It is anticipated that this will be a one-off and that normal service will be resumed this coming weekend albeit that the side have a scheduled league ‘break’. Coach Doug Fleming is seeking alternative opposition but as yet has nothing confirmed.


Girls host Murrayfield Wanderers

On Sunday the Girls U15 and U18 sides hosted Murrayfield Wanderers in the Mirage Conference.

Having been disappointed after last week when Ayr postponed their matches due to unplayable pitches there was further upset as the Edinburgh sides arrived short of players. The matches were then played as development games which Biggar ‘won’ handsomely, with several Biggar players appearing for the visitors to ensure a contest.


Shogun Conference update v Currie Chieftains

The Boys Youth section were pitched against Currie.

The U13 and U14 sides were at Hartree and honours were shared with Biggar on top at U14, with an excellent performance with some really promising phases and contributions from all with the U13 side, though beaten playing some much better rugby against a good Currie side.

 

U13s

For the record Fergus Watson scored all the Biggar points in the 22-7 defeat.

 

U14’s

This team have recently struggled to win games but they have a determination of never giving up. Working together as a team on Sunday they pulled off a great victory against Currie by 23 points to 6. (3 points for a try and 1 for a conversion).

Try scorers on the were Ben McBride (3) , Calum McLemon (2) and Alexander Walpole (1) with Finlay Crozier converting five of the six . Calum and Christopher Barrett lifted the tempo for the boys and they rose to it and were impressive to watch. Alone we can do so little , together as a team we can do so much. Great support, great day for the boys with 16 present in the squad.

 

U15's

At Malleny Park the U15’s lost their first match of this campaign by to what is likely to be the top U15 side in the Conference but there was some fantastic news as the U16’s won their match by 46-22.

At U15 The first half was close with only a Currie try just before half time opening a gap on the score board. After half time Currie punished some defensive mistakes but Biggar battled on to finish the game with 19 points to Curries 48. A first defeat of the season for the boys but lessons learnt.

 

These results mean that Biggar, by virtue of winning 3 from the 5 Currie matches edge the ‘whole club’ Shogun Conference points. Well done to all.


Shogun Conference News: Colts v Currie Chieftains


Currie Chieftains U18 5 Biggar Colts 22

The Colts coaches needed a reaction to last weeks defeat to Stirling and got it. However, this game didn't exactly put the wind up your frock! Yes, they bagged a win, but you can't help thinking that there was more to give.

 

This shouldn't be seen as a negative though, more a 'note to self ' to maintain focus.

 

Such a summary doesn't take away from the fact that Biggar Colts are 3 wins from 4 and developing a taste for winning in a very tough league. Finlay Barr's induction at Fly-half, albeit a little nervous, can be seen as a success and the young man, who showed willing all day, wasn't afraid to mix things up with the big Currie boys either.

 

Currie started the stronger side and maintained some pressure in Biggar territory for 10mins or so but the Colts held strong and batted the volley's back at the hosts. The centre partnership of Matthew Stewart and Robbie Orr proved hard nuts to crack in defence and held off the Currie attack closely followed by Jamie Bell at left wing who shut the door often on his black & amber opponents. Biggar's front row also held well in the scrum.

 

Patience was the key and this was rewarded with two tries before half-time. The first was finished off under the posts by Jordan Gray in 22 mins after a counter attack and six phases of play while Luhann Kotze went over the whitewash 6 minutes later after an eye-catching offload from Robbie Orr - at his purposeful best throughout. Ali Steele converted both tries.

 

As the half progressed Colts had the measure of Currie with their running lines, interplay and kicks into space but struggled to execute their moves. Whether this was due to the fact that the heavens opened was hard to say (It was particularly wet) but it was frustrating nonetheless. No doubt Currie were equally frustrated as their hard work and intensity yielded nothing in return.

 

Biggar were well worth the 14-0 lead at the break but they still had work to do. Colts started the second half on the front foot and it wasn't long before Orr worked his magic on the short side following good momentum and added to his team's tally in the right corner. The conversion was narrowly missed.

 

Currie could not make inroads but it wasn't through lack of trying. They continued to battle but Biggar disrupted their attack. Colts were awarded a penalty between half-way and the Currie 10m line. Steele fancied his chances with the lengthy kick and proceeded to split the posts with an excellent strike to bring the scoreline to 22 nil.

 

The Edinburgh team showed real resilience and came at Biggar with a flurry of industrious teamwork but it was a fine solo effort by the Currie centre on the hour mark that saved their nil-return blushes. Indeed a sign that even in the face of adversity your opposition can still be dangerous. One thing is for sure...all games played so far have been physical affairs and that is just they way things are at U18 level. Yes, Rugby is a game of evasion but sometimes you need a human bulldozer to get things going. With this in mind, Charles Connolly did a grand job of clearing the way for a final Biggar flourish, but things remained fairly neutral and the Black and Red saw the game out as deserved winners.

 

Another big fixture awaits Biggar Colts on Saturday when they welcome Ayr U18 to Hartree Mill.

Tries: Jordan Gray, Luhann Kotze, Robbie Orr Conv: Ali Steele (2) Pen: Ali Steele
 


Biggar suffer agony of last minute defeat in local derby

Biggar 30 Peebles 33

A rugby match lasts some 80 minutes plus stoppage time and it was deep into this stoppage time that Peebles scored their 5th try to take the lead for the first time and deny Biggar what had looked to most to be a relatively straightforward win. That Peebles were beaten the previous week by Kirkcaldy in what amounted to very similar circumstances was not lost on the Peebles support who were understandably cock-a-hoop at their win, the first of this campaign.

 

The mood in the Biggar camp was very different of course with a combination of frustration, disbelief and anger that they had coughed up the game in such a dramatic manner. With 10 minutes remaining and at 30-19 ahead it looked as though Biggar would take the points and deny their rivals that first elusive win but in the end instead of claiming what would have been a priceless 3 from 3 record Biggar could only salvage a losing bonus as Peebles claimed a valuable 5 pointer.

 

Form is absolutely no guide in a local derby and so it proved as Biggar failed to put the game away, their control of play which had given them a 24-19 half time lead evaporating after the break as Peebles took great pleasure in capitalising on an unusually profligate defence.

 

Ewan Stewart made a return to the starting XV this to the exclusion of Andrew Peacock although the tireless lock did break his nose against Howe. In the backs Stuart Hull was preferred to Gregor Stewart while Aird Jardine was at fullback with Ross Bradford moving back to the wing for David Paterson.

 

Early exchanges were even with Biggar pinning Peebles back with a variety of kicks until Biggar enjoyed a prolonged period of pressure in the Peebles 22 with a total of 13 phases resulting in a try for Andrew Orr, the back row/hooker diving over from close range. The lead up was a great passage of play with Biggar pounding at the Peebles defence after Bradford had made the first clean line break of the day. Peebles held out well but eventually play was taken to the line and Orr broke clear. Carne Green added the conversion.

 

A neat re-start from Greg Raeburn – this a feature of this contest – gave Peebles possession and while the crowd had had to wait 13 minutes for the first score, the second came just 2 minutes later. Peebles hit up via flanker Euan Jackson and then Raeburn popped a neat ball to Murray Brown who split the Biggar defence before feeding Ruaridh Clinch who coasted over for a try converted by Raeburn to level the scores.

 

A neat break by hooker Ryan Stewart might have come to more save for a timely tackle by Biggar skipper Ewan Sanderson and then a dropped pass while another Peebles sortie into the Biggar 22 saw Jardine plunder another loose pass with Greene able to clear the danger as Peebles were penalised for not releasing.

 

Biggar hit back from the lineout to this penalty with a sweeping passing movement sending Bradford on another long run, this play ending as Ewan Stewart lost possession in the contact but on the opposite wing, ball being moved easily from side to side.

 

Not to be outdone Biggar maintained the field position and with another series of tilts at the line with Robbie Lavery, Andrew Orr, Greene and Jardine all to the fore ball was moved left to Bradford who crashed over from short range for Biggar’s second, again converted by Green for 14-7.

 

In very similar fashion and incredibly frustrating for the sizeable support Biggar ceded possession from the restart and with No 8 Andrew Muir bursting through the middle, Biggar were penalised for playing the ball on the ground. Replacement scrum half Ruairdh Britton (Donald Anderson had left the field with a damaged shoulder) took a quick tap penalty to put Biggar on the back foot. His pass to Brown split the retreating defence and he crossed for a try which Raeburn converted to level the scores once again, this time at 14-14.

 

With 10 minutes remaining Biggar took the lead again with a Green penalty awarded after Muir was penalised for not rolling away and then after a play begun deep in the Biggar half saw ball moved wide again this time via Green, Gregor Stewart (who had just replaced the injured Hull) and Notman to Lavery. The centre made ground before freeing winger Bradford, these two then combining cleverly to draw and pass, Bradford rounding off the move with his second try which Green converted to open up a gap at 24-14.

 

Had Biggar managed to see the half out at this point things would surely have turned out very differently but Peebles had very different ideas and capitalised on some weak defence which allowed them to score again, Raeburn missing the conversion but Peebles were now back within one score of Biggar at 24-19.

 

Turning round to play towards the clubhouse Biggar changed their front row with Donald Voas and O’Connell replaced by Andrew Nimmo and Callum Braid. The home side might have expected to take control of proceedings in this half but while they played well in patches they opted to kick and give Peebles ball, the visitors taking great delight in running this back into contact. There were several handling errors which saw attacks break down, both sides undoubtedly feeling the pressure of this derby match. Green kicked two penalties to put Biggar into what should have been a commanding lead at 30-19, a third attempt awarded when he was taken out after a kick ahead and which saw Peebles Roddy Guiney issued with a yellow card, was pushed wide.

 

Crucially Biggar were unable to increase their lead while Peebles were a man down, the visitors doing much to frustrate Biggar although the home side lost out by losing possession at crucial times both in open and tight play.

 

For their part Peebles were content to keep Biggar at bay, neither side really threatening the line. As the minutes ticked by it looked as though there might not be any further scoring, Biggar one try away from a 4-try bonus but unable to turn what little territorial advantage they had into points.

 

With a half hour gone things began to change as Peebles seemed to up the tempo, running penalties to open the Biggar defence. A Biggar penalty should have eased things but a squint throw from the resultant lineout gave Peebles possession and they continued to play in the Biggar half. A Biggar error then gave Peebles another attacking opportunity which they took Stoddart scoring his second, Raeburn converting to put them within one score at 30-26.

 

Almost immediately from the restart Biggar lost the services of Jamie Orr who was shown yellow for a tip tackle. Down to 14 the pressure was all on Biggar. Unfortunately while the Biggar defence has until this game been fairly secure it could not contain Peebles who used the full period of added time to steal the match, Callum Anderson plunging over from close range after a series of penalties and plays in the Biggar 22.

 

Raeburns conversion was immaterial but he was successful, referee George Pounder bringing proceedings to a close.

 

While Peebles rightly celebrated, frustration, disbelief and anger were as previously suggested the prevalent emotions in the Biggar camp. A 3 from 3 unbeaten run would have been a dream start to this league campaign and although a win at Aberdeenshire would see Biggar 3 from 4, which would still be an excellent return, ‘Shire has not been the happiest of hunting grounds in recent years!

 

A tough week ahead on the training paddock!

 

Biggar

D. Voas, E. Stewart, D. O’Connell, J. Orr, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, A. Orr, D. Notman, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, S. Hull, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine Reps: C. Braid, A. Nimmo, A. Patrascio, G. Stewart.

 

Biggar’s 2nd XV were left without a match after Gala called off their Friday evening contest as they were unable to field a side. This is very frustrating but symptomatic of the problems clubs face in fielding second XV’s.


Colts faced a tough test

Colts Fight Hard in Wallace Country

 

Biggar Colts visited Bridgehaugh Park on Saturday to take on Stirling County Colts at the top of the Shogun conference. Both teams were undefeated from the 2 previous fixtures and a cracking game was expected. Although the final score – County 62 – Biggar 8 – suggests a one sided affair, the truth is that this fixture was still hugely competitive until the 50 minute mark.

 

Biggar took the game straight to Country from kick off. An excellent bit of pressure from Lewis Stewart disrupted the ball and it was secured by Biggar. The ball was spun wide and some loose hands in the ruck saw County penalised. Thirty yards out Ali Steele had a go but pulled his kick just wide.

 

The game was very much a battle of strength, endurance and tackling. Biggar pressed constantly and knocked on the door inside the County 22 but the County defence was superb. They tackled hard and worked harder to deny Biggar any room. Eventually their hard work would pay off and a slip from Biggar would be gratefully received. This was the story of the first half. Biggar worked there socks off to get into a good position only for the ball to be turned over. County would then break with speed and numbers to exploit the gaps in defence – when faced with a team that can punish you so well you can very quickly find yourselves behind. With 20 minutes gone, Biggar found themselves 12-0 down.

 

Following a good healthy discussion behind the posts Biggar went again and a determination to stamp their authority on the game was evident. A fantastic bit of counter rucking saw the ball won well and Biggar were off down the nearside and into the County 22. With the pressure building on County the ball was spilled and a scrum was awarded to County in the middle of their half. Great work by the pack disrupted the ball which bobbled out at the base of the 8’s feet. Lohan reacted first and got his foot to it. The Biggar fans all held their breath as it looked as though the scrum half would be off for a score but he was grabbed off the ball by the number 8. Penalty to Biggar with no further sanction deemed appropriate. Steele stepped up again and this time, from further out, landed a superb kick. County 12 – Biggar 3 with 8 minutes until half time. Game on!

 

This County team were made of sterner stuff however. They grabbed the momentum back and took the game to Biggar. Their work-rate was superb and the support play for all 70 minutes was excellent. Another fine run wide left saw this support pay off as Biggar ran out of defenders to allow another score before the half ended.

 

Half Time: County 19 – Biggar 3

 

Listening to the boys and coaches at half time you could hear the disbelief. They had played well and matched up to County for 90% of the half but found themselves down by 16 points. Clinical finishing was the difference at half time and it was made to count in the second half too.

 

Into the second half and County seized the early initiative with an excellent kick that gave them a scrum towards the Biggar 22. From here they moved the ball side to side edging closer to the Biggar line. Biggar defended manfully but eventually a classic snipe by the County 9 saw him in under the posts.

 

Biggar got themselves up the pitch and earned the try that their endeavour deserved. A good break from Robbie was well supported by the forwards and they earned themselves a scrum on the County 5m line. The scrum was superb and quick ball was won. County managed to stop Matthew albeit illegally and Biggar had a pen within touching distance of the line.

 

Sometimes hiding in plain sight is possible and the score for Biggar had all the makings of the question “how did County miss that?” about it. The penalty was 7 meters from the nearside touchline and Jordan Gray meandered over to the touchline with a nod to Lohan at 9 that he was there. County loaded all their big men covering all the Biggar forwards except Jordan who was left marked by the County wing. Lohan turned fired the ball to him on the touchline and he steamrollered the wing. Fair play to him he had a manful go at stopping the big number 8 but it was a bit of a mismatch.

 

Unfortunately that was to be the final real highlight of the game from a Biggar perspective. County were stung back into action at the score and ramped up the pressure and ran in 6 unanswered tries to give the score a frustrating edge.

 

Full Time: County 62 – Biggar 8

 

This was a tough shift for all in red and black today but I suspect they learned a lot about themselves and their teammates from the 70 minutes they put in. County were a very good side who had not conceded a try in their previous 2 matches. They also manage to put out two Under 18 XV’s every week – their seconds compete in the Caledonia Tier 4 league - so this is not an embarrassment. The key now is to focus on the positives. The pressure that Biggar exerted on County was phenomenal with a little more composure this could have been a much tighter game. The scrum was superb today. With a relatively inexperienced front 5they stood up to a great deal of pressure and won more than they lost. The work rate shown by Biggar were outstanding. They faded in the last 15 minutes or so but the levels they showed up to that point were superb and will stand them in good stead for the games ahead.

 

Thanks for this report go to Simon Low


Shogun Conference: Week 3 v Stirling County

Biggar U15's

The U15s won 27 - 5 at Stirling today in pretty horrible wet conditions leading 3 trys to 1 at half time and finishing with 5 trys in total from Arron Millar (2), Kaleb Millar, Sam Taylor and Jonathan Smith. Conversion from Euan Laing.

The conditions made life difficult in attack and County tackled and rucked well to keep the u15s out for long stretches of the game but when the link up play worked it created exciting attacking rugby with a variety of attacking styles demonstrated over the game Well done boys.

 

Biggar U16's

To all the U16s boys who played today thank you for your excellent efforts in very difficult circumstances. With late all offs and down to just 15 players and 4 out of position the boys were outstanding and up to 29 mins when the score was still 0-0 with two very good teams playing good rugby in terrible conditions. We then had a double injury and were down to 13 players. The final result will show that we were beaten by 6 tries to 1 the club but more importantly the boys can be very proud of themselves of how they never gave up and still managed to score an excellent try with great patience and support play. Without doubt this game will going forward will be remembered for all the right reason and as you all keep developing as players and young men there will be great games in the future. As Sir Alex would say, I am a very proud coach today

Andy Barnett

Report

A game of two halves! With the squad down to the bare bones and 4 lads playing out of position the U16 squad set about the away trip to Stirling County in terrible conditions with huge effort and drive, determined to leave nothing on the park. For 29 minutes the lads seemed to be camped out in the County half, edging closer and closer to the try line, dominating in the set piece and bashing it up the middle really taking the game to the hosts. Unfortunately 2 players injured in the same play on 29 mins saw the lads continue to compete well with 13 players against a Stirling side playing great rugby. But inevitably when your down two players, space opens up and Stirling ran out eventual winners 44-5 however the score line didn't reflect the huge effort put in by the young rams, especially to get the try they so richly deserved. The lads, their coaches and their parents should be very proud of their performance today, a result they can take plenty of positives from and build on for the season ahead.


Biggar take the points at Howe

Howe of Fife 20 Biggar 24

Biggar’s second league match took them over the new Queensferry Crossing into Fife and Cupar where they met the other side relegated from National 1 last season, Howe of Fife.

 

The Fife club have not had their troubles to seek recently but will doubtless come back stronger as the season progresses. They had a useful XV who ran Biggar close with a final 10 minutes which saw Biggar man up in defence to deny their hosts anything other than a losing bonus.

 

Biggar fielded largely the same XV which had faced Hamilton last week save that the front row was swapped (Donald Voas and Callum Braid started with Dan O’Connell and Andrew Nimmo on the bench) and with Andrew Orr hooking in place of the injured Ewan Stewart. There was only one change in the backs where Aird Jardine dropped to the bench with David Paterson starting on the wing and Ross Bradford moved to fullback.

 

 

In very pleasant autumn conditions Biggar kicked off playing up the not insignificant slope. The early exchanges were relatively even with both sides conceding penalties at what appeared to be an alarming rate.

 

Howe opened their account from one such penalty but Carne Green was uncharacteristically off target with a kick which would have tied the scores, the ball bouncing off the upright but out of reach of the Biggar support.

 

On 25 minutes referee Richard downing saw fit to yellow card Howe hooker Connor Crawford for another offside, Green kicking well this time to tie the scores at 3-3. In a breakout Green then saw his grubber blocked with Howe gaining only a slight advantage which was then negated as Biggar stole possession. A great touchline step and turn of pace then saw winger Alistair Sinclair leave the Howe cover almost all in his wake bar for a flailing hand which was enough to knock him off his stride. Passing inside Davy Reive was up to carry the move forward and in truth had the scrum half gone for the corner he would surely have made it but he elected instead to feint to the supporting lock Jamie Orr. Having moved slightly away from Orr his actual pass fell tantalisingly low and Orr knocked the ball on with the line beckoning.

 

Howe it was who regained their lead, this after David Paterson was caught as he sought to run out of defence, Howe stand off Cameron Ellison the kicker.

 

Biggar had a chance to put Howe under real pressure from the restart which was dropped but the lineout peel saw the ball nudged forward in the transfer, giving Howe a let off.

 

Half timepiece then with nothing between the sides and with everything to play for. Coach Gary Mercer rang the changes in the pack as O’Connell and Nimmo came on to replace Voas and Baird.

 

It’s never good to concede a try at any point in a match but just before or just after half time can often be match winners as they tend to really punish the team which loses out. Biggar suffered this as almost directly from the restart a neat backs move saw Howe’s William Wardlaw take full advantage off a missed tackle to step through and behind the Biggar defence like the proverbial knife through butter. Having made the break he popped the ball back inside to his fellow centre Duncan McIntyre who galloped in under the posts. Ellison added the conversion and suddenly Biggar were two scores behind.

 

Gregor Stewart and Paterson were then switched for Ryan Moffat and Aird Jardine, the latter’s appearance at fullback seeing Ross Bradford move to the wing berth.

 

Just as quickly as Howe had scored so Biggar were able to reply though the try when it came was not from a normal source. Having won a penalty which Green dispatched to the corner Biggar made to catch and drive, a tactic they seldom use with any real conviction – until Saturday that is when with Douglas Notman in charge, the pack drove the Howe eight back with some ease before Notman collapsed over the line for a timely try. Green made no mistake despite the narrow angle and at 13-10 Biggar were right back in the mix.

 

A penalty shortly afterwards by Green tied the scores with a half hour at least remaining.

 

Biggar then enjoyed what was to become their best period of the match as they played the game almost solely in the Howe half, a number of probing runs ensuring the home defence was made to work really hard – which they largely did – to keep Biggar out.

 

Something though was bound to give and so it was that Green kicked again for 16-13. Just after this and following a great wee break from Sinclair ball was moved swiftly up the wing. Had the pass been given Biggar would have taken the lead but as it was the ball was gobbled up by retreating Howe man McIntyre who was able to clear the danger.

 

The score was merely delayed however, as flanker Ewan Sanderson rounded off a very enterprising passing sequence which saw ball moved quickly to beat the Howe cover. Bradford’s break paved the way but the score was made by the swift passing from Lavery and then Sinclair. Green was unable to land the conversion but at 21-13 Biggar had opens up a gap.

 

Just when it looked as though Biggar might be able to crack on so Howe came back into things a long period of play seeing the turn the tables on Biggar and force the visitors to defend. While they did so fairly well, just as Biggar scored a try so did Howe, lock forward Ryan Milne making the initial break through the Biggar defence before getting the ball inside to his supporting winger Cameron Patrick who crashed over leaving a trail of Biggar tacklers in his wake. Ellison’s conversion made it a one point match with some 12 minutes remaining.

 

The score ended the game for flanker and skipper Alan Warnock and for lock Andrew Peacock who were replaced by Stewart and Baird.

 

Biggar hit back once again virtually from the restart, Howe desperately trying to break out but being penalised as Biggar competed at the breakdown. Green struck again for 24-20.

 

Just as had been the case the previous week against Hamilton Biggar were then forced into a rearguard action as they were pushed back into their half and then their 22 as their opponents strive to get what could have been a winning try. That Biggar held out is to their real credit, played putting themselves in all sorts of positions to halt Howe’s progress.

 

Ironically the game ended as Howe conceded a penalty this after they had spent some considerable period of time on and almost over the Biggar line. Stand off Ellison and centre Wardlaw it was who conspired to ‘cross’ as Biggar prepared to tackle. There was some debate with the referee as to who to end the match but eventually Biggar kicked clear to hear the final whistle.

 

Biggar’s away form has never been all that great and for some it was almost a jinx to even talk about an away win. This was surely dispelled for this seasons as while the side were not as clinical or as effective as they had been against Hamilton the specious week, they still manges to secure the league win.

 

Coaches Mercer and Wilson were happy to take the points but were equally quick to pint out that the overall standard of play a still short of what they sought, something most of the side readily agreed with. Back to the training pitch then with another local derby to look forward to on Saturday when Peebles are the visitors.

Peebles have not enjoyed the best of starts but form goes out the window in this type of fixture and it will all be about which squad wants the win more. A feisty, competitive encounter is likely.

 

Biggar

D. Voas, A. Orr, . Braid, J. Orr, A. Peacock, E. Sanderson, A. Warnock, D. Notman, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, G. Stewart, R. Lavery, D. Paterson, R. Bradford Reps: A. Nimmo, D. O’Connell, R. Moffat, A. Jardine.

 

2nds take on Marr at home

Fresh from their great win at Dundee last week the 2nds hosted Marr, one of the top sides in the Reserve League. True to form they took the game to Biggar early on, stretching the Biggar defence and making them work.

 

The final score of 28-16 was fair but nonetheless hard to take. Marr were the better side but Biggar compounded things by dropping off a few tackles and as their set piece faltered, largely due to the fact that many players are not yet 100% match ready.

 

This side will develop as the players come together on a regular basis. There were several players making their first start this season and their rustiness showed, hard though they also tried.

 

Ewan Bogle had a reasonable day with the boot.

 

A disappointing aspect of the match however was a knee injury to live wire scrum half David McArthur who damaged his already weak knee. This was rotten luck indeed and the club wishes him a speedy recovery.


Biggar take points against Hamilton


After the girls had finished it was the boys turn with the U15’s and U16’s both at home and the S1’s and S2’s at Hamilton. Another tough set of games but with very positive results for the Biggar sides.

 

Biggar U16s 50- Hamilton 0 This game was halted before half time as limit reached and development match played for remaining time. A fantastic and very structured performance today by Biggar U16 boys produced a barrage of 9 tries in 26 minutes.

 

Biggar U15s 50 - Hamilton 0 Biggar U15s produced a strong performance against Lanarkshire rivals Hamilton to score 9 trys and win 50 - 0 in today's Shogun Conference match. The teams maturity early on produced strong phased play with determined support running creating opportunities outwide. Well done boys Game halted 5 minutes early as limit reached

 

Biggar U14s 4 - Hamilton 32

 

Biggar U13s 26 - Hamilton 16

 

These matches are of course in the Shogun Conference and Hamilton were the other side to be promoted to this division after two seasons in the conference below. Another good start then although things will inevitably get tougher…..this week the lads meet Stirling County, a club with a proud record in this competition.
 


Girls host Hill-Jills

Biggar U18's 61 Hill-Jills 17


This Sunday saw Biggar U18 girls take to the Harteeemill turf for the first time this season, enjoying a 61-17 win over Hillhead Jordanhill.

 

With the visiting team only managing to muster 10 players thanks in part to the number of injuries sustained in the U19 trials the week before, the game started of as a development fixture with Biggar loaning 2 players throughout the game.

 

To the credit of all of the Biggar players who pulled on a Hills jersey on the day, they played their hearts out, with Ailie Tucker and Julia Bell having a big hand in 2 of the 3 Hills scores.

 

With a strong breeze whipping across the first team pitch handling errors from both teams kept the forwards busy scrummaging.

 

Biggar's quick ball, hard rucking and speed in the outside backs would eventually be the difference between the 2 teams - winger Feebi Robinson, making a welcome return to the team, bagging 4 try's on the day.

 

The game wasn't always beautiful, flowing rugby but there is still no doubting the Biggar teams potential when they get it right. Not quite with the clinical edge that the had last week the girls still managed to carve up the opposition defence on a number of occasions and can take a huge amount of confidence onto Ayr next week.

 

Man of the match went to Erica Hughes who, after only a few games with the club, has really found her feet with some ferocious tackling, rucking and running.

 

Try scorers - Feebi x 4, Geri x 2, Rachel, Emily, Sarah
 


Colts take points in 2nd Shogun Conf match


Mitsubishi Shogun Conference Biggar Colts 31 Hamilton Bulls 14

 

Local derby's can either be stuffy affairs or memorable battles with plenty of mouthwatering action. Thankfully, and glad to report, it was the latter that yet another healthy support encountered.

 

As responses to a week 1 win go this is just what the coaches ordered and any fears of beginners luck would be put to bed. Biggar had early advantage and found themselves on the Hamilton '22'. An attacking scrum for Colts and the first wake-up call for the front row. Hamilton's dominance in the scrum was evident. Their pack was considerably larger and heavier. Biggar would have to adapt to this and show resilience and patience for most of the game in this area of play.

 

This was a massively physical affair from the outset with some big impacts. The word 'Ooft!' resonated quite often.

 

The Colts progressed well in the first 10min and put width on the ball quickly and Drew Brewster burst down the left with space but was eventually hauled down and into touch by the covering Bulls Full-back. Hamilton cleared well from the line-out and skipped up-field. A penalty for Biggar off-side gave the visitors the first chance to open their account but the kick rebounded off the post. Matthew Stewart was sharp and collected to make a run to relieve any ensuing pressure. Hamilton came back through a jinky run from the speedy No.11. The crowd thought he was in but the Biggar defence halted him on the 5m line. As an added bonus Lewis Stewart managed to turn the ball over and this would be a signature move for the open-side flanker with no less than 4 turnovers registered in the game.

 

You could say that with 20 min in that Hamilton found their feet and had a hold on the game but it was only marginal. Biggar hit back with Jordan Gray picking up at the back of the Scrum on the Hamilton 10m line. The big back row was strong and managed to off-load to Luhann Kotze after some close attention from the Bulls defence. Kotze kicked through with Hamilton defenders breathing down his neck. The scrum-half was just off balance and was unlucky not to touch down and the ball bobbled forward. Hamilton cleared their lines from the scrum, no touch found, Biggar advance again, and with numbers. Robbie Orr collected but the back line was too flat. The pass out wide missed everyone and the Hamilton left wing was switched on and kicked forward and won the foot race to score in the corner. The conversion was good, and just like that....Biggar were 7 nil down.

 

There was no notion of Biggar of lying down until the end of the half. Ali Steele hit back and landed a fine penalty kick and in the blink of an eye, right after the restart, Kotze and a little platoon of team mates combined down the right finding Robbie Orr in space to touch down in the corner. Steele added the extras to bring the half-time score to 10-7 to Biggar.

 

If the first half was a 'tit-for-tat' political debate the second would be a quick-fire round in a game show, with most of the questions being asked of the Hamilton defence.

 

Biggar would score another three tries in the second half. An outrageous break on 38min by Jordan Gray found Orr who exploited the space left by the backtracking Bulls defence to run in under the posts. Steele accurate again with the conversion.

 

Fresh legs in 40 mins saw Andrew Reid and Josh JVR join the scrum and that re-steadied the ship in that department. Colts came back at Hamilton again and displayed some good vision, keeping the heat on with six effective phases and switching the play. This structured approach found Matthew Stewart in support to make sure of another five points. Steele on the mark again to convert.

 

Biggar tails were up and there's no doubt the impression of a bunch of guys relishing their rugby as things to enjoy was unmistakable. By now they had the measure of the big Hamilton pack and there were some meaty tackles indeed. Orr would be in again to secure his hat-trick after Hamilton made a mistake at the back of their scrum. The fly-half sniped through leaving the Bulls defence flat footed and nothing but the ball and try line for company.

 

After this you would think the contest would flat line, but think again. And this is what should be admired about all these young men. It's their desire to keep going that gives them the will to return next week and do it all again. Hamilton did just that with some very watchable play that broke the Biggar defence down. It was too late in the day to change the outcome though but they added to their tally with a fine try and narrowed the points difference and they should be commended for it.

 

The competition in this league will be fierce and if the first two games are anything to go by, and with Stirling County looming this coming Saturday, it's important that the squad remain focussed 'cos things are about to get serious!

 

Tries: Robbie Orr (3), Matthew Stewart Conv: Ali Steele (4) Pen: Ali Steele
 

Thanks to Alistair Stewart (Lanark) for this report


Biggar take on Lanarkshire rivals Hamilton

With the league season resuming and with 3 sides in action on Saturday, Biggar RFC were delighted to record 3 important wins: 2 against local rivals Hamilton at 1st XV and Colts XV level and the 3rd an excellent 2nd XV away win at Dundee High! Great start….

 

Sunday provided another great set of results with all sides performing particularly well.

 

In fact from 9 starts Biggar recorded 8 wins.

 

Biggar 24 Hamilton 17

Biggar kicked off their League season with a testing encounter against Lanarkshire rivals Hamilton, a side which romped through Nat 2 two seasons ago but who were relegated last season.

 

The Hartree Mill grounds were looking their best in the late summer sun and with the pre-season displays still fresh in the memory, Biggar opened up strongly. They met a resolute Hamilton defence, however a penalty award saw stand off Carne Green kick for a 3-0 lead.

 

Biggar’s pack featured a real mix of youth and experience and demonstrated that they would make things really difficult for their visitors both in the tight exchanges and in the loose. Props Andrew Nimmo and Dan O’Connell were hitting up well, supported by the back row of Ewan Sanderson, Andrew Orr and Douglas Notman. Unfortunately hooker Ewan Stewart was forced off early on, this necessitating a switch for Orr to the front row and giving Jamie Orr his first outing this season.

 

The pack paved the way for the backs to attack off go-forward ball which they enjoyed.

 

Hamilton should have equalised from a penalty kicked by full back Alan Wilson but he did convert a try scored by Inglis, the winger able to round off a passage of play which saw a couple of Biggar errors allow the Hamilton side to gain ground. The conversion took Hamilton into a 7-3 lead, this just past the half hour mark.

 

A fairly frantic period of play ensued within the Hamilton 22 and this should have seen Biggar score bar for an infringement of a ‘new’ rule in that the hooker must hook the ball. With their scrum under the cosh this free kick gave Hamilton some relief, or at least it should have but in an attempt to run ball out of defence play moved across the width of the pitch before Notman managed to disrupt ball at the ruck base sufficiently to allow winger Ross Bradford a chance to poach a try.

 

A well struck conversion from Green put Biggar ahead by 10-7.

 

Biggar’s defence was efficient, their use of the choke tackle meaning that Hamilton were held up and conceded possession a feature of the afternoon. Hamilton were not to be put off however and a neat passage of play which saw ball shifted wide and then back inside allowed Wilson a tilt at the line. He was unable to convert, the score now 12-10 to Hamilton.

 

Biggar then hit back with two quick fire scores. Orr and Bradford were making good ground when they got the ball and this and Green’s intelligent kicking kept Hamilton pinned in their half. An attacking play with ball passed to Gregor Stewart saw the young centre shape to pass left before switching the ball back inside to Robbie Lavery who was running a good line. His off-load was taken by Orr who in turn popped the ball to Davy Reive, the scrum half needing a telescopic arm to reach out for a fine score which Green converted for 17-12.

 

Directly from the restart a kick ahead by Green saw Hamilton try once more to run the ball out of defence. An inside pass was well read by Stewart who started off for the line. The cover defence was good but the youngster made an ‘out the back’ backhand pass to Reive who linked with Orr, the flanker crashing over despite the attentions of two Hamilton tacklers for another try – his 6th of the season to date.

 

Green’s conversion took Biggar into a half time lead of 24-12.

 

That Biggar failed to increase their total after the break is a frustration. Chances they had although neither side could really break their opponents defence down sufficiently to get in behind and score. Hamilton did manage a score, this from Wilson who was able to profit from a neat break and pass by stand off Stuart Whitelaw, which Wilson again converted.

 

Biggar made some decent breaks with replacement prop Donald Voas in the van on a couple of occasions and with a neat kick ahead almost spawning a try bar fro some last ditch Hamilton scrambling defence.

 

In year gone by however, Biggar would have struggled to see the game out and may well have cracked under the pressure. With Green orchestrating things behind the scrum however, and with the pack carrying ball tirelessly and working together in defence, Hamilton were thwarted and their efforts were generally cross pitch.

 

There were some really big efforts made by the whole squad, second row work horses of Jamie Orr and Andrew Peacock and Alan Warnock being noteworthy. Prop O’Connell received the man-of-the-match nod however, this after another workmanlike performance in all areas.

 

Great work too from Aird Jardine who was fielded at fullback, winger Alistair Sinclair who had a quieter day than of late and the bench of Stuart Hull and Ryan Moffat.

 

Biggar

A. Nimmo, E. Stewart, D. O’Connell, A. Warnock, A. Peacock, E. Sanderson, A. Orr, D. Notman, , D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, G. Stewart, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine Reps: D. Voas, J. Orr, R. Moffat, S. Hull

 

The win is a positive step but one which will require to be repeated this Saturday when the team travel to take on the other side relegated last season, Howe of Fife.

 

The 2nds travelled to Dundee on Saturday. There were some 38 senior players training on Thursday evening but the selection for this 2nd team was still a struggle as contractors and unavailability meant the side was still in doubt until Saturday.

 

That the boys returned with a win is all the better then and a massive pat on the back to all involved, no more so than to ‘retired’ Neil Wolfendene who played a stormer and managed to score a try to boot! Big pluesses agai however in the play of those fresh out of Colts. No fewer than 6 played and all were extremely positve in their approach showing maturity beyond their years - particularly in defence. There were some nice efforts in attack as well however with all trying to keep the ball available.

 

Commiserations to StevenCampbell and Craig McDonald who both picked up injuries. It is to be hoped they are not out of the game for long.

 

There was a classic twist to this match. The 2nds in similar fashion to the 1sts had managed to stretch ahead to 28-15. Dundee were not out of things however and they came back into the game with two tries, the last of which, had it been converted would have given them a one point win. Happily, from a Biggar point of view at least, the kick went wide and Biggar clung on to their win.

 

Biggar’s win came courtesy of tries from James Barr, Wolfendene and Stuart Alder while Euan Bogle (1 conversion, 2 penalties) and Craig McDonald (1 conversion, 1 penalty) shared the kicking duties.

 

Alder’s try which saw the centre involved twice is already – and after just one game and one week of the season – being talked up as the try of the season!

 

Of interest was the selection for Dundee 1sts of ex-Biggar Colt Rory McGinn at stand off with brother Danny on the bench. On the pitch adjacent to where the 2nds played the boys helped their new club to a good 33-0 win over Falkirk.

 

And to think there are another two Biggar youngsters headed to Dundee to study this session…..


Biggar Girls were Caithness bound

Caithness v Biggar in Mirage Conference

 

The Club’s Girls teams had made the long journey north to Caithness on Saturday for their Mirage Conference matches on Sunday.

Their trip was an enjoyable one with an overnight stop at Thurso on Saturday night. The rewards were in the results however with two fantastic wins by 55-24 for the 15’s and 66-7 for the 18’s. A cracking start in what was a tricky opener.

A quick depart and a knackered bunch returned home on Sunday night…..school and work on Monday!


Youth Section in Shogun Conference 1st Round

U16s 5-66 defeat

U15s 31-0 win

U14s - 51-0 this was a development match played as Biggar didn't have enough players. Boroughmuir loaned Biggar some players plus 4 from the U15s squad played with them

U13s 22-15 loss.

Boroughmuir U13 22 Biggar U13 15
Our 'baby' midis had to come of age quickly today as they faced Boroughmuir.
For the first ten minutes our lads were overwhelmed as they struggled to cope with the size and pace of a physically mature opposition. It is testament to our lad's guts and determination that they didn't let their heads drop, but found a way to contain the Boroughmuir team for the remainder of the half, and even crossed the whitewash themselves thanks to a great run from Fergus Watson.
They entered the second half three tries behind, but some fresh legs from the subs bench tipped the balance in the favour of the Biggar forwards, and Ben White managed to crash the ball over the line. Biggar were now snapping at 'muir's heels and 'muir's nervousness at this turnaround in fortunes was obvious by their dramatic use of their entire bench and aspects of play that our young lads haven't encountered before. Suffice it to say, their eyes have been opened.
Unfortunately, despite winning the second half, Biggar couldn't prevail overall. But this experience has bound them together even tighter, and they are relishing the thought of next week's encounter with Hamilton.

On this first conference weekend, Biggar earn 10 points, sharing the honours with their City opponents

Hamilton are opponents next weekend which is sure to be another tough contest.


Colts and Shogun Conference 1st Round


Biggar 25 Boroughmuir 8

 

'Plenty to savour as the new 'Shogun Conference' kicks off'. Even though we enter a new Conference with some new opposition, namely the best youth teams in Scotland, this match-up had a very familiar ring to it.

 

This was a relatively 'New Look' colts side, albeit with recognisable names from the previous season. Unquestionably, there will be a sigh of relief from all concerned that the first blow has been struck by the Black and Red with a favourable victory and excellent team spirit to boot. To dispatch a team like Boroughmuir, who have been operating in the top end league for many a season, is no mean feat and a pulsating contest left a healthy Biggar support with beaming smiles all round.

 

The match was competitive throughout and started very well with Ali Steele at outside centre kicking well from the hand and Finlay Stewart hoovering things up at Full-back.

 

Off-side was a big infringement feature for both teams but Biggar got the lions share of the advantage and progressed to the 'Muir' 22m on a number of occasions only to be halted by minor handling errors. The visitors were dangerous but Colts resident pickpocket Luhann Kotze performed daylight robbery on a couple of occasions to release a bit of Boroughmuir pressure. Support was plentiful but yielded no score.

 

This industrious and proactive approach was a real feature of Biggar's play and would continue but, it has to be said, against the run of play it was Boroughmuir that drew first blood with a penalty in the 30th minute.

 

Hosts and visitors alike got their blood up at the tail end of the first half and referee tripped over a couple of handbags to have a word with both captains to throw the fashion accessories to the sidelines and get on with it.

 

Rare defensive frailty by Biggar led to Boroughmuir's tall second row scoring right on half time to bring the score to 8-0 to the Edinburgh outfit.

 

Second half restart and great intensity shown from both sides. With Jordan Gray at No.8 it was a great opportunity for him to showcase his dynamic ability and it allowed him some freedom to break the line and this ultimately led to Biggar's first try.

 

Real momentum up the right through Gray's break and continuity saw Ali Steele over the line following sustained pressure. Steele narrowly missed his conversion but he would make amends three minutes later when Boroughmuir were penalised for not releasing in the tackle. His penalty was neatly slotted between the posts from the right hand touchline to bring the score level at 8-8.

 

Biggar were direct and getting into a flow and on 52 min. Robbie Orr collected the ball from the back of the ruck 10 metres out from the Boroughmuir line, showed their defence the blind but switched back inside to Kotze who split the defence for Biggar's second. Steele converted.

 

An entertaining brand of rugby continued and saw some nice interplay between forwards and backs and with Biggar seeing a bit more of the ball they capitalised with a massive carry by Jordan Gray who crashed through for a well deserved score. Steele had his eye in and converted well.

 

Ten minutes to go saw some changes in the pack replacing Archibald and Baillie who put in a competent shift. Just after the hour mark Sam Wallis showed real endeavour. The winger collected in his own half, opened the tanks, broke the first tackle, halted on the second at the opposition 22. It was an excellent stop by the 'Muir' defender but he just held on a bit too long giving Biggar the penalty. Ali Steele obliged with another 3 points.

 

Boroughmuir weren't done though and advanced putting Biggar defence to the test. Biggar absorbed the late pressure to bring the game to a close after a Muir knock-on. Verdict: A positive start to the season. A real team effort. Plenty to take back to the training ground. Maintain the focus and drive for Hamilton next Saturday.

Tries: Ali Steele, Luhann Kotze, Jordan Gray Conv: Ali Steele (2) Pen: Ali Steele (2)

 

Thanks to Alistair Stewart (Lanark) for this report
 


Biggar round up pre-season with win over Hawks

Biggar 68 Glasgow Hawks 28

Biggar’s National Cup opponents, Div 3 side Perthshire, pulled out of the fixture on Wednesday evening as they were without prop forwards. This was a blow as Biggar needed a fixture prior to league action next week against Hamilton. Over to fixture secretary John Jackson who conjured up Glasgow Hawks 2nd XV although the Glasgow side were aided by a couple of Hamilton players to complete their squad. Aside from the fact that Gary Mercer and David Wilson both previously coached at Hawks there is another link with ex-Biggar Colt Peter Steele returning to Hartree Mill in Hawks colours, the youngster having switched clubs last season. Many thanks to the Hawks for filling the void in at short notice and for travelling, Hartree Mill never a favourite of city sides!

 

On a perfect afternoon for rugby the game got off to a cracking pace with Biggar opening the scoring after 15 minutes when an offensive hit in the centre by Gregor Stewart dislodged the ball which was gobbled up by flying winger Alistair Sinclair who set off to the line some 60 metres away. Outstripping the defence he scored just to the left of the posts, Euan Bogle converting for 7-0.

 

Just 8 minutes later and that man Sinclair ran in his second, this after he was picked out by stand off Carne Green, this a feature of the Kiwi’s play all afternoon. Bogle converted again for 14-0.

 

Feinting a wide pass, Green popped a short ball some 5 minutes later to rampaging flanker Andrew Orr. He made ground before feeding supporting centre Gregor Stewart who then fed hooker Ewan Stewart who crossed for an excellent score though just too wide for the conversion.

 

Sinclair then nabbed his hat-trick (his second in 3 weeks), this another long run in after Ewan Stewart provided a neat inside ball on the half way. Bogle’s conversion took Biggar to 26 points with Hawks gaining a score of their own as their number 8 burrowed over from close range. The conversion made the half time score 26-7 to Biggar.

 

The try run continued after the break when Orr made a very typical breenge up the middle and over, Bogle again on target for 33-7.

 

Biggar made a hash of the restart kick after this score and Hawks pounced one more as their centre crashed over under the posts.

 

Biggar’s newest recruit Arnoldas Patrascio from Lithuania (via Denmark) made the ultimate dream start. Playing at lock but standing at the tail of the lineout he gathered a Hawks overthrow to turn and gambol over for a try with what was his very first touch of a ball in a Biggar jersey! Much amusement for the healthy crowd. Needless to say Bogle converted.

 

In similar fashion to Hawks’ second score, Biggar’s defence was once again found wanting and with Patrascio clearly shielding a weak shoulder he departed to be replaced by live wire Callum Dunlop who had started and who showed great composure throughout the match.

 

Another neat pop pas from Green to Orr was the prelude to Biggar’s next try, this going to skipper for the day Euan Sanderson, the flanker clearly in good spirits after his holiday and making a great contribution all day. With Bogle off for a rest Aird Jardine converted.

 

Biggar conceded a penalty in their own 22 as Hawks again came back at Biggar, the visitors stand off stepping neatly to beat the Biggar cover for their 4th score which, when converted, gave them their 28 point tally.

 

Biggar were not to be outdone however and relished the opportunity to have the last word(s)!

 

A neat dink from Green behind the Hawks midfield saw Jardine nip in and make the best job of splitting the remaining cover for a try (suspiciously offside perhaps?) which Green converted as everyone wanted to get in on the act.

 

The final score went to winger Ross Bradford who had been running lines all afternoon without ever touching the ball which never seemed to go his way. A darting, mazy run by Jardine saw the wee man beat several of the Hawks defence -some seemingly twice – before off-loading, the ball eventually nabbed by Bradford for the final and 10th Biggar try. Green converted for the 68 point tally.

 

Biggar

A. Nimmo, E. Stewart, G. Kelly, C. Dunlop, A. Peacock, E. Sanderson, A. Orr, D. Notman, A. Jardine, C. Green, A. Sinclair, G. Stewart, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, E. Bogle Reps: C. Braid, D. Voas, D. O’Connell, R. Moffat, J. Barr, I. Renwick

 

Three games gone and Biggar’s pre-season record makes excellent and very encouraging reading:

Played 3 Won 3 Points for 167 Points against 50.

 

That of course counts for little as the very real and important test is this Saturday when the side entertains Hamilton. This is a Lanarkshire local derby which is always keenly awaited and equally keenly contested. The Hamilton club were relegated last season after cleaning up National 2 the season before and they will have a point to prove. Their pre-season concluded on Saturday with a resounding 100+ point Cup win over their hosts Aberdeenshire who, aside from others have lost two of their number to Biggar – stand off Green and centre Michael McKeand who returns to his roots after several years up north (it’ll be great to see him back in the black jersey!).

 

It was also very encouraging to see Biggar’s bench again being used to the maximum with appearances for props Dan O’Connell and Donald Voas who have both struggled with injury and too for Iain Renwick who is another who is returning to his first club, this after several seasons with Ayr.

 

Selection is now a real test for coaches Mercer and Wilson who have several players contesting for places in both backs and forwards – these a real mixture of experience and youth. There will be disappointment for some but all should be encouraged by the knowledge that they are playing for the black jersey and Biggar RFC. This is as true for those who play in the 2nd XV as it is for those in the 1st XV. The 2nds have a daunting task with their first outing being a trip to Dundee High on Saturday. Ironically they could face two ex-Biggar players in the brothers McGinn (Danny and Rory) who both played for their new club on Saturday against Stirling County.


Biggar are Border Reivers with win in Penrith

Penrith 17 Biggar 21

This was the third match between these two sides and Biggar now lead the series 2-1. Saturday’s trip south was, as had been expected, a step up after last week’s match against Ponteland, but one which the Biggar squad made well.

 

Holidays, injury and work continue to prevent some players from making an appearance but those who did travel playe their part, none more so than those who have graduated from Colts rugby, Guy Kelly, Andrew Nimmo, Callum Dunlop and Euan Bogle all contributing massively to the Biggar performance.

 

Played over 3 periods, each of 30 minutes, this was another shock to the system, mainly because Biggar had only one forward replacement and he (Kelly) came into action on the 25 minute mark after Ewan Stewart picked up a leg knock. It was a long day for the pack!

 

Biggar almost drew first blood when a try looked to have been scored by Andrew Orr but the referee adjudged the flanker/hooker to have lost control of the ball over the line.

 

Penrith thet had a tilt at the Biggar line after a penalty and resultant lineout. Penrith scrum half, George Graham – formerly of Gala – made a dartign run to score the first try, this tactic paying off well throughout the match as he exploited gaps in the Biggar close defence.

 

Biggar should have scored a try almost immediately as Carne Green’s pass put Ryan Moffat into space. The centre in turn fed Robbie Lvery but the pass didn’t quite stick.

Kelly replaced Stewart, this neccessitiating a switch in the forwards but one which ahd little effect on the Biggar scrummage.

 

Right at the end of the third Biggar’s endeavours were rewarded as Andrew Peacock drove over from close range for a try converted by Green. 7-5 to Biggar.

 

After 10 minutes of this period Biggar introduced all their bench with Bogle, Gregor Stewart, James Barr, Craig McDonald and Aird Jardine replacing Alistair Sinclair, Lavery, Green, Moffat and Davy Reive respectively.

 

Some excellent continuity should have led to a second try but again the chance was lost. Instead Penrith scored another after Graham again sniped at the scrum base. The conversion put Penrith ahead at 12-7, this the only score of this period.

 

There were changes again before the third period got underway. Biggar took the lead shortly after the restart, Sinclair making excellent headway from Bogle’s wide pass. The winger celebrated his 21st in fine style by continuing on his run after he had passed, catching the return pass to sprint across in the corner. A great score which Bogle converted for 14-12.

 

Penrith looked bigger physically then their guests but they were somewhat ring-rusty playing in what was their first fixture of this season. Biggar held out due to some sterling work in defence by the pack but supported out wide. The hosts did score again however, this off a driven lineout which is so difficult to stop when it is done properly. Witht the conversion missed Penrith had a 17-14 lead with some 12 minutes remaining.

 

A performance was what was wanted with a win a secondary aim but when Nimmo ran another excellent line close to the ruck and crashed over for what would be the winning try, there was much celelbration. This was in most spectators opinion the ‘correct’ result, Biggar having had the best part of the play and having created the most chances. Bogle added the conversion to gibe Biggar their 21-17 winning margin.

 

Biggar

A. Nimmo, E. Stewart, C Braid, C. Dunlop, A. Peacock, A. Warnock, A. Orr, D. Notman, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, S. Hull, R. Bradford Reps: G. Kelly, G. Stewart, J. Barr, C. McDonald, A. Jardine, E. Bogle

 

The Cup game this Saturday will be another step along the way with Perthshire, although finishing last season towards the bottom of National 3, always likely to provide a tough challenge. KO is 3pm and it would be great to get a big support to cheer the boys along.


Biggar v Ponteland

Biggar 78 Ponteland 5

Biggar’s senior squad had a decent run out on Saturday against Ponteland from Newcastle. This was the first meeting between the sides but it is unlikely to be the last as the visitors proved to be a good bunch of lads, combining the visit to Hartree Mill with their annual trip to the Hawick Beer Festival.

In an entertaining match, Biggar played some decent rugby albeit that the visitors were a tad behind in terms of fitness, big though they undoubtedly were.

In the early stages Ponteland showed their ability to attack via the driven maul and Biggar did well to repel these initial sorties, even managing a scintillating break out which almost ended with a score.

Having engineered the breakout however Biggar were able to hold their position with Andrew Orr crossing for a score after a Euan Sanderson breenge. Ewan Bogle added the conversion and Biggar were on their way.

In the following 10 minutes Biggar added 2 further scores with Ponteland contributing one of their own – an excellent score it was too - to take the score at the end of the 20 minute quarter to 26-5, Bogle kicking well to convert all 4 scores.

The second quarter saw Biggar continue to add pressure to their visitors with 2 further scores. Four more scores came in the 3rd quarter and another 2 in the last quarter as Biggar piled on the points.

While the match was a little less of a contest than would have perhaps been preferred, coaches Wilson and Fleming (Mercer was not available for this match) were able to give all those players present a good run out. This included all 5 of those Colts who were available from last years squad and who have now moved up albeit that due to Uni/College commitments only 3 of these will be playing at Hartree Mill this season.

All involved showed up well, this including the recent recruits to the Biggar squad, with stand off Carne Green, centre Ryan Moffat and winger Ross Bradford all performing well and all getting a try.

The squad have been encouraged to play an open game and this they did with ball being shipped wide and at pace and with the pack showing up well in the loose. Up front, while props Dan O’Connell and Donald Voas were unavailable, their replacements Callum Braid (great to see this young man back in Biggar colours) and Guy Kelly stuck well to their task in both tight and open play, Kelly getting game time before his appearance off the bench in Sunday’s district match for Glasgow U20.

For the record points came from 14 tries: hat-trick heroes Alistair Sinclair, Andrew Orr with 2 each for Ross Bradford and Euan Sanderson and others for Ryan Moffat and Callum Braid. Bogle kicked 9 conversions.

 

Congratulations to Colt Cameron Forrest who officiated at senior level for the first time when he took charge of the last quarter! Referring is a massively important aspect of the game and Cameron’s involvement – and that of any others who may feel this is of interest - is to be encouraged.

 

Vice-President John Bogle made a presentation to the Ponteland club of a Biggar wall plaque and in return he was delighted to receive a Ponteland club tie and a copy of their 50th anniversary history (this is of course a landmark that is now just 8 years away for Biggar!).

 

This Saturday the squad make a return trip to Penrith for what is now seen as a regular pre-season contest. The lads from the north east are at a higher standard than Ponteland and this will be another step up prior to the home Cup match on Saturday 26th against Perthshire. The Cup precedes the start of National league 2 rugby, Biggar getting their campaign underway with a home match against Hamilton.


A Tale of two halves…

West of Scotland 26 Biggar 32

Biggar claimed only their second away win this season after they scraped over the line against West on Saturday.

That Biggar claimed a 4 try bonus was another boost for the side who have struggled recently, save for last week against bottom of the table Hill Jills.

With West claiming a win over near neighbours GHK the previous Saturday, Biggar travelled in the knowledge that they would face a city side on form. That they dominated the first half was extremely pleasing then, their 29 point tally coming in very nearly the same number of minutes. Aird Jardine kicked 2 conversions from the 5 first half tries, the opening try scored by himself and others by Alisdair Sinclair, Donald Voas, Ewan Sanderson and Gregor Stewart.

Quite what went wrong after the break needs some analysis but seemingly, without any obvious reason, Biggar’s effort faltered just as West’s increased, the home side able to claw their way back into the contest to add 3 tries to their solitary first half score to claim a 4 try bonus of their own ato take the score to 29-26 with some 10 minutes remaining.

This then became a 1 score match and it was left to Jardine to stretch Biggar’s lead to 6 points with a penalty. West were still very much in the game however and had they opted to kick for touch with their last penalty and use their most successful tactic, the lineout drive to exert pressure on the Biggar line then they may have sneaked the win. Instead however the tap penalty option was preferred and as they went through the phases it was Jamie Orr who rounded off a cracking game with a priceless turnover to end the contest.

Exciting or nerve racking? Both and in equal measure!

 

Biggar made a couple of changes to the side which opened against Hill Jills. There was a change at centre where Gregor Stewart returned after injury to replace Craig McDonald and at scrum half where Davy Reive replaced David McArthur.. In the pack Andrew Dunlop moved up to 2nd row to replace the injured Zander Lyon while Duncan Withers took his place in the back row albeit for just the first half due to a prior engagement.

Colt Andrew Nimmo made his first step into senior action as he came off the bench, the youngster showing up well and making some decent hits. He is also to be congratulated on making the next cut for the Scotland U18 squad who take on England at Peffermill on Sunday.

 

In a whirlwind start, this much to do with the fact that the game was played on West’s 3G pitch, Biggar ran West ragged and allowed them barely a touch of the ball and this only after Jardine opened the scoring with a neat chip and chase.

David Paterson, who had a very positive and very industrious day in both attack and defence, made the break for the next score although it was opposite winger Sinclair who rounded off the move with try in the corner. Paterson showed some real flair with this run which saw him round and hand off no fewer than 4 defenders before feeding Sinclair. Having missed the first conversion from a relatively good angle Jardine saw his next effort from virtually the touchline rebound off the upright. 10-0.

A series of good carries ended as Withers was left isolated and the resultant penalty gave west the chance to use their driving maul to good effect to take play into Biggar’s 22. Their pick and go’s looked to have done enough for a score but the referee blew for a knock on instead although the scrum saw Biggar penalised and west regain the initiative. A couple of phases later and their centre crashed over for a score which took the score to 10-7.

Undeterred Biggar came right back into things with a try Donald Voas, the prop tracking a dynamic charge from Ross Jackson. When tackled Jackson presented well and gave Voas the chance to pick and go for the last 8 metres.

Barely three minutes elapsed before Ewan Sanderson crashed over after another assault on the West line. Jardine’s conversion put Biggar ahead at 22-7 and also gave Biggar the 4 try bonus.

Stewart’s try just short of the half hour was set up by Robbie Lavery whose run took him through the first West line of defence. His pop pass was gratefully accepted by his fellow centre who was able to get the ball down despite the attentions of the West cover. Jardine added the points for the 29-7 half time score.

Biggar almost added a 6th try as Jackson intercepted off West in the Biggar 22. The youngster set off for the line but a cracking cover tackle from the West fullback did just enough to prevent the off-load tp the supporting Paterson and the attack came to nought.

Biggar don’t have a great track record for regularly running up large scores but such was their dominance of the first half proceedings - save perhaps for the driven line which West used to good effect – that had they managed another score shortly after half time, things might have been very different.

That was not to be however and a combination of errors and an increase in confidence of the home side conspired to give West the initiative. Their scrum half nipped over from an early attack and the conversion took the score to 29-14.

West will rue the missed chances they had in the game and which would have given them the win had they been converted. Twice they lost control of ball over the line although this was also due in no small part to some excellent cover defence from Biggar’s back 3 of Sinclair, Paterson and Steele who tracked back well on both occasions to prevent the score.

On the first of these the score was merely delayed as a mix up off the scrum base, an area which Biggar generally controlled well, led to possession being lost by Stewart who could only watch as the West centre pounced to score the try. 29-21!

A penalty and kick to the corner preceded the next West try, which happily from a Biggar point of view at least, was not converted. But at 29-16 the match was set alight for a nerve-jangling 10 minutes.

As the game progressed it became evident that the errors from both sides were going to be influential. While Biggar showed up really well in defence – Orr, Sanderson, Stewart just three who tackled tirelessly throughout – it was West’s errors which prevented them from claiming the lead.

Biggar’s attacks were rare occasions and these too ended with errors which allowed West further attacking opportunities. One such opportunity came as West lost ball in attack. Showing some great skills Biggar passed the ball wide to Lavery who made ground before passing to Paterson who took off on another run. There is a time to pass and a time to run and on this occasion Paterson held on for a fraction too long, the off-load to Orr just not suite going to hand.

Just minutes later however and Biggar were awarded a rare penalty which Jardine slotted for 32-26.

As the clock ticked on Biggar tackled manfully and then came the last turnover from Jamie Orr which brought the final whistle.

Players breathed heavily from their efforts while the Biggar spectators breathed heavily in relief! Ex-Biggar man Angus Thomson again showed up well form his adpoted club, leading form the front and tackling well throughout.

Coaches Mercer and Wilson were left scratching at their heads in an effort to understand quite what changed after half time. Nevertheless, this was an important win and one which should set the squad up nicely for their next match which sees them back in Glasgow at Whitecraigs.

 

Biggar

Thomas Steele, Alistair Sinclair, Robbie Lavery, Gregor Stewart, David Paterson, Aird Jardine, David Reive (C), Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Andrew Dunlop, Jamie Orr, Duncan Withers, Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson. Reps: Andrew Orr, Calvin Henderson, Andrew Nimmo, Craig McDonald.

 

The 2nd XV hosted Lasswade in a match postponed from a fortnight ago.

Able to field a strong XV Biggar recorded another excellent win by 41-3.

There was a 4 try bonus point with Alan Warnock notching a fantastic 4 try haul himself while Douglas Notman, Craig Frame and Alan Todd also scored, the last two both scoring from what was their first touches of the ball!

Gary Morrison (2) and Jack Warnock (2) shared the kicking duties.

With Kelso winning a tight match by 19-17 at Edin Accies, but without the all important bonus point, Biggar now return to the top of the East reserve league table by just 1 point.

Well done boys!


U15 Bully past Bulls

Biggar U15’s bully past Bulls

   The Lanarkshire derby of Hamilton and Biggar is one that is always hotly contested; no matter the age group, no matter the competition. Like all others, this weekend’s 15s game versus the Bulls did not fail to disappoint. Rueing a previously missed opportunity to beat their counterpart’s earlier in the season, the young lads refused to be pipped at the post twice and produced an enormous effort to take the win and halt the Hamilton’s league winning celebrations.

    The game started frantically and with some serious physicality occurring all over the pitch. Early hits came from Will and James gave Hamilton an indication of what they were in for, but unfortunately it was the opposition who got the first points after a minor defensive error allowing their centre to score. Quickly after, the boys in green and blue got another under similar circumstances. Not the greatest start but certainly not unreachable. 0-14.

   Having gotten over their early lapse, the young rams finally got into the swing of things, using their strong pack to gain yards and their backs to outstrip the Hamilton wings. The first try came from an increasingly characteristic maul on the Bulls twenty two. Having gained about ten yards it was brought down but momentum was not lost as Will and Jack carried strongly. Quick recycling and fast reactions from Callum McCallum resulted in big Jack bullying his way over the try line for Biggar’s first try. Back in the game. Conversion made. 7-14

   Half time: Biggar – 7 Hamilton – 14

    The second half begun like the end of the first, with Biggar on top. Straight from the kick off the ball found its way into the hands of the lightning quick Callum Smith. As ever, he backed his abilities and set off, running around the slow Hamilton pack and fending off the wing to run over the try line for an early Biggar try. Conversion excellently made again. 14-14

   Biggar were now truly in control and it was beginning to take its toll on the young Bulls. More and more carries from the likes of Hayden and Andrew were reaping good yards and another try was inevitable. It came in the form of some very intelligent play from the Biggar boys. Our prop Jack picked the ball off the back of a ruck on halfway and fighting all his front row instincts, beautifully drew the man and popped the ball to Aaron in space who was eventually hauled down 15 out. A penalty was won however, and the ball was kicked to touch. Promptly the ball was won and tucked under the jumper in a maul which proved unstoppable, collapsing over the line the ball was raised by our hooker, try by Cameron and the lead to Biggar. Callum McCallum miraculously nailed the kick from the touch line to put us 21-14 ahead with ten to go. Squeaky bum time Indeed.

   Hamilton came right back at us however and after some long pressure under our line they scored but missed the conversion. 21-19 with five to go, even squeakier.

   More and more pressure ensued, but Biggar would not allow themselves to be robbed and defended valiantly, holding the ball up over the line. A few scrums later the impossible happened and Hamilton were awarded a questionable penalty in the last play, posts were opted for and the game was in the balance. An anxious minute followed with the pitch being silent. The Hamilton lad strode up and struck it well; the ball sailed and spun and swerved but would not come, drifting past the right upright. The whistle was blown and celebrations spread. The boys had done it.

   Full time: Biggar-21 Hamilton-19

   Credit to the Hamilton boys who gave us our most competitive game of the season. However, the ever present improvement of this young bunch of rugby players continues to march on. Skill and speed, pace and power, brains and brawn, nothing seems to be lacking at the moment. Maturity is beginning to flow through this team and a few leaders are really stepping up and taking responsibility. Every boy played his part and gave his all to put us in a position to win it at the end and its just that sweeter against a big rival of the club. Whilst it looks like Hamilton may still win the league with a win against Dumfries next week, we know we can compete with and beat them, no matter the league standings. Whitecraigs await us next week, another tough game, but we’ll be ready for it. 


THE BIGGAR PICTURE - October November Edition

Welcome back. Lucky for you, the October and November edition are being mashed together… pumpkin spicing it up a little bit.

 

Girls

October started with the U15 and U18 girls making an 8 hour journey up to Caithness to play one of their conference games. Both teams won and it was great team building for all the gals… even got to stay in some interesting wee hostel rooms! After this, there were two conference games left – first up Hillhead Jordanhill. Yet again, it was another game and another win at both age groups. The final game of the conference was against Stirling County – who were also unbeaten. U15’s pulled through and won U15 conference title. Unfortunately, U18’s were pipped at the post and lost 19-17. Man of the match for U15’s was Abi Bandtock – congrats and well deserved! U18’s man of the match was Abbie Baillie – but it certainly wasn’t for her passing.

 

Midis/Colts

Biggar are currently sitting at 3rd place in the whole club conference table and the colts are at the top of the U18 table with 8 wins and 1 draw. Their last game was against GHA, which ended up becoming a development game due to GHA injuries.

S1 and U15 grabbed a win at the weekend with S2 and U16 unfortunately missing out. This weekend they play Falkirk – support would be appreciated.

 

Minis

A lot of delivery has been happening in primary schools across Biggar, Lanark and Carluke. The primary schools have had 4 or 5 week blocks teaching the basic skills and playing fun games... However they are all desperate for contact! Perfect opportunity to bring them along to the Come and Try Day which is happening on Sunday 4th December down at Biggar Rugby Club! While you're here you can also check out the new pitches! 

 

Refereeing

The club are always looking for more volunteers to start refereeing. Level 1 refereeing courses are regularly available and the club can also help with some of the cost. If Cameron Forrest can do it then anyone can.

 

Pitch Opening

It's been a long wait but the pitch opening is due to take place this Friday night. This is where the 3 new pitches will be officially opened and played on for the first time – rather exciting! Come along as there will also be stalls you can buy some stocking fillers from as well as some great rugby to be watched! 

 

Hope you enjoyed this edition of the Biggar Picture. Happy Holidays!


THE BIGGAR PICTURE - September Edition

 

 

… pation. Longer than expected, I know.

 

A September issue starting off the rugby year isn’t so bad..?

 

The mini section dove straight into the deep end with their very own tournament being held at the start of the season. All went well, and it was a good day to be had for all. A big thanks goes out to Laura Watson for having the patience to organise the whole event and making it run nice and smoothly. ONE CLUB ONE FAMILY.

 

With the season settling in, the midi’s and colt’s drop – kicked off their green conference battle, which includes playing sides such as Dunfermline, GHA, Dumfries, Falkirk, Hamilton and Whitecraigs. It’s been a hard start for U16’s due to playing numbers… so if you’re a 15 year old boy reading this for some reason or other, you clearly have nothing else to do. Get yourself down to Hartree Mill on Wednesday nights at 7pm and live life to the max – come and join the fam. The colts have had a pretty decent start, with wins all round apart from a draw with Hamilton… awkies. One way to improve would be to actually watch your games when Sarah doesn’t lose the footage and I actually upload them lol soz.

 

On a plus note, 8 of the colts are part of the U18 Glasgow Academy. This includes training sessions every week and games against the other regions. The boys included are Guy Kelly, Rory McGinn, Luhann Kotze, Matthew and Lewis Stewart, Andrew Jardine and Andrew Nimmo (who defs bribed his way in with a few cows). There are also 3 boys in the Glasgow U18’s development squad – Stuart Forrest, Rowan Stewart and Jordan Gray. This is a pathway to Scotland and definitely shows that Biggar Rugby club are doing something right.

 

Going back to conferences, U15 and U18 Girls played their first President’s Conference game against Murrayfield Wanderers. The Presidents conference is making its debut this year with 6 teams from across Scotland taking part. Both teams won with U15’s winning very convincingly and U18’s winning but realising they should’ve done pre season. It was injuries galore with concussion going round like the plague, but luckily Abbie Baillie will be back playing soon after suffering with concussion since March. However we are playing rather well and you’re putting Sarah out of a position so we don’t need you anymore. Let the games go on the way they started.

 

So there you go, another monthly update for you. Hope you enjoyed.

 

Rhiannon (and Sarah)


Biggar Colts suffer crucial defeat

Musselburgh Colts 42pts  v Biggar Colts 36pts

Edinburgh and District Under 18 League


Biggar Colts suffered their 1st defeat of the season but it was a crucial defeat as it impacts on them being able to go through to the National Cup , losing out to Musselburgh who will likely take that spot and the Edinburgh League title.
These two teams are arguably the best in the league and with so many cancelled games there will be not much chance to regain the top spot.
Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure as both teams put in a almighty display with the game in the balance up to the final whistle.

It was evident early on in the game that although Biggar were going to dominate up front , the Musselburgh backs were if given ball going to have the ability to cause significant damage and this they did.
It took 15 minutes before the 1st score of the game. Musselburgh spilled ball which was quickly seized on by Peter Steele who then offloaded to Mark Harrison to go in the corner for an unconverted try.
Biggar then had to go into defence which they have not been used to over the last few weeks and it was the big Musselburgh centre who broke through the defence to then go over inbetween the posts. This centre along with others was going to cause problems all afternoon.
But Biggar knew to keep it amongst the forward and use the strong runners in Mark Ewart, Ross Jackson and Andrew Orr. This they did to good effect and were rewarded with a try to Mark Ewart who continues to improve and impress stormed over for a converted try put over by Gregor Stewart. 
Shortly following this Musselburgh took their turn and their centre again broke through by palming his opposite number off and he duly stormed over from half way.
Again Mark Ewart responded in his usual way with a converted try by Gregor Stewart.
This game was now at a high intensity and both teams were taking and putting in some big hits to neutralise each other.
Musselburgh were awarded a penalty which was kicked to go into the lead. But in this see-saw game it was Biggar's turn and it was seized by Scott Thomson who was at then end of a period of play where the Biggar backs showed good hands to put Scott in the corner.
That try gave the Biggar backs some confidence and just outside their own 22 , James Barr put in a well placed kick from the left over to the right and with a bounce , Mark Harrison took the ball cleanly and sprinted 50 yards to score.
Biggar now had the upper hand and went in at half time in the lead.
Half time Biggar in the lead with 36 points to Musselburgh 17 points

There could be no doubt that Musselburgh knew they could get back into the game   if their well drilled backs could get ball and at the same time their forwards could try  to lift their game.
This they did and straight from kick off they came back in with another strong run by their backs putting the winger in. Musselburgh forwards were now more organised and were working in pairs to stop the Biggar big forwards who were trying to punch holes.
Biggar backs were finding it difficult against a back line who had pace and skill with excellent angled runs that was causing problems with the Biggar defence which in all the positions was not getting up on their opposite man quickly enough to stop them.
Also the forwards were struggling in areas such as lineouts.
A further try was taken by the Musselburgh winger and Biggar were now in defensive problems as shown when the again went over.  Nobody can  be signalled out as this team play as a team and take any problems as a team. 
Musselburgh were now just a point behind and with two minutes to go , put over a penalty to take the lead.
Biggar pressurised to get back in but were getting held well and in fact Musselburgh  seized an opportunity for their winger to go over and win the game.
It was a disappointment as so much work went in but credit has to also go to Musselburgh who had an excellent back line with pace and skill.
“Yes it was a defeat but its just another word for experience”
Nobody can doubt that as the last few years we have a special bunch of boys who would be a credit to any club

Full time – Musselburgh 42 points to Biggar 36 points


Biggar Ladies

Biggar RFC have a thriving Ladies section with a development Ladies team who train on a Monday evening, as well as teams at U18 and U15 age groups who train on a Wednesday night.

All of our squads are welcoming to new players, regardless of their experience, and are looking to expand their player numbers so come along and give it a go!

If you are interested in training with and playing for any of these teams, please contact Tammy Mitchell via the website contact page. 


Senior Player Facebook Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/608762125836918/


Colts 15   Murrayfield Wanderers 10

Biggar Colts 15  Murrayfield Wanderers 10pts

Edinburgh Under 18 League

Biggar took to the field again only having 18 in the squad but managed to come away with a hard fought victory over Wanderers , winning 15points to 10 points.
Recent injuries had forced Coach Barr to do some shifting about the team. As in recent weeks certain players have had to play out of position but every player responded to the task and credit must be to them.
On a great day for flowing rugby, Biggar took to the field hoping to put early pressure on Wanderers but it was in fact Wanderers who took the initiative and continually managed to set up many phases of hitting up through the middle and always offloading in the tackle which forced Biggar on to the back foot as tackles were not going in low. Biggar did respond with some strong hits going in and James Barr was showing his opposite centre that he was in a game with a couple of good hits. 
When Biggar did get the ball out Aird Jardine as in previous weeks made some clean breaks but did not have the back up required which was costly.

Biggar got a free kick ,  and from a quick tap and go, the ball was fed to Craig Stewart who hit up and from this Ryan Anderson powered over for s fine try converted by Jack Warnock.
Biggar then went back to defence with Wanderers doing a series of terrific runs and offload up through the middle of the pitch. Ryan Anderson had to go off with a head knock and this did not help Biggar in defence.
Wanderers pressure eventually paid off and they powered over for a try which was not converted.
Shortly before half time a drop pass by Biggar saw the ball kicked ahead for as try to be scored which was not converted

Half time Biggar 7 to Wanderers  10.

From the start of the half it was again Wanderers who took the initiative and were constantly threatening the line but for 5 minutes, Biggar held them well and the turned over ball to release pressure and put the ball back down into the Wanderers half.
Reiss Cullen was dominating turning over ball, some great runs and constantly thwarted Wanderers scrum half in putting ball out the back line. Andrew Orr was taking a fair share of the ball and making good years ably backed up by Alistair Sinclair. From this spirits and confidence were lifting and a penalty was awarded to Biggar which Jack Warnock converted to tie the scores.
Biggar were now back in the game and late on Grant Hamilton picked up a loose ball land ran 60 metres to score which was not converted.
The final whistle could not have come at a better time as this was a hard fought victory which created further injury worries.
The game had not flowed as in previous weeks but confusion reigned during many parts of the game as rule interpretation was questionable which unsettled the team.     

Next week at home Biggar face a Livingston side who have recently had some big wins and have a large squad.    


Development Resources

DRILLS

 

Coaching Tag and Mini Rugby (booklet)

Coaching Youth Rugby (booklet)

Rugby Games, Skills & Drills

Dynamic Warm Up

 

GYM PROGRAMME

 

Gym Programme - Generic


Biggar RFC - Development Overview

Biggar RFC is a thriving club which caters for players from Primary 1 through to senior. We currently boast teams at P1/2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, S1, S2, U15, U16 and U18 as well as a girls U15’s team, 2 senior teams and a social / over 35’s team.

 

I am Andrew Barnett, Club and Community Development Officer for Biggar Rugby Football Club. Since the 2008/09 season the club has employed a full time development officer to help maintain the status of the Clydesdale region’s premier sports club.

 

The development programme can be loosely split into two key areas: club programme and community programme.

 


Club Programme:

 

The club aspect of development officer role essentially revolves around the following question:

In the time between a youngster joining the club to when they graduate through to senior rugby - how can we help them achieve their own absolute potential as rugby players, as teammates and as club members?

 

Biggar Rugby Club boasts 14 competitive teams from Primary 3 through to 1st XV as well as non-competitive weekly sessions for P1’s and 2’s. With teams at every age group from P3 through to U18, we currently have approximately 45 volunteer coaches across all youth age groups. I work very closely with these coaches, trying to ensure every child gets the best rugby experience possible through educating coaches in the latest coaching techniques and tactical and technical knowledge.

 

The safety of participants is always at the absolute forefront of our minds. Therefore, every coach is required to go through an annual ‘Are You Ready to Play Rugby?’ course. This is a yearly update which leads our volunteers through the latest safe coaching ideas and techniques.

 

 

Community Programme:

 

The community programme primarily revolves around the schools programme. I run rugby taster sessions in both Biggar and Lanark cluster primary schools as well as curricular and extra-curricular activities in Biggar High School and Lanark Grammar School. If you have a child who goes to a Biggar or Lanark cluster primary school it’s highly likely I will have delivered rugby sessions to them and their classmates.

 

Biggar RFC are also proud members of the Biggar Community Sports Hub, and work with other sporting teams in the area to give youngsters the maximum sporting opportunities possible.

 

 

For questions regarding rugby development in your area or any other enquiries regarding the club in general please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the contact details below.

 

 

Yours in Rugby,

 

 

Andrew Barnett | Club and Community Development Officer | Biggar Rugby Football Club | Hartree Mill | Biggar | ML12 6JJ

Mob: 07834600337 | Email: development.officer@biggarrfc.org.uk |
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BiggarRFC |


Biggar Colts

Our Colts team is made up of our 16-18 age players and competes in the Edinburgh District U-18 League, competing at the highest level and providing stiff competition for any team in Scotland,. The team train on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is coached by Yogi, Muz and Gavin, who have been working hard with this ever changing group for a number of years and have coached many of our current 1st and 2nd XV players.

If you would like to know more about our colts team please conatact Colts Convener David (Muz) Murray on 07786158710


SUMMER CAMP 2012

Bookings are still being taken for the Biggar Rugby Club Summer Camp 2012!!!!

Monday 30th - Tuesday 31st July (Primary School ages)                                 10am - 4pm
Wednesday 1st - Friday 3rd August (Secondary School ages)                       10am - 4pm

Camps are charged at £10 per child per day and participants should bring their lunches / wet weather gear and a change of clothes with them.

To book on email Calum on development.officer@biggarrfc.org.uk with participants name, age, which days they wish to come, emergency contact details and any heath issues we should know about or phone 07720677977.


Biggar seniors v Bracknell

Straight after the U-15 game a Senior Biggar XV, made up of players from the 1sts to the Colts took on touring side Bracknell. The tourists were less fresh than the U-15’s from Orrell had been and had also lost their first game, this to Leith Accies.
Biggar opened strongly and scored first. They never relinquished the lead and ended up 22-10 victors. A grand run about on a Sunday afternoon and for several of the Biggar lads some much-needed practice for the forthcoming Over-35’s tournaments at Perth (12th May) and St Andrews (19th May)! Any other interested parties should speak to GY asap to confirm their attendance.


Biggar Minis at Heriots

Mini News
This weekend Biggar Minis took 4 teams (P4 - P7) to the Heriot’s Tournament in Edinburgh. The day was glorious and the wet and cold of the winter season was forgotten and sun cream and plenty of liquids was the order of the day.
The P4s started with a game against Madrascals. Biggar supported well in the tackle and recycled the ball fantastically well however they found it hard to get round or through the opposition and ended up going down 8 - 2. The P4s second game was against the tournament hosts Heriot’s, and again Biggars continuity was impressive, this time the tackling was also up to scratch and the game was a joy to watch as several players had good runs and tackles. With tries coming from Murray (4), Fraser, Jonathan and Conner the game ended to soon at 8 - 8. In the final game Biggar came up against the giants from Musselburgh again and they found stopping the fast running bigger players very difficult eventually losing 8 - 2. The tournament allowed a lot of the squad to get more experience which will help them play better as a team later this year and next.
At P5 Biggar played a strong first game against Madrascals, who were a well-matched team. Biggar displayed good strong tackling and consistency throughout and broke for some really great tries. The boys seemed to have taken heed and managed to pop the ball free more often earning a well deserved 7 - 6 win.
In the second match Biggar were dominated by Heriot’s who were undeniably much faster, much more forward moving and much more together as a team. The Biggar boys moral went down quickly given their defeat against Heriot’s last week, and that combined with a back to back game in the heat, resulted in a 10 - loss.
The third game against Musselburgh also proved to be very difficult, once again the opposition were faster but the Biggar boys worked better as a team and were capable of running in a few tries. If the Biggar boys had not hung back so much they may have been able to win this one but in the end lost 9 -4. Over the day Jack, Hector, Euan, Cameron, Gregor and Harry all contributed tries.

The P6s first game was a very competitive match against Madrascals with the best team play seen from this Biggar P6 team this year. The game eventually finishing 3-2 to Madrascals. In the second game Biggar came up against a very focused home team losing 6 - 0. In the final game against Musselburgh a lot of the team work and support which has been practised in training came through with Douglas and Drew scoring tries and eventually winning 4 - 2.


Biggar Minis have a tough day at Edinburgh Accies

Mini news
Biggar RFC took 5 age group teams to their first Edinburgh Tournament of the year at Edinburgh Academicals ranging from P3s to P7s.
The P4s started with a wake up call from a strong home team Biggar despite having many good runs were always halted just before the try line the home team getting the ball wider quicker and running in 11 tries to Biggar's 2. In the second game Biggar tackled well and kept the game with Heriots close losing 6 - 4. In the last game Biggar led Currie most of the match running in trys from 3 different players but ended losing 7 - 5.
The Biggar P6s came up against 3 strong teams and had some good attacks but never got onto the front foot losing to North Berwick 11 - 0, Heriots 4 - 1 and to Currie by 8 - 0.
The Biggar P7s started against Heriots with some good running but losing 6 - 1, Biggar upped their game in the second match tackling and linking up well keeping the game close but losing 5 - 2 to Stewart Melville. In the final match against Watsonians Biggar were 7 - 0 down at half time but through strong tackling held the score to 8 - 0 at the end.
All the Biggar teams and players played in the true spirit of rugby and enjoyed their day in Edinburgh and the experience will help bring the teams together.


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