Hartree Mill Sports Grounds, Biggar ML12 6JJCharity Number: SC 047700

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


NEWS

Mixed fortunes for Biggar’s Youth sides in Fife

U13's triumph in big win while the U14's just fall short against Fife side Dunfermline

more

Colts grab extras in West area Cup debut

This re-scheduled match saw Biggar run out handsome winners. Thanks to Alistair stewart (Lanark) for this report

more

2nds gain important victory over Boroughmuir

A morale-boosting win for Dougie's 2's

more

Bonus point win against GHK

Biggar back on track!

more

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