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

Lasswade defeated for 8th win

Lasswade 7 Biggar 67

Biggar secured their eigth straight league win with this latest result from Lasswade.

 

The 10-1 try count is not necessarily representative of the game however with the home side contributing more than their meagre tally would suggest. Credit too that at no time did they concede, working hard throughout and thoroughly deserving of their score. That they are in such a lowly league position is due in a major part to the number of injuries their already small squad has suffered.

 

Biggar were forced into a change at wing with Ross Bradford injured last Saturday against Glasgow Accies, Euan Bogle slotting in after a spell with the seconds. Luhann Kotze retained the No9 shirt with Davy Reive on the bench. There was a return to 1st team squad for Gregor Stewart who was also on the bench.

 

There is now an air of expectation from the Biggar support. While this is probably only to be expected given the sides current form, this level of expectation does not take into account the desire of their opponents to raise their game and to become the first to topple the league leaders. The squad too must be patient and guard against any sort of complacancy as they strive to retain their unbeaten record.

 

The first half saw the home side face the breeze which is always a factor at Hawthorndean. Their only option was to run ball and their pack put in a big effort early on to control ball with pick ups and off-loads which tested the Biggar defence. A feature of Biggar’s play has been their defensive strength and this was in evidence once again as they repelled the Lasswade effort.

 

Ball won by Biggar was run back to Lasswade but their efforts to expose the Lasswade side foundered as the backs with Kutze and Conor Lavery struggling to put their passes together, this undoubtedly due to the wind as the home side had similar probloems in the second half.

 

As it was Biggar struck with just under 10 minutes on the clock fullback Robbie Lavery collecting centre Ryan Moffat’s pop pass to cross over for a try converted by Matthew Stewart – this the first of 5 conversions for the youngster.

 

The Biggar fullback scored his second as he split the stretched Lasswade defence with a lovely angled run to cross under the posts.

 

A great choke tackle by Lewis Stewart prevented a Lasswade breakout and while another knock-on meant that Biggar lost possession in their next phase normal service was resumed as Lasswade conceded a penalty within their 22. A quick tap and go from Kutze saw him make good ground to the line and when he was stopped he managed to slip the ball to his stand off Conor Lavery who crashed over from close range.

 

Matthew Stewart added the conversions to both scores and then converted a penalty as Lasswade erred.

 

Biggar hooker Ewan Stewart was then shown a yellow card as he was deemed to have made a no arms tackle on flying winger Ross Combe who was stopped in his tracks by what appeared to many to be a textbook tackle. Biggar then were unfortunate not to score with two interceptions, the first by Kutze and the second by Conor Lavery. This was certainly the pick of the two, the stand off gathering the ball from Lasswade No 8 Stephen Hunter as the home side made a rare excursion into the Biggar 22. Faced with an 80m sprint to the line the Biggar man looked to be going to go all the way but with the Lasswade defence tracking back he elected to pass to the supporting Kutze. The pass was another to drop in the wind and a knock-on saw Lasswade escape further punishment.

 

The resultant scrum brought the half to an end and Biggar turned to face the elements.

 

On the restart Andrew Peacock replaced skipper Alan Warnock.

 

The half had barely begun when Rowan Stewart scored. Jamie Orr had had a slightly less productive day in the lineout when compared to the previous week’s fantastic stats but in the first lineout of the half he managed to get a hand to the Lasswade throw. The ball ricocheted past Kutze and was gathered by Stewart some 5 metres outside his 22. Running back to the packs he exploited a gap and finding himself in space he burst past the two remaining defenders to cruise home from some 60 metres with defending winger Combe unable to prevent the try despite making good yardage to the Biggar winger.

 

Matthew Stewart added the conversion and Biggar were 31-0 up.

 

Playing with a breeze, while making kicking easier, can often make pssing more difficult as the ball floats away from the receiver. Lasswade found this to be the case, several passes missing the intended receiver.

 

Ewan Stewart’s return coincided with Conor Lavery’s second try the stand off using a neat ‘show and go’ to split the Lasswade defence for a try again converted by Matthew Stewart.

 

Davy Reive replaced Kutze and shortly after that Gregor Stewart came on for Matthew Stewart.

 

Lasswade then found a way to the Biggar line as a couple of penalties which were kicked to the corner gave them an opportunity to use a line drive which they completed successfully, lock forward Liam Greig rounding off the move. Matthew Smith added the conversion.

 

A neat passing movement was the prelude to Biggar’s next try, Ross Jackson taking Reive’s pass after Peacock had made good yards round the side of a ruck. Euan Bogle kicked the conversion and then found himself replaced by Kutze.

 

Coach Mercer then introduced the rest of his bench Craig McDonald coming on for Conor Lavery and Bogle returning to replace Rowan Stewart.

 

A probing run by Ross Jackson saw the No8 almost reach the line but the Lasswade defence halted his progress. However, ball recycled ended with Mulligan picking up and diving to score to mark the half century. Bogle was just wide with the kick.

 

Sadly Jackson damaged a knee in his efforts and he left the field to be replaced by Warnock.

 

Orr was next to touch down, the lock using all his strength to first of all drive his opoosite number back to the Laswade line before twisting to cross the line and dot the ball down. Bogle had his range and added the two points from the tee.

 

Try though Lasswade did and while they were able to retain possession well in their pick and drives and close quarter off-loads the Biggar defence made their hosts work really hard for any yardage they did gain. And any error saw Biggar back on the attack at a pace which challenged the home XV.

 

A quickly taken penalty initiated the next score, McDonald making ground with Ryan Moffat rounding off another sweeping movement which saw play moved from touchline to touchline.

 

Moffat rounded off proceedings with his second try, this a scamper through the middle after another sustained passage of play involving his team.

 

A deserved victory and win No 8. Next up are Preston Lodge who have been showing good form this season and who put Whitecraigs to the sword on Saturday. They will pose a real challenge to the Biggar side who will be without several key men due to unavailablity and injury.

 

A massive effort will be required with the youngsters again tasked with stepping up to the mark.

 

Biggar

R. Lavery, E. Bogle, M. Stewart, R. Moffat, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, L. Kotze, D. Voas, E. Stewart, F. Carossi, J. Orr, A. Warnock (Capt), L. Stewart, C. Mulligan, R. Jackson.

Reps: A. Peacock, G. Stewart, D. Reive, C. McDonald

 

The 2nd XV hosted Selkirk in their match and were on the wrong side of a relatively narrow 21-13 defeat.

 

This was a disappointing result however as the side seemed to lack the fire which had been so prevalent the previous week.

 

They too have a home game on Saturday when Musselburgh are the visitors.


2nd XV comeback not quite enough to get the win

Dundee 29 Biggar 22

The 2nd XV journeyed to Dundee, their preparations hampered by a late arrival due to traffic and many thanks to Dundee for allowing Biggar a little extra time.

 

As had been the case against Cartha the week before Biggar conceded a couple of early try’s before they got into their stride to mount a fight back.

 

Dundee were two try’s ahead for most of the game however until the last ten minutes when Biggar’s fitness started to show through.

 

Having clawed their way back into the game to get within one try, and work hard though biggar did, Dundee managed to sig deep to prevent Biggar getting that final scored that they deserved.

 

Many thanks to Neil Wolfendene who travelled to Dundee after playing for the Biggar Eagles on Friday evening, and to Sam Wallis who is studying in Dundee and struggles to get back to play for his club. As is the case with the 1st XV there are a whole host of youngsters all of whom again showed up well. In total of the 18 man squad no fewer than 14 were 21 or under with 8 of those still in their teens!

 

Skippered by James Barr who made a very promising return to action after injury, the Biggar side again showed much promise. There elague record shows that they have already ammassed more points from their 5 games this season than they did for the full league schedule last season!

 

For the record: Paul Davidson scored a try while man-of-the-match Euan Bogle scored 2 tries and kicked 2 conversions and a penalty. Final score Dundee 29 Biggar 22


7 from 7…

Biggar 47 Glasgow Accies 7

Win No7 for Biggar came at the expense of National 2 newcomers Glasgow Accies. While the City side have been running things close in recent games they were exposed a little at Hartree Mill as Biggar continued with their unprecedented league start.

 

Being really picky, Biggar should have recorded another half century but, in the last 10/15 minutes when that score was a possibility, players got a little white-line fever and in taking ball to the line by themselves, play became untidy and opportunities were wasted.

 

The fact that they did this is hardly surprising and shows a desire and confidence to score. In reality of course there are only 5 points available from any one match and Biggar had these pretty well sewn up within the first half hour. That they did not match their first half tally after the break came as a result of those last untidy passages of play but also because Accies made a better fist of things after turning round to face the breeze, their pack upping their game and recording their solitary score.

 

Biggar welcomed back Donald Voas and Chris Mulligan who were both unavailable last week, they seamlessly taking the places of two injured players, Guy Kelly (concussion last week against Highland) and Robbie Orr (training injury). Elsewhere, Luhann Kutze made his first start at scrum half in place of Davy Reive while Ryan Moffat regained his centre berth as Robbie Lavery moved back to fullback.

 

Accies began with an inauspicious kick-off which, because it went straight into touch, gifted Biggar early possession.

 

With an expectant crowd – this is in itself an uncommon experience at Hartree Mill – Biggar did not disappoint, their first try coming after just 9 minutes and going to Rowan Stewart who took Moffat’s pass and whose pace took him past the stretched Accies defence. Matthew Stewart kicked successfully for 7-0.

 

Despite playing into the breeze – conditions though not nearly as bad as had been forecast were still chalk and cheese from those enjoyed last Saturday - Biggar used a kicking option with Conor Lavery using a variety of kicks to pin Accies back and to turn defence into attack.

 

The Accies backs were a little hesitant in attack while a couple of risky, wide passes put the receiver under pressure and created opportunity and space for Biggar which they were quick to exploit.

 

In the next passage of play the ‘Ross’ s’ - Bradford and Jackson – took play forward before the kick was again employed. An aerial battle prompted an Accies counter attack but this saw possession regained by hooker Ewan Stewart who then freed Kutze who in turn made short shrift of sprinting clear to the line and under the posts for a try which was again converted by Matthew Stewart.

 

The second score came after 15 minutes and 5 more had barely elapsed before Biggar struck again. Matthew Stewart rounded off a wonderful attacking move spurned by another turnover, this one from Mulligan. Moving the ball to the left at pace and a couple of virtually intuitive passes between Kutze and Rowan Stewart provided Matthew with a run for the line for a try which he also converted.

 

The bonus point winning try came after 28 minutes and the conversion made the score 28-0: a point a minute!This try came after an Accies fumble which perhaps should have also seen play halted for an apparent Biggar knock-on. This was unseen by the referee however and a kick and chase ensued. A series of attempts to control possession by the Accies defence failed and Mulligan was up quickly to eventually get his hands on the ball. Although stopped short his pop pass was taken by Moffat who crashed over for the 4th try. Matthew Stewart converted for 28-0.

 

Biggar then lost the services of winger Bradford who had been unfortunate in collecting a couple of pretty hefty thumps when he appeared trapped in tackle situations. The second hit left him in considerable pain and he would be an unlikely starter against Lasswade next Saturday. Craig McDonald took over.

 

While they continued to press and put the visitors under pressure Biggar were unable to add to this tally and half time came at 28-0.

 

Now with the increasingly strong breeze on their backs Biggar immediately had Accies under pressure at the start of the half.

 

Using kicks both in attack and defence soon saw Accies deep in their 22 and with Biggar using ball well to increase the pressure a lineout take and drive provided good forward momentum for Biggar to run at the Accies defence. A neat pop pass from Conor Lavery to Moffat set the centre free for a tilt at the line which he duly won. Matthew Stewart was off target with this kick.

 

There followed a much improved passage of play and possession for Accies who nevertheless came up against a resolute defensive performance from the Biggar XV who time after time put in some massive hits to halt Accies progress.

 

In attack once more Biggar added another try, this falling to Rowan Stewart who benefited from following up on a Conor Lavery midfield burst. Freed with a 40m sprint to the line, the winger showed a neat turn of pace and shimmy to take him clear of the Accies defence. Matthew was back on target for 40-0.

 

Accies lost a 3rd player to injury as Biggar continued to hit hard in the defensive tackle while biggar themselves were left short-handed when Carrossi fell foul of the scrummaging laws and was shown a yellow reducing Biggar to 14 with just a quarter of the match remaining. Andrew Peacock came and Lewis Stewart became the unlucky player to give way to allow Peacock to provide scrum cover.

 

Undetterred at being outnumbered, Biggar showed sufficient resilience to work their way out of defence and into another attacking position. Running wide from a scrum Kutze put in a neat pop pass to Rowan Stewart coming off his wing at a fantastic angle which cut the Accies defence apart and which led to the teenagers hat-trick. Matthew Stewart brought up the 47 point tally.

 

In a rare attack and with some 15 minutes remaining Accies finally got a score, their pack combining well to turn and then drive the Biggar pack back to their line where, from under a pile of bodies, lock William Brown was credited with the try which was then converted by Gordon McGuire.

 

Notman came on to replace Carrossi after his 10 minute sin-bin had elasped while Reive entered the fray with some 5 minutes to go.

 

Voas had a thundering run at the Accies line, Alan Warnock took play to within a couple of metres while Lavery employed the cross-kick to good effect.

 

A plethora of attacking opportunities were then spurned by Biggar as errors crept into their play with others that were missed by the afore-mentioned white line fever. It can be seen that Accies were in some respects let off the hook.

 

Man-of-the-match was again a tight decision with stand off Conor Lavery getting the nod for his control the game through running, passing and kicking.

 

 

A 7th win from 7 starts makes for excellent viewing and represents a fantastic result and one much appreciated by the coaching staff with Doug Fleming the man in charge on Saturday as both Gary Mercer and Davy Wilson were in Ireland on a school coaching trip.

 

Accies have been getting some valuable coaching input from ex-Scotland prop Ryan Grant. This was clearly evident in their scrum – again Franco Carrossi was on the wrong end of a yellow card as he found the going tough – but Grant will be less pleased with the Accies lineout which Biggar, via Jamie Orr and Alan Warnock managed to pilfer on a fairly regular basis.

 

Biggar’s pace in defence has been a factor in their play to date and this was the case again on Saturday when their opponents were put under immediate pressure whenever they had possession. This led to errors and Biggar’s other strength, an ability to counter attack from almost anywhere led almost directly to several scores.

 

Lasswade are next up. The Mid Lothian side are currently bottom of the table and are having a torrid time but this is almost a ‘local derby’ and in games such as these anything can happen!

 

There is of course another match as Lasswade at the weekend, this involving the clubs’ respective Over 35’s who will do battle on Friday evening (KO 7.30pm).

 

It is unlikely that this will be played at quite the pace of the match the following day or that the combatants from the Saturday match will learn much from the exploits of the ‘oldies’ but stranger things have happaned at sea….!

 

Statistics

Biggar have the best Points Differential of all the Premiership and National League teams. Having scored 267 points they have conceded a miserly 63 which gives them a positive of 204. Nearest to that comes from Gordonians in National 3 with a 178 points differntial.

While few other clubs come close at that 1st XV level, 2 clubs. Hawick Linden of East 2 and Waysiders Drumpellier of West 3 boast even tighter defences with just 57 and 38 points conceded respectively!!

 

 

Biggar

R. Lavery, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, R. Moffat, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, L. Kotze, D. Voas, E. Stewart, F. Carossi, J. Orr, A. Warnock (Capt), L. Stewart, C. Mulligan, R. Jackson.

Reps: A. Peacock, D. Notman, D. Reive, C. McDonald


U13’s and U14’s v Currie

U13 Rugby

Up against a speedy Currie side the boys did well and kept themselves in the game with a try and conversion from Liam and a try from Harry. Going in at half time 7-12 down. (2 tries 1 con to 3 tries and 3 cons)

 

Going into the second half with the wind (and rain) at their backs, the boys competed well with Currie but the visitors were just too fast in their breakaways and unfortunately the second half went similarly to the first with 2 tries against 4.


Again Harry scored a second try as did Liam who also converted it. Final score Biggar 14 Currie 25. A tough day for our boys but they never gave up and battled on to the final whistle against an efficient Currie side that used their fast players to their advantage.


This weeks Man of the match went to Liam.

 

Unfortunately the U14 match was abandoned after Stewart Neill was injured in a play. We all wish Stewart a speedy recovery!


Girls v Lismore

The Biggar U15 Girls game ended in a 73 - 32 win for Lismore. Biggar scorers were Madelyn (2), Anna (conv Farah), Cerys, Sammy and Isla.

 

The home side started with a bit of a hiccup which knocked the girls off balance and it showed in the first half as they gave away a 40 point lead! Or the girls just like to play under pressure! However, the second half was a different game. Capt Farah Conn came on and blazed a path down the length of the pitch with support from her team and offloaded to Anna Baillie to score. This sparked the girls into action and they ALL made some great plays in both attack and defence. With injuries, (a couple of head knocks), the numbers became mismatched. Biggar played with 12 players against 13 for a while until Lismore dropped to 12 players. The Biggar girls have so much potential which they usually show, but only in the second half on Sunday.

 

Their heads were up and they enjoyed their game. They did us proud again!

 

At U18 level...

On a very blustery day at Hartreemill, the latest fixture of the Mirage Conference league saw the Biggar squad playing against Lismore.

 

Playing into a very strong breeze, Biggar started well and opened the scoring after 5 minutes and added a further try straight from the restart and a third try after 8 minutes to take the score to 17 nil. The strength of the wind was proving very difficult for Emma Orr who was improvising well with varying place and drop kick attempts.

 

Lismore gained some possession through a series of good scrums and only for the strong tackling of the Biggar girls, were they prevented from scoring. Biggar, however, were enjoying most of the possession and scored two further tries after 15 and 18 minutes respectively.

 

The Lismore girls kept their heads up and after some good link play and some defensive errors from Biggar they scored their first try in the corner. The Biggar coaches made some changes to allow players to try new positions and this resulted in a further three unanswered tries before half time. Half time score 48 – 5.

 

The first period of the second half saw some very scrappy play from both sides but it was Biggar that scored a try to take the score to 55 -5 and secure the tie for Biggar. The remainder of the time was used as Development.

 

Biggar try scorers - Emelia Knights, Emma Orr (2), Kaylee Fraser, Lucy Blackie, Feebi Robinson (3), Abi Clarke. Conversions - Emma Orr (5).

 

Player of the match for Biggar was Stephanie Smith. Also a big well done to Naomh Gibson in her debut for Biggar.

 

Many thanks to Richard Robinson for filming the game and to Janet Aitken and Jo Wilkins for their support in the kitchen.

 

There is now a break of three weeks before the next game away to Annan on the 28th October 2018


Fantastic contest sees Biggar maintain top spot

Biggar 22 Highland 7

Biggar’s total of 22 points, which last week was only just enough to give them victory over Whitecraigs, was more than enough to see them over the winning line against Highland.

 

A sixth win from six starts is as good a record as Biggar have ever had and means that they retain their top spot in National 2 with Stewarts Melville leap-frogging Highland into second place. Having played 4 of the 5 sides immediately below them (local rivals Peebles are the 5th), is also a bonus with Glasgow Accies and then Lasswade next up. Neither of these sides are currently on form and on paper these should equate to two further victories although the coaching staff, with one or two selection headaches in the offing, will be adamant that there should be no complacency in their approach to any match. Banana skins…..

 

In wonderful Autumnal conditions and with Hartree Mill an absolute joy to behold – please check Nigel Pacey’s wonderful pictures from his drone if you are in any doubt – Biggar hosted Highland who hail from Inverness and are the furthest travelled of all National 2 sides. A massive club in the 1970/80’s the club is in the process of recovering from a slump which has seen them climb up through Regional Leagues and Div 3 in the last 3 seasons as they have at the same time also redeveloped their clubhouse and pitches.

 

They are well used to travelling and deserve all credit for their efforts which sees them board a bus every two weeks at 8am for the joureny south. On the evidence of Saturday’s match Biggar’s trip north in January will be a massive test as the Highland side are clearly the best drilled XV they have met so far this season. Highland lost because they were penalised on numerous occasions for high tackles, losing 2 men to the bin and because they were unable to break the Biggar defence which again was immense throughout.

 

In short this was a fantastic match, played with no quarter asked or given and one which had the very pleasingly large crowd enthralled until the end.

 

In the pack, Donald Voas and Chris Mulligan were unavailable for this match and so Guy Kelly started at prop. The youngster completed the best 80m minutes he has had since joining the ranks of the senior squad. His tight play was solid while he also performed well in the loose, carrying ball well on several occasions. Mulligan was replaced by Lewis Stewart who made his first senior start.

 

Andrew Peacock, another who has again blossomed this season, was moved to the bench to provide front row cover and was replaced by Douglas Notman while Jamie Orr made his first return to the senior squad this season. In the backs Conor Lavery returned at stand off with Robbie Orr moving from there to full-back, he another to return a performance well beyond his tender years and claiming two tries in the process, the first of which was a fantastic effort and which saw his speed and strength take him round and through the Highland cover.

 

With this being a top-of-the-table clash it was hardly surprising that this match was absolutely full on from the first until the last minute. Both sides ran at pace, challenging their opponents to defend and off-loading as they sought to play an expansive game. Yards were gained as players ran and found players with neat passes and, as players tackled, yards were lost as there were turnovers and mistakes were made.

 

A series of penalties were awarded to Biggar as referee Tom French took issue with the preponderance of shoulder high tackles made by the visitors but few of these were in kickable positions and so ground was won but on each subsequent attack the Highland defence managed to halt Biggar. At other times ball was lost in contact, this as much to do with the ferocity of the hit as it was to poor ball retention.

 

When in attack, Highland also opted to go for position, this despite the fact that they were playing with the wind and had a couple of penalties which looked to be within range. Had the position been swapped Biggar might have opted for a pot at goal. As it was and having taken good lineout ball Highland ran Biggar close, only some superb defence with all playing their part keeping the visitors out. In this regard Robbie Lavery put in some thundering hits, these backed up by some equally good hits from Conor Lavery, Rowan Stewart, Matthew Stewart and Franco Carrossi.

 

Ball in hand saw Biggar running well, Robbie Orr solid at the back and always making great yardage in the counter attack, while others to shine were Ewan Stewart (whose footwork on a couple of occasions was top drawer), Lavery who hit up well and the afore-mentioned Kelly.

 

After a series of penalties for high tackles (the penalty count was 11-3 in Biggar’s favour in this half) referee French resorted to showing a yellow to Highland’s flanker. The resultant penalty saw Biggar take play to within yards of the Highland line before play was again halted for another penalty, this one for off-side. Prior to this award the solitary kickable penalty Biggar had, proved to be just outside Conor Lavery’s range although he did manage to slot this last award to give Biggar a slender 3-0 lead at the break.

 

With the breeze now on their backs Biggar were able to control play a little better, ensuring that Highland were kept at bay as Biggar kicked from hand to pin the visitors back in their half. While Biggar’s counter attacking had always threatened, Highland’s proved less successful although this was also due to the quick, flat support from the Biggar chase which meant that the Highland counter was always under pressure.

 

An early penalty opportunity drifted wide but with Ross Jackson, the Lavery’s and Peacock (who had come on for Notman) all in possession, Highland were kept in their half. Yet another penalty ended with Highland centre Rob Eatogh shown a yellow and so for a few minutes the visitors were down to 13 men. An initial tap and go from Jackson did not impress referee French but on the scrum restart his pick exploited the short-handed defence and the No 8 cruised over in the corner.

 

Lavery was unable to add the conversion. A mix up on the restart had Biggar at sixes and sevens although they did manage to extricate themselves from a difficult position.

 

Biggar struck next with some 20 minutes of the second half gone. Highland were back to full strength but some excellent attacking play from Biggar which saw play swept from left to right with Conor Lavery and Jamie Orr in the attack ended with fullback Robbie taking possession from around 20 metres out. His typically mazy run bamboozled the Highland defence although he needed all his strength and reach to eventually dot the ball down for what was a wonderful score. Matthew Stewart, from an almost identical position as he had faced against Whitecraigs, kicked the conversion from near the touchline. 15-0 Biggar.

 

Four minutes elapsed before Biggar struck again. Running at pace and asking all sorts of questions of the Highland defence eventually created space on the left. Luhann Kutze who had replaced Davy Reive passed wide to his left, the ball snapped up by Orr who sprinted clear and under the posts for his second try. Stewart added the conversion and Biggar were 22-0 ahead.

 

Undaunted by this latest set back Highland continued to play and attack. Maintaining possession well they pressed deep in the Biggar half but again the Biggar defence was up to the mark and the pressure exerted forced the error to give Biggar some respite.

 

Iain Renwick replaced winger Ross Bradford as Biggar sought to press on.

 

Nevertheless Highland regained territory and courtesy of a needless penalty and by forcing play to the left and then to the right ball found prop Stuart Watson with 15 metres or so from the line. Swatting Biggar attackers aside as if they were troublesome flies the big man barrelled over for a try which stand off Craig Irvine converted for Highland’s 7 points.

 

A spectacular jump and catch by Rowan Stewart off the restart took play immediately back to the Highland 22 where Biggar went in search of what would have been a real bonus of a 4 try bonus point. The same player was then bundled into touch just feet from the Highland line as desperate defence came good.

 

Kevin Robison came on for the injured Lewis Stewart with some 3 minutes to go.

 

Although Biggar managed to retain ball and territory Highland put an end to proceedings with their last kick to touch from a penalty award ending the contest.

 

A massive cheer greeeted the result, Biggar’s support having thoroughly enjoyed the contest and of course the result.

 

The icing on the cake from a club point of view came with the news that the 2nd XV had also recorded a fine victory over their oppoenents, Cartha QP.

 

Biggar have (possibly) never had such a fine start to any previous league campaign and while some of the less optimistic believe that the side is just a couple of wins from being 100% safe from relegation, there is a belief in the squad that they can go forward and improve. The confidence and skills exhibited is a great motivational aspect for play and for development. The number of players used over the past few weeks will increase as injuries and other factors come into play but all those who have been called up have all stepped up to the mark and have done so seamlessly.

 

Biggar

R. Orr, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, R. Lavery, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, D. Reive, G. Kelly, E. Stewart, F. Carossi, J. Orr, A. Warnock (Capt), D. Notman, L. Stewart, R. Jackson.

Reps: A. Peacock, K. Robison, L. Kotze, I. Renwick

 

Post Script

Donald Voas took part in the European Log Lift Championships in Glasgow at the weekend finishing in 6th place in his category. A fine effort for someone who is a novice at this event.

Biggar ‘s 2nd XV as described above won their match with Cartha.

Having conceded 2 early tries things looked a tad grim but the home side then mounted a fight back and with Ryan Moffat (who was unlucky to have been dropped from the 1st XV squad) leading the way with 3 tries, Biggar overcame the city side to win by 33-26.

This was the sides first win and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. As is the case with the 1st XV they have played 4 of the 5 sides at the top of the Reserve league and so they have had a wicked start to their campaign.

A lot will depend on whether they can continue to rely on the mixture of youth and experience fielded on Saturday. Some 7 teenagers were joined by some gnarly veterans in the shape of Grant Owens, James Tawse, Calum Taylor and Andrew Goodall (making a return to Biggar colours after several years in the city).

 

Special mention should be made of what was apparently a real contender for ‘try of the season’ scored by Andrew Howatson. Gathering ball on his own as he covered back the prop come fullback ran to the Cartha pack, flumoxed them with a chip and catch and then burst over the line for a wonderful individual effort.

 

In addition to the above Euan Bogle kicked 4 conversions


Colts and Youth update

On Saturday the Colts travelled to Stirling County. They played well but still lost out by 53-14.

 

Biggar’s Youth sides were also pitched against Stirling who as is so often the case proved to be too strong for the local side.

The U16’s lost their unbeaten record going down by 62-12 while there were defeats for all the other age groups.

S1’s lost 24-8

S2’s by some 6 tries to 4

U15’s was turned into a development match after stirling reached the requiste 50

U16’s by 62-12.

The Shogun Conference is now suspended for the October weeks and so there is some ‘respite’ for the Youth sides who face Currie this coming weekend.


1sts sneak a win at Whitecraigs

Whitecraigs 20 Biggar 22

Whitecraigs fullback S. Adair had a ‘last kick of the game’ penalty to give his side victory against Biggar on Saturday. Having kicked 3 from 3 previously and with the penalty invitingly almost in front of the posts it looked a relatively straightforward kick – if indeed there is ever such a thing – but on this occasion the youngster pulled the kick wide and so Biggar ‘escaped’ and made it five straight wins to stay atop the League table.

 

That they had to cling on for the points was a new experience this campaign especially given that the previous two games have been won by 10 tries a-piece. A year ago this match could well have ended in defeat but the squad displayed concentration and had belief in their performance and this ensured that they came away with the maximum 5 league points.

 

This weelend will really see where they stand as they host second placed Highland, a side who were promoted last season and who have also been on a run – they recorded a 47-15 win over Whitecraigs in their match so this will be a huge game for both sides with the winner destined to be league leaders.

 

While Ewan Stewart was available, Conor Lavery, Gregor Stewart and Guy Kelly were all unavailable for this match and so there were several changes within the starting XV. Up front Donald Voas started at prop with Ewan Stewart at hooker: Robbie Orr got the nod at stand off, Robbie Lavery in at centre and Iain Renwick at fullback. Changes, but all involving tried and trusted members of the squad.

 

The Glasgow side were reported to have a large pack and indeed this proved to be the case, their efforts in the tight scrum in particular causing all manner of problems for the Biggar eight. Mobility around the park was not as good however and it was this which Biggar sought to successfully exploit.

 

Rowan Stewart opend the scoring off an Orr pass after some good build up play by the pack. The wingers incision saw him cut through the Whitecraigs defence as the proverbial knife through butter. Conor Lavery’s absence meant that the kicking duties fell on this occasion to Renwick but his aim was not in and the lead was just 5-0.

 

The home side ran hard and straight but the Biggar defence, as has been the case this campaign, remained solid with Carlos Carossi, Voas, Ryan Moffat, Ross Jackson and Chris Mulligan among many others all showing up with some big hits.

 

An Orr clearance was the prelude to the next score as Adair and then Murchie struggled to tidy the kick cleanly. Biggar’s chase ended in a Biggar scrum and after one reset referee Lee Fish awarded a free kick to Biggar. Going with a quick tap, Davy Reive moved the ball left to Orr whose initial show and go broke the ‘Craigs defence. His off-load found Lavery who crashed over for Biggar’s second try. The conversion was swept wide but Biggar led 10-0.

 

Biggar were quickly back on the attack and with several really good runs at the line they should have added to their tally but some poor decisions when firstly players cut back inside and secondly when the blustery conditions spoiled an excellent attacking lineout, meant that these chances went a-begging and allowed ‘Craigs to stay in the match.

 

For their part the home side were still struggling to put phases together and their only attacking opportunities took them to just inside the Biggar half, and this with the benefit of the cross wind.

 

The next score came after Moffat and then Voas had made good ground in the centre to push ‘Craigs back into their 22. Though seemingly the ‘wrong’ way and in the face of ‘Craigs numerical defensive advantage Reive moved the ball left to Lavery. The centre found Rowan Stewart who needed no second invitation to split the ‘Craigs defence for his and his sides second score. Once again however, three tries up but only 15-0 as the conversion was missed.

 

Inevitably the home side then began to get their act together and some powerful driving play by their pack with a gargantuan lock making headway they engineered an attacking position within Biggar’s 22. Having won a penalty they elected to kick and Adair made it 15-3.

 

On the attack again and with ball spun left they should have scor3ed a try save, that is, for an opportune double tackle and steal from Lavery and Orr which was just enough to force the knock on. A Mulligan pick up and tidy and then two priceless turnovers from Reive’s box kick clearances, the first from Bradford and the second from Carossi, gave Biggar a penalty back on half way.

 

With some 5 minutes to go before half time, ‘Craigs were then reduced to 14 men when centre Wamberg was shown a yellow for a high tackle. The resultant lineout was unfortunately untidy and spoiled the initial attack. Able to retain their position Biggar then made another couple of errors although another piece of handling magic from Andrew Peacock deserved better. As it was referee Fish blew for the end of the half.

 

Peacock gave way to Calum Braid shortly after the restart and then Ewan Stewart was replaced by Lewis Stewart, Mulligan moving to hook to alow the youngster to play back row.

 

With the advantage of the breeze Biggar should have been able to push on but they came up against a much rejuvenated ‘Craigs XV who played with much greater pace and asked lots of questions of the Biggar defence and this despite the fact that they were still a man short.

 

There also seemed to be a change in the referee’s interpretation of the scrum and it was soon that Biggar found themsleves penalised on numerous occasions due to this change. Carossi was identified as being the ‘culprit’ though the Biggar coaching team would take issue on this interpretation. Down to 14 as Carrossi was shown yellow did nothing to help Biggar’s cause.

 

Penalties continued to be awarded and on one occasion, and after an inordinately long advantage, which saw several phases completed successfully, play was halted and brought back for the original penalty. The irony of all that was that even after the penalty kick was taken ‘Craigs were short of where they had managed to advance play!

 

Their persistence eventually paid off however and having kicked to the corner, ball won was smuggled back to their replacement lock O’Neill who bundled over for a try. The conversion took the a score to 15-10 meaning that ‘Craigs were right back in the mix.

 

Reive made way for Luhann Kotze who was making his first appearance of the season.

 

Another Adair penalty put ‘Craigs just two behind at 15-13!

 

Arguably the defining moment of the match came with a quarter of the match to go. Making headway deep into the Biggar half, ‘Craigs were penalised for going off their feet at a ruck. Clearly frustrated at the decision their No 7 threw the ball away/at Mulligan. It rebounded into the hands of Renwick who elected to tap and kick. Having taken the home side by surprise – sides usually kick clear when awarded a penalty in their own 22 – the ball bounced twice in play before being snapped up by Kotze who made15 metres before popping the ball inside to his supporting winger. Bradford, who had already impressed with some great attacking carries, took off for the line to score a really opportunist try. To add insult to injury for ‘Craigs, Matthew Stewart stepped up, and from the widest angle of all the kicks on the day, managed to slot the conversion for a 22-13 lead.

 

Having done well to claw their way back into the match another side might have capitulated at this point, but not ‘Craigs who continued to press.

 

A forward pass denied what appeared to be a good score for Biggar but when ‘Craigs continued to attack penalties were again conceded by Biggar – some 29 penalties and 3 free kicks in the match(!) - and this ensured Biggar were kept working hard in defence.

 

A quick tap and go on one such award saw Biggar skipper Alan Warnock shown a yellow for stopping the play within the requisite 10 metres and so Biggar played out the match with just 14.

 

Following this penalty and in the next foray ‘Craigs No 7 – villian turned hero?– drove over from close range. The conversion took the score to 22-20 in Biggar’s favour but with some 5 minutes remaining. A one score match!

 

And so the drama played out until the denoument and that final penalty.

 

Biggar deserved to win. They may not have played as well as they have in recent matches and while ‘Craigs were not a stand out side they posed many problems, not least in the tight and problems which the Biggar coaches and squad will have to solve. Bottom line however is that there are only 5 points available to a team and Biggar once again claimed them all.

 

Plaudits to all for their collective efforts.

 

Biggar

I. Renwick, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, R. Lavery, R. Stewart, R. Orr, D. Reive, D. Voas, E. Stewart, F. Carossi, A. Peacock, A. Warnock (Capt), C. Milligan, R. Moffat, R. Jackson.

Reps: C. Braid, L. Stewart, L. Kotze, C. McDonald

 

Biggar ‘s 2nd XV journeyed to Edinburgh Accies, currently the Reserve League leaders and flying high at the top of the table. A fortnight’s enforced break was absolutely no preparation for this match and try through they did they lost out by 48-3.

 

Once again the scheduled opponents for the Biggar Eagles called off and so they were left without a game.


NEWS

Lasswade defeated for 8th win

Biggar continue on their winning streak

more

2nd XV comeback not quite enough to get the win

The 2nds came back aith a losing bonus after a fightback

more

7 from 7…

Glasgow Accies return after a 20+ year gap

more

U13’s and U14’s v Currie

The U15's and U16's matches were called off after Currie at u15 and Biggar at U16 were unable to field full XV's. The U13's and U14's played on

more

Girls v Lismore

Lismore were Biggar's guests on Sunday

more

Fantastic contest sees Biggar maintain top spot

A cracking top-of-the-table clash lived up to its billing

more

Colts and Youth update

Scores on the doors

more

1sts sneak a win at Whitecraigs

A nail-biting  finish for Biggar support

more

October 2018
S M T W T F S
30 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
web design by Environ-IT