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

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

Colts and Youth update

Scores on the doors

more

1sts sneak a win at Whitecraigs

A nail-biting  finish for Biggar support

more

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