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

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


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