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

‘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)


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

Colts come out on top in West test


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