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

Rugby Force and St Boswells visit to begin pre-season proper

WHAT a week, WHAT a weekend!

 

Biggar’s Summer Camp ran all of last week and played host to some 80 rugby daft youngsters who were put through their paces by the Development team supplemented by youngsters and coaches from the club.

 

A full programme of skills practices, fitness work and all manner of fun games meant that the kids (and the coaches) went home each night exhausted!

 

A highlight came on Friday with the appearance of the Calcutta Cup and an opportunity for each player present to get a photograph with this famous trophy – these can be downloaded from the website (under Gallery).

 

Many thanks to the SRU and Graham Law for again providing the trophy.

 

RBS/SRU Rugby Force kicked things off on Saturday when at 9am volunteers started appearing to be allocated one of the various tasks to prepare the Hartree Mill site for the new season.

 

General cleaning and tidying up, sorting, mending, building, painting, plastering, weeding, raking…..and so on were included and the 80+ volunteer army got stuck in.

 

RBS volunteers and SRU personnel (including Glasgow North Rugby Manager Alex Edmonstone) augmented the Biggar members and all got stuck in with much enthusiasm.

 

A vast number of jobs were completed and another list was started – running the club is akin to the old adage about painting the Forth Road Bridge , no sooner are you finished than you need to start again!

 

A big thank you to all who turned out, your efforts were very much appreciated and have made a big difference to the club. Volunteer days and the hours devoted to house-keeping and large project tasks have been crucial to the club moving forward over the years and will continue to be the main way of maintaining progress. To out-source the work would make the whole job prohibitive and the club would simply stand still.

 

Congratulations are due to Nic Humphries for the initial application which saw Biggar as one of two award winning clubs and to the committee with Nigel Pacey leading with the provision of materials and equipment and the distribution of tasks.

 

There were two winners on the day, both taking home a signed Scotland shirt, this coming as a reward for their morning work. In the U18 category, Katie Innes beat the rest for her disciplined approach to her work in the fitness hut while Michael McConkey won the adult award, this for his unstinting stint as post-painter!

 

Guests to be thanked are (in no particular order) Sarah Ayton from RBS, Rex Hughill from Leith Management, the RBS film crewman Ewan Fletcher and Tom Hallam from Stripe PR.

 

At 1pm and on schedule some of Scotland biggest names arrived – Stuart Hogg and Huw Jones from the men’s side and Lana Skeldon and Megan Kennedy from the Ladies. Many of the youngsters found the atttraction of these players too great and the workrate dropped a bit but there are no complaints – their presence had quite an effect on several of the adults as well!

 

True to form and in rugby style the guests quickly pitched in to help. A quick fire round of questions with locals interviewing stars and stars interviewing locals was followed by the main coaching phase of the day where all sections of the club were represented – including members of the Lanark Eagles - and when the stars moved around the groups providing coaching tips and generally assisting the youngsters and their coaches.

 

Although scheduled to stay until 3pm the queue at that time for autographs and selfies stretched for 50+ metres and the 4 stars stayed until the job was completed. Fantastic!

 

Great ambassadors for their clubs and for the SRU – well done folks for a magnificent effort.

 

There was action on the pitch when National 3 side St Boswells arrived for a pre-season friendly. Having reportedly recruited successfully again this season the Border side will again target promotion to National 2. Boswells were let down somewhat by some very late call offs however which meant they turned up with the bare XV and with Biggar counting on a squad of some 25 this was always going to make the visitors task all that more difficult.

 

Played over 4x20 minute quarters play was a tad disjointed and scrappy although given that this was both teams first run out of the season that is hardly surprising. The Boswells pack posed some problems for the Biggar side in the scrum and should have probably made more of an impression had their lineout functioned properly but this cost them dearly when promising attacking positions were lost via over throws.

 

In reply Biggar ran well to test the Borders defence to the full.

 

In a tit-for-tat game the sides traded tries over the first two quarters before Biggar began to open up a gap in the third to eventually run out winners by 33-17.

 

Boswells points came from tries credited to Lawlor, Paxton and Hogg with Chisholm (brother of former DO Iain) adding a conversion.

Biggar’s points came from newcomer Franko Carossi, Ross Jackson (2), Douglas Notman and Ali Steele. Euan Bogle kicked 2 conversions, with Davy Reive and Steele both notching one a-piece.

 

Holidays, weddings and work will continue to effect selection over the next few weeks but the side should be able to welcome back their Glasgow reps and others who have yet to be in a position to commit to training.

 

On this note very many congratulations to all those who were involved in representative rubgy on Sunday on the final day of the Fosroc academy programme played at Murrayfield.

 

Guy Kelly, Matthew and Lewis Stewart and Luhann Kutze were all in action for the U20’s with Andrew Nimmo, now registered with Hawks another named, while Jonnie Smith, Sam Taylor and Ben Nicol were all in the U16 squad.

 

In the Girls U18 VII’s were Sarah Denholm and Feebi Robinson (Thistles) and Emma Orr (Saltires). The Saltires won with Orr notching two scores.

 

 

In a big step forward the Biggar and Lanark are to join forces this season to provide a side which will compete in the East Development league.

 

A shortage of players at Lanark which led to their enforced withdrawl from last years West league and insufficient numbers at Biggar for a 3rd XV meant that a significant number of players were getting only irregular matches.

 

The ground-breaking arrangement will run on a season by season basis with games played at either Biggar or Lanark with the potential for Friday evening floodlit games should the opportunity arise.

 

Both Presidents, Iain Hughes from Lanark and John Bogle from Biggar, are enthusiastic about and whole-heartedly support the venture as players from both clubs are going to benefit from the added game time.

 

A new strip which incorporates colours from both clubs has been created for the team which will play under the name of Biggar Eagles. There will be a Barbarian type look with players wearing their own club shorts and socks. Opponents will include Duns, Dalkeith, Linlithgow, Watsonians and Livingston.

 

Players will train at Biggar with Lanark’s David Masters joining the coaching team.

 

 

This weekend

This coming weekend will see further Senior club action at Hartree Mill when Penrith are the visitors. This will be the 4th year the sides have met in what have been competitive pre-season fixtures. In past seasons the game has been the first for the English side but this time round this will be their second outing this season and so the sides should be at the same stage in terms of preparation.

 

With Biggar facing Cup opponents Musselburgh on the 26th before the League starts on 2nd September, coaches Mercer, Wilson and Fleming will look to field their ‘top’ XV. There were several players who stepped up the mark on Saturday and selection will be a tough ask for the coaches and for the players! Exciting times ahead!

 

The 2nds will also play against Penrith so a top afternoon of rugby is in prospect.

 

 

Junior rugby – Sunday

U12 and U13 v Livingston – home

U15 and U16 v Livingston - away


NEWS

Rugby Force and St Boswells visit to begin pre-season proper

Rugby Force weekend

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