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

Biggar in 5-try win

Biggar 32 Stewarts Melville 3

A 5-try, bonus point win is always very welcome but none more so than when it is against a side relegated from the division above and clearly looking to make a quick return.

 

Stewarts Melville left Biggar without even a glimpse of a losing bonus, having met a resolute Biggar defence which gave virtually nothing away. The capital side will have to address the short-comings of their pack which, aside from being absolutely massive and making life really difficult for Biggar at scrum time, appeared a tad pedestrian at times. It will also come as a surprise to many that No 8 Duncan Wood rejoined the fray after being very clearly knocked out in the opening exchanges. In these days of player welfare and head injury assessments the big lock (and his club) was taking a risk, the visitors electing to ignore the protestations of the Biggar camp to have him stay on the touchline.

 

Selection in the coming weeks will be a much harder task then ever before for Biggar’s coaching staff as few, if indeed any, of the 19 in the squad could have given much more, with another batch in the 2nds waiting for their chance. The 2nd string were defeated by the odd point in 37 in what was a hugely entertaining contest (also against Stew-Mel) and one which was enjoyed by the two squads and spectators alike.

 

With Andrew Nimmo carrying a groin strain from last week, Donald Voas started. Alan Warnock regained his spot at lock at the expense of Franco Carossi who joined Guy Kelly, Ryan Moffat and Robbie Lavery on the bench.

 

The opening exchanges were halted by the afore-mentioned and accidental head knock to Morrison and while Biggar enjoyed the greater percentage of both possession and territory they were unable to open their account as passes failed to stick and Stew-Mel defended strongly.

Conor Lavery did kick a penalty to put his side ahead at 3-0, this lead extended after Ross Jackson made the most of a series of forward-orientated drives at the line to pick up, pop round the side and dot down in the top corner and too far out for Lavery’s conversion attempt.

 

Matthew Stewart showed some excellent pace to gain several yards on a number of occasions but try though they did Biggar were unable to add to their tally.

 

Turning round behind, Stew-Mel began the second half well, stringing passes together much more accurately than had been the case prior to the break and making inroads into the Biggar half. The Biggar first up tackling was first rate however and this, combined with some great pressure, forced the visitors into making some uncharacteristic errors.

 

The city side did open their account however, scrum half Cameron Leask kicking a penalty to bring them back into the contest at 8-3. They then enjoyed their best phase of the match, when, with their tails up, they raised the pace of the game, passing, running and driving with much greater conviction.

 

Electing to run penalties awarded their way, they had Biggar on the back foot on a couple of occasions though Biggar’s cover defence managed to snuff out the threat, Davy Reive or Lavery kicking well to clear the immediate danger.

 

Eventually working their way down the pitch with a variety of kicks from Lavery, Gregor Stewart had a tilt at the line but was held up. Having created the position deep in the Stew-Mel 22, Biggar were not to be denied and it was no real surprise when after a series of good forward drives, Ewan Stewart crashed over for Biggar’s second try to increase the lead to 13-3.

 

Several minutes later and a typically barn-storming run by Voas advanced play back into the Stew-Mel half. Having again created the position another break by Matthew Stewart took play deeper into the Stew-Mel 22. With ball recycled quickly from the ruck an inside pass from Lavery saw Rowan Stewart carve through the visitor’s spread-eagled defence for a try which Lavery converted for 20-3.

 

Biggar were now within one try of claiming a bonus point but before they scored this they had to withstand another Stew-Mel salvo at the line where once again Biggar’s defence was tested and found up to the mark.

 

Having eventually cleared their lines Biggar gained excellent yardage as Lavery continued to turn and probe the Stew-Mel line with a variety of chips, grubbers and punts. A penalty allowed them to turn the screw once more, Guy Kelly peeling round from the front of the lineout to take his skipper, Euan Sanderson’s pass, before crashing over for the all-important 4th try from 5 metres and a 25-3 scoreline.

 

To give the visitors credit they never lacked ambition and tried to play rugby until the end, running ball whenever the opportunity arose and making some decent yardage to boot.

 

Some top-notch defence from the squad and mazy runs by among others Reive and Matthew Stewart kept the city side at bay. Their final attempt to score came as they again elected to run the ball out of their 22. A loose pass and the ever alert Ross Bradford spotted and collected the ball in this final move, the winger sprinting over from some 20 metres for a try converted by Lavery to round off Biggar’s afternoon at 32-3.

 

Biggar

I Renwick, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, G. Stewart, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, D. Reive, D. Voas, E. Stewart, F. Maggiolo, A. Peacock, A. Warnock, C. Milligan, E. Sanderson (c), R. Jackson.

Reps: G. Kelly, F. Carossi, R. Moffat, R. Lavery.

 

Unfortunately the Biggar Eagles Development XV found themselves without a match on Saturday when their oppoenents Duns failed to raise a side. The eagles were also stretched however and another appeal goes out to all players from both Lanarka dn Biggar to make known their availability for this weekend when Watsonians are sure to have a side ready and waiting.


NEWS

Biggar in 5-try win

A win for the 1sts and a narrow 1-point defeat for the 2nds

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