Hartreemill, Biggar, ML12 6JJ

Modern Apprentice Changes

After a very successful 2 years as Biggar RFC Modern apprentice Rhiannon is coming to the end of the SRU Modern Apprentice scheme.

On behalf of everyone at the club I would like to thank Rhiannon for all her dedicated work throughout the South Lanarkshire region. Rhiannon is very well thought of and respected by all she has come in to contact with, especially the children who she has taught at many different schools and events.

Rhiannon has also shown how her skills have matured over the time and I saw this first hand on my first day of working. I was thrown straight in to Carluke Rugby festival with over 300 Pupils attending Rhiannon had everything organised well before hand and the festival was a great success and I was extremely impressed. The proof was in the pudding by the enthusiasm of all the children who attended.

From a personnel view point, I have only had a short period of time to work with Rhiannon but I have witnessed so many excellent qualities and along with everyone at the club I would like to wish Rhiannon a very successful career in whatever path she may choose.

Andrew Barnett, Development Officer Biggar RFC.

And so to the new MA

My name is Ioni McPherson and I am passionate about sport and coaching and believe the Modern Apprentice Role will help develop my skills and enable me to gain valuable experience within all aspects of rugby. I feel that I will be able to help promote Biggar RFC and provide young people with a positive role model, demonstrating the one club one family ethos.

I believe that I would be able to start contributing straight away to promote rugby to children within the Clydesdale area and recruit new children into rugby, as well as encourage and develop the skills and behaviours of the children already involved.  I will enjoy the challenge as I am very passionate about the voluntary work I have undertaken so far, working with children and young people to make a difference

And finally Rhiannons view on her last 2 years as the clubs MA and we wish her all the best for the future and look forward to her continuing her playing career at the club

Over the past 2 years I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as the Modern Apprentice at Biggar RFC. There have been many ups and downs – working with 3 different development officers within the space of 2 years was a struggle. However, the job itself always made up for it.

Coaching in around 20 different primary schools from ages P1 – P7 was definitely a task. Although at some points it was hard, and having to drive miles to different primary schools in the middle of nowhere, I felt good doing my job. The kids always managed to put a smile on my face somehow, even if it was just the witty comments they would come out with that would stick in my mind for the rest of the day. Definitely brought out my inner child!

Organising many festivals has helped me create leadership skills which I can hopefully bring into jobs that wait for me in the future. Before this job, I had no confidence whatsoever – I was very quiet! This job has turned me into the complete opposite – working with different children every day, sitting chatting to teachers in the staff bases at lunchtime, the Modern Apprentice days held at Murrayfield – all of these little things have built up into making me a better person. I hope the kids have benefited from what I have been delivering, but I know for a fact that I have.

The online side to the job was probably my least favourite part. I would always hold it off until the very last minute but now I realise if I had gotten it done quicker I wouldn’t panic at the end of each month! Creating different assessments with 20 essay questions to be answered in each one doesn’t exactly appeal to me. However, it was part of the job and because I enjoyed every other aspect I managed to take a few hours out the week to complete them. This has also taught me not to leave things until the last minute!

The thing I will miss the most are the kids. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t always little angels, but helping kids improve in an area gives you a great satisfaction. It was even the simplest things; a girl not being able to catch a single ball in the first session and everyone getting annoyed, then to the second session where she hasn’t dropped a single ball and the smile on her face when she caught it. It’s the little things.

Overall, my time as the Modern Apprentice at Biggar RFC has been a great journey. I have loved every minute of it, even the bad and boring bits, and I hope this job changes the next Modern Apprentice the way it has changed me.


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A Tale of two halves…

West of Scotland 26 Biggar 32

Biggar claimed only their second away win this season after they scraped over the line against West on Saturday.

That Biggar claimed a 4 try bonus was another boost for the side who have struggled recently, save for last week against bottom of the table Hill Jills.

With West claiming a win over near neighbours GHK the previous Saturday, Biggar travelled in the knowledge that they would face a city side on form. That they dominated the first half was extremely pleasing then, their 29 point tally coming in very nearly the same number of minutes. Aird Jardine kicked 2 conversions from the 5 first half tries, the opening try scored by himself and others by Alisdair Sinclair, Donald Voas, Ewan Sanderson and Gregor Stewart.

Quite what went wrong after the break needs some analysis but seemingly, without any obvious reason, Biggar’s effort faltered just as West’s increased, the home side able to claw their way back into the contest to add 3 tries to their solitary first half score to claim a 4 try bonus of their own ato take the score to 29-26 with some 10 minutes remaining.

This then became a 1 score match and it was left to Jardine to stretch Biggar’s lead to 6 points with a penalty. West were still very much in the game however and had they opted to kick for touch with their last penalty and use their most successful tactic, the lineout drive to exert pressure on the Biggar line then they may have sneaked the win. Instead however the tap penalty option was preferred and as they went through the phases it was Jamie Orr who rounded off a cracking game with a priceless turnover to end the contest.

Exciting or nerve racking? Both and in equal measure!

 

Biggar made a couple of changes to the side which opened against Hill Jills. There was a change at centre where Gregor Stewart returned after injury to replace Craig McDonald and at scrum half where Davy Reive replaced David McArthur.. In the pack Andrew Dunlop moved up to 2nd row to replace the injured Zander Lyon while Duncan Withers took his place in the back row albeit for just the first half due to a prior engagement.

Colt Andrew Nimmo made his first step into senior action as he came off the bench, the youngster showing up well and making some decent hits. He is also to be congratulated on making the next cut for the Scotland U18 squad who take on England at Peffermill on Sunday.

 

In a whirlwind start, this much to do with the fact that the game was played on West’s 3G pitch, Biggar ran West ragged and allowed them barely a touch of the ball and this only after Jardine opened the scoring with a neat chip and chase.

David Paterson, who had a very positive and very industrious day in both attack and defence, made the break for the next score although it was opposite winger Sinclair who rounded off the move with try in the corner. Paterson showed some real flair with this run which saw him round and hand off no fewer than 4 defenders before feeding Sinclair. Having missed the first conversion from a relatively good angle Jardine saw his next effort from virtually the touchline rebound off the upright. 10-0.

A series of good carries ended as Withers was left isolated and the resultant penalty gave west the chance to use their driving maul to good effect to take play into Biggar’s 22. Their pick and go’s looked to have done enough for a score but the referee blew for a knock on instead although the scrum saw Biggar penalised and west regain the initiative. A couple of phases later and their centre crashed over for a score which took the score to 10-7.

Undeterred Biggar came right back into things with a try Donald Voas, the prop tracking a dynamic charge from Ross Jackson. When tackled Jackson presented well and gave Voas the chance to pick and go for the last 8 metres.

Barely three minutes elapsed before Ewan Sanderson crashed over after another assault on the West line. Jardine’s conversion put Biggar ahead at 22-7 and also gave Biggar the 4 try bonus.

Stewart’s try just short of the half hour was set up by Robbie Lavery whose run took him through the first West line of defence. His pop pass was gratefully accepted by his fellow centre who was able to get the ball down despite the attentions of the West cover. Jardine added the points for the 29-7 half time score.

Biggar almost added a 6th try as Jackson intercepted off West in the Biggar 22. The youngster set off for the line but a cracking cover tackle from the West fullback did just enough to prevent the off-load tp the supporting Paterson and the attack came to nought.

Biggar don’t have a great track record for regularly running up large scores but such was their dominance of the first half proceedings - save perhaps for the driven line which West used to good effect – that had they managed another score shortly after half time, things might have been very different.

That was not to be however and a combination of errors and an increase in confidence of the home side conspired to give West the initiative. Their scrum half nipped over from an early attack and the conversion took the score to 29-14.

West will rue the missed chances they had in the game and which would have given them the win had they been converted. Twice they lost control of ball over the line although this was also due in no small part to some excellent cover defence from Biggar’s back 3 of Sinclair, Paterson and Steele who tracked back well on both occasions to prevent the score.

On the first of these the score was merely delayed as a mix up off the scrum base, an area which Biggar generally controlled well, led to possession being lost by Stewart who could only watch as the West centre pounced to score the try. 29-21!

A penalty and kick to the corner preceded the next West try, which happily from a Biggar point of view at least, was not converted. But at 29-16 the match was set alight for a nerve-jangling 10 minutes.

As the game progressed it became evident that the errors from both sides were going to be influential. While Biggar showed up really well in defence – Orr, Sanderson, Stewart just three who tackled tirelessly throughout – it was West’s errors which prevented them from claiming the lead.

Biggar’s attacks were rare occasions and these too ended with errors which allowed West further attacking opportunities. One such opportunity came as West lost ball in attack. Showing some great skills Biggar passed the ball wide to Lavery who made ground before passing to Paterson who took off on another run. There is a time to pass and a time to run and on this occasion Paterson held on for a fraction too long, the off-load to Orr just not suite going to hand.

Just minutes later however and Biggar were awarded a rare penalty which Jardine slotted for 32-26.

As the clock ticked on Biggar tackled manfully and then came the last turnover from Jamie Orr which brought the final whistle.

Players breathed heavily from their efforts while the Biggar spectators breathed heavily in relief! Ex-Biggar man Angus Thomson again showed up well form his adpoted club, leading form the front and tackling well throughout.

Coaches Mercer and Wilson were left scratching at their heads in an effort to understand quite what changed after half time. Nevertheless, this was an important win and one which should set the squad up nicely for their next match which sees them back in Glasgow at Whitecraigs.

 

Biggar

Thomas Steele, Alistair Sinclair, Robbie Lavery, Gregor Stewart, David Paterson, Aird Jardine, David Reive (C), Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Andrew Dunlop, Jamie Orr, Duncan Withers, Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson. Reps: Andrew Orr, Calvin Henderson, Andrew Nimmo, Craig McDonald.

 

The 2nd XV hosted Lasswade in a match postponed from a fortnight ago.

Able to field a strong XV Biggar recorded another excellent win by 41-3.

There was a 4 try bonus point with Alan Warnock notching a fantastic 4 try haul himself while Douglas Notman, Craig Frame and Alan Todd also scored, the last two both scoring from what was their first touches of the ball!

Gary Morrison (2) and Jack Warnock (2) shared the kicking duties.

With Kelso winning a tight match by 19-17 at Edin Accies, but without the all important bonus point, Biggar now return to the top of the East reserve league table by just 1 point.

Well done boys!


NEWS

Modern Apprentice Changes

New MA starts at the club

more

BRFC Summer Camps

Its time to think about summer rugby camps

more

A Tale of two halves…

Comfortably ahead at half time the 1sts showed some staying power to hold off a determined second half West comeback.

more

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