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

Colts host Howe

The Colts continued their preparation for their Glasgow Cup final on 28th April with a match against Howe of Fife who are themselves preparing for their Caledonia Shield quarter final.

 

Played on the 1st pitch the Biggar lads gave height and weight away to their opponents but gave their all in terms of tenacity and determination and managed to record an excellent win over their visitors.

 

The match was ably refereed by Biggar Colt Cameron Forrest who is now looking to progress as an official in preference to playing. A difficult task but one which is essential if people wish to play the game – any others interested should get in touch with Cameron.

 

The squad have had another match since Saturday when they travelled to take on local rivals Strathaven. Biggar maintained their winning ways with another good display in the second half.


Colts in semi-final win

Colts halt Bulls Charge at Laigh Bent

 

(Many thanks to Simon Low for this report)

 

A semi-final, a beautiful sunny day and a South Lanarkshire derby. What more can you ask for on a Saturday? This wasn’t a classic in the free-flowing rugby sense but what a game these young men served up. Both sides showed heart, fight and determination from the first to the last minute and right up until the final score from Finlay Stewart with 2 minutes left on the clock both Hamilton and Biggar believed they could win it.

 

It started so well for Biggar. They kicked off into a swirling breeze with Ali Steele sending a beautifully accurate kick bouncing and into touch inside the Bulls 22. The Bulls hooker overthrew with Dan McConkey catching the ball and taking off for the Bulls try line. A couple of players got hold of him but couldn’t stop his charge. With Ali kicking the extras Biggar were 7-0 up with barely 2 minutes on the clock.

 

A penalty from Ali in front of the posts not long after extended that lead to 10-0 after Hamilton were pinged for not releasing. Great start for Biggar and everyone was hoping that they would go on and build up a decent score!

 

Hamilton were having none of that. They came storming back and had Biggar camped in their own half for the next 20 minutes. During that time Biggar seemed to lose discipline and were guilty of giving away a significant number of penalties either for not releasing or offside. Hamilton kicked 2 of these penalties and scored an unconverted try to take the lead 11-10. Hamilton were fighting hard for this game with their big pack and very mobile backs causing problems.

 

Having surrendered the lead, Biggar took the game back to Hamilton. With 5 minutes to half time, there was plenty time to get back ahead and they did just that. From a well taken scrum, Finlay Stewart made a strong run and stormed into the Bulls half. He played a great pass to Rowan Stewart who ghosted through the defensive line to go over between the posts with Ali kicking the extras.

 

Biggar took the restart and went on the hunt for another try and right on the stroke of half time they were rewarded. Some really good tackling from the whole defensive line was pushing Hamilton back and seemed to have them trapped inside their 22. They kicked for territory and only found Ali Steele who went for a run back at the defence. Ali was tackled but with the forwards there the ball was recycled quickly to Robbie Orr. The Bulls defence was stretched and he was able to burst over the line to score. Ali kicked the conversion which brought the referees whistle.

 

Half Time Hamilton 11 – Biggar 24

 

Into the second half and it was Hamilton who came flying out of the blocks again. Their first score was an excellent chip through the defence inside the Biggar 22. Great awareness from the Hamilton 10 and support from his wings saw them touch down under the posts. This got the Bulls tails up again and when their big number 19, who had arrived at half time, barged through a tackle on half way he showed a great turn of pace to get to the line and score. With both tries converted, Hamilton had the lead again. Still plenty of time left but what reaction would come from Biggar?

 

The answer was an excellent one. It had become a real battle up front with neither pack able to dominate. The Biggar front 5 of Hugo Baillie, Rhys Thompson, Harry Low, Harry Archibald and Scott Paton were showing real strength in the tackle and the ruck and with some really strong runs from Hugo and Scott in particular, they started to turn the screw on Hamilton. This showed at a scrum on 48 minutes. With Hamilton putting in just on their 22, Biggar got a real shove on. With their pack going backwards, Finn Barr was able to put pressure on the ball and it was turned over. This gave the backs a real chance to run at the defence and a great long pass from Robbie was taken by Finlay Stewart to go over. Ali again kicked the conversion.

 

Next to score was Rowan Stewart. He played a superb 70 minutes in the centre for Biggar and his 2 tries were fully deserved. A penalty for Biggar in the middle of the Hamilton half was moved forward 10 for back chat. From the 22 Finn Barr took a quick tap and Rowan burst on to the ball. Hamilton knew what was coming but were unable to stop it as he dived over. With the conversion Biggar were 13 points ahead again.

 

This knocked the stuffing out of Hamilton a little and a quieter spell followed. With the wind at their backs Biggar did the simple things well. Any time they got possession Ali would kick Hamilton back into their 22 and Biggar would force them to work hard to get back over the gain line. This was working well until the Hamilton number 19 burst through a tackle and stormed clear to score again. With the covering defence closing fast he was forced to touch down out wide. Given the tight score-line, the extras would be crucial so the Biggar support held their breaths as the Hamilton 10 pulled his kick just wide. With 8 minutes left, Biggar were 8 points ahead. A grand stand finish was expected.

 

Biggar did not disappoint. They took the game to Hamilton again and were rewarded with a penalty inside the Hamilton 22. Ali showed nerves of steel(e)! to kick the 3 and hopefully seal the game.

 

The icing on the cake came with 2 minutes left. Biggar were awarded a penalty inside the Hamilton half and with the fans thinking a kick for 3 should be the option Ali went for the corner. The line out was lost and Hamilton started driving out of their 22. A great tackle from Cameron Snell and a steal from Craig Frame got the ball back for Biggar who spun the ball wide. Again the combination from Robbie to Finlay paid off and Biggar had gone over.

 

Full time Hamilton 30 - Biggar 48

 

Another really good display from the boys on Saturday with every man coming off the pitch having given his all. Hamilton are a good side and pushed them all the way. A bit of an off day with the line outs in the wind and a couple of missed tackles were punished by Hamilton but this was still a really good battling performance. An end of season West Region Cup Final now awaits on April 28th with the opposition to be decided by the Ayr v West Of Scotland semi-final which has been delayed.


Colts battle Saints and Elements in Dumfries

Dumfries 0 Biggar 78

In what can only be described as atrocious conditions, the Colts kicked off their final West Region group match at Park Farm. A biting wind bringing in driving snow suggested a tight game but the colts were having none of that. The warm up showed they meant business and when the game started they took it straight to the Saints.

 

From kick off they ran at the Saints trying to find a gap but with some hands were not as warm as they might be a couple of misplaced passes and knock-ons saw an initial scoreless phase. That would not continue for too long. Having lost a couple of early scrums inside the Saints 22, a scrum was called on the Saints 5M line. This one was held well and the ball was moved out through the backs to Rowan who barrelled over to open the scoring. Ali added the extras from a tough angle.

 

This warmed everyone up (thankfully) and was the start of a great run of play from all in the Red and Black strips. Biggar scored a second straight from the kick off. A great take on the move from Finn Barr saw him drive at the Saints. Good quick ball out saw Ali bursting through the line and took Biggar well into the Saints half. Good support from Lohan saw him rewarded with a score as Ali found him with a pass and he touched down out wide. Again Ali added the extras.

 

Next up was a score from Robbie Orr. Saints had been galvanised by a chat behind the posts and had the Biggar line under pressure. Great defensive work saw the ball turned over and gave Biggar a line out inside their 22. The ball was well won and Stewart Forrest made a great break. He was eventually brought down but Dan McConkey supported superbly and took the ball into the Saints half. With the Saints defence scrambling backwards the ball was threaded through the backs to Robbie who cut a great line and went over. Really good simple rugby and it was paying dividends.

 

A pattern was now developing that Saints were just not able to prevent. From kick off, the Biggar forwards were working well drawing in the defence and then the backs were using pace, power and really good hands to get in for each score. The next Score from Sam Wallis was exactly in that vein. Dumfries had the ball in hand and were probing inside the Biggar half. Their big prop spotted a gap and went for a run. He was absolutely hammered by Charles and spilled the ball. Finn Barr did the tidy up work and make some ground. Then the backs did the rest. Out wide to Sam on the wing. He still had a lot to do but he did it well. Another really good team effort to score.

 

The next score straight from kick off was an “all back” affair. A really good kick off take from Lohan and he ran at the defensive line. Popped the ball to Robbie who broke through with Rowan in support. A well timed pass and he was in. A very good try and I think a number of the forwards were still in their kick off positions as Rowan touched down! 

 

23 minutes gone – 33 – 0 to Biggar. It was proving to be a tough shift for Dumfries. To be fair to them they then came in to a really good 10 minute spell both defensively and in attack and Biggar were forced to defend well. There was a real determination to keep a clean sheet and Biggar worked well to protect it during this spell.

 

Having weathered the storm Biggar went on the hunt for more tries. Next up to score was Finlay Stewart. A great break through the heart of the defensive line from Harry Low found the big tighthead facing a one on one with the Saints fullback. Harry did what any self-respecting front row forward should do in this situation and found a team mate!! Craig Frame was in support and took the ball on and with the Saints defence turned, Lohan got the ball out to the backs in support and wide to Finlay to touch down.

 

Right on the stroke of half time, Biggar scored their 7th try of the game. Dan McConkey took the kick off and was supported well by Craig Frame. Craig was tackled and from the ruck Lohan spotted a gap, picked up the ball and ran though for the score.

 

Half Time – Dumfries 0 – Biggar 45

 

Into the second half and there would be no let up from Biggar. With a number of substitutions made Dumfries would now be seeing double with Lewis Stewart entering the fray. Clearly itching to get on to the pitch he set about the task of creating more havoc for the Saints defence with gusto. Biggar kicked off and the ball was knocked on by Saints. Lewis dived onto the ball and recovered it for Biggar. The ball was recycled and Lewis took the ball on again with a great break towards the line. With the Saints defence tied up, the ball was spun along the backs for Rowan to score and complete his hat trick!

 

Next up was a score for Robbie that looked simple but involved real determination and strong running. A clearing kick was put up by the Saints number 9 but failed to find touch. Instead he found Robbie in the open with a clear sight of the line in front of him. He ran a great line and over for the score.

 

Ali Steele then decided to get in on the try scoring act on 50 minutes. With a scrum awarded to Biggar just on the Saints 22 a big blind side was calling. Lohan took the invitation and seemed to be running out of room but Ali ran a great line and took the pass and go over.

 

Finlay Stewart got his second of the game and Biggars 11th when the ball was worked well along the line and Saints simply ran out of defenders. It looked like Biggar could score at will and it seemed like only a matter of time before the ref called full time.

 

Matthew brought the scoring to a close with a fine try on 56 minutes. With Saints now well beaten and looking to the changing rooms a line out was won by Lewis and spun wide by Lohan. Matthew ran a great line and got the ball in hand and broke the defensive line to score. With the conversion made by Ali/Lohan/Robbie?

 

Full Time – Dumfries 0 – Biggar 78

 

It would have been easy for the colts to switch off during this game and coast through the second half knowing that the points were already in the bag and it was great to see that this did not happen. Much tougher games lie in wait – not least a cup semi-final against Hamilton next week. This was all about the performance and hard work that each player put in today. There is competition for every place in this team and that showed for each of the 55 minutes played. A great team effort from all and some real individual team skill too. A really good game to watch from a Biggar perspective.

 

Ayr will play West in the other semi final the date for which is 21st April! This is because Ayr have to play the National Cup Final match against Stirling County on Saturday, this match having been postponed because of snow. That will mean a lengthy wait for the Biggar/Hamilton winners.


Colts engineer excellent second half performance over Kilmarnock

Biggar Colts  43   Kilmarnock U18   17

The cynic may say game 3 in the West Cup competition served up a bit of a stinker. Or was it?

 

This was a match full of contradiction. 

 

In the first 35 you would question if the Colts can learn from previous experience and whether the boys are actually listening. Would something internally have to fundamentally change?

 

The second 35 was a display of astonishing teamwork, not totally devoid of mistakes but completely comfortable, characterful and, for the most part, assured.

 

Even though Biggar hit the cold ground running and looked in decent working order it was actually a false picture. 

 

Stuart Forrest got things going as Biggar won the early territorial battle with the No.8 picking up from the base of the scrum, going on the blind and reaching for the line to log the first points. Promising signs.

 

However, Biggar Colts are a real target for teams these days and Kilmarnock had designs on upsetting the apple cart and were making a damn good job of it. Biggar would do well to learn from the sheer determination and team spirit that their visitors displayed. 

 

The East Ayrshire outfit went through the phases very well and broke the Colts defence down to go in for an unconverted try.

 

Four minutes later they would be at it again and you had to admire their drive. Their pack was strong on the hoof and Biggar couldn't halt the attack. Not through lack of trying though. 

 

The home team committed themselves to a policy of holding off and selecting summer rugby options. Kilmarnock stuck it to them, but strangely Biggar never looked in any real trouble, as hard as it was to watch at times.

 

Both teams lost numerous line-outs, largely down to weather conditions, but despite what appeared to be a heavier Kilmarnock pack Biggar dominated in that department.

 

Both Klimarnock and Biggar didn't need an invitation to advance but both were guilty of over thinking and making basic errors.

 

Colts managed to draw level with a penalty after Kilmarnock off-side. Steele struck well to bring the score to ten a piece.

 

Killie punished Biggar for handling mistakes at the end of the first half and with the lofty full-back stretching his legs they were nearly under the posts again were it not for a last ditch Orr tackle. 

 

Weather conditions continued to play havoc. It was pretty cold too and not a day for hanging about. As the half-time whistle sounded Colts were off the pitch and in the changing rooms. Killie stayed on the field. Was this Biggar playing mind games? No, it was just bloody freezing!

 

Rumour has it that Jock had made hot tea and warm scones. No jam though!

 

Just like the time he served red wine with the fish course, the players were having none of it and returned to the field for the re-start.

 

The second half was warmly received, any boy it had to be, but not before Kilmarnock slapped Biggar in the face again to register their third try and converted well too. The visitors were up at 10-17 but they suffered a blow soon after when two of their own players clashed heads. It was a nasty one that saw one being replaced. Whether this affected Killie's performance was hard to say but the tide turned quickly in Biggar's favour.

 

Colts finally worked out how to play the conditions and commanded possession. 

 

Ali Steele bulldozed his way through on 45 minutes to level things again and converted his own score.

 

Robbie Orr then put Biggar clear after a scrum was won against the head. 

 

Colts advanced again and got into the groove. Finlay Barr spotted the unguarded ruck on Killie's 5m. The srum-half made no mistake and added to the score sheet.

 

Biggar tails were now up. A Biggar penalty inside their own half saw them opt for a tap and go. With the ball finding its way into Matthew Stewart's hands the centre switched on the afterburners and touched down from 60 metres with limited company.

 

Ali Steele loves a show and right at the death his trademark leaping salmon after a superb solo run entertained the crowd to top off a fine second half performance.

 

The match was poor on quality at times but ultimately enough to secure a Biggar win. 

 

You can make all the excuses under the sun about the weather but, lets be honest, there's been worse. It took 40 minutes to properly get it together but when they did it was structured and purposeful.

 

A notable performance came from Ethan Webb at wing. The first year Colt was industrious and made yards at every opportunity, just missing out on a score of his own. 

 

The Colts are on the road to Dumfries next time with an opportunity to top the Group B table.

 

Tries: Stuart Forrest, Ali Steele (2), Robbie Orr, Finlay Barr, Matthew Stewart.

Conv: Ali Steele (5)

Pen: Ali Steele


Colts are run away winners against Hamilton


Biggar Colts   55   Hamilton Bulls   12


Things are normally tight against these two sides and to all intents and purposes they were, for the first half.


Colts triumphed this time round but the victory was anything but pretty. Lets just say that Biggar hit the ugly tree right from the start and hit every branch on the way down for the next 30 minutes!


It was a game of two half's really with the least said about the first by virtue of the passive nature of Biggar's defence and lack of drive.


Yes, Connolly and Wallis touched down respectively within 15 minutes and that should be commended, Connolly's a result of Hamilton indecision at a defensive line-out and Wallis's bourne from the basics and determination.


Hamilton split the two unconverted Biggar tries with one of their own and went ahead in 23 minutes with a converted effort to take the visitors 2 points clear at 10-12.


This was not comfortable to watch. It was an out-of-sorts Colts side.


They weren't at the level they needed to be and Hamilton were punishing the fragmented Biggar structure. Bulls centre partnership was strong and when there is a departure of tackle technique, verging on non-existent, there is only going to be one result.


Hamilton had plenty of weight about them and Biggar handled the physicality well but the real physical battles needed by the front 5 were being fought by others. Throw into the mix ball watching, poor decision making and communication breakdown and what you have is head-in-hands stuff.


Hamilton Bulls were worth every penny of their first half lead and understandably buoyed.


So to the second-half then.......


Never mind the 'Beast from the East' that's headed our way. In the end up Biggar sent a chill into the marrow of the visitors with an encompassing second 35  that put any hopes of Hamilton registering a victory against their South Lanarkshire counterparts into cold storage. Their ambitions lay scattered across the showfield  turf.


The game remained a full-bloodied encounter but this time round Biggar played with more zest. It would see the Black and Red register a further seven tries with no reply.


Ali Steele bagged one 9 minutes after the restart and converted well. That was enough to get the momentum going.


It doesn't pay to take your eyes off players like Daniel McConkey as there is always a sense of possibility in what he does. The forward found a purple patch.


Hamilton were starting to go backwards and McConkey exploited the gaps. His vision was rewarded in 50 minutes when he picked up from the back of a ruck 3 metres from the Bulls line. Speed of thought saw him dive through the bodies to score. He was on a roll and 2 minutes later a brilliant line-break afforded him space to off-load to Lewis Stewart who ran in from the opposition 22m. Steele added the extras.


Finlay Barr, tenacious as ever, didn't disappoint on the day either even though his playing position varies greatly from one game to another. It shows real resilience that other players can feed off. Scott Paton's try in 65 minutes was built on that same resilience. The prop crashed through, much like McConkeys effort, to open his account on the day.


Matthew Stewart then bagged a double. The first from an Orr kick in behind the Hamilton defence and some decent sprint technique to win the foot race.


The second was a show of initial strength to halt Bulls in their tracks, get back on his feet then receive the ball again from Barr and run in from 40 metres.


Ali Steele finished things off to add to his ever increasing tally for the season at the point where Hamilton had nothing left to give.
Moving forward, things are great when you're winning but you simply cannot take your eye off the ball at this level and squander chances or lose your shape. There are times when it will matter and all players must hold themselves to account if they want success.


Tries: Charles Connolly, Sam Wallis, Ali Steele (2), Daniel McConkey, Scott Paton, Lewis Stewart, Matthew Stewart (2).
Conv: Ali Steele (5)
 


Colts grab extras in West area Cup debut

West Area Cup: Group B

Ardrossan Accies U18   5    Biggar Colts    62

Biggar Colts could not have asked for more in their pursuit of West Regional Cup success. They orchestrated a thrashing of their North Ayrshire opponents with a ten-try thumping and a display of relentless pressure wrapped up in notable skill we can certainly write home about.

 

Biggar dominated in all departments but Ardrossan weren't completely powerless and had bulk,  however they could do nothing to stop the Colts running riot. It wasn't a free-for-all though, it was a structured approach and despite the soggy conditions Colts played an expansive

game of rugby which worked well.

The game burst into life immediately and Sam Wallis scored the first in 6 minutes, wonderful in its simplicity, finishing off after a big shove from the forwards preceding a lovely passing move from left to right. Biggar accelerated through the gears thereafter. 

 

Connolly was next in line through a sweetly delivered flat ball and covered 40 yards with pace to touch down. Steele added the extras.

 

Kotze was sharp all day and helped himself to some points of his own to bag Biggar's third.  The scrum-half exploited a fragmented Accies defence in the 12th minute. It came off the back of a strong Harry Low break and some excellent support play - a feature that would be present throughout the match.

 

The gains seemed more obvious this time round with dazzling performances from the backs, complimented by hard accuracy in the loose by the hungry mobile forwards - Archibald and JVR showing much improvement.

 

Accies came back for a bit and kicked over the advancing Colts but Ali Steele was on hand to collect, turn on the power, and crash back through the middle. Matthew Stewart linked well with the full-back and the physical centre made no mistake about the direction of travel. Encouragingly he had three other Colts following his trail, any one of them available for the off-load.....just in case. No need though. He would be sliding in for his first of three.

 

Twenty minutes played and Ardrossan found an ignition source. Biggar needed to defend well and defend they did, albeit self inflicted grief as a result of unnecessary indiscipline. However,  line speed aggression broke the hosts down and a loose pass was intercepted by Matthew Stewart. A 70 yard sprint to the line was rewarded with a score and only the ball and try line for company, although his namesake Finlay Stewart was never that far away. On that note, this Centre partnership was an omnipresent threat.

 

Biggar picked up another two scores through Wallis and Connolly, again, to bring the score to 43 nil. It was thrilling stuff.

 

Finlay Barr was relishing the physical contest at openside and his rugby knowledge was evident. His licence to push the boundaries, however, expired just before the break after being warned earlier. A sneaky hand in the ruck was spotted by the ref, and everyone else in Ardrossan and Saltcoats. 10 minutes on the naughty step young man!

 

Coaches made some changes for the second half and mixed things up a bit.

 

There was a collective confidence in the whole team and decision making was sound even with players out-with their comfort zone.

 

There was little in the way of drama but tempo and physicality was good. 

 

Matthew Stewart picked up his third 5 minutes after the restart and then replacement Cammy Snell showed real belief and backed himself to outrun the scrambling Accies defence to open his account with his first touch of the ball.

 

Biggar's 10th and final try was a fine interplay effort touched down finally by Robbie Orr.

 

No doubt this was a bitter pill for Ardrossan to swallow and we know how that feels because we've all been there. Its important to acknowledge Ardrossan's guts and determination. They hung in stoutly throughout  and in the dying minutes despite Biggar disrupting things managed a consolation try.

 

It was a first class performance by Biggar but not completely devoid of development areas.

 

They must ensure their power supply is spread across the board as there are tougher games on the horizon. If Biggar Colts want pool supremacy they must continue to seek improvement week on week. They have the talent to achieve that.

 

Tries: Matthew Stewart (3), Sam Wallis (2), Charles Connolly (2), Luhann Kotze, Cameron Snell, Robbie Orr.

Conv: Ali Steele (5), Finlay Stewart.


Colts win in local derby against Peebles

The Colts meanwhile travelled to take on near neighbours Peebles, their aim clearly to replicate the 1st XV who manged a rare win at The Gytes last weekend. Thanks to Alistair Stewart (Lanark) for this report.

 

Peebles Colts  14   Biggar Colts  48

A friendly match to warm-up for the forthcoming regional cup competition was the order of the day and it was hard to know what to expect from this local derby really following an indifferent run-out against Dunfermline last week. However , Biggar have clearly adapted their game to cope with both the predictable and unpredictable might and aggression that is the Shogun Conference. 

 

It was the Black and Red exposing the hosts to a style of rugby that perhaps they were unfamiliar with showing an intensity that lasted the full 70 minutes. That said, Peebles' two scores opened Biggar up as they exploited some brief slack defence and who's to say it wouldn't have been more were it not for a wayward pass or two.

 

Biggar's first of eight tries saw Robbie Orr perform daylight robbery on the Peebles 22m. The steal on 4 minutes caught Peebles on the back foot and Orr picking up the first of his hat-trick. Steele added the extras.

 

A textbook line-out drive led to the second 3 minutes later. Kotze collected out the back just before the line and nipped through the Peebles cover to touch down.

 

Peebles mounted an attack and got one back in 14 minutes.

 

With the Line-out drive working well early on the Colts managed a carbon copy following a fine push up the left wing. Charles Connolly the recipient this time bagging Biggar's third.

 

On 21 minutes Orr put a penalty into the corner, the line-out was secured and Craig Frame got on the back of an irresistible maul to get on the score sheet.

 

The forwards were all working well with Connolly catching the eye at his bulldozing best to bring the half-tine score to 26-7 to Biggar.

 

It was clear at the start of the second half that Biggar thought they had it 'in the bag' but pay attention Colts, your hosts just kicked you in the pants for showing complacency. Peebles were well worth their converted try just after the restart and were showing signs of ascendency.

 

Biggar Colts got back on track though and Orr picked up his second with a quick tap penalty on the Peebles 22m and his trademark kick over the defence was collected well. Steele again striking well for the conversion.

 

Matthew Stewart swatted a couple of defenders away in the 46th minute before running in from 30 metres to take things out of reach for the Borders side.

 

The ever present Luhann Kotze helped himself to his second in 58 minutes and Orr collected the match ball for his hat-trick with 2 minutes to play.

 

Verdict: A comfortable display with Biggar showing good discipline, line speed and gain-line success. Yes, the older boys had to use their bucket and spades a couple of times to get out of the occasional hole but all-in-all a fine team performance. The 1st year Colts made their presence felt and you could sense a more motivated and confident approach.

 

A reasonably well executed defensive display was also encouraging to watch. 

 

The whole package underlines how competitive Biggar Colts can be.

 

Next weeks opponents, Ardrossan Accies,  are a somewhat unknown quantity but if Biggar Colts focus on team adhesion, spirit and cement a winning mentality it should be a fine encounter. 

 

Tries: Robbie Orr (3), Luhann Kotze (2), Charles Connolly, Craig Frame, Matthew Stewart.

Conv: Ali Steele (4)


Colts struggle at Dunfermline

The Colts travelled with a scratch squad to Dunfermline on Saturday, a whole batch of players unavailable as the festive period comes to an end. In a tough match against a competent Fife XV Biggar lost out by 40-15.


‘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 travel to Ayr

Colts serve up Friday night Try-fest with Ayr

 

Biggar Colts travelled to Troon on Friday night for their latest Shogun Conference game and with strong winds, rain, sleet and border-line freezing temperatures something was needed to warm everyone up. A sizzling game of rugby did just that!

 

Ayr came fizzing out of the blocks and had Biggar pinned in their own 22 for the first 10 minutes of the match. Great defence from Biggar kept the try line intact along with some poor hands and ill-discipline from Ayr. Indeed it was from a piece of Ayr ill-discipline that Biggar made the breakthrough. A Biggar knock on inside their own 5m line looked to have given Ayr a very good attacking position but the Ayr number 9 followed through with a late shoulder on Rowan Stewart resulting in a penalty to Biggar and allowing the Biggar man to clear to touch.

 

This got Biggar out of their half and led to a great score from Drew Brewster. A clean lineout was taken and the ball was fed to the backs where Stewart made a powerful break. The ball was recycled quickly and popped to Josh JVR who made a number of big runs breaking the gain line through the game and turned the Ayr defence. Quick ball was created again and passed out to Brewster who spotted a gap in the defence and went for it. He broke through and a beautiful step took the full back out of the game and he was over. Stewart added the extras.

 

Ayr were stung by this and really took the game to Biggar trying to use their big pack to dominate proceedings. They were camped in the Biggar 22 and once again the defence was excellent. The ball was turned over in contact and kept in the forwards to try and gain some ground. A couple of hits from Guy Kelly and Dan McConkey made a meter or 2 but then Josh JVR found a gap and made a great break. The ball was recycled well to Robbie Orr who spotted a gap and went for it. With Finn Stewart and Cammy Snell in support Orr put in a superb kick to turn the back-tracking Ayr defence. Finn Stewart took off down the wing showing incredible pace and dived on the ball ahead to the Ayr full back. A really superb break and a great team try. Rowan Stewart missed the conversion from a tough angle to the right of the posts.

 

This clearly stung the Ayr team and a strongly worded clear the air conference was held behind the posts and appeared to have the desired effect. They came on strong and again had Biggar pinned in their 22. This time they held their collective nerves and kept tying up defensive numbers until they created the overlap to go over in the corner.

 

Just before half time, Ayr scored a classic forwards try. A good line out take, a maul formed and then a cracking drive took them over the line. With both Ayr conversions missed, Biggar were still ahead so it was hoped they could hold on to go in ahead. Unfortunately the restart went long and Ayr broke well from their resultant scrum. Good possession rugby was played winning the rucks and spreading the ball to go over again.

 

Half Time Ayr 17- Biggar 12

 

Ayr started the second half as they started the first. They have big strong running forwards and big fast backs – a great combination but Biggar were defending manfully. Tackling, rucking and most positively of all teamwork were in evidence in spades. Ayr should have scored early in the second half when they managed to create a 3 on 1 on their left inside the 22. Great drifting defence from Finlay Stewart narrowed the attack and a crunching tackle took man and ball into touch.

 

Ayr got their noses further in front from a good running try and as they ran back from the score you could see their tales were up. Some outstanding play from Biggar was about to quell that fire however. First up was Robbie Orr.

 

From the kick off, the ball was secured by the forwards and with a few pick and drives they made ground towards the Ayr half. The ball was then fired into the backs and Rowan Stewart made a great break through the line. Orr was on his shoulder and an excellent pass took the defence out of the game. Orr went over but the try went unconverted.

Orr scored the next one as well but massive credit to Dan McConkey who took the restart superbly and went through the Ayr defensive line. Ayr seemed to fall asleep and allowed the ball to be fed to Rowan Stewart who had Orr in support. They played a couple of “1-2’s” around the defence and Orr went over under the posts. Rowan Stewart kicked the extras to put Biggar ahead by 2 points.

 

With only 52 minutes on the clock, Ayr got the games’ final score. Biggar worked tirelessly to get back ahead but were forced to defend in numbers inside their own 22 for long periods. Some of the hits made during that spell were massive and Biggar should take great credit for holding out under extreme pressure.

 

With no time left on the clock, Biggar went on a run with Drew Brewster supported by a number of backs. Just inside the Ayr half and everyone had fingers and toes crossed but it was not to be as Ayr defended superbly and booted the ball out for the win.

 

Full Time Ayr 29 – Biggar 24

 

The Ayr celebrations at full time showed what this game meant. Having beaten Biggar convincingly at Hartree Mill they may have expected an easy Friday night and this was anything but easy. Every single man for Biggar was outstanding and this was by far and away the best performance of the season from Biggar regardless of the result. Obviously no-one likes to lose but sometimes it is the manner of the loss that is important. In this case it was fighting for every ball, contesting every ruck and hitting every tackle. It was playing as a team!!

 

The standard has been set –the challenge now is to maintain it.


Colts earn plaudits despite defeat.

Colts show up well in tough Stirling Encounter

 

Stirling County Colts arrived at Hartree Mill on Saturday sporting a perfect 10 – 0 league record in the Shogun conference and whilst that record never looked in doubt, as County played some excellent rugby and scored some very good tries, they were made to work all the way by a determined and well-drilled Biggar team.

 

It really was down to the bare bones in terms of numbers on Saturday with only 17 men in the squad for the home favourites and one or two of those included were not 100% fit. Contrast that with the 22 man squad that Stirling travelled with and the dozen or so young men supporting them on the side lines and you get an idea of the gulf in terms of squad sizes.

 

County play a superb expansive form of rugby. They almost seem to have 17 men on the pitch as there is always support for an off load or pass. They kept the ball well and really forced Biggar to work for possession. That said, for long spells of this match Biggar really took the game to County and made them work too. Biggar tackled superbly for the whole 70 minutes, the rucking was really strong and some of the running on display from both backs and forwards showed how good this team can be.

 

With Guy Kelly leading the pack, they really discovered their pick and drive ball and it worked well on a number of occasions. Some very powerful runs were evident from a few forwards. Josh JVR hit some great lines and consistently got over the gain line and was well assisted in that area by Harry Low with Craig Frame and Dan McConkey putting in a great shift with the ball in hand too.

 

The backs seemed galvanised following a great run out last week. Robbie Orr and Rowan Stewart caused the County defence problems all day with their intelligent running and consistently made gains. Finlay Stewart again made some great tackles on the wing and Ali Steele again made some excellent ground with some really good kicking.

 

Biggar got 2 scores out of the game. The first a relatively simple kick from Ali Steele in the first half to get points on the board following a Country offside and the second a really well earned forwards try from Guy Kelly in the second half. A penalty from half way was launched perfectly by Ali well into the County 22. From the resultant line out a great throw from Rhys Thompson was taken into the maul and Biggar got the drive on. They were stopped just at the line but Kelly broke off, spun and got over. A hard earned score but something that the pack can take great pride in. This is practiced as part of the hard work in training week in week out and when it goes right, it is almost impossible to defend against.

 

Final Score Biggar 10 – Stirling County 55

 

After a tough loss, it’s easy to focus on negatives there can be no merit in that after a game like this. Being down by 30 points at half time it would have been easy to crumble and County could have run in a cricket score but that didn’t happen. Having lost Ethan Webb to a nasty looking bump and then Scott Paton too they needed every person to step up and that is what happened. Every single man in the 17 stood up and fought for every yard and Stirling will have woken up on Sunday knowing they were in a game. You can see the tackling, rucking and support play of this relatively young team improving every week and that will be needed for the last 3 games of the Shogun conference season. If they keep this standard of play up, I have every faith that they can get something out of each of those games.


Colts trun on the style against Currie

Friday Night Fireworks at Hartree Mill (thanks to Simon Low for this report)

Friday night saw a fund raising dinner held for MND at Hartree Mill with a 3 game extravaganza under the lights. Entering the arena first accompanied by coach John Archibald’s pyrotechnic wizardry were the Colts playing their Shogun Conference fixture against Currie. Any hopes of a fizzing derby game were extinguished early with Currie arriving with only 12 boys. Biggar handed over 3 “volunteers” and a 15 a side development game kicked off. With the points already in the bag for Biggar you could have forgiven them for taking it easy but they didn’t.

 

Four Shogun Conference débutantes took their bows for the Colts team today 2 new faces and 2 not so new. Starting were Cameron Snell making the step up from under 16’s and the returning Rowan Stewart – making a welcome comeback after injury. On the subs bench Lee Smith who unfortunately can’t make Saturday games and Guy Kelly – still able to play Colts rugby this year but fresh from playing for the Firsts against Kirkcaldy last week. Indeed there was an instant impact into the game from one of these new starters.

 

Biggar had the kick off and kicking into a deceptively strong wind, the ball did not travel 10. From the scrum restart Biggar scored the first of their 6 tries of the day. Finlay Barr who was excellent for the whole game disrupted the Currie 9 and managed to get his hands on the ball. He popped the ball to Robbie who found Rowan running onto the ball at pace. From just inside the Currie half Rowan pinned his ears back and was off. What a start for Biggar and for Rowan. 1 minute of rugby for the season and 1 try with more to come! With the aforementioned blustery win making kicking very difficult Ali Steele had a tough day on the tee but still managed to slot 3 of 6 kicks. This first one was however missed.

 

A tight game ensued Biggar backs looked very tidy and were increasing the pressure on Currie but the Malleny Park outfit were no mugs and tackled hard leading to a bit of a midfield slog. The next Biggar score was came from a good tight forward play and the backs letting loose and running hard. An initial break by Rowan saw the ball deep into the Currie 22. Great support and a quick ball out through the hands to Robbie who sped over for the score.

 

Half Time Biggar 12 – Currie 0

 

Into the second half and game management was going to be key. With the wind at their backs, exerting pressure on Currie would be key and Biggar did this well. First up with his second score of the game was Robbie Orr. A well worked Line out from the forwards got the ball going forwards. Out along the hands and the backs really taking the contact to Currie. Recycled ball back along the line to Robbie who saw a gap and went for it. He waltzed around 3 or 4 defenders to go over for the score out wide.

 

The next 2 tries were both down to excellent kicking from hand from Robbie. The first one was a long clearing kick when Currie left themselves with limited cover in behind. The ball landed inside the 22 and rolled tantalisingly into the in goal area. With Rowan sprinting to the line the Currie Full back got himself mixed up and missed the last bounce. As the ball went one way, he went another and Rowan pounced. Great score, great pressure and great determination.

 

The 5th Biggar try owed as much to great defence as to good kicking. A chip over the defensive line from the Currie 10 saw him running clear and looking as though he might go all the way. Superb back tracking from Jack Blaikhill and a really excellent cover tackle saw the Currie man caught. The ball was won by Biggar but under real pressure, Robbie sent another great kick into the Currie 22. This time saw Sam Wallis take off after it. Picked up by the Currie wing Sam made an excellent tackle and bounced straight back up to steal the ball. Great support from Finn Barr saw him get the try his overall play deserved as Sam popped the ball to him to allow the score.


Colts regain winning ways

Youth rugby: Mitsubishi Shogun Conference

'Colts grab last-gasp try for dramatic win over Hamilton'

Hamilton U18 15  Biggar Colts 18

Thrilling gladiatorial finishes like this one are impossible to resist and Biggar's last-gasp heist in their South Lanarkshire hosts back yard will reverberate for some time.

 

In truth, Hamilton must be wondering how on earth they lost the game just as much as Biggar wondered how we won it!

 

Hamilton will be gutted because the game had seemed up, a well executed penalty kick appeared to have punished the visitors for several moments of defensive naivety with three minutes left. Instead it was merely a prelude to a compelling final act that saw Charles Connolly crash over the line in the last minute to sicken the home side. This followed a perfect kick off from Ali Steele, placing the ball with real precision to see it rolling in to touch several metres from the Hamilton line, this immediately put huge pressure on the Hamilton line out, pressure that ultimately they could not handle.

 

Given that Biggar Colts have been affected by injuries and were short of a few influential players, the league's fifth-placed side deserved their first win in five games for perseverance alone.

 

Biggar got off to a flying start and showed the structured move stuff that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy. Biggar expected the customary big start from the heavy Hamilton forwards, but credit to the front five of Low, Thomson, Baillie, Archibald, van Rensberg who turned the tables and dominated in the first half. Five minutes of doing the basics well led to Ali Steele going over the line using his power to take the last tackler over the line with him. The Full-back converted his own try and all was well at 7 nil.....sort of.

 

Ground conditions were wet and greasy with both sides struggling to keep the ball in hand, the proverbial bar of soap seeming to have a mind of its own. Simple hand-catch and pass skills eluded both sides for a bit although the long pass was over used when basic short slick passing would have yielded results for the Biggar three quarters with the overlap beckoning on several occasions after excellent carries by the forwards, Frame, McConkey, van Rensberg and Connolly making inroads in the close quarters contact.

 

Amongst the scrappy play it was Jack Blaikhill that nearly added to the tally when he switched on the afterburners up the left wing. The pacy back was bumped into touch 3 metres from the line after his 50 metre sprint.

 

A lot of the first-half was played in the Bulls half and Biggar competed better of late in the breakdown forcing a couple turnovers but poor decision making halted any significant progress.

 

Hamilton got their tails up though and were briefly impactful, albeit somewhat lateral, and that's what slowed the hosts down. Biggar forced the issue with a drift defence that brought about Hamilton errors, Wallis effectively shutting down the Hamilton danger man time and time again, once the defensive communication was functioning.

 

The Bulls continued with positive intent but it was mainly in the middle of the pitch. A missed long range penalty kick attempt in 23 minutes maintained Biggar's clean sheet.

 

Josh van Rensberg saw yellow for a late tackle with 6 minutes of the first half to go but the visitors held out to go into the break ahead.

 

Biggar's lead didn't last long and 2 minutes hadn't passed into the second-half when Hamilton pounced and wasted no time in reminding everyone that the hosts had strength and determination. A characteristic break by the No.10 opened up acres of space and yielded a predictable outcome. The Fly-half ran in unchallenged for a converted score, a reminder that defensive focus and intent cannot lapse at any time.

 

Biggar hit back with a pair of successful penalty kicks from Steele to bring the score to 7-13. Line speed and collective defensive effort forced errors that resulted in Hamilton conceding penalties, it is always great to see this type of offensive defence.

 

The customary massive work rate by Orr set an example to all, tackling time and time again, snubbing out threatening situations and stealing precious ball. The helter-skelter mood continued for a good while. It became a matter of waiting to see which team could retain their composure.

 

It happened to be Hamilton. They were on top and good for it. They forced a penalty and narrowly missed the kick. Biggar were going backwards.

 

Hamilton scored another try out wide and with only one point adrift at 12-13 they could smell victory.

 

Bulls kept coming at Biggar and were nearly in for the deadly score on the hour mark. A Hamilton try at that point would have destroyed the visitors. However, if there was ever a moment that in itself deserved to win a game it arrived in that 60th minute. At full tilt, Matthew Stewart sprinted across the width of the pitch following his initial tackle, tracking the slick Hamilton backs move that found the existing Biggar defence floundering. As the only player left, the inside centre broke the winger's heart, as he was probably planning his picture perfect dive in his head, by halting him merely a couple of feet from the line. Although the wing wasn't in touch, Craig Frame, who was tenacious all day, showed speed of thought and arrived early to rip the ball from the isolated back. Biggar cleared their lines and there was well deserved back slapping all round. 

 

But haud the bus.....

 

Hamilton weren't finished. You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you didn't want that something horrible to happen...then it did? Well, it did!

 

Colts lost their discipline and conceded a penalty within kicking distance. Hamilton obliged and stroked it between the posts.

 

3 minutes to go, 15-13 to Bulls and to all intents and purposes the game was done. The home support went mad. And who could blame them.

 

But haud the bus......again!

 

Biggar weren't finished. Ali Steele's re-start was long and pin-point accurate. Hamilton would have to deal with a line-out on their own 5m line. The pressure showed. Line-out not straight, scrum 5 to Biggar. 1st Phase...Halted. 2nd phase.....Halted. Hamilton defended like demons. 3rd phase, a break down the blindside, a rampaging burst from Connolly, just enough to outfox the home cover....Try!

 

The away support went mad. And who could blame them.

 

A nervy last minute ensued with Hamilton piling on the pressure but Biggar held out. Final score, Hamilton 15 Biggar 18.

 

Biggar urgently needed something to brighten up their season and this game certainly did that. No-one said it was going to be easy and the boys need to realise that. Let’s not beat about the bush here, things need to improve, for their own sake,  if they want to make an impression in this league and it IS achievable. The coaches will never accept mediocrity. With that in mind players must focus on work-ons and be brutally honest about what they want to achieve. No, it's not the Pro 14 or a case of life and death. It's more than that!

 

It was a very important victory that will boost the team and is particularly pleasing to see the 15 on the pitch at the end that dragged the victory from the jaws of defeat. Well done everyone.


Colts falter at Boroughmuir

Another Tough Shift for Biggar Colts:

Boroughmuir 45 Biggar 12

 

Biggar Colts kicked off the second half of their Shogun Conference fixtures with a trip to Meggetland to face Boroughmuir Colts. The home fixture, played in mid-August brought back memories of summer with short sleeves, flowing rugby and Biggar winning 25-8. Unfortunately the weather on Saturday was nothing like mid-August. With the wind gusting from left to right, tactics were always going to be key - kick well with the wind and stick it up the jumper when playing against it.

 

‘Muir did this superbly. First half they absorbed lots of Biggar pressure waited on a mistake and sent the ball 60 yards down the pitch forcing Biggar to start again. Second half they kept the ball in their pack tied up defenders than hit on the break with their pacey backs. This was to prove a winning combination.

 

Biggar tried to play a passing game throughout and sometimes the weather just isn’t right for that. Long looping miss passes seemed to be the order of the day with the result more often than not a knock-on, lost ball or forward pass being called. Having conceded an early try Biggar got themselves well into the ‘Muir 22. A penalty was taken popped to Josh JVR who was stopped just short. It looked primed for a rumble from the forwards but instead a 30 yard pass was the option taken. Result – lineout ‘Muir who kicked well clear.

 

Having conceded again, Biggar got back in the game. This time a penalty in the ‘Muir 22 was kept in the forwards and once space was created Matthew dived over for the score. Ali kicked the conversion well in a very strong wind.

 

14 - 7 at the half would, have been a good 35 minutes work but ‘Muir went over with the last play of the half so 21-7 it was.

 

Into the second half playing with the wind can sometimes be just as tricky. Biggar kicked well and had ‘Muir camped inside their own 22 almost permanently but a loose pass or knock on would result in ‘Muir snaffling the ball and hitting on the break. They scored 4 almost carbon copy try’s in the second half with only a Robbie score showing for Biggar following excellent work from the pack.

 

Full Time – ‘Muir 45 – Biggar 12

 

Biggar need to learn from these games as although ‘Muir were a good side, they were beatable. They were simply far more clinical in taking their chances than Biggar scoring almost every time they got a chance. Biggar scored 2 try’s but had 4 or 5 other really good chances that were not taken. Decision making is key in these situations and in a lot of cases this was where Biggar fell down.

 

To be fair to Biggar they kept going manfully and were unlucky not to keep the game much tighter but decision making let them down. It does sometimes look like players are looking for the right man to pass to rather than the right pass. Too often a long pass was picked as the option when a short pass would have kept the ball with Biggar rather than being turned over.


Shogun Conference update


In the Shogun Conference the Colts on Saturday preceded the 15’s and 16’s in journeying north to Inverness for their matches against Highland RFC.

 

It was not an easy day for the Colts who lost out heavily by 92-7 while the 16’s were also defeated by 52-15.

 

It was left to the 15’s to return with a win, their 50-0 victory being a great result.

 

Highland were unable to send their S1 and S2 sides south as was scheduled as this weekend coincided with their October week holiday. The Conference matches are now suspended as most other regions have their Autumn break.
 


Colts come up short against West


Shogun Conference Biggar Colts 12 West of Scotland U18 17

 

Following the dreadful news about his involvement in a car accident mid-week, Jordan Gray was absent from the team and awaiting surgery to repair broken bones. This is a massive loss to the team but, most importantly, Jordan will be around to tell us all the tale when he gets home. The Colts wish Jordan all the very best and a speedy recovery.

 

The dull thud of last weeks defeat at the hands of Ayr left a nasty taste in the mouth but in truth it's always a challenge for coaches to establish real continuity when you have players away on other duties.

 

West were decisive from the kick-off and didn't waste any time in getting the scoreboard going with a converted try after 3 minutes. The visitors were playing with intensity. Take heed Biggar.....your opponents are well and truly up for this.

 

Biggar didn't realise at this point, but the next 67 minutes would be full of set-backs, and dull thuds. The first one of those saw the premature departure of Lewis Stewart who had to leave the field after 5 minutes following a meaty challenge with his opposite back rower (suspected Collar bone). Colts pulled together swiftly and Matthew Stewart's try on 8 mins displayed true quality. The precise and simple nature of the move from the set piece scrum on the West 22 was a joy to watch. It was built on defiance, attitude and opportunism. A real team effort.

 

But after that the game turned frantic and disjointed, however Biggar were still advancing and with good numbers too. Drew Brewster's line breaks were effective which put West on the back foot and saw them penalised for not rolling away. Steele pulled the place kick.

 

Biggar pushed forward again and tried to recycle the ball quickly. West not 10. Another penalty. Another miss from the tee. Most definitely out of character for the full-back.

 

A lot of the game was played in the middle of the pitch and no one had any real control. It was West that pulled away at the end of the first half with a penalty kick to bring the score line to 5-10.

 

Biggar's early efficiency had melted into uncertainty. When Steele's penalty kick to touch earned them a throw five metres from the West line it was as if they could just help themselves to the ball.

 

Biggar conceded a rash of penalties in front of their posts and West exploited the mistakes to score another converted try to extend their lead. It was symbolic of a second half that deteriorated into a fractious affair and to add to the frustration Colts lost scrum-half Finlay Barr to an ankle injury. Wallis deputised.

 

There was a glimmer of hope because the most of the second half was played fairly well in the West half but there remained uncertainty and imprecision. That hope took another blow when Andrew Reid was knocked out and had to be stretchered off.

 

Biggar had to bring something to the party and eventually did with a good period of pressure and a healthy mix of vim and vigour. Daniel McConkey and Craig Frame showing leadership in the pack and moving forward at every opportunity.

 

Scott Paton nailed his first try of the season by crashing over the line to close the gap to 5 points. It may not have been as pretty as the first try but that didn't matter. The forward had a bit of work to do and showed strength and determination. Ali Steele added the extras.

 

A possible victory could be had although the clock was ticking down. Too little, too late. Biggar couldn't capitalise on the territory they had and it was nothing like enough to close things out. The game ended with that same bitter taste sampled the week previous. West would need scraped off the ceiling with delight and only their second win of the season. Biggar would be left climbing the walls!

 

Tries: Matthew Stewart, Scott Paton Conv: Ali Steele
 


Biggar Colts find Ayr a tough challenge

Biggar 7 Ayr 47

Biggar Colts took to the field for their 3rd home game of the season with Ayr colts the opposition at Hartree Mill. A number of regulars were missing from the team due to other commitments so the team had a number of changes to contend with. This unfortunately showed in the performance as Ayr steamrollered the Rams.

 

Ayr were a big workmanlike team with good level of skill but on too many occasions they were not made to work for their score. The first score for Ayr came from a home lineout inside the Biggar 22. Ayr having had the throw in threw it squint. Biggar got the option line or scrum and somehow chose line! It went all wrong and was won by Ayr. Quick ball and they were over.

 

The lineout misfired nearly all day and another carbon copy score was almost conceded from exactly the same position. Unfortunately no-one seemed to switch on for Biggar until 50 minutes had passed. By then it was 40 nil to Ayr and the game was already done. For the last 20 minutes Biggar got their tails up and showed what they can do. They worked their socks off and got an excellent try in the corner. A great break from Drew Brewster saw the ball won and recycled quickly to Jordan Gray. He broke again and fed Ali who got the offload to Jamie Bell for the score.

 

Final score Biggar 7 Ayr 47

 

A bad day at the office for Biggar against a team who did not seem that much better but on the day they simply appeared to be much more up for the game than their Biggar counterparts. No-one likes to lose but the nature of this one must give the coaches some concern. The boys need to generate some fire in the belly next week for the home match against West of Scotland to prove this was a one off.


 


 


 


 


Shogun Conference News: Colts v Currie Chieftains


Currie Chieftains U18 5 Biggar Colts 22

The Colts coaches needed a reaction to last weeks defeat to Stirling and got it. However, this game didn't exactly put the wind up your frock! Yes, they bagged a win, but you can't help thinking that there was more to give.

 

This shouldn't be seen as a negative though, more a 'note to self ' to maintain focus.

 

Such a summary doesn't take away from the fact that Biggar Colts are 3 wins from 4 and developing a taste for winning in a very tough league. Finlay Barr's induction at Fly-half, albeit a little nervous, can be seen as a success and the young man, who showed willing all day, wasn't afraid to mix things up with the big Currie boys either.

 

Currie started the stronger side and maintained some pressure in Biggar territory for 10mins or so but the Colts held strong and batted the volley's back at the hosts. The centre partnership of Matthew Stewart and Robbie Orr proved hard nuts to crack in defence and held off the Currie attack closely followed by Jamie Bell at left wing who shut the door often on his black & amber opponents. Biggar's front row also held well in the scrum.

 

Patience was the key and this was rewarded with two tries before half-time. The first was finished off under the posts by Jordan Gray in 22 mins after a counter attack and six phases of play while Luhann Kotze went over the whitewash 6 minutes later after an eye-catching offload from Robbie Orr - at his purposeful best throughout. Ali Steele converted both tries.

 

As the half progressed Colts had the measure of Currie with their running lines, interplay and kicks into space but struggled to execute their moves. Whether this was due to the fact that the heavens opened was hard to say (It was particularly wet) but it was frustrating nonetheless. No doubt Currie were equally frustrated as their hard work and intensity yielded nothing in return.

 

Biggar were well worth the 14-0 lead at the break but they still had work to do. Colts started the second half on the front foot and it wasn't long before Orr worked his magic on the short side following good momentum and added to his team's tally in the right corner. The conversion was narrowly missed.

 

Currie could not make inroads but it wasn't through lack of trying. They continued to battle but Biggar disrupted their attack. Colts were awarded a penalty between half-way and the Currie 10m line. Steele fancied his chances with the lengthy kick and proceeded to split the posts with an excellent strike to bring the scoreline to 22 nil.

 

The Edinburgh team showed real resilience and came at Biggar with a flurry of industrious teamwork but it was a fine solo effort by the Currie centre on the hour mark that saved their nil-return blushes. Indeed a sign that even in the face of adversity your opposition can still be dangerous. One thing is for sure...all games played so far have been physical affairs and that is just they way things are at U18 level. Yes, Rugby is a game of evasion but sometimes you need a human bulldozer to get things going. With this in mind, Charles Connolly did a grand job of clearing the way for a final Biggar flourish, but things remained fairly neutral and the Black and Red saw the game out as deserved winners.

 

Another big fixture awaits Biggar Colts on Saturday when they welcome Ayr U18 to Hartree Mill.

Tries: Jordan Gray, Luhann Kotze, Robbie Orr Conv: Ali Steele (2) Pen: Ali Steele
 


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


Colts take points in 2nd Shogun Conf match


Mitsubishi Shogun Conference Biggar Colts 31 Hamilton Bulls 14

 

Local derby's can either be stuffy affairs or memorable battles with plenty of mouthwatering action. Thankfully, and glad to report, it was the latter that yet another healthy support encountered.

 

As responses to a week 1 win go this is just what the coaches ordered and any fears of beginners luck would be put to bed. Biggar had early advantage and found themselves on the Hamilton '22'. An attacking scrum for Colts and the first wake-up call for the front row. Hamilton's dominance in the scrum was evident. Their pack was considerably larger and heavier. Biggar would have to adapt to this and show resilience and patience for most of the game in this area of play.

 

This was a massively physical affair from the outset with some big impacts. The word 'Ooft!' resonated quite often.

 

The Colts progressed well in the first 10min and put width on the ball quickly and Drew Brewster burst down the left with space but was eventually hauled down and into touch by the covering Bulls Full-back. Hamilton cleared well from the line-out and skipped up-field. A penalty for Biggar off-side gave the visitors the first chance to open their account but the kick rebounded off the post. Matthew Stewart was sharp and collected to make a run to relieve any ensuing pressure. Hamilton came back through a jinky run from the speedy No.11. The crowd thought he was in but the Biggar defence halted him on the 5m line. As an added bonus Lewis Stewart managed to turn the ball over and this would be a signature move for the open-side flanker with no less than 4 turnovers registered in the game.

 

You could say that with 20 min in that Hamilton found their feet and had a hold on the game but it was only marginal. Biggar hit back with Jordan Gray picking up at the back of the Scrum on the Hamilton 10m line. The big back row was strong and managed to off-load to Luhann Kotze after some close attention from the Bulls defence. Kotze kicked through with Hamilton defenders breathing down his neck. The scrum-half was just off balance and was unlucky not to touch down and the ball bobbled forward. Hamilton cleared their lines from the scrum, no touch found, Biggar advance again, and with numbers. Robbie Orr collected but the back line was too flat. The pass out wide missed everyone and the Hamilton left wing was switched on and kicked forward and won the foot race to score in the corner. The conversion was good, and just like that....Biggar were 7 nil down.

 

There was no notion of Biggar of lying down until the end of the half. Ali Steele hit back and landed a fine penalty kick and in the blink of an eye, right after the restart, Kotze and a little platoon of team mates combined down the right finding Robbie Orr in space to touch down in the corner. Steele added the extras to bring the half-time score to 10-7 to Biggar.

 

If the first half was a 'tit-for-tat' political debate the second would be a quick-fire round in a game show, with most of the questions being asked of the Hamilton defence.

 

Biggar would score another three tries in the second half. An outrageous break on 38min by Jordan Gray found Orr who exploited the space left by the backtracking Bulls defence to run in under the posts. Steele accurate again with the conversion.

 

Fresh legs in 40 mins saw Andrew Reid and Josh JVR join the scrum and that re-steadied the ship in that department. Colts came back at Hamilton again and displayed some good vision, keeping the heat on with six effective phases and switching the play. This structured approach found Matthew Stewart in support to make sure of another five points. Steele on the mark again to convert.

 

Biggar tails were up and there's no doubt the impression of a bunch of guys relishing their rugby as things to enjoy was unmistakable. By now they had the measure of the big Hamilton pack and there were some meaty tackles indeed. Orr would be in again to secure his hat-trick after Hamilton made a mistake at the back of their scrum. The fly-half sniped through leaving the Bulls defence flat footed and nothing but the ball and try line for company.

 

After this you would think the contest would flat line, but think again. And this is what should be admired about all these young men. It's their desire to keep going that gives them the will to return next week and do it all again. Hamilton did just that with some very watchable play that broke the Biggar defence down. It was too late in the day to change the outcome though but they added to their tally with a fine try and narrowed the points difference and they should be commended for it.

 

The competition in this league will be fierce and if the first two games are anything to go by, and with Stirling County looming this coming Saturday, it's important that the squad remain focussed 'cos things are about to get serious!

 

Tries: Robbie Orr (3), Matthew Stewart Conv: Ali Steele (4) Pen: Ali Steele
 

Thanks to Alistair Stewart (Lanark) for this report


Colts and Shogun Conference 1st Round


Biggar 25 Boroughmuir 8

 

'Plenty to savour as the new 'Shogun Conference' kicks off'. Even though we enter a new Conference with some new opposition, namely the best youth teams in Scotland, this match-up had a very familiar ring to it.

 

This was a relatively 'New Look' colts side, albeit with recognisable names from the previous season. Unquestionably, there will be a sigh of relief from all concerned that the first blow has been struck by the Black and Red with a favourable victory and excellent team spirit to boot. To dispatch a team like Boroughmuir, who have been operating in the top end league for many a season, is no mean feat and a pulsating contest left a healthy Biggar support with beaming smiles all round.

 

The match was competitive throughout and started very well with Ali Steele at outside centre kicking well from the hand and Finlay Stewart hoovering things up at Full-back.

 

Off-side was a big infringement feature for both teams but Biggar got the lions share of the advantage and progressed to the 'Muir' 22m on a number of occasions only to be halted by minor handling errors. The visitors were dangerous but Colts resident pickpocket Luhann Kotze performed daylight robbery on a couple of occasions to release a bit of Boroughmuir pressure. Support was plentiful but yielded no score.

 

This industrious and proactive approach was a real feature of Biggar's play and would continue but, it has to be said, against the run of play it was Boroughmuir that drew first blood with a penalty in the 30th minute.

 

Hosts and visitors alike got their blood up at the tail end of the first half and referee tripped over a couple of handbags to have a word with both captains to throw the fashion accessories to the sidelines and get on with it.

 

Rare defensive frailty by Biggar led to Boroughmuir's tall second row scoring right on half time to bring the score to 8-0 to the Edinburgh outfit.

 

Second half restart and great intensity shown from both sides. With Jordan Gray at No.8 it was a great opportunity for him to showcase his dynamic ability and it allowed him some freedom to break the line and this ultimately led to Biggar's first try.

 

Real momentum up the right through Gray's break and continuity saw Ali Steele over the line following sustained pressure. Steele narrowly missed his conversion but he would make amends three minutes later when Boroughmuir were penalised for not releasing in the tackle. His penalty was neatly slotted between the posts from the right hand touchline to bring the score level at 8-8.

 

Biggar were direct and getting into a flow and on 52 min. Robbie Orr collected the ball from the back of the ruck 10 metres out from the Boroughmuir line, showed their defence the blind but switched back inside to Kotze who split the defence for Biggar's second. Steele converted.

 

An entertaining brand of rugby continued and saw some nice interplay between forwards and backs and with Biggar seeing a bit more of the ball they capitalised with a massive carry by Jordan Gray who crashed through for a well deserved score. Steele had his eye in and converted well.

 

Ten minutes to go saw some changes in the pack replacing Archibald and Baillie who put in a competent shift. Just after the hour mark Sam Wallis showed real endeavour. The winger collected in his own half, opened the tanks, broke the first tackle, halted on the second at the opposition 22. It was an excellent stop by the 'Muir' defender but he just held on a bit too long giving Biggar the penalty. Ali Steele obliged with another 3 points.

 

Boroughmuir weren't done though and advanced putting Biggar defence to the test. Biggar absorbed the late pressure to bring the game to a close after a Muir knock-on. Verdict: A positive start to the season. A real team effort. Plenty to take back to the training ground. Maintain the focus and drive for Hamilton next Saturday.

Tries: Ali Steele, Luhann Kotze, Jordan Gray Conv: Ali Steele (2) Pen: Ali Steele (2)

 

Thanks to Alistair Stewart (Lanark) for this report
 


Biggar Colts

Our Colts team is made up of our 16-18 age players and competes in the Edinburgh District U-18 League, competing at the highest level and providing stiff competition for any team in Scotland,. The team train on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is coached by Yogi, Muz and Gavin, who have been working hard with this ever changing group for a number of years and have coached many of our current 1st and 2nd XV players.

If you would like to know more about our colts team please conatact Colts Convener David (Muz) Murray on 07786158710


Membership

Biggar RFC operates and Open to All policy and welcomes new members from all sectors of the community

 

We accept members from 5 years upwards who can join our Mini section to those that have retired and want to assist and retain their links with our active club.

 

Our membership year runs from May to April and if you would like to find out more about the playing arrangements at the club or become a member please contact either Gordon Young on 07774678617  or via email at gy1680@aol.com or Nigel Pacey on 07714 713504.

 

If you would like to know a little more about our rugby programmes for Primary or Secondary school children please refer to our Mini and Midi pages under the "Teams" section or contact either Laura Watson for information about Primary School age children and Paula Yardley on 07830022447 for Secondary School aged children

Membership rates and packages are as follows:

 

The Standing Order form can be downloaded here (doc format)

 

The BRFC membership form can be downloaded here (doc format)

 


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