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

Championship winners

Peebles 7 Biggar 25

 

CHAMPIONSHIP CLINCHED!!

 

A wonderful result for Biggar and one which finally clinched the National 2 Championship. For several weeks the destination of the Championship has been all but certain with it being only a very remote mathematical chance that Highland would catch Biggar and equal their League tally. Given Biggar’s massive positive points differential however it was highly unlikely that Highland would be able to take the top spot…..but it was still a possibility.

 

That possibility is now no more with the 4 points earned against Peebles taking Biggar clear on 96 league points and with the 100 a very real target for their last match on 13th April against Preston Lodge.

 

 

Biggar have achieved no fewer than 11 promotions in their relatively short 44 year history but only once before, in season 1984/85, have they been promoted as Champions! This then was a significant achievement and all the more so for the playing squad, none of whom have been in a 1st XV promotion winning side before. And particularly satisfying and enjoyable for 8 in the crowd who were part of Biggar’s first ever 1st XV and for the 7 who were also part of the 1985 squad who attended Saturday night’s annual dinner. CELEBRATIONS all round!

 

Back in October when Biggar lost their unbeaten record to Peebles, the more optimistic wondered if, when the time came, Biggar would be faced with a trip to The Gytes to secure the Championship. It was felt then, that that challenge would be an enticing yet incredibly difficult one, and so there was a good deal of nervous tension surrounding the preparations for this match given the prize.

 

With one exception, Franco Carrossi recovered from his rib unjury but adjudged not quite ready for a return to 1st XV duty, all others in the squad were fit – Alan Warnock, Robbie Orr and Conor Lavery recovered from midweek colds/sniffles – and so coaches Mercer, Wilson and Fleming had a difficult task to select a squad. The availability of Andrew Nimmo, who has been with Glasgow Hawks this season, but whose primary club is still Biggar, added more to this debate. In the end the youngster, who has had almost twice as much game time for Biggar than with Hawks, got the nod at loose head with Donald Voas moving to the tight side.

 

The rest of the squad followed similar lines to recent selections with Robbie Lavery dropping to the bench and Gregor Stewart starting at centre.

 

A mention must be made of the MASSIVE travelling Biggar support, surely the biggest tunrout of visiting supporters this league aghs seen for many years, if not ever. The whole cluib was represented with players and supporters of all ages and sections of the club making the trip to Peebles. What a reaction from the crowd as Biggar took the field and what a lift it gave the players who could have been forgiven for thinking that it was in fact a home match!

 

Played in near perfect spring-like conditions the game ensued with both sides playing an expansive game and one which entertained the crowd. Tackles were hard and there was predictably no quarter given or asked.

 

Biggar drew first blood when after 20 minutes Matthew Stewart kicked a penalty to put Biggar 3-0 up.

 

As expected at this stage Peebles had the edge in the tight with their pack disrupting the Biggar 8 in the scrum although the home lineout didn’t function just as well with ball won but not as tidily as would have been preferred.

 

Biggar’s cause was not helped with an injury to prop Donald Voas whose contributions both at scrum time and in the loose this season have been nothing short of immense. A suspected popped rib is a real issue for anyone but especially for a prop and so he was forced from the fray. This ended the much awaited contest between Donald and his brother Douglas who was in the Peebles squad. Replacement Paul Davidson, a natural tight head, put in a huge performance and helped Biggar secure their own ball and nip at least 3 against the head, an unusual occurrence for Peebles.

 

There was excitement in bucketloads with some good lines taken by both sets of backs and with kicks and chases providing real excitement.

 

The next score came from Club Captain Alan Warnock – a former pupil of Peebles High and no stranger to Peebles as he played at The Gytes for seveal seasons – got on the end of a great Biggar attack to score a try which Matthew Stewart was just unable to convert.

 

A second penalty gave Biggar a half time lead at 11-0.

 

The opening exchanges fo the second period saw Biggar scrum half Davy Reive shown a yellow for preventing fair release. Down to 14 men this 10 minute spell was significant though try as they did Peebles were unable to make the extra man count as the Biggar defence, already a huge factor in this season’s successes, again stood firm. Time and again tackles were made with all contributing to the cause and with Peebles given scant time to play without being under very real pressure.

 

The game was won on the back of two Peebles attacks which misfired, this again as much to do with Biggar pressure as any perceived Peebles errors. The first saw Ross Bradford, in typical style and certainly not for the first time this campaign, snaffle an interception pass from Peebles stand off Donald Anderson to run home from half way. Another Anderson pass shortly afterwards fell in similar fashion to Gregor Stewart who also ran in from long range. In a season when his younger brother has scored a club record 20 tries, this was particualrly sweet for the centre as this was his first of the season! Matthew Stewart (no relation!) kicked the conversions to both these scores to put Biggar ahead and effectively out of sight.

 

It looked as though Biggar would keep a clean sheet – which in itself would have been cause for celebration – but Peebles winger Scott Stoddart made amends when, and with only seconds remaining, he latched on to a speculative pass from Conor Lavery to beat the Biggar chase for a try. A stramash ensued as Biggar’s replacement winger Iain Renwick slid into Stoddart as he scored.

 

The conversion by Anderson was successful and as Biggar believed that referee Gardner’s whistle signalled fulltime there was much celebration from the Biggar squad who were joined on the pitch by the bench. This was short-lived however as the whistle was in fact to signal a penalty restart to Peebles on half way!

 

Peebles put together a series of phases but an error ended the contest to allow the real celebrations to begin!

 

There was some very real and raw emotion from Biggar players, coaches and supporters alike and which set things up perfectly for the senior dinner at Hartree Mill later in the evening. Fair play to the Peebles players who had the unenviable task of watchingthe celebrations unfold on their pitch. Not an easy task but one which they carried out admirably and in good spirit – such is rugby!

 

Many congratulations to Biggar’s coaching staff, Playing Convenors, physios and back up staff all of whom have contributed SO much to this season. Primarily however, congratulations to the senior playing group, every one of which has worked so tirlesssly to develop their fitness, skills and game understanding. It has all been more than worthwhile and has created memories for Biggar RFC which will last forever.

 

Biggar

R. Orr, R. Bradford, G. Stewart, M. Stewart, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, D. Reive, A. Nimmo, E. Stewart, D. Voas, J. Orr, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson (Capt), C. Mulligan, R. Jackson.

Reps: A. Peacock, P. Davidson, R. Lavery, I. Renwick.

 

Biggar’s 2nd XV were scheduled to travel to take on Kelso on Saturday but were disappointed when the Border side were in touch to say that they were unabel to field a side.

 

This was rotten news for the Biggar XV who were primed for the match which they needed to win to be sure of avoiding relegation.

 

The 28-0 score does just that however and promotes the side to 6th place in the division with 2 games remaining.

 

A bonus was that the squad, many of whom have had 1st XV action this season were on hand at Peebles to watch the 1sts and join in with the celebrations.


1st XV tajke another step towards the Championship

Biggar 52 GHK 5

Biggar took another step closer to the Division 2 Championship with this 8 try to 1 win over Glasgow side GHK.

 

That Highland conquered Lasswade with an all important bonus point win means that the celebrations are on hold for another week at least as Biggar require a minimum of one more point to secure the title. It takes a brave man to predict any local derby result but the stakes are now upped given that Peebles are still the only side to have beaten Biggar this season and that they would dearly love to make that a double and stymie Biggar’s championship celebrations!

 

A big week ahead!


Playing away from the clubhouse and in front of a very good crowd, Biggar and GHK opened up strongly and the early passages of play were long and at times frantic as players sought to run possession wherever possible rather than kick. Dropped passes and good defence prevented any scoring.

 

Both sides were relatively successful in gaining good yards although neither were able to breech their opponents line until, that is, the 10th minute when Matthew Stewart made a great run to the line after being set free by stand off Conor Lavery who had gained possession from Robbie Orr. The youngster, who was imperious at full back, was making his last appearance at Biggar this season as he sets off for NZ next weekend for 6 months. He flies out to join Ali Steele who left Biggar in February and is playing with Tairu RFC in North Island. What wonderful opportunities for today’s youth!

 

Matthew Stewart added the conversion for his try but it was not long before GHK replied, their lineout and driving maul working well to take play within metres of the Biggar line. A series of close pick and go’s followed before prop Andrew McCulloch eventually got over the line for a good score. This tactic might have provided more points had they been able to use it more often but possession dried up somewhat after this score.

 

As it was, not only did GHK score but an altercation after the try saw Biggar centre Robbie Lavery shown a yellow card. Reduced to 14 men there was worse to come as referee Stuart Burns restarted the match with a GHK penalty on halfway.

 

Another Matthew Stewart break promised much but a penalty award for holding allowed GHK to clear.

 

Biggar prop Donald Voas has been in fine form of late and this continued on Saturday when on at least 3 occasions he made huge line breaks on the wing, showing some excellent accelaration and speed in the process and proving very difficult to stop.

 

After the 2nd of these bursts possession was retained and a neat inside pass from Conor Lavery to winger Rowan Stewart saw the youngster slice through the GHK defence for a fine try – his 20th of the season and a club record to boot. Matthew Stewart’s conversion made it 14-5.

 

A team has to work really hard when a man down to keep their line intact and so it was a real triumph for Biggar to have scored a try of their own during this period.

 

Lots of possession followed for Biggar but against the stiff breeze they struggled to make further inroads until, that is, the final minute of the half, when, after several promising forays, Robbie Orr made a fantastic run down the clubhosue side of the pitch, evading at least 4 would be tacklers in the process to crash over in the corner. A fantastic solo effort but just too wide for the conversion. Half time then was 19-5 to Biggar.

 

While many were more than happy with this advantage the coaching staff were less pleased and set Biggar back out to aim for a much greater convserion rate from possession to points.

 

It seemed that things were to start really well as Chris Mulligan made good a turnover to sprint over the line but referee Burns blew instead for a GHK penalty. The immediate danger was cleared but it was not long before Biggar were back on the attack, Voas getting the credit after yet another destructive touchline breenge. Matthew Stewart kicked an excellent touchline conversion for 26-5.

 

Biggar beagn to ring the changes with Guy Kelly the first to give way, his place taken by Paul Davidson who made an immediate impact in making an excellent turnover.

 

Tries were to come at fairly regular intervals now as Biggar increased the pace of the match and as GHK tired in the face of continually having to defend. Next up was that man Voas – again - who collected his second after (another) touchline run, though this time his final charge for the line was aided and abetted by fullback Robbie Orr who put his shoulder behind his prop to drive him over the line. James Orr then made way for Andrew Peacock, another who announced his presence in the best possible manner, the big man latching on to another Lavery pass to sprint clear and past the stretched GHK defence with a neat change of pace for a fantastic try, converted by Matthew Stewart.

 

Conor Lavery then made a schoolboy error in thinking he had actually scored before he touched the ball down, it squirting clear and rightly adjudged as having been knocked on.

 

Skipper Euan Sanderson rounded off another passage of play deep in the GHK half with a good score. Matthew Stewart’s conversion was followed swiftly by his second score and then his 6th conversion, a well-timed pass from replacement Gregor Stewart setting him free and over the line for the try.

 

All Biggar could and had to do was win the match, preferably with a 4-try bonus so from that point of view at least it was a case of mission accomplished. The news from Lasswade was relatively predictable and so the SRU Rep Graham Scott who was on duty with the Cup should Highland have tripped up, will be back at Peebles on Saturday to – hopefully - carry out the honours then.

 

Biggar

R. Orr, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, R. Lavery, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, D. Reive, D. Voas, E. Stewart, F. G. Kelly, J. Orr, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, C. Mulligan, R. Jackson.

Reps: A. Peacock, P. Davidson, G. Stewart, I. Renwick.

 

FOOTNOTE 1

Saturday saw the end of an era as Davy Reive played his last 1st XV home match. Given the honour of leading the side out onto the pitch, this was clearly an emotional moment for the Biggar stalwart. A fiesty competitor whose experience is difficult to quantify he has been ever-present in the Biggar ranks for some 12 years and has contributed masses to the club.

A bad attack of cramp prevented him from leading the team off at the end of the match but he can hold his head high and he will be sorely missed next season. He does have one more match remaining however and if selected he will be buzzing to get onto The Gytes pitch against Peebles.

 

FOOTNOTE 2

A massive thank you from all at Biggar RFC for the huge turnout of support for Saturday’s match. The touchlines were full and helped greatly in making it an occasion for the players and the club as a whole.

The Mini and Youth players also turned out in numbers to make a guard of honour which again was very much appreciated by the players. Of Saturday’s 1st XV squad no fewer than 15 from the 19 came all the way through the Biggar Youth system having played at Mini, Youth and Colts level before graduating to the senior game – a tremendous conversion and retention rate envied by many clubs around the country.
Many came early to take in the Colts match prior to the 1st XV match and to make a day of it.

Once again, all support is so very much appreciated


Biggar triumph at Accies

Biggar 26 Glasgow Accies 10

Having won 16 of their matches this season and facing a side with just 5 wins the pre-match form suggetsed that Biggar should find this latest match against Glasgow Accies relatively straightforward.

 

That they did not was due in part to some uncharacteristic handling errors from Biggar but principally due to an excellent defensive display by the home side. Biggar’s defence has been excellent all this season but they found the Accies effort every bit as frugal, with good organisation allied to commitment restricting Biggar to a tight fought away win.

 

Having said that, the Biggar support is now accustomed to watching a free-flowing Biggar and this no doubt increased the frustration from those on the touchline. This, combined with a couple of ‘tight’ calls which could on another day have gone another way, meant that Biggar had to wait until the last quarter before they were secure with the win and the 4-try bonus.

 

Biggar fielded much the same XV as had travelled to Highland last week with both the very happy ‘new dads’, Alan Warnock and Conor Lavery, playing.

 

Alan of course came back into the side, Jamie Orr moving to the back row to cover for Chris Mulligan who moved to hooker as Euan Stewart was still suffering for the blow sustained last week.

 

Andrew Peacock and Declan Dinnen swapped roles the latter starting with Peacock on the bench.

 

In the backs, Davy Reive was also injured so his place went to Robbie Lavery while Rowan Stewart started at centre with Euan Bogle on the wing.

 

Conditions on the way to Glasgow were very poor with relentless rain falling but happily the Accies pitch remained in excellent condition, especially when the rain stopped just after the match kicked off.

 

An early passage of play saw Biggar camped on the Accies line. A break to the line by Bogle almost resulted in a try but the cover defence was across in the nick of time to barge him into touch. With field position retained a thundering charge by Matthew Stewart made good yards and ended the game for an Accies prop who made a brave tackle before going off with a damaged arm. Pressure continued and, as has been his way of late, Conor Lavery glided through the Accies defence to score the opening try. Matthew Stewart’s conversion took the score to 7-0 with just 5 minutes or so on the clock.

 

Undeterred the home side opened up strongly off the restart with their backs using the ball well and their pace and angled runs putting Biggar under a good deal of pressure. Biggar meanwhile created some great field positions only to see ball lost in contact, this again down to poor ball protection but also to the quality of the home defence.

 

The game at this stage was pretty scrappy with neither side able to get control of proceedings. Biggar’s lineout which had yielded little ball in Highland was back on song with Warnock, Orr and Sanderson all taking good ball on their put in and nipping a few of Accies to boot although they weren’t always able to capitalise on this possession.

 

In what was virtually their first visit to the Biggar 22, Accies struck, a nicely angled run catching the Biggar defence flat-footed and seeing winger Chris Woods cross in the corner, although the Biggar cover defence did everything they could to get the player into touch. The conversion was short but at 7-5 it was game on.

 

Coming back in reply Ross Bradford and Rowan Stewart made some good yards before Orr gained a good field possession with a neat kick to the corner. A squint throw gave Biggar a scrum and with a surge to the line from the scrum it appeared that Euan Sanderson had got the touchdown but the referee was unsighted and therefore unable to award the score.

 

With a half hour gone Biggar engineered a try for winger Bradford. Ball from the scrum was moved to the blindside and following a searing break by Orr which took play from Biggar’s 10m line to Accies 22, the fullback popped the ball to Bradford who made short work of the space to cross for a try converted by Stewart for 14-5.

 

Try as they did and despite several further promising positions Biggar were unable to add to their tally and so half time came with Biggar ahead.

 

A huge defensive set of plays at the start of the second half was applauded by the large Biggar support and this must have set Accies back as they were cut down and driven back as quickly as they were able to go forward. Donald Voas, Mulligan, Sanderson and Dinnen were all to the fore in this area.

 

A few minutes later and Orr latched onto a kick ahead by Conor Lavery and seemed to gain a touchdown but again the referee signalled for a knock on and it was chalked off.

 

Biggar continued to put pressure on their hosts but they couldn’t get a try as Accies worked hard to break the Biggar attacks down. In attack Biggar were also a little guilty of trying to force things, some over-amibitious, wide and hurried passes putting the receiver under pressure. It was from one such pass that Accies nabbed their second try, centre Gregor McEwan picking up a loose pass from Lavery to Stewart to romp home from some 60 metres. Again however, and crucially, there was no conversion but Biggar’s lead was cut to 14-10.

 

Biggar made several changes around this time, Carrossi being replaced by Guy Kelly, Dinnen by Peacock and then shortly afterwards, Matthew Stewart by Iain Renwick. This last change saw Renwick take over at 9, Robbie Lavery moving to centre.

 

Biggar enjoyed a good deal of territorial pressure at this stage and there were some better examples of players making better decisions allowing play to continue. Eventually normal service was resumed as Biggar put their hosts under real pressure via a series of plays with Voas, Kelly, Jackson and Robbie Orr all handling well in the Accies 22. A pick and go from Conor Lavery created some space and his offload found Warnock in support, the lock spinning out of a couple of tackles to crash over for Biggar’s 3rd score. With Matthew Stewart off, Euan Bogle added the conversion for 21-10.

 

Bonus points have been a fairly regular occurrence this season and this match was no exception although it took the side a whole lot longer to claim it.

 

A sustained period of pressure which saw runner after runner ensured that Accies were restricted to defensive chores in their own 22. A series of pick and goes and some darting runs by among others Renwick and Bradford took play to within a couple of metres, Ryan Moffat, who had only recently come onto the pitch, picking up and diving over for try No 4. Bogle was just wide with the conversion.

 

There was still some time left to add to the tally but aside from a particularly silky interchange of passes between Conor Lavery, Peacock and Renwick this last few minutes passed largely without incident. Accies, to their credit, continued to play an open game making a couple of forays over half way but either through errors or Biggar’s defence they yielded possession with Biggar’s kick chase then forcing them to build again from deep.

 

The final whistle came with Biggar taking the win by 26-10. donald Voas deservedly won the man-of-the-match award. This win takes Biggar one step closer to a promotion place. Defeats to Highland and Stewarts Melville were the best possible results from a Biggar point of view with only Highland and Dumfries now able to catch Biggar; and to do that Biggar would have to lose all their 4 remaining matches while their opponents would need to win all theirs by 5-point bonus winning scores. It IS still mathematically possible however and until it is firmly beyond doubt, Biggar will focus only on the next game ahead. This game is against Lasswade at home but because of the 6-Nations break this is not until the 2nd of March.

 

The interim period will be spent on recovery for those struggling with injury and with some mid-season/pre-season work. To date there is a match on Friday 8th against Selkirk although the coaches would like another game at some point to retain match fitness.

 

There were contrasting sides to Saturdays match - a downside and an upside – which created very different emotions for all involved.

 

The negative down side was when some touchline ‘banter’ was taken beyond what is acceptable and this resulted in the Accies touchjudge being unfairly castigated and provoked a reaction which was as unfortunate as the initial exchange. Biggar has a fantastic touchline support, regularly out-numbering that of the opposition (in many cases away from home as well as at home) which the Accies President remarked favourably upon post match. Supporters are reminded however that while they are encouraged to cheer and support the team, officials are carrying out a difficult task on a voluntary basis and should be allowed to do so without being subjected to any form of verbal abuse.

 

The much more positive upside to the match was that two of the starting XV, Alan Warnock and Conor Lavery, both scored tries. This was an ideal scenario as they had both become first time fathers midweek! What a way to celebrate, although I’m certain both will find another arguably better opportunity to celebrate again but with a drink (or two), rather than a rugby ball in their hand!

 

Biggar

R. Orr, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, R. Stewart, E. Bogle, C. Lavery, R. Lavery, D. Voas, C. Mulligan, F. Carossi, D. Dinnen, A. Warnock, J. Orr, E. Sanderson, R. Jackson.

Reps: G. Kelly, A. Peacock, R. Moffat, I. Renwick

 

The 2nd XV entertained Dundee on saturday, going down ina tight match by 8-3. In a season virtually bereft of yellow cards Biggar were shown 3 on saturday, making their task doubly hard. This was an unfortuante result as it puts Biggar a little closer to the bottom 3 places than is comfy. There are games to play however but biggar need a couple fo wisn to ensure they are not still in the mix at the bottom come the end of the season.


Biggar win top of the table battle

Highland 10 Biggar 12

In what will never be classed as a classic game of rugby, at the end of the day this was a massive performance from Biggar against what is undoubtedly a very good side and one which put Biggar under more pressure than any other side so far this season. With all involved making uncharcacterstic handling errors and with neither side getting the control they would have wished, Biggar did enough to hold on to a small 2 point lead to secure their 16th win of the season. The result sees Biggar stretch their lead at the top of the table to 16 points with Stewarts Melville leapfrogging Highland into second although the Inverness based side still have two games in hand.

 

This was an emotion-charged match at Inverness with the Highland club still in some shock after the passing of one of their coaches and Highland RFC stalwart Alistair ‘Porky’ Wymess. He was a rugby character who was well-known to many from Biggar. The 30 seconds of silence and 30 seconds of applause in his memory which preceded the kick off, plus the fact that ‘his’ No 3 jersey was rested for the match were all very fitting tributes and although Porky’s beloved Highland lost out, this was a contest he would undoubtedly have thoroughly enjoyed with no quarter asked and no quarter given.

 

Biggar travelled north in the knowledge that while their opponents had not played in some 6 weeks they would nonetheless be fired up to perform for their club and determined to maintain their impressive unbeaten home record which stretches back to Oct 2017. In preparation for the match on Highland’s new artifical pitch Biggar had trained at Lanark Racecourse 3G midweek although the conditions at Inverness with a partially frost-covered pitch made conditions for both sides – particularly with regard to handling as the ball was seemingly constantly wet and slippy - very difficult.

 

Highland fielded their strongest XV of the season with Biggar pretty much in similar shape and so the scene was perfectly set for a top-of-the-table clash, the result of which could yet determine the promotion places if not the championship itself. One who did not make thr trip was veteran Alan Warnock who remained at home with mum to be Emma.

 

Having played strongly to repel the first Highland foray Biggar opened the scoring with a very typical Conor Lavery try, the stand-off’s angled run taking him (far too easily from a Highland point of view) through the Highland defence. Matthew Stewart added the conversion to a score which clearly settled the Biggar effort. 7-0.

 

That Biggar scored a second try after just 8 minutes was astounding. This was a long lung-bursting run in for winger Ross Bradford who latched onto a loose pass from Highland stand off Iain Chisholm (members will remember Chis was Biggar DO in 2017-18) to run almost the length of the pitch to cross in the corner– a score almost identical to the one he scored at Falkirk a fortnight ago.

 

Euan Bogle who had come onto the pitch while Robbie Lavery received treatment for a cut head, took the touchline conversion but pulled the kick across the face of the posts. 12-0.

 

That it was all going to be as easy was very quickly dispelled as Highland came right back into the match, their forward effort – especially on the touchline where they won their own ball with ease and disrupted Biggar’s lineout with almost as much ease – pushing Biggar back into their own half where a string of handling errors only increased the pressure felt by the team and the Biggar support.

 

A couple of penalties gave Highland field position and with their lineout drive, the host side took play to within 5 metres of the Biggar line. Referee Smith had signalled for another penalty as Biggar tried to halt the drive but two further drives to the line eventaully saw big centre Rob Eatough barge over – almost up-ending referee Smith in the process. Chisholm was off target with the kick but his side were rigbt back in the game at 12-5.

 

Biggar have played an expansive game all season with players running and passing and using creative off-loads throughout. This has been a strategy which has led to them scoring the most points ever and which has made games very exciting to watch. On Saturday however, with the slippy ball and cold hands contributing, errors were commonplace with the side unable to escape from their own 22 and then when they did so, unable to press home attacks. There were more such errors in this one game as in almost all other matches put together. Indeed Biggar will never make as many handling errors again and yet still win a match. This certainly added to the excitement during the match but did absolutely no good at all for the nerves of the Biggar supporters!

 

This it has to be said was also a factor for the home XV who also struggled to retain possession and who suffered in similar fashion.

 

Biggar’s attack has been devastating this season and this speed and distribution almost provided a 3rd try. An initial attack had been thwarted but ball popped to Robbie Lavery saw the centre move the ball left to Matthew Stewart who broke past the initial cover. With players in support but perhaps just out of sight he opted to go for the line himself and almost got there save for a very good cover tackle from Highland fullback, Fijian Rupeni Rokoduguni.

 

There was however a lack of the usual control in Biggar’s play with the pressure of the occasion clearly telling. This again led to Highland gaining possession and in keeping Biggar out. The half ended with the home side very much on the ascedancy, a series of penalties, several of which they opted to run (this an unusual decision given the effectiveness of their lineout) taking them ever closer to the Biggar line. A lineout spawned good ball again and while Biggar managed on this occasion to halt the drive, Highland spun the ball wide. With Chisholm and Eatough again involved ball was taken by winger Rorry Cross who crashed over for their second try. While the try was scored closer to the posts Chisholm was again just wide, but as it was half time the match was as evenly balanced as it had been at the start of the match. 12-10 to the visitors.

 

Biggar were forced to make a change at the break, scrum half Davy Reive retiring with a hip injury. His replacement was centre Robbie Lavery, with Ryan Moffat introduced at centre. Declan Dinnen was another to soon make an appearance, Andrew Peacock who again showed up well coming off.

 

Biggar almost opened the half with a try, Matthew Stewart looking to be free on the left wing only for play to be halted for a forward pass.

 

Minutes later and another break through the centre after Bradford latched onto another misdirected pass from Chisholm that could well have led to a try was also halted but this time illegally by Highland lock Stuart MacDonald. The penalty and subsequent yellow card reduced Highland to 14 men. The lineout yielded possession but an error led to Highland snaffling a turnover to clear their lines.

 

That Biggar did not manage a try during the following 10 minutes when they had an extra man was donw again to a number of errors but also to some dogged defence from the hosts who managed to keep Biggar out.

 

Highland also managed to put together a number of phases despite being short-handed. A series of pick and goes and then another peanlty which saw them tap and go had Biggar on the back foot. It was a massive defensive effort to keep Highland out but this Biggar managed with a huge effort which saw attack after attack repelled with some excellent individual and two man tackles. Any yards gained were won via sheer hard work from Highland but each attempt was met by a solid wall of black and red.

 

A stramash between almost all of both teams was given little time by referee Smith and happily this was the only such incident in the match which was played in great spirit.

 

That there was no scoring in the whole of second half was unusual but there were loads of very close run things, the errors providing opportunities for both sides but with the cover and scramble defences up to the mark on each occasion.

 

For Highland that saw centre Eatough almost through before fullback Robbie Orr saved the day. This just one of several such incidents when the youngster tidied up loose ball. For Biggar perhaps the best chance came from a neat chip ahead by try scorer Lavery. Having secured possession from his own chip he fed flanker Chris Mulligan who looked set for a long run in to the line. The cover got back but possession was retained and fed to Ewan Stewart who also looked set to score until a try saving tackle from Chisholm saw ball spilled into touch just 5m short of the try line.

 

As the game played out and with just 2 points seperating the teams it became evident that whichever side scored would most likely go on to win the match. But which side would it be? Both continued to make advances but lost possession or had ball turned over.

 

Biggar won a penalty some 35 metres out and rather than go for the points elected to kick to the corner but again they failed to get good quality ball from the lineout from which to press home their attack.

 

With just a few minutes remaining Highland won a penalty to the left of the posts and some 30metres out. Given their control at the lineout it was again perhaps surprising that they didn’t opt to go for the corner and a driven line. Instead replacement Ruaridh NacDonald stepped up with Chisholm, who had missed both previous kicks, at his side.

 

There was a complete silence around the packed ground as the youngster took the kick. Fingers were crossed and breath held by both sets of supporters but the kick was short and pushed to the right of the posts. The danger was not over for Biggar however and it took a great catch from Matthew Stewart to set up the ruck ball. Guy Kelly provided an important pass to Lavery who, knowing that this would be the last play, thumped the ball over the deadball line. The whistle was the cue for celebrations for the Biggar XV to begin.

 

Massive disappointment for all at Highland but they were particularly gracious in defeat. There were several who were in the mix for man-of-the-match. Prop Donald Voas just came out in second to eventual winner and fellow front rower Ewan Stewart who won several very important turnover balls at crucial times in the match and who bravely played on despite a corker of a black eye!

 

A huge thank you from the squad to the fantastic Biggar support! Over 60 made the 380 mile round trip to support their team while dozens of others made good use of Highland’s ‘streaming’ of the match.

 

Special mention to 2nd XV coach Andrew Howatson who, after finding out that his own game was postponed, jumped in the car and headed north by himself to witness the match. Not content with being there he immediately helped out with touchline duties. Fantastic Biggar spirit!

 

Great too, to catch up with former BRFC Treasurer Bill Mitchell. As touch judge for a 2nd XV match between Highland and RAF Kinloss to be played after the 1st XV match, Bill and his pal offered to run the line for the 1st XV match as well!

 

Biggar now prepare for this weekend’s match against Glasgow Accies. They are much bruised from the Highland encounter but as sore were the numerous friction burns from the 3G carpet with knees, elbows and hips all scraped. Check the match photographs for the detail! Preparations were put on hold following Tuesda's snow. Fingers crossed the weather relents before the weekend....

 

 

Biggar

R. Orr, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, R. Lavery, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, D. Reive, F, Carrosi, E. Stewart, D. Voas, J. Orr, A. Peacock, E. Sanderson, C. Mulligan, R. Jackson.

Reps: G. Kelly, D. Dinnen, R. Moffat, E. Bogle

 

Biggar’s 2nd XV suffered a late cancellation of their match against Cartha with the Glasgow sides pitch failing a second pitch inspection at 10am.

The Colts match against Currie was cancelled on Friday evening.


BRFC 2nd XV run Accies close

Biggar 2nds 7 Edin Accies 21


On the neighbouring 2nd XV pitch Biggar 2nds hosted runaway Reserve League leaders Edinburgh Accies.
Biggar had lost their match in Edinburgh by some 48-3, this a fairly big score but dwarfed by others the Edinburgh XV have run up this season.


Despite taking the game by the scruff of the neck, Biggar fell behind to 2 first half Accies tries.


The hosts claimed a great try in the second half, Andrew Muir touching the ball down and Craig McDonald converting, but while they enjoyed some long periods of possession and territory they were unable to add to that 7 point tally.
For their part and much to their relief, Accies finally scored a 3rd try to put the issue, with just minutes remaining on the clock, beyond doubt. This goes down not only as a very good game of rugby, but also as one of Accies toughest tests.


Biggar currently occupy 6th spot in their league. Quite where they would be if they could field a settled XV for any sort of prolonged period of time, is anyone’s guess. As it was there were no fewer than 3 Colts in the 2nd XV, the Colts having been let down by a very late call-off from Stewartry and therefore without a game.


The youngsters all played exceptionally well as did Craig McDonald in the three-quarters and Stevie Campbell in the pack.


Colt Fin Barr took the man-of-the-macth award.


Biggar 1st XV maintain their winning run

Biggar 69 Whitecraigs 7

Another 5-point league win for Biggar and some wrongs righted after the first encounter which saw Whitecraigs run Biggar close at 22-20. There was perhaps not a lot between the two teams at the end of that first encounter and the Glasgow side are still one of only two clubs to run in 2 tries against Biggar, but on Saturday the visitors were some distance behind their hosts across the board in terms of fitness, skill and tenacity.

 

Having just broken the 600 ‘points for’ barrier Biggar now find themselves on the cusp of breaching the 700 mark, not something they have ever done before….whether Highland will allow that landmark score to be achieved however is highly unlikely!

 

There were changes again for this match with Guy Kelly, Jamie Orr and Lewis Stewart all unavialable through injury/illness but Orr’s absence paved the way for a recall of stalwart Alan Warnock who again proved his value with a huge performance in attack and defence. He was one of several players to be in the frame for man-of-the-match, Chris Mulligan, Ross Bradford and Gregor Stewart the others, with the vote eventually going to the latter who looked full of running and who carried and defended well throughout.

 

There will be a headache for the coaching team with all desperate to make the long trip to Inverness on Saturday for the clash with second placed Highland.

 

Very sadly the Highland club postponed all their matches at the weekend following the very sudden death of Alisdair ‘Porky’ Wemyss, a past player and currently one of their coaches. A real rugby man and a great character he was well-liked and much-respected by many at Biggar. Biggar has passed on its condolences to Porky’s family and to the Highland club.

 

Back to the match:

Biggar, as one might expect from the scoreline, were seldom troubled by the Glasgow outfit although all credit to them because even at the end of the match when their cause was well and truly run they kept battling on, running penalties as they sought another score to gain some form of last word. That they did not manage that score was down to Biggar’s solid defence which was again up to the mark and meant that any yards gained were hard won.

 

Any ball lost in contact or any loose kicking was punished via Biggar’s electric counter attack which saw several scores emanating from Biggar’s half when a combination of speed of thought and swiftness of pass split both the initial and then the cover defence. Cracking stuff to watch and with a very pleasingly busy touchline, many were on hand to enjoy the action and Biggar’s win.

 

After a confident start in which they largely monopolised possession, Biggar ran in their first score after 5 minutes, Conor Lavery cleverly controlling with his feet an equally clever grubber kick from Iain Renwick. Matthew Stewart was just short with the conversion.

 

Whitecraigs benefited from a number of penalty awards throughout the game – the final count was 10-3 – but in contrast to the first match when ‘Craigs used similar awards to put Biggar under pressure, the Biggar effort at both scrum and lineout meant that ‘Craigs were unable to get quality ball and possession from any source.

 

Ross Bradford ran in Biggar’s second score, he taking a pass on a classic 2 on 1 with prop Donald Voas who in turn had been set free after a neat Robbie Lavery off-load. Stewart kicked the conversion – his first of 6 - for 12-0.

 

Whitecraigs fielded a massive pack and playing to this strength they recorded a good score with Andrew Paterson getting the credit for the try although the pack, with a series of pick and drives, paved the way through the Biggar defence, which for once was found wanting. The conversion, kicked by Graham Murchie, made the score 12-7 and doubtless gave the visitors some confidence.

 

This was short-lived however as within 10 minutes Biggar scored their 3rd try, Chris Milligan taking yet another crash ball to bounce over from 5m. The flanker was at his dynamic best, making good yards from every carry and proving water-tight in defence. Stewart’s conversion took the score to 19-7 and he was also successful with the conversion to the next and bonus point winning try which was again credited to Milligan, this a long range effort from some 40 metres.

 

There were barely 30 minutes of the match played and things didn’t get much better for the visitors as Conor Lavery and then Declan Dinnen both crossed before half time, Stewart’s conversions taking Biggar clear at 36-5.

 

The second half began with a rare error, a knock-on, from Warnock but within minutes normal service was resumed as Bradford crossed for his second try. This emanated following the knock on. After Biggar had managed to turn the screw in the scrum to take a ball against the put in, No 8 Ross Jackson made a great break before putting in a fine grubber kick which put the visiting fullback under all sorts of pressure. Ball won was spun wide where Bradford took the ball to cross for his second and his 14th of the season to date.

 

Biggar then made several changes. David Reive came off to be replaced by Euan Bogle who came on as winger, Iain Renwick (another to make good yards with every carry), moving from there to take over at scrum half. Gregor Stewart made way for Ryan Moffat around the same time.

 

Peacock then made his mark, he latching on to a pop pass from Ewan Stewart who had tidied up a poor ‘Craigs lineout.

 

The hooker then made way for Milligan whose place in the back row was taken by Dinnen.

 

The final change saw Paul Davidson replace Franco Carossi.

 

As the game wore on so did ‘Craigs tire, their large pack having taken a fair pounding in the tight and coming off second best in the loose as well.

 

Euan Sanderson was the next to score, the skipper rounding off another fine move with some really good passing at pace.

 

Peacock then scored his second try, Conor Lavery’s break and neat off-load in the tackle giving the big second row the simplest of tasks to run in from some 5 metres.

 

The final score fell to Bogle who was given a sniff at the line from a well-timed pass from Robbie Lavery. The youngster crossed at the corner but kicked a wonderful conversion from far out to complete Biggar’s 69 point tally.

 

Every player made an impact on Saturday with Dinnen and Carossi playing arguably their best matches so far and with all others contributing positively. Credit to the squad and to coaches Mercer, Wilson and Fleming. Indeed Wilson only returned from an extended school break to austarlia on Friday night. He was on hand to take school rugby on Saturday morning before making his way to Biggar for the 2pm kick off.

 

Biggar will not have it their own way this coming Saturday as they travel to take on second placed Highland. It is believed that the Inverness-based side has not had any competitive rugby since prior to Christmas and the expectation is that they might be a tad ring-rusty. That means very little however as they are undeafted at home so far this season, their two losses being to Falkirk and Biggar. They will also be very determined to record a win to properly mark the memory of their late coach Porky.

 

There is likely to be a large travellig Biggar support making their way to Inverness and many thanks in advance from the club for that support. Shout loud and clear!

 

 

Biggar

R. Lavery, R. Bradford, R. Stewart, G. Stewart, I Renwick, C. Lavery, D. Reive, D. Voas, E. Stewart, F. Carossi, A. Warnock, D. Dinnen, C. Mulligan, E. Sanderson, R. Jackson

Reps: P. Davidson, A. Peacock, R. Moffat, E. Bogle.


Biggar 1sts start 2019 with a win

Falkirk 5 Biggar 45

Biggar made a dream start to 2019 with a comprehensive win over hosts Falkirk. The 7-1 try count was not really reflective of the control enjoyed by Biggar although the Falkirk XV deserve great credit for their efforts, particularly in the opening exchanges when they attacked well and retained possession much better than Biggar.

 

The festive excesses clearly had an impact on the match with both teams making errors a-plenty, passes lacking the accuracy of the games before Christmas break and reactions a tad slow. There were pleasing signs for both sides however, Falkirk in the way they looked to play the match – the loss of centre Connor Faulds with a hamstring pull a significant loss as he unlocked the Biggar defence on a couple of occasions – while Biggar managed to maintain a tight defensive unit as has been the case throughout this campaign with a couple of very promising Falkirk attacks nullified via the speed of the defensive line and the strength of their tackle.

 

Biggar selected a familiar XV save for the absence of Rowan Stewart and Robbie Orr who were both unavailable but such is the strength of the squad that they were hardly missed.

 

The opening exchanges as suggested saw Falkirk enjoy good possession and territory but their first real assault on the Biggar line ended as Jamie Orr made a timely interception to take play swiftly away from the danger area. Subsequent handling errors put the Falkirk side under further pressure although a good line drive which was Biggar’s first close encounter with the Falkirk line ended as the referee deemed the rolling maul to be a case of obstruction. This allowed Falkirk stand off Duncan Tompkins the opportunity to kick clear.

 

Another line drive with flanker Chris Mulligan in the van was eventually brought down but with possession retained Biggar stand off Conor Lavery drifted through the splintered Falkirk defence for a try under the posts and one which was converted by Matthew Stewart for a 7-0 lead.

 

With a quarter of the match gone it was hoped that this would be the score to help settle the Biggar effort however the game was still a tad scrappy at this stage with passes still missing their target and with neither side able to really get the control they desired.

 

On the half hour mark Biggar doubled their lead after winger Ross Bradford glided through the Falkirk defence to set up a fine attacking position. Matthew Stewart and Orr continued the good work which spawned ball for Lavery who freed Ross Jackson for Biggar’ second, again converted by Matthew Stewart.

 

Prop Donald Voas was the next to cross his powerful run from some 30 metres seeing the big man go round, through and over the stretched Falkirk defence for a well-deserved try in the corner. Just too wide for the conversion.

 

On the stroke of half time Falkirk struck for their try. A penalty which was advanced for chat set the hosts up for a lineout close to the Biggar try line. This saw ball driven by the pack before play was spread right where the Faulds brothers combined well with a neat off load from Conor seeing fullback Glen cross in the corner, just too wide for the conversion.

 

Half time with Biggar 19-5 ahead.

 

Given the lay off this was probably as good a score as Biggar could have expected although there was ample room for improvement. Scoring points is the aim of the game with any score either side of half time arguably the ‘best’ time to score. Having conceded a try just before the break, it was important from a Biggar point of view to keep Falkirk out on the resumption of play.

 

This they did with Conor Faulds’ retiral easing their cause. After the match he was happy to report that the injury was not too serious.

 

With less than 10 minutes of the half gone Biggar struck again to claim their 4th and bonus point winning try, this going to Lavery. As in the first half a penalty and line drive created the position which saw Biggar camp in the Falkirk 5m area. Several attempts to cross the line were thwarted but with the defence stretched Lavery was again able to glide through untouched to dot down for a try for 24-5.

 

Biggar began to ring the changes, Guy Kelly replaced by Franco Carossi and then Declan Dinnen by Andrew Peacock. Both had worked hard in the set piece, had carried well and both had worked hard in defensive as well. Lewis Stewart was next on, the youngster taking over from skipper Euan Sanderson anothet to have shone up well.

 

The restart to Lavery’s try saw Falkirk enjoy some territory and they put together an excellent offensive effort which had the Biggar defence under real pressure. This aspect of the Biggar game has been significant this season however and this was again the case with all showing great determination to keep Falkirk out. With ball spread left it was the outstretched hand of Bradford which put paid to the hosts attack and Biggar’s winger, having gone for the interecption and having juggled the ball before tucking it under his arm, set off on what was a sprint to the line some 90 metres distant. With the Falkirk backs all up in attack the Biggar man had a slight advantage but he did exceptionally well to outstrip the Falkirk cover although fullback Faulds made it a real chase and did everything bar catch him.

 

Matthew Stewarts’ conversion made it 31-5.

 

Five minutes later and it was Matthew Stewart who managed to beat the Falkirk defence and get onto the end of a very neat Lavery chip to get between the Falkirk cover for Biggar’s 6th score.

 

Biggar were now keen to increase their tally and this they should probably have done sooner save for the fact that they their accuracy let them down with the line in sight. Jamie Orr made a fantastic breenge for the line on one occasion but the Biggar support, normally so quick, was a shade late while a couple of knock-ons and penalties spoiled other attacks.

 

Gregor Stewart gave way to Ryan Moffat

 

The final score fell to Chris Mulligan who benefited from Reive’s hassling at the scrum base. The ball popped up nicely for Mulligan who, as is his wont, attacked the line at full pace to cross untouched for a try converted again by Matthew Stewart.

 

Gregor Stewart returned to the fray to take over on the wing, Iain Renwick moving to scrum half to cover for Davy Reive, who having played well all afternoon, retired with an ankle knock.

 

The final few minutes reverted to the somewhat scrappy game that had been bubbling around all afternoon. Biggar, keen to get to the magical 50 point mark were again thwarted by a determined Falkirk rearguard while the visitors made further unforced errors.

 

Biggar were delighted to take the bonus point win. There were many positives: Orr’s control at the lineout, the pack’s dominance in the scrum (even although the referee didn’t always agree) Peacock’s deft touches when on the charge, the resolute defence from all and the speed in both attack and defence. There will be some concern over an unusual uncertainity on the restart and the lack of accuracy when passing although these are most probably a result of the winter lay off rather than any lack of skill or understanding.

 

And so Biggar now prepare for the visit of Whitecraigs who did everything bar win the first encounter. They are one of only two sides to score two tries against Biggar this campaign and their scrum put Biggar’s eight under real pressure. Indeed a missed penalty was all that stood between the Glasgow side and a win.

 

Biggar stole a march on second place Highland with this win as the Inverness team were without a match on Saturday. Highland therefore have a game in hand but Biggar have the points and so there is a little added pressure on the northerners, the encounter on 19th January building up to be a mighty clash.

 

 

The 2nd XV lost out to an experienced and tough Kilmarnock Farmers XV. The match, organised by Davy Reive saw the visitors triumph by 43-22. There were some old-timers making a welcome return to action on both sides and they will doubtless be feeling the extent of their efforts today.


1sts defeat Howe

Biggar 57 Howe of Fife 3

Biggar’s 13th win came at the expense of Howe of Fife who now prop up National 2 alongside Lasswade.

 

Biggar meanwhile retain their top of the table spot, 4 points ahead of Highland who are in second spot and 16 ahead of third placed Stewarts Melville. The top two have two games before they meet on January 19th in a match which, if both teams continue winning, will be a massive clash and which would most likely take on the mantle of championship decider. But, as mentioned, there are two games to go before that clash and in sport, anything can happen!

 

 

Biggar had to make no fewer than 5 changes for this match, 4 of last weeks starting squad (Alan Warnock, Jamie Orr, Euan Sanderson and Davy Reive) in attendance at Alan and Emma’s wedding while Matthew Stewart was in the Scotland U19 squad which faced Wales on Sunday (Scotland lost out by ). Zander Lyon, Andrew Peacock, Declan Dinnen, Iain Renwick and Ryan Moffat all stepped up and as all have had bags of 1st XV experience there was a limited impact on the side.

 

Howe have had a difficult campaign to date and indeed struggled to provide a team list until late on Friday, this due to a scarcity of front row players meaning that they could only list 17 instead of 19 for their match day squad. There were fears that they might have to forfeit the match or that the game would go to uncontested scrums but in fact this was not the case and the match proceeded as normal although there will be several who must be in a sorry state this week following what was a bit of a mauling. Having said that the Howe side played with great spirit and had they not lost centre Sean Murray after less than 5 minutes or had another couple of ball carrying forwards to support George Henderson and Chris Mann who always took ball on to make good yards, then things might have been a tad different.

 

As it was Biggar contained the big pack and with a rock solid defence Howe were kept out, their solitary score coming from a Dylan Suttie penalty.

 

Playing into the elements – the wind and rain which had been absent all morning seeemd to reappear at kick off and then disappear by half time – Biggar nabbed an opening score after Chris Mulligan made a very typical 40 metre breenge through the Howe line. His pop pass was grabbed by Peacock who also made great yards before off-loading to winger Ross Bradford who stepped over for the opening score. Conor Lavery was off-target with the conversion attempt.

 

Howe hit back through Suttie’s penalty before Robbie Orr took a scoring pass from Rowan Stewart to add Biggar’s second. Lavery was again just wide with the kick but Biggar were 10-3 ahead.

 

In what was a scrappy game, this down to the wind and wet conditions, errors there were a-plenty and neither side were able to string perhaps any more than a few phases without stoppages. This made for an exciting encounter however with attack followed by counter attack and repeat.

 

With just over half an hour gone Biggar notched their 3rd score, this falling to No8 Ross Jackson who controlled the ball well at the scrum base as Biggar’s dominant pack drove the Howe 8 back over their own line. Lavery added the conversion for 17-3 and half time.

 

Howe stand off Suttie had a good game on limited ball but their main weapon was in the shape of No 8 Mann whose control at the scrum base as his pack was shunted back at almost every scrum got them out of jail on several occasions. In attack he offered himself as a threat but the support was rarely sufficient to provide clean quick ball and it was that failing that undid much of his good work.

 

A late tackle by Jackson on Howe stand off Suttie as he continued to try and orchestrate the Howe attack earned the Biggar man a yellow card.

 

The remaining minutes of the half however saw Howe in attack and ensconced in Biggar’s 22. Only the home defence, which saw players throw themselves at the feet of the visitors, kept Howe out as they opted for line drives and mauls.

 

Otherwise, Biggar’s defensive effort, which has been a massive and hugely important aspect to their season kept things watertight, leading to the fact that in the last 3 games Biggar have conceded a miserly 3 points.

 

As the minutes ticked by however, and as Howe continued to attack, it seemed almost inevitable that Howe would eventually gain a score and so sound defence or not, the Biggar support and the Biggar XV were very grateful to Iain Renwick who popped the ball into touch to end this prolonged spell on the line.

 

Biggar began the second period on the attack and while Robbie Orr just lost control of the ball as he prepared to score, the next phase saw Mulligan on hand to romp home from some 20 metres for Biggar’s 4th and bonus point winning try. Lavery added the conversion for 24-3.

 

Biggar welcomed Jackson back and began to ring the changes with Franco Carossi replacing Guy Kelly.

 

Some 15 minutes into the half and prop Donald Voas who is continuing a very fine series of performances managed to get on the score sheet again – his 3rd try this season - with a typically low driving burst for the line. Lavery added the 2 points and Biggar were 31-3 up.

 

As Biggar continued to press there was an untidy flare up between the sides and although he didn’t appear to be the instigator it was Howe’s No 8, Mann, who was shown a yellow by referee John Smith. Deprived of their main ball carrier and control at the scrum base Howe continued to struggle.

 

Biggar replaced Ryan Moffat with Gregor Stewart, Jackson with Lewis Stewart and Mulligan with Craig McDonald.

 

Dinnen was next on the score sheet, the big back rower crashing over from 10 metres out after Biggar took ball off the Howe put in. Lavery converted.

 

The next Biggar attack was halted by Howe fullback Jack Todd who was deemed to have deliberately knocked the ball down as he attempted an interception on Biggar’s play. Given the scoreline this seemed a tad harsh but Howe found themselves another man down, albeit it that it was just a few minutes before Mann resumed after his 10 minutes had elapsed.

 

Rowan Stewart was the next Biggar player to score, the winger benefitting from some good quick passing in the backs which created the space for him to exploit.

 

Although Conor Lavery was just wide with the conversion, he found the mark as Orr claimed his second try, this after he won the chase to a grubber kick from skipper for the day Robbie Lavery.

 

By this time conditions were becoming really tricky as the gloom descended, spectators struggling to catch the action.

 

This took its toll on Howe who, up against things again, botched a lineout. Ewan Stewart latched onto the loose ball and made ground before releasing Conor Lavery who crossed for the try and added the final conversion to wrap things up at 57-3.

 

This was Biggar’s 6th match in which they have broken the 50 point mark and the 11th time they have recorded a 4 try bonus point. Neither of these landmark moments have ever been recorded before which is cause in itself for celebration.

 

Biggar now prepare for a very tricky trip to play Falkirk. Three years ago Biggar journeyed to the same team who were angling for promotion to National 1. A 46-14 drubbing was the result as Falkirk swept forward to gain promotion. There are few Biggar players who remain to make the return trip this season but none that do will have fond memories of that match. A chance for some ‘revenge’ then, but Falkirk will doubtless be very determined to slow Biggar’s progress.

 

Biggar

R. Orr, R. Bradford, R. Lavery, R. Moffat, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, I|. Renwick, D. Voas, E. Stewart, G. Kelly, A. Peacock, A. Lyon, D. Dinnen, C. Mulligan, R. Jackson

Reps: F. Carossi, L. Stewart, G. Stewart, C. McDonald

 

The 2nd XV match scheduled against Currie was postponed at Biggar’s request, there being too many players unavailabe. This match will be rescheduled.


1sts and 2nds take on Stewarts Melville

Stewarts Melville 0 Biggar 31

This was a result which will tax the statisticians from both clubs; when was the last time Biggar won back to back games whilst keeping their line intact and when was the last time Stew Mel failed to record a single point at home?

 

Answers on a postcard please to BRFC and if it’s possible these will be included in this Saturday’s match programme when Howe of Fife are the guests.

 

Having managed to defeat the Edinburgh side by 36-3 at Hartree Mill back in September, Biggar were convinced that on Saturday they would face a really fired up opposition desperate to gain some sort of revenge. The Stew Mel warm up gave credilbility to that conviction as the home side, with an onimously large pack, ran through a host of moves at pace. Fast forward to the match however and things were very different when the same moves stuttered and failed as passes were dropped and lacked accuracy while the pack, aside from a couple of notable exceptions came off second best both in the set piece and in the loose.

 

That this was the case was down to the pressure exerted by an equally fired up Biggar squad combined with a real off-day for the Edinburgh side who struggled to match the Biggar effort.

 

Chances to get the Stew Mel scoreboard moving there were, but these were few and far between and on each occasion they found the Biggar defence at its solid best. Players were knocked back in tackles, possession was conceded while opportunities to gain and/or retain field position were lost when the set piece malfunctioned. Indeed, two of Biggar’s 5 tries came from lineout errors when possession was gifted to Biggar players who reacted far quicker to press home the advantage.

 

Biggar fielded a strong XV with competition for places seeing a couple of regulars dropping to the 2nd XV who played their Stew Mel hosts on the adjoining pitch.

 

Up front Ewan Stewart returned at hooker which allowed Chris Mulligan to play on the flank, Lewis Stewart unavailable due to injury. In the 2nd row, Andrew Warnock joined up with Jamie Orr, these two contributing massively in winning and pinching valuable lineout ball.

 

The backs began as of late, and the bench saw newcomer Declan Dinnen making his first appearance in a Biggar shirt.

 

Given the torrential rain during the week it was hardly surprising that the Inverleith pitch was sodden and slippy, this a factor both sides had to contend with, but happily the overhead conditions were reasonably fair.

 

Biggar kicked off up the ‘slope’ and faced an initial onslaught (as expected) and which saw Biggar pressed into defensive roles. A knock on off a neat chip was the first Stew Mel foray into Biggar’s half. Some really good defence and a big scrum saw Biggar gain territory and it seemed a burst to the line from Robbie Lavery would open the scoring but at the last possible moment the ball was knocked from his grasp. Another good scrum saw Stew Mel struggle to break free and Biggar regrouped to make an assualt on the Stew Mel line. Conor Lavery took the ball going right and put in a neat grubber behind the Stew Mel backs, Ross Bradford winning the chase for the first try which Matthew Stewart converted for 7-0.

 

Stew Mel maintained possession from two penalties and subsequent lineouts as Biggar fell foul of referee Steven Turnbull. A searing break through the Biggar line was perhaps the best line break of the match but Biggar’s cover defence in the shape of Rowan Stewart was up to the mark and the attack halted.

 

The hosts opted to take a scrum from the next penalty award, they believing that their scrum would be able to dominate but a somewhat predictable blind side move saw the winger bundled in to touch.

 

Despite gaining some relief via Davy Reive’s box kicks and a good ‘mark’ from Alan Warnock Stew Mel managed to retain possession and territory.

 

The game at this stage was broken and scrappy as both teams made errors, these due to the slippy conditions underfoot and/or as players tried to open play up. Still suffering from a number of penalties all for a variety of different offences, Biggar were under some pressure but this they dealt with pretty well, their two man/double tackles sapping the energy from the hosts attack. Two examples of this with Rowan Stewart and Donald Voas and another by Jamie Orr and Ewan Stewart caught the eye.

 

As it was Biggar began to gain more ground and just after the half hour they struck again. A good attacking position was won from a penalty from Conor Lavery and good lineout ball. Matthew Stewart, Voas and Ross Jackson combined well to take play to the Stew Mel 22. Ball was recycled and pressure maintained via a driving run from Jamie Orr. With quick ruck ball provided a pop pass to Euan Sanderson saw him crash over from 5 metres for a score which saw the ‘points for’ total move past the 500 mark, it all the more appropriate that this try was claimed by the 1st XV captain. Matthew Stewart duly converted the try to put Biggar into a 14-0 lead.

 

Stew Mel came back from the restart but Biggar were able to hold their line intact after Warnock took a good lineout off the hosts possession.

 

The second half saw Guy Kelly – the youngster showing again that he is a talent with some solid scrummaging combined with some very good ‘carries’ in the loose - replaced by Franco Carossi.

 

The half couldn’t have had a better start for Biggar as in what was their first attack an attempted break out by the Stew Mel pack saw hooker Doug Randall pass the ball directly to his opposite number Ewan Stewart who had the simple task of turning and making the 5 yards to the line for an opportunist score. Matthew Stewart was just short with his conversion attempt.

 

Less than 10 minutes later and Biggar claimed their 4th and bonus point winning try, not something which had been given much thought in the pre-match build up. This too came directly from a Stew Mel error and as such a bit of a gift. Biggar have often conceded possession from lineouts in the past but they haven’t been punished just so harshly. An overthrow and knock-down on their own lineout saw ball spilled to the ground, the ever-present flanker Chris Mulligan on hand to pounce on the ball and then make the 5 or so yards to the line for the try. Matthew Stewart duly converted for 26-0 but this was his last involvement as Ryan Moffat took over in the centre.

 

Minutes later and a penalty gave Conor Lavery the chance to extend his sides lead but he was off target from what was a long way out.

 

Dinnen made his first appearance on the pitch when he replaced Warnock and Iain Renwick then took over at scrum half from Reive. These changes disrupted the Biggar effort a little and the remainder of the contest became a little less fluid with errors again creeping into both sides play. It was an entertaining contest nevertheless, with plenty talking points and several chances to add to the Biggar total.

 

Biggar’s 5th try came as Biggar were deep in their hosts half. A series of attacks had come up against some btter defence but with great vision stand off Conor Lavery put in a super cross kick which Ryan Moffat was able to take before crossing for a great score. Lavery was just short with the conversion.

 

The last passage of play saw Stew Mel enjoy a bit more pressure with better possession and they forced Biggar back into defence. That Biggar kept the city side out was as big a bonus as the additional point for scoring 4 tries. The side have now scored 521 and conceded just 87, an average over the 13 games of 40-6!

 

Biggar’s next test is against Howe of Fife, a side languishing at ther foot of the National 2 table. Complacency is a dangerous enemy and with several players unavailable as they travel to celebrate Alan Warnock’s wedding to Emma (best wishes to the couple from all at Hartree Mill), the squad must regroup and ensure that they retain their top spot.

 

 

Biggar

R. Orr, R. Bradford, R. Lavery, M. Stewart, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, D. Reive, D. Voas, E. Stewart, G. Kelly, J. Orr, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, C. Mulligan, R. Jackson

Reps: F. Carossi, D. Dinnen, R. Moffat, I. Renwick

 

Biggar’s 2nd XV were left tight for numbers on Saturday and their cause was hampered early on with a nasty head cut injury to stand off James Barr. Happily he has been stitched up and is set for recovery.

 

Further injuries to Ali Steele, Euan Bogle and Paul Davidson meant the side was further depleted although the latter two were able to stay on the pitch.

 

A Bogle penalty was their limit in the first half but a try and conversion from Gregor Stewart in the second period gave the side a lift but Stew Mel were able to run in several tries to win by 41-10.

 

There is bags of potential in this side, especially if those who are available were all able to play regularly. Their mid table position is not at all reflective of thier ability or potential.


1sts bounce back against Dumfries

Biggar 39 Dumfries 0

What a difference a week makes! A Biggar win as they bounce back after the defeat by Peebles while the Border side who looked a competent and strong side come unstuck against Glasgow Accies....

 

After the disappointment of last week when Biggar produced a somewhat lack-lutsre display, the side came out of the traps with all guns firing against Dumfries. Having weathered the Dumfries storm of the first half, they then opened up to record an excellent win, with just as importantly, preventing the visitors from recording any points.

 

Having suffered defeat last week, Biggar were determined to ensure that they got things back on track on Saturday. This was the first game of the second ‘half’ of the season and against a side which had provided stern opposition in the opening encounter.

 

Biggar welcomed back two warriors in lock Alan Warnock and scrum half Davy Reive with Guy Kelly recalled to the front row. Andrew Peacock and Franco Carrossi dropped to the bench with Chris Mulligan taking over at hooker from the injured Ewan Stewart, and with Lewis Stewart at flank forward. In the three quarters the other Stewart brothers (Gregor and Rowan) were unavailable and so Matthew Stewart returned from injury at centre with Iain Renwick, who had been at 9 against Peebles playing on the wing.

 

As had been expected Dumfries began strongly some neat moves in the backs seeing them create great yardage and on one occasion splitting the Biggar defence in two, only a great tackle from Robbie Orr halting the move.

 

Against the run of play then it was a boost to see Matthew Stewart kick a penalty top give Biggar an early lead.

 

Play was a tad fractious at this stage with both sides getting into good attacking positions but errors spoiling all the hard work that had gone before. The wind, which was coming across the pitch, was a major factor with Dumfries struggling to master restarts and with Biggar just too long on a couple of occasions. These, combined with a variety of penalty awards and a mal-functioning Dumfries lineout and some uncharacteristic handling errors from Biggar meant that there were regular stoppages.

 

Dumfries continued to put Biggar under pressure however and it took all of Biggar’s defensive strength to keep their line intact, one superb try-saving tackle from Davy Rieve which did just enough to prevent Dumfries from scoring was one of many to catch the eye, Donald Voas another who put in some thundering hits throghout the match.

 

Dumfries should have tied the scores ast 3-3 but kicker Alan Birdsall was off target from a relatively ‘simple’ distance.

 

Having seen that kick miss Dumfries opted thereafter to run the ball with a series of tap and go’s but again it was Biggar’s first up and cover tackles which came to the fore to repel the visitors.

 

Biggar were a match for their opponents in the tight scrum but they took the lion’s share of lineout ball, Jamie Orr in fine form although tribute too, to his lifters.

 

As ahs often been the case this season Biggar’s ability to counter-attack has been impressive and it was this which led to the first try. A squint Dumfries lineout in Biggar’s 22 led to a sscrum and Biggar possession. Ross Bradford got the ball in midfield and made a great break to the left with Iain Renwick adding more yards. Ballw as then transferred inside to Reive who made short shrift of the gap to reach the line. Matthew Stewart added the conversion for 10-0.

 

This score came just beofre the half hour mark and some 5 minutes later Biggar struck again with Stewart kicking a second penalty for 13-0.

 

A major error on the restart meant the Dumfries were gifted possession and had it not been for their defence Biggar would have conceded a score. Instead however, Bradford, Voas, Chris Mulligan and the Orr brothers all tackled well to stem the tide.

 

A Conor Lavery clearnace took play to half way with the chase stopping Dumfries from a counter attack. A knock on gave Biggar scrum ball and with Ross Jackson making the initial thrust, yards were made by Robbie Orr, then Jackson again who popped the ball to Lewis Stewart who looked to be on his way to scoring a try. The despairing cover tackle did enough to trip him up but the youngster had the presence of mind to find Euan Sanderson in support, Biggar’s skipper diving in for the score, though the flying tackle by the last Dumfries player was not to his liking!

 

Half time then and Biggar were ahead at 20-0.

 

A series of penalties from referee Mike Milner disrupted play as the second half began, Dumfries benefitting from these awards and managing to relieve the pressure exerted by Biggar. Faced with poor possession from their lineout meant that a tap-and-go ploy was again their preffered option, but Biggar were up for this with another batch of big hits ending the momentum Dumfries so craved.

 

With some 15 minutes of the second half gone Biggar struck with a third try. Reive tidied lineout ball before gaining some much needed yards. Robbie Lavery spread play wide and Lewis Stewart linked well before getting the ball to Robbie Orr. The fullback is very elusive and made the try line form the half way mark, out-stripping the Dumfries defence on the way. Matthew Stewart’s conversion took Biggar to 27-0.

 

There was now the real possibility of collecting another 4 try bonus – not something that had been given much thought in the lead up to the game.

 

Robbie Lavery made a great line break with his next foray and with Mulligan carrying play forward again his pass found Lewis Stewart who flew in from the Dumfries 22 for a try convertde by his brother for 34-0 and that all important bonus point try!

 

With the thrid quarter beckoning Voas was carrying well again as Biggar rang the changes with Franco Carossi replacing Kelly and Peacock replacing Alan Warnock. Robbie Lavery then took over at scrum half as Reive left the field to a well-deserved round of applause for his efforts.

 

Dumfries continued to run at Biggar with scrum half Birdsall tireless in his attempts to spur his side and on and with flanker Ben Johnstone and No8 Luke Gilbert making good ground into the Biggar 22 but errors and Biggar’s defence brought these efforts to nought.

 

The last try was one of the best of the season to date and there have been plenty from the top drawer as well. A missed kick to touch was cleared fownfield by Dumfries and into Biggar’s 22 where it was gathered by Robbie Orr. He found Iain renwick who set up a ruck on Biggar 10m line. There were then a series of phases each of which involved different players but which continues to take play into the Dumfries half. An injection of pace by Mulligan and then by Bradford who made some great runs on Saturday set Jackson free for the try in the corner! A total of 13 players were involved at some point…..fantastic!

 

The final few minutes saw Biggar penalised on a number of occasions at scrum time when they seemed to be totally dominant and which meant that Dumfries ended the match in Biggar’s 22.

 

Congratulations to all involved on Saturday. There was no one who did not perform and it was really encouraging to see how the younger members of the squad – 4 in their teens – worked together. This was a big result given the previous week’s performance and one which should again boost confidence. With a weekend off due to the Cup commitements Biggar now prepare for the real challenge posed by Stewarts Melville who are currently in 3rd spot. Biggar won the match at Hartree Mill and took the Edinburgh side by surprise. They will be eager to return the compliment there is no doubt.

 

Biggar

R. Orr, R. Bradford, R. Lavery, M. Stewart, I. Renwick, C. Lavery, D. Reive, D. Voas, C. Mulligan, G. Kelly, J. Orr, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, L. Stewart, R. Jackson

Reps: F. Carossi, A. Peacock, R. Moffat, J. Barr

 

The 2nd XV entertained Peebles 2nds in a friendly on Friday evening. After a good first half Biggar dropped off the pace a bit and allowe their visitors too much space.

The Border side ran out deserved winners. Ali Steele, Alex Toal and euan Bogle scored tries with the latter also kicking 2 conversions.


1sts XV lose for the first time

Biggar 7 Peebles 10

Any record has to be broken at some point and while on paper at least Biggar should have been able to extend theit winning run to 11, Peebles, as befits local derby opposition, were always going to provide a very stern challenge to the table-toppers. And so, as Saturday’s game wore on and with Biggar just holding on to a slender 7-0 lead, thoughts turned back to the same game last season when, with some 15 minutes to go and well ahead, Biggar contrived to lose the match with a careless attention to protecting a lead.

 

That Peebles eventually won on Saturday, courtesy of a penalty try and a penalty to a converted try equates to as big a boost for the Border side as it is a disappointment for all at Hartree Mill. A very frugal defence as the ‘points against’ column shows, combined with a much greater ability to break the line than their opponents, have been the hallmarks of each Biggar performance to date this season and on balance this was probably the case against Peebles. That Peebles rarely threatened the Biggar line is confirmation of Biggar’s defensive strength while Biggar made several cutting line breaks and crossed the Peebles line twice (one disallowed try) and came close on at least another 3 occasions. However the Border side were a better organised unit than Biggar have faced recently and with their forwards largely dictating play in the set piece, this put real pressure on the Biggar side, which inevitably cut their attacking options down and limited their attacking threat. The old adage about not being allowed to play largely sums up Biggar’s day; denied quality ball from the set piece and yielding possession from lineout and scrum put pressure on everything else. Biggar also made a host of uncharacteristic errors although perhaps these were as a result of the increased pressure exerted by Peebles than to any lack of focus or concentration.

 

The upshot is that Biggar, having played virtually 11 games without ever having been behind on points, at any stage in any of the previous games, ceded their unbeaten record. This in turn means that their lead at the top of National 2 has been cut to just 4 points. Next up is another home game (against Dumfries) with Stewarts Melville (A), Howe (H) and Falkirk (A) all lying in wait before the Christmas break. An exciting time awaits….

 

With both Davy Reive and Alan Warnock unavailable and Matthew Stewart injured Biggar made a few changes to the starting line up for this clash. In the backs Iain Renwick resumed at scrum half, Gregor Stewart took Matthew Stewarts place at centre alongside Robbie Lavery which allowed Robbie Orr to operate at fullback. In the pack, Ross Jackson returned at No 8 which allowed Jamie Orr to resume his partnership with Andrew Peacock at lock.

 

As a demonstration of respect for Rememberance weekend, both teams, and the Colts prior to their match with Highland later in the afternoon, observed a minutes silence. A defeat in a rugby match, regardless of how ‘important’ that match is deemed to be, is hardly comparable to the sacrifices made by those who are remembered at this time each year and therefore any frustration felt at defeat is put firmly into perspective.

 

Peebles, as anticipated, came out of the traps at full pace and Biggar, on the back foot and in defensive mode from the start, conceded a couple of penalties. The first attempt after just 3 minutes was pulled left by Mrray Brown while thereafter the preffered option was to kick to the corner for a lineout and attempted driving maul. Biggar’s defence held firm however and as they countered Peebles were then made to defend their own line as Biggar had some success via attacking play from their three quarters.

 

Biggar’s cause was then upset somewhat by an injury to lock Peacock who twisted an ankle, his replacment being Zander Lyon.

 

A second Peebles penalty was also missed. After the half hour mark another good Biggar attack, when ball was transferred at pace and which took play into the Peebles 22 earned a penalty but Conor Lavery had similar luck to the Peebles kicker and pulled the kick wide.

 

An offside at the drop out – an offence which is rarely punished – allowed Biggar to retain territory and it was as Biggar attacked that Peebles No 8 Richard Harrison was shown the games first yellow after a reckless shoulder charge to Lavery.

 

In what was virtually the very next attacking move, referee Sam O’Neill then brandished his yellow card again, this time to Harrisons brother Jack, the Peebles scrum half, who had provided a withering assessment on the officials decision making.

 

Down to 13 men – not it has to be said an unusual position for Peebles this season and therefore a situation the side is almost accustomed to – Biggar had to take advantage of the disparity in numbers. A cross kick in their nest attack yielded little but a counter attack from Bradford, this after a comical collison with his team mate Robbie Orr which sent both sprawling on the turf, took play back to the Peebles 22. Ball moved left found the Peebles defence up to the mark but when ball was switched back to the right Robbie Lavery cleverly created space to draw two defenders before sliipping the ball to the supporting Donald Voas who ran in almost unopposed. Conor Lavery added the conversion to make the score 7-0.

 

There was time for the restart and as Biggar transgressed at scrum time, this a first penalty of what was to become many, Peebles were offered another kicking opportunity. This kick hit the post padding and was gathered up by Robbie Orr who then dispatched the ball to touch for half time.

 

Playing now towards the clubhouse Biggar had hoped to kick on but from the outset Peebles adopted a pick and drive ploy which was effective in retasining possessiona nd in gaining ground.

 

In addition Peebles regained full strength with the return of the Harrison brothers. If Biggar attacked the rush defence employed by the visitors continued to frustrate the Biggar attack, forcing rushed passes and the occasional error.

 

One attackm almost yielded a try as Gegor stewart chipped neatly over the Peebles defence for his brother rowan to run on to. Stopped just inches short by the Peebles cover in the sahpe of Jackm Harrison and Donald Anderson. Able to retain possession Biggar should probably have scored but for the stoic Peebles cover defence.

 

Biggar thern made a couple of changes, Ryan Moffat replacing Gregor Stewart while in the pack Lewis Stewart came on for Ewan Stewart, Chris Mulligan moving to hook.

 

A second missed penalty from Lavery would have given the home side a bit of additional breathing space but the ball was pulled left of the posts. A similar award shortly afterwards saw Biggar kick to the corner but in an off day on the touchline athe tail throw was lost and Peebles escaped.

 

Peebles then lost their 3rd player to the sin bin this for a neck roll.

 

A succesful lineout from this penalty saw ball moved left and Robbir Orr make a neat break before off-loading to winger Rowan Stewart who crossed in the corner much to the delight of the Biggar support. This was short-lived however as referee O’Neill deemed the pass to have been forward.

 

Minutes later and the winger was again in the action, ross Jackson havuing won a turnover in midfield. Donald Voas – whose brother Douglas was in the Peebles XV – fed Stewart whose progress weas halted by a flying tackle from Jack Harrison. This and the follow through did niot find favour with the Biggar side and a brawl developed although it was a pull me-push you struggle before order was regained, Biggar penalised, apparently for the involvement of the bench in the fracas.

 

Having crept into the Biggar half Peebles were then awarded a scrum penalty. A second award gave them good field position before a 3rd penalty award was tapped quickly, catching the Biggar defence off guard. Playing the man before the requisite 10m had been made saw Jamie Orr shown a yellow and so it was Biggar who found themselves a man down.. The damage to the Biggar scrum was considerable and at the scrum restart Peebles drove Biggar back over their line, referee O’Neill having no hesitation in awarding a penalty try. 7-7 with just barely 10 minutes remaining.

 

As the minutes ticked by there was a certain inevitability about the outcome. True to type a Peebles kick saw play moved to the Biggar 22. Having the put in would usually see Biggar take and clear, but Peebles instead gained a scrum put in from a squint throw. This is just what Biggar did not want and predictably Peebles were awarded another scrum penalty from which Greg Raeburn stepped up to kick the winning points. While there was time for the restart this was kicked dead, and despite Jamie Orr returning yet another scrum penalty saw the visitors able to kick to touch to end the match.

 

A tough one to take given the hitherto quality of play the Biggar squad has displayed to date. Peeble’s league position belies their ability of that there is no doubt and it is likely they will climb up the table as the season progresses – particularly if they can reduce the yellow card count.

 

Biggar are still top of the table but have as previously noted some massive contests to come. Dumfries are up first and they are still smarting from their opening defeat so its very much game on!

 

Biggar

R. Orr, R. Bradford, R. Lavery, G. Stewart, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, I. Renwick, D. Voas, E. Stewart, F. Carossi, J. Orr, A. Peacock, E. Sanderson, C. Mulligan, R. Jackson

Reps: Z. Lyon, R. Moffat, J. Barr, L. Stewart

 

The 2nd XV were deprived of their match when kelso pulled out citing lack of available players to travel.


Win at GHK signals 10 from 10

GHK 7 Biggar 61

Biggar’s 10th consecutive win – a record as far as we can tell – came at the expense of Glasgow side GHK (Glasgow High and Kelvinside Academy combine).

 

The eventual 9-1 score included another 4 for winger Rowan Stewart, whose league total now stands at 18 from 10 games (another record we think) and which elevates him to the top try scorer for the club...ever!

 

GHK ran the ball well throughout. Their handling was as good as any of the opposing sides Biggar have faced this season, this seen particularly in the counter attack try they scored. Lock Ruaridh Wintersgill who scored and No8 Hugh Parker who initiated the try backed up by centre Danny Campbell, indicates that their current league position of 9th belies their skills and potential. Up front in tight play however they were exposed by the Biggar pack who took control of the set scrum and also managed to disrupt much of the lineout play.

 

Biggar made several changes again for this match, Ewan Stewart returning at hooker with Chris Mulligan resuming on the flank. In the backs Davy Reive started at 9 and Conor Lavery returned at stand off.

 

With conditions much better than had been forecast Biggar began against the breeze, this much more of a factor in play when on the opposite side to the stand which sheltered that half of the pitch.

 

As expected, and with a reputation for running ball through the backs, GHK opened strongly moving ball at every opportunity, but, as other sides have found to their cost, Biggar’s defence was pretty much rock solid with any yards gained by GHK won with maximum effort.

 

Biggar opened the scroing after 11 mins with Ross Bradford benefiting from some good work in the centre which created space out wide and which he exploited to dot down. Mathew Stewart converted this try and Biggar’s second, Rowan Stewarts first. Conor Lavery used a well weighted miss pass to his winger who used some good footwork to cross in the corner.

 

Not to be outdone GHK managed an excellent score of their own, this after a midfield pass went astray between Lavery and Matthew Stewart. Quick to counter GHK moved the ball quickly to the left where a neat off load from Campbell saw Wintersgill gather to cross undet the posts for a try converted by Kyle Henderson.

 

Ten minutes later and Biggar added a 3rd try. Ryan Moffat made good yards through the centre before creating a ruck deep in the GHK 22. Possession retained, ball was moved right to conor lavery who then popped the ball back to Rowan Stewart who crashed over. Matthew Stewart, whilst able to add the conversion, then deprated the field with a thigh injury. He was replaced by Robbie Orr who took over at fullback with Robbie Lavery moving forward to centre.

 

GHK continued to press and had play at the Biggar line courtesy of a penalty but the lineout failed to function properly and Biggar were able to clear their lines. Half time, then at 21-7.

 

The second half was a much more productive period for Biggar as the GHK effort began to falter. Given the strength of Biggar’s defence this was perhaps not surprising, Donald Voas (who had to be patched up after sustaining a head cut), Mulligan, skipper Euan Sanderson and Jamie Orr to name but a few, putting in some really offensive tackles which had the GHK players thumped backwards on a fairly regular basis.

 

Biggar also profited from the control they had up front, Orr and Andrew Peacock pilfering ball at the lineout and the pack steam-rolling the GHK pack back in the tight scrum. This gave Biggar ‘go-forward’ ball which they used to good effect.

 

First up was Bradford. Ewan Stewart swept up a loose pass from GHK and with great vision popped the ball to his winger who ran in from half way, evading the GHK defence with a neat change of direction. With regular kicker Matthew Stewart off, Conor Lavery took over the kicking duties and added the 2 points to this and then Biggar’s 5th try which was scored by replacement scrum half Iain Renwick who had come on just after half time. Zander Lyon disrupted GHK possession to create Biggar possession and the ball was moved swiftly to Renwick who scorched home from some 40 metres. Lavery duly obliged with the conversion.

 

A better period for GHK saw them in the Biggar 22 but a turnover led to another Biggar counter.

 

Mulligan and then Bradford led the charge before the move was halted by some desperate last ditch defence. Ball shipped left found Robbie Lavery who made a neat line break before improvising with a great off-load which was gathered by Robbie Orr for the try, Conor Lavery adding the conversion.

 

With GHK now struggling to match Biggar’s pace and with an electric counter-attack which few could follow Biggar added another 2 tries in quick succession – within 5 minutes in fact and this including the time taken for the conversions.

 

The restart after Orr’s try was taken by Mulligan who set up ruck ball on the Biggar 22. Lavery fired a pass to Gregor Stewart behind the forwards who in turn released Orr on another rampage downfield. Judging his pass perfectly he found Rowan Stewart on the wing and the youngster needed no second invitation before sprinting over in the corner. Undaunted by the angle again, Lavery added the conversion to this try.

 

Biggar then added an 8th score, this again directly from the restart. Ross Bradford took the kick and burst through the GHK line and looked to be almost home when he was eventually brought down by the GHK cover. His pass found the supporting Jamie Orr who in turn, though halted, found Lewis Stewart who dived over for his first try at this level. On this occasion Lavery was just short with the conversion.

 

This achievement then saw a relative lull in the action as the game drfited towards full time. There was room for one more try however, this falling to Rowan Stewart. Conor Lavery put in a well-judged cross kick which the winger failed to catch but nevertheless managed to knock down to the ever-present Jamie Orr. The big man promptly returned the ball to the winger whio dived over for the final try, converted again by Lavery for the 61 point total.

 

Coaches Davy Wilson and Doug Fleming were not particularly overjoyed by the first half performance but with another win, and another bonus point win at that, there is not much room for over-criticism.

 

The week ahead will be devoted to preparations for the next big test, and they don’t come much bigger than a home match against local rivals Peebles.

 

Though there are a couple of the more experienced players unavailable, selection will be tough with all who have come off the bench in recent weeks staking very worthy and completely justifiable claims for inclusion in the starting XV.

 

Please note that this match kicks off at 12.30pm to allow those who wish to attend the Scotland/Fiji match at Murrayfield.

 

 

Biggar

R. Lavery, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, R. Moffat, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, D. Reive, D. Voas, E. Stewart, F. Carossi, Z. Lyon, A. Peacock, E. Sanderson, C. Mulligan, J. Orr

Reps: I. Renwick, G. Stewart, L. Stewart, R. Orr

 

The 2nd XV travelled to take on Boroughmuir Bears in their National 2 Reserve league fixture. Fielding a stronger XV than in recent weeks Biggar took control to record an excellent and thoroughly deserved 52-5 win.

 

A strong wind in their faces in the first half led to some trying conditions but the Biggar XV opened up with a try from James Barr, converted by Euan Bogle. A B’muir try led to a tight 7-5 score at half time before Biggar turned round to enjoy the assistance given by the elements. They were able to open out in this second period to run in 6 tries, these going to Alan Warnock, Steve McKeown (2 tries and voted man-of-the-match), Andy Fleming (2) and Guy Kelly. Bogle added 5 conversions and a penalty for the 52 point total.


Biggar take another 5 pointer

Biggar 49 Preston Lodge 0

 

 

On a bright cold Saturday, Biggar 1st XV made it 9 from 9 in National Division 2, extending their lead at the top of the table.

 

 

The scoring came within the first 10 minutes of play when Andrew Peacock crossed the line in the corner following some clever play from a line out on PLS twenty two. Following shortly after Rowan Stewart started his scoring for the game with a similar try in the same corner. Matthew Stewart unfortuantley missed out on both of these conversions. (10-0). Within 20 minutes Ross Bradford made it 15-0 after recieving a pass from James Barr to go over the whitewash. With then only a kick to goal for the rest of the half, the hosts held onto a led of 18-0 going into the second half.

 

 

Matthew Stewart got his frist conversion of the game after Rowan Stewart broke through several tackles to get his second try making it 25-0. With little possession the visitors struggled to string attacks together allowing Biggar to play open and expansive rugby which allowed their lead to continually increase. The 5th try of the game, potentially the most memorable, came from a kick and chase from Ryan Moffat who then offloaded to Jamie Orr to score under the posts. At this point changes started to happen and Douglas Notman was exchanged for Lewis Stewart. Rowan Stewart completed his hatrick after a well constructed counter attack came from Robbie Lavery and Ross Bradford who allowed the 18 year old to continue his own socring record. Again changes were made as Robbie Orr, Gregor Stewart and Paul Davidson all got their run off the bench during the second half of the second half.

 

 

Rowan Stewart then made it 4 tries for the afternoon as he went under the posts after a crisp backs move from a scrum in front of the clubhouse. To conclude the scoring Matthew Stewart got his own try after Robbie Orr made a clever dummy on the blind side to allow the lead to be secured at 49-0.

 

 

It was a very conivcing and comfortable win for the hosts who continue to impress their fans. A special mention should go to Man of the Match Jamie Orr and the three sets of brothers who all played together for the first time. Jamie and Robbie Orr, twins Matthew and Lewis Stewart and brothers Gregor and Rowan Stewart. Biggar look to continue their form as the head away to GHK next Saturday.

 

 

Biggar

R. Lavery, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, R. Moffat, R. Stewart, J. Barr, I. Renwick, D. Voas, C. Mulligan, F. Carossi, Z. Lyon, A. Peacock, E. Sanderson, D. Notman, J. Orr

Reps: P. Davidson, G. Stewart, L. Stewart, R. Orr

 

The 2nd XV hosted Musselburgh in their match. Of course the changes to the 1sts led to resources being stretched somewhat and so Biggar fielded a very young side with a couple of veterans included. They found the visitors with a large pack who were able to dictate play.


Lasswade defeated for 8th win

Lasswade 7 Biggar 67

Biggar secured their eigth straight league win with this latest result from Lasswade.

 

The 10-1 try count is not necessarily representative of the game however with the home side contributing more than their meagre tally would suggest. Credit too that at no time did they concede, working hard throughout and thoroughly deserving of their score. That they are in such a lowly league position is due in a major part to the number of injuries their already small squad has suffered.

 

Biggar were forced into a change at wing with Ross Bradford injured last Saturday against Glasgow Accies, Euan Bogle slotting in after a spell with the seconds. Luhann Kotze retained the No9 shirt with Davy Reive on the bench. There was a return to 1st team squad for Gregor Stewart who was also on the bench.

 

There is now an air of expectation from the Biggar support. While this is probably only to be expected given the sides current form, this level of expectation does not take into account the desire of their opponents to raise their game and to become the first to topple the league leaders. The squad too must be patient and guard against any sort of complacancy as they strive to retain their unbeaten record.

 

The first half saw the home side face the breeze which is always a factor at Hawthorndean. Their only option was to run ball and their pack put in a big effort early on to control ball with pick ups and off-loads which tested the Biggar defence. A feature of Biggar’s play has been their defensive strength and this was in evidence once again as they repelled the Lasswade effort.

 

Ball won by Biggar was run back to Lasswade but their efforts to expose the Lasswade side foundered as the backs with Kutze and Conor Lavery struggling to put their passes together, this undoubtedly due to the wind as the home side had similar probloems in the second half.

 

As it was Biggar struck with just under 10 minutes on the clock fullback Robbie Lavery collecting centre Ryan Moffat’s pop pass to cross over for a try converted by Matthew Stewart – this the first of 5 conversions for the youngster.

 

The Biggar fullback scored his second as he split the stretched Lasswade defence with a lovely angled run to cross under the posts.

 

A great choke tackle by Lewis Stewart prevented a Lasswade breakout and while another knock-on meant that Biggar lost possession in their next phase normal service was resumed as Lasswade conceded a penalty within their 22. A quick tap and go from Kutze saw him make good ground to the line and when he was stopped he managed to slip the ball to his stand off Conor Lavery who crashed over from close range.

 

Matthew Stewart added the conversions to both scores and then converted a penalty as Lasswade erred.

 

Biggar hooker Ewan Stewart was then shown a yellow card as he was deemed to have made a no arms tackle on flying winger Ross Combe who was stopped in his tracks by what appeared to many to be a textbook tackle. Biggar then were unfortunate not to score with two interceptions, the first by Kutze and the second by Conor Lavery. This was certainly the pick of the two, the stand off gathering the ball from Lasswade No 8 Stephen Hunter as the home side made a rare excursion into the Biggar 22. Faced with an 80m sprint to the line the Biggar man looked to be going to go all the way but with the Lasswade defence tracking back he elected to pass to the supporting Kutze. The pass was another to drop in the wind and a knock-on saw Lasswade escape further punishment.

 

The resultant scrum brought the half to an end and Biggar turned to face the elements.

 

On the restart Andrew Peacock replaced skipper Alan Warnock.

 

The half had barely begun when Rowan Stewart scored. Jamie Orr had had a slightly less productive day in the lineout when compared to the previous week’s fantastic stats but in the first lineout of the half he managed to get a hand to the Lasswade throw. The ball ricocheted past Kutze and was gathered by Stewart some 5 metres outside his 22. Running back to the packs he exploited a gap and finding himself in space he burst past the two remaining defenders to cruise home from some 60 metres with defending winger Combe unable to prevent the try despite making good yardage to the Biggar winger.

 

Matthew Stewart added the conversion and Biggar were 31-0 up.

 

Playing with a breeze, while making kicking easier, can often make pssing more difficult as the ball floats away from the receiver. Lasswade found this to be the case, several passes missing the intended receiver.

 

Ewan Stewart’s return coincided with Conor Lavery’s second try the stand off using a neat ‘show and go’ to split the Lasswade defence for a try again converted by Matthew Stewart.

 

Davy Reive replaced Kutze and shortly after that Gregor Stewart came on for Matthew Stewart.

 

Lasswade then found a way to the Biggar line as a couple of penalties which were kicked to the corner gave them an opportunity to use a line drive which they completed successfully, lock forward Liam Greig rounding off the move. Matthew Smith added the conversion.

 

A neat passing movement was the prelude to Biggar’s next try, Ross Jackson taking Reive’s pass after Peacock had made good yards round the side of a ruck. Euan Bogle kicked the conversion and then found himself replaced by Kutze.

 

Coach Mercer then introduced the rest of his bench Craig McDonald coming on for Conor Lavery and Bogle returning to replace Rowan Stewart.

 

A probing run by Ross Jackson saw the No8 almost reach the line but the Lasswade defence halted his progress. However, ball recycled ended with Mulligan picking up and diving to score to mark the half century. Bogle was just wide with the kick.

 

Sadly Jackson damaged a knee in his efforts and he left the field to be replaced by Warnock.

 

Orr was next to touch down, the lock using all his strength to first of all drive his opoosite number back to the Laswade line before twisting to cross the line and dot the ball down. Bogle had his range and added the two points from the tee.

 

Try though Lasswade did and while they were able to retain possession well in their pick and drives and close quarter off-loads the Biggar defence made their hosts work really hard for any yardage they did gain. And any error saw Biggar back on the attack at a pace which challenged the home XV.

 

A quickly taken penalty initiated the next score, McDonald making ground with Ryan Moffat rounding off another sweeping movement which saw play moved from touchline to touchline.

 

Moffat rounded off proceedings with his second try, this a scamper through the middle after another sustained passage of play involving his team.

 

A deserved victory and win No 8. Next up are Preston Lodge who have been showing good form this season and who put Whitecraigs to the sword on Saturday. They will pose a real challenge to the Biggar side who will be without several key men due to unavailablity and injury.

 

A massive effort will be required with the youngsters again tasked with stepping up to the mark.

 

Biggar

R. Lavery, E. Bogle, M. Stewart, R. Moffat, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, L. Kotze, D. Voas, E. Stewart, F. Carossi, J. Orr, A. Warnock (Capt), L. Stewart, C. Mulligan, R. Jackson.

Reps: A. Peacock, G. Stewart, D. Reive, C. McDonald

 

The 2nd XV hosted Selkirk in their match and were on the wrong side of a relatively narrow 21-13 defeat.

 

This was a disappointing result however as the side seemed to lack the fire which had been so prevalent the previous week.

 

They too have a home game on Saturday when Musselburgh are the visitors.


2nd XV comeback not quite enough to get the win

Dundee 29 Biggar 22

The 2nd XV journeyed to Dundee, their preparations hampered by a late arrival due to traffic and many thanks to Dundee for allowing Biggar a little extra time.

 

As had been the case against Cartha the week before Biggar conceded a couple of early try’s before they got into their stride to mount a fight back.

 

Dundee were two try’s ahead for most of the game however until the last ten minutes when Biggar’s fitness started to show through.

 

Having clawed their way back into the game to get within one try, and work hard though biggar did, Dundee managed to sig deep to prevent Biggar getting that final scored that they deserved.

 

Many thanks to Neil Wolfendene who travelled to Dundee after playing for the Biggar Eagles on Friday evening, and to Sam Wallis who is studying in Dundee and struggles to get back to play for his club. As is the case with the 1st XV there are a whole host of youngsters all of whom again showed up well. In total of the 18 man squad no fewer than 14 were 21 or under with 8 of those still in their teens!

 

Skippered by James Barr who made a very promising return to action after injury, the Biggar side again showed much promise. There elague record shows that they have already ammassed more points from their 5 games this season than they did for the full league schedule last season!

 

For the record: Paul Davidson scored a try while man-of-the-match Euan Bogle scored 2 tries and kicked 2 conversions and a penalty. Final score Dundee 29 Biggar 22


Fantastic contest sees Biggar maintain top spot

Biggar 22 Highland 7

Biggar’s total of 22 points, which last week was only just enough to give them victory over Whitecraigs, was more than enough to see them over the winning line against Highland.

 

A sixth win from six starts is as good a record as Biggar have ever had and means that they retain their top spot in National 2 with Stewarts Melville leap-frogging Highland into second place. Having played 4 of the 5 sides immediately below them (local rivals Peebles are the 5th), is also a bonus with Glasgow Accies and then Lasswade next up. Neither of these sides are currently on form and on paper these should equate to two further victories although the coaching staff, with one or two selection headaches in the offing, will be adamant that there should be no complacency in their approach to any match. Banana skins…..

 

In wonderful Autumnal conditions and with Hartree Mill an absolute joy to behold – please check Nigel Pacey’s wonderful pictures from his drone if you are in any doubt – Biggar hosted Highland who hail from Inverness and are the furthest travelled of all National 2 sides. A massive club in the 1970/80’s the club is in the process of recovering from a slump which has seen them climb up through Regional Leagues and Div 3 in the last 3 seasons as they have at the same time also redeveloped their clubhouse and pitches.

 

They are well used to travelling and deserve all credit for their efforts which sees them board a bus every two weeks at 8am for the joureny south. On the evidence of Saturday’s match Biggar’s trip north in January will be a massive test as the Highland side are clearly the best drilled XV they have met so far this season. Highland lost because they were penalised on numerous occasions for high tackles, losing 2 men to the bin and because they were unable to break the Biggar defence which again was immense throughout.

 

In short this was a fantastic match, played with no quarter asked or given and one which had the very pleasingly large crowd enthralled until the end.

 

In the pack, Donald Voas and Chris Mulligan were unavailable for this match and so Guy Kelly started at prop. The youngster completed the best 80m minutes he has had since joining the ranks of the senior squad. His tight play was solid while he also performed well in the loose, carrying ball well on several occasions. Mulligan was replaced by Lewis Stewart who made his first senior start.

 

Andrew Peacock, another who has again blossomed this season, was moved to the bench to provide front row cover and was replaced by Douglas Notman while Jamie Orr made his first return to the senior squad this season. In the backs Conor Lavery returned at stand off with Robbie Orr moving from there to full-back, he another to return a performance well beyond his tender years and claiming two tries in the process, the first of which was a fantastic effort and which saw his speed and strength take him round and through the Highland cover.

 

With this being a top-of-the-table clash it was hardly surprising that this match was absolutely full on from the first until the last minute. Both sides ran at pace, challenging their opponents to defend and off-loading as they sought to play an expansive game. Yards were gained as players ran and found players with neat passes and, as players tackled, yards were lost as there were turnovers and mistakes were made.

 

A series of penalties were awarded to Biggar as referee Tom French took issue with the preponderance of shoulder high tackles made by the visitors but few of these were in kickable positions and so ground was won but on each subsequent attack the Highland defence managed to halt Biggar. At other times ball was lost in contact, this as much to do with the ferocity of the hit as it was to poor ball retention.

 

When in attack, Highland also opted to go for position, this despite the fact that they were playing with the wind and had a couple of penalties which looked to be within range. Had the position been swapped Biggar might have opted for a pot at goal. As it was and having taken good lineout ball Highland ran Biggar close, only some superb defence with all playing their part keeping the visitors out. In this regard Robbie Lavery put in some thundering hits, these backed up by some equally good hits from Conor Lavery, Rowan Stewart, Matthew Stewart and Franco Carrossi.

 

Ball in hand saw Biggar running well, Robbie Orr solid at the back and always making great yardage in the counter attack, while others to shine were Ewan Stewart (whose footwork on a couple of occasions was top drawer), Lavery who hit up well and the afore-mentioned Kelly.

 

After a series of penalties for high tackles (the penalty count was 11-3 in Biggar’s favour in this half) referee French resorted to showing a yellow to Highland’s flanker. The resultant penalty saw Biggar take play to within yards of the Highland line before play was again halted for another penalty, this one for off-side. Prior to this award the solitary kickable penalty Biggar had, proved to be just outside Conor Lavery’s range although he did manage to slot this last award to give Biggar a slender 3-0 lead at the break.

 

With the breeze now on their backs Biggar were able to control play a little better, ensuring that Highland were kept at bay as Biggar kicked from hand to pin the visitors back in their half. While Biggar’s counter attacking had always threatened, Highland’s proved less successful although this was also due to the quick, flat support from the Biggar chase which meant that the Highland counter was always under pressure.

 

An early penalty opportunity drifted wide but with Ross Jackson, the Lavery’s and Peacock (who had come on for Notman) all in possession, Highland were kept in their half. Yet another penalty ended with Highland centre Rob Eatogh shown a yellow and so for a few minutes the visitors were down to 13 men. An initial tap and go from Jackson did not impress referee French but on the scrum restart his pick exploited the short-handed defence and the No 8 cruised over in the corner.

 

Lavery was unable to add the conversion. A mix up on the restart had Biggar at sixes and sevens although they did manage to extricate themselves from a difficult position.

 

Biggar struck next with some 20 minutes of the second half gone. Highland were back to full strength but some excellent attacking play from Biggar which saw play swept from left to right with Conor Lavery and Jamie Orr in the attack ended with fullback Robbie taking possession from around 20 metres out. His typically mazy run bamboozled the Highland defence although he needed all his strength and reach to eventually dot the ball down for what was a wonderful score. Matthew Stewart, from an almost identical position as he had faced against Whitecraigs, kicked the conversion from near the touchline. 15-0 Biggar.

 

Four minutes elapsed before Biggar struck again. Running at pace and asking all sorts of questions of the Highland defence eventually created space on the left. Luhann Kutze who had replaced Davy Reive passed wide to his left, the ball snapped up by Orr who sprinted clear and under the posts for his second try. Stewart added the conversion and Biggar were 22-0 ahead.

 

Undaunted by this latest set back Highland continued to play and attack. Maintaining possession well they pressed deep in the Biggar half but again the Biggar defence was up to the mark and the pressure exerted forced the error to give Biggar some respite.

 

Iain Renwick replaced winger Ross Bradford as Biggar sought to press on.

 

Nevertheless Highland regained territory and courtesy of a needless penalty and by forcing play to the left and then to the right ball found prop Stuart Watson with 15 metres or so from the line. Swatting Biggar attackers aside as if they were troublesome flies the big man barrelled over for a try which stand off Craig Irvine converted for Highland’s 7 points.

 

A spectacular jump and catch by Rowan Stewart off the restart took play immediately back to the Highland 22 where Biggar went in search of what would have been a real bonus of a 4 try bonus point. The same player was then bundled into touch just feet from the Highland line as desperate defence came good.

 

Kevin Robison came on for the injured Lewis Stewart with some 3 minutes to go.

 

Although Biggar managed to retain ball and territory Highland put an end to proceedings with their last kick to touch from a penalty award ending the contest.

 

A massive cheer greeeted the result, Biggar’s support having thoroughly enjoyed the contest and of course the result.

 

The icing on the cake from a club point of view came with the news that the 2nd XV had also recorded a fine victory over their oppoenents, Cartha QP.

 

Biggar have (possibly) never had such a fine start to any previous league campaign and while some of the less optimistic believe that the side is just a couple of wins from being 100% safe from relegation, there is a belief in the squad that they can go forward and improve. The confidence and skills exhibited is a great motivational aspect for play and for development. The number of players used over the past few weeks will increase as injuries and other factors come into play but all those who have been called up have all stepped up to the mark and have done so seamlessly.

 

Biggar

R. Orr, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, R. Lavery, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, D. Reive, G. Kelly, E. Stewart, F. Carossi, J. Orr, A. Warnock (Capt), D. Notman, L. Stewart, R. Jackson.

Reps: A. Peacock, K. Robison, L. Kotze, I. Renwick

 

Post Script

Donald Voas took part in the European Log Lift Championships in Glasgow at the weekend finishing in 6th place in his category. A fine effort for someone who is a novice at this event.

Biggar ‘s 2nd XV as described above won their match with Cartha.

Having conceded 2 early tries things looked a tad grim but the home side then mounted a fight back and with Ryan Moffat (who was unlucky to have been dropped from the 1st XV squad) leading the way with 3 tries, Biggar overcame the city side to win by 33-26.

This was the sides first win and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. As is the case with the 1st XV they have played 4 of the 5 sides at the top of the Reserve league and so they have had a wicked start to their campaign.

A lot will depend on whether they can continue to rely on the mixture of youth and experience fielded on Saturday. Some 7 teenagers were joined by some gnarly veterans in the shape of Grant Owens, James Tawse, Calum Taylor and Andrew Goodall (making a return to Biggar colours after several years in the city).

 

Special mention should be made of what was apparently a real contender for ‘try of the season’ scored by Andrew Howatson. Gathering ball on his own as he covered back the prop come fullback ran to the Cartha pack, flumoxed them with a chip and catch and then burst over the line for a wonderful individual effort.

 

In addition to the above Euan Bogle kicked 4 conversions


1sts sneak a win at Whitecraigs

Whitecraigs 20 Biggar 22

Whitecraigs fullback S. Adair had a ‘last kick of the game’ penalty to give his side victory against Biggar on Saturday. Having kicked 3 from 3 previously and with the penalty invitingly almost in front of the posts it looked a relatively straightforward kick – if indeed there is ever such a thing – but on this occasion the youngster pulled the kick wide and so Biggar ‘escaped’ and made it five straight wins to stay atop the League table.

 

That they had to cling on for the points was a new experience this campaign especially given that the previous two games have been won by 10 tries a-piece. A year ago this match could well have ended in defeat but the squad displayed concentration and had belief in their performance and this ensured that they came away with the maximum 5 league points.

 

This weelend will really see where they stand as they host second placed Highland, a side who were promoted last season and who have also been on a run – they recorded a 47-15 win over Whitecraigs in their match so this will be a huge game for both sides with the winner destined to be league leaders.

 

While Ewan Stewart was available, Conor Lavery, Gregor Stewart and Guy Kelly were all unavailable for this match and so there were several changes within the starting XV. Up front Donald Voas started at prop with Ewan Stewart at hooker: Robbie Orr got the nod at stand off, Robbie Lavery in at centre and Iain Renwick at fullback. Changes, but all involving tried and trusted members of the squad.

 

The Glasgow side were reported to have a large pack and indeed this proved to be the case, their efforts in the tight scrum in particular causing all manner of problems for the Biggar eight. Mobility around the park was not as good however and it was this which Biggar sought to successfully exploit.

 

Rowan Stewart opend the scoring off an Orr pass after some good build up play by the pack. The wingers incision saw him cut through the Whitecraigs defence as the proverbial knife through butter. Conor Lavery’s absence meant that the kicking duties fell on this occasion to Renwick but his aim was not in and the lead was just 5-0.

 

The home side ran hard and straight but the Biggar defence, as has been the case this campaign, remained solid with Carlos Carossi, Voas, Ryan Moffat, Ross Jackson and Chris Mulligan among many others all showing up with some big hits.

 

An Orr clearance was the prelude to the next score as Adair and then Murchie struggled to tidy the kick cleanly. Biggar’s chase ended in a Biggar scrum and after one reset referee Lee Fish awarded a free kick to Biggar. Going with a quick tap, Davy Reive moved the ball left to Orr whose initial show and go broke the ‘Craigs defence. His off-load found Lavery who crashed over for Biggar’s second try. The conversion was swept wide but Biggar led 10-0.

 

Biggar were quickly back on the attack and with several really good runs at the line they should have added to their tally but some poor decisions when firstly players cut back inside and secondly when the blustery conditions spoiled an excellent attacking lineout, meant that these chances went a-begging and allowed ‘Craigs to stay in the match.

 

For their part the home side were still struggling to put phases together and their only attacking opportunities took them to just inside the Biggar half, and this with the benefit of the cross wind.

 

The next score came after Moffat and then Voas had made good ground in the centre to push ‘Craigs back into their 22. Though seemingly the ‘wrong’ way and in the face of ‘Craigs numerical defensive advantage Reive moved the ball left to Lavery. The centre found Rowan Stewart who needed no second invitation to split the ‘Craigs defence for his and his sides second score. Once again however, three tries up but only 15-0 as the conversion was missed.

 

Inevitably the home side then began to get their act together and some powerful driving play by their pack with a gargantuan lock making headway they engineered an attacking position within Biggar’s 22. Having won a penalty they elected to kick and Adair made it 15-3.

 

On the attack again and with ball spun left they should have scor3ed a try save, that is, for an opportune double tackle and steal from Lavery and Orr which was just enough to force the knock on. A Mulligan pick up and tidy and then two priceless turnovers from Reive’s box kick clearances, the first from Bradford and the second from Carossi, gave Biggar a penalty back on half way.

 

With some 5 minutes to go before half time, ‘Craigs were then reduced to 14 men when centre Wamberg was shown a yellow for a high tackle. The resultant lineout was unfortunately untidy and spoiled the initial attack. Able to retain their position Biggar then made another couple of errors although another piece of handling magic from Andrew Peacock deserved better. As it was referee Fish blew for the end of the half.

 

Peacock gave way to Calum Braid shortly after the restart and then Ewan Stewart was replaced by Lewis Stewart, Mulligan moving to hook to alow the youngster to play back row.

 

With the advantage of the breeze Biggar should have been able to push on but they came up against a much rejuvenated ‘Craigs XV who played with much greater pace and asked lots of questions of the Biggar defence and this despite the fact that they were still a man short.

 

There also seemed to be a change in the referee’s interpretation of the scrum and it was soon that Biggar found themsleves penalised on numerous occasions due to this change. Carossi was identified as being the ‘culprit’ though the Biggar coaching team would take issue on this interpretation. Down to 14 as Carrossi was shown yellow did nothing to help Biggar’s cause.

 

Penalties continued to be awarded and on one occasion, and after an inordinately long advantage, which saw several phases completed successfully, play was halted and brought back for the original penalty. The irony of all that was that even after the penalty kick was taken ‘Craigs were short of where they had managed to advance play!

 

Their persistence eventually paid off however and having kicked to the corner, ball won was smuggled back to their replacement lock O’Neill who bundled over for a try. The conversion took the a score to 15-10 meaning that ‘Craigs were right back in the mix.

 

Reive made way for Luhann Kotze who was making his first appearance of the season.

 

Another Adair penalty put ‘Craigs just two behind at 15-13!

 

Arguably the defining moment of the match came with a quarter of the match to go. Making headway deep into the Biggar half, ‘Craigs were penalised for going off their feet at a ruck. Clearly frustrated at the decision their No 7 threw the ball away/at Mulligan. It rebounded into the hands of Renwick who elected to tap and kick. Having taken the home side by surprise – sides usually kick clear when awarded a penalty in their own 22 – the ball bounced twice in play before being snapped up by Kotze who made15 metres before popping the ball inside to his supporting winger. Bradford, who had already impressed with some great attacking carries, took off for the line to score a really opportunist try. To add insult to injury for ‘Craigs, Matthew Stewart stepped up, and from the widest angle of all the kicks on the day, managed to slot the conversion for a 22-13 lead.

 

Having done well to claw their way back into the match another side might have capitulated at this point, but not ‘Craigs who continued to press.

 

A forward pass denied what appeared to be a good score for Biggar but when ‘Craigs continued to attack penalties were again conceded by Biggar – some 29 penalties and 3 free kicks in the match(!) - and this ensured Biggar were kept working hard in defence.

 

A quick tap and go on one such award saw Biggar skipper Alan Warnock shown a yellow for stopping the play within the requisite 10 metres and so Biggar played out the match with just 14.

 

Following this penalty and in the next foray ‘Craigs No 7 – villian turned hero?– drove over from close range. The conversion took the score to 22-20 in Biggar’s favour but with some 5 minutes remaining. A one score match!

 

And so the drama played out until the denoument and that final penalty.

 

Biggar deserved to win. They may not have played as well as they have in recent matches and while ‘Craigs were not a stand out side they posed many problems, not least in the tight and problems which the Biggar coaches and squad will have to solve. Bottom line however is that there are only 5 points available to a team and Biggar once again claimed them all.

 

Plaudits to all for their collective efforts.

 

Biggar

I. Renwick, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, R. Lavery, R. Stewart, R. Orr, D. Reive, D. Voas, E. Stewart, F. Carossi, A. Peacock, A. Warnock (Capt), C. Milligan, R. Moffat, R. Jackson.

Reps: C. Braid, L. Stewart, L. Kotze, C. McDonald

 

Biggar ‘s 2nd XV journeyed to Edinburgh Accies, currently the Reserve League leaders and flying high at the top of the table. A fortnight’s enforced break was absolutely no preparation for this match and try through they did they lost out by 48-3.

 

Once again the scheduled opponents for the Biggar Eagles called off and so they were left without a game.


Biggar run in 10 tries to defeat Falkirk

Biggar 58 Falkirk 7

Another 10 try haul and another 5 point win keeps Biggar at the top of National 2.

 

Falkirk were relegated from National 1 last season and the expectation was that they would prove a much better organised side than that which Biggar faced at Howe. This was indeed the case but Biggar again played at a ferocious pace and that, combined with a rock solid defence, meant that the visitors endured a difficult afternoon.

 

That Falkirk made a host of unforced errors will irk their coaching team but this could as easily be attributed to the pressure exerted by Biggar as by any perceived lack of skill.

 

On a pleasant Autumn afternoon a healthy crowd gathered to watch Biggar’s second home match of this season and they returned home having been royally entertained by the Biggar squad, all 19 of whom contributed so positively throughout the 80 minutes.

 

Biggar was forced into making several changes for this match with the ‘Euan’s’, Sanderson and Stewart both unavailable. Donald Voas moved to hooker with Guy Kelly starting at prop. Ryan Moffat took over in the back row. Conor Lavery, who was injured last week, had recovered and started at stand off.

 

The squad is young, bursting with energy and full of running but this is matched by a growing maturity and confidence which good performances engender. To have beaten both sides relegated from National 1 last season is a feather in their cap and has certainly set out a marker for the other National 2 sides. That they will come a cropper at some point is without doubt but for the moment all can be justifiably very proud of their efforts.

 

Biggar opened strongly and had their first score within 4 minutes, a neat cross kick from Conor Lavery being gathered by Ross Bradford who went over in the corner but just too far out for the conversion to be successful.

 

Falkirk took advantage of several penalty awards to tap and go and this ensured Biggar were kept on the defensive but a Lavery kick pushed Falkirk back, forcing a drop out 22. A break by locks Alan Warnock and then Andrew Peacock created an attacking position, Ryan Moffat breaking on the blindside to take play within 5 metres where his neat off-load was taken by scrum half David Reive who dived over in the corner. On the left side of the pitch meant that it was the ‘right’ side for Lavery who added the conversion for a 12-0 lead.

 

Quickly back on the offensive Biggar’s thrid was Bradford’s second, the winger benefitting from an excellent Lavery pick up and pass.

 

Gregor Stewart was forced off the pitch after taking a series of hits to his chest with Robbie Orr coming into the side at fullback and Robbie Lavery moving to centre. The youngster was barely on the pitch before he rounded off a great attacking move by collecting a pop pass from Rowan Stewart who had made good ground on the left flank to go over for a try. The all-important 4th and therefore bonus point winning try was converted by Lavery for a 24-0 lead.

 

This soon became 29 when a deft pass under pressure from Robbie Lavery put Matthew Stewart into space, the youngsters pace taking him clear and then round the Falkirk defence for a cracking try, Lavery uncharacteristically missing from close range.

 

Falkirk’s back three were taking most of Biggar’s kicks out of defence well and initiating counter attacks but these in turn were well defended by the Biggar side. This was particularly the case in the next passage of play when wave after wave of Falkirk attacks were snuffed out and this all within 5-10 metres of the Biggar line when it seemed that the vistors were almost bound to score.

 

Reive was shown yellow by referee David Young when he killed the ball during one Falkirk attack this leading to another switch for the versatile Robbie Lavery who took over at scrum half. His first role ended in upset however as the ball squirted out of the Biggar scrum and with the Biggar back line preparing for a clearance it was Falkirk No 8 Stewart McCulloch who reacted first to dot down for a try converted by Finn Call.

 

Half time then with Biggar in a commanding 29-7 lead but ever conscious that with the wind they would face another testing half.

 

A turnover at the start of the half after an excellent take from Peacock put Biggar on the defensive but a scintillating break from Orr for some 40 metres took play right back into the Falkirk 22 where, after a series of attacks, Voas picked up from the ruck to thunder over from 10 metres for the first score of this second period.

 

The try scorer left the field to be replaced by fit again Lewis Stewart (Milligan moving to hooker) who made his first appearance of this season.

 

Some good running angles from Moffat in the centre had Falkirk on the defensive again and then it was Chris Milligan who rounded off the next attack with Conor Lavery again notching the conversion.

 

Guy Kelly made way for Callum Braid, another returning from injury and making his first appearance this campaign. Biggar’s scrum was unaffected by this switch while Falkirk’s big props who came off had an impact on their tight scrum.

 

An accidental offside gave Biggar some respite from the next Falkirk attack which again foundered with the line in their sights. A knock on was another error to cost the visitors ground and possession, Biggar able to capitalise with Iain Renwick who had replaced Conor Lavery at stand off, dictating play well.

 

As the game began to open up, Falkirk profited from some good running from their backs who made considerable ground but once again the Biggar defensive effort with Orr, Lavery and Stewart to the fore meant that these were snuffed out.

 

Fittingly it was lock Alan Warnock who rounded off the next try, he tracking play during a lengthy break out from the Biggar half to take a pass from Ross Bradford and in almost identical circumstances as the Howe match last week. Orr added the conversion.

 

The same player – Orr – then made a massive tackle to prevent a rare Falkirk attack and with ball turned over Biggar made a final advance into the Falkirk 22. Warnock was in to support Ross Jackson at the breakdown and his transfer, anothet done under pressure, set Rowan Stewart free from some 40 metres for the final try. Renwick was just short with the conversion.

 

Falkirk ended the match in the Biggar half but referee Young blew for time before they could add to their tally.

 

An impressive performance then and perhaps most pleasing of all was that this was a gritty, whole squad performance. Every player contributed to the cause and while there were errors – not least as Biggar were penalised heavily for a variety of offences which on another day could see their opponents rack up a hefty tally – there seems a quiet resolve not to panic and instead to maintain calm and be patient.

 

This Saturday sees the side travel to Whitecraigs, a venue which has never been a particularly easy place to win. The squad should travel with confidence however and will be all the more determined to maintain this current run.

 

Biggar

R. Lavery, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, G. Stewart, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, D. Reive, G. Kelly, D. Voas, F. Carossi, A. Peacock, A. Warnock (Capt), C. Milligan, R. Moffat, R. Jackson.

Reps: C. Braid, L. Stewart, R. Orr, I. Renwick

 

Biggar had no other senior sides in action at the weekend as the 2nds game was cancelled when at 12.30 on Saturday Boroughmuir called to say that they were unable to raise a XV. At such short notice this was particularly frustrating for all concerned, the Biggar squad completing a training session prior to watching the 1st XV match. This enforced break will make their match this weekend against Edinburgh Accies all the more challenging as the City side are currently flying high in the Reserve League table.

 

The Biggar Eagles side were also without a match as Musselburgh were also unable to field a full XV.


1st XV in big win at Howe

Howe of Fife 14 Biggar 65

A third win on the bounce and another bonus point after a 10-try romp against a depleted Howe maintains Biggar’s top spot in National 2, by points difference at least, with local rivals Peebles, the only other side to retain an unbeaten run, nipping at their heels.

 

Biggar travelled north in confident mood after last week’s excellent performance against Stew-Mel but they were under no illusions that Howe would pose a threat. In fact the Perthshire outift have lost players to neighbours Dundee while other retirements have led to a depleted squad, this leading to the cancellation of their 2nd XV match on Saturday due to a lack of players.

 

Biggar made two changes to their starting XV, Franko Carossi replacing his namesake Franko Maggiolo who has now left for sunnier climes in Spain, while Robbie Lavery took over at fullback in place of Iain Renwick. Robbie Orr began the match on the bench.

 

In relatively pleasant conditions Biggar were soon on the defensive as Howe opend on the front foot with the back row pair of Robert Cabemaiwasa and Captain Chris Mann giving note of their intent to carry ball at pace. They were initially hard to stop and not before they had made good yardage but try though they did they were largely unable to breech the Biggar cover defence and their attackes were snuffed out.

 

In defence Howe probably correctly opted to kick out of defence but the accuracy of these was not good and gave Biggar good counter-attcking opportunities, Robbie Lavery snaffling ball and looking very dangerous as he ran ball back.

 

Indeed it was from several of these aborted clearances that gave Biggar their first scoring opportunities these taking them into an early 14-0 lead courtesy of tries from Chris Mulligan and then Matthew Stewart, both converted by Conor Lavery.

 

The same player was then forced off with a nasty ankle knock sustained in an accidental collision with his team mate Gregor Stewart! Robbie Orr took over at stand off. Worse was to follow as captain Euan Sanderson was also forced to retire after a head knock, his replacement being Ryan Moffat.

 

Undeterred, Biggar maintained pressure on their hosts with Matthew Stewart scoring his second after the half hour mark following a good break by Carossi and a neat off-load from Orr.

 

Howe hit back with livewire scrum half Andrew Harley making the most of a blindside gap to sprint clear of the flailling Biggar cover to dot down under the posts for a try converted by Dylan Suttie.

 

In ther next sortie to the Howe 22 Matthew Stewart took no time to drop a neat goal this just before the 4th bonus point try which fell to No 8 Ross Jackson who ripped the ball from a Howe player before sprinting home from some 30 metres. Unfortunately the conversion was missed. Now in some form of control Biggar continued to press but were unable to add to their tally, the half time score 27-7 in their favour.

 

In a rare attack Howe gained good ground on the right flank but a great tackle from Mulligan, assisted by Lavery took man and ball into touch but not to the liking of referee Stuart Burns who sent Lavery to the bin for 10 minutes.

 

Now playing uphill Biggar took no time at all in the second half to add to their tally – less then 60 seconds on the clock – with Ross Bradford crossing for the first of his double, Orr adding the conversion.

 

Rowan Stewart was the next to score, he rounding off a great breakout initiated by Robbie Orr. There was no conversion to this score.

 

Donald Voas, who again impressed with some resolute defence and his trademark touchline breenge, gave way to Guy Kelly.

 

Back to a full complement with Lavery restored Biggar continued to create chances but their attempts to add to their tally were intially thwarted, until that is, Jackson scored his second, converted by Moffat. With the half century in their sights and with some 10 minutes remaining that total was duly achieved, Bradford latching onto a neat cross kick from Orr to gather and touch down for a try – Moffat the next to make heavy weather of the conversion attempt. 51-7 to Biggar.

 

Mulligan was the next to cross, this another great counter attacking move begun from deep in the Biggar 22.

 

The successful conversion gave Biggar a tilt at the 60 point mark, this achieved when, very fittingly, Alan Warnock showed his athleticism to maintain contact with yet another long range breakout, Bradford providing the all important last pass. Moffat’s conversion took Biggar to their 65 point total.

 

A final riposte by Howe from centre Sean Murray who showed remarkable resilience throughout the afternoon and who would be a star turn given more possession, gave some consolation to the home XV, with the conversion, an excellent long range drop kick, taking their tally to 14.

 

The Biggar squad could be forgiven for thinking that they had posted the biggest total in the league, 65 a whopping victory, but this total was dwarfed by the Dumfries result, theirs an 87-7 rout of Lasswade. Even if Biggar had converted all their tries and a solitary penalty they would have managed just 76 points so Dumfries had a field day.

 

Next up for Biggar is a home match against Falkirk who lost their unbeaten record when they were beaten by surprise packets Whitecraigs on Saturday. The Falkirk side was relegated last season alongside Stew-Mel and will pose another challenge for Biggar.

 

The depth of Biggar’s squad will be tested as Euan Sanderson is out through injury, Ewan Stewart is unavailable while Conor Lavery must be doubtful after his ankle injury.

 

Biggar

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

Reps: G. Kelly, R. Orr, R. Moffat, I. Renwick

 

Biggar had no other senior sides in action at the weekend as the 2nds had a ‘free’ weekend while Watsonians were unable to field a side against Biggar Eagles.


Biggar in 5-try win

Biggar 32 Stewarts Melville 3

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Biggar

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

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

 

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


Musselburgh take charge

Musselburgh 53 Biggar 14

After two warm up games Biggar travelled to National 1 club Musselburgh on National League Cup action on Saturday. Musselburgh and Biggar have not met for several seasons as the clubs missed each other when Biggar were relegated from National 1 to 2 as Musselburgh were promoted some 4 years ago.

Matches hitherto had been fairly even although there have been similar high scoring wins and defeats.

On this occasion it is fair to say Biggar were comprehensively beaten by the East Lothain side who showed a strong presence up front – including ex-Biggar man Colin Arthur – and who scored freely in the first half to go ahead 32-0. Biggar will point to a better 2nd half showing when the score was 21-14 but M’burgh will doubtelss contest that having done the damage in the first half they slackened off a bit as their progress to the next round was secured.

Biggar were without a couple of regulars but this cannot be used as an excuse and the side will have to quickly regroup prior to the league opener this weekend when they journey to Dumfries.

 

The big home pack did most of the damage and while Biggar looked dangerous with the ball, possession is always key and when a side struggles to retain possession they will forever be on the back foot.

M’burgh ran in 4 first half tries and kicked two conversions and two penalties for their 32 point lead. The first and third tries came from a week defensive effort from Biggar which will task the coaches as this has been an area they have been working on in training. The second after some good support running saw the M‘burgh side breach the Biggar defence while the fourgh was a forward drive controlled by that man Arthur who ultimately touched down.

 

After the break and an early try to the home side – this an interception which could equally as easily seen Biggar in for an opening score, Biggar got their first points with Matthew Stewart taking a pass from stand-off Conor Lavery who added the conversion.

A series of penalties at scrum time disrupted Biggar’s concentratiion and they were posted missing as M’burgh took a quick tap and go to record their 6th score.

A neat off-load by Rowan Stewart put Lavery over for Biggar’s second try.

A testing time for the three quarters who spent the bulk of their day defending and tackling but who have so much more to offer of they can get their hands on the ball.

A number of changes will be made for this Saturday and Biggar will have to dig a good bit deeper if they are to get a win at Dunfries a sdie thet lost to twice in last season’s campaign.

 

There was no 2nd XV match on Saturday but they too will be on duty this weekend when they take on Currie. On 9th September the club are looking to field 3 XV’s with the first appearance of the Biggar/Lanark Development XV. To this end ALL players from the two clubs are encouraged to make themselves available and to let their team secretaries know asap in order that arrangements can be made for the game which is scheduled for Duns.


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Biggar RFC Second XV

This season 2014/15, Biggar 2nd XV will compete in the Edinburgh RESERVE LEAGUE 1. A good blend of experience and youth allows us to compete well with teams who have far greater resources.

The team is manged by John Bogle and Malcolm Bruce and if you would like to play or assist with the team please contact our Playing Convenor, Ian Notman 07899803916


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:

 


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