Match Report 12th January 2020
S1 v Musselburgh
The Under 13’s had their first game following the Xmas break in a friendly away to Musselburgh. Given it had been approximately 6 weeks since the team last played a match together they could be forgiven for being a bit rusty. The match also marked the return of David who had been off injured for a considerable time with a broken collar bone and David’s return brought some much needed power to the forward pack who were as usual dwarfed by some of the opposition players.
With ball in hand the team showed few signs of rust as they dominated possession for good periods courtesy of the hard work of the forwards hitting ruck after ruck to protect the ball. This allowed Biggar’s speed merchants in the back line to show how dangerous they are with the ball in hand and they regularly caused the opposition defence headaches.
Unfortunately there was a bit of rust on show defensively as Biggar gave away a few softs tries through missed tackles and giving the opposition space to run out wide.
The game was very even with the lead changing hands a number times but fortunately Kyle G turned up with his super reliable right boot to kick 5 out of 6 conversions which would prove to be the difference between the two teams at the final whistle.
Final Score: Biggar 23 – Musselburgh 21.
Man of the match was Ruari who was electric with the ball in hand to score 4 tries and also showed the benefit of never giving up on defence as he stole the ball when the Musselburgh player was over the try line to prevent what could have been a match winning try
S2 v Musselburgh
Musselburgh RFC 43 Biggar RFC 10
Having not played a match since the last decade our Hartree Heroes looked a little ring rusty during today’s friendly in East Lothian.
Played over three periods of 20 minutes our hosts were just too strong in most departments, running away into a 19-0 lead by the first break.
The second period saw our boys rally a little with Harry then Connor getting a try each after both broke through the powerful Musselburgh pack, then sprinting over the line.
By the end of the second period the score stood at 33-6.
The third third went pretty much the same way as the previous two. Harry did manage to get Biggars third try which Liam converted but by the final whistle Musselburgh had stormed to a 43-10 victory.
I’m sure the boys will have been a little disappointed after today’s game, but playing against a much bigger ( some might say older) team, they’ve got to remember that some of them were only playing their second ever competitive rugby match in which no one gave up and fought to the final whistle.
Best wishes to Beau and Jake who both got head knocks.
Match Report: 8th December 2019
U14’s v Stirling County
Stirling County 30 Biggar RFC 26
What an absolute amazing performance from our Hartree heroes this afternoon. Regardless of the score line our boys were the real winners today.
In a game played in horrendous conditions Stirling ran out 9 tries to 8 winners. But everyone at Wallace High, this afternoon, know that things weren’t as straightforward as the score line suggests.
With a travelling squad of 16, our lads lined up with 2 debutants Connor and Noah in the starting 15.
Kicking with the wind at our backs, it wasn’t too long before our first try was scored. From a line out Harry combined with Alexander who went over for the first try of the afternoon. Ander converted to put the score at 0-4.
Stirling bounced right back into the game to put the score at 3-4.
From the next forward play, debutant Connor gained possession and within seconds broke free and sprinted down the left wing to score his first try of his rugby career. 3-7.
Next up to get on the score sheet was Harry. With one of his lung bursting runs from his own 22. With a couple of hand offs on the way, he dived over between the posts. 3-10.
At this point in the proceedings the whole Biggar team were combining well and keeping their hosts at bay without too much trouble. And at the same time gaining possession at the breakdowns and charging forward whenever an opportunity showed itself. Given the terrible conditions there wasn’t too many handling errors either.
One such surge forward ended with some great passing between Connor and Ewan who then found Harry out on the right and the big fella went over for our 4th try. 3-13.
Stirling then put our boys under some sustained pressure and managed to score two tries and convert one to put the half time score at 10-13.
An injury to Jake meant an appearance in the second half for Ruaridh and the wee man was not too long in getting stuck into the action.
Now facing into the wind, our lads managed to get the ball to Connor who then squeezed himself into the right corner for his second try. 10-16.
Relentless pressure resulted in Harry adding to our try count. 10-19.
Stirling then exposed a gap on our right to score their 4th. 13-19.
With his confidence now soaring Connor completed his debut hat trick by once more going over wide on the right. 13-22.
It was then Stirling’s turn put our boys under some prolonged pressure but unfortunately a clearance caught Aaron B on the head and rebounded back over the try line and our hosts were first to the lose ball. 16-22,
Regrettably Aaron had to go off and both sides then went down to 14 a side.
Harry managed to add his 4th and our 8th which Ander converted. 16-26.
But this is when things took a turn for the worse. With only 5 minutes left, or so I thought. Beau took a sore one to the ribs and his game was over. I then escorted him back to the changing rooms. I returned to the action 10 minutes later to see Thomas off injured and the match still being played. By the time the final whistle went some 6 minutes into added time Stirlings 14 men had managed to score 4 tries and convert 2 against our 12 men.
Not to be too sceptical but it was pretty funny that the “Ref” didn’t blow the final whistle until his team got into the lead for the first time all afternoon. The most sensible thing to have done was to blown for full time when the scores were tied.
It was certainly a very harsh lesson to learn for our boys but the impressive showing from everyone should make them and their parents very proud as today was one of their best if not the best performances of the season so far. Well done boys!
Harry, Ewan, Beau, Ander, Aaron, Arron, Johnny, Jake, Thomas, Ruraidh, Connor, Noah, Matthew, Alexander, Hyland, Ross.
Match Report: West of Scotland 24th November
Boys Youth rugby
Coach Harrison’s musings
It was a frustrating day.
Although we played really well for first 10-15 minutes some refereeing decisions cost us dearly and we were 3 or 4 scores down after being the better team in my book. The refereeing decisions took its toll and we then lost it as a team, we started talking at the referee, having verbals with the other team and our shape and good rugby disappeared.
Some lessons learned! We have to concentrate on our own game no matter what is thrown at us, channel our emotions into our rugby and not lose our heads.Hamilton at home next Sunday and if we can play like we did for first 15 mins for the full 40 we will be fine.
The Under 13’s hit the road this week and it was a bleak and cold Milngavie that played host to their game against West. It was expected to be a tough game with West being relatively comfortable winners in the first round of the Conference competition but confidence was high within the Biggar Team after a very strong performance against Perth last week.
Biggar started reasonably well especially given that they are notorious for giving away 1-2 soft tries early in matches. Their defence held strong when West had possession despite the West Team containing up to 6 players considerably larger than the Biggar Team. Biggar also strung numerous phases together to apply pressure when on attack.
The first try unfortunately went to West slightly against the run of play from long range. Biggar continued to match West after this though and a couple of highlights included Aidan giving us all a glimpse of his potential as he combined speed and strength to break a number of tackles in a damaging run from outside centre and Connor carrying out some excellent scrambling defence to bundle a West player out into touch on the right hand side when he was the last line of defence.
West scored the next 3 tries in the match including one where they caught Biggar’s defence napping following a penalty being awarded.
Biggar finished the first half strongly with Declan going over for a try by using his pace on the right hand side following numerous infringements by West. The try was converted by the ever reliable Kyle G.
Despite being down 14-4 at half time Biggar were still in the match and came out strongly after half time. But West scored the first try in the second half slightly against the run of play after Biggar had applied some good attacking pressure.
Unfortunately from this point it only went downhill for Biggar as they struggled to understand the referee’s interpretations of the rules and to be fair they quite possibly weren’t the only ones. This lead to the team getting frustrated and the harder they tried the more handling errors they seemed to make. Biggars tackling also wasn’t as low as it had been last week and as a result West were able to stay on their feet and off-load the ball. Biggar also struggled at the ruck against the much bigger West forward pack. West seemed quite happy to continue infringing when on defence as it gave them a chance to reset their defensive line. As a result of all these factors West scored 3 more tries in the second half.
Despite the disappointing result none of the team game up. Declan caused all sorts of problems for the defence whenever he touched the ball, Ruari tried his best to spark his team on attack and Archie fought for every metre in amongst the forwards.
Final Score: West 29 – Biggar 4. I don’t think this score line accurately reflected the difference between the teams but that is sport sometimes unfortunately.
Man of the match was Findlay B whose distribution from the base of the ruck was crisp and he wasn’t afraid to bring down the big West ball carriers when on defence.
U14 West of Scotland 32 Biggar RFC 13
This afternoon saw our Hartree Heroes travel to deepest darkest Glasgow to take on a powerful West of Scotland side.
Played in near perfect conditions,, well ok it was a little dreich, but the pitch was soft, the temperature was above freezing and it wasn’t blowing a hoolie. So not too much to complain about for a wee change.
Playing on the firsts pitch our lads weren’t quite focused early on and conceded within the first minute of play. The try was converted to put Wests 4-0 in the lead.
The boys soon rallied round and were standing up and stopping their much larger opponents. With Ewan , playing at full back, making some of his trade mark bone shattering tackles.
From a breakdown, at the halfway line, Harry, playing this week at 13, picked up a pass and made a diagonal charge across the pitch avoiding numerous tackles to level the try count to one apiece. 4-3.
Ten minutes in, Wests increased their lead with one of their speediest players flying down the wing to score their second. Their kicker converted to put them ahead, 10-3.
For the next ten minutes, both teams matched each other with both forward packs cancelling each other out, which was some feat considering the difference in size and weight between the two sides.
Mitchell, Morgan, Ross, Beau, Johnny, Aaron, Arron and Alexander were doing their most to gain yards or breakdown attacks. While the backs, Ewan, Robert, Jake, Ander, Hyland Harry and Liam always looked for the ball, to get it out wide.
Unfortunately the hosts did eventually break through and convert, 12-3. In previous matches our teams heads would have gone down, but not this week. Quick hands saw the ball pass quickly from the left to the right into Harry’s procession and the big fella had only one thing on his mind to touch down for our second try of the afternoon. 12-6.
However West scored immediately from the restart and converted to make the half time score stand at 16-6.
The second half itself, saw some non stop rugby from both sides with the referee to be commended for allowing the game to flow by playing advantage at every opportunity.
Wests scored and converted their 5th try before Harry got our 3rd which Liam converted. 20-10.
As the game progress our boys tired a little and with Wests having a larger squad to call upon, ran and converted another 3 tries.
An injury to Liam saw Leon come on as his replacement and the big man, got stuck right in making some impressive tackles and even more impressive carries.
But that wasn’t the end of the story. From a penalty Hyland did a cleaver quick tap and go, making the pass to Ander, who then found Ewan who in turn passed to Harry who, with Aaron B in support, ran the ball in from the 22 to bring the final score to 32-13. (8/8 tries to 4/1).
Considering the previous meeting saw our team beaten 10 tries to 1. This was a greatly improved performance.
A big thanks to this weeks travelling support, that I hope will be around next week for our home game against Hamilton, 2pm Kick off.
Liam, Morgan, Mitchell, Leon, Harry, Beau, Ewan, Ross, Ander, Alexander, Robert, Jake, Johnny, Arron, Aaron, Hyland.
Match Report 17th November 2019 v Perthshire
The only sides in action on Sunday were the U13’s and U14’s as they hosted Perthshire.
A cold and foggy Hartree Mill played host to the visiting Perthshire team. Having lost to Perth away in a close game in the first round of the Conference, hopes were high that Biggar could perform the way we know they can after a string of losses and the team definitely didn’t disappoint.
The game started the only way that Biggar seem to know how, with Perth scoring a try after a clean break from a scrum despite some good scrambling defence from Biggar. Fortunately this sparked the Biggar team into life. They exerted some attacking pressure on Perth courtesy of some strong runs by Fin H and Robbie. The result was Ruari going over for a try. Biggar continued to run confidently with the ball and the forward pack worked tirelessly at the ruck to maintain possession and this time it was Fin H who went over the line for Biggar’s second try of the match.
Perth then scored the next try after a knock on by Biggar. However it was Biggar who finished the first half stronger with Ruari going over for his second try following a line out and a penalty.
At the half time break the score was 12-7 to Biggar which represented a relatively even half of rugby with Biggar slowly but surely starting to gain some ascendancy.
The second half was much more one way traffic as Biggar’s confidence continued to build. Biggar scored the first try of the second half soon after kick off with Keiron (red socks) and Connor making good runs down the right hand side before the ball was moved back to the left where Robbie was tackled but refused to be kept down and went over for a try.
Biggar kept finding space out wide when they had the ball and also were off-loading well to avoid having to take on the much bigger Perth forward pack at the ruck. When on defence Biggar very much operated as a team by pushing up in a line and applying plenty of pressure on the Perth ball carriers, forcing plenty of handling errors by the visitors.
Another attacking movement inside the Perth 22 resulted in Findlay B taking on most of the massive Perth pack single handedly and was unlucky to not find the try line. The resultant scrum saw Robbie go over for another try.
Perth then scored a try from the kick off in what was a rare lapse of concentration by the Biggar team in the second half. Biggar weren’t happy with their mistake and from the next kick off Kyle G scored a try courtesy of the speed of himself and Ruari being too much for Perth to handle.
At this point in the game, the game was paused as Robbie suffered a serious and painful injury. From all the team, coaches and parents, get well soon Robbie!
Despite the break in the game and shifting to another field, Biggar didn’t lose their focus and finished the game with tries to Kyle G and Ruari and another superb defensive effort to keep Perth from scoring anymore tries.
Kyle G had his trusty kicking boots on and converted all of Biggar’s 8 tries.
The final score was Biggar 32 – Perth 11.
Today was probably the best full game performance by the team this season. While they are going to come up against much bigger and stronger teams every week, today they showed themselves that they can beat these teams by playing smart and skillful team rugby. The attacking plays by the team was great to watch. But what was most impressive was the defensive work. Tackles were low so that the ball carriers were brought to ground quickly so that they couldn’t off load. I’m not sure what you all had for breakfast this morning but please have it every Sunday. Keep bringing that controlled aggression to the ruck.
Fin H and Connor were the wrecking ball brothers up front causing the opposition defence plenty of head aches whilst also doing plenty of good defensive work. Finn M did some superb link play, drawing in defenders to then release his team mates into space out wide. Fergus and Aiden did the hard work hitting rucks, making tackles and carting the ball up against a very big Perth forward pack. Alastair was the jackal at the ruck, picking his moments perfectly to attack the ball when ball carriers were isolated to win his team a few important turnovers. Findlay B timed his attacks from the base of the ruck, turning the defenders close to the ruck inside out. Robbie, Ruari and Kyle G formed a lightning quick attacking combination at 10, 12 & 13. Keiron (red socks), Declan, Sam and Kyle A (blue socks) were equally comfortable showing their footwork and pace on the outside as they were cutting back inside and using their strength to stay on their feet and ensure they didn’t get isolated so that possession was maintained. Aiden, Liam and Murray did a great job coming off the bench to maintain the fantastic team work to the final whistle. You all gave your coaches and parents something to smile about today.
Man of the match was Fin H who may well get a visit from WADA tomorrow based on his performance.
Last, but certainly not least, thank you to Jennifer, Jamie and Margaret for looking after Robbie until the paramedics arrived.
Biggar U14 31 Perthshire U14 4
It was Hartree Mill for thrills this afternoon when our heroes reaped revenge on their visitors with an impressive 9 try to 1 victory.
With our squad suffering from a few missing members, a request went out to the Under 15s that qualify to play Under 14 rugby. Many thanks go to Conor D, Connor J, Hamish and Cammy for stepping in.
With Aaron B calling off late, Conor D was the only non regular in the starting line up, in which he settled into pretty quickly.
Some early Biggar pressure saw Ander break away down the right wing only to be caught 10 metres out. But it wasn’t long before the first points were on the board with Neil, Alexander and Harry combining well on the left, which resulted in a try between the posts from Harry.
Three minutes later it was Liam’s turn to score again coming in from the left to put our boys 6-0 up.
As the first half progressed the home teams confidence grew and their superiority started to show, winning virtually all the breakdowns and snuffing out any breakaways the visitors attempted. Every player in a black and red top was giving 100% and it was great to watch.
With the game being mostly played in the Perthshire half, Ross collected the ball from a ruck 10 metres out and powered his way through to touch down between the posts. Liam converted , 10-0 Biggar.
Before the half time whistle Harry added his second which Liam converted, 14-0 .
The second half started off pretty evenly and it took 10 minutes before Conor D powered his way through the middle, 17-0 Biggar.
Not to be outdone by his name sake, Connor J then collected from a line out and sprinted 60 metres for his teams 6th try of the afternoon. 20-0.
Some quick thinking from the visitors saw them take advantage of penalty to score and convert their only try of the day. 20-4.
With the “granny” now not an option, our boys did the next best thing and attacked at every opportunity. Both Ewan and Jake were unlucky to be caught as they broke away with the birthday boy, Jake, only inches from the try line.
Further tries from Conor D and two from Harry, two of which were converted by Cammy, brought the final score to 31-4.
What an absolute great performance from the full squad, which just goes to show what they can achieve when they put their heart and soul into it.
A special mention goes out to Mathew Kerr on his debut. Mathew showed some great hands particularly when he caught a difficult kick. Well done young man.
Man of the match: The full squad!
Match Report 3rd November v Highland
U13 23-14 defeat
This weekend the U13 squad made their first trip to the city of Inverness to play Highland RFC. Despite the long journey there was a sense of optimism on the journey having won the earlier encounter at Hartree Mill.
On arrival in the Highlands we were met by a wet, overcast and cold day so the newly acquired substitute jackets were warmly appreciated by all – thank you Grant & Kate!
Playing on the 3G pitch just in front of the new clubhouse, the early minutes of the game were a mixture of handling errors from both sides. However, it was the Inverness side who opened the scoring after 7 minutes to kick start a vocal home support. Unfortunately, a lapse of concentration from Biggar at the re-start allowed Highland to extend their lead a few minutes later. This time Biggar responded well from the re-start with Archie, Alastair, Connor and Fergus all hitting up hard in the forwards to allow the backs to spread the ball wide at the Highland 22m line. However, a couple of handling errors, in the cold and wet conditions, resulted in Biggar giving up possession and Highland scoring a breakaway try to make the score 11-0 after 15mins. To be fair, the ball was “as slippery as a wet trout” in these conditions. This sparked the Hartree boys into life and again the forwards, led by Archie, made progress from the re-start. Ruari and Robbie were making penetrating runs either side of the rucks and this led to good field position 10m from the Highland try line. As the home side scrambled to defend quick ruck ball, Finlay B darted through a gap and crossed for our first try. Ruari made the conversion, HT score 11-4.
Biggar made a combative start to the 2nd half with Archie and Fergus leading from the front. As the space opened up in front it was Ruari who showed the Highland defence a clean pair of heels to score an early try, 11-7. However, Biggar did not deal with the re-start and Highland capitalised to extend their lead with a converted try of their own. The game was now “end to end” with Kyle and Kieran making some great tackles in the wide channels. Through the middle, Aiden made a few super runs from centre taking 2-3 Highland players with him. Fin H came on 2nd half and had immediate impact up front, dragging the Highland defence with him. However, another Biggar handling error allowed Highland to break from deep in their own half to score another converted try – 19-7. An immediate response was needed and up stepped Fergus! Picking up the ball on the Highland 10m line, he brushed aside 5 or 6 Highland players – “like a bull on a charge” – to crash over the white line for a great solo try. Ruari made the conversion: 19-11. Biggar were fired up and the Highland crowd were somewhat anxious going into the last 5 minutes of the game. From the re-start, Biggar gained possession and made ground into the Highland half. Ruari quickly realised the Highland defence had come up in a line, so a clever kick over the top allowed him to run through and collect the ball before winning the sprint to the line. At 19-14, Biggar sensed they still had chance to pull the score back in the closing minutes. Once again, after a scrappy couple of plays it was Highland who picked up the loose ball and ran in a breakaway converted try to complete the match. Final score 23-14.
Despite the loss, plenty of positives from the match: Good to see new boys, Murray, Liam and Robbie I getting involved and showing courage with their tackling. Finn McC continuing to do well at hooker, Alex C making some good tackles, Declan for his elusive running and Jay for his support play. Overall, this new look squad are playing some good rugby and if they can eradicate some of the handling errors and continue to play with controlled aggression at the breakdown for the whole match, a win is not very far away.
Thanks to the boys (and Poppy) for their good behaviour on this long trip to Inverness and representing the Club in such a positive manner. Thanks too, to the First Aid team who provided their usual first-class service and witty banter!
Man of the match: Archie Allister – for a direct and bullish display up front.
Highland RFC 26 Biggar RFC 11
The score line may reflect an easy victory for our Teuchter hosts but our Hartree heroes probably had their best team performance of the season so far.
Both teams started the match 13 a side in some pretty muddy conditions and it was the home team that raced into a 3 try lead.
This week saw both a Harry and Beau lining up at 12 & 13 with Ross at 8 and Leon starting his first every rugby match at 1. And it was Harry that stormed over to pull a try back for our boys, before going off with a knock to the knee soon after, with Morgan going on as his replacement.
Our boys were digging deep in every play both offensively and defensively with Hyland and Ander linking up well at Scrum and fly half feeding the ball out to either Alex or Jake on the wings.
Johnny, Ross, Aaron Thomas, Ryan Morgan and Leon put up a wall in defence and Ewan, Jake and Alexander were covering every patch of mud when called upon.
Harry managed to recover from his knock to replace Beau after he got caught during a ruck, and by half time some great off loads saw Aaron feeding Harry who scored his second of the game. Ander converted to make the score 19-7 at half time.
The second half kicked off with the forward pack continually gaining ground one minute then stopping attacks the next. Our Man of the Match, Johnny was getting steamed into everything that moved then powering forward each time he gained possession, very closely backed up by Ross.
The second half was a superbly contested spectacle with Hyland and Ander annoying the life out of Highland. Ewan, Thomas and Jake were showing no mercy in the tackle. Ryan and Morgan were supporting every move, it was as if our boys were hunting in packs.
With Beau now recovered and back in play, our back line continued to press and a neat move saw Harry getting possession around the half way line, and with in a few strides he was up to full speed. A few side steps later he touched down between the posts for his third try of the afternoon. Ander converted to bring the final score to 26-11.
All in all a performance that every boy can be proud off and shows what they are capable of when they put their minds and hearts into it.
Great tactical coaching from Scott and Jordan to mix things up a bit, definitely reaped rewards. It was the case that the performance was more important that the result, in my opinion.
Man of the Match Johnny Smith.
Big shout out to our travelling support, we certainly are one club one family when it comes to a Sunday afternoon.
Match report: Sunday 27th October v Boroughmuir
U13’s v Boroughmuir
The second round of the Conference Competition began with Biggar hosting Boroughmuir at Hartree Mill. Having given Boroughmuir a run for its money in the first round on their own turf, Biggar knew that with a good performance at home they were capable of knocking them over.
Boroughmuir turned up with 4 giants in the forward pack and some serious pace out wide. Biggar on the other hand were missing 3 or 4 from the usual starting line up.
Unfortunately it wasn’t going to be Biggar’ day as they had a slow start which never really seemed to stop. Boroughmuir got more and more confident as the score line climbed while the harder Biggar tried the more things seemed to go wrong. It was a hard lesson to learn for Biggar as usually when they fall behind on the scoreboard the rage kicks in and the team work comes to the fore but not this week unfortunately.
Credit to Biggar, they never gave up and everyone wanted to stay on the field to the very end even when not a lot seemed to be going right for them. Archie never stopped carrying the ball amongst the heavy traffic and was rewarded with two tries. Alistair attacked ruck upon ruck despite being swamped by the opposition. Ruari tried his best to spark attacks from fly half but always seemed to end up surrounded by Boroughmuir players rather than someone to pass to. Kyle (blue socks) and Kieron (red socks) had some nice runs and also did some good covering defence.
Chin up team, Sunday was just one of those days.
Final Score – Boroughmuir 30 – Biggar 8.
Man of the match was Robbie whose tackling technique was straight out of the textbook while he also caused trouble for the opposition on attack as well.
Biggar 7 Boroughmuir 39
Yet another tough day at the office for our Hartree Heroes. Going down 10 tries to 2.
Harry got both our tries with a Liam converting the second one.
Unfortunately we picked up a few injuries along the way and let’s hope the boys are able to recover for next weeks trip North to Inverness.
I’ll leave you with happier times for our heroes 2 years back at Scotstoun Stadium, in front of 6000 fans.
Keep the heads up lads, happier times are just around the corner.
Match report: Sunday 20th October
Biggar U13/14’s 10 v Musselburgh U13/14’s 34
A break between rounds in the Conference competition allowed for a friendly to be played against Musselburgh at Hartree Mill. With a number of players away for the October week the Under 13’s joined up with the Under 14’s to form a combined team. Musselburgh turned up with the stock standard big forward pack but it was in the backs where they did most of the damage as their back line was not only strong and quick but they were also comfortable hitting the rucks to maintain possession for their own team and turnover Biggar ball.
Unfortunately it was a bit of a hard day at the office for the Biggar Team as the two age groups struggled to gel as a unit with it being their first time combining properly. Musselburgh played fairly simple rugby spreading the ball from side to side, stretching the defence until it broke courtesy of the pace and strength they had out wide.
The game was played over 3 x 20 min thirds and at the end of the second third Musselburgh had already accumulated a significant lead.
When the Biggar Team went back on the field for the final third it was noticeable that the majority of the players in the line up were from the Under 13’s squad. The result was we got to see the “Under 13’s” style of play come to the fore. They let the ball do the work by moving it into space rather than using one out runners who invariably ran away from their support which was the case in the first two thirds. The forwards operated as a pack with Archie and Fergus carrying the ball amongst heavy traffic and by utilising a good body position rarely came off second best in the collisions against players that towered above them. Alistair, Jay, Finn M, and Liam did the less glamorous work and hit ruck upon ruck to maintain possession for their team. Findlay B had the big Musselburgh forwards chasing shadows with his fleet footed darts from the base of the ruck. Kyle G and Ruari were typically evasive with the ball in hand to contribute to the two Biggar tries. The Allison boys had Musselburgh seeing double as both Kyle (blue socks) and Kieron (red socks) were both dangerous with the ball in hand and reliable on defence.
The result was Musselburgh and Biggar both scored two tries a piece in the final third which was an excellent achievement by the Biggar Team. Special mention to Archie and Alistair who managed the whole game which was no mean feat when it was an hour of rugby alongside older and bigger players.
Final Score – Musselburgh 34 – Biggar 10.
Man of the match was Kieron (red socks) who showed more than a few glimpses of his potential and gets the brotherly bragging rights this week.
Match report 5th October v Stirling
Sunday 6th October saw the Under 13’s host Stirling at Hartree Mill. It was an overcast afternoon but the pitches were sodden after considerable rain over the previous 24 hrs. Wet conditions meant basic handling was always going to be crucial. Stirling turned up with a forward pack that matched Biggar for size but they had a back line that towered above them.
The game started positively for Biggar with Archie nabbing an intercept soon after the kick off within the Stirling half enabling Biggar to apply some early attacking pressure. Unfortunately that was one of the few positives from the first half as Stirling used their size particularly at the ruck to turn over the ball before making breaks and then carried out good support play to score four tries to Biggars one try in the first half. I think that’s enough talking about the first half…….
The second half reminded me of watching Japan against Ireland in the World Cup a couple of weeks ago as the Biggar Team showed they weren’t willing to be pushed about by their larger opponents, nor were they willing to see their team mates pushed about either as they had each other’s backs. The aggression levels went up and they got up in Stirlings faces and Stirling didn’t like it. Stirlings discipline dropped as they gave numerous penalties for off side and their tackling technique also pushed the boundaries at times.
The forward pack lead by Archie and Finn H started fighting for every metre with the ball in hand, Alistair seemed to be the first to every ruck and put his body on the line to maintain possession for his team and Findlay B kept the big Stirling forwards on their toes with some sniping darts from the base of the ruck. When Stirling did have the ball, Biggar become missile like in defence to take the big Stirling ball carriers legs out from underneath them with Alistair, Robbie and Ruari in particular, consistently bringing down their larger opponents before they could off-load the ball. The hard work in the middle of the field opened up the space out wide for Biggar as Kyle G showed that his pace was just too much for Stirling to handle as he scored all 3 of Biggars tries and converted them all himself as well to score all of Biggars 12 points.
While the final score of 21-12 suggests a relatively comfortable victory to Stirling, the second half score was actually 8-7 to Biggar which shows a half of rugby that the team should be very very proud of. Biggar dominated possession and played some fantastic team Rugby. Biggar proved to everyone including themselves that not only can they compete against bigger heavier teams, they can out score them as well. When they take their rage to the ruck they can box above their weight and then unleash pace out wide that every opponent struggles to deal with.
Man of the Match was Alistair who very much typified the second half performance and lead the way at the ruck and in defence.
U14– Biggar 22 – 33 Stirling County
After a relative washout of a weekend, the team reconvened at Hartree to take on a sizable Stirling County team. Building quite nicely towards kick off, the men in black took to the field full of energy for what was their the 3rd game of 15 a-side rugby.
Hyland set the tone with a sniping run from the kick off, going through phases of spreading the ball wide as well as punching large dents in the Stirling defense. Unfortunately, a lapse in our ball retention lead to a Stirling turnover. After a some robust defense, the visitors scored out wide. Not to be put off by this, the Biggar boys regathered and scored off their next possession. From a typical breenge by Harry, he skittled the Stirling players and thundered down the right wing and in for our first try. Dead-eye Dick Liam, easily converted.
It was a day for defense as both teams put in hit after hit. Handling being tricky at times. Stirling took a more commanding lead through some strong running from their big men…their very big men. But these tries had to be worked for thanks to some tough Biggar tackling. It wasn’t one way traffic and Biggar got a try on the board through Ross. With the backs being fleet of foot and the forwards full of grunt (Aaron S, Beau and Ross carrying hard and using good footwork to beat the opposition), we started to get on a roll. Harry followed with another couple of tries before half time. The match was finely poised at the half with Stirling holding a slender lead.
The second half started with Stirling using the wind at their backs to good effect, some of their balanced runners were starting to cause Biggar problems. This took a bit of getting used to, but once we had conceded a few tries the Biggar defenders adjusted and turned the game back on Stirling. It was time for the BIggar backs to show what they could do. After Ander and Ewan committed the opposition with some incisive running, Neil sprung clear, beating half the Stirling team on his way to the line. With the line at his mercy the ball was tackled from his grasp, when perhaps on the slidy surface a dive into the corner would have done the trick. It wasn’t for nothing and we regrouped to get Harry over for a try soon after.
After conceding a Stirling try to a “boy” that was close to the size of Jordan, we were back on the front foot. Liam had came back on to the pitch in the backrow at this point, in a break from the norm. The tap and go was hammered up by a typically solid Thomas carry, then moved right to Hyland, who skinned his opponent on the wing in a 5m space. From the following ruck, like any good back rower, Liam picked the ball up and blasted up the field and over for a fantastic score.
To bookend the match we were treated to another Harry “Incredible Hulk” style rampage up the same wing. The poor Stirling winger who had just been run around by Hyland then had a different challenge with Harry brushing him aside and in for a try to close out the contest.
Although it was loss, it was a great step forward for the boys. Great performances across the pitch, with standouts being Beau (grafting at the coalface), Aaron Smith (dragging players with him as he goes) and Ander (directing play and handing off opponents twice his size).
Biggar U13 and U14 v Hamilton – Sunday 29th September
Biggar U13 7 Hamilton 27
U14’s: Hamilton RFC 18 Biggar RFC 32
Well, they’ve taken their time but today our Hartree hero’s finally got their mojo back with a satisfying 9 try to 5 victory away to their South Lanarkshire neighbours.
With Hamilton unable to field a starting XV, the match kicked off 13 a side. This meant Biggar had two substitutes at hand when required.
With both teams looking for their first win in this years Shogun Conference, whoever scored first would give their team a major confidence boost.
That honour fell to Biggar with Harry touching down between the posts after 3 minutes. Liam converted and in doing so lost the ball into the garden backing onto the Hamilton pitch. 0-4.
With their tails up Liam intercepted a loose pass and after some evasive action went over for Biggars second of the afternoon, which he converted to take a 0-8 lead.
Hamilton were now getting into their stride and it certainly wasn’t all one way traffic. On a number of occasions Robert, Alexander Ewan, Ander, Thomas and Hyland stopped possible tries.
The game was now becoming end to end stuff and after a Biggar attack, Hyland, Harry and Jake combined well for Harry to score his second and Biggars third try of the day. 0-11.
Hamilton struck back and scored in the left corner, converting to pull the score back to 4-11.
Harry then got his third which Liam converted. Ewan was next up to attack the Hamilton defence before off loading to Liam, who found a gap and squeezed through to score and convert and lose another ball into the garden. 4-19.
Ross, Mitchell, Ryan, Beau and Johnny were leading by example and making life difficult for their opponents, but it was Aaron Basket that managed to break through and get Biggars sixth try, which Liam converted to take the score to 4-23.
Whether it was tiredness, complacency or the fact Hamilton were a pretty tough team, our boys conceded two tries before the end of the half which ended 11-23.
It was Hamilton that drew first blood in the second half, 14-23, before Harry collected a Hamilton kick in his own half and powered through for his teams 7th try. 14-26.
And it was Harry that made a last man tackle on a Hamilton break away before gaining possession and running 60 metres to touch down between the posts. 14-29.
Hamilton pulled a try back before Harry got his 6th and Biggars 9th to complete the scoring for the afternoon 18-32.
Hopefully this performance will give our lads the boost that they need and give them some confidence going into next weeks home game against Stirling.
Today’s squad. Ryan, Harry, Beau, Ewan Mitchell, Alexander Ross, Ander, Johnny, Robert, Aaron B, Jake, Liam Thomas, Hyland.
Biggar U13 and U14 v Perthshire – Sunday 15th September
Biggar U13 12 Perthshire 18
Biggar U14 24 Perthshire 13
Our two junior Midi squads travelled to Perthshire for the latest round of the Shogun conference. Unfortunately it was a disappointing loss for both squads but both sides competed well throughout the game.
Biggar v Ayr 1st September
The Under 13’s Team hit the road this week and were hosted by Ayr on an overcast day on the West Coast. Biggar were playing down the hill in the first half and they got off to a solid start making some promising attacking plays into the opposition half only to be let down their handling at crucial stages. At the same time Ayr had their fare share of attacking opportunities with no return largely courtesy of some good defence by our forward pack and Alex, Kyle A and Declan doing some great scrambling defence in the wider channels.
As the half continued on it was Ayr who were building the greater pressure and finally at the 10 minute mark they were able to put points on the board with a try which was converted.
A few minutes later Ayr were able to break down the Biggar defence again to go over for a second try but this time the conversation was missed.
This seemed to spark Biggar into life as they were finally able to find their way into the Ayr 22 courtesy of Robbie doing his best Jonah Lomu impersonation. The following phase of play saw Finn H break the defensive line to set up Declan who went over and scored on the right wing. Kyle G converted the try from a tricky angle. This lifted the Biggar teams spirits heading into the half time break.
The second half didn’t start well for Biggar as Ayr employed kick and chase tactics now they had the downhill advantage to pin Biggar deep inside their own half before applying defensive pressure by making it difficult for Biggar to off load in the tackle and as a result were able to turn the ball over at the ruck on numerous occasions. When they had the ball in Biggar territory they kept kept their tactics relatively simple with basic catching and passing to create overlaps. The result was 3 tries in a row for Ayr with 1 of them converted.
Biggar hadn’t given up at this point though as Ruari produces a couple of pieces of individual brilliance to score 2 tries in a row. The first was after a nice chip and chase which he regathered and second was when he bounced and bashed his way through numerous would be tacklers from a penalty at the half way line. Both tries were converted by Kyle G. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough and Ayr were the deserved winners at the end of the game.
Final Score: Ayr 18 – Biggar 12
Man of the match was Ruari Watson who refused to give up despite the score line and was rewarded with 2 tries for his efforts.
Ayr/ Wellington 51 Biggar RFC 3
Well they say a week is a long time in politics, and I’m sure Boris would agree, but it’s even longer in the Shogun Conference when our Hartree heroes are looking to make up for a disappointing home defeat to Highland 7 days ago.
The score line above might not seem much of an improvement from last week but I’m sure today’s large travelling support would agree the boys certainly got their mojo back with a vastly improved performance.
With only a travelling squad of 13, our S2s were always going to be up against it but it certainly didn’t dampen their enthusiasm. Other than being caught sleeping within the first minute, our boys were a match against their hosts for the first quarter of the first half. Ewan and Ander were leading by example with some bone shattering tackles, with Ander felling the biggest player on the pitch. However Ayr /Wellington were using the size of the pitch and the speed of their wingers to their advantage and took a 27-0 half time lead.
After some positive discussions and positional changes by the coaches, the second half kicked off with an inspired team in Black. After an early set back our forward pack charged forward with Ander, Liam, Franklyn and Ewan combining well to set up Hyland to go over in the corned for our only try of the match.
Unfortunately the legs started to tire as the game progressed and with 9 subs to call upon, our hosts ran away with the match with the final try count being 13 to 1.
If the boys continue show the positive improvements that they had today and hopefully some returning squad members, next weeks trip to Perth may just be a turning point in our season.
Today’s squad: Ander, Ewan, Liam, Aaron, Arron, Johnny, Thomas, Beau, Mitchell, Franklyn, Ross, Hyland, Jake.
Biggar v Perthshire 8th September
U13 Perthshire 18 – Biggar 12.
The sun was shining at a busy North Inch Park for the U13’s match against Shogan Conference new boys, Perthshire. After some early pressure from the home side, which pushed Biggar into their 22 for several minutes, they were rewarded with the first try of the match. This seemed to kick start the Biggar team into action with Declan making an excellently timed and executed tackle to bring down a large Perthshire ball carrier. After making good territory from the re-start, Perthshire conceded 2 penalties resulting in Ruari seizing the opportunities with quick “tap and goes” to score from close range. Kyle duly slotted home the first of his 3 conversions to level the score. Biggar continued to play some good rugby, with Forwards prepared to take on their larger Perthshire counterparts up front and the Backs showing some neat interplays. Despite the home side’s efforts, Biggar secured yet more quick ball from a ruck allowing Finn H to crash over from a few metres out. Unfortunately, just before half time, Biggar struggled to cope with a couple of the home side’s strong runners, and they scored two unanswered tries to make the H/T score 11-8.
The first score of the 2nd half was going to be crucial in this close encounter and so it proved to be. Perthshire were fortunate to secure turnover ball and the resulting move ended up with a converted try. Biggar’s determination continued and after some great forward play and strong runs by our backs we were awarded a penalty a few metres from the Perthshire try line. This time it was Archie who crashed over from the “tap and go” penalty. The tricky conversion was duly scored by Kyle to take the score to 15-12. With minutes to go Biggar had again made good territory working the ball up to the Perthshire twenty-two, just in front of the posts. When poised to launch another attack from the resulting ruck, Biggar were adjudged to have “knocked on”. Against the run of play, the home side burst through the Biggar defence and scored the final try of the game to leave the final score Perthshire 18 – Biggar 12.
Perthshire nominated Ruari Watson as our Man of the Match
Perthshire RFC 47 Biggar RFC 13
With the team missing 6 squad members and a coach today, it was, for the second week on the bounce, a starting 13 that lined up in front of a large travelling support in sunny Perth this afternoon.
And for the first 15 minutes things were going to plan. After conceding an early try, Biggar were right back in it when the returning Harry, powered through the home defence to level the score at 3-3.
The hosts then scored their second, before Ander passed to Ewan, who with some work to do, navigated his way between the posts for his first try of the season. With Robert taking over the kicking duties from the injured Liam, Wee Bob managed to convert to put our Hartree heroes into the lead 6-7. For the remainder of the first 20 minute period, the match was pretty evenly balanced. A last man tackle from Neil kept the visitors at bay, but by end of the first period our hosts managed to touch down another two tries and convert one to take a 13-7 into the first break.
Within one minute of the second period Perthshire had added to their points tally, and not too long after, stormed into a 29-7 lead. Harry managed to pull one back, (29-10) but after 40 minutes of play the score was 35-10.
And so to the final 20 minutes. With the game now running away from our team, Perthshire added a further 4 tries, however, and not for the first time today, our Team Captain Thomas, stormed forward and off loaded to Harry, who then gained a few yards before passing to Hyland to score our fourth try of the match. Other than some pile driving tackles from Ewan and Ander that was pretty much the end of the match for today. The final score being Perthshire 47 (15 tries 2 conv) Biggar 13 (4 tries 1 conv)
Perthshire’s man of the match was Hyland, closely followed by Thomas, and Jordan’s MoM was our very own Man of Steel, Ewan.
Today’s squad: Thomas, Jake, Ryan, Neil, Ross, Harry, Ander, Hyland, Mitchell, Morgan, Franklyn, Aaron, Robert, Ewan.
Next week we are at home to West of Scotland.
Thanks for all your support!
Match Report 12th January 2020
S3 v Musselburgh
Christmas hangover ?
Well done everyone who made it to last night’s fixture at Musselburgh, bit of a faff getting there for 6pm midweek but we had a strong squad and fronted up to a large and very physical Musselburgh side made up of talent from Loretto school, Haddington, North Berwick, Ross High and local surrounds (basically an East Lothian select 15). Great to see Josh on the touchline and good luck with the forthcoming operation young man.
Sleepy heads for the first 5 minutes meant we conceded two early tries whilst playing into the teeth of a howling gale, not the start we were after but once we’d woken up we started advancing the ball and probably should have had a score after about 15 minutes given the pressure we were applying to Mussy’s line.
A breakout try scored by their outstanding 14 meant the scoreline didn’t accurately reflect our endeavour and possession after the first 20. Worth mentioning too that we’d lost Charlie to a knee knock, Ryan at 50% thanks to another knee issue and Fergus W sitting out the first period.
We started the second period much more positively and our pressure told with a direct try from Connor Jess followed quickly by a well taken score out wide that saw the ball go through a few pairs of hands before it was finished (Cammy ?).
The game then settled into more of a rhythm with Mussy’s abrasive loose head a constant threat round the fringes and their gifted back line moving the ball from time to time. Worth mentioning at this point the growing vocal contribution of the home side’s 8, players like this will only fall silent if we nullify their threat legally, they’re also the first players to be penalised if things don’t go their way so just be wary of any temptation to retaliate. Mussy’s play was matched by some excellent Biggar tackling with standout hits from Max and others that disrupted our opponents ball and usually resulted in Mussy knock ons or their players being tackled into touch.
Scoring the final try at the end the third period and against the hoolie was testament to the spirit and determination that’s becoming a signature of this group, well done all and great prep for our trip to Lenzie on Sunday.
A few special mentions, great to see Robert enjoy his first game of the season, Sam made some very useful contributions, Stewart has missed his vocation in life as our new winger and Connor Lawson (once he got angry) made some great clearouts at breakdown time.
Connor Davidson made some good midfield hits, Cammy reminded me of a cheetah pulling down a giraffe when he stopped their 12, Gregor making insightful breaks from 10 (great variation last night) and Harry’s late try all noteworthy.
My play of the night however was Reuben’s catch and return at 15, beating the entire Mussy defence (bar 1) and his pass on their 22 didn’t go to hand unfortunately, outstanding piece of play and it gave your whole team a lift.
No training tonight, look forward to seeing everyone at Lenzie on Sunday for more of the same please, well done all.
Match Report: 8th December 2019
Biggar v Stirling County
In some fairly manky conditions, Stirling County came to Hartreemill with what they described as a “full fat team”.
Two things, the first game at Bridgehaugh was a close affair due to an underestimation of our capabilities and secondly, their team selection today respected our improvement this season.
Personally, I believe they were better than the Boroughmuir team we played at Meggetland.
Losing Connor D early was a blow and I know he was keen to return to the fray for the second half but as coaches, we believe we cannot be too careful with head knocks, even though Craig didn’t think it required a concussion protocol.
Please keep us up to date with how you’re feeling over the next couple of days.
The match turned on some tight margins, usually decided by County’s speed at the breakdown and although some fantastic rucking from our guys mitigated this to a degree, it eventually told.
Despite a scoreline to the contrary, County didn’t have it all their own way. Harry’s constant sniping and accurate passing coupled with some intelligent distribution from Gregor brought Max, Jamie and Fergus into the game in what were atrocious conditions for running rugby.
The forwards chimed in, Connor Jess, Ryan, Stewart and Charlie all made robust carries ably backed by the tackling and rucking of Fergus Mason.
Ultimately it all came to naught but I will mention Connor Lawson for an unbelievable clear out of County’s biggest player, their red haired tight head, a crash ball specialist with an astounded look on his face after Connor had finished with him.
All in all, lesser sides would have been dispirited by today’s outcome, I’m sure our belief and character will make us stronger and better prepared for similar challenges, well done all today, see you on Thursday night.
Craig, Andrew and Mick.
Match Report v West of Scotland 24th November 2019
U15’s Biggar 12 West of Scotland 52
West coaches became the third group of opposing coaches that have congratulated us for being their most improved opponents this season, proud coaches doesn’t cover it.
Let me just set the scene from the last time we faced this excellently coached team.
Over in Milngavie we lost Stuart (crash test) to an ankle injury and went 50 points behind after about 50 minutes of play.
I challenged everyone on Thursday night to keep the game competitive for the full 60 and score 3 tries.
Wests turned up today expecting a tough fixture and they got one, they ran in four unanswered tries in the first half and converted three of them making it 0-26 at halftime.
The second half didn’t pan out as expected for our visitors. A period of sustained Biggar pressure from about 15 phases of play saw Charlie over from 5 yards and converted by Harry, these boys weren’t about to lie down. Ryan had to leave the field with a head knock but that didn’t stop the boys in black mounting attack after attack, one of which resulted in Isaac’s score in the corner. This try was created by Fergus W (I counted at least 3 try saving tackles from him today), Max, Jamie G and Isaac creating space where none should have existed, great score and I believe I’m due a round of jelly babies promised weeks ago for Isaac’s first try.
A couple of late West scores meant the final scoreline flattered them and as per my opening statement, your coaching group are incredibly proud of the progress made by this team this season.
None of this will matter if we don’t turn up at Hamilton next week, it’s even more important we deliver the same performance next Sunday and we’ll be working hard on Tuesday and Thursday night to prepare.
Match Report 3rd November v Highland
Grotty day for a game of rugby today guys but what impressed me most was the fact that you’d obviously clocked the fact that the ball was like a bar of soap and shortened the line when you tried to play wide.
We also brought our big forwards close and used them to hit up round the fringes, Connor Jess, Stuart, Charlie Girdler and Connor Davidson, take a bow boys.
Ably supported by the loose forwards, we dominated the loose areas whilst our opponents didn’t alter their game plan (get the ball wide) which was admirable but poorly conceived as I can’t remember how many times their adventure finished with a spilled pass.
In the end we finished comfortable winners.
Special recognition for Connor Davidson, along with Will and Ryan for their part in the front row of our first competitive scrums this season, well done and I hope the wee scrummaging tips helped.
Match report: 27th October v Boroughmuir
U15’s – Progression
Excellent performance today guys from 1-15 who fronted up to the physical challenge of a rather large ‘Muir tight 5.
Going ahead after some great phased play from the kick off
we seemed to forget our basic tackling technique at the re start and once ‘Muir had marched down the pitch thanks to some fairy pernickety penalty calls our opponents had their tails up and made their physicality felt.
At one point i was slightly exasperated with some of the calls, penalising an U15 team for incorrect binds in a scrum seemed a little over zealous, a ref at this age group is expected to be 80% game coach, not an international adjudicant.
However, the boys stuck to their task and for a 15-20 minute period in the second half kept the game scoreless, moreover, the three tries we scored today coupled with our containment of ‘Muir’s winger who’d had a field day only two months ago was all the evidence we needed to declare today’s performance a moral victory.
Certainly tangible evidence of the progress we’re making as a unit and although it’s early days, the appetite for work and constant improvement this squad are demanding of their coaches we’ve some great rugby to look forward to.
Congrats all on a tremendous performance and I believe we’ve already agreed what Tuesday’s work ons need to be, thanks and see you all there.
Craig, Andrew & Mick.
Match report 5th October v Stirling County
Final score Stirling 19 Biggar 14
I feel gutted for the boys losing but I think it was my most pleasing game this season. The fight and heart the boys showed was superb playing like a team fighting for each other.
Every player tackled great. We defended as a team probably the best I have ever seen them.
Going forward I think needing to maybe be a bit more direct and try and create better ball to play off.
For the first half of the season 3 wins 3 defeats and one draw I would have took that. But with all the injuries we have had I think it is a fantastic return.
With players coming back from injury new guys coming to training we are building a squad which we can compete with the teams in this league.
Micheal is not sure he will get a great video of the game but I hope he does it will be worth the watch.
29th September v Hamilton
U15’s Biggar 31 Hamilton 31
A game of two halves
First of all, outstanding effort from the 12 (13 when Ciaran arrived) guys making up the Biggar squad today. It’s a huge pitch when three players are down and we have no subs. Ryan probably shouldn’t have played today but he insisted which meant we didn’t automatically concede the tie and play a development game.
The first half saw us weather early pressure before scoring up the other end, probably against the run of play.
After that, Hamilton started bickering amongst themselves, having a pop at the ref and generally, not playing as a team which allowed us to score three further tries without reply.
It was only in the closing stages of the first half did Hamilton begin moving the ball wide and were rewarded by a try of their own.
We started brightly in the second half, scoring early to seemingly stifle a Hamilton fight back but our opponents, with their tails up, began playing a far more expansive, offloading game.
An injury stoppage seemed to have killed any momentum they were building however a determined passage of play saw them draw level with about five minutes remaining. There then followed a frenetic passage of play where possession changed hands a number of times before the ball was finally lost to touch and the game ended, breathless stuff.
Another round of Shogun Conference games for our U16 boys. Our visitors were Hamilton this weekend facing for the first time this season a full squad for Biggar.
The game got off to a positive start with Hamilton catching the kick off and running into tackles perhaps a few handoffs that may have been slightly high but play was allowed to go on. Biggar showed some tenacious tackling from the usual suspects Tom Roper, Rory Hill and Thomas Young. Turnover ball Biggar, the boys then started to go through several key phases by keeping it simple and getting forwards into support. The good phase of play never rewarded the boys and a knock on then gave Hamilton the chance to gain some distance.
Hamilton quickly got into their stride with strong carrying and clever footwork leading to the first of a flurry of try’s too many missed tackles from Biggar gave Hamilton the confidence they needed to continually run at or across our defence unchallenged then creating gaps and cleverly using the space.
Biggar did manage to get on the scorecard with the boys again just keeping it simple controlled and well organised. The ball was fed out from the ruck 2 or 3 quick passes later and Gregor was putting on the afterburners and heading to the line. The conversion was excellent from out wide Finlay Crozier struck the ball beautifully to add the extras.
The first half was over in a flash, as always though the Biggar boys still believed and Gregor and Tom were marshalling the troops at half time to pick up and go again.
The second half was really well contested by both sides with everyone stepping up and putting their bodies on the line unfortunately for Biggar this saw us count up the injuries. This game had a physicality about it in every area from scrums, rucking, tackling and line outs. The only points in the second half come from Hamilton when they had Biggar commit players to the ruck they found the gap and went through to score.
Biggar though dusted themselves off went again and were unlucky not to score or perhaps Hamilton’s defence read the play well. After Rory Hill collected the ball out on the wing he managed to side step a few players before riding a tackle and then being halted. Support was quick to come in and the started to pick and go. The white line was in their eyes the went again and the referee called penalty for a high tackle by Hamilton. Biggar went again this time Callum carried into the tackle and was held up before getting a knee down.It felt like an age before the tackler released and Callum was over. No wait the referee has not given it double movement it seemed harsh but the right call.
Final period of play and after a few penalties Finlay moved the boys forward, line outs worked well again with Johnny winning the ball cleanly or taping back giving the boys the platform to build on. This time Lachlan had the opportunity to run at the Hamilton backs dipping his shoulder and good feet saw him evade 2 tackles before being carried over the touch line. One last play on a Hamilton line out, Johnny again managed to contest well and spoil the play giving Biggar the time to secure the ball. One last attack in the 5 metre line Biggar set the pod and Johnny collected the ball to drive forward. Excellent speed from the Hamilton defence saw a huge hit come in but fair. It was then decided to end a good game. Although we were on the wrong end of the result good to see the boys compete.
Lots of positives to take from this game and we continue to improve week on week. Next up Stirling away same commitment and we will see what next week brings.
Biggar v Perthshire 15th september
Perthshire 29 Biggar 41
Game of two halves
First of all, congrats everyone on the win yesterday, a bright start, some sleepy opposition defending and hanging on at the end for a well deserved win.
First half saw us dominate the contact areas and as a consequence, Isaac was able to whip the ball away for our backs to take advantage with some fine runs and great scores, proper team tries.
Perth’s strong 13 gave us a taste of things to come at the end of the first half with a strong run down the wing, evading a few tackles to score in the corner.
The second half saw a far more even contest at the breakdown resulting in less secure ball for Isaac and more forward pressure from Perth.
I was pleased to see that Perth’s strong tight head didn’t break our midfield line once, his only score coming on the end of a run from 3 yards out, a massive improvement from this game six months ago when he terrorised our midfield line.
As Perth came back into the game in the second half we continued to be aggressive, even in our own 22, almost to our ruin.
Once ahead, we need to learn to protect our posession better and starve opponents of the ball, this invariably leads to offsides and hands in the ruck as the other team desperately attempt to get the ball.
Cool heads and slightly better discipline to close out games is what’s required, something we’ll talk about on Tuesday evening
Biggar U16’s ended up playing a Development game.
Another Shogun conference game at home for the U16s with Perthshire the visitors this time around. The boys go into the game off the back of some testing results although after some hard work at training the boys prepared themselves for a tough afternoon. Some call offs this week and key players missing meant changes in positions were required again with a squad of 13 boys able to play.
The game got underway with Perthshire taking the catch from kick off and shifting the ball wide 2 offloads later and they were in first points on the board. Unfortunately for Biggar this was to be a common theme with an error strewn game of missed tackles, dropped ball and the scrum being turned over on our put in. Where was the chink of light we needed? Well what we can see is that our line outs allowed us to get some game ball and at times the boys put some positive phases of play together. That’s the glimpse of potential we see in these boys but at the moment consistency and belief is our short comings.
The boys never got going today and this is certainly a game that will have the boys reflect on and look at their own game management from the minute they turned up for the warm up. These games and these defeats are hard to take and the boys take it hard, but they will learn and will work hard to get it right.
Training on Thursday will have us all work hard to improve our team and individual game. Everyone will be determined to get back to the hard work and to get the basics right. We have a chance on our travels next week to West of Scotland to put our game plan to the test.
U16 v Ayr/Wellington 8th September
Sunday has come around quickly again for our U16 boys and a squad of 22 players faced them as we meet Ayr/Wellington at Hartree Mill. Already the boys faced their first challenge and this was a balancing act as to who plays in what position as call offs reduced our already small squad to 13 players.
Of course the team adapted and prepared to face a difficult task ahead to what has already been a difficult start to the season with many of the boys playing in a position that is not familiar to them. Biggar got off to the worst possible start with an early flurry of try’s conceded putting them on the backfoot. Gradually we started to gain some territory with a few good phases of play which saw Ayr/Wellington starting to show some frailties in defence and errors appear in their game. Some strong ball carrying and ball retention from Tom Roper and Kyle Frame and of course the support play coming from Rory Hill and Morris McDiarmid we started to see the boys play their own game rather than playing to Ayr’s game plan.
Just as we entered the last few minutes of the first half some clever decision making kicking to touch deep into Ayr territory from Finlay Crozier we had an attacking line out. The line-out saw the ball retained and with Morris, Thomas and Callum all edging the ball closer to the Ayr white line. Kyle managed to carry the ball in to a tackle and present to Blair Anderson who had a pick and go touching the ball down for the first Biggar try and also Blair’s first try for the club. Some might say that this was lucky to be given but as we all know the referee is alway right and the right arm of David was raised to say try given. (Who are we to argue? No TMO let’s play on).
The second half saw a string of changes made by Ayr which with fresh legs in the side and Biggar not having that luxury we saw some quick try’s scored against us.As always the team kept plugging away but the effort levels of some was starting to show with Rory and Morris out on their feet with the amount of ground covered and tackle after tackle made.
With the Scoreline now irrelevant we had some Ayr boys join the side for the last 20mins and the game became a little scrappy with errors appearing in both sides, try’s were exchanged again sadly by this point the game had long gone.
As we say time and time again the boys continue to play to the end and will take positives from the match and will be stronger through time after these types of games.
Next Sunday see’s us at home again so a chance to show what this small squad are capable of, not that it will be easy against a travelling Perthshire side.