Girls on the road to Murrayfield
Girls Club Cup Final
29th April 2017 - Bt Murrayfield International Pitch 2pm kick off.
Biggar U15 Girls v Stirling County U15 Girls
A supporters bus will be leaving Biggar RFC at 12.30pm on the 29th April at the cost of £5 per head. The bus will leave Murrayfield for the return journey at 5.30pm.
Anyone wishing to book a seat please contact Tammy ASAP on 07709 525458 or email@example.com to secure your seat.
Go to http://www.scottishrugby.org/news/17/04/24/girls%E2%80%99-club-cup-finals-take-bt-murrayfield for SRU link and promo piece
Story date: 26/04/2017
Colts Retain The Edinburgh Cup
Boroughmuir Colts 14 pts v Biggar Colts 30pts
Edinburgh Youth League Cup Final
Saturday 8th April 2017
No one is going to hand you success but with hard work, drive and passion it's possible to achieve your goals. For Biggar Under 18 Colts, many achieved their goal by finishing the season with a tremendous display against Boroughmuir to lift the Edinburgh Regional Cup Final at Meggatland in front of a large Biggar travelling support.
The level of support continually seen has had a big impact on the team which realise that “Alone they can do so little, together they can do so much.” Not just the support of the coaches but its the back up team, the parents and those who follow the team.
Yes the coaches bow out after they brought success to Biggar but its not the the end of the road for this special bunch of players, who have an opportunity to create new paths, discover new horizons, and enjoy the adventure.
With ideal conditions on the main pitch at Boroughmuir the game got off to a fast start with both teams aiming to get early dominance. Biggar did have chances but last passes out wide were not being taken and this was causing early alarm.
To settle the nerves Biggar knew they had to get the score board moving and with penalties being awarded in the kickers range , Euan Bogle kicked 2 penalties to allow Biggar some points.
Biggar were offering more in attack but Boroughmuir were covering well and they were excellent at turnover ball and many of the boys were being well targeted and stripped of the ball.
Biggar though were winning good ball from lineouts where Calum Dunlop and Lewis Stewart excelled against a large pack but it was clear to see Biggar were well organised in this area.
Against the run of play Boroughmuir intercepted when Biggar were attacking wide out allowing their winger to stride in for a converted try to take the lead.
Biggar knew that it was not going to be an easy half and they would have to take a lot of pressure on them as well before they neutralised it and then took the upper hand. What was predicted happened
Half Time : Boroughmuir 7pts to Biggar 6pts
Boroughmuir would have felt that they were getting the upper hand but they failed to realise that Biggar still had a level or two to go up when ball was moved out to the backs. The forwards were going to need to present clean ball for Luhann Kotze at scrum half as he was being put under some pressure.
It was answered and with deep lines Biggar started to take more dominance when quick second phase ball was put out wide where Rory McGinn passed out to ever present Charles Connoly to then put a somewhat forward pass to Andrew Jardine to show his strength to go over for a score.
Biggar got their planned structure into gear and this was shown with some hard hitting pods moving up the field and then a decisive flat pass allowed Lewis Stewart to come into at great speed to burst through and head for the line and then changing direction to flat foot his opponent he went over for a fine score which was converted by Euan Bogle.
The boys were dominating the game. With the midfield of Rory McGinn, Andrew Jardine and Rowan Stewart it was clear to see an d know that nothing was going to go through them but they would themselves when given any opportunity easily cut through Boroughmuir. And they did when Rory McGinn put a flat pass to Andrew Jardine who then put a delightful reverse pass to Aaron Dobie who broke through and then himself put a short flat pass to Rowan Stewart who at speed came in a lovely angle and direction to burst through and go over for a very impressive score which was well appreciated by both sets of supporters.
Boroughmuir were not going to stop and went back on the attack and with good driving at the lineout which allowed big runners the chance to hit up and then drive over for a converted score.
The boys didn't need any instruction that they needed to finish this game . Boroughmuir near their own line tried to chip and chase but this was taken by Biggar who set up clear ball to be moved out to Andrew Jardine who angled his run which left his opposite centres who both went for him and this allowed him to put a pass to Robbie Orr to go over for a score.
Biggar did go over for another try but it was correctly not allowed due to unsporting behaviour. It had been well set up after the player in question was given a lovely offload pass by Jordan Gray but it was not to be.
Full Time : Boroughmuir Colts 14pts to Biggar Colts 30pts
The team finished this match in total command against a well organised Boroughmuir.
The ultimate measure of a team is not where it stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where they stand at times of challenge. Again the Colts stood up to the mark and put in a great performance.
Yes there was lots of great performances by certain individuals but they don't make the team. You may have the greatest bunch of individuals stars but if they don't play together , the team wont be worth a penny. Biggar always work together. They just don't want to let their team mates down.
Euan Bogle, Matthew Stewart, Rowan Stewart, Rory McGinn (Captain), Marcus Dobie, Robbie Orr, Luhann Kotze, Angus Kerr, Andrew Jardine, Neil Jones, Charles Connoly, Guy Kelly, Alex Dawe, Calum Dunlop, Aaron Dobie, Lewis Stewart, Craig Frame,Cameron Forrest, Daniel McConkey, Jordan Gray, Gavin Raftery, Alex Toal and Stuart Forrest .
Most of these boys will now move on to the next chapter in their lives which they must look forward to. They must take all opportunities thrown at them as they have the ability to succeed.
The coaches of Ian Barr, David Murray , Gavin Hill along with the back up team of Jock Gray and Lauren McDonald could not have had a better time than watching and helping these young adults develop and mature over the years. Angus, Rory , Andrew and Rowan have been playing rugby together for 11 years.
No supporter will argue that the colts have not made an impression on them. Everyone is so proud.
Yogi, Gav and Muz with 37 years coaching experience between them will now step down after doing their shift as Graham Watson takes over. He is going to have a great time and especially when its party time such as Saturday night which to most was unforgettable yet not many cannot remember much anyway.
On behalf of us all thanks for the memories.
Trophies just gather dust while memories last forever.
Story date: 10/04/2017
Colts Dispose of Marr by the Seaside
Marr College 14 pts v Biggar Colts 64
Saturday 25th March 2017
Biggar Colts travelled on a glorious day to Troon to take on Marr College, beating them 64 points to 14 points on the schools new 3G pitch which allowed the boys to demonstrate their excellent ball handling and running skills.
Each player did their part and this is a feature of the Colts in that there are no stars, just a groups of boys wanting to play for each other and not let their team mates down. They just want to do their job as well as possible.
Biggar from the start were always faster and quicker with ball in hand and early on the ball went along the backs for Alex Toal to take the last pass and run to the line for the 1st score.
However Marr were determined to give Biggar a stern test and at times they did with their forwards showing some good driving work. Their 1st try was a result of this and they powered over and went in the lead with a conversion.
Biggar realised it was not a day out at the seaside and decided to lift the game. A penalty was awarded and Lewis Stewart caught Marr off guard with a quick tap and go, finding a gap to go over for an excellent try which was converted by Euan Bogle.
With the forwards winning good ball, often then making great breaks especially lead by Jordan Gray and Lewis Stewart , the backs were then able to attack continually and at speed which was a feature of the game. Angus Kerr at scrum half was putting quick ball out and it was put to a position where Rory McGinn was able to attack at speed and so continually offering opportunities for the backs to break the gain line. This was well shown when Rory took the it at pace, made a break and timed a pass to Rowan Stewart who went over for a score converted by Robbie Orr .
Last try before half time was left to Matthew Stewart who showed some strong running to go over for an unconverted try.
Half Time : Marr 7pts to Biggar 24pts.
With scrums and lineouts working well, Biggar knew they just needed to stick to their game plan and structure.
Again good ball was moved quickly along the backs with Marcus Dobie coming into the line at speed and making the last pass to his brother Aaron to go over in the corner. Robbie Orr put an excellent conversion over from wide out.
Marr were certainly now on the back foot and Angus Kerr who was thriving at scrum half broke and then put a nice pass out to Rory McGinn to go over for a score converted by Rowan Stewart.
Many would have expected the game to lose its fast pace and structure with Biggar making continual changes but at no time did it look like this. Some of the Under 16 squad came on the park and merged in well with the older boys.
Finlay Barr went scrum half and the ball continued to be put out well and this allowed Aaron Dobie went over for another score converted by Rowan Stewart.
However Biggar lost a bit of focus and structure in their own line and loose ball presented Marr with a score.
With them been giving a wake up call they got back into gear and went on the attack and it was Angus Kerr who found a gap from 10 yards out to go over for a well deserved try which was converted by Euan Bogle.
With the forwards laying the foundations and ball going out the backs well Matthew Stewart who had a strong performance scored and then Aaron Dobie for his third try which was converted by Euan Bogle.
Marr never gave up and a did test Biggar in certain areas especially up front.
Biggar were too strong for them and showed high skill levels which can only build their confidence as the Edinburgh Final gets closer.
There will be a large squad to choose from and every player on Saturday put his case forward. What is great to see is the ability of the players especially the backs to fit in any position when required and do it with confidence.
Full Time : Marr 14 pts v Biggar Colts 64pts.
Edinburgh Regional Final
Away to Boroughmuir
Kick Off 2pm
Story date: 27/03/2017
Biggar Colts Dominate Against Livingston In Cup Semi Final
The Colts put in a very impressive display on Saturday to now progress to the Edinburgh Final on April 8th after defeating Livingston in the semi final by 52 points to 0 points scoring 8 tries and 6 conversions unanswered at Hartreemill.
The final is the goal of the coaches and boys after a great season. Yes they lost out in the National Cup to Stirling in an epic encounter but ;
“What's done is done. What's gone is gone. One of life's lessons is always moving on. It’s okay to look back to see how far you’ve come but keep moving forward.”
The boys certainly did on Saturday and from the start put in a very clinical display against a stern Livingston.
However Livingston could not cope with the structure and quick play that Biggar took to them from the start.
With the forwards laying the foundations the ball was quickly put out to the backs and with set pieces working the ball went wide out to Marcus Dobie to go over. This was then followed up with the same play but to the opposite side where Euan Bogle took the final pass to score.
There was times though when errors were unnecessarily coming into Biggar game often due to offloading at the wrong times and not rucking strongly enough which caused Livingston to often counter ruck,
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Biggar quickly learned form their errors and sorted it to then build good play again to allow Matthew Stewart to power over for a converted try by Euan Bogle.
Biggar half backs of Luhann Kotze and Robbie Orr were in total control and it was Robbie who took the next score from starting the move and was then on hand to receive the final pass to go over for another converted try by Euan.
Rory McGinn was causing problems in the middle of the park for Livingston where they struggled to deals with his quick hands and breaks.
Euan Bogle was well assured at full back and this gives a confidence for the whole team in knowing that the defence is solid throughout the park when teams attack both with ball in hand and kicking for space.
Lewis Stewart barged over for the next and this was deserved score form a player who was immense all round the pitch on the day in defence , attack and the way he lead the forwards. Euan converted
Half Time : Biggar 31pts to Livingston 0pts.
Biggar wanted to put this match beyond reach of Livingston early on but they failed to do so and their opponents came out with tremendous momentum and Biggar for some 10 minutes were mainly in defence. However after they put the fire out it was not long before ever present Lewis Stewart was on hand to go over for his 2nd try converted by Euan.
Both Calum Dunlop and Charles Connolly were also causing problems for Livingston with good running with ball in hand.
Biggar then rung the changes putting on the rest of the squad with many of them coming from the under 16's. With those changes it was great to see at times little if any reduction in structure as all the boys train well together and are well aware of the plays and moves.
With quick ball put out along the line , Aaron Dobie took the ball in his own half and managed to evade the tacklers to go over for a try converted again by Euan Bogle.
The last try of the day was definitely a just reward for an outstanding player in Luhann Kotze who was excellent throughout the day and Livingston just could not cope with him throughout the match due to his quick awareness and strong running at speed. Conversion was put over by Robbie Orr.
Full Time : Biggar Colts 52pts v Livingston Colts 0pts.
Yes areas could be improved on but the coaches were satisfied from this performance and will be working on any areas that still need improved.
A great squad effort and these boys continue to work so well week in week out knowing they have to work to improve.
The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if your willing to work.
The Edinburgh Cup Final is not scheduled until 8th April 2017. Details to follow
Story date: 13/03/2017
Biggar’s Big Weekend 26th - 28th May
This is Biggar's BIG weekend. May 26th/27th/28th.
3 days and 3 FANTASTIC events - don't miss out!
Friday 26th: Spring Ball.
Based on the success of this event in 2015 the club are to host a Spring Ball. Event includes welcome drink, 4-course meal and both ceilidh and disco music.
Tickets are £50.
Saturday 27th: Biggar 7’s. Biggar Sevens event is one of only a few to host competitions for both male and female VII’s teams.
Tickets are £7
Sunday 28th: Skippinish in concert. There is a huge local following for this Scottish Contemporary Music band and they will make a return to Biggar after their sell-out performance in October as part of the Biggar Little Festival.
Tickets are £18
Big Weekend Super Saver: Entry to ALL 3 events £65
We'd LOVE to see you there - DON'T MISS OUT
Call GY NOW to purchase your ticket(s): 07774 678 617
Story date: 07/02/2017
Biggar Colts Lose Out in Tight Game to Merchiston School
Biggar Colts 3pts v Merchiston School 14pts.
Saturday 28th January 2017
Biggar Colts know they are unquestionably one of the top Youth teams in Scotland.
But where are they in relation to the top School sides ?.
The question was going to be answered on Saturday when one of the best school teams, Merchiston Castle arrived at Hartree where on a cold day the rugby again was of the highest calibre. Coached by ex Biggar 1st team coach Roddy Deans this team were going to be well drilled and organised throughout the pitch.
Biggar knew they again had to test where their limits were and again found out on Saturday that they really are up with the best.
Yes it was a defeat by 14 points to 3 points but it was one of the hardest games Merchiston had encountered throughout their season.
Merchiston who each Saturday can field three Under 18 teams and train each day were runners up in the top schools league and with a number of Scottish Under 18 players it was going to another stern test for Biggar.
Biggar may have encountered defeat, but they were not defeated. In fact, they came off the field knowing that they had proved themselves and were gaining incredible respect throughout Scotland.
Merchiston took the game to Biggar trying to create their strucutre that has allowed them to win so many games this season. From a lineout they drove and went over early on which was converted.
But Biggar were not going to let them settle and got into their usual belief that no matter what was thrown at them they have a determaintion and inner strength that they would not be defeated.
Merchiston were trying to break out but Biggar tackling was as usual ,solid and Merchiston were just not going to get through. Biggar then went on the attack and Aaron Dobie took an interception but was brought down just short.
With the Biggar forwards working tirelessly to contain the larger more athletic Merchiston pack, they were able to provide ball out to the backs and Robbie Orr who was outstanding, continually making breaks through the opposition defence.
Robbie was a constant thorn to Merchiston and they were struggling to contain him for a period of time and his offloading was allowing Biggar to gain territory. When the ball was moved out wide the backs set pieces were put into play and again ground was being made.
The most competitive area was with the scrum halves with both Luhann Kotze for Biggar and Robert Greenshields for Merchiston continually putting each other to the test. Both were playing excellent rugby.
Up to half time both teams cancelled each other out but there was some excellent rugby on display. Defence was dominant in both teams games and so it was not easy for any attack to gain much ground .
The Biggar forwards never at any time were for giving any ground and were solid at set piece.
Half Time : Biggar 0pts to Merchiston 7pts.
Biggar knew they had to continue causing frustration to their opponents as they had to gain deny them getting in any form of rhythm.
And they did and the whole 2nd half became a see saw battle with Merchiston only getting their 2nd try late on by hitting up through their forward and finally bullying over. Biggar did put points on the board with Euan Bogle kicking a penalty.
Final Score :Biggar 3 points v Merchiston 14points.
Final whistle was blown 2 minutes early due to injury to Rowan Stewart who is recovering well.
These boys have learned and delivered so much this season.
There hearts just don't allow them to lie down.
As once said “Never was so much owed by so many to so few”
The Colts have for some years made the club so proud.
As head Coach Barr said “Biggar Colts are now dining at the top table”
Next up should be the Edinburgh Cup starting 11th February. Details to follow
Story date: 30/01/2017
Biggar Colts Lose Out In Close Quarter Final
Biggar Colts 3pts v Stirling Colts 13pts.
Scottish Youth Cup Quarter Finals
Saturday 21st January 2017
At Hartreemill on Saturday two of Scotland's top Under 18 teams came together in the top billing quarter final of the Scottish Youth Cup.
In front of over 300 spectators the occasion lived up to expectation with the game going right down to the last minutes with Stirling coming out on top by 13 pts to 3pts.
With six current Under 18 Scottish Squad players (3 from each) on the pitch this was always going to be a game of the highest caliber and it did not disappoint. Many of the players will hopefully in the future go on to be highly successful rugby players.
Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained in the struggle against overwhelming odds. With a squad of over 44 players Stirling are the current Scottish Youth Cup Holders and won the Presidents Conference undefeated again this season . They amassed against the other top rated sides some 426 points while only conceding 32 points over 10 games. Their closest game was 27pts to 8 pts against Highland.
Yet Biggar who won their Green Conference have just 24 local players and matched them throughout the game on Saturday.
Early on Biggar were under intense pressure and had to deploy their biggest asset in their defensive tackling. Although Stirling had the upper hand in physicality and size they found the aggressive tackling by Biggar to be solid and were finding it hard to break through. Where Biggar had their strength. lay in their heart and determination.
Stirling were not gaining required moving up the middle and so took the ball wide where they took ground due to their ability to spread their team out and create overlaps which they did down the blind and it was their Captain , James Gibson who went over for the 1st try.
Stirling were starting to dominate and no more so that in set pieces which were causing difficulties for Biggar which in turn limited the opportunities that the home team had. Luhann Kotze at scrum half was not being allowed any time to create any forward movement.
Stirling then again moved quick ball out to their left wing Tommy Johnson who took advantage of the Biggar defense not man marking and sped down the wing to kick ahead and chase to ground the ball over the line before the Biggar cover.
The Biggar backs knew that if they could get chances then there was opportunity and this they did with Rowan Stewart breaking through but unfortunately support was not there for him to put points on the board.
The attack was working in the backs but more often it was their defence that was having to be deployed. Robbie Orr, Rory McGinn , Euan Bogle and Rowan Stewart were outstanding in containing the highly rated Stirling three quarters from being able to operate.
In the forwards Aaron Dobie was doing the job he was tasked to do and that was disrupt and tackle heavily. Not the biggest player on the pitch but maybe the one with the biggest heart. Craig Frame was working tirelessly beside him but nothing should be taken away form the rest of the forwards who were all putting 100% work rate in.
Biggar were now more involved in the Stirling half than previous and with half time approaching were awarded a penalty from which Euan Bogle converted.
Half Time : Biggar 3 pts to Stirling 10pts.
Biggar knew that Stirling would not feel comfortable with this score and so they would come back out strong.
Positional changes were made and from the restart the game was taken to Stirling.
Biggar were getting more ball and set piece stabilised which allowed opportunities. The introduction of Andrew Nimmo was along with other positional changes making a definite impact.
Biggar got the ball out wide and Henry Adams went round his winger and traveled at pace towards the corner but was stopped just before the line.
Stirling were now in a game and for the next period of the game no ground was going to be given by either side. Biggar did half a period where they were inside the Stirling 22 but although penalties were being given any attempts towards the line were being well thwarted by Stirling.
The game then became very tense and it is often questioned why a this level there is not neutral touch judges present as off the ball incidents were not being punished which can aggravate situations more.
Stirling continued to try and break through and when in the Biggar half they were awarded a penalty from which Kieran Gammie kicked to give them a crucial advantage.
As always Biggar did not give up and right down to the wire they competed.
Unfortunately Biggar just could not find a way through and to relief of Stirling the final whistle was blown.
Final Score :Biggar 3 points v Stirling 13points.
Although defeated , what a performance these boys had put in. There was pride that they had run the favourites closer than any other team Stirling had played this season.
You may encounter defeat , but you must not be defeated.
Biggar Colts have risen to a position where they are not seen as just a good team but now one of the best throughout Scotland.
Every player in the squad of 22 played a major role and each was outstanding .
Biggar Squad : Euan Bogle, Marcus Dobie, Rowan Stewart , Rory McGinn(captain), Angus Kerr, Robbie Orr, Luhann Kotze, Neil Jones, Jordan Gray, Guy Kelly, Gavin Raftery, Calum Dunlop, Aaron Dobie, Lewis Stewart , Craig Frame, Alex Dawe, Daniel McConkey, Charles Connolly, Henry Adams, Keir Hamilton, Andrew Nimmo, Alasdair Steele.
Story date: 23/01/2017
Yogi , Gavin and Muz along with the back room team of Lauren and Jock could not have been more proud of this special bunch of boys.
This ending is not the end and as one door closes for the Colts another will open and hopefully there will now be an Edinburgh Cup which Biggar won last year after defeating Currie .
Its just another step in their path.
Soon many will move in a new way as they move up to senior rugby. They are simply going to leave their past where it belongs and and enjoy the new challenges that still in front of them. This group of boys which will certainly make a difference for the seniors.
Biggar Colts Draw with Ayr in absorbing encounter
Biggar Colts 5pts v Ayr Colts 5pts .
Friendly - Saturday 24th September 2016
It’s days like this that make all the hard work worthwhile.
But we didn’t win, I hear you say!
That’s a mere detail because if you didn’t manage to watch the Colts on Saturday you missed a cracker and to be honest it was a moral victory for the home side in what was a fine spectacle of structured rugby from two determined sides.
Over the last few years Biggar and Ayr have played against each other twice in Scottish Cup Quarter Finals and once in the semi final with Ayr winning in all occasions but only narrowly. Ayr were unbeaten in their Presidents league and knew that coming down to Biggar would prove to be a stern test as both are rated among st the best in Scottish Youth Rugby.
Why not stick to the game-plan, trust in your ability and take everything you’ve got to your opponents. Sounds like a plan.
This was a test of both mental and physical fitness with plenty of industry shown throughout by both teams. Most of the first half was spent in the middle of the field but you could argue that Ayr looked slightly more assured in their approach and they were very quick to the breakdown. This caught Biggar out on a couple of occasions early on but they managed to recover well.
Neither side was holding back and one would imagine that bodies will be a bit sore this week.
It took 15 minutes of back and forth rugby and bruising tackles before there was a clear-cut chance for anyone to get off the mark. Biggar were caught holding on and forced a penalty for Ayr. They failed to nail down three points after going for the posts. Back to square one.
Split decisions seemed to go Ayr’s way but there was no doubting their dominance in the scrum. It was a test of Biggar resolve and required maximum effort.
For the remainder of the first half it was a case of a pink and black unstoppable force meeting a Red and Black immovable object…and it was breathless stuff.
Half-time, Nil – Nil.
With Biggar having two late call-off’s in Kelly (Hamstring) and Dunlop (Sick), it was Neil Jones who stepped up to the plate and showed real maturity. He commanded his position well, much to the frustration of his opposite number at prop.
Biggar advanced and looked dangerous but, against the run of play, it was Ayr who made the breakthrough. Fifty minutes, yes fifty minutes with no score, had passed at this point when Ayr stole the line-out on their own 5m line, kicked behind the Biggar defence and chased. Biggar now ended up in their own 5m having to defend strong momentum. The home side were awarded a scrum for an Ayr knock-on but failed to clear their lines. The clearing kick was charged down in the in-goal area with the Ayr flanker touching down to break Biggar hearts….or so you think.
“Whatever life gives you, even if it hurts, just be strong and act like it’s okay. Remember, strong walls shake but never collapse”
Biggar showed their teeth and bit back. What followed was superb, consistent phase of play that shook the President’s Conference side. The Hartreemill outfit pulled out all the stops.
Some of their back-line play, marshalled by the outstanding scrum-half Luhann Kotze was sparkling and the forwards were composed. After a patient series of phases inside Ayr’s 5m line, and an immense display of strength from the pack, the ball broke out to Jordan Gray on the blind side who timed his pass perfectly to Lewis Stewart and the back row forward made no mistake in the corner to bring the scores level. The gusty wind made things very difficult for kicking and Euan Bogle narrowly missed the conversion from a tight angle.
It made for a truly gripping finish. The game was on a knife edge and continued to ebb and flow up and down the pitch. Matthew Stewart almost spoiled the visitors’ weekend when he drove for the line with two minutes to go. He was pushed into touch just before the line.
Marcus and Aaron Dobie on each wing made good runs and vital covering tackles in equal amount which is reassuring against quality sides.
Nothing passed Gavin Raftery all day and Keir Hamilton showed his mobile side and great determination to cement a great all-round performance. A word too for those players coming off the bench. They knew the difficult task ahead of them and blended well to consolidate a wonderful team effort.
A dogged defence and complete faith in their ability contributed to a fantastic display of Rugby by Biggar. On reflection, and if memory serves well, Biggar never missed a tackle.
Don’t look for a man of the match for this one folks…..they ALL nailed it!
“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn”
Tries: Lewis Stewart
Biggar will not rest on this and still have much work to do. Ayr like Biggar were short of one or two of their top players who play mainly for their seniors and only usually return to the Colts when the cup competition starts in the New Year.
What was more pleasing for the Colts Coaches of Ian Barr, David Murray and Gavin Hill was being able to see senior Biggar 1st XV field on Saturday 15 players out of 19 who have played for the Colts at some point. Actually 16 if you include Angus Thomson who was playing for West. There was also a number of ex colts playing away for the 2nds against Haddington.
Next week is back to league games with a Home tie against Hamilton – 1pm kick off
Story date: 26/09/2016
Biggar Colts Win Tough Encounter at Falkirk
Falkirk Colts 21pts v Biggar Colts 43pts.
Green Conference – Saturday 17th September 2016
A win’s a win ….right?
Well it would be amiss to suggest that Biggar were anything other than the dominant rugby playing side but as they blew hot and cold it was clear that the team keeps improving but still remain as ‘work-in-progress’ but then it’s still early in the season.
Plenty still for the coaching staff with a clear line of sight on how to develop an eager squad of young men.
Falkirk was a tough nut to crack. Biggar may have gained the early advantage but failed to capitalise. As Falkirk cleared their lines the visiting back line fumbled, which is uncharacteristic, and the home side pounced on the loose ball in the centre of the park. They shipped it wide and scored a converted try with relative ease.
Biggar looked nervous but continued to advance after the restart.
Their momentum was good and they forced a penalty and chose to go for the posts rather than run the ball. Perhaps they felt they just needed to get on the score sheet to steady the ship. Euan Bogle struck well for three points.
Falkirk responded immediately with a physical onslaught with Biggar simply weathering the storm for a bit. The ball did pop favorably out of the back of the ruck into Biggar hands in 19 mins. Rowan Stewart slightly mis-timed a pass out wide onto the advancing Falkirk wing who failed to secure the interception only to find the rebound drop straight back into the Biggar mans hands. With a second bite at the cherry the inside centre took his opportunity to sprint 50 yards then off-load to the supporting Euan Bogle who scored between the posts. The conversion attempt just missing the target.
A number of the Falkirk squad regularly play senior rugby and with their 2ndXV match called off this was a very physical side that proved challenging to break down.
Biggar struck 2 minutes later with a good run of phased play allowing Andrew Nimmo to show his blistering pace over 2 yards and crash over for the visitor’s second try. Bogle converted this time round.
Biggar Colts definitely looked the better side but, on this particular outing, when they got hold of field position some basic skills let them down.
There were flashes of excellence amongst some mediocrity and none more so than the third try.
Good moves off the set play scrum saw both forwards and backs combine well. A resulting infringement led to a penalty and the quick tap found Rory McGinn, who played what was in front of him all day, and chipped neatly through the rush defence to allow Rowan Stewart to follow up and nab the score.
22-7 up at half-time looked comfortable on paper but Biggar would still have some work to do.
They cranked up the aggression at the breakdown with forwards working harder to support the ball carrier. Set piece was fairly clinical and the ball off the top of the line-out effectively led to a Kotze try in the 42nd minute.
A trademark slick backs move followed, that has proved fruitful to date, and this one was no different. The ball moved swiftly along the line to the wing with Aaron Dobie putting in the lion’s share of the work and ample support from the following scrum-half saw him pick up at the breakdown and sneak through for a well deserved try. Bogle converted well from a tight angle.
Biggar front row applied some hefty charges and made their mark allowing Aaron Dobie to get one of his own in 55 mins from an almost identical move as the previous. This is easy to watch when it clicks. Euan Bogle yet again wowed the support with another sweet strike between the uprights.
It seems odd to say at this point but Biggar struggled to get any flow and were turned over just when they appeared to have stretched the hosts to breaking point. That ‘Off’ switch showing it’s face again leading to Biggar operating in scramble mode for the next ten minutes. Falkirk’s attacking play yielded two tries in quick succession.
As frustrating as that was the last play lifted spirits after Biggar managed to clear their lines.
The full-back’s exit kick dropped behind the Falkirk defence and the backs chased the ball down and after some footballing skills from Matthew Stewart he won the foot race to touch down.
The back division remains assured with Luhann Kotze looking sharp and energetic while in forwards all of them put in a very controlled display especially from Guy Kelly, Jordan Gray, Andrew Nimmo and Stuart Forrest who all put in a great controlled shift in attack and defence given the physical nature of this game..
Plenty positive aspects to carry forward into the friendly against Ayr
Tries: Euan Bogle, Andrew Nimmo, Rowan Stewart, Luhann Kotze, Aaron Dobie, Matthew Stewart
Conv: Euan Bogle (5)
Pen: Euan Bogle
Saturday 24th the Colts will play Ayr in a friendly at Home.
12pm Kick off
Story date: 20/09/2016
Biggar Colts overcome GHA
Biggar Colts 29pts v GHA Colts 0pts .
Green Conference – Saturday 10th September 2016
This eagerly anticipated clash displayed some of the flair seen at previous outings this season. Not everything Biggar attempted came off but that shouldn’t detract from the endeavour shown by a clearly fitter side, and a clean sheet to boot.
Adorned in their brand new red shirts (some fitting closer than others) and cutting quite a dash in the sunshine, early signs looked good with the home side asserting pressure on their sizeable opponents. Biggar looked significantly sharper than 14-man GHA and they took the game by the scruff of the neck.
Rowan Stewart’s return from concussion was a happy one when he found a gap in the GHA defence. The centre collected well and burst through at pace to go under the posts on 5 mins. Euan Bogle converted.
Biggar continued to dominate both possession and territory with the visitors having to clear their lines regularly.
The home side also managed to turn defence into attack when needed. Opposition line-out’s were dominated throughout and Callum Dunlop, who stole no less than 4 in a row, displayed great flexibility in the air. Equally, Gavin Raftery secured the attacking line-out and commanded his position well.
GHA’s penalty count increased and numbers depleted further as they saw yellow for a deliberate knock-on. Numerical superiority would tell as Biggar forced another try through Jordan Gray following a well executed line-out drive. The big forward consolidating the good work shown from the week previous.
GHA attempted the push but were forced back by a resolute Biggar defence although Andrew Nimmo was ordered to take a 10 minute rest following a bit of over enthusiasm and unsafe tackle.
The game began to slow somewhat prior to the break and Biggar’s lead of 12 points seemed slender but not necessarily in danger of being overtaken by the visitors.
The second half started smartly and Kelly and Gray yet again punched their way through the GHA pack straight from the restart, who were no doubt taken by surprise at the swift and clinical execution of Biggar’s third try. The ball was secured and shipped out wide for the backs to show their skills which they carried out with the last pass going to Marcus Dobie who collected at pace to outrun his opposite number. The winger had a bit of work to do from 40 yards but he took it well.
Biggar never let up but could have been accused of ‘over-egging’ the pudding a little as the odd individual effort came at the cost of a clear team move. There was an element of frustration felt on the sidelines.
However, the home side regrouped and inflicted some damage, tactically and physically, with powerful carrying.
With the home side's scrum dominant and Euan Bogle’s touch-finders inch-perfect, another try in the 44th minute swung matters even more decisively. Stuart Forrest boosted the tally with a scything run through the tiring GHA defence after collecting from a Kelly off-load.
But another 10 minutes of mixed fortunes and GHA warning shots across Biggar’s bow stalled progress. The pattern of play at that point consisted of over excitement, unfinished moves and limited penetration.
However, after a period of GHA pressure Biggar fought back and pressed up the field to the opposition 22m line and following a sustained phase of structured attack Luhann Kotze cut through the defensive line to score under the posts.
Uncontested scrums and pauses for injuries stilted the match for the next 20 mins, and where Biggar looked the more dominant team, neither side really looked like scoring any more tries.
Jordan Gray and Guy Kelly got through an awful amount of work while both Rory McGinn and Robbie Orr had another polished afternoon at outside centre and stand-off respectively.
The coaches think this team has a lot more to give so there’s much to work on
Tries: Rowan Stewart, Jordan Gray, Marcus Dobie, Stuart Forrest, Luhann Kotze
Conv: Euan Bogle (2)
Next Saturday 17th September the Colts are away to Falkirk in the league.
The following Saturday 24th the Colts will play Ayr in a friendly. Details to be confirmed
Story date: 12/09/2016
Bigga Colts Dominant Win at Dumfries
Dumfries Colts 7pts v Biggar Colts 41pts.
Green Conference – Saturday 3rd September 2016
“Commit yourself to learning. The most valuable asset you’ll ever have is your mind and what you put into it”
Biggar clearly learned lessons from last weekend at Dunfermline and applied their skills more effectively than their hosts in the Galloway hills.
There was a fine variety of fumbles, slips and misdirected passes early on, largely down to weather and ground conditions, before Biggar constricted their opponents into submission. If the Green Conference Champions were not at their absolute best last week, they certainly rectified that against a side that spent most of the afternoon on the back foot.
Early pressure and big collisions set out the visiting team’s stall and Biggar’s intention was clear from the outset. They weren’t out for a Saturday stroll.
Openside flanker Lewis Stewart’s energetic start led to turnover ball. Andrew Nimmo, more than happy to support, burst through the middle and ran like a prop that wasn’t going to be stopped to score the first after 7 mins. Euan Bogle struck well for the extras.
Luhann Kotze, ever the opportunist, pounced on a spilt ball and sprinted in from the opposition 22m six minutes later to increase the tally with Bogle on target to convert.
Dumfries came back though and forced the penalty. Their attempt at posts pulled just wide.
Biggar’s back division was fluent and showed great composure after the re-start to feed Aaron Dobie on the wing who scored the first of his Hat-trick. Simple!
The 27th minute saw what was probably the try of the day. Robbie Orr delivered a slick flat ball to Lewis Stewart who hit the space. A sublime step inside at pace by the flanker drew the defender and opened up the space for a neat pass to the left wing, and Aaron Dobie’s second.
Good tactical kicking by Orr and Bogle put the hosts under real pressure and Bogle picked up a well deserved try after ‘Going solo’ from half-way just before the break.
31 -0 at half time was a comfortable scoreline from an accomplished performance. So more of the same in the second half? Sadly not!
There were a few personnel changes at half-time and it felt like Biggar forgot to disengage the handbrake fully and the game went a bit flat. This was a chance for Dumfries to push forward but they remained too lateral. Biggar did manage to slam the door in their faces a number of times, however some indiscipline in the Biggar ranks afforded them some territory and they capitalised well by bullying their way up to the try line and eventually getting on the score sheet. The close quarters defence from the travelling side was lacking somewhat. An area of development perhaps.
Biggar hadn’t lost their grip on the match though, and were soon back on track. They badly needed a restoring pick-me-up, which duly materialised when the ball was shipped wide, and through simple rugby, again, Alex Toal registered the visitors’ 6th Try of the day.
The Colts continued to show attacking intent right to the end. Aaron Dobie was in again with power and pace to secure his Third and Biggar’s second win of the season.
The report card reads as follows;
Forwards showed much improvement since the previous week. Dominant scrum and more aggression at the breakdown and working harder to secure the ball. Jordan Gray showed dynamism and Craig Frame not afraid to get ‘Down-and-Dirty’ against bigger lads.
The centre partnership of Rory McGinn and Matthew Stewart was a tireless presence and the backs in general looked ‘joined-up’. Good communication throughout.
The whole team appeared to have improved vision and played a brand of rugby we all love to watch but they must stay focused and avoid freelancing when the game is won.
This game kicked off at such a cracking pace. If this is a glorious indication of what is to come then everyone will be richly entertained, although these Colts still need to work exceptionally hard as defending a title will not come easy.
Tries: Aaron Dobie (3), Andrew Nimmo, Luhann Kotze, Euan Bogle, Alex Toal.
Conv: Euan Bogle (3)
First home match against GHA this Saturday at 1pm will prove to be a stiffer contest one would imagine.
Story date: 05/09/2016
Biggar Colts confident start to league campaign at Dunfermline
Dunfermline Colts 14pts v Biggar Colts 47pts.
Green Conference – Saturday 27th August 2016
Biggar kicked off their defence of the Green Conference with a comfortable win against Dunfermline but at times were found out in certain areas of play which will need worked on. However it is early season and everyone continues to improve.
On a great day for running rugby it was Dunfermline who took the early initiative using their larger pack to keep it tight and power up. Biggar did eventually contain them with some good tackling which at times forced ball to be spilt by Dunfermline.
When Biggar did get the ball it was moved out to the backs and it was then fed to Andrew Jardine to glide through for the 1st try which was then converted by Euan Bogle.
Some minutes later the ball was fed again out to the wing , back inside to Robbie Orr and when close to the line was able to feed ever present Callum Dunlop to dive over in the corner for a well worked try which was well converted by Euan Bogle.
When the tempo was lifted and the ball moved away from the Dunfermline pack , Biggar were able to take control and with good speed of hands it was left for Henry Adams to go over. This try proved that with fast hands opportunities would arrive constantly.
More tries should have been scored this way but too often passing was being delayed. In the forwards set pieces was going well and Callum Dunlop was certainly making his mark all over the pitch.
Half Time : Dunfermline Colts 0pts v Biggar Colts 19pts
Biggar then rang the changes and what is good to see is that those coming on are as good players as those coming off. That really matters as the season develops.
After early Dunfermline pressure in the forwards, Biggar again took control and an excellent break by Henry Adams was thwarted just short of the line to which he then offloaded to Andrew Jardine to score which was converted by Euan Bogle.
Simply Biggar then switched off and were not keen enough in the loose and reacting quickly enough which allowed Dunfermline to score an opportunity try when spilt ball on the line was seized upon.
Biggar didn't put their heads down and quickly responded with ball moved well out the backs to allow Henry Adams to go over which was converted by Bogle.
Shortly after this the forwards also showed they too have the handling skills needed and it was moved involving many of them along the back line and finally out to allow Marcus Dobie to score which was well converted by Bogle.
This was followed up by another nice piece of play and Biggar sliced open the midfield to allow Matthew Stewart to go over which was again converted by Bogle.
However again Biggar pressed the switch off button and areas such as set piece and defensive duties went missing. It was loose and not what was wanted by the coaches.
Dunfermline saw their chance and their forwards bullied the Biggar pack in most areas and some good powerful play allowed them to go over for their 2nd try.
Full Time : Dunfermline Colts 14pts v Biggar Colts 47pts
Yes there were areas of play that were impressive to watch but other aspects were not. The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individuals in the world but it they don't work together, the team wont be worth a penny. Its still work in progress.
Biggar will look to work on these areas thorough the week.
On the positive side well done to Callum Dunlop who really impressed throughout and to Robbie Orr who is showing great maturity at stand off.
Next away to Dumfries
Story date: 29/08/2016
Biggar reps in Glasgow and West squad for BT Academy matches
BT Academy District series
On Sunday the BT Academy District programme came to its climax with matches for 3rd/4th, 1st/2nd places all taking part at BT Murrayfield. Biggar did not have representatives at U-16 age group but as has been the case for this series there was a host of players involved at U-18 and three at U-20.
The U-18 match for 3rd/4th spot saw Glasgow and the West take on Edinburgh. Biggar had 6 players in the starting line up with centre Andrew Jardine again Captain. Props Andrew Nimmo and Guy Kelly featured in the pack with scrum half Lohann Kotze, stand off Rory McGinn and centre Matthew Stewart completing the contingent. On the bench were hooker Jordan Gray and back row forward Lewis Stewart who have been part of the squad but not given game time, until this final match. All played well, contributing positively with both Gray and Lewis Stewart showing up well, the latter scoring ta crucial try which, when converted, earned Glasgow a 19-19 draw.
At U-20 level Glasgow took on Edinburgh for the final match. Ross Jackson had a great game at No 8, scoring a try while winger Peter Steele did well when he came off the bench. Peter has recently opted to leave Biggar for Glasgow Hawks and while the club is obviously disappointed to see him go, he goes with the club's best wishes for his time with his new club. Calum Braid, a recruit last season from Moffat but someone who is struggling to get time for play this season, also featured.
Coincidentally, three of the matches from the 6 played on Sunday saw the result hinging on the last kick of the match. Glasgow lost the 16's match by 26-24, missing the last kick of the game to tie the scores, the 18's drew their match with the last kick at 19-19 while the 20's lost out by 24-22. Nip and tuck all the way!
Biggar were given some welcome and generous publicity by stadium announcer Chris Cruise ( a Biggar lad of course), who, in his own inimitable style, read out the team sheet but only announcing Biggar players by their club or school!
Story date: 22/08/2016
Biggar RFC Midi section caters for those of high school age. We currently have teams in S1, S2, Under 15 and Under 16 age categories, as well as an Under 16 girls team. The gradual incorporation of full rugby union rules over the different age grades makes Midi rugby the perfect stepping stone for progression onto under 18s rugby and then to the senior game. All midi rugby teams train on a Wednesday night at the club at 6.45pm. If you would like to know more please contact Aird Jardine on 07917731494
Story date: 25/08/2011
Andy Barnett appointment as Rugby Development Officer at Biggar
In the same week that we bid farewell to Iain Chisholm who has secured employment with Highland RFC we are delighted to welcome his replacement Andy Barnett.
Andy joins us having most recently spent 12 years at George Watsons College during which time he occupied a variety of differing roles and all of them with distinction.
Andy co-coached (along with Ally Donaldson) the GWC 1st XV Cup squad from 2006. In 2007 George Watsons competed for the Under 18 cup and did so again in 2011-2012, before finally lifting the title on four successive years from 2012-2016. In addiiton to this role Andy oversaw strength and conditioning across all sports at the School but in particular for Rugby.
Andy also worked on long term player planning development spanning P4–S6 age groups as well as undertaking outreach work to recruit and encourage children to play Rugby.
Andy has also coached at Edinburgh District Level at both Under 17 and U18 levels and has varied experience of conditioning provision with competitors at Commonwealth and Olympic competition levels within Hockey, Canoeing and Athletics.
As if that isn’t enough Andy also oversaw the development and opening of the new Centre of Excellence Sports Facility at GWC building upon his prior career experience with Edinburgh Leisure while also driving up numbers within the Summer Camp programme held annually at GWC .
The arrival of Andy to work alongside Nic Humphries represents a major acquisition for Biggar RFC and one which has the potential to make significant advances in the provision of rugby within both School and Club.
The team of Academy Manager and DO will soon be augmented with the appointment of a new Modern Apprentice as Rhiannon comes to the end of her term in this post.
Andy will commence in his new role at the club on Monday (24th April) when he will look forward to meeting everybody although he does hope to be down at Hartree Mill on Sunday. Please accord him a warm welcome and he comes with the best wishes of the club for a successful tenure as DO.
From his point, Andy is delighted to become part of Biggar RFC and is relishing the challenge offered in his new role.
Andy will continue to use the same DO email address firstname.lastname@example.org but will have a new mobile number which will be made available to all as soon as is arranged.
Story date: 21/04/2017
Biggar RFC AGM and the future
This has been another incredibly busy year/season for Biggar RFC at every age and stage.
The playing side is always full-on with as many as 16 sides representing the club on some weekends. There have been some fantastic successes along the way although getting those in their youth and those not quite still in their youth to play the game is a success in itself.
Rugby has SO much to offer.
Biggar RFC has so much to offer.
Off the pitch, the big excitement came in November with the opening by MSP Aileen Campbell (Scottish Government Minister for Public Health and Sport) of the new floodlit pitches - a magical night with rugby, football and athletics involved. The culmination of this 2-year project has been a huge boost to the club, allowing almost all training to take place at Hartree Mill and ensuring all players have much improved facilities to train and play on. Biggar's athletes and footballers have also benefited as they have their own local facilities to train and play on. As a result there is scarcely a midweek night when the pitches are not been used at some point.
There was also the small matter of midway through the season of changing the way the club is governed with, following an EGM, an application (still being considered) to become a charity. This has ramifications as to how the club is run and managed.
All of the above has made huge demands on the committee and, as a result, there is a pressing need for new faces to step forward to help in running the club. There are proposals to include the post of an additional vice president and to also look for others to come on board to 'shadow' those convenors who are currently in post with a view to sharing the work load.
In the coming weeks lists will be posted of all the current committee and the roles they fulfill. Anyone wishing to take up the baton and join the committee should then assess where they are perhaps best suited to serve, look for a proposer and a seconder and put themselves forward. There will of course also be the opportunity at the AGM to propose individuals for posts on the committee.
Committee work is rarely glamorous and carries a deal of responsibility with it but if you have been a player at the club and have the club's future at heart then this is your opportunity 'to give something back'. Of course rugby experience is not a prerequisite and several of the current committee have not played - their involvement comes from having seen what the club can do for people of all ages and following on from this seeing what can be done to improve the facilities and opportunities for players and the general membership and to help put Biggar RFC at the forefront of rugby development.
Rugby has SO much to offer. Biggar RFC has so much to offer.
Story date: 11/04/2017
Girls in brave effort against Hill Jills
U18 GIRLS EDGED OUT IN EXCITING SEMI: U18 Girls Club Cup Semi-Final 7th April 2017
Biggar 29 Hillhead Jordanhill 33
Biggar girls had a lively start against a very professional and well drilled Hills team and following a kick and chase scored a converted try to open the scoring within the first 5 minutes.
Hills responded very quickly with a try to take the scores level at 7 all. The game was very even for the next period with both sides displaying good attack and defence. Both teams were playing the game at a good tempo and it was Biggar who achieved the next score which was converted to make the score 14 -7.
Hills responded with a converted try to level the score at 14 all. Biggar scored again to open the lead to 19 – 14. Biggar continued to apply pressure and following several phases a try was scored by very good forward play. 24-14 (HT)
An injury to Biggar full back Sarah Denholm as part of this earlier play resulted in the referee blowing for half time slightly ahead of time. With paramedics still attending to the injury the second half was resumed on an adjacent pitch.
It was Biggar that scored first to make the score 29 -14, Hills responded quickly with a try taking the scores to 29 -19. The Hills girls enjoyed a prolonged period of possession and although the Biggar defence was responding it eventually was broken allowing a score between the posts with a successful conversion which took the score to 29 – 26.
Hills continued to mount attacks and with Biggar picking up further injuries their defence was broken again to take Hills into the lead for the first time in the match 33- 29.
With only minutes remaining in the game Biggar pressurised the Hills defence but it was Hills that finished stronger and held out to take the victory in a fiercely contested match that would have been worthy of the final.
Biggar tries by Megan McCarry, Jennifer Bell, Rachel Hill, Megan MacLeod , Julia Bell with 2 conversions from Emily Armstrong. Hills now proceed to the final against Stirling at Murrayfield.
Many thanks to the fantastic local support, the officials, Joanne Robertson and the Brown family for their sterling work and Richard Robinson for filming duties which must have been difficult in the reduced light of the second half!
PS- Sarah did not incur any breaks and was released from hospital later in the evening with muscle damage and bruising. (Currently sporting a very nice black eye!)
Report by Bill Denholm
Story date: 11/04/2017
Girls succeses in Club Cup Quarter-finals
Girls Club Cup Quarter final. Many thanks to Bill Denholm for this report.
Biggar 65 Annan 5
First up on the pitch were the U18’s who hosted Annan under the lights on Friday evening.
This quarter final tie was the first match in this competition for the Biggar U18’s as they had received a bye in the first round.
Annan were unable to play on Sunday, so the tie was brought forward to Friday evening, being played under floodlight at Hartree Mill.
Biggar had a squad of 19 with several players returning from injury although Annan were only able to field 14, which meant Biggar had a full bench.
The conditions favoured an open flowing game and it was Biggar that dominated for most of the first half, with good work from the forwards allowing quick ball to the backs resulting in Biggar opening up a commanding lead after 20 minutes.
The Annan girls competed well in the forwards but a serious of unforced errors in the back play through good pressure allowed the Biggar girls to dominate with power through the centre and speed out wide.
A good example was the constant harassment caused by Biggar scrum half Rebecca Clarke resulting in turnovers that were capitalised upon by Biggar. The Annan restart kicking was being varied to great effect and caused Biggar difficulty throughout the game, this is an area, no doubt, that the coaches will be working upon in training.
Biggar introduced players from the bench leading up to half time and this disrupted the pattern of play allowing Annan to have some continued possession. This almost resulted in a breakaway try which after regaining possession was scored to give a half time score of 48 -5.
The second half started with the Biggar girls showing, perhaps, too much enthusiasm resulting in several penalties for offside. However, composure was regained and following several more scores the competitive game was completed with some 20 minutes remaining.
Final score 65 – 5.
Tries by Abbie Baillie (2), Feebi Robinson(2), Rachael Hill (3), Ailie Tucker, Emily Armstrong, Kim Laird, and Rhiannon Yardley, with 5 conversions from Sarah Denholm.
The remainder of the time was used as a development period mixing the players from both sides but with the temperature dropping rapidly referee David Raftery brought it to a conclusion after 20 minutes. Player of the match, as awarded by Annan, was Ailie Tucker.
This was a sound all round performance from the girls taking them through to the semi-final stages, their opponents at this stage are yet to be confirmed.
Many thanks as always to the officials and catering staff with special mention to Richard Robinson for filming the match which will allow the coaches to analyse the play. Thanks also to Jennifer Baillie and Douglas Bell for manning the kitchen all night, and to Megan and Erica Macleod for bringing tray loads of rugby cookies and cakes, which were much appreciated and commented upon.
U-15's v Ayr
The U15’s had a tough trip to Ayr on Mothers day. Kicking off at 10.30am and on the day when the clocks went forward was no-ones idea of fun but alternative dates/times had proved too difficult to schedule. Biggar returned victors and now await the semifinal draw.
Story date: 28/03/2017
1sts celebrate Ladies day with a win.
Biggar 38 Ardrossan 26
Biggar dispatched for ever the nightmares of a last minute defeat at the hands of Ardrossan back in November with this 5 try, bonus point win. The performance was patchy however with two spells when the visitors were allowed much too much freedom, the second of these seeing them mount what would have been an unlikely comeback.
An interception and potential try which could have resulted in a draw had the ball stuck to hand was dropped and in fact used in a counter attack, Donald Voas plunging over for the last minute score to seal the result. Before the match there was a mathematical chance that Ardrossan would avoid the drop but this result confirms their relegation to National 3 while it gives Biggar a shot at 6th place if they can overcome their final opponents, GHK, on Saturday.
With several players once again involved in the Young Farmers Talent spot finals, Biggar made several changes but as all of those who came into the side have played throughout the season there was little disruption to proceedings.
In perfect conditions and with an appreciative support from the Ladies Day – with dresses and fascinators to the fore the scenes were akin to Ascot – Biggar began well, taking play to their visitors and putting them immediately under pressure. Had fortune been with Biggar and had they made the most of the chances offered they would have opened the scoring much quicker and much more frequently than they did and yet the first score came after just 6 minutes. Hooker Andrew Orr gained the touchdown after the attacking position was set up by a mazy 40m run from centre Andrew Jardine. Brother Aird was unable to add the extras but this was a comfortable start by Biggar and augured well for the erst of the afternoon.
Or did it?
In fact ‘no’ as Ardrossan came back into things, a couple of errors meaning that they escaped further punishment and in fact gained in confidence. So much so that they scored a try of their own this coming after 20 minutes. Fullback Andrew Duncan ran the ball over the line and stand off Jack Anderson added the conversion to put the Ayrshire side ahead at 7-5.
Both sides then huffed and puffed without actually managing to convert pressure into points. There were some good individual contributions; Andrew Orr showed up well in the loose with his trademark leg drive taking tacklers with him, Gregor Stewart made a couple of good line breaks and almost the line on a couple of chances while Alisdair Sinclair also came close, the offloads on both these occasions not going to hand. Ardrossan fared little better, their handling also letting them down and which saw chances spurned although Biggar were particularly effective in stripping the ball from their opponents and gaining vital turnovers.
Amazingly in was not until the half hour was up that referee Michael Milner awarded the first penalty of the match! There were scrums a-plenty and lots of open play but no penalties – unprecedented!
Ardrossan came really close after they created breaks in Biggar’s central defence but these too were spurned Biggar managing to gain a grip on the match with tries on 35 and then 41 minutes. This last score was vital in that it meant Biggar went in at half time with a decent 12 point lead. The tries were credited to Davy Reive and Sinclair, both players getting in close to the posts to make Aird Jardine’s conversions an easier task.
David McArthur had come on before the break after Richard Peacock was forced off with a knee injury but it was Peacock who started the second half at fullback. Making good ground out of defence Stewart managed to free Craig McDonald early on to take play to half way and it was this play which saw Biggar take control via a host of phases which had Ardrossan deep on the defensive. With play switched from left to right it seemed inevitable that Biggar would add to their tally, breakaway forward Douglas Notman, who was effective throughout, the one to break the deadlock. Jardine added the conversion for 26-7, this also the try to claim the bonus point.
Soon after this Biggar added their 5th score a good piece of work coming after another Ardrossan attack floundered as they lost control of possession. Biggar took full advantage to counter attack and to eventually score a try through skipper Andrew Dunlop, the try converted by Jardine.
With an unassailable lead, Biggar coach Gary Mercer was now able to ring the changes. He made several swaps, with players moving around to accommodate the replacements. This meant that for most of the half there were only 3 or 4 players playing in the same positions was those in which they started. This inevitably had an effect on the play but the players themselves were quick to acknowledge that they were not as efficient as they should have been in coping with these switches.
Ardrossan came right back into the match with a couple of disciplined driving mauls. The first of these saw back row man Scott Campbell crash over while the second came as Biggar were put under pressure and as referee Milner began to blow on a more regular basis.
Dunlop was the culprit on one such Ardrossan charge, the big lock deemed to have bound on from an offside position to prevent the score. With just metres remaining Milner awarded a penalty try which Anderson duly converted to give the Ayrshire XV a slim glimpse of hope at 33-26.
One score separated the teams and as they defended so they almost got that elusive score which would have seen the match drawn. Happily, from a Biggar perspective at least the ball was not held fast and a turnover engineered. A handful of seconds later and Biggar had managed to turn this chance into points, Voas as previously intimated crashing over for the last try. Jardine was unable to add the conversion – final score 38-26.
Gregor Stewart for Biggar and Malin Marinkovic for Ardrossan were awarded their respective man-of-the-match awards.
Richard Peacock, Alistair Sinclair, Gregor Stewart, Andrew Jardine, Craig McDonald, Aird Jardine, David Reive, Donald Voas, Andrew Orr, Dan O'Connell, Andrew Dunlop, Alan Warnock, Ross Jackson, Duncan Withers, Douglas Notman. Reps: Lewis McClinton, Andrew Peacock, James Barr, David McArthur.
Coaches Mercer and David Wilson were critical of their charges in not having run up a bigger tally of tries and it was evident from the players reaction that they too felt that they had been too lenient. Indeed it was hard to know which team had won and which was the quietest on the day.
GHK are next up, the Glasgow club another to have sneaked a win when Biggar had done much to dictate early tactics.
This match is on the same day as Biggar’s annual dinner. Tickets are £25 each. With the original Kilted Kiwi Sean Lineen as guest speaker, Gavin Hill as main Biggar speaker and with contributions from coach Gary Mercer and club Captain Alan Warnock it promises to be an entertaining evening. See GY asap.
Unfortunately there was no 2nd XV match again, this time as Biggar were unable to field a XV as the effects of the Talent Spot and work commitments deprived the side of several regulars.
There should be a 2nd XV match this Saturday against Heriots as the clubs try to complete their league programme but again work commitments – particularly lambing – will have an impact on the Biggar XV.
Story date: 28/03/2017
S2’s play cross Border opposition
Biggar S2's take on West and English side Chobham
Biggar S2s travelled to Milngavie to face West and English touring team Chobham for a round robin tournament on Sunday.
Story date: 27/03/2017
Game 1 saw Biggar line up against Chobham 1. The English age grade system presented us with an U14 age grade team, great to get a taster for what’s to come in Southport next month. Biggar received first possession and Ben took the ball up into what was the only piece of “over enthusiastic” play of the game when he was tackled correctly but then lifted and returned to the ground in an unsafe manner. From the resulting penalty Biggar tested the Chobham forwards only to be stopped and turned over by a very robust Chobham tight 5. This set the tone for the first half with the touring team getting the better of the forward encounter then taking advantage of Biggar’s narrow play by scoring through a mixture of good handling through the backs and finishing out wide.
Turning round at half time three tries down, more of the same ensued and with a couple of minutes left the tourists had added a further two tries.
Not disheartened, Biggar then mounted a concerted forward effort resulting in a deserved Biggar try (Sam).
With the game over, Euan slotted the extra point from in front and the game was over.
Thanks to Chobham for the lend of a player in the second half, the attritional nature of the game taking it’s toll on both teams but Chobham running out worthy winners of a contest played in exactly the right spirit.
Game two saw Biggar face the tourist's second team in what was a much tighter affair. Being two players short from the outset, Chobham kindly lent Biggar two players but were up early with a well taken try round the outside. Not to be deterred, Biggar fought back and levelled proceedings with a fine breakaway try from Kaleb.
All square at half time, this game was being contested mainly around the breakdown with excellent defence from both teams negating any further breakthroughs out wide.
Finally, Chobham did break out wide and the resultant try meant they drew ahead but undeterred, Biggar fought back with a fine try of their own. With the scores now level and only two minutes left on the clock, Biggar mounted what was to prove the decisive action of the game.
A penalty on the tourist’s 22 was tapped quickly and Euan chipped the onrushing defence. The loose ball was finally collected by Biggar and after a couple of phases of secure forward play, Sam touched down by the posts. With Euan adding the extra, the game was over, great win for the lads in Black!
It’s probably worth mentioning at this juncture that the tourist’s, who had been sportingly playing the SRU U14 variation, questioned the kick not having gone through two pairs of hands. This variation only stipulates this restriction from a set piece so the try stood, Biggar claimed the win although a draw would have been a fairer result.
Man of the match was certainly Chobham’s second row forward Aki who continually stole possession in the loose and tackled like his life depended on it, congratulations to both teams for a skilful and committed game of rugby.
Game three saw a quick trip to the grandstand pitch for a final game against West, opponents we’ll meet in the President’s conference next season. Both teams were clearly weary and Biggar ran in tries from their first three possessions.
Once West found their feet the game developed into a far more even contest. Some robust ball carrying from the hosts saw them draw the game closer but Biggar’s constant additions to the scoreboard saw them run out eventual winners.
Today's Biggar Man of the Match(es) goes to Archie. There were the usual robust perfomance from the regular contributors but at 9, Archie displayed the tenacity and quickness of thought we are going to need next year. A special mention goes to our new player Ben who grew with confidence in each match.
A tough day of rugby and great prep for the forthcoming tour, I’m sure there were some exhausted bodies out there but well done to all who played in what were three, excellent games of rugby.
Biggar demolish PL
Biggar 43 Preston Lodge 17
In what was a beautiful day amongst the hills at Hartreemill, Biggar clicked into gear both in attack and defence and gave fans and coaches a very happy end to the weekend despite Scotlands pummelling at Twickenham.
Biggar kicked off towards the club house and were on the scoreboard soon after as the resulting clearance was put into touch well inside Preston Lodge territory. From the ensuing lineout Aird Jardine put a neat chip over the top which was gathered by Notman, fed to Reive on the left, popped back inside to Aird Jardine who showed the covering defence a fend to dive in under the posts. Jardine converted his own try. 7-0
They say you are at your most vulnerable straight after scoring and this was definitely the case after this score. Biggar failed to field the high hanging kick off handing possession back to PL and infringing in the process. Just as it looked like the referee were going to be awarded the penalty Scrum Half Brian Walls popped over a drop goal from the back of the ruck in true Dimitri Yachvili-esque fashion before a plethora of errors allowed PL to make their way up the pitch again for Chris Dixon to score from a well worked driving maul. Biggar 7-10 Preston Lodge
The first half was played at a ferocious tempo and Biggar replied instantly when loose ball was cleared up by Aird Jardine 10m out and some how resulted in the wee stand off wriggling his way over the line with a bit of help from Voas and Stewart. A mere 5 minute later some excellent build up play set Richard Peacock free down the scoreboard side to score in the corner. Jardine converted the first but missed the difficult attempt from out wide for the second. Biggar 19-10 Preston Lodge
Biggar stuck in well in the latter parts of the first half with Ewan Stewart and Sanderson racking up huge tackle counts and getting through a power of work in the tight despite heavy pressure from PL. The blacks didn't ease up and against the run of play Notman gave an offload to Stewart who offloaded to Peacock and the move was finished off by Andrew Jardine who ran an excellent support line to go over under the post. Older brother Aird Jardine converted the score.
Half Time Score - Biggar 26-10 Preston Lodge
Preston Lodge started the better of the two teams in the second half as they kicked long and forced a Biggar to clear their lines into a heavy breeze. Stewart, Sanderson and replacement Andrew Orr all defended majestically and were rewarded with a try against the run of play when David Paterson scurried in under the posts to make an easy conversion for Aird Jardine. Biggar 33-10
Preston Lodge weren't disheartened by the Biggar barrage and kicked off long again with Reive scuffing a kick into the crowd giving PL an ideal opportunity to strike back through their strong driving maul. Biggar managed to repel the first wave before PL captain Peter Johnson squeezed over. Brian Walls converted beautifully from out wide.
Biggar 33-17 Preston Lodge
One could sense the crowds fear of a home side capitulation but this was the furthest thing from the truth as Andrew Orr glided past three covering defenders to finish outstretched in the far burn corner. Aird Jardine had little chance with the conversion into the wind.
Biggar 38-17 Preston Lodge
Biggar were clearly confident and marched back up the pitch again going through over 20 phases in the process. Play became slower as Biggar battered the PL line using the forwards again and again, doing well to maintain possession. Reive moved the ball wider and Aird Jardine found a tired prop in midfield to go over untouched and complete his hat trick.
A fine performance from an excitable Biggar side with Aird Jardine showing up well with 3 tries but the real hard work was done in the tight with outstanding displays from Ewan Stewart, Euan Sanderson and Andrew Orr leading the way into next week.
Richard Peacock, Alistair Sinclair, Stuart Hull, Andrew Jardine, David Paterson, David Reive, Aird Jardine, Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Jamie Orr, A. Warnock, Ewan Sanderson, Douglas Notman, Andrew Dunlop Reps: Lewis McClinton, Andrew Orr, Gregor Stewart,
The side have a week off as the league takes a Super Saturday 6 Nations break before they host second bottom Ardrossan and then travel to take on GHK on 1st April.
There was frustration yet again for the 2nds who were left gameless as other sides fulfilled league commitments.
The Colts meanwhile earned their Edinburgh Regional League Cup final place with a comprehensive win over visitors Livingston. The final will be played on April 8th with both opponents or venue still to be confirmed.
Story date: 14/03/2017
Kirkcaldy take honours
Kirkcaldy 12 Biggar 10
There was great disappointment around the club on Saturday when both the Colts and 2nd XV's opponents called off – Currie at Colts level because they were unable to field a XV and Edin Accies at 2nd XV level because of a water-logged pitch. The upshot is that neither side get to play - again - and the season for the 2nds is extended later when the squad will most likely be depleted due to farming commitments.
The 1st XV match did eventually go ahead but this was only after a morning pitch inspection when the Beveridge Park pitch which had suffered following a very wet Friday dried up, enough to allow play to go ahead.
That both teams and referee coped with the conditions well enough to serve up an entertaining contest is worthy of praise. The underfoot conditions were very difficult to say the least with players slipping and sliding throughout.
Kirkcaldy snatched the match at the death with a try scored after Biggar lost skipper Andrew Dunlop – the sides 3rd yellow card of the day – and when they were eventually outnumbered in defence. The conversion was immaterial but had Biggar opted to kick a penalty with some 15 minutes to go instead of going for the corner, then the pressure would have been huge on the Kirkcaldy kicker and Biggar might have held on to win. As it was Biggar were left ruing those missed opportunities when they were unable to convert pressure into points.
The result prompted mass celebrations for the Fife side who sitting 3rd bottom needed a win to ensure survival in the League next season albeit that there would have had to have been a real change in fortunes for Ardrossan immediately below to have seen them catch Kirkcaldy.
With several of the usual starting squad involved at Lanarkshire YF Talent spot and therefore unable to travel, coaches Mercer and Wilson moved things about to ensure a competitive XV was fielded. It is a current strength within the club that despite being without regulars Orr, Sanderson, Paterson (all YF’s) and Reive, McDonald, Henderson and Lyon (injury/illness) that it was still a strong squad which travelled.
Richard Peacock’s return from injury, which has not seen him involved since November, was all the more timely therefore, the fullback putting in a decent shift despite his lack of match fitness.
In the pack Alan Warnock and Dunlop combined in the second row while Douglas Notman returned to partner Andrew Orr (who is really a hooker) and Duncan Withers in the back row.
Reive’s unavailability allowed David McArthur to start at 9 where he faced ex-Biggar star Quintan Sanft, he an ever-popular sight regardless of the fact that he was again in the opposition XV.
Biggar’s start, on what quickly became a quagmire, was disrupted by an early injury to Robbie Lavery, the centre picking up an ankle injury and which, when combined with injuries to Ewan Stewart and Alan Warnock, will further test Biggar’s resources in the weeks and games to come.
Gregor Stewart came off the bench to replace Lavery.
Playing ‘downhill’ Biggar began well knowing that they would have to keep the big Kirkcaldy pack on the move if they were to win. Despite the conditions Biggar handled well (indeed both sides should, as mentioned take credit for the way in which they passed and held on to ball) to take play into the home sides half where a penalty award saw Aird Jardine kick a successful goal for 3-0.
Enjoying most of the possession but unable to gain any further points highlights came from a great link between the Jardine brothers who opened up a big gap in the Kirkcaldy defence, and from a driven maul which it seemed had ended in a try until the referee adjudged the Biggar ball carrier to have crossed, a clearing penalty to Kirkcaldy the result.
In a see-saw match Kirkcaldy came right back into things with Notman then sent to the bin for what was seen to be a repeated offence of handling the ball on the ground. Reduced to 14 Biggar had to defend well to keep the hosts out but within minutes the steam rolling back took ball over the line for a try to Owen Bonner, converted by Craig Letham.
Under pressure again Biggar struggled to extricate themselves from their half but they also defended well and on the stroke of half time were awarded a penalty just inside their half. With the seconds ticking down Orr took a quick tap to turn the home defence. Having done this and having gained an extra 10m when Kirkcaldy were slow to react Biggar gained a lineout inside the Kirkcaldy half. Ball won was then hit up through the middle by Stuart Hull who found Stewart in support. The centre made ground before converting the 2 on1 and freeing Notman for a sprint to the line for a try converted by Aird Jardine to take Biggar in at half time 10-7 to the good.
Kirkcaldy exerted some real pressure on the Biggar scrum earning a penalty on the restart. Interference by Jardine earned him a yellow and Biggar were back to playing a man short.
Having regained possession Biggar the put the home side under pressure, Warnock going for another quick tap to again turn the Kirkcaldy defence. Having made ground Alisdair Sinclair put in a neat grubber kick but this was gathered and the possession lost.
Notman combined well with Andrew Jardine but a knock on saw this move falter, coach Mercer then fielding Tom Steele for Stewart, this necessitating a switch with Hull coming in at centre. A huge drive by the home pack took play deep into the Biggar half but this attack came to grief as Kirkcaldy knocked on.
Aird Jardine engineered a magnificent 40m line break but he elected to grubber to the line when an inside pass to the supporting Hull might have been a better option although the kick did see Biggar get a great field position just 5m from the Kirkcaldy line. Maintaining their field position Biggar then camped in the home 22 setting up attack after attack but without creating that all-important score which would have put them clear.
Kicking the penalty might have been the better option in retrospect as if Biggar are to convert from close range they need to be more dynamic in the line charge. As it was they gained field position but failed to convert this pressure into points and then the inevitable happened – just as it has several times before!
With a series of attacks coming to nought Biggar lost possession in a turnover and found themselves chasing back to mount a rear-guard defensive effort. This they largely managed to do well although at a similar point to Biggar’s score just before half time, the Fifers eventually managing to break through and over the line for the match-winning try.
This was a disappointment for the Biggar squad who probably just shaded the contest overall. With 3 games remaining against Preston Lodge, Ardrossan and GHK (the first two at home) coach Mercer has set a target of 3 wins from 3. This should be manageable but the squad must be more clinical.
There was good news later on Saturday evening when the result of the Lanarkshire Talent spot came through, Biggar winning and also taking the best Individual act! There is a huge cross over in membership between the two clubs which works wonders for bot organisations.
Story date: 14/03/2017
1sts just miss out
Biggar 10 Cartha Queens Park 20
With three home games scheduled this had been billed as another Super Saturday but sadly 2nd XV opponents Haddington and Colts opponents Pencuik called off midweek leaving the 1st XV as the only home match. Happily the Colts managed to secure a fixture with Border side Kelso ‘Quins but the 2nds were left with nothing although they did enjoy a games-focussed training session prior to watching the match against Cartha.
In October Biggar lost out by 20-11 to Cartha and as there was so little between the sides on that day Biggar fancied their chances of defeating the Glasgow side who are currently league leaders. The result virtually replicated that of October with again over the piece, very little between the sides again.
Cartha won through by virtue of the fact that they capitalised on their territory better than Biggar and that they made fewer mistakes at crucial times. Biggar created opportunities but over the 80 minutes the coughed up too much ball and failed to execute when under pressure. This was an entertaining match however and one which the visitors were mightily pleased to win. Their four remaining games are against 4 of the top 6 sides so they face a tough run in if they are to gain promotion.
In a season when injuries have not as yet had a major bearing on selection, Biggar found themselves short of their regular prop Calvin Henderson, boiler-house pairing of Jamie Orr and Zander Lyon and David Paterson because of injury. Lewis McClinton was brought onto the bench as prop cover, while work-horse Alan Warnock teamed up with Capt Andrew Dunlop at second row and fit-again Stuart Hull came into the side at wing.
Fielding a big pack Cartha came out with all guns blazing, stand off Wayne Burrows kicking an early penalty for 3-0. Quickly back onto the attack Biggar were tested by their visitors who opted for a series of close scrums as they attempted to bludgeon their way over the line. This initial onslaught was repelled following a stout defensive effort which saw all involved as Cartha flung themselves at the Biggar line, scrums, driving mauls and pick and go’s creating real pressure in the Biggar 22.
That they managed to hold their line intact is indicative of the spirit within the squad and indeed the club and is certainly worthy of great credit. Indeed having held out for so long it was a huge achievement for the side to draw level with an Aird Jardine penalty after 20 minutes.
Frustratingly once again Biggar were unable to escape their half from the restart and a series of errors where ball was lost at a defensive lineout and then following a knock-on allowed Cartha to regain their grip on the match. Burrows did his bit in pinning the Biggar side back with some deft and varied kicks to the Biggar line. It was from one of these that a driven maul spawned a chance for prop Juan Phiffer to dot done for a try.
With 15 minutes or so left of the half Biggar were soon back in their 22 as Cartha again used their pack to put further pressure on Biggar’s defence. This ultimately paid off again as following a lineout they enlisted the help of several fo their backs to drive the maul over the line which then allowed hooker Stephan Hartmann to dot down for a try. Burrows was unable to convert either try so at 13-3 Biggar were still very much in the contest.
A tip tackle on the restart gave Cartha a penalty which they used to kick back downfield and while this led to a 22 drop out Burrows gathered Jardines kick to resume the Cartha attack. Another series of line drives saw a huge pile up close the line with Ross Gillies credited with the touchdown. Burrows added the 2 points and so after a huge effort and some great work Biggar still found themselves 20-3 adrift.
Turning around with the breeze on their backs and playing towards the clubhouse Biggar really need an early score to unsettle the visitors but try as they did – and they like Cartha in the first period – enjoyed the lions share of the territorial advantage, they were unable to unlock the Cartha defence.
Biggar did their best to make the breakthrough but they could not sustain pressure as close to the line as they would have liked and found the Cartha tackling as resolute as theirs had been prior to the break.
A good passage of play did see Biggar turn the Cartha defence however and a series of penalties gave them good field position, Cartha eventually losing Burrows to the sin-bin as he crept offside to deny Reive a clear pass. Crucially Biggar were unable to take advantage of their extra man, lineouts taken when a kick at goal might have allowed them to creep closer to the Cartha total.
The visitors employed a very direct crash ball tactic when in defence and this proved successful as Biggar were unable to sustain pressure although charges by Donald Voas, Euan Sanderson, Robbie Lavery, Gregor Stewart and Jardine did make inroads.
There were also a number of unfortunate errors which saw players check when in almost full flow and when lineouts were scrappy and which allowed Cartha to regroup. Andrew Orr who replaced Ross Jackson at half time and Douglas Notman who came on for Sanderson made some telling contributions. Indeed it was Orr who scored Biggar’s try. Jardine made a typically mazy run through the Cartha line before setting up a good ruck. Quick ball was fed left to the rampaging flanker who crashed over from some 10 metres for a great score. Jardine’s conversion gave Biggar some hope at 20-10 but Cartha had hitherto been difficult to unlock and despite further periods of pressure Biggar could n ot add to their tally.
The dying minutes saw Cartha unleash what was their only line break of the half but a turnover gave Biggar the chance for one last hurrah with a gritty 40 metre sprint form Voas. His inside pass was taken by Jardine in support but he was immediately caught and the game ended as this movement was halted.
Loud cheers from the Cartha squad who continue with their promotion bid while it looks increasingly likely that Biggar will have to be content with a 7th place, though this is dependent on the 4 favourable results.
Biggar certainly deserved a losing bonus, of that there is little doubt, their territorial domination in the second half worthy of that at least. It was not to be however and instead Biggar came close, again! While coaches Gary Mercer and Davy Wilson could do nothing other praise the commitment and spirit they would dearly love their side to take advantage of their chances and win these tight games.
Thomas Steele, Stuart Hull, Robbie Lavery, Gregor Stewart, Alistair Sinclair, Aird Jardine, David Reive, Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Andrew Dunlop, Alan Warnock, Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson, Duncan Withers Reps: Andrew Orr, Lewis McClinton, Douglas Notman, Craig McDonald
Story date: 21/02/2017
National selection honours
Congratulations to Fraser Brown who was selected to start on Saturday for Scotland against Ireland. Sadly his involvement lasted but 25 minutes after he clashed heads and although he was able to return after treatment he was replaced. Early indications are that the injury will not rule him out of selection for this weekend’s match against France.
At National U18 level Guy Kelly and Andrew Nimmo both took part in a training match on Sunday between the members of the Scotland U18 squad. Both props acquitted themselves well and will now continue to train prior to the 6Nations Championship in March. Meanwhile Andrew Jardine who has had a frustrating season due to injury will continue his latest return to action after rib injury. He will keep his fingers crossed that he will be considered for the March event.
Story date: 07/02/2017
Friday night floodlit match
2nds v Penicuik
The break in League action due to the start of this year’s 6 Nations Championship – and what a belter of a performance from Scotland – meant that there was another opportunity to hold a Friday evening match under the floodlights.
With a pre-match meal featuring sponsors Harbro and a fantastic turnout of coaches, refs and other volunteers as the club thanked all for their efforts the clubhouse was packed to overflowing.
The team work of Carolyn Cairns, Jan Harper alongside Kim, Lisa and Tess worked wonders again to provide a cracking meal for all (thanks again ladies!) before those brave enough ventured out to take in the match between Biggar and Penicuik 2nds.
‘Brave’ enough was apt and that goes too for those who played as the evening was anything but pleasant with a gale and torrential rain spoiling the contest which was ended prematurely because players (and referee) were so cold.
By midway through the second half the game was pretty much done and dusted as Biggar had engineered a handsome and unassailable lead against a plucky Penicuik XV who on the night were out-gunned by salvo upon salvo from the host XV.
There were encouraging performances from the side with all contributing positively to the cause. It was great to see Scott Thomson and Kyle Anderson back on the rugby pitch and eager to rejoin the fray.
Jock Bogle and Alistair Browning took over the reins as coach Doug Fleming couldn’t be there – the job of selection not an easy one after the Thursday evening training when there was a massive turnout of some 36 senior players. In addition to those present there were of course others who could not manage and/or who were injured. Given that the 1sts XV had no Saturday game and that the 2nds were playing the following night this was a very encouraging sight for the coaches and the club.
Well done to all involved, with of course praise for the pitch development which means that training is now on a well-lit, firm, largely dry surface which makes the prospect of going training so much more appealing. Contrast that with the conditions of previous years when the 2nd XV pitch was under so much pressure with large areas waterlogged and almost unplayable.
The preparations continue this week for the resumption of league action on Saturday although these preparations will be somewhat disrupted by the Young Farmers, all of whom have a busy schedule with the concert running all week. It’s been done before by many however and as the clubs tend to compliment each other it’s all part and parcel of busy times! Good luck to all!
Story date: 07/02/2017
All ‘GO’ at Hartree Mill on Sunday
On Sunday, teams arrived from Oban at boys S1/2 level, and from Falkirk, Waysiders, Cartha, East Kilbride, Linlithgow and Livingston at girls U15 level. Games ensued on what was a much more pleasant afternoon than had been the case the previous day.
All had a great afternoons’ rugby.
Biggar also had an U18 girls side at Murrayfield Wanderers (31-15 defeat) and U12 and U10 girls at Stewarts Melville! It just gets bigger and better!
U18 girls v Murrayfield Wanderers. (Report by Jane Denholm)
The U18 girls had their first match of 2017 on a cold and bright day on the back pitch at Murrayfield.
They started off well with some early pressure leading to a penalty which was taken quickly and a try was scored in the corner by Amy Watkins.
Wandies came back at Biggar although handling errors on both sides meant that the sides were evenly matched for the bulk of the first half. Injuries to Biggar full back Kim Laird and No 10 Amy Watkins on the half hour mark disrupted play and Wandies took advantage from a lineout to score an unconverted try to level the score at 5 all at half time.
Wandies started the second half better and took advantage of a mix up in the Biggar ranks to score a converted try to take the score to 12-5. Biggar responded with some pressure that led to a further try scored by Ailie Tucker to take the score to 12-10.
Wandies N0 10 ,who was a constant threat to Biggar all day, scored a breakaway try and with a successful conversion took the score to 19-10. Wandies continued to press and despite some valiant defending by Biggar they scored a further try mid-way through the second half to increase the score to 24-10.
Some direct running from the Biggar girls and good driving gave Biggar a try with 5 minutes to go taking the score to 24-15 (try scored by Biggar Captain Emily Armstrong). However it was Wandies that showed the greater hunger and after an error at the re-start it allowed the Wandies Nr 10 to score a further converted try right on full time. Final score 31-15.
The girls looked rusty for long periods of the match although there was some very good work at the lineout and scrum but they will need to work on certain areas ahead of the upcoming league and cup matches. As always many thanks go to the coaches and we hope that Amy and Kim recover quickly and are back playing soon.
Story date: 01/02/2017
A Tale of two halves…
West of Scotland 26 Biggar 32
Biggar claimed only their second away win this season after they scraped over the line against West on Saturday.
That Biggar claimed a 4 try bonus was another boost for the side who have struggled recently, save for last week against bottom of the table Hill Jills.
With West claiming a win over near neighbours GHK the previous Saturday, Biggar travelled in the knowledge that they would face a city side on form. That they dominated the first half was extremely pleasing then, their 29 point tally coming in very nearly the same number of minutes. Aird Jardine kicked 2 conversions from the 5 first half tries, the opening try scored by himself and others by Alisdair Sinclair, Donald Voas, Ewan Sanderson and Gregor Stewart.
Quite what went wrong after the break needs some analysis but seemingly, without any obvious reason, Biggar’s effort faltered just as West’s increased, the home side able to claw their way back into the contest to add 3 tries to their solitary first half score to claim a 4 try bonus of their own ato take the score to 29-26 with some 10 minutes remaining.
This then became a 1 score match and it was left to Jardine to stretch Biggar’s lead to 6 points with a penalty. West were still very much in the game however and had they opted to kick for touch with their last penalty and use their most successful tactic, the lineout drive to exert pressure on the Biggar line then they may have sneaked the win. Instead however the tap penalty option was preferred and as they went through the phases it was Jamie Orr who rounded off a cracking game with a priceless turnover to end the contest.
Exciting or nerve racking? Both and in equal measure!
Biggar made a couple of changes to the side which opened against Hill Jills. There was a change at centre where Gregor Stewart returned after injury to replace Craig McDonald and at scrum half where Davy Reive replaced David McArthur.. In the pack Andrew Dunlop moved up to 2nd row to replace the injured Zander Lyon while Duncan Withers took his place in the back row albeit for just the first half due to a prior engagement.
Colt Andrew Nimmo made his first step into senior action as he came off the bench, the youngster showing up well and making some decent hits. He is also to be congratulated on making the next cut for the Scotland U18 squad who take on England at Peffermill on Sunday.
In a whirlwind start, this much to do with the fact that the game was played on West’s 3G pitch, Biggar ran West ragged and allowed them barely a touch of the ball and this only after Jardine opened the scoring with a neat chip and chase.
David Paterson, who had a very positive and very industrious day in both attack and defence, made the break for the next score although it was opposite winger Sinclair who rounded off the move with try in the corner. Paterson showed some real flair with this run which saw him round and hand off no fewer than 4 defenders before feeding Sinclair. Having missed the first conversion from a relatively good angle Jardine saw his next effort from virtually the touchline rebound off the upright. 10-0.
A series of good carries ended as Withers was left isolated and the resultant penalty gave west the chance to use their driving maul to good effect to take play into Biggar’s 22. Their pick and go’s looked to have done enough for a score but the referee blew for a knock on instead although the scrum saw Biggar penalised and west regain the initiative. A couple of phases later and their centre crashed over for a score which took the score to 10-7.
Undeterred Biggar came right back into things with a try Donald Voas, the prop tracking a dynamic charge from Ross Jackson. When tackled Jackson presented well and gave Voas the chance to pick and go for the last 8 metres.
Barely three minutes elapsed before Ewan Sanderson crashed over after another assault on the West line. Jardine’s conversion put Biggar ahead at 22-7 and also gave Biggar the 4 try bonus.
Stewart’s try just short of the half hour was set up by Robbie Lavery whose run took him through the first West line of defence. His pop pass was gratefully accepted by his fellow centre who was able to get the ball down despite the attentions of the West cover. Jardine added the points for the 29-7 half time score.
Biggar almost added a 6th try as Jackson intercepted off West in the Biggar 22. The youngster set off for the line but a cracking cover tackle from the West fullback did just enough to prevent the off-load tp the supporting Paterson and the attack came to nought.
Biggar don’t have a great track record for regularly running up large scores but such was their dominance of the first half proceedings - save perhaps for the driven line which West used to good effect – that had they managed another score shortly after half time, things might have been very different.
That was not to be however and a combination of errors and an increase in confidence of the home side conspired to give West the initiative. Their scrum half nipped over from an early attack and the conversion took the score to 29-14.
West will rue the missed chances they had in the game and which would have given them the win had they been converted. Twice they lost control of ball over the line although this was also due in no small part to some excellent cover defence from Biggar’s back 3 of Sinclair, Paterson and Steele who tracked back well on both occasions to prevent the score.
On the first of these the score was merely delayed as a mix up off the scrum base, an area which Biggar generally controlled well, led to possession being lost by Stewart who could only watch as the West centre pounced to score the try. 29-21!
A penalty and kick to the corner preceded the next West try, which happily from a Biggar point of view at least, was not converted. But at 29-16 the match was set alight for a nerve-jangling 10 minutes.
As the game progressed it became evident that the errors from both sides were going to be influential. While Biggar showed up really well in defence – Orr, Sanderson, Stewart just three who tackled tirelessly throughout – it was West’s errors which prevented them from claiming the lead.
Biggar’s attacks were rare occasions and these too ended with errors which allowed West further attacking opportunities. One such opportunity came as West lost ball in attack. Showing some great skills Biggar passed the ball wide to Lavery who made ground before passing to Paterson who took off on another run. There is a time to pass and a time to run and on this occasion Paterson held on for a fraction too long, the off-load to Orr just not suite going to hand.
Just minutes later however and Biggar were awarded a rare penalty which Jardine slotted for 32-26.
As the clock ticked on Biggar tackled manfully and then came the last turnover from Jamie Orr which brought the final whistle.
Players breathed heavily from their efforts while the Biggar spectators breathed heavily in relief! Ex-Biggar man Angus Thomson again showed up well form his adpoted club, leading form the front and tackling well throughout.
Coaches Mercer and Wilson were left scratching at their heads in an effort to understand quite what changed after half time. Nevertheless, this was an important win and one which should set the squad up nicely for their next match which sees them back in Glasgow at Whitecraigs.
Thomas Steele, Alistair Sinclair, Robbie Lavery, Gregor Stewart, David Paterson, Aird Jardine, David Reive (C), Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Andrew Dunlop, Jamie Orr, Duncan Withers, Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson. Reps: Andrew Orr, Calvin Henderson, Andrew Nimmo, Craig McDonald.
The 2nd XV hosted Lasswade in a match postponed from a fortnight ago.
Able to field a strong XV Biggar recorded another excellent win by 41-3.
There was a 4 try bonus point with Alan Warnock notching a fantastic 4 try haul himself while Douglas Notman, Craig Frame and Alan Todd also scored, the last two both scoring from what was their first touches of the ball!
Gary Morrison (2) and Jack Warnock (2) shared the kicking duties.
With Kelso winning a tight match by 19-17 at Edin Accies, but without the all important bonus point, Biggar now return to the top of the East reserve league table by just 1 point.
Well done boys!
Story date: 01/02/2017
Biggar get first win of 2017
Billed as Super-Saturday on account of the fact that Biggar were hosting 3 important matches involving their 2 senior sides and the Colts, the day dawned with pitches frost covered and crisp. The sun soon burned the whiteness off and later almost provided a little heat. The scene was set perfectly for a great afternoon’s rugby.
There was a hugely encouraging support from the town and club membership and a healthy support as well from the visiting teams.
Many thanks to all who made their way to Hartree Mill to support the players and the club. Much has been made of the club’s One Club, One Family strap-line but this was certainly the case on Saturday when whole families were represented, several with 3 generations present. The whole place was buzzing – just so pleasing for everyone involved in the club’s development. Many thanks to Peter and Nigel and the U18 girls who handled the car-parking with their usual aplomb and also to the Match sponsors Lance Armstrong.
By 3.40pm Biggar had won 2 from 3 matches. This was a huge achievement although there was disappointment given that the Colts just fell short of defeating their Cup opponents Stirling County.
Biggar had hitherto gone undefeated in the Green Conference and they faced County who were undefeated in the President’s Conference. Arguably then, these were the two top Colts sides in the country and so this was the draw neither side really wanted at this quarter final stage.
Biggar 55 Hillhead Jordanhill 7
In what was one of two support acts on Saturday – priority and spectator numbers firmly going to the Colts match – Biggar broke their recent losing run with a comprehensive 55-7 win over bottom of the table Hillhead Jordanhill. Given that the Glasgow side have not managed a win to date this season there was some confidence amongst the Biggar squad that they would get back on to a winning run and so this proved, the bulk of the play in the visitors half seeing Biggar create many opportunities.
Indeed the score could as easily have been nearer 80 such were the number of chances created and which then fell foul as passes were dropped or defence stood up to the Biggar runners. Add to that the missed conversions from Aird Jardine who had a mixed day with the boot, kicking 5 from 9, and it is easy to see how the total could have been exceeded.
There were several cases where white-line fever took over and players went for the line rather than looking to move the ball to the unmarked supporting team mate. This was not surprising perhaps given the recent dearth of wins but players will surely recognise that such largesse will not lead to wins in their next games as the opposition will prove far more secure.
Biggar made only a few changes to the XV which should have taken to the field last week against West. David Reive was unavailable for this match and his place was taken by David McArthur who, despite the attentions of the wiry Ross Thomson (ex-Peebles and son of SRU Head of Youth rugby Colin) showed some really nice touches throughout including one great burst through the middle in the second half. McArthur’s place on the wing went to Alisdair Sinclair who made a return after missing the Aberdeenshire match. On the bench there was a spot for Duncan Withers who has been out for several weeks following an appendicitis. He started for the 2nds and then came into the 1st XV match after half time. He seems to have lost little in his lay off as he picked up a nice score for the 2nds and contributed positively for the 1sts.
Having sewn up the 4 try bonus point in the first half Biggar allowed Hill Jills back into the match just before half time – and when ironically the Glasgow side were down to 14 men – when a score was conceded under the posts to James Lowry. Rory Harte kicked the conversion.
After the break Biggar continued in similar form scoring another 5 tries to secure the 55 point total.
There were several highlights on the day with great carries from Jamie Orr, Andrew Orr, Ewan Stewart and Ross Jackson, the last named romping home from some 60 metres after ball was plundered from a Hill Jills attack (check Nigel’s picks on the website for a cracking frame-by-frame sequence of much of this run). This effort and several other telling contributions in both attack and defence earned the breakaway the Biggar man-of-the-match award. The Hill Jills winner was Wallace Nelson.
Aird Jardine again showed some deft touches with the boot which kept the Hill Jills defence in check while Robbie Lavery made some telling bursts, one of which led to a try for himself and a later effort which saw his offload taken by Sinclair for a try. David Paterson looked full of running and probably should have had more than one score while one well-timed cover tackle saved what would have been a certain score.
For the record, tries were scored by Ewan Sanderson (2), Alisdair Sinclair (2), Andrew Dunlop, Ross Jackson, David Paterson, Robbie Lavery and Aird Jardine (who also kicked 5 conversions).
Thomas Steele, Alisdair Sinclair, Craig McDonald, Robbie Lavery, David Paterson, Aird Jardine, David McArthur, Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O’Connell, Jamie Orr, Zander Lyon, Ewan Sanderson, Andrew Dunlop, Ross Jackson. Reps: Calvin Henderson, Andrew Orr, Douglas Notman, Duncan Withers.
This win takes Biggar from 9th to a much healthier 7th spot. With 6 games remaining and with 4 of these against teams below then there is an outside chance of sneaking a 5th place but this would only come about if other results went Biggar’s way. Given however the recent run of defeats a 7th spot may well be as welcome!
The side travels on Saturday to take on West of Scotland this the game postponed from last week because of frost.
In what was the other supporting act, the 2nds hosted Jedforest in what was assumed would be a really tough encounter. The Border side have been beaten only once at home – by Biggar – and were hot on the heels of Biggar in the league occupying 3rd spot.
Bolstered by the inclusion of stand off Fraser Harkness who has in the past wreaked havoc against Biggar when he played for Selkirk, it was thought they would prove a really difficult proposition for Biggar.
For Biggar, coach Dougie Fleming’s selection was a little easier than last week when several players were unavailable. On Saturday he was able to welcome back Duncan Withers, Gregor Stewart and Jack Warnock after injury and this added to a strong, belligerent pack, including the super-charged and determined quartet of Kevin Robson, Andrew Howatson, Alan Warnock and Andrew Peacock, all of whom lead by example and the scene was set for a cracking contest.
In actual fact however it was pretty much one-way traffic as Biggar dominated much of the play. In attack Biggar spread the ball intelligently and in defence they were secure with some secure and telling hits.
Injury hampered Jed’s cause as they lost a couple of their number, including brother of Biggar’s DO Iain Chisholm. The game was eventually cut some 9 minutes short following an injury to one of their props. Happily, though this resulted in a hospital visit, reports are that he is making a good recovery.
By that time Biggar had garnered a winning bonus with a 45-0 scoreline which will stand despite the early finish.
Tries came from Jack Warnock, Stevie Campbell, Duncan Withers, Peter Miller, Stuart Alder and James Simpson. Gary Morrison added 3 conversions.
Story date: 25/01/2017
Biggar defeated by Aberdeenshire
Biggar 24 Aberdeenshire 29
Biggar had been desperate to start off 2017 with a more positive result than had been the case at the end of 2016 but yet again they came up short, gaining only a losing bonus point for their not inconsiderable, efforts.
This makes it a really disappointing run of 6 defeats but all the more frustratingly when no fewer than 4 of these have been lost by one score or less. In games of such small margins Biggar’s propensity to collect yellow cards is becoming ever more significant with another 2 players shown yellow on Saturday. It is a difficult enough task playing the game with equal numbers but all the more difficult when the side is a man, or as was the case again on Saturday, 2 men down for close on 6 minutes. Not surprisingly Aberdeenshire took full advantage to score once and then again just after Robbie Lavery returned after his 10 minute rest.
It’s really difficult to know why Biggar suffer so often but to date the side has collected double the number of cards than have been shown to their opponents; close to 2 full games with a man down. Each one can be described unlucky or down to referee’s interpretation but currently Biggar are suffering and must do something to address this issue.
Biggar’s starting XV was without Alisdair Sinclair who was unavailable and Jamie Orr who was ruled out after injury at Kelso. This meant a call up for Craig McDonald on the wing and a switch in the pack with Andrew Dunlop at lock and Ewan Stewart at flank forward. Andrew Orr was retained at hooker after a very strong showing at Kelso.
Opening towards the clubhouse on a particularly still afternoon Biggar found themselves 3-0 up after just a minute as whistler John Shaw penalised ‘Shire for offside, stand off Aird Jardine kicking the points.
The visitors replied just 5 minutes later with a penalty of their own, Carne Green kicking for 3-3.
Just 10 minutes later and after a loose lineout Biggar capitalised well as Ewan Stewart made an excellent counter ruck to dislodge possession. An interception by Captain Andrew Dunlop saw the big man sprint in from some 25 metres for a try converted by Jardine. 10-3 to Biggar.
The stand off used a variety of kicks to turn the ‘Shire defence and these generally worked well, the chasers up quickly to put pressure on the defenders. It was from one such kick, the territory having been won by a dynamic line drive, that Biggar scored their second try, the brothers Jardine working well together as Aird kicked and Andrew chased, the scorer just getting to the ball before Orr who was through quickly. The conversion took Biggar ahead at 17-3.
‘Shire had won handsomely in the first meeting back in September and it was hardly surprising that they should come back into the game, although their try stemmed from a quickly taken lineout by Biggar when there was no real need to force the pace of the match. The initial ‘Shire attack had been brought to a swift end after a fine cover tackle by fullback Steele and things were set for a defensive line. Instead however the quick throw was made to David Paterson who kicked clear and while this was effective ‘Shire managed to retain both possession and territory.
Stand off Green was instrumental throughout the afternoon and he did much to orchestrate proceedings as he had done in the first meeting. It was his cleverly judged kick after a series of probing runs which found space and then winger Peter Paxton. He made ground towards the Biggar 22 before passing inside to scrum half Stuart Simpson who dived in under the posts. Green converted and the visitors were right back into things at 17-10.
The half ended in rousing fashion as play swung from end-to-end. Biggar showed promise, a neat exchange between Andrew Jardine, Steele and McDonald taking play deep into the ‘Shire half before a turnover saw the visitors regroup and then as Aird Jardine took an interception just inside the Biggar half. His pass inside was taken by brother Andrew and it looked as first as though the youngster would break clear and go the whole way to the line but Green did enough to slow his progress. In the tackle the pop pass to the supporting Orr was in turn intercepted by ‘Shire who were able to snuff the breakout and initiate an attack of their own. Dunlop with a charge down and shortly afterwards a run by Lavery promised much but both chances faltered as possession was lost.
In the tight Biggar were enjoying some dominance as they were able to put real pressure on the ‘Shire pack this making the visitors work really hard for any quality ball. The pack also drove well in the loose although ‘Shire engineered a number of crucial turnovers, something which Biggar struggled to match.
Half time then with the match evenly balanced.
‘Shire were immediately on the attack at the restart putting pressure on Biggar’s defence which largely stood up to the test although the carries made by the ‘Shire pack were making good yards. Their No8 and captain Greig Ryan was again to the fore and it was from one of his forays to the Biggar line that initiated the next score. Held up, there was a pile up where ex-Biggar man Michael McKeand picked and rolled over for the try – a feat he performed back in September as well! Green’s conversion levelled the scores at 17 points a-piece.
Coach Gary Mercer rang some changes in the pack with Douglas Notman and Dan O’Connell replacing Dunlop and Voas respectively. Conceding a score is one thing but losing a player is as damaging and this is exactly what befell Biggar as they were looking to play in the ‘Shire half. Robbie Lavery was the man to be shown yellow but it is really difficult to see why in the video replay as he seems to be doing nothing untoward. However, the referee is the man who makes the decisions and Biggar were down to 14. Things got worse just minutes later when after another text-book cover tackle Tom Steele was adjudged to have gone off his feet to play the ball in a ruck. This would seem a clearer error but whether it warranted a yellow is up for debate. As it was however Biggar were now down to 13 and requiring a herculean effort to prevent ‘Shire from adding to their tally.
Biggar managed to hold out for a number of phases after the penalty but it was inevitable that regardless of their defensive efforts a score would eventually come. A surge by Ryan was repelled but Green took advantage of the stretched cover defence to sneak in close to the posts for a try which he converted for 24-17.
As Biggar made further changes to personnel so ‘Shire racked up the pressure. Lavery made his return but Biggar were still a man down. In addition to the close to the line defence from the pack as a whole there were some excellent cover tackles made by David Paterson, Craig McDonald, Andrew Dunlop and Ross Jackson all of which halted what looked to be certain scores but following one foray the visitors moved ball swiftly left where there was space a-plenty for winger Paxton to cross. There was no conversion to this score but at 29-17 ‘Shire were in the driving seat with just under 15 minutes to go.
Biggar maintained a positive approach however and benefited from the return of Steele. Biggar also met the ‘Shire attack with continued stoic efforts and tried to attack when they were able. The game became much less structured as players tried to counter the effects of the Festive period but there was still drama as both sides ran with the ball.
Davy Reive seemed to have been taken out illegally from a lineout close to the ‘Shire line but this was unseen by referee Shaw and Green was able to clear. His kick failed to find touch however, something which Biggar were certainly guilty over the piece. David McArthur, who had replaced McDonald linked well with Steele and Andrew Jardine. Aird Jardine then took ball forward and through the first line of ‘Shire’s defence. His neat off load found Orr who in turn fed Lavery, the centre beating the cover defence for a great and much deserved score. Jardine added the conversion to put Biggar within one score of a win. There were however just minutes remaining and it was clear that they would have to take every opportunity that was given if they were to make a late comeback.
That Biggar made all the running in this last part of the match is not in doubt. Willing runners in Notman, Lyon, the two Jardines, McArthur and Voas along with others all tested the ‘Shire defence. With the match still very much in the balance a probing run to within 10 metres of the ‘shire line ceded a penalty to Biggar. There was insufficient time for a lineout but rather than take a scrum which might have provided a solid platform Biggar opted to tap and go, Notman hitting up a shade too high which allowed ‘Shire to create the maul and with ball held up it was game over.
Another bitter pill for the Biggar squad to swallow. This was another massive effort from the whole squad but crucial errors and the yellow cards proved to be the difference between the sides. Are opponents perhaps more streetwise and more clever around the contact situation or are referees keener to penalise Biggar because of previous transgressions?
Thomas Steele, Craig McDonald, Robbie Lavery, Andrew Jardine, David Paterson, Aird Jardine, David Reive, Donald Voas, Andrew Orr, Calvin Henderson, Andrew Dunlop, Zander Lyon, Ewan Sanderson, Ewan Stewart, Ross Jackson. Reps: Dan O’Connell, Stephen Campbell, David McArthur, Douglas Notman.
The side travel next week to take on West of Scotland, a side they easily defeated (35-10) in the first round of matches. Away wins have been few and far between however and so this match takes on ever greater importance. The side were always going to be without centre Andrew Jardine as he was due to play on Saturday for the Colts in their Scottish Cup quarter final but the really sad news for the teenager is that he sustained rib damage on Saturday which will mean he cannot play in that match either. More importantly are his Scotland U18 commitments but given his current form it is hoped that he will remain in the frame for these.
Saturday’s Colts match is an U18 Scottish Cup quarter final match against the current Cup holders Stirling County and is sure to be a cracking affair. Biggar will need to be at their best to beat the President’s Conference winners but it has been done before, most notably three seasons ago when Biggar halted the County sides hopes of a hat-trick of Scottish Cup wins.
It would be fantastic if the Biggar membership could get down to Hartree Mill to cheer the boys on. Stirling will doubtless bring a big support and with a 2nd XV match on as well (AND a football match) it promises to be a busy place indeed!
The 2nd XV journeyed to SRU headquarters on Saturday to take on Murrayfield Wanderers in their BT East Reserve League 2 match.
The match proved to be a much more difficult prospect than had been the case in October when Biggar ran out winners by 45-0. The Edinburgh club’s 1st XV are sitting at the top of the East Region Div 1 however and it is clear that this has led to their 2nd string being much stronger also. Down for a long period of the match Biggar scored points through tries from teenager Henry Adams who is home for Christmas, James Barr and Ali Browning, the veteran answering coach Doug Fleming’s call as he was short of regular players. Barr also added two conversions. Biggar won by 19-15 to retain their top spot in the league, 5 points ahead of second placed Kelso.
Great to see Stewart Moffat and John Taylor also playing. The more the merrier!
Story date: 11/01/2017
Biggar lose out to Kelso in pre-Christmas match
Kelso 31 Biggar 17
Biggar's trip to the Borders on Saturday was always going to be a very tough ask not least because Kelso's only defeat this season was to Biggar on the second league Saturday back in September which gave the home side an extra incentive to win. Since then, aside from one drawn match, Kelso have piled on the points and now sit 3 points ahead of second placed Cartha Queens Park. They look well placed to make a swift return to National 1 though they have openly recruited heavily to ensure this is the case.
On Saturday in addition to being a physically much larger side, Kelso proved to be a more tactically aware with a very efficient back row led by Dom Buckley who scored a hat-trick of tries and was at the heart of much of their play. Biggar's young side in contrast, while showing some great enterprise, were unable to win sufficient tidy ball in the tight or to punch holes in the Kelso defence. Unable to sustain phases of play, many promising moves broke down in contact when Kelso's dominance meant Biggar had to start all over again. Biggar did score a couple of excellent tries however, their second, arguably the pick of the day and which featured a neat chip in the Kelso 22 from stand off Aird Jardine. His brother Andrew collected the kick to take ball to within 10 metres of the Kelso line when on seeing his way to a score was blocked flicked the ball out the back to Craig McDonald who dived over. Jardine senior added the conversion which ended the match.
Selection was much in the same lines as has been the case in recent weeks although there were some late changes. David McArthur was a late call off while Alan Warnock was drafted into the side when Stevie Campbell was unable to play away from home. In the front row Dan O'Connell's absence through injury was significant, Kelso fielding a particularly front five with of course ex-Biggar man Colin Arthur once again to the fore. Their sky-scraper lock forward Donald Seed was another who made his presence felt, especially on the touchline where Biggar were under a good deal of pressure not at all eased following the early retiral of lock Jamie Orr.
With the breeze on their backs Biggar opened well and took play quickly to the Kelso 22 but were unable to convert pressure into points.
Stand off Aird Jardine and centre Robbie Lavery both used a selection of kicks to turn the Kelso defence but these were often a tad too long to really create chances while on other occasions they resulted in scrum back as they drifted over the dead ball line. Biggar did also look full of running with Andrew Jardine and Lavery combining well to take play over the gain line. The support was often there to clear out but the Kelso defence held firm.
After 16 minutes and in what was perhaps their first real incursion into the Biggar 22 a penalty
gave the home side a chance to kick to the corner which they did. A neat lineout move saw scrum half Andy Tait draw the Biggar defence before feeding prop Arthur who crashed over from 10 metres. Centre Phil Hume added the conversion for a 7-0 lead.
A Buckley break off the restart took play back into the Biggar 22 where after several probing attempts from the pack Tait shifted ball left to Buckley who crashed over for his first score. Hume was unable to add the conversion.
Undeterred Biggar were quickly back in attack where an offside gave Aird Jardine the chance which eh took to open Biggar's account. 12-3.
Under pressure in the tight Biggar struggled to win any sort of tidy ball and this meant they were more often than not in defensive roles. In this respect the whole Biggar squad can take great credit because this was a major factor on the day and one which no-one failed. Ewan Sanderson, Ewan Stewart and Ross Jackson (who replaced Orr) were perhaps the most prolific but all deserve credit.
It was a Sanderson cover tackle the provoked the only flare up of the game as passions ran high after the Biggar flanker got back to tackle well. Ironically it was the Biggar man who seemed to suffer most in the mellee who was yellow-carded this apparently as he had deliberately knocked ball down after the tackle.
The resultant scrum provided another attacking opportunity for Kelso but the Biggar defence somehow managed to keep the Borderers out. Not so at scrum time however and Biggar were marched back before Buckley touched down under no pressure for his second try, Hume's conversion taking the score to 19-3 and half time.
Despite an early setback when the restart was kicked straight into touch and the fact that they now faced the breeze, Biggar had as much of the ball and play – if not more – in this half than in the first. They showed some real intent in their running and passing but did not have quite enough punch to break the Kelso defence consistently.
Biggar did score first however, this after a penalty for a high tackle by Arthur saw Jardine kick to the Kelso 22. Given their superiority in the forwards it would no doubt irk their coaching staff that Kelso were summarily marched backwards for all of those 22 metres with replacement flanker Andrew Orr (for Alan Warnock) at the foot of the pile up and claiming the try which Jardine converted to give his side some hope at 19-10.
A Kelso attack foundered on a forward pass, and then Kelso were reduced to 14 following an illegal tackle in midfield. Kelso made light of this however as the next scrum saw ball moved left. A rare mix up in defence saw two Biggar players make a tackle on the stand off Skeen who nipped through the gap before off-loading to winger Arran Jackson who made it to the line. Hume's conversion took the score to 26-10.
Bighgar continued to throw everything they had into attack, Andrew Jardine, Orr, Lavery, Thomas Steele and Jackson all making making ground but with their physical presence Kelso committed just enough to the tackle to slow Biggar down and leave others to provide cover defence.
A lineout error provided an opportunity for Kelso and as they had been all day their clinical finishing saw Buckley rampage through the Biggar defence on a 40 metre run to the line to notch his hat-trick. The conversion was well off target but at 31-10 the home side had more than recorded another 4 try bonus.
Whether they slackened off in the last quarter is a moot point but Biggar managed to exert some real pressure in this period, Kelso doing enough to keep Biggar out but never really threatening the Biggar line again, play almost exclusively confined to the Kelso half.
Calvin Henderson gave way to Lewis McLinton while Craig McDonald had earlier replaced winger Alisdair Sinclair. Some good play meant that Biggar made inroads into the Kelso 22 but errors – a couple of dropped passes – denied them the score until that is the last movement of the game which was described previously and resulted in McDonald's try.
For the record Andrew Jardine collected Biggar's Man-of-the-match while Buckley was the man for k
Thomas Steele, Alistair Sinclair, Robbie Lavery, Andrew Jardine, David Paterson, Aird Jardine, David Reive, Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Calvin Henderson, Jamie Orr, Zander Lyon, Ewan Sanderson, Alan Warnock, Andrew Dunlop . Reps:, Lewis McLinton, Andrew Orr, Ross Jackson, Craig McDonald.
Biggar end 2016 then with 4 defeats and now sit in 8th spot. Given that at one point they were looking for a top 4 finish then this will ultimately be a big disappointment but a closer look at three of the defeats show that these games were lost by 2 points or less. While acknowledging that sport is often all ifs and buts those three wins instead of three defeats would put Biggar in that coveted 4th spot.
A Festive break will see the squad continue to train in preparation for the league resuming on 7th January with a visit by Aberdeenshire who are the only side who have really shown Biggar a clean pair of heels this season with a 51-27 win back in September.
Coaches Gary Mercer and Davy Wilson will be desperately keen to get back to winning ways and will work hard to ensure that preparation is made for the 7th.
Biggar 2nds had their match sponsored on Saturday by Lanarkshire Young Farmers and this ensured they had a good crowd present for their local derby with Peebles.
The visitors have not found fielding a 2nd XV easy but they were able to welcome back several key players for this contest and the game was a generally evenly matched affair which saw Biggar run out winners by 19-3.
Biggar have also struggled a little in recent weeks but they have always managed to field a decent squad ans this was again the case for the Peebles match though they did include 2 of Biggar's Colts in their number, Rory McGinn and centre and Ewan Bogle at fullback making a very positive impression as they stepped up. Bogle in particular is to be congratulated for being adaptable and seeing him move from fullback to centre to stand off. McGinn was less fortunate as he picked up a knee injury.
By dint of picking up more bonus points Kelso have crept to within one point of Biggar who continue to lead the East Reserve league Div 1. With just one side gaining promotion at the end of the season everything is up for grabs!
Story date: 10/01/2017
Biggar High Girls win Scottish Cup
Biggar High School success
Biggar High 20 Community School of Auchterarder 14
Biggar High School U18 girls travelled on Friday evening to play in the U18 Scottish Schools cup final at Scotstoun. Their opponents were from the Community School of Auchterarder a team which has previously posed Biggar real problems in the past.
Both sides showed real grit and determination, in what were very challenging, wet conditions, to play running rugby. The match was a real spectacle and all credit to all the players from both sides for their efforts.
There was nothing really between the sides at half time although Biggar did lead by 15-7. With just 16 players available however Biggar's resources were stretched as Erica Steele and Amy Watkins were injured before the break. This meant that Biggar had to play with 14 for the whole of the second half.
A tremendous effort through the last 35 minutes then as Auchterarder came right back into things at 14-15. Biggar then extended their lead to 20-14 but with 10 minutes to go there was only a score separating the sides. Happily Biggar clung on to record their Cup success.
There is a huge selection of photos on the club website which record the whole evenings events as they unfolded (thanks as always to Nigel Pacey).
Many congratulations to all the girls involved, many of whom play for the club and who were part of the Presidents Conference success last month when they shared the title with Stirling County.
Congratulations as well to Mr Scott from PE and BRFC DO Iain Chisholm and MA Rhiannon Yardley for their coaching and support.
Story date: 12/12/2016
Youth Rugby at Whitecraigs 11th Dec 2016
S2 win home and away
The S2s continue to grow and mature as a team with two good wins to end their matches within the Green Conference.
On a frosty day at the end of November on one of the new pitches at Hartree Mill Biggar hosted Lanarkshire rivals Hamilton. Following their defeat at Hamilton ealier in the season the Biggar boys were in a focused and determined mood to show how they can play rugby.
From the kick off Biggar's forwards ran directly at Hamilton breaking tackles and gaining yards. This new direct approach was rewarded with 5 trys in the first half. Hamilton attack was mostly stopped but their powerful No13 did break through tackles and scored twice in the first half. The game stayed a competitive close game through the second half with the Biggar forwards doing consistent work in and around the ruck and creating trys. Several times Hamilton built pressure on the Biggar line for Biggar only to clear or launch counter attacks. The best of these was a full team try in the final minutes of the match.
From a Biggar scrum deep in the defensive 22 on the left the ball was won passed along the line to Murray to kick clear to the half way line, one bounce and the ball was collected by Chris who stepped 3 tackles before offloading to Callum whose 40m run was stopped 2 yards short near the right hand corner post. A quick ruck with forwards and backs securing the ball allowed Sam to pick and go and cap a fine performance by him and the team. The second half ended with Biggar scoring 4 more trys to Hamiltons 2. This was a forwards match with 8 of the 9 trys Biggar scores coming from the forwards.
Final score Biggar 34 - Hamilton 15
Captain - Murray Lean
Trys from Cameron Armstrong, Kaleb Millar, Jonathan Smith, Arron Millar, Sam Taylor (4) conversion Euan Laing (6) Callum Yardley (1)
The final Conference match saw Biggar visit Whitecraigs again. Due to a few changes because of injuries and some positional experimentation it was a slightly nervous start for the coaches... this lasted only a minute as Sam broke from the back of a ruck and started this game the way he finished the last with a try. In this game however Biggar mixed the style up a lot better with numerous rucks and drives followed by the ball being switched wide and the Whitecraigs defence run at by the centres and wingers. In the end trys came from 9 different players. Whitecraigs fought and tackled all through the match and put sustained pressure on the Biggar line at the start of the second half but the defence stayed organised and cleared well.
Final Score Biggar 48 - Whitecraigs 0
Captain - Connor Lister
Archie Damer, Kaleb Millar (2), Sam Taylor (2), Jonathan Smith, Murray Lean, Fraser Simpson, Arron Millar (2) Euan Laing (2), Callum Yardley. Conversions Euan Laing (8), Jack Louden.
Their has never been a doubt about this groups commitment or desire to play rugby, sometimes in a Harlem Globetrotter fashion! Over these two games parents and coaches have seen a development in playing styles and game understanding throughout the team. Hard work during training has been paying off with the teams rugby understanding jumping forward especially with the advice of the DO Iain Chisholm ringing in their ears. The team have a lot to learn but are taking strides in the right direction.
This squad now of 21 boys work for each other and pull each other along. They have welcomed 4 new players into the team in the last few weeks and would welcome any other potential players to join this rugby journey.
One club one family.
Story date: 12/12/2016
Biggar lose out in local derby
Biggar 9 Peebles 23
That Peebles deserved to win this match is not really in doubt. The Borders side enjoyed better possession and had a more fiery back division than Biggar. They were a wee bit more savvy as well, employing clever tactics which caught Biggar out. They also outscored Biggar by 2 tries to nil, albeit the last was an interception from half way and which simply required a sprint to the line.
But few of these factors were post match talking points and fewer still will be remembered. Instead, this game will be recalled for the fact that there were no fewer than 6 yellow cards, an unprecedented 5 for Biggar and 1 to Peebles. And all for technical offences because while this was a typically hard fought local derby with no quarter given there were no real 'incidents' where players were toe-to-toe with each other.
That the game should have been spoilt was frustrating for all present and there was a sizeable crowd who had come to see a game of rugby.
In the first half there were a total of 19 penalties which in a 40 minute half means that there was a penalty on average every two minutes. Add in lineouts and scrums and there was precious little actual game time. There were only 16 after the break...oh joy!
Peebles then maintain their push for promotion straight back to National 1 – with Kelso who were also relegated last season as current league leaders and who are Biggar's next opponents. Despite suffering 4 straight defeats Biggar retain 7th spot in National 2. Facing League leaders Kelso this Saturday might see a change unless the Biggar squad can repeat their early season feat and defeat Kelso who have since then been unbeaten. They have also by all accounts invested and recruited heavily as they see National 1 status as a priority.
Donald Voas (uni exam) and Gregor Stewart (ankle injury) were the two absentees from last weeks starting XV. Their places were taken by Calvin Henderson and Andrew Jardine, the latter making a return to top team action after injury.
On the bench there was room for new recruit Craig Quigley who has recently joined the club from Lasswade. Seeking a back row berth he was pressed into service as front row cover.
The opening exchanges were, as always, fairly frantic as the sides took time to weigh each other up. Peebles have fared better since the opening match back in August which Peebles just won by 24-20, the feeling in the Biggar camp being that they were due a better performance and result after defeats to PL, Ardrossan and GHK.
An early penalty miss by Aird Jardine after 2 minutes was a let off for the visitors but another award minutes later saw Jardine on target to get the scoreboard turning. A lineout play by Peebles saw them gain a penalty shortly after the restart and some excellent running and clever inter-passing saw the Border side take play upfield to the Biggar 22 where only some equally good scramble defence kept them out. There was a penalty however and stand off Greg Raeburn kicked to make the score 3-3 after 10 minutes.
Robbie Lavery was the first player to be shown yellow and it was two minutes later before the packs came together for a first scrum, Biggar enjoying the better of this and probably and area in which they had the edge for the first half.
Biggar were struggling to make much headway out of their half however, a couple of missed touch kicks not helping their cause and giving the Peebles backs the chance to maintain the pressure on Biggar's defence. This Biggar largely coped with and after one better passage of play and with a quarter of the match gone, a penalty from midfield saw Jardine kick a second award for 6-3.
Peebles made a rare error in kicking directly into touch from the restart but Biggar were unable to capitalise and Peebles were soon back in attack using the ball well to force Biggar into their 22. A penalty award and dubiously advanced 10 metres as Biggar were not back 10 saw Raeburn kick the corner. With lineout ball won a blindside move should have seen Peebles notch the first try but a poor pass was knocked on giving Biggar some respite.
With 5 minutes of the half remaining David Paterson became the second Biggar player to be shown yellow this after he allegedly was guilty of slowing play down in the 'red' area….even on slo-mo replay this seemed to be a harsh sanction. The resultant attack came to nought as Biggar continued to defend manfully in the face of Peebles line drive.
Half time then and the match delicately balanced at 6-3 to the home side.
The second half was barely under way when Ewan Stewart became the next player to be sin-binned. Another blindside move saw him react to the wide pass and stick a hand out to catch the ball. Perhaps the clearest of the days yellows but in this writers opinion a harsh law given that a players reaction is to try to get his hands out and catch the ball. Now down to 13 men it was hardly surprising that Peebles took the scrum option rather than the kick at goal. While the initial thrust from No 8 Andrew Muir was repelled quick ball and a pop pass from Donald Anderson was taken by lock Ross Brown who from 5 metres out was always going to be tough to stop. Raeburn's conversion put Peebles ahead form the first time at 10-6..
Biggar, via Aird Jardine, took full advantage of a loose ball to hack ball upfield and take play quickly into the Peebles 22 but a lineout error ceded possession back to Peebles who managed to clear the danger. Lack of continuity has been a concern for Biggar in recent matches. While possession has seen Biggar advance into their opponents 22 they have often been unable to press the advantage home and claim points.
Minutes later and Biggar managed to get back to within a point, this after Peebles were penalised and their No5 Callum Lecky was shown yellow. Jardine kicked the penalty – the score now 9-10 to Peebles.
The two Ewan's (Sanderson and Stewart) returned at this point, Andrew Orr having come on to replace Stewart following his yellow. Some enterprising play saw Biggar exert some pressure on their visitors but Peebles again cleared before winning another penalty which Raeburn duly kicked to extend the lead to 13-9, though still anyone's game.
A Biggar penalty to the Peebles 22 should have given the home side a tilt at the line but clever non-engagement by the Peebles pack saw Biggar penalised and Peebles kick clear.
As the clock ticked on so Biggar found it ever more difficult to keep possession and put the Border side under any real pressure. For their part all Peebles needed to do was keep Biggar in their own half and this they did pretty well, the next foray seeing Biggar skipper Andy Dunlop cling on to scrum half Anderson which led to his departure and Biggar reduced again to 14 men. Raeburn extended the Peebles lead to 16-9.
There was however still just one score required to tie the match and Biggar countered again but as play was moved right Campbell's pass was intercepted by that man Raeburn who galloped home for what was a deciding score. His conversion took Peebles clear at 23-9.
There was just enough time for Campbell to dive in to a tackle somewhat rashly, sheer frustration getting the better of him as he became Biggar's 5th in the sin-bin.
So another hugely frustrating afternoon for the supporters of the boys in black and of course for coaches Gary Mercer and Davy Wilson who continue to see their charges give everything they can but fall short as they fall foul of the man in the middle. This was just the 3rd match from which Biggar have not managed even a solitary bonus point and yet with 5 to go there was a bonus up for grabs.
The squad must regroup and pull together again, particularly as they face a tough trip south at the weekend to league leaders Kelso. This match is the last for this calendar year and will come at an opportune time to give all those suffering from knocks a chance to recover over the festive period.
Thomas Steele, Alistair Sinclair, Robbie Lavery, Andrew Jardine, David Paterson, Aird Jardine, David Reive, Dan O'Connell, Ewan Stewart, Calvin Henderson, Andrew Dunlop, Zander Lyon, Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson, Jamie Orr. Reps:, Craig Quigley, Andrew Orr, Stevie Campbell, David McArthur
Man-of-the-match was the tireless Jamie Orr for Biggar with centre Callum Anderson taking the nod for Peebles. Many thanks to Match sponsors, the members of the Lanark and Peebles Blackface Breeders Association.
The 2nd XV travelled to Kelso on Saturday for what was always going to be their toughest fixture. Having been unbeaten all season to date this proved to be one match too far for what was essentially a scratch XV as there were several players unavailable and as the 1st XV had hoovered up several key men.
A 30-0 score line was indeed disappointing but perhaps not unexpected. Doug will be keen to get things back on track on Saturday when his side entertains Peebles. In previous seasons the 1sts and 2nds have often been scheduled together when possible and it seems daft that this season they should play the same clubs but weeks apart.
Story date: 11/12/2016
GHK break Biggar’s unbeaten home run
Biggar 11 GHK 13
After a long unbeaten run Biggar lost out to visitors GHK on Saturday in what was a pulsating if somewhat error-strewn match.
Neither side has managed much rugby during the Autumn international break and so this would go some way to explain the rustiness although the effort expended more than made up for the errors.
Having gained promotion twice in the past two seasons and sitting in 3rd spot GHK were a side that were always going to provide a real challenge, with no shortage of reports focusing on the pace of their back division. That they has the edge in this department was almost the case although the narrow Hartree Mill pitch and a committed defence certainly helped peg them back.
Biggar made few changes to what has been there settled side of late. In the pack Andrew Dunlop made a welcome return to action at lock forward, this allowing Jamie Orr to move onto the flank. Behind the scrum Thomas Steele made a long awaited debut at fullback for the injured Richard Peacock.
In what for December were near perfect conditions the match began with both sides playing as hard and fast as they could, Biggar taking the ball deep into the opposition half and then 22 as quickly as they could and putting GHK under some real pressure. Up front Biggar had the advantage early on and this should have allowed them to take the lead after a great break by Aird Jardine took play to the GHK 5 metre mark. A couple of errors at the scrum base and then as Biggar sought to go for the line meant that GHK were able to hold out. Some good quick hands gave the Glasgow side good ground but a wayward pass meant that their efforts too were unrewarded.
It was Biggar who returned to the attack as their back three with Steele and David Paterson in particular relishing the opportunity to run ball back from clearance kicks. Alisdair Sinclair took a knock early on and was replaced temporarily by David McArthur.
That again Biggar were unable to capitalise was frustrating. There was at least one penalty which Biggar might have elected to kick to goal but the line and drive was preferred but while this was relatively successful the position was eventually lost at scrum time as the South African whistler Jean De Wet chose to penalise Biggar for a binding offence.
Play then centred around the middle of the pitch, both sides offering up some good running but suffering as weak passes or turnovers prevented them from gaining and control. Energy there was a-plenty however and as earlier alluded this was an exciting contest. It was up to GHK kicker Davy Campbell to break the deadlock the fullback kicking a penalty after Biggar's backs were caught offside.
It was then a bit like waiting for the bus, no sooner does one appear then a second comes along. Within 3 minutes of GHK taking the lead and as they sought to extricate themselves from their half after the restart a penalty was awarded for offside and it was Jardine who kicked Biggar's points to level the score. With just 5 minuets before half time the half ended after a second Campbell penalty – this a long range effort – fell short of the posts.
Now playing towards the clubhouse, Biggar had the type of start that they undoubtedly were not wanting. A turnover on the kick off and then the departure of skipper Dunlop following a nasty cut to the eyebrow led to a reshuffle in the pack, Orr moving back to lock and Stevie Campbell coming on at flanker. This in itself was no cause for upset but in what was their first real scoring opportunity and coming from a penalty kicked to the corner, GHK took and drove Biggar back, back row man Callum Kerr at the end of the move and doing enough to touch down for a try well converted by Campbell to take their lead to 10-3.
Undeterred Biggar fought back well to pin GHK in their own half. The Biggar pack took ball into contact with renewed vigour although they could only creep towards the GHK line such was the visitors defensive effort. Zander Lyon, Orr, Donald Voas and Ross Jackson and then Davy Reive were all to the fore in these drives. When ball was put wide, Gregor Stewart, Robbie Lavery (a couple of notable half breaks) and Jardine all did their part.
There was always that last pass however and with a try beckoning a pas which was lightly behind Lyon forced the big man to swivel before moving the ball on. This gave the GHK defence an extra millisecond and it was hooker Reid who took the interception. With some 70 metres to go it was always unlikely that he would make it and this gave Biggar just enough time to scramble back and make the tackles which eventually forced an error. Again – how frustrating that after a good passage of play that Biggar should end up back in their own half.
GHK now mounted their first concerted attack in Biggar's 22 moving the ball well and testing the Biggar defence which proved up to the mark. Having put in a huge shift in defence it was cruel that Orr was then adjudged to have taken out the GHK attack after a prod ahead, this giving Campbell the easiest of kicks to take GHK 10 points clear at 13-3.
Biggar lost the services of Sanderson at this point, Lewis McLinton coming on to hook and Ewan Stewart moving to the back row.
Biggar did not panic however and mounted another series of attacks although again without managing to really control ball for anything other than a couple of phases. Lavery, Calvin Henderson and then Gregor Stewart all took ball on well, the latter making a good break before off-loading to Lavery who in turn fed McArthur. The winger managed to get within 15 metres of the line but the cover defence got back to do enough to slow ball down albeit illegally, Jardine kicking the penalty for 13-6. Sadly Stewart had damaged an ankle in the contact and he left to be replaced by Sinclair.
GHK's attacks faltered as they made several basic handling errors although these occurred far enough away from their line as to not allow Biggar to capitalise through anything other than small territorial gains.
Eventually however Biggar were able to take play into the GHK 22 where a series of pick and go's from the pack with all to the fore ended with several players, Voas, Stewart, Paterson and Campbell all making ground to the line. Paterson got the closest the winger bundled out on the corner flag but a couple of phases later and GHK back row man and try scorer Kerr was shown a yellow.
A scrum and another series of drives ended up with Stewart crossing for a try which gave Jardine a kick which had it been successful would heave earned Biggar a deserved draw. This was asking a lot however and from wide out, and although well enough struck, the ball drifted away past the uprights.
With less than 5 minutes to go GHK now had but one task, to keep the ball in Biggar's half and this they did pretty well forcing the home side to try and attack from deep. That both sides had shown up well in defence was in no doubt but to win Biggar needed something extraordinary in attack but that just didn't happen and the game ended with a penalty which was dispatched to the touchline and which signalled much delight amongst the GHK squad and support.
Three games now and while Biggar have been in each and arguably should have won two, they have garnered just 3 losing bonus points. Of course to gain bonus points last season was something which the side could just not do so there has been massive progress for a side which is still a very young outfit.
Preparations are now under way for the second half of the league season, this kicking off with a visit from local rivals Peebles for what will be an undoubted cracker of a match. Peebles won the first match by 24-20. Since then Peebles have certainly fared better and they sit 12 points ahead in 4th to Biggar's 7th league place. Regardless however this will be a cracker of a match and with a big support guaranteed from the sponsor's lunch there will be a great atmosphere to enjoy. Kick off is 2pm.
Thomas Steele, Alistair Sinclair, Robbie Lavery, Gregor Stewart, David Paterson, Aird Jardine, David Reive, Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Andrew Dunlop, Zander Lyon, Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson, Jamie Orr. Reps: Calvin Henderson, Lewis McLinton, Stevie Campbell, David McArthur
The 2nd XV travelled to Edinburgh for e return match with Watsons 3rds. With a somewhat scratch squad coach Dougie Fleming was under no illusions about how potentially difficult this match could be. A pleasant surprise awaited Biggar however as the city side was a much changed XV from that which had visited Hartree Mill back in September.
Biggar dominated proceedings throughout to record an excellent 55-5 win which ensures they stay atop their east Reserve League 1 table with their nearest challengers, Kelso their next opponents.
Story date: 11/12/2016
U15 Bully past Bulls
Biggar U15’s bully past Bulls
The Lanarkshire derby of Hamilton and Biggar is one that is always hotly contested; no matter the age group, no matter the competition. Like all others, this weekend’s 15s game versus the Bulls did not fail to disappoint. Rueing a previously missed opportunity to beat their counterpart’s earlier in the season, the young lads refused to be pipped at the post twice and produced an enormous effort to take the win and halt the Hamilton’s league winning celebrations.
The game started frantically and with some serious physicality occurring all over the pitch. Early hits came from Will and James gave Hamilton an indication of what they were in for, but unfortunately it was the opposition who got the first points after a minor defensive error allowing their centre to score. Quickly after, the boys in green and blue got another under similar circumstances. Not the greatest start but certainly not unreachable. 0-14.
Having gotten over their early lapse, the young rams finally got into the swing of things, using their strong pack to gain yards and their backs to outstrip the Hamilton wings. The first try came from an increasingly characteristic maul on the Bulls twenty two. Having gained about ten yards it was brought down but momentum was not lost as Will and Jack carried strongly. Quick recycling and fast reactions from Callum McCallum resulted in big Jack bullying his way over the try line for Biggar’s first try. Back in the game. Conversion made. 7-14
Half time: Biggar – 7 Hamilton – 14
The second half begun like the end of the first, with Biggar on top. Straight from the kick off the ball found its way into the hands of the lightning quick Callum Smith. As ever, he backed his abilities and set off, running around the slow Hamilton pack and fending off the wing to run over the try line for an early Biggar try. Conversion excellently made again. 14-14
Biggar were now truly in control and it was beginning to take its toll on the young Bulls. More and more carries from the likes of Hayden and Andrew were reaping good yards and another try was inevitable. It came in the form of some very intelligent play from the Biggar boys. Our prop Jack picked the ball off the back of a ruck on halfway and fighting all his front row instincts, beautifully drew the man and popped the ball to Aaron in space who was eventually hauled down 15 out. A penalty was won however, and the ball was kicked to touch. Promptly the ball was won and tucked under the jumper in a maul which proved unstoppable, collapsing over the line the ball was raised by our hooker, try by Cameron and the lead to Biggar. Callum McCallum miraculously nailed the kick from the touch line to put us 21-14 ahead with ten to go. Squeaky bum time Indeed.
Hamilton came right back at us however and after some long pressure under our line they scored but missed the conversion. 21-19 with five to go, even squeakier.
More and more pressure ensued, but Biggar would not allow themselves to be robbed and defended valiantly, holding the ball up over the line. A few scrums later the impossible happened and Hamilton were awarded a questionable penalty in the last play, posts were opted for and the game was in the balance. An anxious minute followed with the pitch being silent. The Hamilton lad strode up and struck it well; the ball sailed and spun and swerved but would not come, drifting past the right upright. The whistle was blown and celebrations spread. The boys had done it.
Full time: Biggar-21 Hamilton-19
Credit to the Hamilton boys who gave us our most competitive game of the season. However, the ever present improvement of this young bunch of rugby players continues to march on. Skill and speed, pace and power, brains and brawn, nothing seems to be lacking at the moment. Maturity is beginning to flow through this team and a few leaders are really stepping up and taking responsibility. Every boy played his part and gave his all to put us in a position to win it at the end and its just that sweeter against a big rival of the club. Whilst it looks like Hamilton may still win the league with a win against Dumfries next week, we know we can compete with and beat them, no matter the league standings. Whitecraigs await us next week, another tough game, but we’ll be ready for it.
Story date: 07/12/2016
THE BIGGAR PICTURE - October November Edition
Welcome back. Lucky for you, the October and November edition are being mashed together… pumpkin spicing it up a little bit.
October started with the U15 and U18 girls making an 8 hour journey up to Caithness to play one of their conference games. Both teams won and it was great team building for all the gals… even got to stay in some interesting wee hostel rooms! After this, there were two conference games left – first up Hillhead Jordanhill. Yet again, it was another game and another win at both age groups. The final game of the conference was against Stirling County – who were also unbeaten. U15’s pulled through and won U15 conference title. Unfortunately, U18’s were pipped at the post and lost 19-17. Man of the match for U15’s was Abi Bandtock – congrats and well deserved! U18’s man of the match was Abbie Baillie – but it certainly wasn’t for her passing.
Biggar are currently sitting at 3rd place in the whole club conference table and the colts are at the top of the U18 table with 8 wins and 1 draw. Their last game was against GHA, which ended up becoming a development game due to GHA injuries.
S1 and U15 grabbed a win at the weekend with S2 and U16 unfortunately missing out. This weekend they play Falkirk – support would be appreciated.
A lot of delivery has been happening in primary schools across Biggar, Lanark and Carluke. The primary schools have had 4 or 5 week blocks teaching the basic skills and playing fun games... However they are all desperate for contact! Perfect opportunity to bring them along to the Come and Try Day which is happening on Sunday 4th December down at Biggar Rugby Club! While you're here you can also check out the new pitches!
The club are always looking for more volunteers to start refereeing. Level 1 refereeing courses are regularly available and the club can also help with some of the cost. If Cameron Forrest can do it then anyone can.
It's been a long wait but the pitch opening is due to take place this Friday night. This is where the 3 new pitches will be officially opened and played on for the first time – rather exciting! Come along as there will also be stalls you can buy some stocking fillers from as well as some great rugby to be watched!
Hope you enjoyed this edition of the Biggar Picture. Happy Holidays!
Story date: 16/11/2016
Poor show at Ardrossan
Ardrossan 24 Biggar 22
This will be a game that Biggar will wish to forget – and in a hurry!
All seemed really well when Biggar raced into a 12-0 lead after as many minutes but things from then on went downhill as Biggar made errors, got little from the referee and again compounded the affair by making far too many unforced errors.
The game had a total of 4 yellow cards and 1 red card, but was in no way a 'dirty' game the yellow cards mostly for technical offences. The red however was for a dreadful lash out by the Ardrossan flanker who clearly had not had time to read the programme notes from Bill Nolan which stated
“ There is no place in our game for violent or reckless play…..” Intent there most definitely was and it is just fortunate that the kick aimed at the head of centre Gregor Stewart ended up being just a glancing blow.
Biggar made four changes on Saturday, David Paterson returning at wing, Robbie Lavery in the centre, David Reive at scrum half and Ross Jackson back at flanker.
Ardrossan had not won a game game prior to this meeting and while this may have been a contributory factor in that Biggar were over-confident a quick look at their previous results would have shown that while they had lost games heavily they had also scored points taking Kelso to the wire and losing by just two points.
In any event the Ayrshire side worked hard and made things difficult for Biggar, if not from the outset when Biggar ran in two tries, then certainly for three-quarters of the match when they played to their strengths. Their stand-off kicked well from ground to collect 14 points from a conversion and 4 penalties while their fullback commanded the pitch, returning kicks with interest, particularly in the second half with the wind at his back.
On a very bright yet chilly November day, Andrew Dunlop drew first blood, the No 8 picking up from the scrum base as they shunted the Ardrossan eight back to score a try converted by Richard Peacock. Ewan Sanderson was on the end of Dunlop's pass just minutes later, the flanker scoring Biggar's second to give them a 12-0 lead.
Too easy perhaps? Coach Gary Mercer has seen his side perform so much better at home although this opening spell was very good, Biggar dominating in most areas.
That Ardrossan scored next was largely down to their being short-handed, Dunlop capping off a incident-filled opening 20 by receiving the first of the 3 yellow cards dished out to Biggar. His offence was that he was the next to transgress, the referee adjudging that the No 8 had broken his maul binding.
A kick to the corner and subsequent line drive saw Ardrossan get their first points. That Biggar could only add a penalty before half time proved crucial, the siege gun boots of Duncan and Anderson working the conditions well after the break to turn and pin Biggar back in their 22. That they went close is not in doubt, a touchline break from Jamie Orr taking play to the Ardrossan line where Biggar – with just 7 men – saw the Ardrossan pack concede no fewer than 3 scrum penalties. Ardrossan were then reduced to 14 as well as Lamont was shown a yellow.
That Biggar were then penalised on the fourth scrum reset seemed strange, so dominant were they in this area. Whatever the reason, Biggar's attack was thwarted and there is no doubt that the home side took great confidence from holding out at this point of the match coming as it did on the half hour mark.
Undeterred Peacock added his penalty for 15-5 just before the break.
Biggar began the second period with an error on the restart, something which occurred last week against PL as well. On this occasion it gave Ardrossan an immediate boost, play deep in Biggar's 22.
A steel at the breakdown gave Biggar a little respite but ball won was kicked straight to the Ardrossan midfield which began a counter. Winning a penalty Anderson kicked for 15-8.
Just minutes later and Anderson repeated the feat, narrowing Biggar's lead to just 4 points as he kicked his second penalty.
When things aren't going well then sometimes you just don't seem to get any luck and on Saturday Biggar contrived to concede penalties when the stoppage would have originally been for a knock-on bar for the fact that the ball was played by a Biggar player in an offside position. Instead of defending a scrum at half way Biggar could only turn and head back to the 22 to defend a lineout.
To frustrate the visitors even more they were penalised at scrum time for an early push and then saw a scoring pass dropped close to the line.
Anderson kicked again for 15-14
Things momentarily looked up however as a neat break by centre Robbie Lavery saw the Australian make a determined run to the line for a try which Peacock converted for 22-14. Would this be the signal for Biggar to regain control?
Sadly not, as another error on the restart had Biggar back in their 22 where they had to defend the driven line. A great steel by Sanderson saw the flanker make a breenge midfield the support not quite quick enough with a penalty for not releasing the result and 22-17 the score as Anderson converted. While the Ardrossan 8 struggled for the most part in the tight scrum they handled the maul well, Zander Lyon blamed for bringing this down illegally and becoming the next Biggar player to spend a spell on the touchline.
A lineout numbers error saw Ardrossan maintain field position, this at the wrong end of the park for Biggar supporters. Managing to take play upfield Biggar again needed to score but Peacock's penalty slid by and with the clock approaching the 70 minute mark, there was still ample time for an Ardrossan riposte.
Paterson was the next player to be shown yellow, the wee winger deemed to have dump tackled fullback Duncan. That the player was upended is not in doubt but he seemed to slip as much as Paterson lofted him. Nevertheless Biggar were down to 13, making their task ever more difficult.
The big fullback recovered sufficiently to allow him to continue and his influence was crucial as he again fielded a Biggar clearance to then set off on a counter attack on the left. His wide pass found Hunter who set off for the corner. Until this point Biggar's defence had been sound but two tackles were missed as the winger scampered home, Jackson's try-line tackle a brave effort but in a position that was never going to stop the Ardrossan man from scoring. Needless to say stand off Anderson added the conversion to give his side the lead at 24-22.
There was some light for Biggar as they quickly returned to the Ardrossan 22 where they won a penalty.
Those who were in attendance last season will well remember the 'get out of jail card played by Andrew Peacock when he swooped onto a ball to cross the line for a try which won the match for Biggar. Now it was younger brother Richard in the frame. Could he convert to win the match. The strike was good enough but the ball drifted left in front of the posts giving Ardrossan the chance to clear their lines which they did with a booming drop out deep into the Biggar half.
The final minute saw the drama of the red card and with a penalty and Biggar's last chance to snatch the win. A knock-on ended their hopes and cued much celebrations from the home support.
There is now a 3 week break in the league action, Biggar's next competitive match scheduled for 3rd December. Coaches Mercer and Wilson will need to lift their charges after this recent upset, GHK the next opponents sitting in 2nd top spot and side which are to be given all respect.
Biggar remain in 7th spot in National 2.
Before that of course is the Pitch Opening Match celebrations on Friday 18th.
Richard Peacock, Alistair Sinclair, Robbie Lavery, Gregor Stewart, David Paterson, Iain Chisholm, David Reive, Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Calvin Henderson, , Jamie Orr, Zander Lyon, Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson, Andrew Dunlop Reps: , Dan O'Connell, Aird Jardine, Andrew Orr.
There was better news from Peebles where the 2nds were on duty. This is of course a local derby with all the attendant interest that that generates, Peebles having already claimed two from two as their 1sts and Over 35's have both defeated Biggar this season.
An early 8-0 lead was something new for the Biggar squad as they have never been headed at any point so far this season.
Things were soon back on track however, the Flemings troops recording a deserved 33-18 win in the end.
The win keps Biggar in top spot ahead of Jed and Kelso.
Story date: 09/11/2016
Youth section host Dumfries Saints
Biggar Under 16’s Dominate against Dumfries Saints
A beautiful early winters afternoon at Hartree Mill saw Biggar under 16’s take on their Green Conference counterparts from Dumfries and having lost the away fixture earlier in the season the Biggar boys were keen to make amends.
This was evident from kick off as Biggar scored with their first attack. Biggar kicked off deep into the Saints 22 and the team followed up well as a unit. Some excellent tackling had the Saints pinned in their own 22 followed up with good counter-rucking causing panic in the defence. The referee blew for a penalty to Biggar having seen illegal hands on the deck and Ali Steele didn’t hang about. From about 8 yards out he took the quick tap and dived for the line. First blood to Biggar. In tough windy conditions, the kick was missed.
This was the sign of things to come for most of the first half. The Biggar lads had their collective tails up and really took the game to Dumfries. The second score came from Cammy Snell. A great run by Josh JVR saw him barrel through the Saints defence deep into the 22. Harry Low followed up well and got to within sight of the line. From the resultant ruck, Cammy took the ball quickly and dived over to score. Again the conversion from wide left was missed.
The third Biggar try was an excellent team effort finished off by Sam Wallis but with great forward play setting it up and some excellent penetrating runs from the other backs. Once again a secure scrum was followed up with aggressive rucking to gain a real hold in the Saints half. Finn Barr picked the right time to go to his backs and first Ali then Drew made ground before getting the ball to Sam. He had work to do but finished well close to the posts to allow the conversion to be made.
Biggar had dominated the game completely with Dumfries not really showing in the home team half at all but with some good back play they managed to get over the line just at the end of the half
Half Time Biggar 17 Dumfries 5
Into the second half and Biggar were again unrelenting scoring a further 3 or 4 tries. I thought 4 more tries but the referee had 3. In my defence there were a couple of close calls at the line but as I’m not sure which one was ruled out I’ve written them all up!
Next up to score his second of the game was Ali Steele with another good team try. Again ball was secured this time via a maul by the forwards. Harry Archibald, Rhys and Lee Smith wrapping up the ball and man to secure the scrum put in in the middle of the Saints half. With options either way, Charles hit the ball at pace and made some real ground before popping the ball to Drew. Again a good carry from the centre saw ground made and when the ball was popped to Ali he managed to dive over.
Cammy Snell then scored 2 more tries each a copy book of the other. In both cases he ran in from inside his own half with the backs creating a gap for the mobile forward to run into. Both trys were converted.
The final try was almost a mirror image of the opening try and show that quick thinking can pay dividends. With Biggar attacking deep in the Saints 22 again a high tackle was called by the referee. Ali Steele grabbed the ball and ran for the line, no doubt sensing a hat trick; sensibly as the defence ran at him he popped the ball to Dan McConkey. There was still a deal to do and not a lot of space to do it in but he barrelled through to score.
Final Score (officially) Biggar 36 – Dumfries 5
An entertaining game for all who saw it with some really good strong running rugby from Biggar. Some real craft on display from all the backs and real aggression in defence to ensure that Dumfries rarely got into the Biggar half. The same could be said of the forwards. It’s easy to pick out Cammy with 3 trys to his name but Harry Archibald and Dan McConkey worked tirelessly in defence while Craig and Josh never gave the Saints defence a moment’s peace. All 18 boys who turned out today played well and were well worth their victory.
A special note for today’s referee Cammy Forrest who did an excellent job in officiating his second match of the day. It can’t be easy refereeing some of your peers but he did a fabulous job. Only slight worry was when it looked like he might have to yellow card Charles in the second half for a late hit but thankfully (for Biggar) he made do with a warning! Well done and keep up the good work.
Story date: 08/11/2016
Minis host North Berwick
It was a different feel on Sunday at Hartree Mill as winter weather finally took hold. Our P3's seemed to feel the effects too as we hosted North Berwick in a joint training session and games. - The visitors just showed the edge in the end winning by one try but we had some great positives as we saw some of our new players really get to grips with the game in their first proper match. Well done to all who took part and for the sideline cheers from our very cold parents!
North Berwick arrived with a squad of 10 on Sunday. Since we only had 6 we agreed on a combined training session followed by a mixed 8 a side game. Although we'd normally play 6 each side the important thing on Sunday was to keep everyone involved as it was pretty chilly.
As we saw in the previous week our players were keen to get stuck in from the off and the coaches are pleased to see the number of tackles being made increasing every week.
We will continue to work on the physical aspect at the next training session and introduce some new exercises to keep up the momentum with our tackle practice.
A twelve strong Biggar P5 squad faced a strong North Berwick P5 squad on Sunday. Given the excellent numbers we managed to run two games simultaneously on adjacent pitches. This is a first for our group and its great that we have numbers to be able to do this. The two Biggar P5 sides were split with equal ability in both team, but with no substitutes. In one of the games we were heavily beaten 5 tries to zero. This was most unlike this group but i think the very cold conditions and two injuries left this team with a mountain to climb against a reasonably strong North Berwick team. I am hoping David and Harry are none the worse for the knocks they took. However, there was some strong running from Lewis and Conor, but our usual high scoring strike runners were struggling to cope with the cold, with both attack and defence suffering. The other Biggar team fared a little better losing out by a couple of tries (5-3) to a fairly large and skilful North Berwick side. We finished off with a combined game which saw North Berwick score a last play try to win 6 tries to 5. The Biggar team showed great stamina and heart to push North Berwick so close. We did suffer a little with the referee’s interpretation of when defenders can advance, but Rory and I were delighted when Poppy made a mockery of the rush defence by wrong footing them all and running in a lovely try up the touch line. It was good to see progress being made by some of our new comers with Conor realising he is a potent force in bulldozer mode, Lewis showing a clean pair of heels to the whole North Berwick team to score a cracking first ever try (apparently the North Berwick TMO said he dropped the ball over the line, disagree). Our usual grapplers did some excellent work in the loose with Fergus, Ruari and Alastair doing especially well. Kyle showed more of his new found confidence with another great try through positive running and fast feet. Archie put in some kamikaze style tackles and equally abrasive forward runs, great commitment and frightening at times, keep it up. Harry, Oliver and Eve continue to show excellent progress in all aspects particularly making yards when in possession and getting into the right position in support of the ball carrier. Game time is key to everyone gaining more appreciation for the rules, although this can at times be difficult with some interesting interpretations from the referee.
Well done everyone, it was a tough day for most of us. Given the conditions we did suffer from the cold.
This week we played North Berwick.
We had a good turnout of players.
We had a good training session beforehand as North Berwick were a bit late turning up.
All players were up for it,we then played two games with some good tackles being made by both teams, but North Berwick are a good well coached side and were too strong for Biggar on both games and were convincing winners.
We then had a coaching session on rucking which went down well with both teams.
Then we mixed up teams and had a full side game with all players which all enjoyed.
I must say that the North Berwick players were very well mannered and respectful to myself and the Biggar team. Good fun.
Story date: 08/11/2016
We're calling Biggar P7s the 'comeback kids' on Sunday. Despite intentions of building on last week's impressive performance, the first ten minutes against visitors North Berwick were a catalogue of errors, cold hands led to passes not going to hand, tackles were being missed and we were overpowered in the ruck. Ref Aird Jardine's whistle couldn't have come soon enough and the home team found themselves 4 2 down. The team knew exactly where they were going wrong, and where previously they might have dropped their heads, today they came out all guns blazing and North Berwick suddenly found themselves scrambling back in defence and encountering a more determined Biggar line. Ten minutes later the score was level at 6 all, and a final ten minute playoff was enthusiastically agreed on. Biggar's hands must have warmed up, as passes were flying across the pitch and players were slicing the North Berwick line. Final whistle blew on a 10 - 7 scoreline to Biggar. The whole team should be congratulated today, but a special mention has to go to Robert who scored his first ever try!
Minis host Dumfries Saints
Biggar P4s welcomed Dumfries Saints on Sunday. Since numbers from both sides were low the coaches agreed on a combined session of training followed by a mixed game. The Biggar P4s, who have trained with the P5s for the last 2 weeks, were much more willing to take the ball into contact and also make attempts to tackle, with some big, confident tackles being made. From the coaches point of view it was a very encouraging session as the players continue to get used to the physicality of the contact game.
Another good day for the P5s today with an ever growing squad. A 14 strong P5 squad faced a slightly smaller (in numbers) Dumfries team today at Hartree Mill. We started the first game well with an early try but then Dumfries responded with one of their own. We traded one each but then realised snakey snakey defense is far inferior to the the fishing net approach (ask the kids). In addition to this, the realisation that we are rugby smart, plus the application of forward running rugby saw us prevail 6-2.
In our second game there was more of the same and we ran out winners 5 tries to zero as our self belief grew.
It was by no means one sided with Dumfries handing out a bit of a lesson in rucking. Something we will work on in the weeks ahead.
Special mentions for Kyle for some very imposing play with confident running delivering two tries, and Lewis on his debut who played like he'd been there for the last three years. Well done everyone.
We played two games against Dumfries
They were a very strong and skilled team who were to much for us
1st game we lost 12-1
2nd game we lost 10-2
We then had a mixed team game and the boys played a lot better with some good runs from Biggar
Game ended in a draw
Overall Biggar P6,s put up a good show and they enjoyed it.
Story date: 02/11/2016
A great team performance providing a 7 to 4 win over visitors Dumfries Saints.
The welcome return of Fergus M to the squad meant that along with Josh, the squad had the muscle to control the centre of the pitch. Massive hits from both players left Dumfries' ball carriers out of options up the centre, and their ability to draw in multiple defenders opened up space for Biggar's speed merchants to run in try after try down the wing. A special mention goes out to new recruit Max G who showed he's got the gas to be another real threat.
The speed the ball was shipped and the improved ball handling across the squad is making a major difference, as is the calm efficiency of the scrum half, with set piece play now becoming a real strength.
The game was not a one sided affair, with Dumfries moving their ball carriers to the wing in an attempt to expose weaker tacklers and managed to pull back a few tries, but for every try they scored, Biggar replied in kind, meaning they were never going to catch up.
It's starting to come together for the P7s after a slow start to the season. All the players have listened to the coaches over the past weeks and are putting it into practice.
s2’s win in Fife
The S2s match at Dunfermline on 30th October shared similarities with the new Forth road bridge with its final roads sections being lifted into place in the glorious autumn sunshine. In both, the long planning and hard
work by many is paying off with some big gaps in the structure being filled in on both the team and the bridge. Both are still a long way from the finished article but all can see the progress of something strong and good forming.
Nearly a full squad of 18 players traveled to the match. The Biggar team started well but the hosts competed fiercely around the breakdown causing Biggar early problems. Biggar took control with the passing and support running at its best, on several occasions trys were created by fast accurate passing and multiple offloads out of tackles covering the full length of the pitch. Dunfermline competed every minute of the match putting pressure on Biggars line and tackled even more fiercely (and fairly) as the game went on.
In the end Biggar won 41 - 0 through 12 trys
Fraser (5), Murray (2), Sam (2), Jonathan, Gregor, Kaleb. Conversions from Euan and Kaleb.
Jonathan was captain, Frasers prodigous try scoring continues and the teams newest addition Sam scored twice on his debut in the Black and Red. Of real importance to the teams development was the signs of organised structures in defence and attack. Storms will batter the new Forth road bridge and some matches will batter this squad but good foundations and team structures are in place to weather these and today was a day in the sun for both.
The S1's meanheile came back well in the second half of their match.
Story date: 01/11/2016
Narrow defeat at Penny Pit
Preston Lodge 20 Biggar 19
After two games where Biggar have struggled after the interval Biggar sprung a bit of a surprise at Pennypit by coming out all guns blazing after the break to get within one point of their hosts who proceeded, just, to cling on to that 1 point advantage and sneak the win.
There are always 'ifs and buts' in sport and Biggar may well rue the interception pass at the outset which put them a score down when they were in attack and also the missed conversion to their first try, but in similar vane PL would point to a disallowed try – for a forward pass – which would have given them a clearer victory margin.
Frustrations and bias aside, this was a keenly contested match between two evenly matched squads, featuring 6 tries and the usual talking points, a couple of which have already been mentioned. The win pushes PL into 6th spot and Biggar to 7th with just 2 matches remaining before the end of the first round of matches and the league break. Biggar have Ardrossan and GHK to play with, after that, all bar one of the teams above them to face at home and all those below, bar one, to visit. If Biggar can maintain their home record and pinch a couple of away wins – away wins still proving problematic - then they should be in the hunt come the end of the league programme.
Another series of changes were forced on Biggar's XV due to illness and unavailability. Up front Duncan Withers and Stevie Campbell were forced out of the squad due to illness and other commitments. Alan Warnock and Zander Lyon came back into the starting XV with Ross Jackson back on the bench. In the backs Robbie Lavery had work commitments and could not play while David Paterson was injured in the warm up and replaced by David McArthur, this of course reducing Biggar's options from the bench when looking to freshen things up or replace injured players.
Biggar had the best and then, almost immediately, the worst of starts. McArthur was up quick on to the PL winger as he took Jardine's box kick, Notman just managing to charge down the clearance and force a PL lineout in their 22. Having regained possession Biggar attacked the blind-side only to see Gregor Stewarts wide pass snapped up by flanker Pete Johnstone who had the legs of the Biggar cover to reach the line from some 50 metres. Those who were in attendance at this game last session will well remember the ease with which Biggar conceded points to their hosts – surely history could not repeat itself?
It was quickly evident that Biggar had more than an edge in the tight scrum, PL under all sorts of pressure and getting shunted back at regular intervals and also ceding possession on their own put in. That Biggar got so little of an advantage from this is open to some conjecture, visiting referee Greg Dawson from Northumberland preferring scrum re-sets to penalties or free kicks and at the games end seeing fit to penalise Biggar for wheeling when in attack.
Biggar's scrum dominance came to the fore after 10 minutes when after a knock-on gave PL the scrum put in. Biggar took the ball against the head and slowly marched the home 8 back to a point where Andy Dunlop picked and dived for the try. Richard Peacock's conversion bounce off the upright to deny Biggar a 7-5 lead.
Within 3 minutes PL had scored again. Peacock had taken a good 'mark' in his 22 and had then tapped to feed the ball right. Notman's boot took play into the PL half but a neat step by fullback Glynn took him past Alistair Sinclair and saw him sprint down a touchline almost bereft of Biggar cover. Sinclair got back into position but a hefty fend sent him sprawling before an inside pass saw No8 Whittingham crash over for a notable try.
Another long range conversion from Griffin fell short and so the score was 10-5 to PL.
Biggar have been prone to making a number of unforced errors in recent weeks and this pattern continued as players were put under pressure, something to which the youngsters in the side are having to adapt. While these errors did not lead directly to scores it meant that possession and/or position was lost. These errors and several long advantages did nothing to assist Biggar as PL ran hard, employing some neat angles at the Biggar defence. This held for the most part although Griffin did increase his sides lead to 13-5 with a penalty after a sustained passage of play in the Biggar 22.
With 5 minutes to go before half time PL almost struck again, No 8 Whittingham hitting a good angle in a run which took him across Biggar's line only for referee Dawson to adjudge the pass forward. Able to maintain their field position the 3rd try did eventually come, back rower Jason Riley crossing under a pile of bodies for score which when converted took PL into a 20-5 half time lead.
Coach Mercer spared few at half time as he harangued the squad for what appeared to be a somewhat 'flat' display. Whatever was said seemed to have hit home as the side had to work really hard to halt a determined PL start. Kicking to the corner PL again employed the driven lineout to good effect. In previous seasons Biggar would have conceded scores in the face of this but on Saturday they competed ferociously and while a penalty was conceded which gave PL a second bite, some great work by the pack, with Dunlop to the fore, saw the maul halted. The rules pertaining to this have to be looked at however as, if set properly, there is no legal way in which a score can be prevented, players always likely to concede penalties in attempts to steal possession. On this occasion however Biggar managed a good exit.
Although 15 points down games can turn quickly and so it was on Saturday as Biggar clawed their way back into things in the space of some 10 minutes. A neat pass wide from Chisholm gave Notman a chance to take ball on and with this recycled well Biggar attacked on the right making good yards on the other touchline. Ball initially lost was regained and prop Dan O'Connell burst up the blind off Stewarts wide link. The big man made yards before neatly off-loading to Sinclair who made it to the line for his second score in as many weeks – and this after a barren spell when Biggar had been scoring freely.
Peacock added the conversion for 20-12. It now seemed that the tide was turning ever so slightly as PL began to make errors, passes being dropped or not finding their man as they had previously. Biggar were able to capitalise on this with some fairly ferocious offence defence as all put in the hits adding the the spectacle.
Able to gain a foothold in the PL 22 good work by Peacock – should the pass have gone wide earlier? - Biggar gained a scrum put in close to the PL line. A good pick and drive by Dunlop almost saw the No 8 notch a second score but some equally good defence brought him down short. The pressure was sustained however and after a couple of pick and go's by the pack ball was swung left to Chisholm who stepped inside the cover and lunged for the line for a try which, when converted put Biggar just one point adrift at 20-19.
With just short of a quarter of the match remaining it was definitely a case of 'game on' and all to play for. In the aftermath it is perhaps surprising that neither side was able to add to their tally in this last quarter. Aside from some decent running rugby which ended as progress was halted via good defence there was never a penalty awarded which would have given PL some additional breathing space or Biggar the lead.
Play swung from 22 to 22 but rarely any further as defences came out on top and errors meant possession was lost. PL were forced into several changes out of necessity as they picked up knocks in what was a physical contest. Biggar also made changes but this was down to players being swapped to provide some rest. Jackson had replaced Warnock but he returned for Lyon while the front row, save for replacement hooker Orr who was unlucky not to get game time this time round, were again routinely switched.
And so, exciting though play was, there were no further scores, PL, via Griffin, delighted to get the ball into touch after another penalty.
As has been suggested previously there is little between the teams in National 2. Just 12 points separate the top 7 positions and so things will remain tight for the foreseeable future until perhaps the weather begins to take effect to disrupt form.
Biggar's immediate goal is to defeat next opponents, Ayrshire side Ardrossan who have yet to win a match and are currently second from bottom. A trip west is never easy and Biggar won their last year courtesy of an inspirational Andrew Peacock pick up virtually on full time. It is to be hoped the side doesn't have to rely on a late intervention this time round!
Richard Peacock, Alistair Sinclair, Douglas Notman, Gregor Stewart, David McArthur, Iain Chisholm, Aird Jardine, Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Jamie Orr, Zander Lyon, Ewan Sanderson, Alan Warnock, Andrew Dunlop Reps: Ross Jackson, Calvin Henderson, Andrew Orr (David Paterson).
The 2nd XV meanwhile were hosting Murrayfield Wanderers in their East Reserve League 1 match. It was great to learn that they had again extended their unbeaten run to 8 from 8 with a comfortable 45-0 win over their Edinburgh guests.
Having secured the win and the 4-try bonus the focus switched to keeping their line intact and this they managed despite some determined Wanderers play.
For the record Davy Reive, Thomas Steele and Craig McDonald all scored a brace each, Stuart Alder notching one also.
Story date: 31/10/2016
Gold Club results.
£250 - 7 Roma Crone
£100 - 33 Jan Warnock
£100 - 45 Tom Moffat
£100 - 331 Pamela Springthorpe
£100 - 39 Al Stewart
£100 - 289 C M Coubrough
£250 - 298 Claire Thomson
£100 - 110 Tom Forrest
£100 - 144 Dougie Low
£100 - 230 John Alison
£100 - 181 Martyn Ward
£100 - 193 Graeme Watson
£250 - 236 Peter Kinstrey
£100 - 311 Simone McKeand
£100 - 332 David Parker
£100 - 286 Trina Watson
£100 - 15 Donald Elliot
£100 - 198 Douglas Davies
£250 - 220 Ian Goodall
£100 - 26 Willie Lawrie
£100 - 261 Bill Conn
£100 - 61 Kenny Bruce
£100 - 30 Andrew Warnock
£100 - 307 Lauren Murray Lawrie
£250 - 227 Andrew Baillie
£100 - 319 Andy Manock
£100 - 10 Alistair McArthur
£100 - 19 Ian Warnock
£100 - 273 R. White
£100 - 257 Derek Anderson
£250 - 79 Susan Bell
£100 - 259 Robert Stokes
£100 - 254 Kevin Wilson
£100 - 49 Finlay Smith
£100 - 307 Lauren Murray Lawrie
£100 - 83 Gordon Young
£250 - 233 Jane Bairner
Story date: 31/10/2016
£100 - 20 Andrew Duncan
£100 - 53 Alf Tucker
£100 - 62 Neil Harrison
£100 - 14 Bill Conn
£100 - 113 Tom and Sheila Tweedie
Kirkcaldy defeated and another win for the 2nds
Biggar 33 Kirkcaldy 22
As a measure of how far the club has come in the past year you need look no further than the frustrations expressed within the dressing room post match chat. Both senior sides had won games and collected the maximum 5 point totals from their league matches and yet there was a consensus that neither side had played particularly well and had struggled in phases and parts of the game, this being a source of great frustration for all.
In recent seasons bonus point wins have been scarcer than hens teeth but on Saturday the focus was all about how the sides could and must do better. A remarkable turnaround and borne from a fantastic spirit within the squads, a growing maturity amongst the players and of course a much more structured approach to training and play. Well done to all involved – onwards and upwards!
Lasswade 2nds 3 Biggar 2nds 28
The 2nds journeyed to Lasswade for their game as they went in search of another win to extend their 6 match unbeaten run. That they returned having maintained that run is excellent and keeps them ahead of the chasing pack.
Biggar's previous two outings had pitched them up against the sides in that chasing pack - Jed and Kelso - and while Lasswade's league position suggested that they would be a weaker side than their Border league opponents, the East Lothian outfit put in a determined shift that defied their league position.
Biggar had to work as hard for their points this time round just as they had in the previous matches but they ground out a win by 28-3.
Tries came from Lewis McLachlan, Alan Warnock, Andrew Peacock and Craig McDonald. Gary Morrison added 4 conversions from 4 attempts!
At Hartree Mill, the 1st XV welcomed Fife club Kirkcaldy. Coached by old pal Quinnie Sanft they have had an inconsistent start to their season. As anticipated they used their large pack to good effect and, much as was the case last week, Biggar struggled in phases of the game to match their opponents forward effort. In sharp contrast however, Kirkcaldy struggled to keep track of Biggar who were keen to move the ball about and so this was a clash of two very different styles of rugby.
Biggar made another few changes to their starting XV. Up front Zander Lyon, who took a knock last week, was rested while Ross Jackson was fielded in the 2nds to give the teenager a break from the top team action.
Douglas Notman returned to his preferred position of back row to replace Jackson while Andrew Dunlop moved from No8 to replace Lyon in the 2nd row. Stevie Campbell made a return to top team action after some sound performances in the 2nds. In the backs DO Iain Chisholm made a return to action after being injured against GHA in the cup match back in September. That meant that Aird Jardine was dropped to the bench but with Davy Reive forced to call off he was quickly promoted back, but to scrum half instead of stand off – Jardine a particularly adaptable member of the squad. Richard Peacock returned after holiday to take the 15 jersey. As backs coach, David Wilson has had to work with a different back division for almost every game to date, this never an easy situation but one which he has managed well.
On a pleasant Autumnal afternoon Hartree Mill was blessed with as big a crowd as has been seen for many seasons, a rough count seeing the total approach 300. Some of those were in attendance to see the Colts take on Irish tourists Corinthians which kicked off at 4pm but to see the touchlines packed is a wonderful sight and a clear indication that the way Biggar are playing is a talking point about town and attracting spectators. Long may that continue.
The early exchanges were punctuated by the whistle, both sides missing penalties. Kirkcaldy's first attempt came after referee Alan Hoyle deemed hooker Euan Stewart's tackle at the ruck base and in the face of another forward effort, to be a 'chop' tackle. This consigned the Biggar man to the bin for 10 minutes. And this all with the match just 5 minutes old.
Kirkcaldy had clearly identified Dunlop to be a threat and they soon set out their stall taking every opportunity to hold him down and back from the action. None of this was spotted by the referee and in another time he might have retaliated but happily he chose instead to laugh it off which only made then all the more upset! But best riposte.
A second Biggar penalty was pushed wide by Peacock before Kirkcaldy opened the scoring this after a passage of forward orientated play took the Fifers into the Biggar 22, the defensive effort deemed to be holding on after the tackle. Wallace kicked the penalty for 3-0.
It did not take Biggar long to respond with their own score, this after play had been switched left and then right. Jamie Orr made a great break – one of several during the match - through the Kirkcaldy defence before off-loading to Gregor Stewart who was brought down just metres short. With possession retained Lavery had a tilt at the line and should probably have been penalised for crossing, play almost halted as players waited for the whistle. It didn't come however and the move continued with Andrew Orr – he replacing Stevie Campbell who had to go off to allow a replacement at hooker – making a determined breenge for the line. Ball came back again and Chisholm threw a long wide pass to Alistair Sinclair who picked it up cleverly from his toes before out-stripping the defence in a sprint for the corner. From a long way out on the touchline Peacock found his mark and Biggar were ahead at 7-3.
Biggar increased their lead within minutes of the restart as again their open style of play had Kirkcaldy chasing shadows. Orr made another great run, Donald Voas and David Paterson combined well on the left before ball was swung back right. While Stewart's pass failed to go to hand Notman picked up and fed Lavery who dodged his way across for a try which Peacock also converted.
It was now Kirkcaldy's turn to score, this coming after Biggar were unable to deal effectively with the restart, an old failing! Kirkcaldy used their pack to advance ball downfield using the pick and drive to good effect, this taking them deep into the Biggar 22. They were able to create a huge overlap on the left flank which was unseen by the Biggar defence and hard though they defended Kirkcaldy's initial attacks on the line, a wide pass to Littlejohn saw the fullback squeeze over. 14-8.
As Biggar returned immediately to the attack Kirkcaldy were reduced to 14 as they were penalised for not releasing, this apparently deemed to be in a try scoring position. Using Kirkcaldy's preferred tactic Biggar kicked to the corner via Chisholm and, having won the lineout, preceded to drive the Fife defence back before Ewan Stewart took control to dive over for a try converted by Peacock for 21-8.
In what was a see-saw match Kirkcaldy then had their own period of pressure, this due in no small part to a number of penalties conceded by Biggar. Until recently Biggar's discipline has been much better than in previous seasons but they conceded a large number on Saturday – particularly after the break – and these gave Kirkcaldy field position, possession and hope in abundance.
On this occasion Kirkcaldy were very fortunate that referee Hoyle didn't pick up on a deliberate stamp by the Kirkcaldy prop on the exposed head of Sanderson. Fortunately no damage other than bruising was done but this type of brutality has no place in the game whatsoever.
Happily there was no score for Kirkcaldy as Orr managed to get a boot to a loose ball to turn defence into attack. Opening up from a lineout taken with a salmon-like leap from Dunlop on the left (all jumpers from both sides took ball really well in this game), some wonderfully adept handling saw play swept from one side of the pitch to another with Chisholm orchestrating things well. Providing first a link for Campbell, who then released Jardine and then Ewan Stewart, play was transferred left via passes from Jardine and Chisholm (again), before a long looping pass found Gregor Stewart who freed Peacock. The fullback popped to Voas lurking ominously on the wing, the big prop cantering over as the Kirkcaldy defence was torn apart. Peacock added the extras and the bonus point was secured as the whistle brought the first half to a close.
Given their lead Biggar should perhaps have then done so much better after the break but in fact they were outscored 15-5 in this period as Kirkcaldy got a grip on the game and largely dominated proceedings via their pack. Biggar contributed in no small part – much as had been the case against Cartha – by trying to play too much rugby in their own half and with some poorish kicking meaning that the visitors were able to counter. Add in some further penalties for poor discipline and the evidence is there for all to see and explains the frustration felt post match.
Right from the start of the half Biggar began to take chances in opting to run out of defence instead of using the boot to take play downfield. When they did kick, they failed to find touch, this allowing Kirkcaldy to counter. With their forwards making things really difficult for Biggar in the tight scrum technical penalties were conceded and, given their advantage, it was hardly surprising that the visitors opted for the scrum. This tactic paid off handsomely and with 10 minutes of the half gone No8 Rhys Bonner picked up from the advancing scrum base to drop over the line for a try to reduce Biggar's lead to 26-15.
A quickly taken tap penalty by Jardine made some good yards but when possession was lost a soft late tackle by Lavery ceded yards and possession to Kirkcaldy who again employed the scrum drive to good effect. Bonner rounded off the scrum drive with a second try and as the conversion was kicked by Wallace Kirkcaldy were right in the mix at 26-22.
There was still a quarter of the match remaining and the game at this stage was wide open. Biggar's task was to cut down on the errors and penalties and string some phases together. The first half had proved that Kirkcaldy could not keep up with a fast game but Biggar had not been able to put this into practice in this second half.
And then in a blink Biggar scored a cracking try with birthday boy Stevie Campbell dotting down. Jamie Orr initiated the move when he made another trademark burst up the middle of the park before giving a well-timed pass to the supporting Duncan Withers. Recycled ball was fed left to Chisholm who freed Paterson. His run was brought to a halt but ball was fed right to Campbell on an angled run which took him through the last defenders and to the line. So, so simple! Peacock added the conversion for 33-22.
Not phased at all by this try Kirkcaldy continued to work to bring their pack into the game and this again they did well to take play deep into the Biggar 22. Defence has been pretty solid this season and it needed to be again on Saturday as the game came to a close. On several occasions Biggar engineered turnovers from 'choke ball' where the attackers are held up in a maul and possession is given to the defending side. This paid off and provided Biggar with some yardage out of the danger area, albeit only temporarily as Kirkcaldy again piled on the pressure. Each Biggar player did their bit with some big hits coming in from the back row, while Dunlop's experience showed through in these situations. As a result Kirkcaldy were unable to score another try which would have given them a losing bonus.
Man of the match fro Biggar was Stevie Campbell while Connor Wood got the nod for Kirkcaldy
Biggar retain their 6th spot after this result, a position they share with their next opponents Preston Lodge who have come good in the past few weeks after what was a rocky start. Last season PL proved to be a very good side and this will be another big test for the Biggar squad. A reduction in errors would go some way to aiding Biggar's cause, something that is certain to receive due attention at training.
Richard Peacock, Alistair Sinclair, Robbie Lavery, Gregor Stewart, David Paterson, Iain Chisholm, Aird Jardine, Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Jamie Orr, Andrew Dunlop, Stevie Campbell, Duncan Withers, Douglas Notman. Reps: Calvin Henderson, Andrew Orr, Ewan Sanderson.
Story date: 26/10/2016
Biggar defeated at Cartha
Cartha Queens Park 20 Biggar 11
After 3 great weeks when points have been scored with ease Biggar were brought down to earth in a much tighter, more pressured contest against the league leaders Cartha. That Biggar's error count by Biggar in this one game must have exceeded the combined total of the last 3 gives indication that this result was somewhat self-inflicted although the hosts will point out that their errors cost them at least 3 tries which would have put them well ahead after the first quarter alone.
The loss means Biggar drop back to 6th place in the league which, although 'OK', and certainly so much better than in recent seasons does not equate at all to the effort which the players and coaches have put in and will certainly not please either group.
With Richard Peacock and Craig McDonald both unavailable there were changes again in the backs, Douglas Notman dropping back from flank forward to centre and David Paterson resuming at wing while Robbie Lavery took over at fullback. The pack which started saw Calvin Henderson start at prop in place of Dan O'Connell while Duncan Withers replaced Notman in the back row.
On a day which was much nicer than had been forecast Biggar's errors began at kick off the normal safe hands of Withers seeing ball spilled on the catch, immediately ceding both possession and territory to the hosts. This simple unforced error was merely the first of many made by the side in the course of the 80 minutes.
Being up against things in the opening exchanges is nothing new for Biggar who have weathered well the strong starts from their opponents and so it was very much same old, same old as Biggar were forced into defensive chores. Some sound tackles, a couple of opportune turnovers and at least one player held up over the line saw Biggar hold out as Cartha launched wave after wave of attacks with big runners choosing good lines and angles. That the hosts should have scored is not in doubt one 2v1 ending as Lavery appeared to wrong foot the ball carrier who lost control of the ball with the line at his mercy.
Both packs were running well whenever called into action while the tight exchanges were well contested, both packs fiercely combative in scrum and lineout.
Able to slowly get a foothold of possession and territory Biggar were awarded a penalty after 16 minutes, this virtually the first such award of the game, and one which Gregor Stewart slotted for a 3-0 lead.
Straight back into attack Jamie Orr was set free for a tilt at the line and suffered the same fate as one of Cartha's attacks as he was held up over the line. Maintaining tremendous pressure on the Cartha line Biggar's forwards were lining up to take ball on, Cartha proving so much more difficult to open up than recent opponents. Another penalty was their reward, Stewart converting again to give Biggar a 6-0 lead.
The restarts, which hitherto have always been taken well, were proving troublesome, Davy Reive slipping as he collected the kick, this slowing the option to exit the 22 and in fact seeing Biggar concede a penalty which was converted to reduce the gap to 6-3.
This Cartha penalty aside, the middle section of this half was undoubtedly Biggar's purple patch as they really took the game to their hosts. The next score was just minutes away and the try scored after a great run by Orr saw the big lock pop the ball inside to Withers who galloped across the line. Stewart was unable to add the conversion but at 11-3 Biggar were on the 'up'.
Frustratingly from a Biggar point of view, but perhaps not surprisingly, Cartha fought back and using the driven line to good effect managed to shunt Biggar back and score a try from their hooker.
The conversion was missed and Biggar retained their lead at 11-8. The driven lineout option from Cartha was to cause all manner of problems for Biggar although it is virtually impossible to legally halt this move.
The remainder of the half was played out with Biggar still on the front foot but unable to unlock the Cartha defence again, several errors (crossing offences, knock-ons, missed touch kicks) all allowing Cartha some respite.
In the post match chat it seemed incredible that after this great spell and having added the 11 points in about 20 minutes that the try was the last time that Biggar troubled the scorer! Cartha definitely deserve credit for their defensive effort which saw them slow the Biggar attack down and then put a stranglehold on almost everything Biggar did, although Biggar did become a tad predictable in their attacking options, this playing directly into Cartha's hands.
Andrew Dunlop who was making a return after an injury sustained at Aberdeenshire took over at half time from Ewan Sanderson while O'Connell came on for Calvin Henderson. Another crossing offence gave Cartha the chance to push Biggar back. It quickly became clear that Cartha had regained some shape during the break and as the game progressed their forward effort seemed to increase.
A great team tackle by Lavery and Paterson denied Cartha a try but then from the resultant lineout – an area in which Biggar had taken much great ball in the first half – an error spawned possession at the back, Cartha's back rower unable to get a clean hold of the ball and botching a great chance and with the line at his mercy.
The try was merely delayed however as an offload from Dunlop as he picked up at the scrum base saw possession spilled. Cartha were in quick to secure the possession and run in for a try which, when converted, turned the tables on Biggar and meant they were behind for the first time in the match at 15-11.
This score seemed to really enthuse the Cartha side who slowly began to take a greater stranglehold on proceedings. Try as they did Biggar were unable to play the game they wished as Cartha forced Biggar back into their own 22. At the same time, and in the face of this pressure (this the first match in 4 in which Biggar have been put under such pressure) the number of unforced errors crept up.
A kick direct to touch, a lazy runner penalty, a couple of turnovers and instead of being in the Cartha half, Biggar found themselves once again on defensive duties.
Biggar made a couple of changes, Lavery moving up to centre and Stewart dropping back to fullback, Jackson giving way to Sanderson.
A missed Cartha penalty and then a great breakout by Cartha through the middle forced Stewart to make a great hit on the runner and with ball spilled Biggar engineered an escape but this was short lived as Cartha kicked out of defence.
Another big line drive saw Biggar throw themselves at the Cartha attack to hold them up and with the match entering the last 10 minutes it was all hands to the pumps as Biggar fought to deny Cartha another try.
This they almost managed, Cartha opting for the kick to the corner, confident that they would eventually get over for the try which would decide the match. A Biggar try at this point would have seen them win but deep inside their own half this seemed unlikely – their hopes increasingly pinned on a losing bonus point which in the circumstances would have been just reward for their efforts if not for the errors.
As the minutes ticked down the try eventually came, this again stemming from a line drive, replacement prop Irvine credited with the score. The conversion was immaterial, the game won/lost.
This result was a real frustration for Biggar as they travelled with some confidence after recent solid performances. Coach Mercer though still upbeat after the match was quick to highlight the need for greater concentration and the need to bounce back. The opportunity to do so comes this weekend when Kirkcaldy come to Hartree Mill. Possessing a big pack it will need a concerted effort from the boys in black to regain their winning ways.
As always a big support would do much to help them on their way. Kick off is 3pm.
Robbie Lavery, Alistair Sinclair, Gregor Stewart, Douglas Notman, David Paterson, Aird Jardine, David Reive (C), Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Calvin Henderson, Zander Lyon, Jamie Orr, Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson, Duncan Withers . Reps: Andrew Orr, Dan O'Connell, James Barr, Andrew Dunlop.
The 2nds entertained Kelso in their Edinburgh Reserve league match.
As league leaders Biggar were in determined mood to retain their top spot and in the end they managed to do so with a 22-15 victory.
Kelso proved to be every bit as determined opponents as had Jed last week with another big defensive effort required to keep the visitors out. A decent lead at half time of 15-10 saw Biggar take the initiative to go further up at 22-10 before Kelso hit back to make it 22-15.
As Kelso received a yellow card Biggar might have managed to increase their lead but this was not to be and they had to settle for the 7-point advantage.
Tries from among others Scot Chapman and Stevie Campbell.
Despite not playing quite as well as they might have this was another great result for the 2nds who now have a 6 point lead in the league.
They travel to take on Lasswade this Saturday.
Story date: 17/10/2016
S2’s triumph at Whitecraigs
Resurgent S2s win well away to Whitecraigs.
Following a first every defeat for this squad to Lanarkshire rivals Hamilton the Biggar S2s required to refocus and redouble their efforts to produce high quality 15 man rugby. Another away match this time at Whitecraigs provided the opposition. Biggar travelled with nearly a full squad with only 2 players out injured and welcomed 2 new additions Arron and Kaleb.
The coaches agreed 3 periods of 18 minutes to allow for lots of time to change players and positions.
Biggar started sharply and 3 times in the first 10 minutes moved the ball along the back line to Fraser Simpson to charge past the flayling defense. Fraser's reward for his prodigious scoring in this and previous games was to be rotated off to allow others a chance to play! From the restart the opposite winger Issac Falconer took the ball arced wide, put the jets on and ran in a nice solo try.
Euan Laing playing 10 took a nasty stud to the thigh and came off for a while with the captain Murray Lean moving into the 10 berth and Fraser restated on the wing.
In the next period the forwards were incouraged to take control of the breakdown which quickly produced quality ball for the backs to shift wide for another Fraser try. The same again looked likely for Fraser to be stopped and knock forward 5 m out. From the resulting scrum and good pressure on the hosts defensive kick resulted in Nr15 Chris Brett collecting at the 22 before side stepping through 4 tackles to score under the posts.
In the final periods the hosts excerted some pressure on the Biggar try line but Biggar coverer tackled and reorganised well to hold them off. Fraser got his 5th and 6th trys. Callum Yardley moved out from Flanker to 15 got a break through the middle to score and the scoring was completed by Kaleb's 2 tries in his first match with the Black and Red. Whitecraigs put up stiff defense and had been better in the ruck at the start of the game but Biggar got stronger and won more ruck ball with the ball kept tight before being moved through the back line for trys out wide.
Final score 37 - 0
( 11 trys and 4 conversions at 3 points and 1)
The team continues to progress and are learning to play with structure. The coaches are looking forward to the day everyone is fit and available.
Story date: 13/10/2016
Girls back on the road.
The girls section meanwhile were on the road once again, albeit to a destination not quite as far removed as last week. Annan RFC was their goal, all 3 sides – U12, U15 and U18 – making the journey.
Another good day out for all three of our girls teams in Annan.
The U12 girls played their second game, since their inauguration earlier this year. Travelling down to Annan along with the other girl’s squads. The Annan players turned out to be much older and bigger than our girls, so it was decided that the two teams would be mixed, and due to an Annan player not having a gum shield, the first session was played as a touch game, which turned out to be a very congested affair, with little structure to play. However, a spare gum shield was eventually secured and the second session went to full on tackling, resulting in a much more structured game. Some good phases of play, and some good tackling, became evident, with all girls taking something away from their experience. Great effort by the 8 U12s girls from Biggar who played in mixed teams in development games with Annan. For a number it was their 1st time on the pitch. Although Annan girls were older and mostly taller than the girls from Biggar they did themselves proud. No scores, just a great chance to show how much they have progressed. Result was a game which all players enjoyed, encouraging these youngsters to continue, and strive to improve.
Well done to all who took part.
Our U15’s Girls played with reduced numbers in Annan, playing two 20 minute 7's games, resulting in great offloading and pop passing, combined with excellent support play and tackling. Result was 19 tries to 1 for Biggar. Bigger picture and by far the more important success of the day was that both Annan and Biggar players came away with a better understanding of sevens Rugby. Well done team. No individual man of the match as you all played so well, but will mention Captain Mason Cosh for all her encouragement today.
Our U18 Girls lead by a new Captain for the day, Emily Armstrong; who deserves a big shout out for not only embracing the Captains role but against a tough Annan team converted 8 of the 13 tries...
Special mention also for man of the match Ellie Court, quick ball, strong tackles, great communication... Eilidh Sandilands opened up the game in the first 3 minutes with a superb try...
Julia bell, Jennifer Bell and Ailie Tucker for the hard smashes, hat trick of tries from Feebi Robinson who played a convincing and strong number 10. Amazing display of diversity by Sharee Marshall covering full back and working with the two inexperienced wingers Jade and Erin who are getting better and stronger every game. Megan McCarry, Megan MacLeod and Lauren Findlay very strong front row winning 80% of all Scrums, making some great runs and tackles, with 3 tries scored.
A long way come but still work to do, a great team effort... Well done...
Well done to all the girls who travelled and played at Annan on Sunday, coaches and parents are very proud of all your hard work and determination.
A big thank you to Annan RFC for their usual warm welcome and hospitality!
Story date: 11/10/2016
Biggar Youth section in action
Youth rugby and the Green Conference
On Sunday it was Green Conference action again with Glasgow side Whitecraigs the opponents.
S1 and U-16 sides played training matches while the S2's and U-15's played league matches. In these honours were even, Biggar winning the S2 match but losing out narrowly to the Glasgow outfit at U-15.
U-15's at Hartree Mill
After a closely fought contest last weekend versus local rivals Hamilton, the U15’s were looking to put their league campaign back on track with a strong performance against Whitecraigs. Unfortunatly, due to a number of reasons we came out second best this time, but sometimes you learn more from a loss than a win and the whole coaching staff feel there are positives and lessons to be learnt from this weekends game.
Following an abrasive and physical beginning to the game, it was the visitors who got the first points on the board. After some sustained pressure and good phase play from the Whitecraigs outfit, their 10 managed to scythe through a previously resolute Biggar defence. 0-5.
Biggar were not to be disheartened easily though and were quickly taking it back to the opposition. A cracking bit of decision making by Aaron to go blind off a scrum bore fruit with an offload to Euan who got us deep into their twenty two. Good carries by the likes of new boy Josh and step in captain Will earned us a penalty, which was intelligently tapped and passed to isaac out on the wing, who finished well. Conversion missed, 5-5.
A lull in the Biggar squad was to follow and Whitecraigs capatilised with three tries in quick succession before the break. One as a result of their winger’s pace, another from a loose kick and accumulated pressure on our line allowed their forwards to carry over for a third.
Half time: 5-26
One player who impressed in both attack and defence was young Isaac at outside centre. He showed his effective speed and footballing ability at the beginning of the second half, streaking past all the defence with some excellent footwork which deserved a try. The bounce was unkind however, and the chance went begging, positive play nonetheless, signs of more to come.
The Biggar crowd did not have to wait long for their next boost of excitement. Yet another strong carry by the ever present Will and Jack gave Isaac good clean ball which he promptly shipped to the wing and eventually to Aaron who used his strength to barrel his way over. Well desrved team try for the work put in by the whole squad. 12-26
The spark of a fight back was further ignited when Euan Barr ripped the ball excellently in defence who popped to a few forwards who brilliantly used the brains giving it to Gregor who released Isaac. Once again he pierced the defence with a show and go, stepping the full back to finish off under the posts. Conversion well made 19-26.
Despite the optimism, Whitecraigs closed out the game well with two tries in the games dying breaths. A frustrating finish to a game that could’ve gone either way, the score line certainly did not reflect the closeness of the game.
Final Score: 19-38
Many congratulations to debutant referee Cameron Forrest who took charge of the U-15 match. Despite his tender years – Cameron is 16 – he took charge of proceedings and managed the game well.
With this such an important aspect of the club game it is particularly praiseworthy of Cameron to take on the officials role. May there be many more to follow in his footsteps.
Of course with SRU referee commissioner Tappe Henning living locally any trainee referees will be given the ideal opportunity to develop. There are of course specific referee training courses to attend, Cameron enrolling at Gala RFC.
Story date: 11/10/2016
THE BIGGAR PICTURE - September Edition
… pation. Longer than expected, I know.
A September issue starting off the rugby year isn’t so bad..?
The mini section dove straight into the deep end with their very own tournament being held at the start of the season. All went well, and it was a good day to be had for all. A big thanks goes out to Laura Watson for having the patience to organise the whole event and making it run nice and smoothly. ONE CLUB ONE FAMILY.
With the season settling in, the midi’s and colt’s drop – kicked off their green conference battle, which includes playing sides such as Dunfermline, GHA, Dumfries, Falkirk, Hamilton and Whitecraigs. It’s been a hard start for U16’s due to playing numbers… so if you’re a 15 year old boy reading this for some reason or other, you clearly have nothing else to do. Get yourself down to Hartree Mill on Wednesday nights at 7pm and live life to the max – come and join the fam. The colts have had a pretty decent start, with wins all round apart from a draw with Hamilton… awkies. One way to improve would be to actually watch your games when Sarah doesn’t lose the footage and I actually upload them lol soz.
On a plus note, 8 of the colts are part of the U18 Glasgow Academy. This includes training sessions every week and games against the other regions. The boys included are Guy Kelly, Rory McGinn, Luhann Kotze, Matthew and Lewis Stewart, Andrew Jardine and Andrew Nimmo (who defs bribed his way in with a few cows). There are also 3 boys in the Glasgow U18’s development squad – Stuart Forrest, Rowan Stewart and Jordan Gray. This is a pathway to Scotland and definitely shows that Biggar Rugby club are doing something right.
Going back to conferences, U15 and U18 Girls played their first President’s Conference game against Murrayfield Wanderers. The Presidents conference is making its debut this year with 6 teams from across Scotland taking part. Both teams won with U15’s winning very convincingly and U18’s winning but realising they should’ve done pre season. It was injuries galore with concussion going round like the plague, but luckily Abbie Baillie will be back playing soon after suffering with concussion since March. However we are playing rather well and you’re putting Sarah out of a position so we don’t need you anymore. Let the games go on the way they started.
So there you go, another monthly update for you. Hope you enjoyed.
Rhiannon (and Sarah)
Story date: 10/10/2016
Biggar rack up another 50 in home win against Whitecraigs
Biggar 54 Whitecraigs 10
Biggar welcomed Glasgow side Whitecraigs to a Hartree Mill looking at its finest in the warm Autumnal sunshine.
Biggar fielded a XV with just two changes from that which won at Hill Jills last week, Aird Jardine starting at stand off in place of brother Andrew who sustained a broken forearm, with Gregor Stewart reverting to inside centre and Craig McDonald replacing the unavailable David Paterson.
Selection promises to be ever more difficult for the coaching team given that there are a handful of players who would normally start but who will have to work extremely hard to regain their place, so well is the current squad performing. Competition for places and in all positions is intense and all the more so because the 2nd XV, ably led by Doug Fleming continue to perform as well, their excellent win away to Jedforest a massive boost for the club. There is therefore another group within their ranks waiting for their chance to get a top team start.
Separated by just one point prior to the match Whitecraigs had a number of call offs and a bad start when Captain and prop Iain Laidlaw turned an ankle in the warm up. To make matters all the more difficult they took the field to find a Biggar squad in top form, clearly relishing the opportunity to extend their winning home run and keen to erase the memories of two defeats to Whitecraigs last season.
A forward pass denied Ross Jackson a try and Biggar a dream start but this was merely delayed as Craig McDonald rounded off a fairly simple backs move initiated after Biggar stole possession from a Whitecraigs scrum. 3 minutes gone and a 5-0 scoreline for Biggar.
Undeterred at this stage Whitecraigs began to make their mark, the next 10 minutes or so proving tricky for Biggar as the Glasgow side gave full indication of their style; backs and forwards running at pace and finding good angles to take play into the Biggar 22. The Biggar defence stood resolute however and aside from a couple of penalties gave little away. Two attempts at driven lineouts failed to get Whitecraigs on the scoreboard – a magnificent take by Jamie Orr and his lifters denying one catch and drive - so it was left to kicker Stuart Gillies to open 'Craigs account from a penalty on 18 minutes.
Having kept their visitors out Biggar's initial attacks faltered on two loose Biggar lineouts – perhaps the only real flaw in the whole match as the packs dominance throughout meant the Whitecraigs effort visibly wilted as the game progressed. Respite was short-lived for the visitors however as Biggar added to their tally via two Richard Peacock penalties to take them ahead at 11-3.
Indeed an 8 minute period from 25-32 minutes saw Biggar take the initiative and largely condemn Whitecraigs to second place, the two penalties preceding two excellent tries. A great Zander Lyon take on the second penalty restart saw Davy Reive chip and Jardine chase. An error in the catch allowed Jardine to hack clear to beat the defence for the try. Peacock converted.
Another error from stand off Gillies – not a day he will wish to remember – gave Biggar territory and position and following an initial surge ball was fed back to the blindside where Ewan Sanderson exploited a weak defensive effort to run round and then through the remaining cover.
Biggar almost added to their tally from the next restart as Jardine made an interception, the cover defence this time up to the task and cutting off the stand-offs run.
Half time then and a 3 try lead at 25-3 for the men in black. This was an almost identical score to that from the previous week with again the 4-try bonus point within reach. Could the Biggar lads repeat that feat?
The answer, although not just as quick as last week, was still in the affirmative and with bags more as well.
A couple of penalties gave Whitecraigs some possession and territory but their attacks again floundered as Biggar's defence remained firm. Within 8 minutes of the restart Biggar opened out from their own 22 with a lung bursting and particularly effective exit, Jardine initiating the charge with a boot downfield. Peacock took the kick at full pace making a couple of yards before cleverly off-loading to Alistair Sinclair who took and then game almost immediately to Lavery. He evaded the nearest defenders to pop the ball back inside to the ever-present Jackson. The young back rower made short shrift of the sprint to the line and a deserved try. One kick and 3 passes for the try and the bonus point.
Another hammer blow befell 'Craigs as Biggar scored again almost from the restart. Notman took ball up and into the advancing pack, something he does with great regularity. Recycled ball saw Reive offer the box kick which, although initially dealt with by 'Craigs No 8 Haswell, was then turned over by Sanderson. The counter attack on this occasion was one break, by Jardine, and a neat pass to Lavery who sprinted in from some 40 metres.
Notman was then shown a yellow for some careless work at the breakdown but despite their numerical advantage 'Craigs could not stem the flow of the Biggar attack. The 'Craigs attack failed and a Biggar penalty allowed them to kick and then win good line out ball from Sanderson. A pre-planned move saw replacement flanker Duncan Withers take an inside pass from Jardine to outpace the despairing cover from some 40 metres for try number 6. Peacock added the conversion. The score now read 44-3; could the side record another 50 point haul?
Whitecraigs had other thoughts and to their credit and regardless of the battering they had received they managed a try of their own. This was credited to replacement prop Ingram, he a strong and direct runner who would surely, on most other occasions, have been able to make a significant mark on proceedings. Gillies added the conversion for 44-10.
Another fantastic breakout after another 'Craigs handling error under the box kick saw Biggar quickest to react, replacement hooker Andrew Orr latching onto the loose ball to make yards before finding Lavery. His run beat the defence before Jardine and then Reive took over. His pass was taken by Sinclair who gave quickly to Peacock who was able to round things off with another try.
It was clear that 'Craigs were now almost punch drunk such had they given to absorb the Biggar attack and the hits in attack. At almost every breakdown another 'Craigs player looked for treatment.
Biggar's finale became a little untidy in the face of this and they managed just one further try this to Reive who had been the proverbial thorn in 'Craigs side all day. On this occasion Jackson took advantage of another massive surge by the Biggar pack which had their opponents on a rushed retreat to snaffle ball and pass to Reive – a score the scrum half clearly relished!
Peacock had a bit of an off day with the boot although the final conversion from Jardine also missed its mark. Add the missed conversions and Biggar would have been well through the 60 point mark.
Regardless, this was an excellent win for the home side. There were some terrific performances from all with no one looking out of place or playing poorly. Each player made significant contributions with the nod for man of the match going to stand off Aird Jardine, one audacious hand off in particular sticking in the memory.
In the last three matches Biggar have amassed over 145 points (21 tries) while conceding just 25 (3 tries) – the best defensive record in the league. The win takes Biggar into 4th top spot level with local rivals Peebles.
The division remains particularly close however with the impression being that any side on their day has the capacity to beat any other.
Things will certainly get tougher of that there is no doubt with a visit to League leaders Cartha Queens Park this Saturday just the start. There is an air of confidence within the squad however and where in previous seasons coaches might have been reluctant to give the replacements a run, each man off the bench now brings something different to the side, to wit on Saturday the attacking flair of Withers, the work rate of Henderson or Orr and the pace of McArthur. Well done to all, including of course coaches Mercer and Wilson.
Richard Peacock, Alistair Sinclair, Robbie Lavery, Gregor Stewart, Craig McDonald, Aird Jardine, David Reive (C), Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Zander Lyon, Jamie Orr, Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson, Douglas Notman. Reps: Andrew Orr, Duncan Withers, Calvin Henderson, David McArthur .
The news of the 2nds 21-17 win came through just before the final whistle and was met with a great cheer from the 1sts in their post-match huddle.
The 2nds had faced a tricky away match against Jed and to return with the win after a really tousy last 10 minutes when they were forced to finish with 14 men after Lewis McLachlan had been sin-binned was testimony to the character within the squad.
This was an excellent win and means that Biggar retain top spot in the East Reserve league. They face another Border test this week when they entertain Kelso who are in 2nd spot.
Story date: 09/10/2016
Youth v Hamitlon and Girls in Caithness
Firstly, the Girls sides journeyed north on Saturday to play Caithness in the Girls Presidents Conference. Biggar were happy to travel as Caithness have previously been guests at Hartree Mill. Two great games ensued with Biggar winning both convincingly.
For the record the U-15's won by 63-24 while the U-18's managed a 76-0 scoreline.
On Sunday Hamilton were the opponents in the Green Conference Youth fixtures.
At Hamilton the S1 squad played a development match as this Biggar unit is still short of players. The S2 group had their work cut out and went down by 52-21.
At Biggar the U-15 squad had a narrow defeat by 26-19 with the game being a nip and tuck affair from start to finish.
The U-16's played in a Development match
Biggar under 16’s got only their 3rd game of the season under way against Hamilton Bulls at Hartree Mill on Sunday and managed a great win in a tight game. Having been forced to cancel the last 2 games against GHA and Falkirk due to lack of players, this game was also in doubt up until the last minute. As it was, Hamilton agreed to play a development match having only turned up with 11 players themselves.
The game kicked off as 13 a side with Jamie Shannon and Cammy Snell turning out for the Bulls in the first half and Hugo Baillie, Harry Archibald and Shawn Cottam (a short spell of injury cover) turning out for them in the second.
What followed was good high-intensity, high-scoring game with Hamilton drawing first blood early on. Their number 10 who was comfortable the whole game with ball in hand picked it up in midfield and ran for the try line. Rusty tackling was in evidence from some in black and red as he was allowed to get up a head of steam and fly over in the corner. Biggar had started well and a lapse in concentration had allowed the bulls into the game.
Biggar hit back with some excellent direct running from the backs. The ball was well won in the midfield and hit up by the forwards. After 2 or 3 phases, the backs took over and good hands were shown by all to get the ball to Drew. He took off and had the Bulls defence backtracking. Exploiting indecision in the tackle the big centre stepped inside his man and made it in for the score. The conversion from out wide right was missed by Sam Grieve.
The next try was a standard Cammy Snell try. Pick the ball from the base of a ruck, run at the defence and exploit the gaps to score. Great run, great try, great news – except Cammy was playing for Hamilton! This one from under the posts was converted to put the Bulls back in the lead.
Biggars forwards then took over. Hamilton were a big set of lads but Biggar are big too with perhaps more mobility. A penalty break saw Daniel into the Bulls half a pop to Harry Low and the big prop set off for the line. He picked a slightly sideways line but clearly saw a gap to exploit. Through the winger he went and over to score. Sam Grieve kicked the conversion.
Biggar took the lead on the stroke of half time. A great phase of forward play down the right started by a great break from captain Dan McConkey was well supported by all as the ball was secured and then hit up by Lee Smith, Hugo Baillie and Josh JvR in quick succession. The ball was picked up by Harry Low who made a bolt for the line from the base of the ruck to head over for his second score. Again the kick was made by Sam.
Half Time Biggar 19 – Hamilton 12
Into the second half and the there was no let-up in intensity. Once again, Biggar seemed to switch off slightly at the start of the half and let the Bulls in to score. As with the first half, Biggar seemed comfortable and a slip in concentration allowed the Bulls in to level.
Next up it was the turn of Jamie Bell to get on the scoresheet. This one was made by Josh and could have been his try. The big man got hold of the ball and battered his way through almost to the line. A last ditch tackle was made but he made it over. Double movement according to the ref - shame but probably a fair call. From the penalty Hamilton failed to find touch. Sam Wallis tracked back well and turned and ran at them. He made up some great ground and with support from Drew the ball was back into Hamilton territory. Into a ruck and Josh picked and went again. He seemed destined to score but was prevented by another last ditch tackle. Scrum half Jamie Bell was on hand with a quick pick and through a tight gap for the score. Sam converted again.
Hamilton went over again this time out wide right. Crucially the kick was missed. Biggar held a 2 point lead!
The final Biggar try was scored by Captain McConkey and was a great mix between backs and forwards. Good straight running from Sam who popped it to Daniel. He still had work to do but showed good speed to make it over. Again Sam kicked the extras.
The final score of the game went to Hamilton who went over but again missed the conversion. With 90 seconds left Biggar were 4 points up but were kicking to the visitors. It was kept tight for a number of phases and a Biggar knock on in midfield gave us a scrum as the last play of the match. The Bulls held the ball and in their eagerness to get the ball, Biggar conceded a penalty. Fingernails were being chewed on the touchline!! Hamilton ran it as you would expect but a great tackle from Charles Connolly saw the runner isolated. Sam Wallis went into the ruck, secured the ball and launched it out of the park. A win for Biggar!
Full Time Biggar 33 – Hamilton 29
This was a very entertaining game played in an excellent spirit by all. The boys continue to make progress and some really good strong running rugby was on display. Some real big performances ensured that Biggar won the day. Sam Grieve took on the kicking role and did superbly. Not sure if he has kicked in a game previously but converting 4 out of 5 won the match for Biggar so he deserves huge credit. Lee Smith played the full 60 minutes at hooker. His scrum impact was good and he put in some excellent throws too. GH came in for his first game of the season and made some great tackles on the right wing as well as showing some great passing skills in the second half. The whole pack deserves huge credit as time after time, they made tackles and gains in equal measure. Some of the carries from them produced great yards and they were rewarded with 3 cracking forward tries (4 if you count Cammy scoring for Hamilton!).
As coach John Archibald said, it was great to see a smile on all the boys faces. Too true and it put a smile on the fans faces too. Well played lads! Many thanks too to Lanark whistler Stewart Wise who presided over proceedings. Always handy to have guys willing to take control and support Youth rugby.
Story date: 03/10/2016
Senior sides knock up sizeable scores
Hillhead Jordanhill 5 Biggar 56
In much calmer weather than the previous Saturday Biggar travelled to Glasgow and laid a few bogeys to rest as they demolished an uncharacteristically weak Hillhead Jordanhill XV who currently prop up the National 2 table.
In taking another 5 points the statisticians were trying to figure out when Biggar had last claimed two back to back bonus point wins. Answers on a postcard please! The win lifts Biggar up just one place to 6th in the table with other results confirming the belief that this League is pretty much wide open with each side on their day capable of beating others. Guests at Hartree Mill this weekend are Whitecraigs and a win in this match could lift Biggar into the top 4 – but that is a week away and, as in politics, a week in league rugby is a long time.
Biggar made a couple of changes for this match. In the pack, Douglas Notman moved back from centre to No 8, and Ewan Sanderson started ahead of Duncan Withers in the back row. In the backs Andrew Jardine moved to stand off in place of his brother Aird who was unavailable. Gregor Stewart made his 1st XV start at centre, pairing up with Robbie Lavery who returned to the side after his trip to Oz. The side had to make an early change as Jardine sustained an arm injury, Stewart moving to stand off and replacement Craig McDonald coming on at centre. Jardine, it transpires, broke his thumb in an early contact, playing on bravely for some 10 minutes until he was forced off. This injury is a real blow for the youngster who is in the frame for Scotland U-18 selection. He faces between 4-6 weeks in plaster and the club wishes him well in what is hoped will be a speedy recovery.
Hill Jills opened strongly and only stout defence kept the Biggar line intact – in previous seasons the defence would have been breached but there is a steely determination borne of sound organisation which, though not infallible, is working.
Making their way upfield a sustained passage of play eventually spawned ball which Davy Reive flicked to Notman who burst through the cover defence for a good try, converted by Richard Peacock.
Hill Jills took advantage of a penalty to advance play forward. Hooker Harry Perston scoring after a couple of good phases of attacking play.
Much as had been the case last week with West that marked the end of Hill Jills scoring exploits, Biggar able to rack up the points at fairly regular intervals. Biggar's next forays into the hosts territory saw them take full advantage of an HJ lineout error and resultant close scrum, Reive on hand to dot down (Peacock converted) following a big shove in the tight. This was soon an area in which Biggar dominated, the HJ eight being shunted back and making things very difficult for scrum half Thomson.
The next Biggar attacks came to nought as two lineouts proved costly but normal service was resumed as Peacock converted a penalty to stretch Biggar's lead to 17-4 just after the half hour mark.
Ewan Stewart made a typically bulldozing run through the middle prior to the next try. Alistair Sinclair made good ground on the right before ball was fed left and with the HJ cover stretched, ball was fed wide to David Paterson who then burst round and through the remaining defenders to motor over. This came just before half time and took Biggar into a commanding 22-5 lead, one try short for the 4-try bonus point.
The half time chat emphasised the need to dominate proceedings and to quickly claim the 4th try.
That was achieved relatively quickly as, following a poor restart from HJ, Biggar forced the home side into their own half. Pressing forward Gregor Stewart took an interception and sprinted to the line from some 35 metres, neatly avoiding the cover defence on the way. Peacock converted for 27-5.
HJ's hopes were dealt a blow as their flanker Ryan Reilly was sent to the bin, Biggar taking advantage to add to their tally. Peacock crossed for a try after Reive pillaged a loose HJ lineout and Jamie Orr stormed into the HJ 22. And then just before HJ regained full strength, McDonald was freed for a run to the line, this after another breenge by Withers and Ewan Stewart. Peacock's conversion rebounded off the upright.
Peacock added another try, this after a strong run from Donald Voas and Stewart's wide pass. Notman then rounded off another passage of play which perhaps should have seen a try scored earlier, play now becoming a little less structured as 'white-line' fever struck the players. It's some time since Biggar have enjoyed being top dogs and this can go some way to explaining this lack of discipline.
The final try – number 9 - was credited to prop Voas who rounded a maul to run in from some 10 metres, HJ's fringe defence posted missing.
There was just enough time for Biggar to lose the services of Ewan Sanderson who had worked tirelessly throughout but who was on this occasion deemed to have obstructed the HJ breakout after a penalty award.
Five points and a general satisfaction but still not clinical enough for coach Davy Wilson who emphasised the need to maintain focus to the final whistle. Other sides will definitely not be as generous and the side must use such occasions as were presented on Saturday to do the basics properly. With one Jardine out and the other returning, selection will again prove to be testing and this without the injured Iain Chisholm, and the unavailable Lewis McLachlan and Stuart Hull.
Close on their heels of course are the members of the 2nd XV who enjoyed another big win defeating Heriots 3rds by 40-17. There are several of their number putting their hands up for 1st XV selection so there is all to play for. This latest 2nd XV result means that they are on a hat-trick of wins over Edinburgh opposition having previously disposed of Watsons and Edin Accies. The 2's face a tough trip to the Borders this Saturday when they tavel to take on Jedforest, easily the hardest task to date.
Richard Peacock, Alistair Sinclair, Robbie Lavery, Gregor Stewart, David Paterson, Andrew Jardine, David Reive (C), Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Zander Lyon, Jamie Orr, Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson, Douglas Notman. Reps: Lewis McLinton, Duncan Withers, Calvin Henderson, Craig McDonald.
Story date: 03/10/2016
Biggar take 4 try bonus against West
Biggar 35 West of Scotland 10
In conditions hitherto alien this season – gale force blustery wind and wet - Biggar and West combined to produce an excellent match which held the sizeable crowds' attention to the end.
Both sides deserve great credit for their efforts with all contributing positively to the entertainment and while there were errors these were not perhaps as plentiful as one might have expected given the weather.
In the end Biggar deservedly gained the win with an all-important 4 try bonus point to boot. That gives them a 50% success rate and lifts them up to joint 6th in the table. Last season home form proved to be very different from away form and so it seems this season with Biggar winning comfortably at home against Kelso and West but clearly struggling on their visits to Peebles and Aberdeenshire. That is mirrored largely throughout the division although if Biggar are serious about challenging for honours then they must improve their away results.
Having said that this is still a team which is developing. Saturday's squad of 19 included no fewer than 11 who were aged 21 or under. Spare a thought for the elder statesmen, Davy Rieve and Dan O'Connell, both of whom put in great performances which belay their years!
Up front, Dan O'Connell started at prop, Calvin Henderson dropping to the bench and with Andrew Dunlop still injured there was a recall for Duncan Withers, he coming in at the expense of Alan Warnock. In the backs Douglas Notman took over at centre from the unavailable Stuart Hull. Steven Campbell took over from Grant Hamilton to join Andrew Orr and Gregor Stewart on the bench.
Facing the elements Biggar were soon tested in defence as West used their pack to take ball forward a couple of early driven lineouts sweeping play to the Biggar line. Biggar's line held firm in the face of this early onslaught and pressure was relieved following a poor transfer which saw Aird Jardine kick upfield.
Quickly back into the Biggar 22 West centre Mark Davies coughed up possession with the line almost at his mercy, Biggar's drop out restart charged down and gifting West another tilt at the Biggar line. A penalty by Davies opened the scoring.
Not to be outdone Biggar then took control of proceedings with the pack dominating with a series of the best 'pick and go's' which took play deep into the West half. This eventually spawned ball for Notman who beat the West defence to slide over for a try which Richard Peacock cleverly converted for a 7-3 lead.
Flight judgement was always likely to be difficult in the conditions and so it proved as both sides made errors under the high ball but it was Biggar who again took play to the visitors to ask questions of their defence. A forward pass to Ewan Stewart gave West some respite and a penalty allowed them to kick downfield where they took full advantage of another lineout drive to march Biggar over their line for a try credited to their No 8. Davies kicked for 10-7.
Quite remarkably given the ease with which they scored this try this was the last occasion West bothered the scoreboard, Biggar's pack largely dominating proceedings thereafter although credit to the backs all of whom also played their part when asked.
Every member of the pack had at least 5 carries to his name in this first half – a remarkable statistic – and given this Biggar might have expected to take a lead but a number of penalties which broke up play and inevitable errors meant that they had to be content with a Peacock penalty which tied the scores. This penalty was one too many for referee Lee fish who sent West flanker Fraser Smeaton to the bin for a 10 minute rest.
A breenge to the West line probably should have led to a try on the stroke of half time but the ball slipped from Andrew Jardines hands as he made for the line.
Both sides and the officials took the opportunity to escape the wet at half time. The teams returned to the pitch ready for action and Biggar were almost on the point of kicking off when they realised that the referee had not reappeared, proceedings delayed until he did so!
Biggar made one immediate change for this half, Henderson taking over at prop from O'Connell. A combination of the first half front row efforts and the introduction of Henderson wrought havoc with the west scrummage as Biggar opened strongly, driving West off their own put in on each scrum put in.
This gave skipper Davy Reive the opportunity to attack although the only reward was another Peacock penalty for 13-10. Just as the tight scrummage began to yield possession and cause problems for West, so did the lineout, where Jamie Orr, Zander Lyon and Euan Sanderson (and their lifters) began to disrupt and steel ball on the West throw. Hooker Ewan Stewart had another very productive afternoon, his throwing accurate and his driving play seeing him make good ground on many occasions.
With 15 minutes of the half gone Peacock kicked his 3rd penalty to give Biggar a 6 point lead. The pack were able to maintain their grip on the match, West, though returned to full strength, gaining precious little respite before Biggar won ball to re-establish their position in the West 22 via ball taken forward by hand or advanced via a kick.
With the 3rd quarter at its end West's Angus Thomson (the 4th player in as many weeks to have begun his career at Biggar but who is now playing for the opposition) became the second West player to incur the displeasure of referee Fish and earn a yellow. Biggar took full advantage of their extra man by calling a scrum and marching the visitors back over their line for a try credited to No 8 Ross Jackson. Peacock added the conversion before being replaced by Gregor Stewart. Campbell also came on at this time for Withers who had put in a huge shift.
On the half hour mark another series of scrums which saw West in all sorts of trouble ended with referee Fish awarding Biggar a penalty try which Andrew Jardine converted for 30-10.
Andrew Orr replaced Ewan Stewart but the hooker merely shifted into the back row to give Jackson a break, the youngster another who had carried ball all day.
Biggar maintained their stranglehold on the match and continued to make things very difficult for the visitors, the 4th try credited to Campbell who controlled ball well at the base of a 5metre scrum before plunging over for the try. Jardine was just off target with the conversion.
Altogether an excellent performance from the Biggar squad and one in which they controlled things as well as they have for several seasons. West were given no respite as Biggar's defence, aside from the first half line drive, held firm and their attack pulverised the West defence.
Man of the match for Biggar went to Donald Voas for his work in the tight and his willingness to carry ball in the loose while the same award for West went to Angus Thomson who very typically and as was expected, worked tirelessly throughout.
Other results were fairly true to form save the GHK result which saw the Glasgow side defeat Aberdeenshire who Biggar had found to be a very complete outfit. Next up for Biggar is a trip to Glasgow and Hillhead Jordanhill who in the past have often been a real bogey side. The touchline support ion a bleak September day was magnificent and very much appreciated by all the squad. It would be great to see you all again on Saturday at Hughenden.
Richard Peacock, Alistair Sinclair, Andrew Jardine, Douglas Notman, David Paterson, Aird Jardine, David Reive (C), Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Zander Lyon, Jamie Orr, Duncan Withers, Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson. Reps: Andrew Orr, Calvin Henderson, Steven Campbell, Gregor Stewart.
The 2nd XV travelled to Haddington to take on the East Lothian club's 2nd XV. Struggling for numbers the Haddington squad had previously conceded at least one match the fact that they had a home match clearly helping the situation for Biggar's appearance.
In the end Haddington provided limited opposition as the Biggar lads had a bit of a field day running in some 12 tries, all of which were converted by Craig McDonald.
Story date: 26/09/2016
Biggar hit back in Aberdeen after sluggish start
Aberdeenshire 51 Biggar 27
There was real drama in Aberdeen on Saturday when Biggar and their hosts Aberdeenshire put on some great entertainment in a match which featured 10 tries. Aberdeenshire claimed the spoils with their 5 league points while Biggar claimed a 4 try bonus despite the loss.
Last season Biggar's away form was disappointing with the visit north to Woodside in January a case in point with points gifted early on and the issue beyond recall by half time. Final score 45-5. That the opening salvos on Saturday suggested a similar scenario was all the more disappointing then, Biggar on this occasion gifting their hosts no fewer than 25 points in the first quarter. The spirit of the 2016/17 squad is very different from that of 2015/16 however and while the end of the half saw Biggar still their three good tries suggested that the result was far from a foregone conclusion.
This trip was always likely to be one of the most difficult away matches, not only because of the distance involved but also because 'Shire finished in 4th spot at the end of last season's league campaign. They were a well organised XV last season and there was nothing to suggest that they would be anything less this time around, their 80+ point win the previous week against PL seemingly confirming these thoughts.
Coach Gary Mercer's preparations were made trickier after injury ruled out the complete back row which faced Kelso (Doug Notman - dead leg, Andy Dunlop - back strain and Duncan Withers - ankle) while Jamie Orr struggled midweek with food poisoning. Ewan Stewart was available after injury however and Dan O'Connell, though not 100% fit, declared himself available to travel. In the end the back row fielded was Ewan Sanderson, Alan Warnock and Ross Jackson, a selection which could easily be first choice in any event. Orr was also able to travel.
Proceedings began at a cracking pace and one which barely relented the whole match. Stuart Hull took an interception which almost saw him free to the line, before he was hauled down by the cover defence. Biggar then conspired to gift their hosts two early tries as the defence was found wanting under the high ball. The sun was the only possible mitigating excuse but as it was, 'Shire stand off Carne Green took full advantage of the first and Michael McKeand the second (he another who began his rugby career at Hartree Mill). Green kicked one conversion and then added two penalties before the third 'Shire score, this going to Nathan Clough although there was more than a hint of a forward pass in the final transfer. 25-0 down.
In what was virtually their first attacking opportunity David Paterson was set free but a 'Shire turnover relieved the pressure albeit for only a short time as an Aird Jardine grubber saw the 'Shire defence scramble back to concede a drop out.
The restart saw a sustained passage of play involving some good phases which stretched the 'Shire defence and which culminated in stand off Andrew Jardine taking Richard Peacock's pass for a sprint to the line. Peacock was wide of the target but the 'duck' was broken and Biggar were on the scoreboard. Barely two minutes later and on the half hour mark a Hull break saw ball transferred to Aird Jardine who kicked cleverly to winger Paterson who scampered across for try number two – Peacock's conversion added the extras and took the score to 25-12. Game on!
In reply 'Shire scored arguably the best try as some excellent angles and well-timed passes saw winger Luke Taylor round the defence for a try expertly converted from wide out by Green. Not to be outdone and just before half time, Peacock took Andy Jardine's pass to break clear for a try which he converted for 32-19 and the break.
25 points in 20 minutes to 'Shire, then a further 26 points shared by the sides in the second quarter! What would the second half bring?
With Peacock forced off with a dodgy stomach Gregor Stewart made his 1st XV league debut, the opening exchanges seeing Andrew Jardine kick a penalty for Biggar to put them just two scores adrift at 32-22.
In typical fashion 'Shire replied with a well worked try for their skipper Greg Ryan (he was later awarded the man-of-the-match for 'Shire, Ewan Sanderson getting the nod for Biggar). Green typically added the conversion.
Play continued to flow back and forth, Biggar gaining yardage only to lose possession – often too easily, with this likely to be a focus for this week's training. There were some promising moves but they came to nought and to further punish these errors 'Shire scored their 5th try from a neat attack down the blindside from a scrum some 5 metres out, Brad Fraser the scorer. Green struck his only poor kick of the afternoon but Biggar trailed 44-22.
The game then entered an even more frantic phase as 'Shire began to test referee Andrew Peterson's patience as they frequently crept offside. Indeed the Dollar whistler awarded a string of penalties against 'Shire, these culminating eventually in yellow cards for two of their number; try scorers Clough and Fraser dispatched for the requisite 10 minutes with around a 5 minute overlap. In the midst of this 'Shire also lost two players to injury with one stoppage for a cut lasting some 10 minutes. Best wishes to both injured parties.
The stoppage gave 'Shire some respite but Biggar took up from where they left off, several attacks mounted, all deserving of scores. As it was, a combination of some stout defence and some costly errors prevented Biggar from adding to their tally. 'Shire were let off the hook in this period with on one occasion, a line out drive seeing the pack drive over the line but drop the ball some 3 metres out. Another attack saw Alistair Sinclair opt to kick ahead, the winger just failing to beat the cover defence to the line.
In the end it was scrum half Davy Reive who broke the deadlock with just 8 minutes remaining. 44-27. Andy Jardine was unable to add the conversion but there was still just about enough time to sneak a losing bonus or sneak the win.
Throwing caution to the wind Biggar tried running the ball from wherever and while they again made inroads and won penalties they were unable to cross the line, 'Shire having the final word with a try and conversion to wrap things up at 51-27.
Players and spectators alike were left with minds and bodies wrecked! What a contest!
Biggar will doubtless learn from this defeat. They must work to begin matches fully focused as they cannot afford to play catch up from the start. A calm head is required in such circumstances and although there was much good individual effort Biggar were unable to finish as clinically as they would have wished. There is absolutely no doubting the team spirit however as 'Shire were forced to cling on for their win. There were some good performances from all positions with special credit to the 5 teenagers who played – Ross Jackson, Andrew Orr, Andy Jardine, Gregor Stewart and Grant Hamilton, please take a bow. The whole squad is worthy of congratulation however and thanks to 'Shire for contributing positively to the match. On a cracking day for rugby weather-wise, another positive was the turnout of support for Biggar – excellent to see and hear! The return fixture in January is eagerly awaited.
Next up is West who will again feature players whose rugby origins were in Biggar!
Richard Peacock, Alistair Sinclair, Andrew Jardine, Stuart Hull, David Paterson, Aird Jardine, David Reive, Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Calvin Henderson, Zander Lyon, Jamie Orr, Alan Warnock (C), Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson. Reps: Andrew Orr, Dan O'Connell, Grant Hamilton, Gregor Stewart.
The 2nd XV entertained Edin Accies 3rds for their league match although the Edinburgh side was closer to a VII than a XV.
Biggar supplied players and a 14-a-side training match ensued, Biggar awarded the points as the visitors failed to provide a full XV. Indications are that Haddington may well also struggle for numbers this coming weekend and so the search is already on to seek an alternative opposition should it be required. It is vital that the momentum which is quickly developing amongst the senior squad is maintained and regular games are integral to this.
Story date: 19/09/2016
u-15’s at GHA
GHA 31 Biggar 44
Coming off the back of two promising wins against both Dunfermline and Dumfries, the U15 lads travelled up to GHA in search for a third to consolidate their place at the peak of the Green Conference. This was set out at the beginning of the season as a big challenge for the team, but this didn’t phase them one bit. They came out with the most effective and efficient game of rugby the coaching staff had ever seen them produce and were good enough to clinch the win.
With a frantic start to the game, it seemed as if Biggar were bound to put the first numbers on the scorecard. Deja vu of Callum Smith’s excellent try scoring performance from last week ran through everyone's mind when he made a break early on. Quickly linking with young Johnnie who had stepped up from the s2’s to help us out, many thought we were in. But an infringement that looked a lot like a GHA knock on rather than a Biggar one denied us a certain try. Instead, the GHA boys displayed some good counter attacking play to get themselves into our half, and eventually over our line. 0-7.
Not to be disheartened the boys quickly got back into the swing of things. Good phase play got us a penalty and a wee nudge in the corner set us up for a maul. A good initial drive was cut short when Cameron Snell peeled off the back and used a strong fend and his physicality to get himself a try. Conversion made by Callum, 7-7.
GHA would not allow us to get a head of steam however, and they scored a nice try off a secure scrum to put us on the back foot once again. 7-12. Again the lads showed great resilience to get themselves into the opposition half again. Great carries from Cameron, Jack and Andrew got us right over the gain line. Johnnie’s running had impressed all day, especially for a back rower playing centre, and it was a good hands by Aaron and Gregor that allowed him to show his athletic ability and bag himself a five pointer in the corner. The scores were level at 12-12.
Another try from GHA put their noses in front but just before half time Biggar scored an excellent try. As a team, the forwards coaches – alongside consultation from Biggar’s set piece expert: Johnnie Bogle – have been working really hard to tighten up our set piece so we can really use it as a weapon in games. This practice was perfectly put into place here. A good lineout by Cameron got us into a maul from about 15 metres out. A massive effort from the forwards drove us a few metres short before a few backs joined in to get us over the line. Fantastic display of a driving maul. The try went to Cameron Snell, but it was a full forward pack effort. 17-19.
Half time- Biggar 17 GHA 19
After some technical talk at half time, the boys come out fighting. A good kick off by Gregor was beautifully kept in by a silky 'out the back' offload by Euan. This was quickly followed by good carries from Jack and Andrew. The try scoring machine that is Will Kelly found himself with the ball two metres from the line, no one was going to stop him. 22-19. Another good set of carries resulted in a well deserved try for Cameron Gray. 27-19.
Another unfortunate lax in defence allowed GHA to score again and get within 3. Again a maul that was exceptionally set up was excellently driven over the line and gave Cameron Snell his third try of the day. 32-24.
The back and forth of the score board continued when GHA managed to sneak over for another to bring it within a point; nail biting moments to ensue. Another try from Cameron Snell however, quickly eased our nerves a little. 39-31. And the last of the day went to a really worthy recipient. Since the beginning of the season our prop Jack McAllister has been a constantly reliable source for a good four or five yards in every carry. His work rate and strength has really shone through since their first appearance on our tour to Oban. He gratefully took the ball in the dying minutes and barrelled his way over for Biggar’s last of the day. 44-31.
Full time – Biggar 44 GHA 31
An unbelievable performance by the boys all in all. Special thanks must go to Johnnie who hugely impressed with his maturity and ability to make a break out of nothing; to Cameron Snell who is almost impossible to stop in attack and Daryl who put in a strong defensive and attacking performance when he got on. These three boys came from their own age groups to help us out and we really appreciate that. Star performances came again from Jack, who, as mentioned, was a machine in attack, from Callum McCallum who defended very well and kept the tempo at nine and James who only consolidated his position as our defensive stalwart. The forward pack as a whole put in a hugely dominant effort and showed us their full potential and the backs took the opportunities they were given. An excellent performance, and now, on to the next.
Story date: 13/09/2016
Biggar defeat Kelso and claim 3 from 3
Biggar 24 Kelso 19
'One swallow does not a summer make..' But….?
Whether this result was down to an over-confident Kelso XV caught napping, a rejuvenated Biggar XV getting lucky, the effect of the striking new strips (cutting edge meets tradition), a home game in front of a decent crowd or even just simply a side playing to its strengths – or more likely a combination of all of these – will never be known. But make no mistake, this was a cracking match and, from a Biggar point of view at least, a cracking result.
To make things even better, this result was the 3rd win recorded by a Biggar side on Saturday, the Colts having set the scene with a scrappy but successful performance over GHA and the 2nds clinching a deserved win over Watsons. It's not often you get a 3 from 3 so it's all the more enjoyable when it happens!
Coach Gary Mercer was in Bath watching his son Zach make his Premiership debut against Newcastle, somewhat ironic given Scott Lawson's Biggar/Newcastle connections. That game saw the team from the south record a resounding win and while Biggar's was considerably less emphatic it was every bit as important. The win came on the back of a somewhat lack-lustre performance at Peebles but this time round the squad raised it's game tenfold to consistently pressurise the visitors and to ensure that if, and when, they got the ball, they had to work to keep it, never mind make advances towards the Biggar try line.
Davy Wilson was in charge therefore and he had the happy task of reporting the win to Mercer who will have the video to enjoy.
Without last week's centres Robbie Lavery and Lewis McLachlan, the backs showed a new centre pairing with Stuart Hull making a timely return to action after injury, alongside teenager Andrew Jardine who moved out from stand off. This berth was claimed by brother Aird with Davy Reive also returning after injury. Up front Dan O'Connell was forced out with a calf injury, Calvin Henderson and Donald Voas both playing the full 80 minutes and showing up well throughout. At lock Zander Lyon took over from Andrew Peacock who was initially selected for the 2nds but then drafted onto the bench after O'Connell's withdrawl. Andrew Dunlop returned to action at the expense of the unlucky Ewan Sanderson.
The new black strips were voted an immediate hit by all and this may have had an impact on the squad as they appeared 'bigger' in black.
Biggar enjoyed the lion's share of both possession and territory in the first half, Kelso keeping the
scoreboard ticking over as Phil Hume struck 3 penalties in reply to Biggar's first half try from Stuart Hull. On a day when superlatives were flying it would be easy to get carried away but this try, involving a 60 second burst of play and seeing the whole team contribute must be one of the best scored by Biggar for a good number of years. It began with a good lineout take from Jamie Orr and then featured 8 excellent phases with ball shipped right then left and finally right again with Douglas Notman feeding Hull for the line. Richard peacock struck the conversion sweetly for 7-3, Hume having kicked his first penalty after just 1 minute.
A series of penalties threatened to spoil all the good work undertaken by the Biggar XV. In their desire to compete they fell foul of the referee, this giving the Border side the chance to either relieve pressure or rack up points.
On the half hour mark Andrew Dunlop was shown a yellow card and with Kelso deep in Biggar's 22 it looked as though Biggar might slip behind. They probably should have as Kelso executed a neat blindside move which culminated with their winger crossing the line. The final pass was adjudged forward however and Biggar escaped.
For their part Biggar had two penalty chances of their own, Peacock seeing the first rebound off the upright and the second slip to the left. Crucially, Dunlop returned after the break with Biggar having kept the visitors out and with the 9-7 score standing.
Biggar made just one change at the break, teenager Ross Jackson coming on at flank forward for Notman.
Now playing towards the clubhouse Biggar needed to get an early score to regain the lead and to exert greater pressure on the Border XV. This proved too difficult to do however, Kelso coming out in the second half with all guns blazing and turning the tables on Biggar who had a lucky escape when Hull managed to do enough to hustle the chasing Kelso runner and to clear the danger following a clever through kick.
Another Peacock penalty slipped wide but Biggar retained their position as Kelso's drop goal restart was partially charged down. Biggar's line speed in offensive/defence meant that Kelso were forced to act quickly and with tackles coming in low and hard Kelso's ability to 'exit' their 22 was sorely tested. Deep in their 22, and with the third quarter coming to a close, the Kelso defence faltered and Hull was able to take full advantage to latch onto a loose offload to catch and dive for his second score.
Peacock added the conversion but this 5 point lead at 14-9 was short lived as Hume kicked a conversion to a try from Jack Chambers who was at the end of a well-controlled line drive from the Kelso pack. Indeed had they managed to use this tactic more often the final score might have been a little different. 16-14 to Kelso.
In see-saw fashion however, and with around 10 minutes left, Biggar retook the lead via another Peacock penalty and then increased that lead to 24-16 as winger David Paterson rounded off an excellent move instigated by Reive but carried on by hooker Ewan Stewart whose timely offload was gratefully taken by the winger.
Eight points ahead meant that Kelso had to score twice to overtake Biigar and as forays to the Biggar line had been infrequent it looked as though Biggar might gain the win. Given the relative ease with which they had scored their second half try from the line drive, a last minute penalty and option of the kick to the corner – with Biggar reduced to 14 again following a yellow card to Orr for a tip tackle - might have provided a second try. Instead, and mindful of the losing bonus, Hume was called up to kick and he duly slotted the penalty for 24-19. Cue the final whistle and much celebration.
Home wins are really important and Biggar would have been languishing at the foot of the table without the 4 points gained on Saturday. As it is they retain their 7th placed spot, Kelso ahead by virtue of their 4 try bonus last week and their losing bonus gained at Hartree Mill.
Hooker Ewan Stewart was later rewarded as being Biggar's man of the match and this was well-deserved after a battling performance which involved some solid defence and lineout accuracy but there were a pile of candidates who could have taken this honour. The back row of Duncan Withers Dunlop and Notman put in typically abrasive performances, the whole pack carried and defended
well, the Jardine brothers who kept things moving sweetly in midfield, the double try scorer Hull…..and so it goes on. All members of the squad can take great pride in their performance. Ian Wallace was selected as Kelso's man of the match.
This is of course just the beginning and the side now face what could be their toughest match of the season when they travel to take on Aberdeenshire this weekend. The Granite City side recorded a whopping 80-26 win over Preston Lodge on Saturday. This on the back of a 40+ win over Kirkcaldy the previous week. Interestingly, Biggar will face another ex-Biggar player in the shape of Michael McKeand on Saturday as he now plays for 'Shire, while Andrew Muir featured in Peebles colours and Colin Arthur played for Kelso on Saturday!
It's a long trip north but the side appreciate the support the Biggar crowd provides. If you can get there you would give the boys a big lift.
Biggar 2nds (surely one of the strongest 2nd XV's Biggar have had for a number of years and featuring the return of ex-1st XV Grant Owens), recorded a fantastic and confidence boosting win over Edinburgh opponents Watsons 3rds on Saturday. Watsons reputedly have a 45 man 1st XV squad and so they have great strength in depth but their 3rd XV was shown up as Biggar put in a great shift for the win. Man of the match was Gregor Stewart with Watsons Adam Watt earning the honours for the visitors.
Bear in mind that there are at least 5 other players who could come into contention for places at senior level. Competition for places is on across the board therefore with all likely to benefit from this competition. It is some time away yet but there could well be an opportunity soon for a 3rd XV which would be a massive step forward for the club.
The 2nds have a second home game when they entertain another Edinburgh club, (Edinburgh Accies) who will also bring their 3rd XV as East Reserve League 1 opponents.
Story date: 13/09/2016
1st Gold Club Draw of the new season
£250: Jane Bairner
£100: Andrew Duncan
£100: Alf Tucker
£100: Neil Harrison
£100: Bill Conn
£100: Tom and Sheila Tweedie
Story date: 06/09/2016
Colts and Youth travel to Dumfries
S2's: Dumfries 13 Biggar 43
What a scorcher at Dumfries. Both the heat of the early September sun and the blistering play of the Biggar S2 team.
Hosts Dumfries Saints were low in player numbers so it was agreed to share 2 players to the home team and play 13 aside and play 3 sessions of 20 minutes. This looked a worrying decision as the hosts rucked Biggar off the ball and scored 3 trys with no reply 1 even coming from the Biggar pair Murray and Jonathan who partnered up to score. The team were (just about) left to wake up and sort themselves out, which they did! By the end of the first 20 minutes Biggar had scored 3 through Fraser, Archie and Andrew and were up 11 - 10.
More switching of players and Biggar moved into ascendancy in the 2nd period scoring first through Jonathan from a kick off return. Then 2 more from winger Fraser on the predatory rampage as has become a trade mark of the team and 1 for Callum under the posts. The second period ended 26 - 10.
In the final period there were further player changes but the fast offloading game continued but also with laser direct tackle breaking runs from Daryl, Fraser and Jonathan. A missed tackle allowed the hosts to score but another try for Archie and the final try coming from Murray with a battling score in the corner.
The score ended 43 - 13 with 12 trys scored from Andrew, Archie (2), Callum, Daryl, Fraser (4), Jonathan (2), Murray. Conversions from Callum (2), Archie (2), Euan L (3).
Thanks to the hosts for a tough and always spirited match.
Dumfries win the Numbers Game against Biggar Under 16’s
A beautiful late summer rugby match was the order of the day on Sunday when Biggar under 16’s travelled to their Dumfries counterparts for the latest instalment of the Green Conference matches.
The sight of the coaches counting and recounting boys was a worry for all as it raised the spectre of numbers once again for this team. Only 14 available boys to fill 15 slots – early signs were not good. As it was, Dumfries agreed to a 14 a side match which was very good of them so we kicked off all square.
Biggar started brightly and had their hosts pinned back with some real aggressive rucking from the forwards and quick hands from the backs. An overlap was created and Guy Hunt tore for the line only to be tackled just short and dragged into touch. From the resultant line out Daniel McConkey was lifted well to grab the ball against the head. He dove for the line and scored. The kick from out wide was missed.
Unfortunately Guy sustained a head knock as he went for the line and was unable to take any further part in the game. Biggar 5 – 0 up but it was 14 v 13. The space in the backfield showed as superior numbers allowed the Dumfries backs to find space and score with a converted try.
Biggar then took the game by the scruff of the neck. The pack was rucking and scrummaging well and took 2 or 3 balls from Dumfries lineout throws. With the ball in hand, the backs started to really penetrate the Dumfries line none more so than Finlay Stewart. A great break down the left saw him jink past 2 or 3 defenders and in for the score. Again the conversion was missed.
Biggar then started working the links between backs and forwards well. From a cleared kick, Sam Wallis took a great catch and ran straight back at Dumfries. He was supported well by Daniel McConkey who recycled the ball and popped it to Drew on the right. The big centre ran at Dumfries who had no answer to him and he went over for a 3rd Biggar try. The conversion was hit this time.
Unfortunately Jamie Shannon sustained a knock as he was clearing out at the ruck so he was now off the park too. Biggar 17 – 7 up but it was 14 v 12.
Drew scored another great try for Biggar. Again the forwards were doing well rucking aggressively and pushing their counterparts back. The ball was won and worked out to Rhys Thompson who went for a run, drew his man and popped the ball to Drew. The big centre again had work to do but he could see that Dumfries were nervous of him and he went flying over. As was now becoming the norm, this resulted in another injury for Biggar. Drew had been having a knee problem and took a knock when scoring. With 3 players now off, Biggar were 22 -7 up but were playing 14 v 11. Everyone watching knew something would have to give.
Biggar continued to fight manfully and were unlucky to concede again just before Half time but with payer shortages all over the pitch it was no wonder.
Half time Dumfries 12 – Biggar 22.
Biggar had been fantastic for every second of the 35 minutes but you could see it had taken its toll on the players. A very warm day and a big heavy pitch meant it would be a difficult second half. Jamie Shannon was able to continue into the second half which provided a big boost and Drew came back on but with his knee troubling him was unable to have the devastating effect he had had in the first half.
As was expected still with 14 v 13 Dumfries came storming back Having scored 2 converted tries they led 26 – 22 but Biggar raised themselves and fought back. A great try with the pack showing that they had listened well to Yogi on Wednesday. The line out was taken and they went for a maul and they mauled their opponents off the park. The ball was with Jamie Bell to spin over for the try but every single forward deserves credit (as well as Yogi)!
That was to be the end of the scoring from a Biggar point of view. With Drew hobbling it was effectively 14 v 12 and gaps inevitably appeared. Dumfries scored 2 more tries to take the win.
Final score Dumfries 36 Biggar 27
It’s really difficult to sum up this game without sounding disrespectful to Dumfries. They recorded a win and should rightly be proud but this was very hard on Biggar. Every young man once again fought and fought for 70 minutes and some fantastic performances were on display. Jamie Bell was called in to play Scrum Half and was outstanding. He covered every blade of grass and when Biggar were down to 11 was covering 3 or 4 men and doing it superbly. Cammy Forrest played very well at Centre. His communication, work-rate and running were excellent. Drew played an excellent first half and had the Dumfries defence terrified every time he got the ball. Jamie Shannon pulled off tackle of the season when running back to prevent a try late in the first half and the aggressive rucking from all of the forwards was impressive.
To lose a game when so many have given so much is frustrating and whilst lack of numbers has to be put down as the main cause of this loss, I would urge each young man to take that as a positive. You were all fantastic, you are developing so well and when we finally can get 18/19 fit and healthy players on the pitch, I am sure that results will follow.
Story date: 06/09/2016
Biggar collect a losing bonus in League opener
Peebles 24 Biggar 20
Having outscored Biggar by 3 tries to 1 Peebles felt that they deserved to win this opening league match. From a Biggar point of view however this was one which Biggar felt they lost. There were chances a-plenty but where Peebles capitalised on their incursions into Biggar territory Biggar failed to do so when in the Peebles 22.
Captain Andrew Dunlop was forced out of the starting XV after picking up a dead leg at training on Thursday, his replacement being Ewan Sanderson whom was making a return after a two week absence. In the pack Andrew Peacock was preferred to Zander Lyon in the second row while injury to Iain Chisholm against Marr saw Colt Andrew Jardine make his 1st XV debut at just 17. David Paterson was fielded on the wing to the exclusion of Craig McDonald with Richard Peacock recovered after a knee twist last week to retain his place at fullback. There was another debutant on the bench as Lewis McLinton provided front row cover.
Biggar conceded an early score as Peebles exploited a gap in Biggar's defence which saw Cameron Pye scorch through under the posts for a great score converted by Greg Raeburn. The ease with which this try was scored was a wake up call for Biggar and while they responded well and set up camp for the next 10 minutes in the Peebles 22 they could not turn pressure into points. A series of penalties conceded by Peebles offered points but kicks at goal were eschewed for kicks to touch and lineouts but the initial drives and pick and go's were defended by Peebles.
A breakout by the home side took play back into the Biggar 22 where a penalty for offside saw Rayburn kick successfully for 10-0.
The restart saw Peebles immediately under pressure as a clearance was charged down. A penalty quickly taken by David McArthur took play to the Peebles line and another penalty award. This time a knock on in the lineout allowed Peebles to escape.
Play up to the half hour mark saw both sides struggle to gain any consistent attacking opportunities. Dan O'Connell was replaced by Calvin Henderson and McArthur gave way to Aird Jardine. The half back partnership of brothers Aird and Andrew was the first time the two have ever played together!
This coincided with Biggar's first score, Richard Peacock kicking for 10-3. The same player took advantage of further penalty chances to claw back the deficit at 10-6 then 10-9. It seemed surprising that given the high penalty count referee David Muir did not see fit to sin-bin a Peebles player.
The last kick of the half saw Peacock's 4th penalty sneak to the right of the posts.
Biggar engineered the perfect start to the second half as an effective lineout yielded possession and led to the pack hitting up to the Peebles line. Fast ball was then shipped right with Douglas Notman and Sanderson combining well before the latter’s' looping pass was taken by winger Alistair Sinclair who made and won the race to the corner. Peacock was unable to land the conversion but Biggar were in the lead at 14-10.
As is so often the case the penalty count now swung away from Peebles as Biggar fell foul of referee Muir's decisions. This culminated after some 15 minutes of the half with a yellow card and sin-binning of Notman for persistent infringements. A man to the good Peebles quickly took advantage of their numerical superiority hooker Blair Laurie set free on the right flank for a try in the corner. Rayburn struck the conversion perfectly to regain the lead at 17-14.
McClinton replaced Andrew Orr at No2 for Biggar.
Peebles probably should have scored their 3rd try shortly after this but a forward pass brought the attack to an end. A couple of penalties and a free kick to Biggar gave Peacock the chance to tie the scores at 17-17.
Back into Biggar's 22 and Peebles' pack rounded off a driving phase with a try for William Brown, Raeburn adding the conversion to open up a 7 point lead, this almost as quickly reduced again to 4 as Peacock kicked his 5th penalty.
A promising passage of play and some much better pace and variety in attack gave Biggar some real hope but again Peebles did enough to nullify these efforts. Biggar also failed to stretch the Peebles defence as they seemed reluctant to move the ball wide, preferring instead to cut back into the cover defence. With less than 20 minutes remaining however there was still time to get the score to sneak the win.
Peebles then brought on ex-Biggar lad Andrew Muir. His involvement lasted barely 2 minutes however as he fell foul of referee Muir who showed him a yellow card as following a team warning, he became the 'next' Peebles player to transgress. There was, as one would expect, a good deal of good-natured banter at his brief appearance!
Rohan McIver was the next to be sent to the bin, this reducing Peebles to just 13. Devoid of front row cover however, this gave Peebles some respite as scrums were then uncontested. This guaranteed them possession at a time when Biggar's scrum was gaining in ascendancy. Despite a couple more chances when lineout possession failed to provide the possession to attack that Biggar so desperately craved, time ran out and Peebles gained their win. Consolation for Biggar came in the shape of the losing bonus but 4 points would have been very much more preferable.
Biggar's coaching team were left frustrated at their sides failure to cross the line but it is still early in the campaign with a whole lot of rugby to be played. First up is the visit of Kelso, who were relegated last year alongside Peebles. It is rumoured that they have recruited strongly so they will be a tough nut to crack.
Praise for the effort from the Biggar squad, all of whom worked hard. Points are what really count however and Biggar must be able to convert the pressure into points. Man of the match went to Biggar's stand off Andrew Jardine who performed with confidence and style. At 17 he was of course too young to sink the 'prize' of a pint of beer, deputy Jamie Orr on hand to win the race.
Vice President and father, Aird Jardine, was as proud as punch at his sons' performance. Their involvement and that of the Peacock brothers means Biggar had two sets of brothers in the side. It will be some time however before a repeat of the days when there were as many as three sets of brothers playing at the one time – Flemings, Harveys and Youngs take a bow!
Once again, but hopefully the last time for many weeks, the 2nds were left twiddling their thumbs without a fixture. They now face a tough ask as they kick of their league programme with a home match against Watsons 3rds with little or no match practice. Training for all on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Story date: 06/09/2016
Boys Youth v Dunfermline - mixed results
S2's Biggar 37 Dunfermline 11.
The S2s welcomed Dunfermline to Hartreemill for the first game of the season in the Green conference. The boys started this season the way they finished last season with fast open attacking rugby.
Some excellent passing, support play and tough tackling broke down a tough and determined Dunfermline team. The final score 37 - 11 to Biggar with trys coming from Fraser Simpson (5), Callum Yardley (2), Archie Damer (1), Chris Brett (1) and Euan Laing (1) conversion's coming from Callum and Euan.
The try scoring started with winger Fraser on a trademark supporting run and sprint from 30 yards to take the lead. Dunfermline replied quickly then the home team started to excert pressure through the forwards and pass the ball wide with nr 15 Callum running in 2 trys into the corner. HT saw Biggar lead 14 - 3. At the start of the second half Biggar came out strong applying pressure on the kickoff and Euan collecting a loose ball for a 1 yard dive over the line. Fraser collected a couple of more trys with his speed and support play.
A drop in concentration allowed the visitors to score 2 trys before Biggar refocused. The most exceptional try was probably Chris Bretts, on for only 2 minutes total game time due to injury he collected a pass following a Biggar restart dodged 4 defenders to get a try to then quickly be subbed back off to protect an injury. A mazy run and try from Archie capped the try scoring.
The full team worked hard for each other and started to put together the structures and roles that we have been working on in training.
U-15's Match report
Big beginning for Biggar’s U15 boys.
After a positive pre season, the U15’s were raring to go this Sunday at Dunfermline on a glorious day for a good run about. Due to a minor mix up on timings the boys started the game with 13 on the pitch, but this was definitely not an unlucky number for the lads as they got off to an absolute scorcher.
A barnstorming run from Callum Smith was quickly brought to ground, but with rucking that Coach Kelly himself would have been proud of, the ball was well shifted to Isaac who promptly linked again with his centre partner Smith to finish in the corner. Conversion missed, 5-0 to the lads from Biggar.
The big lumps that are the forwards refused to be shown up by their “fluffy” back counterparts and so started a little rumble of their own. Heavenly hands from the likes of Cameron, Will and Jamie T got the boys deep into the Dunfermline 22, and a great combination of passes resulted in the ball bouncing its way along the line to Isaac, who finished well. Conversion missed, 10-0.
After another two tries from the strong running of Smith and a wee touchdown from Euan also, the team then showed their ability to turn defence into attack beautifully. Having been pinned under the shadow of our own sticks for too long, the boys got their hands in the ruck and managed to get a turnover. A few flicks of the wrists and the ball was soon in the hands of the rapid Isaac who streamed in from about 60 yards. Isaac quickly snatched another under the posts with a neat pick up from a Dunfermline mistake. After a few low fliers Gregor gratefully nudged his first conversion of the day over.
Half time: Biggar-37 Dunfermline-0
The first try of the second half was a personal favourite. Off a solid scrum the backs executed a cracker of a move, with Isaac running a dummy line, the ball being moved to Smith who quickly put a zinger of an inside ball to Aaron who did his best prop impression and barrelled over for a try. Conversion made. Smith quickly got himself on the scoresheet again with the use of some Campese like feet. 51-0.
Another break from Smith and some sublime support from Aaron resulted in him getting his second try of the day. Soon after, a bit of a blunder at the kick off allowed Dunfermline to dot down for their first of the day. 58-5.
Another few from Euan and Isaac put the boys further in front. The last of the day was entertainment for all. A well manufactured maul was quickly formed off a lineout, the new skips Jamie Tucker peeled of the side and dove for the try line, only to be absolutely mugged off when realising he was lying over the 5m. Cameron Gray graciously grabbed the ball off his captain and dived over. Try by Cameron, unintentional assist by Jamie.
Final Score: Biggar-73 Dunfermline-5
Overall, an absolute stormer of a start to the season for the U15 boys. Some really promising link play and recycling in attack allowed the backs to get the feet moving and the tries flowing. The lineout was effective all day with new jumper Andrew Barret using his unfair height to pluck the ball out of the air like it’s nobody’s business. Man of the match was given to young Will Kelly who dominated all day in contact and showed his soft hands with a few awesome offloads. A good performance is only as good as its follow up however, Dumfries next, lets hope the boys can recreate the same there.
Under 16's keep on fighting at Dunfermline
Biggar under 16's travelled to Dunfermline on Sunday knowing a tough game would be in store. Having played them twice last season they knew that Dunfy were a tough well drilled outfit who were blessed with big numbers too.
Both sides played fantastically well working very hard to put on a really tough rugby battle. The final score of 34-5 to Dunfermline flattered the hosts somewhat as they score of 2/3 late tries with Biggar tiring towards the end of the game.
Numbers were tight as ever for this group and with only 16 available it was hoped that they could all stay fit to allow changes to be made during the game. As it was after 10 minutes they lost Ethan Webb to a bad knock as the winger made a crunching tackle. He knocked the Dunfy man back on his heels but incurred a concussion in the process. Bad news for Biggar as they would now have to play the next 60 minutes with only 15 men. This was to prove telling as with a 22 man squad to pick from Dunfy were able to rotate players and bring on a number of fresh legs.
Most of this game was almost like an attack against defence exercise. Dunfy taking the game to Biggar and Biggar fighting and tackling like demons to repel them. Every single young man played his part in an excellent display from Biggar. Communication, work rate, team work and determination were all on display in abundance. That coupled with some fantastic tackling combined to see a Dunfermline limited to one score in the first half.
Half time score 5-0 to Dunfermline.
Into the second half and Biggar were again on the back foot. It would be easy to say that numerical superiority won this game but that would be disrespectful to Dunfy. They played some excellent aggressive rugby and kept moving the ball and probing for openings. As Biggar tired Dunfy started to find more gaps and scored a further 4 unanswered tries to lead 29-0. Some of the Biggar persuasion were worried that Dunfy might run riot but these boys dug deep and fought back. Rallied by Captain Daniel McConkey under the posts they took the game to Dunfy. Hard running as a team, pinpoint kicking from Ali Steele and determined play had Dunfy pinned in their 22. A scrum was won and the ball held. Cammy Snell went for the no 8 pickup and left the defence in his wake going over for a score that Biggar richly deserved.
Full time Dunfermline 34 - Biggar 5
This was an excellent effort from all of the young men in black and red. They worked so hard on defence and having seen them working on these aspects week in week out at training their coaches should be proud of the effort they put in to this aspect of the game. There were 2 or 3 players that I viewed as playing the best game of rugby I have seen them play. Harry Archibald was outstanding in defence hitting tackle after tackle. Sam Wallis Superb at full back again making a number of last ditch tackles and supporting his back line well and Lee Smith played an excellent 70 minutes carrying the ball, hitting rucks and scrummaging well. Having said that, this was a team effort and all deserve massive credit for their play. The sight of every single player hardly able to applaud Dunfermline off the pitch after the game was a sign of how much they had given. You should all be very proud of yourselves.
Story date: 30/08/2016
Biggar lose Cup tie
Biggar 10 Marr 50
Ayrshire side Marr were Biggar's opponents on Saturday, the visitors demonstrating that having reached the play-off stages last season they will again be a force to be reckoned with in National 1 this time round.
This was another significant step up for Biggar following on from their pre-season runs against Lasswade, Dumfries and Penrith. That the score suggests a thumping is not in doubt although this is perhaps a little unfair, as for long periods the Biggar defence held firm and tackled well. The Marr side was just that bit swifter in deed and action and certainly more clinical when in scoring positions. Biggar were also guilty of making a few unforced errors which on occasion allowed Marr to gain vital field position and on other occasions allowed them to relaunch attacks when Biggar should have cleared their lines.
Perhaps of greater disappointment than the result or these errors however was a number of injuries which could have an impact on the starting XV over the next few weeks. Of these, an ankle injury sustained by stand off Iain Chisholm after just 15 minutes was the most worrying. Other twists, bumps and bruises to Craig McDonald, Richard Peacock and Andrew Dunlop were also of some concern with Biggar forced to play with just 14 for the last 5 minutes or so as the bench was completely used up. They will at worst provide coach Gary Mercer with some challenging decisions for this weekend's joust with neighbours Peebles.
Under pressure from the outset Biggar did really well to repel the first Marr salvo with a great defensive effort. An early penalty saw Biggar first of all steal lineout ball, Jamie Orr putting in a clearing punt with a strike which would have pleased any back on the pitch. Marr struggled to clear the ball and Zander Lyon managed to charge down the attempted clearance. David McArthur fed the ball left and Craig McDonald rounded the defence for a great opening score, converted by Richard Peacock.
A great start with just 6 minutes on the clock. Marr replied with a period of pressure which yielded another penalty which stand off Colin Sturgeon dispatched to open the Marr account. A similar award gave Peacock a chance which he accepted to extend Biggar's lead to 10-3.
That that was the end of Biggar's scoring opportunities was disappointing to say the least, Marr gaining a foothold on possession and territory and enjoying long periods of time in the Biggar half.
Biggar were forced into defensive duties and this they largely handled very well with all clearly benefiting from the organisation brought by Gary Mercer whose constant encouragement to players on the pitch is a positive factor.
With 15 minutes gone prop Will Farquhar rounded off a forward drive with a try converted by Sturgeon to tie the scores at 10-10. Biggar's defence was struggling after a series of good attacks by forwards and backs together, and also the injury to Chisholm which saw Biggar operate with just 14 players during this time. Aird Jardine replaced Chisholm whose discomfort was clear to see.
This try was quickly followed by a try and conversion for Sturgeon as he dummied his way through the Biggar defence.
Biggar captain Dunlop led the way with some typically strong defence although all the squad played their part as Marr increased the pressure. Inevitably, while several attacks fell short, the pressure eventually told, Marr capitalising on a failed clearance to launch another attack which saw ex-Biggar man McKenzie Pearce get the ball over the line for a try which Sturgeon again converted.
Biggar worked the touchline well to gain a toehold in the Marr 22 but their attack faltered as a crossing offence gave Marr a penalty which they used to clear the immediate danger. Half time.
Turning now to play towards the clubhouse hopes were high that Biggar would enjoy a better half with Marr by no way out of sight at 24-10.
Biggar made two changes at the start of the half, Ross Jackson (who has spent the past month with Glasgow U-20) making his first 1st XV appearance as he replaced Duncan Withers and Lyon making way for Andrew Peacock.
Biggar began brightly with Dunlop and Jardine combining well to break down the clubhouse touchline but a knock-on again gave Marr the chance to clear. A series of penalties were conceded and these too gave Marr both respite and attacking options. Biggar's defence held strong until almost the end of the third quarter when Pearce crossed for another try after Biggar conceded a free kick in their 22. Sturgeon added the conversion. 31-10 to Marr. This score coincided with an injury to Richard Peacock who was replaced by Gary Morrison.
Mercer rang the changes again with Orr replaced by Lyon and Douglas Notman by Withers.
Try as they did Biggar were unable to make headway, their attacking opportunities limited to valiant attempts to breakout from deep. As is often the case when under the cosh Biggar also failed to get the bounce of the ball, one such breakout seeing a potentially dangerously bouncing hack ahead ending with the ball popping into Marr hands when Biggar might have regained possession. Tom Steven was the next to cross and score for Marr, this arguably the first time Biggar's defence had been found wanting from set piece play. Sturgeon's conversion attempt rebounded off the upright.
One promising Biggar attack ended with a knock-on and another with possession lost at the lineout, Marr able to regroup and relaunch an attack, Scot Bickerstaff shrugging of some weaker tackles to score, Sturgeon on hand to add the two points. 43-10.
With some 5 minutes remaining a breakout by Withers ended with McDonald being twisted awkwardly and forced off the pitch. Down to 14, numbers were then evened up as Biggar made one final fling into the Marr 22. Replacement Ollie Rossi was penalised and shown a yellow. The penalty award was kicked just too long and again Biggar yielded a promising attacking opportunity. A long restart saw Marr have one final tilt at the Biggar line. Ball was taken right and then left before fullback Craig Kolarik put in a peach of a cross kick which Sturgeon ran onto to take and score, the stand off fittingly adding the conversion to round of the match with an impressive 25 point tally.
Coaches Mercer and Davy Wilson were generally upbeat despite the defeat but quick to point out the need for hard work at training and a positive approach to the Peebles match which is eagerly awaited.
Frustratingly the 2nds failed to get a match, this youthful group champing at the bit to get onto the field of play.
Story date: 30/08/2016
Biggar win through against Penrith.
Biggar 24 Penrith 7
In very different wet and windy conditions from the previous week when they played Dumfries on a dry ground, Biggar entertained Penrith for this pre-season friendly.
Last season Biggar were given a real test by the English side but this time round Biggar managed to turn the tables and record a fine win.
As pleasing however for coaches Gary Mercer and Davy Wilson was the style of play and the commitment shown both in defence and attack. For the first time to date numbers were reduced to a 1st XV squad as the 2nds were also in action, Penrith able to bring two sides for what both clubs hope will be annual joust. This meant that there were fewer changes which gave the side a chance to develop together.
Another equally very positive factor was in the shape of the 2nd XV , the side featuring a whole host of youngsters who if they can attract others who have not yet committed to playing will generate a really useful side and push for places in the 1st XV. Coach Doug Fleming was mightily impressed with the turnout although a concussion to hooker Ryan Ferguson brought the contest to a premature close. Attended by one of the Penrith contingent who is a fireman an ambulance was also called. Ryan was given a full assessment and on Saturday evening and then Sunday felt much better.
Playing away from the clubhouse Biggar were given the advantage afforded by the east wind, a rare occurrence in itself but one which gave some assistance to defence and clearance kicks.
Biggar opened the scoring with prop Donald Voas crossing again for his second try in as many weeks. Richard Peacock slipped as he prepared to kick and the conversion was missed.
Under pressure and conceding a number of penalties Biggar had to work hard in the tight, where they had some positive results, and in open play where their tackling was sound.
Underfoot conditions proved difficult and players were slipping and sliding while the ball was also tricky to control by hand, moves from both sides breaking down at crucial moments.
A line drive and try for Duncan Withers gave Biggar a bit of breathing space while a kick and chase from stand off Iain Chisholm which saw the DO run virtually the length of the pitch and latch onto a clearance from Aird Jardine put the home side further ahead.
A final try from newly appointed 1st XV captain Andrew Dunlop was well deserved and very well received, the No 8 getting through a power of work in both defence and attack. Richard Peacock added 2 conversions for the 24 point tally, Penrith having the last word with a try and conversion to help avoid the whitewash.
This was a sizeable step up from the Dumfries match and will help prepare the side for the first real competitive match which is this Saturday when Marr are visitors in the BT Cup. Marr were in last season's Premiership promotion play-offs and will offer another set of problems for Biggar prior of course to the BT League programme when Peebles are opponents (3rd Sept).
The 2nds were down in their match but as suggested there is a very promising side in the making.
Story date: 22/08/2016
Biggar Colts lose out at Boroughmuir
Boroughmuir Colts 24pts v Biggar Colts 19pts.
Friendly – Saturday 20th August 2016
Simply , the Biggar Coaches of Yogi, Gav and Muz will have learned more from this defeat than they will ever have by winning it. There is no harm in losing as it focuses the squad that much still needs done.
Biggar lost away to Boroughmuir on Saturday on a testing day for rugby but there was no doubt that the hosts played to the conditions better.
Boroughmuir forwards were well motivated for this and with speed and bulk they kept it tight and continually powered up the field from which they gained early advantage with a try which was a result of their strong play.
Biggar as ever knew they just needed to get into their stride and take their opportunities and this they did with good hands and running lines culminating in a try for Aaron Dobie to bring them back into the game.
Biggar then capitalised on a poor pass from the Boroughmuir back line to which Robbie Orr greatly accepted to run in for 50 yards which was converted by Euan Bogle.
From this Biggar should have moved further ahead a good running from the backs continually broke the defence lines but the final passes and wrong options were stopping the tries being taken.
Indeed as Biggar failed to score it was Boroughmuir who took their opportunities with 3 tries being score unanswered. Simply Boroughmuir kept the ball tight , used their big boys to hit up and then the ball was moved quickly out to fast running players to come in with good lines to go over. Biggar were failing to interpret the conditions and adjust accordingly.
Much of the play Biggar tried to enforce was more suited to playing 7's on a dry summer day. The result was too many wrong decisions and mistakes in the game.
With 10 minutes to go Biggar did come back into the game with a try in the corner for Aaron Dobie which was well converted by Euan Bogle. However Biggar could not get the final upper hand and Boroughmuir took the win
Final Score : Boroughmuir Colts 24 pts v Biggar Colts 19pts
Areas have been identified and these will be worked on at training and lessons will be learnt. The most obvious is “Playing to the conditions”
Next week is the start of the league campaign with a trip to Dunfermline.
Story date: 21/08/2016
Competition for places will be strong as the 8 Glasgow District players return who certainly will face a fight in certain positions to be in the starting line .
Colts start season with win at Hamilton
Hamilton Colts 7pts v Biggar Colts 41pts.
Friendly – Tuesday 16th August 2016
“In order to succeed we must first believe we can” and that is what Biggar Colts showed on Tuesday night with an impressive performance in their 1st game of the season. Every player put in a performance which certainly will make it challenging for the coaches in selection when the Glasgow Regional Players return.
On a warm night, Hamilton took the upper hand early with some big runs by their powerful forwards who were made good yardage and were only being thwarted by some impressive tackling and no more so than Stuart Forest who stopped their Number 3 in his tracks but he had to go off after it due to impact on his shoulder.
Hamilton failed to score from their dominance and when the ball was won by Biggar and shipped out to the backs it did not take long for the backs to gain the upper hand. Some excellent interplay by Aaron Dobie and Rowan Stewart resulted in a try in the corner for Aaron.
Hamilton quickly responded by continuing to use their forwards who were making some big bullish runs specially their hooker who scored after a quick tap and go from a penalty. Conversion was put over.
Biggar knew they just needed to stick to their game plan and the backs put away a fine set piece move to allow impressive Henry Adams to score under the post which was converted by Euan Bogle.
End of 1st Period – Hamilton 7pts to Biggar 12pts
Biggar in this period started off well and took the 1st try with Alisdair Steele going over after good interplay with Aaron Dobie. Shortly after this Robbie Orr at stand off put in a clever cross field kick which was received by Euan Bogle to allow him in the corner which he then converted.
Biggar however did not consolidate the game and allowed Hamilton back in with good hands by their backs twice allowing the winger to go in for 2 quick succession tries. Too often Biggars defence was not up quick enough and tackles were being missed.
End of 2nd Period – Hamilton 17pts to Biggar 24pts
Hamilton must have felt that they had the upper hand going into the last third but Biggar as usual knew they just needed to be more clinical. This they did and the forwards started to take control and Jordan Gray was gaining continual yards for the team and this allowed ball to be moved out to the backs and after some fine running by Aaron Dobie , Euan Bogle went in for his 2nd try . Aaron then himself scored a try which was converted by Euan Bogle, The last try of the day was a result of good fast hands putting the ball simply out through the back line to allow Alex Toal to score in the corner for the final score.
Full Time :Hamilton Colts 17pts v Biggar Colts 41pts.
Story date: 21/08/2016
Well done to all the boys who really showed a lot of maturity against a fast strong team.
Notable performances came from Aaron and Marcus Dobie who made some big runs due to tier speed coming on to the pass, Robbie Orr who not only attacked well but was very impressive in his tackling especially when having to cover out wide.
Alisdair Steele at full back was solid and very assured in his play. In the forwards Jordan Gray made good yards continually while Calum Dunlop secured good ball at the lineout.
Biggar get the better of Dumfries
Biggar 35 Dumfries 26
For their second warm up match Biggar hosted Dumfries on Saturday.
There was need for an improvement following last week's outing at Lasswade and this indeed proved to be the case. Starting at a great pace – much as had been the case last Friday – the difference this time was that points were scored and in fine fashion.
Alisdair Sinclair was first up after just 3 minutes, the winger scorching over in the corner after a great passage of play as Biggar retained ball well to put pressure on the Dumfries defence. Gaps eventually opened up to give Sinclair the chance which he took well. Richard Peacock struck an excellent kick to add the conversion.
With Biggar on the offensive once more, Dumfries managed to gain possession from a lineout deep in their 22. A weak clearance was taken by Peacock who was able to feed Robbie Lavery. The ball was put wide to Stuart Hull who burst through the Dumfries cover to score a great try which Peacock again converted.
Up front Biggar seemed to have the advantage in the tight scrum although Dumfries were not the force that Lasswade had been. Andrew Peacock and Douglas Notman were held up well in forays forward but Biggar were over the line again after 15 minutes when Andrew Orr took full advantage of a quick tap penalty to pick and drive, catching the Dumfries cover at sixes and sevens before crashing over from close range. Peacock again added the two points for 21-0.
Inevitably Dumfries came back into things and exerted their own period of attacking play. Able to secure ball when under pressure Biggar made things difficult for themselves by trying to run ball from deep when the kick might have been a better option. Caught close to their line Dumfries should have perhaps done better but in fact they conceded a penalty which allowed Biggar some relief.
This brought the first period to an end and heralded a host of changes to the teams with both sides taking the opportunity to give all their senior squad players a run and to try different formations and pairings.
This was a less structured period as players struggled to gain any consistency of possession with errors from both sides punctuating the flow of the match. Dumfries fared better as they put Biggar under a good deal of pressure. Things were not helped as play became somewhat fractious and ended up testing the Australian referee's patience. Two Dumfries try's made things a good deal closer at 21-14.
Biggar began the third period much as they had the first, with Douglas Voas taking a leaf from Orr's book to tap a penalty and crash over for another try which Peacock again converted. 28-14.
Just when Biggar looked as though they would become more dominant Dumfries upped their game with Biggar making a number of unforced errors. The visitors collected a third try before Ewan Stewart grabbed one for himself, the hooker intercepting a loose pass to scamper over for a try converted by Peacock who maintained his 100% record.
A final score from Dumfries took the score to 35-26, Dumfries having the last word with this. Had they kicked their points this match would have been a lot closer, but as it was Biggar recorded their first win under new coach Gary Mercer. Assistant coach Davy Wilson, who will look after the backs, was also pitch side to view his charges in action for the first time.
Story date: 17/08/2016
Both coaches were content with the performance though not yet happy as there had been too many unforced errors. A positive however is that the squad are as one and look to be enjoying the style of play which Mercer is advocating. This weekend Penrith will travel to Hartree Mill and the English side will pose a number of very different problems with increased bulk their advantage.
School of Rugby Programme
When youngsters go up into their first year of Biggar High School they have the opportunity to participate in the 'School of Rugby Programme'. This involves youngsters getting the opportunity to build on their social, physical and mental capibilities through the highly enjoyable environment that is of rugby union.
To download the programme information booklet click DOWNLOAD INFORMATION BOOKLET
To download our year 1 overview, which looks at the success of the first year of the programme, click DOWNLOAD YEAR 1 REVIEW
Story date: 25/05/2015
Development Newsletter January 2015
Welcome to the January 2015 Development Newsletter.
This newsletter is equipped with all the latest news and results for all ages at Biggar RFC.
Click here to download
Story date: 20/01/2015
Development Newsletter - October 2014
Welcome to Biggar RFC's first edition of the development newsletter.
This will be a bi-monthly release which will update you on all things Biggar RFC.
Click here to download
Story date: 11/11/2014
Biggar Colts suffer crucial defeat
Musselburgh Colts 42pts v Biggar Colts 36pts
Edinburgh and District Under 18 League
Biggar Colts suffered their 1st defeat of the season but it was a crucial defeat as it impacts on them being able to go through to the National Cup , losing out to Musselburgh who will likely take that spot and the Edinburgh League title.
These two teams are arguably the best in the league and with so many cancelled games there will be not much chance to regain the top spot.
Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure as both teams put in a almighty display with the game in the balance up to the final whistle.
It was evident early on in the game that although Biggar were going to dominate up front , the Musselburgh backs were if given ball going to have the ability to cause significant damage and this they did.
It took 15 minutes before the 1st score of the game. Musselburgh spilled ball which was quickly seized on by Peter Steele who then offloaded to Mark Harrison to go in the corner for an unconverted try.
Biggar then had to go into defence which they have not been used to over the last few weeks and it was the big Musselburgh centre who broke through the defence to then go over inbetween the posts. This centre along with others was going to cause problems all afternoon.
But Biggar knew to keep it amongst the forward and use the strong runners in Mark Ewart, Ross Jackson and Andrew Orr. This they did to good effect and were rewarded with a try to Mark Ewart who continues to improve and impress stormed over for a converted try put over by Gregor Stewart.
Shortly following this Musselburgh took their turn and their centre again broke through by palming his opposite number off and he duly stormed over from half way.
Again Mark Ewart responded in his usual way with a converted try by Gregor Stewart.
This game was now at a high intensity and both teams were taking and putting in some big hits to neutralise each other.
Musselburgh were awarded a penalty which was kicked to go into the lead. But in this see-saw game it was Biggar's turn and it was seized by Scott Thomson who was at then end of a period of play where the Biggar backs showed good hands to put Scott in the corner.
That try gave the Biggar backs some confidence and just outside their own 22 , James Barr put in a well placed kick from the left over to the right and with a bounce , Mark Harrison took the ball cleanly and sprinted 50 yards to score.
Biggar now had the upper hand and went in at half time in the lead.
Half time Biggar in the lead with 36 points to Musselburgh 17 points
There could be no doubt that Musselburgh knew they could get back into the game if their well drilled backs could get ball and at the same time their forwards could try to lift their game.
This they did and straight from kick off they came back in with another strong run by their backs putting the winger in. Musselburgh forwards were now more organised and were working in pairs to stop the Biggar big forwards who were trying to punch holes.
Biggar backs were finding it difficult against a back line who had pace and skill with excellent angled runs that was causing problems with the Biggar defence which in all the positions was not getting up on their opposite man quickly enough to stop them.
Also the forwards were struggling in areas such as lineouts.
A further try was taken by the Musselburgh winger and Biggar were now in defensive problems as shown when the again went over. Nobody can be signalled out as this team play as a team and take any problems as a team.
Musselburgh were now just a point behind and with two minutes to go , put over a penalty to take the lead.
Biggar pressurised to get back in but were getting held well and in fact Musselburgh seized an opportunity for their winger to go over and win the game.
It was a disappointment as so much work went in but credit has to also go to Musselburgh who had an excellent back line with pace and skill.
“Yes it was a defeat but its just another word for experience”
Nobody can doubt that as the last few years we have a special bunch of boys who would be a credit to any club
Full time – Musselburgh 42 points to Biggar 36 points
Story date: 06/10/2014
Biggar RFC have a thriving Ladies section with a development Ladies team who train on a Monday evening, as well as teams at U18 and U15 age groups who train on a Wednesday night.
All of our squads are welcoming to new players, regardless of their experience, and are looking to expand their player numbers so come along and give it a go!
If you are interested in training with and playing for any of these teams, please contact Tammy Mitchell via the website contact page.
Story date: 05/02/2014
Senior Player Facebook Group
Story date: 29/10/2013
Colts 15 Murrayfield Wanderers 10
Biggar Colts 15 Murrayfield Wanderers 10pts
Edinburgh Under 18 League
Biggar took to the field again only having 18 in the squad but managed to come away with a hard fought victory over Wanderers , winning 15points to 10 points.
Recent injuries had forced Coach Barr to do some shifting about the team. As in recent weeks certain players have had to play out of position but every player responded to the task and credit must be to them.
On a great day for flowing rugby, Biggar took to the field hoping to put early pressure on Wanderers but it was in fact Wanderers who took the initiative and continually managed to set up many phases of hitting up through the middle and always offloading in the tackle which forced Biggar on to the back foot as tackles were not going in low. Biggar did respond with some strong hits going in and James Barr was showing his opposite centre that he was in a game with a couple of good hits.
When Biggar did get the ball out Aird Jardine as in previous weeks made some clean breaks but did not have the back up required which was costly.
Biggar got a free kick , and from a quick tap and go, the ball was fed to Craig Stewart who hit up and from this Ryan Anderson powered over for s fine try converted by Jack Warnock.
Biggar then went back to defence with Wanderers doing a series of terrific runs and offload up through the middle of the pitch. Ryan Anderson had to go off with a head knock and this did not help Biggar in defence.
Wanderers pressure eventually paid off and they powered over for a try which was not converted.
Shortly before half time a drop pass by Biggar saw the ball kicked ahead for as try to be scored which was not converted
Half time Biggar 7 to Wanderers 10.
From the start of the half it was again Wanderers who took the initiative and were constantly threatening the line but for 5 minutes, Biggar held them well and the turned over ball to release pressure and put the ball back down into the Wanderers half.
Reiss Cullen was dominating turning over ball, some great runs and constantly thwarted Wanderers scrum half in putting ball out the back line. Andrew Orr was taking a fair share of the ball and making good years ably backed up by Alistair Sinclair. From this spirits and confidence were lifting and a penalty was awarded to Biggar which Jack Warnock converted to tie the scores.
Biggar were now back in the game and late on Grant Hamilton picked up a loose ball land ran 60 metres to score which was not converted.
The final whistle could not have come at a better time as this was a hard fought victory which created further injury worries.
The game had not flowed as in previous weeks but confusion reigned during many parts of the game as rule interpretation was questionable which unsettled the team.
Next week at home Biggar face a Livingston side who have recently had some big wins and have a large squad.
Story date: 15/09/2013
Biggar RFC - Development Overview
Biggar RFC is a thriving club which caters for players from Primary 1 through to senior. We currently boast teams at P1/2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, S1, S2, U15, U16 and U18 as well as a girls U15’s team, 2 senior teams and a social / over 35’s team.
I am Calum Taylor, Club and Community Development Officer for Biggar Rugby Football Club. Since the 2008/09 season the club has employed a full time development officer to help maintain the status of the Clydesdale region’s premier sports club.
The development programme can be loosely split into two key areas: club programme and community programme.
The club aspect of development officer role essentially revolves around the following question:
In the time between a youngster joining the club to when they graduate through to senior rugby - how can we help them achieve their own absolute potential as rugby players, as teammates and as club members?
Biggar Rugby Club boasts 14 competitive teams from Primary 3 through to 1st XV as well as non-competitive weekly sessions for P1’s and 2’s. With teams at every age group from P3 through to U18, we currently have approximately 45 volunteer coaches across all youth age groups. I work very closely with these coaches, trying to ensure every child gets the best rugby experience possible through educating coaches in the latest coaching techniques and tactical and technical knowledge.
The safety of participants is always at the absolute forefront of our minds. Therefore, every coach is required to go through an annual ‘Are You Ready to Play Rugby?’ course. This is a yearly update which leads our volunteers through the latest safe coaching ideas and techniques.
The community programme primarily revolves around the schools programme. I run rugby taster sessions in both Biggar and Lanark cluster primary schools as well as curricular and extra-curricular activities in Biggar High School and Lanark Grammar School. If you have a child who goes to a Biggar or Lanark cluster primary school it’s highly likely I will have delivered rugby sessions to them and their classmates.
Biggar RFC are also proud members of the Biggar Community Sports Hub, and work with other sporting teams in the area to give youngsters the maximum sporting opportunities possible.
For questions regarding rugby development in your area or any other enquiries regarding the club in general please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the contact details below.
Yours in Rugby,
Calum Taylor | Club and Community Development Officer | Biggar Rugby Football Club | Hartree Mill | Biggar | ML12 6JJ
Story date: 26/03/2013
Mob: 07720 677 977 | Email: email@example.com |
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BiggarRFC |
Our Colts team is made up of our 16-18 age players and competes in the Edinburgh District U-18 League, competing at the highest level and providing stiff competition for any team in Scotland,. The team train on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is coached by Yogi, Muz and Gavin, who have been working hard with this ever changing group for a number of years and have coached many of our current 1st and 2nd XV players.
If you would like to know more about our colts team please conatact Colts Convener David (Muz) Murray on 07786158710
Story date: 23/02/2013
SUMMER CAMP 2012
Bookings are still being taken for the Biggar Rugby Club Summer Camp 2012!!!!
Monday 30th - Tuesday 31st July (Primary School ages) 10am - 4pm
Wednesday 1st - Friday 3rd August (Secondary School ages) 10am - 4pm
Camps are charged at £10 per child per day and participants should bring their lunches / wet weather gear and a change of clothes with them.
To book on email Calum on firstname.lastname@example.org with participants name, age, which days they wish to come, emergency contact details and any heath issues we should know about or phone 07720677977.
Story date: 25/07/2012
Biggar seniors v Bracknell
Straight after the U-15 game a Senior Biggar XV, made up of players from the 1sts to the Colts took on touring side Bracknell. The tourists were less fresh than the U-15’s from Orrell had been and had also lost their first game, this to Leith Accies.
Story date: 29/04/2012
Biggar opened strongly and scored first. They never relinquished the lead and ended up 22-10 victors. A grand run about on a Sunday afternoon and for several of the Biggar lads some much-needed practice for the forthcoming Over-35’s tournaments at Perth (12th May) and St Andrews (19th May)! Any other interested parties should speak to GY asap to confirm their attendance.
Biggar Minis at Heriots
This weekend Biggar Minis took 4 teams (P4 - P7) to the Heriot’s Tournament in Edinburgh. The day was glorious and the wet and cold of the winter season was forgotten and sun cream and plenty of liquids was the order of the day.
The P4s started with a game against Madrascals. Biggar supported well in the tackle and recycled the ball fantastically well however they found it hard to get round or through the opposition and ended up going down 8 - 2. The P4s second game was against the tournament hosts Heriot’s, and again Biggars continuity was impressive, this time the tackling was also up to scratch and the game was a joy to watch as several players had good runs and tackles. With tries coming from Murray (4), Fraser, Jonathan and Conner the game ended to soon at 8 - 8. In the final game Biggar came up against the giants from Musselburgh again and they found stopping the fast running bigger players very difficult eventually losing 8 - 2. The tournament allowed a lot of the squad to get more experience which will help them play better as a team later this year and next.
At P5 Biggar played a strong first game against Madrascals, who were a well-matched team. Biggar displayed good strong tackling and consistency throughout and broke for some really great tries. The boys seemed to have taken heed and managed to pop the ball free more often earning a well deserved 7 - 6 win.
In the second match Biggar were dominated by Heriot’s who were undeniably much faster, much more forward moving and much more together as a team. The Biggar boys moral went down quickly given their defeat against Heriot’s last week, and that combined with a back to back game in the heat, resulted in a 10 - loss.
The third game against Musselburgh also proved to be very difficult, once again the opposition were faster but the Biggar boys worked better as a team and were capable of running in a few tries. If the Biggar boys had not hung back so much they may have been able to win this one but in the end lost 9 -4. Over the day Jack, Hector, Euan, Cameron, Gregor and Harry all contributed tries.
The P6s first game was a very competitive match against Madrascals with the best team play seen from this Biggar P6 team this year. The game eventually finishing 3-2 to Madrascals. In the second game Biggar came up against a very focused home team losing 6 - 0. In the final game against Musselburgh a lot of the team work and support which has been practised in training came through with Douglas and Drew scoring tries and eventually winning 4 - 2.
Story date: 26/03/2012
Biggar Minis have a tough day at Edinburgh Accies
Story date: 18/03/2012
Biggar RFC took 5 age group teams to their first Edinburgh Tournament of the year at Edinburgh Academicals ranging from P3s to P7s.
The P4s started with a wake up call from a strong home team Biggar despite having many good runs were always halted just before the try line the home team getting the ball wider quicker and running in 11 tries to Biggar's 2. In the second game Biggar tackled well and kept the game with Heriots close losing 6 - 4. In the last game Biggar led Currie most of the match running in trys from 3 different players but ended losing 7 - 5.
The Biggar P6s came up against 3 strong teams and had some good attacks but never got onto the front foot losing to North Berwick 11 - 0, Heriots 4 - 1 and to Currie by 8 - 0.
The Biggar P7s started against Heriots with some good running but losing 6 - 1, Biggar upped their game in the second match tackling and linking up well keeping the game close but losing 5 - 2 to Stewart Melville. In the final match against Watsonians Biggar were 7 - 0 down at half time but through strong tackling held the score to 8 - 0 at the end.
All the Biggar teams and players played in the true spirit of rugby and enjoyed their day in Edinburgh and the experience will help bring the teams together.
Coaching/ RDO page
Story date: 29/09/2011
About Biggar RFC
Biggar Rugby Football Club was formed in 1975 by five local men who played their rugby for clubs in other towns in the central belt or the borders of Scotland. They were of the view that the town of Biggar could easily support a rugby club.
For five years the club played its rugby at the show field which is owned by the local farmers’ club, and it used The Elphinstone Hotel as its base. Today, the club owns 20 acres of land half a mile outside the town at Hartree Mill. There were initially two pitches there, and third was constructed in 2002 but wasn’t really usable due to drainage problems. In 2015 we embarked upon a 2 year programme to remodel our grounds and since Nov 2016 have 5 full size pitches and numerous of pitch training areas in use, not only by Biggar RFC but also the local football and athletics cubs. Of our 5 pitches 4 of them alit with training lights allowing use of the facility all year round.
Our clubhouse was opened in 1989, serving the club well with social, catering and changing facilities. However, as the number of members grew, particularly children, our changing and showering facilities became unsuitable and inadequate. In 2012 an extension to the clubhouse coupled with a refurbishment programme delivered major improvements to our facilities. The original changing rooms and communal showers were altered to form an ensuite officials’ room along with two ensuite team changing rooms. A major extension to the building provides a further four new ensuite team changing rooms. Now our six ensuite team changing rooms provide a suitable and safe environment for girls, boys and adults alike.
Biggar Rugby Football Club is in every sense a community club. Over the relatively short number of years it has existed it has integrated well into the life and fabric of the town of Biggar and the surrounding area. Reflecting this, members and players are drawn not only from Biggar itself but also from the towns and villages that make up the large rural area of Clydesdale and beyond. Throughout its catchment area, the club receives great support and sponsorship from residents and many elements of the business and farming communities.
The club has three adult teams, Girls’ teams at U12, U15 and U18, boys teams representing all secondary age children up to and including our colts and mixed primary school teams from P3 to P7. With our adult players and over 250 school age playing members, the club regularly has 10 to 12 matches to play each weekend at various clubs and locations throughout Scotland. This is made possible due to the dedication and efforts of a large number of coaches, parents, volunteers and helpers, without whom the club could not function as it does today.
The club employs a full time Development Officer who splits his time between promoting and improving rugby both within the club and the local community. Most of his community work involves delivering rugby based activities for school children. Each year he delivers sessions to over 1,000 primary school children in the Biggar and Lanark clusters and is now beginning to work with high school children.
Biggar Rugby Football Club benefits from a relaxed and welcoming environment. Adult and Colts train on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and usually play on Saturdays. Secondary school children and girls train on Wednesday evenings and usually play on Sundays. Primary school girls and boys all train and play on Sundays. We have ladies training alongside the athletics club on a Monday evening and accommodate the football club on Tuesdays and Thursdays and they also play on Saturdays.
In addition we run a development academy and those that join and commit to developing their skills and fitness do additional sessions at the club both early morning and straight after school under the supervision of our Rugby Academy Manager
The club provides the use of its facilities from time to time for representatives from various other sports and leisure groups within the community, ranging from local schools, brownies and scouts to sports clubs such as athletics and cricket.
Whether you or your family wish to join our vibrant club, to play or to watch rugby at any age group or if you wish to use our facilities for some other sport or event, come along and talk to us.
You will always get a very warm welcome at Hartree Mill, Biggar.
Story date: 16/09/2011
Biggar RFC First XV
Here is a page for the1st XV to use.
Story date: 16/09/2011
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
Story date: 16/09/2011
Biggar RFC Third XV
Biggar would love to return to the days when a 3rd XV made regular appearances throughout the season. Recent seasons however have seen the 3rds or sometimes an Over-35's side limited to just a handful of occasions. Hopes are high however that we might manage something better this season. If you would like to play a game of social rugby then please contact Gordon Young on 07774678617
Story date: 16/09/2011
League tables are maintained on the SRU website,
Story date: 14/09/2011
click on the appropriate link to view the table.
President Alistair Stewart 07796175381 email@example.com
Vice-President Peter McDonald 07966 648797 firstname.lastname@example.org
Playing Convenor Ian Notman 07899803916 email@example.com
Club Secretary David Adams firstname.lastname@example.org
Fixture Secretary John Jackson 07814157606 email@example.com
Colts Convener David Murray 07786 158710
Midi Convener Paula Yardley 07830 022447 Paulayardley@btinternet.com
Mini Convener Laura Watson firstname.lastname@example.org
Girls Convenor Tammy Mitchell email@example.com
Club Development Nigel Pacey 07714 713504 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsorship & Membership Secretary Gordon Young 07774678617 email@example.com
Treasurer Dougie Lowe firstname.lastname@example.org
Merchandising Ian Notman 07899803916 email@example.com
Pitch Convenor Hugh Barr 07984 611893
Story date: 25/08/2011
Committee Member Patrick McGinn 07526187648 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.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:
Download the form by clicking here (docx format)
The Standing Order form can be downloaded here (doc format)
The BRFC membership form can be downloaded here (doc format)
Story date: 25/08/2011
Biggar Rugby Club is very grateful for the support it receives from all of its sponsors.
Sponsorship opportunities exist in the form of match and ball sponsorship as well as pitch side advertising banners and programme adverts
If you are interested in either sponsoring the club or promoting your company or business venture through Biggar Rugby Club, please do not hesitate to contact Gordon Young on 07774678617 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Story date: 25/08/2011
Story date: 23/08/2011