U-16’s regain winning ways
Edinburgh BAT's 7 Biggar 43
A win's a win no matter how you look at it, right?
The first half of this one wasn't pretty at all. Despite a couple of flashes of old form in the first few minutes, it looked as if the Hartreemill boys were still recovering from a Highland Hangover.
Early visits to the BAT's 22 should have led to scores but Biggar kind of forgot what that should look like and squandered the opportunities.
BAT's Fly-half showed a bit of vision and kicked well in behind the Biggar defence which meant they had to start the whole process again.
The hosts made a good break though and showed composure to score between the posts but Biggar didn't panic and, thankfully, normal service was resumed when Luhann Kotze spotted a gap inside 5m line after good forwards pressure. He squeezed under the BAT's pack to level things up.
Before the half was out Stuart Forrest extended the lead to 12-7, soon after the BAT's fly-half missed a touchline effort and Rory Wesencraft made good progress. The No.8 ran a good line to collect a sharp pass out the back of the ruck and crashed over the whitewash to ease Biggar's self inflicted pressure.
Biggar started the second-half with far greater purpose. The ball was being recycled more effectively with forwards working harder to get beyond the ball at the breakdown.
They started to dominate the game thanks to their defence too, which did not buckle and as Biggar looked for a decisive score, their ability to move the ball wide quickly thanks to some sublime off-loading by forwards and backs, saw flanker Fin Stott outdoing everyone. The right place at the right time. Nice to watch and a clinical 5 points. Rowan Stewart added the extras.
You’re only as strong as the squad you've got and it’s important that, when they’re given the chance, players who haven’t had much rugby take it and Craig Frame was the man that certainly did. Deputising for the injured Sam Grieve, he displayed excellent effort and physicality that will be embraced within this squad.
The pattern of the game remained unaltered. Biggar continued to dominate and Robbie Orr got on the score sheet with an excellent line-break.
Rowan Stewart did much the same a minute later to increase the tally.
Matthew Stewart also displayed a cutting edge when he ran in from 20m, and an impressive conversion from Ali Steele widened the ever increasing gap.
With 10 minutes left to play Stuart Forrest collected the kick-off 10 yards out and popped to Guy Kelly. Stuart re-collected from Guy and had the strength to break the attempted tackle and broke brilliantly from his own half, side-stepping the centres and accelerating clear of the cover before sprinting 50 metres to cross unopposed.
Even when BAT's did enjoy a period of possession in the final few minutes of the game, the Biggar defence held impressively firm.
On reflection, Biggar combined flashes of brilliance with periods of mediocrity, predominantly in the first half, but all the tries were well worked and they were visibly the fitter side.
Stuart Forrest was dynamic all day and deserves the top performer accolade.
Onward and upward.
Story date: 31/01/2016
Tries: Luhann Kotze, Stuart Forrest (2), Fin Stott, Robbie Orr, Rowan Stewart, Matthew Stewart.
Conv: Robbie Orr, Rowan Stewart, Ali Steele (2)
U-16’s come up short against Highland in Cup quarter
Highland 15 Biggar 7
If success was to be measured in territory, possession and determination then on reflection Biggar should have won this fixture.
However, the words ‘Rusty’ and ‘Lack of valuable game time’ resounded amongst the support and they were right, with furrowed brow suggesting this was going to be an awkward affair and anything but straight forward. That’s not to say the standard was poor. In fact both sides showed real quality.
Highland made an early impact with a brief spell of sustained pressure on the Biggar 5m line. Biggar defended well and managed to hold Highland up after they crossed the line.
The hosts had momentum though and eventually managed to score in the corner after drawing in the Biggar defence.
5 minutes gone and 5 nil down. And that’s how it stayed for the next 30 mins.
Highlands penalty count was on the increase and Biggar had the lions share of the ball and territory but the visitors just couldn't get that crucial pass in or exploit the fact that Highland were on the back foot and the Hartreemill boys largely failed to make any impression even with the wind in their favour.
A knock-on here and fumble there led to Highland turning over in the last minute of the half. When they touched down for their second Biggar were left scratching their heads as to how they managed to let that happened.
Highland were well drilled and patient and closed the Biggar forwards down quickly. This meant the centre pairing of Stewart & Stewart saw little ball to begin with.
10 nil at half-time was not a disaster though and a sense of belief remained ever present.
Biggar’s performance in the second half was a bit more like it. The game started to flow in the visitors favour and their determination and improved quality of play meant we could be safe in the knowledge that they weren’t going to be trampled over by their hosts. Biggar were starting to look dangerous.
The flanker partnership of Lewis Stewart and Daniel McConkey was effective in pinching line-out ball and clearing out in the ruck.
But, hold the press!
The going was soft, heavy in places and damp which led to the proverbial ‘Bar of Soap’ popping into Highlands hands and they used their forwards well to crash over for their third.
Heartbreaker....or was it? Highland hadn't converted any of their tries. They weren't that far away from being caught.
Biggar still had much to play for and in Rowan Stewart they had one of the most forthright runners on the field closely followed by Stuart Forrest and Matthew Stewart.
Luhann Kotze's vision led to the Biggar score.
After good pressure the scrum-half made a lateral run and in a flash he'd cut inside, leaving the Highland defence sprawling, and off-loaded to Rowan who burst right through the middle to slide under the sticks. Ali Steele added the two point conversion.
Biggar were almost at it again, which would have made for a tasty finish, but a knock-on thwarted any efforts.
So, there you have it. The cup dream ends soon after it started. But make no mistake, Highland were tested and it could have been a different story if Biggar played the first half the way they did in he second.
Sam Grieve showed composure at wing and Rory Wesencraft continues to improve.
Robbie Orr threw himself at men twice his size in defence and kept things moving in attack.
Biggar were so keen to impress and perhaps just over-thought the process a little.
Story date: 31/01/2016
They're a talented bunch and will bounce back quickly.
Tries: Rowan Stewart
Conv: Ali Steele
Youth v Falkirk
S1 Biggar 11 - Falkirk 7
After several nice Sunday afternoons watching rugby in the late summer sun winter finally bared it's teeth at Falkirk for Biggar S1s latest game in the Green Conference. Lashing rain, gale force winds and a determined Falkirk team provided a new set of questions for the squad. Biggars team work, skill and determination didn’t disappoint parents or coaches.
Biggar started facing into the wind but even so they spent most of the first 15 minutes camped in Falkirk’s half. Various forays to the try line were repelled by a well organised and committed Falkirk team. Both teams tried to play rugby in difficult conditions and the passing intent with ball in hand was a pleasure to watch. For all of Biggars possession it was Falkirk who scored first, their score coming from an 80 yard run stopped by Biggars No15 Ross Henderson. The ensuing ruck and maul gave Falkirk a penalty try which wasn’t converted, half time score after 20 minutes of intense rugby 3 - 0 to the hosts.
With an injury to Ross, Biggar went down to 12, Falkirk sportingly agreed to also drop to 12. Biggar received from the restart kick, Archie Damer made a 30 yard sprint down his wing beating several players before passing to Fraser Simpson to cut inside to beat 2 more and score under the posts. The extra point converted by Euan Laing. From the restart Biggar quickly won ball and Murray Lean got the ball wide through hands to the revived Ross who sprinted in under the posts, the conversion successfully being taken by Archie Damer.
Although Biggar had a lot of possession and the forwards competed hard in horrible conditions gradually Falkirk worked their way towards Biggars try line and through a succession of penalties scored under the posts and converted. So once again Biggar were in a 1 point game with less than 10 minutes to go and again the players and team worked out a way to win.
By this time Biggar had lost Euan and Jonathan Smith to a combination of knocks and the cold. Biggar pressed forward, Falkirk had a scrum in the corner defending their own line. Good pressure on the kick clearance led to the ball landing with Ross on the 22, a sprint for the line was only stopped by a high tackle which gave Biggar the penalty. Quickly marshalled by Murray Lean the ball was passed to Ruadhri O'Donnell who went through a wall of bodies for a deserved try. The conversion was missed and whistle blown for full time. Score 11 - 7 to Biggar.
One thing was sure, both teams wanted to win this match and the difference partly came down to who wanted it the most.
Given the torrential rain the offloading from Biggar was exceptional, both teams passed the ball and several times Biggar moved the ball through 4 - 5 hands to attack wide. Special recognition goes to Ciaran who loved his role as No 8 in the thick of the match. The ability of players to switch and change positions and feel comfortable in different situations is a big gain for the team.
Well done and thanks to players and parents for braving the weather.
The U-15’s hosted Falkirk at The Showfield and in quite dreadful conditions put their visitors to the sword running in many tries in a 50+ point victory. It’s never easy playing in such conditions (or spectating for that matter and thanks to all those who turned out) but it’s easier of you are winning so all credit to the Falkirk squad who stuck at their task manfully despite the conditions and the one-sided nature of the contest.
U15’s win in testing conditions against Falkirk
With a late switch of venue to the Showfield for the U15’s game and a late start for players to be involved in Remembrance Services, the game finally kicked off just after 2.00pm following a 2 minute silence to remember and honour those who have lost their lives for our freedom, then and now.
Falkirk arrived with just 16 players and, as Biggar knows to their cost this season, this can be quite a daunting task for a team just hoping that injuries do not follow quickly during the game. Biggar too had a couple of unavailable players in Harry Low and Guy Hunt but thankfully we now have good playing squad numbers and were still able to field a strong team.
Biggar chose to play the first half with the wind at their backs and Rhys Thomson set the tone for Biggar with a crunching tackle that quickly robbed Falkirk of having the luxury of a spare man. Drew Brewster scored the first of Biggar’s 9 tries and this was quickly followed up by a bullocking run by Josh who touched down to the right of the posts. Both these tries were converted by Finlay Stewart who kicked remarkably well considering the windy and slippery conditions. In fact, Finlay managed to convert 6 out of the 9 tries, which is a tremendous return.
Falkirk playing into a strong wind and hemmed back on their own goal line then tried to kick the ball to relieve the pressure but Shawn Cottam, playing at full back sliced through the covering defence and touched down in the left corner for a great solo try.
Flanker, Craig Frame then managed to score two tries, one either side of half time. The first from a line out to him at the back, expertly thrown by Rhys (half time score 33-0) and his second came from good pick up and drives from a number of forwards that resulted in Craig crashing over.
Unfortunately for Falkirk, when they turned around at half-time, the wind and rain had eased so they did not really benefit from the favourable conditions Biggar had had in the 1st half. Biggar then started to play a more expansive game with strong running and off loading to support runners that resulted in a try for centre Niall Ball. From the base of a scrum, Cameron Snell picked up and charged through the first line of defence, the ball was then shipped to Finlay who gained further yardage into Falkirk’s 22 before passing to Niall who still had plenty to do but managed to power over the line just to the right of the posts.
The next try was the coaches pick of the bunch as it showed them that the boys are starting to put into practice the coaching from Wednesday night’s training. This score typified what good support play is all about and how to capitalise on attacking positions when one player has managed to break the defensive line. Firstly, another powerful run by Josh into the heart of Falkirk’s defence, then an off load to Jamie Shannon who drew two players that released Hugo Baillie for an easy run to the line.
Jamie then managed to bag a try for himself when he went through a few Falkirk players close to the line to crash over. Jamie’s try also resulted in Falkirk losing another player and so the game was played out to a finish with both teams having 14 players on the pitch. The Falkirk boys never gave up and they kept coming at Biggar with a real willingness to get on the score sheet but unfavourable conditions and lack of substitution opportunities, it just wasn’t meant to be and no further scores came for either team.
Final Score: Biggar 57 – 0 Falkirk
This was a really good team performance by the Biggar boys. Special mentions must go to the backs for their handling in particularly difficult conditions, the forwards for their dominance at the scrum, Cameron for his play at the base of the scrum, Finlay for his kicking, Shawn for his willingness to run the ball back whenever he could and Jamie Bell for his stout tackling on the wing to snuff out any chances that Falkirk had.
It was great to see a good crowd up at the Showfield, especially when the weather was so atrocious. The boys were really lifted by this and pleased that many of the U16’s, Colts, Girls Squad members, and parents braved the wind and rain to cheer them on.
Lastly, many thanks to Lesley and Karen for their volunteer duties in the kitchen and for missing out on a good win though you might have been best placed considering the weather!!
Story date: 11/11/2015
Scorers: Drew Brewster 2, Craig Frame 2, Shawn Cottam, Josh Jvr, Niall Ball, Hugo Baillie and Jamie Shannon
Green Conference against Dunfermline
S1s. BIGGAR 17 - DUNFERMLINE 12
Autumn sunshine was once again the weather for Biggar S1s away trip to Dunfermline on the 1st of November.
Biggar kicked off and the hosts moved forward off a couple of phases but Biggar tackled and harried and quickly won turn over ball largely through Ruadhri’s O’Donnell determination. The ball was then quickly moved through five pairs of hands to winger for the day Fraser Simpson who beat his cover and sprinted in from 30 yards for a fine opening try which demonstrates all the work going on recently on passing and attacking play. The hosts restarted but Biggar had their tails up and the forwards won the ball for Ruadhri to charge past a few defenders and ran in solo try under the posts which was converted by Archie Damer the first conversion hitting the posts.
At this point the game slowed down with a number of knock on’s and scrums which Biggar seemed to have the upper hand of but couldn’t execute the attack from. Then just after 12 minutes Biggar lost their hooker Jack Louden through injury and Fraser was moved back into his conventional berth in the forwards.
In the middle period Biggar scored another try and looked to have scored another one through captain on the day Murray Lean but who’s dive was just short! Then last year’s white line fever looked to have taken hold in the team with sustained pressure on the Dunfermline line not bearing fruit as quickly or easily as it should have until finally Cameron Armstrong broke through and scored near the posts with another conversion hitting the posts and the hosts also scoring the score going into the last 15 minutes was 13 – 6.
Two scores from the hosts then took the score to 13 – 12 and the game was certainly still on! Injury to the teams replacement hooker Connor Lister then spread the Biggar resources thin. Here was the first real pressure for the team, could this squad close off a game which 10 minutes earlier had looked safely put to bed? Much to the parents and coaches admiration the squad stuck in and grew they worked for each other with darting runs and drives and finally got the ball to the newest team member Gregor Forrest to score.
Final score 17 – 12 to Biggar but more important than the result was the development in both character and playing style, Good job team.
(Note score 3 points a try 1 for conversion, game 3 session of 15 minutes)
S2's DALZIEL 30 v BIGGAR (S2) 21
As there was no competitive game this week the S2’s travelled to Dalziel for a friendly, hoping to keep up the momentum from the excellent team performance against Hamilton last Sunday. With the sun shining and the turnout up, there was a squad of 17 players for the new Coaching Team to choose from, expectations were high as the game kicked off.
Unfortunately, the boys slipped back into their previous bad habits of failing to secure their own ball and an almost complete absence of tackling, which allowed Dalziel to score a try from their first attack and then double their lead minutes later, although both conversions were missed, to make it 6-0. The Biggar boys responded with the forwards securing the ball and after a series of plays sending it down the back line for Callum Smith to touchdown in the corner. With the difficult kick also being missed it was 6-3 with only 10 minutes played. Poor tackling once again let Dalziel run in a further three unanswered tries, all of which were successfully converted to extend the Dalziel lead to 18-3 as the Ref blew to end the first 20 minute period.
The Biggar boys rallied in the second period and began to secure the ball better in the forwards and spin it down the back line to move steadily up the park. But it seemed as though every time Biggar crossed the Dalziel twenty-two the ball was either lost or intercepted and three times in quick succession Dalziel were able to breakaway up the park to score a try. With all three tries once again being successfully converted the lead was stretched to 30-3 and the game looked to be all but over for Biggar. The boys refused to give up though and continued to utilise forward and back play to press the Dalziel defence. Biggar were awarded a penalty try after deliberate foul play by Dalziel just five yards from their line. Calum McCallum converted the kick to make it 30-7 and a few moments it was Calum McCallum again that dived over in the corner for Biggar’s third try after the backs ripped the ball from Dalziel and sent it quickly down the back-line. Though the kick was unsuccessful the try brought the score to 30-10 at the end of the second period.
It was clear that the Dalziel boys were beginning to tire and this was confirmed when they asked for the last 20 minute period to be cut to 10 minutes. Though the Biggar coaches were not keen on this, a compromise agreement was reached for a 15 minute period. It was a period that was all Biggar though, as the forwards and backs combined to put pressure on the Dalziel defence. First Callum Smith pulled it back to 30-13 finishing in the corner after quick ball from the scrum found him out on the wing, although the conversion was unsuccessful. Then almost direct from the kick-of the boys travelled up the field again before Callum Smith broke away to complete his hat-trick and score between the posts, which Calum McCallum converted to make it 30-17. Then after further good play by the forwards and backs, Josh Dempster picked-up the ball on the wing and sailed past a stream of defenders to finish under the posts and again Calum McCallum converted the kick to make it 30-21. The boys thought they had closed the gap even further when Calum McCallum pounced on a loose pass and dived over in the corner, but the Ref pulled the boys back for a foot in touch and a line-out. Shortly after that the Ref blew the final whistle and the game finished 30-21, but who knows what could have happened if those final five minutes had been played?
Ultimately though it was the poor start and appalling lack of tackling that lost the boys the game, with Dalziel running in five tries to one in the first period and three tries to two in the second, although Biggar did take the shortened third period three tries to nil. Whilst there were some positives in the game – not least the fact that the boys refused to give up and kept at it right to the final whistle. Training this week will need to focus on tackling, tackling and more tackling and then if there is time – MORE TACKLING!
U-15’s Biggar 5 Dunfermline 39
Under 15’s perform well in defeat at Hartree Mill
Biggar under 15’s took on Dunfermline at Hartree Mill on Sunday and put in a creditable performance even in the face of a 39 points to 5 defeat. Having lost their first competitive game of the season to Dunfermline by 70 points a tough game was expected and that was as the case but Biggar performed well.
Dunfermline arrived with excellent numbers and as expected were a strong, well-drilled outfit that did the basics very well. The first half was a tousy affair with defences on top. Dunfermline had most of the ball but Biggar defended manfully tackling well and containing the runners. Jamie Bell’s tracking back and tackling was excellent and Guy Hunt was working well in the middle of the line to stop the big Dunfermline backs.
Some of the rucking on display from Biggar was excellent. Harry Low in particular driving Dunfermline back and being well supported by Harry Archibald and Connor Sheridan. All areas of the team were working hard and it was disappointing to see Dunfermline score out wide left. A lost scrum was worked well out wide and Dunfermline managed to work the ball into space to score an unconverted try.
Dunfermline scored again from a quickly taken penalty with Biggar possibly guilty of switching off slightly. Going over wide on the left with another unconverted try. The game was still very tight and the battle was happening in the middle of the park. Tackling was good and rucking was hard but little ground was being gained by either team.
Half Time Biggar 0 Dunfermline 10
From the start of the second half, Biggar took the game by the scruff of the neck. The forwards driving Dunfermline back and working hard to get back into the game. A number of excellent pick and go’s from Biggar getting them well into the 22. A couple of forwards could have scored with Hugo Baillie and Craig Frame going close but it was Niall Ball that made it over the line to bring Biggar right back into the game.
Unfortunately from there on, Dunfermline started to take real control of the game scoring 5 further tries. A number of them when Biggar were really pressing hard to get over the line. Each time the last pass seemed to fall to the opposition and they produced good rugby to get themselves out of danger.
Dunfermline were working Biggar really hard and it was proving tough to close them down. Indeed they could have scored more but some great tackling on the right from Gregor Harley and an amazing last gasp intervention from Shawn Cottam preventing what looked like a certain try.
With the last play of the game, Biggar were pushing and pushing for a score which their play surely deserved but the ball was lost and Dunfermline showed guile and determination to take the ball from their 5m line and score.
Full time Biggar 5 – Dunfermline 39
Although this was a disappointing result, the performance from Biggar was another step in the right direction. Tackling, rucking and support were all good and the boys worked their socks off. It’s a testament to the excellent coaching that the boys are receiving that they are making such big strides game by game. Another positive was seeing 3 more boys making their competitive debuts for Biggar this week. Alex Trickey, Harry Griffies and Joe Kelly all getting game time and Lee Smith coming off the bench again with all 4 boys making a real impact in the game. Another tough game next week against Falkirk who won the away game by just 3 points. Keep working and hard and we can hopefully get our 3rd win of the season.
Many thanks to Lanark RFC ref Stewart Wise who answered the call to arms when unavailability and injury ruled out Biggar's supply of refs.
U-16’s: Biggar 58 Dunfermline 12
Biggar started the second half of the league fixtures with a ruthless display against Dunfermline in glorious Autumn sunshine.
Biggar fans can be sure of one thing when U16's play, and that's commitment and desire.
This team played with assurance from the start and was not thrown by the few moments when Dunfermline threatened in the first half. A couple of minor adjustments sorted that.
So where do we start...the solo run by Robbie Orr? The sublime link up play by Rowan Stewart? The sheer guts and determination from Guy Kelly? Take your pick, it was all inspiring.
The back row learned today that they have real leader in Daniel McConkey. But no real surprise there. Stuart Forrest now knows the meaning of 'Meet it early'...as does his opposite number. We could wax lyrical for ages and so we should because this squad entertain week in, week out. It's a pleasure to watch.
Dunfermline kicked off in calm conditions only to find themselves facing a hurricane. It is to their credit that they were not blown away in the opening blasts. In fact they looked quite dangerous early on after cancelling out the first Biggar try in what was a very good 'forwards' score, but they never managed to add to their tally other than in closing stages following a Biggar mistake.
Biggar had eight different try scorers. Talk about a Team effort.
Guy Kelly drew first blood with an impressive turn of speed from about 3 feet. Robbie Orr scored in 20 mins after he went on a 'Mazy' from 10m. Guy in again after a sustained period of play with three or four phases. Ali Steele dived over the whitewash for Biggar's fourth after linking up well with the backs.
Ali converted three from four to bring the half-time score to 26-7.
Straight after the break the support was offered up the try of the day, and all you could do was stand and applaud at what was, quite frankly, a touch of class. A combination of slick ball, hitting the line, vision, support and off-load led to Rowan Stewart breaking through and off-loading to Lewis Stewart and the flanker was happy to finish off the centres hard work.
Sam Grieve added another followed by Stuart Forrest. Blind-side flanker McConkey got in on the act to put the icing on his solid performance. If you want a cherry on the top then look no further than Luhann Kotze's box of tricks. In fact the electric scrum-half stuck another two on top, one of which was converted well by Craig Meikle.
Ten tries, four conversions, and we haven't even mentioned the performance of second row Alex Dawe. A fully fired-up individual that made so much ground. Ran like he just wasn't going to be stopped.
What sets this team apart from others is the ability to keep going which must sicken the opposition because it would appear that as the match goes on the intensity rises.
As ever though, the game was played in the spirit we should all expect. Respectful and disciplined.
Story date: 04/11/2015
Tries: Guy Kelly (2), Robbie Orr, Ali Steele, Lewis Stewart, Sam Grieve, Stuart Forrest, Daniel McConkey, Luhann Kotze (2).
Conv: Ali Steele (3), Craig Meikle (1)
Youth Section record clean sweep
Not all reports are available as yet but the Youth Section did the club proud by winning all 4 matches against stuffy Hamilton sides on Sunday.
After a few weeks away from competitive rugby the Biggar S1s visited Hamilton on a still and dry Autumn day.
With only 10 players Biggar were lower on player numbers than ever before but that galvanised a great team spirit led by captain for the day Jack Louden.
The pattern for the match was set in the first minute when Cameron broke through a couple of tackles and ran from half way to score under the posts converted by Euan, 4 more try's came in the first 15 minute period, for Ross, Ruadhri, Cameron and Fraser again with 1 more conversion.
The second period brought 4 more try's: one more for Fraser, Ruadhri and Cameron and at the end of the period for Captain Jack.
In the final period the team were given certain objectives. - 5 more try's and 1 for Grego.
All targets were achieved with try's coming from Jonathan, Ross x 2, Fraser and Gregor with a lovely inside centres straight run to the outside from a scrum won against the head in the last minutes of the match.
The team's work and support for each other over 45 minutes of rugby was a pleasure to watch with a lot of passing out of tackles and pops off the ground keeping the attacks going. All this was achieved with 10 Biggar players playing against 13 Hamilton players!
Final score Biggar 48 - Hamilton 0.
So that's 6 wins and 1 loss so far as S1s. Lots of good play and team work. Great start with much more to work on in training and in the remaining matches.
HAMILTON 11 v BIGGAR (S2) 35
After a two week lay-off Biggar travelled to Hamilton with both a new coaching line up a few new and returning players, though two late call-off’s meant we once again had to play with only 14 players. New Head Coach Chris Kelly with his team of Jock Gray, Kenny Henderson, Andrew Smith and Gavin Catto put the boys through their paces during the warm up and then put their heads together to work out their best line up. Despite a few boys being asked to play outside their comfort zones, the team as a whole were clearly up for the challenge and started the game with all guns blazing. It took less than two minutes for Callum Smith to open the scoring with his now trade-mark picking the ball up within his own 22 and speeding past opponent after opponent to score between the posts. Next up came Josh Todd who was having an excellent game as a marauding Number 8 and barged over the line to finish off a great forwards try. The boy’s third try was another excellent team effort coming from a series of set pieces involving both forwards and backs and ending with a quick penalty that saw Callum Smith touch down again. Try number four was all back play with quick movement of the ball, strong running and great support play leading to Josh Dempster diving over to score. With Calum McCallum kicking three out of the four conversations the boys were ahead 0-15 at the end of the first twenty minute period.
The second period was more evenly matched as both teams attacked and counter attacked and the play moved from one end of the pitch to the other. It was Biggar who struck first though as sustained pressure by the forwards led to a series of quickly taken penalties and Josh Dempster dived over for his second try of the match. Hamilton finally got some points on the board as their forwards also put pressure on the Biggar defence and a quick penalty saw them score in the corner. Biggar responded quickly though and after another series of excellent forward plays it was Will Kelly that bundled the ball over the line for try number six. Just before the end of the period Hamilton scored their second try of the game after further sustained pressure on the Biggar line. The Hamilton kicker converted one out of two kicks, but the trusty boot of Calum McCallum saw him convert both his kicks and extend the Biggar lead to 7-23 as the Ref blew to end the period.
The Biggar boys rallied again in the third period and another series of set plays involving both the forwards and the backs saw Lewis McCary crossing the line to complete an excellent team try. Try number eight came from sustained pressure from the Biggar forwards again and it was Louis Henderson who eventually charged through a line of defenders to touch down. Biggar’s final try came from Calum McCallum, who intercepted a pass on his own 22 yard line and ran the length of the field with three Hamilton players in hot pursuit. They could not catch him though as he touched down just to the right of the posts. Having converted the previous two kicks Calum McCallum also converted his own try to bring the score to 7-35. Hamilton kept at it right to the end though and their endeavours were rewarded with a third try which was successfully converted, but it was too little, too late, as the Ref blew the final whistle with the score at 11-35.
An excellent all round team performance from the Biggar boys with each and every one of them putting in an enormous amount of effort and playing well. There will be a few things for the coaching team to work on in training but all in all a very positive performance and well deserved victory for the boys.
Under 15’s take the fight to Hamilton Bulls.
Biggar 33 Hamilton 10
Biggar under 15’s took on local rivals Hamilton Bulls at Hartree Mill on Sunday and recorded a fantastic 33 – 10 victory. Having played a friendly against the Bulls earlier in the season, it was not a surprise that this was a bruising encounter. Both teams have big strong packs and the battle up top was always going to be key. As it was, it was the Biggar backs that carried on their excellent form to produce a fantastic display of running rugby that the Bulls simply couldn’t live with.
Hamilton got off the mark first when quick thinking and poor tackling combined to get them over the line out wide on the left. The try went unconverted and from then on Biggar put up the shutters in defence and worked their socks off to ensure they won the game.
Biggar went ahead with the first of their 5 tries coming from a well held scrum on the right. Captain Drew Brewster saw a gap on the blind side and powered through. Great vision and determined running was enough to see him breach the defence and go over between the posts. Finlay Stewart kicked the conversion.
Biggar scored again from another set piece this time a line out. Rhys Thomson, who played well at hooker, had a good throw taken well by Cameron Snell. The ball was fed out quickly to Niall Ball in the middle of the park and he simply went for it. His run cut through the heart of the Hamilton defence and they simply couldn’t stop him. A great try under the posts and again a conversion from Finlay Stewart.
The third Biggar try was possibly the best of the bunch. Hamilton found space up their right and their big number 12 looked like he might get in to score. A great tackle from Drew at full back coupled with excellent forward support from Harry Archibald and Craig Frame secured the ball. It was popped quickly to Shawn Cottam who bolted for the line. He had very limited space, three defenders on him and over half the pitch to cover but he made it look simple as he touched down between the sticks. Again Finlay converted well.
Half Time Biggar 21 Hamilton 5
Into the second half and it was a very tight affair. Hamilton were desperate to get back into the game early and made a concerted effort to get into the Biggar 22. As with the first half, every Biggar Man worked his socks off in defence. Tackling, rucking and mauling with gusto to prevent any score. A penalty and then scrum on the 5 metre line bringing real pressure but Biggar stood firm then hit Hamilton with a sucker punch. From an untidy passage of play in midfield, the ball was passed on to Josh who made a drive for the try line. From just inside the Hamilton half, the big man ran and ran barging defenders out of his way. He made it to the line with a couple of the opposition hanging onto him and got the ball down for another superb try from Biggar which Finlay again converted.
The fifth try for Biggar was scored by Niall Ball getting his second of the game. Great running from Cameron Snell and support from Niall saw him going in out wide. Another good try from the centre who was unlucky not to get a “hat trick” as earlier in the game he had shown some amazing footwork to get the ball into the in goal area but the bounce of the ball eventually beat him.
Hamilton scored a late consolation try which went unconverted.
Full Time Biggar 33 – Hamilton 10
There were so many positives that the boys can take from this game. Lee Smith coming on for his debut playing his first ever competitive rugby and acquitting himself admirably. Jamie Shannon making his comeback from injury and making a really positive contribution. Fantastic defence from all 18 boys who played. Some of the tackling was excellent and the work-rate superb. The hard work in training really is paying off. Finally the direct running. All of the scores were as a result of running at Hamilton and committing them. Some of the running from Connor, Craig and Josh in the forwards was excellent and Hamilton really struggled to cope.
A well-deserved victory boys keep up the hard work and keep playing at that tempo and you will give anyone a good game.
Biggar 17 Hamilton 6
'Biggar hold firm to extend their winning sequence in the Green Conference
Biggar can reflect on a 'Job well done' against their fellow South Lanarkshire opponents at Hartreemill.
Story date: 25/10/2015
With two players down due to representative duties the day before it was important that they consolidated the hard work put in at training to ensure the shape and focus was maintained. Biggar did not disappoint.
The game didn't flow as much as previous games by virtue of the fact that Hamilton probably felt they had something to prove following the pre-season friendly defeat and disrupted the Biggar game-plan well.
Hamilton's forwards had certainly done a good job early doors and forced two penalties that allowed them to go for the posts. The kicks were well taken and the visitors were 6 points up after 15 minutes.
No panic though and skipper Kelly steadied the ship with some good carries to get Biggar back into the Hamilton half.
The hosts had limited options in midfield but coped well and utilised the forwards effectively, albeit slighty laboured on occasions at the breakdown.
Positivity and determination was evident though and that paid off in 20min when sustained forward pressure saw Ali Steele squeeze low over the line to score. His own conversion attempt just wide.
The two sides traded penalties inside the Hamilton half and all was a bit loose with no real progression from either side.
Biggar eventually found some space and fluency as time went on and good hands led to Biggar's second to put some daylight between the the two sides. Ali Steele again showing maturity and exploited a gap in the defence to run in from 5m.
Hamilton were dangerous and were expected to hit back in the second half, but Biggar now had the wind at their backs and an obvious advantage that Hamilton didn't manage to capitalise on in the first.
Previous homework suggested that the visitors struggled under sustained defensive pressure with handling errors creeping in. Sure enough, history did in fact repeat itself.
As dangerous as Hamilton were, Biggar just simply plugged away and waited patiently for the break, that they eventually got. The ball was slung wide from a good turn-over and some direct and powerful running from Rowan Stewart made space for Craig Meikle to increase his tally for the season. An excellent conversion from Ali Steele secured the maximum 7 points.
Rowan Stewart was nearly in himself soon after with a brilliant break and chip over the defender but the bounce wasn't favourable and he knocked on....unlucky.
Conclusion: A hard fought win, but well deserved.
Sam Wallis deputised well at Scrum-half. Mature performance from Ali Steele. Daniel McConkey sharp at the line-out and dominated contact.
There were some good decisions out there – but there is a lot of the game that Biggar can improve as well. It is promising for the future.
Tries: Ali Steele (2), Craig Meikle.
Conv: Ali Steele (1)
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 or Aird Jardine on 07917731494 for Secondary School aged children
Membership rates and packages are as follows:
Download the form by clicking here (pdf format)
Story date: 25/08/2011