Hartreemill, Biggar, ML12 6JJ

THE BIGGAR PICTURE - May Edition

The Biggar Picture


Before the curtains fully closed on the 2015/2016 rugby season, there were still a few things to be completed.


The U15’s finished off their season by hosting Ballina RFC, a touring team from Ireland. The day was filled with great rugby, laughs and loads of fun. Biggar came out on top in the end with the final score being 33 – 17. The spectators were even entertained with a post match Irish jig and singing by the players from both teams. Days like this show what rugby is truly all about. What a fantastic way for the U15s to end their season! Our U15 (soon to be U16) boys are looking to recruit new players to bulk up squad numbers. If you or someone you know fancies trying out the great sport of rugby, why not come along? Contact details for the Midis are on the website.


If you’re also interested in having a chuck about with a ball get yourself to Street Rugby which is being held at Biggar High School Astroturf every Friday night during Summer. Sure to be a blast.


U15 Girls travelled to Carrick to play their final league game, winning 36 – 20 against a new, but relatively strong, side. However, Captain Sarah was lost in the first half when she dislocated her knee a belter. Let’s hope she doesn’t turn into her brother Alex who, for those of you who don’t know, is an injury with legs.


Our S2s had friendlies against Annan and Dalziel in May, warm ups for their forthcoming tour! The S2 numbers have doubled this season thanks to the fantastic work of all the coaches and players and this tour will help them knit together as a team. Hope you have a great time boys!


S1s had a difficult month with losses against Currie and North Berwick but bounced back with a win in their last match against a combined East Kilbride and Strathaven side. The last match was played in fantastic weather and the hospitality at EK was very much appreciated.


The Biggar AGM was held and Al did a fantastic job of summing up the goings-on in his first year of being Biggar RFC President. This year has been packed full of activity with the 40th Anniversary Ball, the Pitch Development fundraising and the development itself and, of course, the much anticipated Bill McLaren dinner. What a year we’ve had!


A ‘Meet the Coaches’ night was held at the Club to which coaches from the first XV to the micros were invited to come along as a thank you for all their hard work during the season.  The highlight of the night (for me) was finding out that Jan and Carolyn had brought along a magical toffee crisp traybake. I don’t really remember much after that………….


During May, all the Awards Presentations were held for the Youth Sections. Here are a few Biggar RFC Alternative Awards for those who didn’t qualify for the main awards:


Longest speech award: Chris Kelly


Stuck in the 80s Music Award: Andrew Smith


Most Heinous Act of the Season: Al Stewart for stealing the most amazing, beautiful Toffee crisp cake bar slice (even though you gave it back in the end, I still have palpitations when I think about it)


Kevin Costner award: Iain Chisholm for your TV presence, but don’t get all bigheaded again, these awards aren’t real.


Best Couple Award: Susan and Jock Gray, for feeding us all day, every day.


DIY SOS Award: Nigel and Peter – Founder members of the Old Boys Construction Club. They have overseen the pitch development and managed to turn the empty, run down match day pie hut into a snazzy base for Rugby Manager Nic… Here on to be known as “Nic’s Hut”.

 

And here the Awards ceremony comes to a close, along with the May Biggar Picture.


Look out for the final 2015/16 edition at the end of June.


I’m sure you will all be waiting in antici…

 

Rhiannon


BIGGAR RFC SUMMER CAMPS 2016

Aged 5 - 15? Come and TRY rugby at Biggar RFC Rams' Summer Camps!

 

4th - 7th July : 9am - 15:30

25th - 28th July : 9am - 15:30

 

To book a place contact Iain on 07713355875 with the participants name, school year, emergency contact details, days booking onto and any health issues.

 


Rugby action on Sat 21st May

The Girls U-15's and Boys S1 squads meanwhile journeyed to Carrick and East Kilbride respectively for a matches which they both eventually won comfortably.
At Carrick the Biggar girls found themselves up against a strong side, with 26 players. Biggar dominated play, despite the loss of captain Sarah Denholm after 14mins play with a suspected dislocation to her knee.


The real strength of the team was shown late on in the game, when Carrick encamped on our goal line for almost 5 mins, but determined defending resulted in Biggar eventually running out of their own 22, and scoring a further try. Final score 36 - 20 for Biggar in their last game of the season. A huge thanks to all the girls and parents, friends etc who have turned up at the games.

 

Congratulations to the 17 boys from the S1s today who played away at East Kilbride against a combined EK/Strathaven team. The first 15 minutes were closely contested at 3 trys all but Biggar kept working hard and eventually scored 12 more trys without conceding any more to end the game winners 15-3. Thanks to the boys for there commitment and hard work all season.


Special thanks to Ewan Hannah who volunteered to play for the opposition for the last 20 minutes.


U-15’s v Ballina tourists

Biggar Ballina

Making friends, making memories, making progress and winning!

 

Saturday 7th May at Hartree mill was really what rugby is all about.  Ballina under 15’s arrived from the west coast of Ireland determined to make an impression - and that they did. It's difficult to say what was most entertaining. A game that offered up 8 cracking try's, an Irish jig with all 40 boys on the pitch at the end of the game or the renditions of Flower of Scotland and the Fields of Athenry in the clubhouse from the teams.  One thing is for sure, every young man who turned out for both clubs had a great day.

 

In the midst of all the fun, a great game of rugby was played by 2 good sides.  Ballina were small but well drilled, quick and intelligent.  Biggar had a big powerful pack and a good strong-running set of backs to take the game to the visitors. 

 

As it was, the first score of the game had a bit of “business as usual” about it.  Decent work from the forwards in midfield saw the ball recycled to Josh and he simply ran for the line.  He had a lot of work to do but the big man has proved elusive before and he did again.  Ballina tried to bring him down but he just kept going touching down out wide under pressure from 3 backs.  An excellent conversion from Finlay Stewart who kicked 4 from 5 took the score to 7-0 to the hosts.

 

Ballina came storming out of the bocks determined to seize the initiative.  A concerted spell of pressure inside the Biggar 22 deserved a score but the defence was not to be breached.  A knock on gave Biggar the scrum and the ball was secured. It was kept in the forwards to try and secure more ground and when the ball was passed to Finlay Stewart at 10 a clearing kick was expected.  He saw the space on his left and passed out to Drew who took off.  Ballina gave chase manfully but Drew kept going and touched down under the posts.  Tough luck on the visitors but great vision from Biggar.

 

Half time Biggar 14 – Ballina 0

 

Into the second half and Biggar seemed to switch off for a spell.  Ballina had a number of quick backs and when they got going they were difficult to stop.  The big number 13 was very confident with ball in hand and started to pull the strings.  When a series of tackles were missed, he managed to touchdown under the posts.  Bizarrely the conversion would have been better suited to Hampden than Murrayfield as it was drilled into the top corner under the bar!!

 

Biggar responded with a mirror image try.  Craig frame won the ball well in midfield and ran through a sea of missed tackles to touch down under the posts.  Biggar fans hoping that the game would start to run away from Ballina were to be disappointed.  They showed great determination but they were helped back into the game by a couple of very poor kicked clearances from inside the Biggar 22.  The first was well charged down by the visitors, courtesy of their Gaelic Football background according to their supporters.  The second was a miskick that was caught and run in.  Game back on at Biggar 21 – Ballina 17.

 

As the visitors began to tire Biggar started to dominate.  The bigger pack started winning lineouts and scrums against the head and when you have the ball the game is easier.  Biggar saved the best to last and the last 2 trys were both excellent.  First up Craig Frame finished off a move that started in the middle of the park when the 2 Harry’s - Archibald and Low - counter-rucked well to secure the ball.  The forwards ploughed ahead and were well supported by probing runs and clever movement from the backs.  Almost every Biggar player must have had a part to play but the ball ended up with Craig and he touched down well.

 

Last up was a try for Finlay Stewart.  He played an excellent game at number 10 for Biggar and rounded the scoring off with a try going in wide left past tired looking challenges from the visitors.  A great score and a deserved reward for him.
Full Time Biggar 33 – Ballina 17.

 

An excellent way for the under 15’s to round off their season, a win against a good side and a good craic with the visitors.  The team have worked hard to get a win this second half of the season and some of their performances have gone unrewarded but today was a just reward for all.  The development of every player this year has been apparent for all to see and they have the makings of a good side if they keep working hard.  Credit is due to coaches, John, Mark, Donald and Aird who continue to do a superb job getting a team on the park every week.


Match reports from the weekend

S1 at Ayr

Biggar 29 Ayr 20.

On the 1st of May Biggar S1s took their first trip to the seaside visiting Ayr to pit themselves against another team from the Presidents Conferance.

For the first 15 minutes Biggar played as if they were on the beach letting in 3 trys. Then the fightback began firstly with a wingers try from Fraser Simpson followed up with a mazy run and try from Ross Henderson. At the end of the first period of 20 minutes the score was 9 - 6 to the hosts but Biggar thought they were on the ascendency.

It was a shock therefore to lose 2 more trys at the start of the second period. Again Biggar fought back with a determined drive from Connor Lister and then Jonathan Smith. With one effort from each side  converted the score at the end of the second period was 16 - 13.

Then finally in the final period Biggar believed in themselfs and played. A short pick up and drive from Cameron Armstrong got the scores equal. Next Biggar started to zip the ball across the pitch with some great handling, probing for gaps with hard running on the wings from numerous players. Daryl broke off the wing and through the middle off loaded from a tackle to Euan and eventually giving space for Archie Damer to go through the middle under the posts. Ayr replied with a converted try but the game momentum had shifted and another run near the wing saw Fraser get over for his second. Then the forwards set up various position's and Jonathan got over for 2 more with the score ending 20 - 29 to Biggar. Euan Laing credited with 2 conversions and Murray Lean as captain for the day.

When the squad started to play, win rucks, press the opposition and cover for each other on the wings the momentum was decisive. This was an excellant tough performance and given the squad was a couple of players short of full strength all the more satisfying.

 

Under 15’s continue their search for victory

Biggar 14 – Cumnock 26

Biggar under 15’s lined up against Cumnock at Hartree Mill on Sunday looking to continue their recent upsurge in form.  That was in evidence on Sunday but unfortunately could not be matched with a victory that much of their play deserved. 

One look at the Cumnock website and you will see that their under 15 team is high quality opposition – 2 weeks previously they were contesting the West of Scotland Cup Final versus Glasgow Hawks.  That level of quality showed in the game but it was matched by determined Biggar play. 

The opening 20 minutes were a tight affair, Biggar with the wind at their backs had Cumnock contained in their half for most of it but couldn’t get close to the try line due to some stout defending and the odd slip of concentration at crucial times.  This was to prove costly when from an innocuous turnover, Cumnock went the length of the field.  They came close but great defence kept the game scoreless.  It was Cumnock’s turn to press and eventually they managed to get in at the corner.  The try went unconverted.

Biggar came roaring back with a great score from Niall Ball.  Great hands from the backs saw the ball driven to the 5 meter line and with the forwards bashing through Niall showed great craft to elude 2 challenges and dive in under the posts. 

The conversion took us to 7 – 5 Biggar at half time.

Into the second half and the tight game continued.  Biggar had some great spells of pressure with excellent hard rucking from the forwards and good direct running from the backs but the odd dropped ball and misplaced passes were to prove costly.  Failing to capitalise on a great overlap gave Cumnock possession back.  They got the ball to their big Number 10 who was excellent the whole game and he went through a number of tackles to see them in under the posts. 

Biggar were not to be fazed by this and continued to work well but again decision making was to cost them.  A great opportunity deep in the Cumnock half was kicked into their 22 when keeping hold of the ball looked the better option.  It was gobbled up by their number 10 who did what he had done earlier.  He took off for the line and ran the length of the pitch to score.  A great effort from him and not what Biggar’s play had deserved. 

Biggar got right back in it from the kick off, great work again by the forwards recycled the ball and a penalty was popped to Josh.  The big man has a history of great individual try’s this season and he didn’t disappoint.  He broke the line well and just kept going.  Cumnock’s back line tried to catch him and when they did they just couldn’t stop him.  Great run and great try!  The conversion had Biggar back at 14-19.  Game on!!

Unfortunately Cumnock then showed the grit that I have no doubt got them to their cup final.  From the kick off they simply kept the ball well.  Worked it into the Biggar 22 and drove and drove.  Biggar withstood pressure for 5/10 miuntes but eventually it told and an great offload took Cumnock over.

Full Time Biggar 14 – Cumnock 26

An excellent game from both sides played competitively and with a true rugby spirit.  Some excellent phases of play from Biggar and with just a little more polish the result could have been different.


16’s bring home more silverware

Boroughmuir 15   Biggar 20
If you didn't manage along to Meggetland on Sunday you missed a belter!


Quite simply, this was a nerve shredding affair that could have gone either way but Biggar U16's proved that you get rewarded for putting everything on the line right to the end. However, leaving it late is an understatement! Conceding a try with five minutes to go to put the hosts 5 points clear and left the travelling support gutted. But to claw two back in the dying minutes was nothing short of spectacular! Those with a nervous disposition had to look away at one point.


Boroughmuir was a slightly different looking side from that of the one Biggar defeated comfortably last year and were equally up to the job but the visitors struck early on with Sam Wallis touching down in the right corner after some simple hands through the back division.


That settled the team a bit and Biggar had all the momentum at that point even although they were only three minutes in.


Biggar kept their foot on the gas and continued to press through the forwards. Guy Kelly was a key figure in this closely supported by his front row mates. On the 23rd minute, after a number of close quarter phases, the ball popped out to Lewis Stewart who spotted a narrow gap and squeezed over the whitewash for Biggar's second. Robbie Orr narrowly missed the conversion.


At this point there were no concerns and the visitors were going about their business as usual. Biggar were focussed but Boroughmuir were dangerous!


Recurring infringements in the breakdown were picked up by the referee and Biggar were penalised. The hosts advanced.......


Any thoughts that this was going to be a straight forward encounter were quickly dispelled in the 35th minute. 'Muir' slipped a tackle or two and advanced to the Biggar 5m line.
The Biggar defence was resolute though but they switched off for a split second and paid the price when the No.8 crashed over to open Boroughmuir's account.


10-5 up at half time was okay but far from safe.


Boroughmuir came flying out the traps at the start of the second half and put the Biggar defence under pressure. Multiple phases broke them down to make space. 'Muir' evened things up but it wasn't through lack of trying to stop them.


Stern words required though.


Boroughmuir were all over Biggar like a bad suit. But the game was getting 'nervy' and both sides were guilty of spilling possession under pressure, and clear-cut scoring chances proved at a premium. That's not to say the quality was poor, it was anything but.


Things boiled over somewhat with a 'spat' between a couple of players...about 20.....and it  spilled over the touchline.....and referee had to calm things down a bit. Charles Connolly got to rest his legs for 10 minutes.


Few bookies would have taken a bet on the winner at this point. The draw looked likely.   Until.........5 minutes from time Boroughmuir broke away after a Biggar fumble and went ahead.
The Edinburgh side were now odds-on favorites.


You don't get rid of Biggar that easily. Call it what you like....a light bulb moment, a stubborn mindset, a desire to win. Biggar pulled off the gutsiest turn around you've ever seen.
To a man, every one of them contributed.


Biggar pressed up the field and asserted pressure on their opposition. The backs had good hands all day but up to this point things never came off. As the ball went wide Rowan Stewart motored forward and popped a beautifully timed pass to Rory Wesencraft on the wing. The speed merchant got over the line, just, to bring the score to 15-15.
Everyone thought that was it. But no, still time left.


Boroughmuir had possession and kicked through. Rowan Stewart gathered and burst forward. A penalty for obstruction gave Biggar the upper hand. Rather than throwing it to the nearest player in black, Kotze let Kelly do the work to draw in the defenders. Stuart Forrest,  loitering some way back, delayed his run at the back of the ruck until he could brake into a menacing stride. 10m out and Stuart was being closed down. Time was up, this was the very last play. It had to happen right there. Screams of "Hands" were coming from everyone. Forrest didn't disappoint. The Sonny Bill 'esque' off load found it's way into Matthew Stewart's hands who dived over the line to score what was a superb try bourne of commitment and desire.


That was it! Full-time! Biggar Win! The crowd went mad!


What a stunning performance from these boys.


Just when we thought it was all over they go and pull it out the bag.


"Don't wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect"


U16 Coach Alistair Stewart said;

"I am immensely proud of these boys and the great things they've achieved over the last couple of years. Good luck for the future.
And to you, the supporters. Always there. Always positive. I thank you for your affectionate support over the years, and thanks too for the wonderful memories."

 

Many thanks to all those who travelled to support the boys on Sunday.
For some the trip to Boroughmuir was only the start of their day as they stayed on to watch the play in the Boroughmuir Mini tournament. Others made the stop off in Edinburgh while 'on route' to Gala – not an obvious route for those going from Biggar, while another equally committed batch left just after the final whistle to return home to Hartree Mill to watch the Girls play Cartha!
All round an excellent effort from all!


Girls match reports

Although Biggar's 1st XV recorded a deserved win in their last home match of the season, the BIG news from Hartree Mill came on Friday evening when the Girls sides, U-15's and U-18's, both returned from Murrayfield having won their respective Cup and Bowl matches.


This is a truly maginficent achievement for the girls, the club, their coaches and their parents. Despite the efforts of their opponents, Murrayfield Wanderers and Oban, both of whom played well, the Biggar girls were a cut above in terms of technical skill, support, pace, speed and togetherness. They played so well that no-one who attended could have been anything other than extemely impressed by their performance.

 

U-15 Scottish Cup
Murrayfield Wanderers 17 Biggar 38

This match was played on the international Murrayfield pitch – what an opportunity for these young girls to play on this pitch which has such a standing in Scottish rugby. As the first match of the evening the girls from both sides took a little time to adjust to the occasion with nerves leading to several dropped balls and missed passes.


Thereafter however, the game settled down, Biggar gaining first 'blood' with a score from Feebi Robinson who also starred last year when the girls won this trophy. Kaylee Fraser kicked a wonderful conversion, this the first of a flawless display which saw her kick successfully on 6 occasions and from all angles and distances.


Kaylee then added the second try and conversion for 14-0. M/Wands are no walkover however and they hit back with try of their own after some powerful running and support. Crucially, they did not convert and so Biggar held the advantage.


Just before half time Anna McDairmid ran in Biggar's third, Kaylee's conversion taking the half time score to 21-5.


Eilidh Sandilands had almost the perfect start with a try almost directly from kick off but the ball slipped out of her hands as she prepared to touch down. A penalty kicked by Kaylee increased Biggar's total but again M/Wands hit back with their second score.


Eilidh made no mistake with her next run, taking full advantage to get on the score sheet. Kaylee kicked for 31-10. M/Wands hit back again with a try and conversion to give them some hope at 31-17 but with time running out Kaylee added her second try of the evening which she converted to put the icing on the cake.


With 23 points this had been an outstanding contribution and one which she will remember for ever! While there is undoubted bias and no doubting the eventual recipient's pedigree, all present who supported Biggar believed that Kaylee's was a performance worthy of the man-of-the- match award. Insteaq this went to the M/Wands stand off who to be fair, ran very well and possessed a brilliant side step which saw her score two tries.


The final whistle heralded huge cheering and celebrations from all associated with Biggar – and what a magnificent support there was with a supporters bus and numerous others travelling under their own steam. Thank you to all who travelled to support the girls.


Spare a thought for Mollie who missed out on the match after a warm up head clash which prevented herfrom playing. It is some consolation but she will be age next season if Biggar can make the final and defend their title.

 


U-18 Scottish Bowl
Biggar 41 Oban 15

Less than half an hour later and with the arrival of more supporters for this match, the U-18's ran out for their Bowl final, this match played on the back pitches.


In the cold evening air Biggar gave their opponents a head start as the nerves appeared to get to them, much as it had the 15's in the earlier match. A long run in gave Oban the start they must surely have wished for but Biggar were soon back on track as they scored their first try this from Amy Watkins.


Abbi Baillie notched Biggar's second, this another from a huge run.


Given the accuracy of Kaylee's kicking in the first match it is perhaps not surprising that the goal kicking in this match was not quite of the same standard. Having said that, the additiional two points from the first two conversions were added by Emily Armstrong to give Biggar a 14-5 lead. She converted 3 in total – again not a bad percentage!


Biggar were struggling to match the referee's interpretation of several rules – not back 10 metres at penalties being one - which gave Oban huge territorial gains with little or no effort.


Despite this 'handicap' Biggar stretched their lead at fairly regular intervals although there was always the concern that the Edinburgh outfit could hit back. And of course with the score at 36-5 this they did with two further tries. They were unable to halt the Biggar bandwagon which had the last word with a seventh score.


Other tries for Biggar were from Amy who notched her double, Kim Laird, this a cheeky number and atypical of a good No 9, Jennifer Bell (2) from sheer power and grit and Megan Mcleod, who gave the Oban defence no chance from 5 metres out.


Abbi Baillie, who unfortunately had to come off before the end of the match after taking a head knock, was voted the Man-of-the-match – a deserved accolade for someone who continues to progress.


Once again, the final whistle was met with massive cheers from all assembled, the 15's, unlike the 18's who had had to leave the first match to prepare for their own game, able to join in the celebrations.


The presntations were carried out by some of the current Scotland Womens international XCV and given the standard of the play on Friday it surely cannot be long before one of the Biggar girls pull on the famous blue shirt. In doing so they would follow in the footstpes of Scotland's most capped rugby internationalist, namely Donna Kennedy who began her career at Biggar some 25 years ago.


A number of the 18's will now move up to the senior game and this will hopefully ensure that the club can field a senior side in next year's National Development League.

Indeed Biggar will host the next round of this competition when the clubs visit Hartree Mill on Sunday 10th April. Anyone interested in playing but unsure as to what is involved is warmly encouraged to attend.


Youth section take on city side Boroughmuir

S1's v Boroughmuir
Teams arent made they grow bit by bit through hard work sweat, training, winning and losing together. Today 16 players in the Biggar S1 squad each grew a little more as a team through winning a tough competative match at Boroughmuir.


The game kicked off in bright winter sun and immediately Biggar were in the ascendancy, phase after phase pressed Boroughmuir back into their 22 but all attacks were suppressed by the home teams defense. A break out to the half way line caused concern only for Biggar to regain procession and string some passes together with eventually a bulldozing run by Cameron Armstrong down the right wing yeilding the first try in the right hand corner.Biggar quickly contained the restart and after a scrum won ball and sent Fraser Simpson free on the right wing to wrestle the ball to ground in the same corner for the second.


Boroughmuir pressed forward and Biggar had to defend their line from a 5m line out and then a scrum but held firm until a Boroughmuir  knock on was hacked on by Murray Lean to release the pressure to the half way line.The resulting attacking phase saw Biggar swing the ball right, realign then swing the ball left through Jonathan Smith, Ross Henderson and great mazy run by Archie Dammer on the left wing  stopped 4 m from the line a pop pass to Ross gained another 3 yards from the resulting ruck Jonathan picked and dived for a great team try.


Half time was 9 - 0,


The start of the second half saw Boroughmuir kick long and from the resulting return kick and maul score under the posts and convert.Biggar quickly scored and then put together great phases of passing interchanges between forwards and backs.


From an attacking scrum Fraser came of his wing accepting a deft pass from Euan Laing to sprint through the middle to score under the posts converted by Archie Damer.
The next came from a trade mark direct forwards run from Cameron, followed up by the opposite a quick ball out to the wing first for Chris Brett to beat a few defenders for an offload to Fraser to round the defence from 30 m and score under the posts.The final try came from a quick tap and go from Murray to Jonathan to sprint through a demoralised defense for a final unconverted try.The squad defended and pressurised the opposition relentlessly creating good opportunities. Every player contributed 110% to the result and the game special mentions go to Ewan Hannah and Issac in their second and first games respectfully both looked as if they had played many more games and will play many more. Having a squad of 16 on the day and being able to rotate players and positions strengthen the team greatly.

Final score 27 - 4.
(3 points a try 1 for a conversion).

 


15’s getting better!

Biggar Under 15's come oh so close

Biggar 24 Boroughmuir 27


Biggar under 15's played Boroughmuir at the Showfield on Sunday in what was their first home game since November!  After last week’s rusty display at West of Scotland a tough game was expected and that was exactly what ensued.  Some great skill, big hits and flowing rugby were on display from both sides and an excellent game followed.

Boroughmuir started quickly and had Biggar under constant pressure for almost all of the first half.  Biggar defended doggedly throughout but 2 excellent scores from Boroughmuir had them leading 12 nil at halftime.

The second half kicked off and Biggar came roaring out of the traps.  An excellent team try was finished off by Niall Ball wide on the left.  Good quick ball landed in Josh's hands and the big man ran straight for the line.  Drawing three defenders he popped the ball well to Niall who dove over. 

Biggar were level 5 minutes later with another score from that man Ball!  Again the ball was well secured by the pack who were beginning to dominate Boroughmuir and was played quickly out to Niall deep in their 22.  With a couple of players on the overlap, he saw a gap that wasn't obvious to those of us watching and burst through 3 defenders to score a great try.  Finaly Stewart converted to bring us to 12-12.

The game then ebbed and flowed with Boroughmuir scoring then Biggar replying.  Boroughmuir always just seemed to manage to get ahead again when Biggar threatened to catch them. 

Biggar scored two more tries both from Ali Steele out wide on the left.  The first was from a superbly worked kick off.  Robbie lobbed a perfect kick off out to Shawn who took it brilliantly.  He ran on and great support from Jamie Bell and Niall Ball saw the ball won and recycled to Ali who still had a lot to do but made it over the line.  Steele took the conversion himself and was just short with an excellent effort.

Ali's second try was almost a carbon copy of the opening try.  Great work from the pack saw the ball recycled over a number of phases.  The ball ended up out wide left in the hands of Hugo Baillie who drew a couple of defenders and passed to Ali to cross. 

Steele converted fantastically with the last act of the game to bring the final score of Biggar 24 Boroughmuir 27.

This was an excellent game of rugby and Biggar can feel very unlucky not to have won but equally Boroughmuir were a very well drilled side who had done well in their conference this year so a narrow loss is by no means an embarrassment.  Following the loss to West last week the coaches would have been looking for a reaction from the boys and they got it.  Hard work, team play and flowing rugby were on display and every one of them can be proud of their performance.


Youth rugby

Biggar 34 West of Scotland 0

So after 14 cold winter weeks with only 1 game the S1s came up against West from the Presidents Conference. Following some early frost the game was played in glorious clear skys with something bright and unfamiliar in the sky.
The squad was also unfamiliar, several players being asked to play with unusual numbers on their back.
The game started briskly with Cameron breaking through the middle after only a minute to score under the posts converted by Archie.
That was followed quickly by Chris using his speed to go in for the second. The game then slowed for a bit but constant Biggar pressure was used by a nice run, show and go by nr 10 on the day for Euan to score in the right hand corner. The first 15 minutes ended 10 - 0.
The coaches moved a few players round for the next period
which seemed to interrupt the flow but still resulted in 4 trys.
2 for Jonathan 1 for Ruadhri and 1 for Fraser. Highlights were a 50 m run and score under the posts from Fraser from the right wing and a Jonathan score under the posts from a 5 yard penalty with a bit of rocket ball help from Daryl.
The final period saw West contest possession much more and almost score. The Biggar team dug in and got a try from Cameron and then possibly the nicest try came with ball passed all across the pitch to Chris on the wing, a little move inside then out tricked 3 defenders for a lovely finishing try.
Conversion were shared by Euan Laing and Archie Damer.
Finishing score 34 - 0.
Congratulations and welcome aboard goes to Ewan Hannah who played his first game for the team today and aquited himself very well in the middle of the forwards.
Big gain today in adapatability of players and positions, great know how and rugby thinking in mainy aspects of the game but also some rusty parts of basic play and some choices and phases disicipline to work on. Overall though a very good performance. Thanks to West and their coaches for also playing and competing every minute of the match.

 

Boroughmuir 4 Biggar 27

Teams arent made they grow bit by bit through hard work sweat, training, winning and losing together. Today 16 players in the Biggar S1 squad each grew a little more as a team through winning a tough competative match at Boroughmuir.

The game kicked off in bright winter sun and immediately Biggar were in the ascendancy, phase after phase pressed Boroughmuir back into their 22 but all attacks were suppressed by the home teams defense. A break out to the half way line caused concern only for Biggar to regain procession and string some passes together with eventually a bulldozing run by Cameron Armstrong down the right wing yeilding the first try in the right hand corner.

Biggar quickly contained the restart and after a scrum won ball and sent Fraser Simpson free on the right wing to wrestle the ball to ground in the same corner for the second.
Boroughmuir pressed forward and Biggar had to defend their line from a 5m line out and then a scrum but held firm until a Boroughmuir  knock on was hacked on by Murray Lean to release the pressure to the half way line.

The resulting attacking phase saw Biggar swing the ball right, realign then swing the ball left through Jonathan Smith, Ross Henderson and great mazy run by Archie Dammer on the left wing  stopped 4 m from the line a pop pass to Ross gained another 3 yards from the resulting ruck Jonathan picked and dived for a great team try.

Half time was 9 - 0, The start of the second half saw Boroughmuir kick long and from the resulting return kick and maul score under the posts and convert.

Biggar quickly scored and then put together great phases of passing interchanges between forwards and backs.
From an attacking scrum Fraser came of his wing accepting a deft pass from Euan Laing to sprint through the middle to score under the posts converted by Archie Damer.
The next came from a trade mark direct forwards run from Cameron, followed up by the opposite a quick ball out to the wing first for Chris Brett to beat a few defenders for an offload to Fraser to round the defence from 30 m and score under the posts.

The final try came from a quick tap and go from Murray to Jonathan to sprint through a demoralised defense for a final unconverted try.

The squad defended and pressurised the opposition relentlessly creating good opportunities. Every player contributed 110% to the result and the game special mentions go to Ewan Hannah and Issac in their second and first games respectfully both looked as if they had played many more games and will play many more.

Having a squad of 16 on the day and being able to rotate players and positions strengthen the team greatly.

Final score 27 - 4
(3 points a try 1 for a conversion)


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.


Tries: Luhann Kotze, Stuart Forrest (2), Fin Stott, Robbie Orr, Rowan Stewart, Matthew Stewart.
Conv: Robbie Orr, Rowan Stewart, Ali Steele (2)


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!!


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.


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.

 

S1's

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.

 

S2's

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.

Pictures: thanks to Adrian Hunt

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.

U16's

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.
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)


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