Biggar Colts show the way and Secure League Championship
Hamilton Colts 6pts v Biggar Colts 25pts .
Green Conference – Saturday 3rd December 2016
Biggar Colts followed on from last year and again retained the Green Conference on Saturday after a strong performance against 2nd place Hamilton winning 25 points to 6 points.
The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a teams determination .Never give up! There are no secrets to their success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure. The work and effort that the Colts continue to put in throughout training and the game day is the reason that they have achieved so much over the last few years making.
Biggar traveled to Hamilton knowing that their opponents had been in top form in their recent league games and would prove to be a challenge. Biggar would have to weather an early storm and this they did as Hamilton started the game at a ferocious pace and constantly tried to knock holes through the defence with their ball carrier at Number 8 showing that tackling would have to be at its best to stop him. The answer was that Biggar did show a solid defence and were closing Hamilton down quickly and with force.
With the amount of domination that Hamilton had, they must have been frustrated how they just could not put points on the board and a major reason was the Biggar defence was not going to give and at times the defence was turning into attack.
Biggar were also having to cope with the set piece domination but no matter what was thrown at them they were not going to give any ground.
Both teams had chances in the 1st half but all that was to show was a penalty kick each.
Half Time : Hamilton 3 pts v Biggar 3 pts
Biggar knew they now had overcome the on slot and if the ball could be put out to the backs then results could happen and it did.
The forwards who had found it hard in the 1st half were now more organised and were proving a match which allowed more ball to be be set for the backs.
Early on the ball moved wide to allow Euan Bogle to create an overlap and then pass to Matthew Stewart who with tremendous speed and direct running went over for the 1st try.
Hamilton replied with a penalty kick.
Biggar now had the upper hand and when the ball was moved to Andrew Jardine he was able to make a break and then pass to Matthew Stewart who again showed direct running to go over which was then converted by Euan Bogle.
Hamilton could not now cope with the Biggar attack and especially when kicks were forcing them to turn.
With a impressive set move the final pass went to Robbie Orr who managed to evade his tackler and run in from 30 yards out . The backs were now showing what they can with space do and the confidence shown to do set moves was impressive.
Not long after the ball was moved again wide out to allow Euan Bogle to cut in then from the tackle offload to Matthew Stewart who in turn got tackled short of the line but was aware to pop up to Rory McGinn to score the final try.
Final Score :Hamilton 6 points to Biggar 25 points.
Yes there will be much to work on in the coming weeks but nothing can take away the commitment that these boys showed especially when under so much pressure early on .
Hamilton had the vast share of the ball in the 1st half but they just could not break through . They must have at times wondered why these Biggar boys just never gave in no matter what was thrown at them.
This was a great squad effort by all and Coaches Ian Barr , David Murray and Gavin Hill continue to be proud of these boys.
Well done to all
Next week is the final league game against Whitecraigs away
Colts continue to bring success to the club and are recognised as one of the most consistent top teams in Scotland. They will now progress to the Scottish Youth Cup with a home tie against tournament favourites Stirling on January 14th.
Story date: 05/12/2016
Biggar Colts In Full Control Away To GHA
GHA Colts 7 pts v Biggar Colts 57pts.
Green Conference – Saturday 12th November 2016
“Victory is much more meaningful when it comes not just from one person, but from the joint achievements of many together” and this is why Biggar Colts continue to constantly achieve as they work every week for each other .
Again on Saturday they put in an impressive performance to dominate GHA from the start and put 57 points to 7 points on the score sheet which included 9 tries.
Each week more injuries appear on paper to have weakened the team but that may be down to perception which relies on instant judgment and this has proven to be so wrong as the others just come forward and step up to the mark.
To lose Stuart Forrest who we wish well, was a blow as he was playing so well and then Guy Kelly for a few weeks has not be to the detriment of the squad as on Saturday Jordan Gray and Andrew Nimmo certainly took the initiative in the forwards.
With a larger away support than the home team, Biggar set out to take the upper hand early on and this they did with constant fast ball moving out to both sides before Luhann Kotze exploited the blind to run some 30 yards to score the 1st try which was well converted by Euan Bogle.
It was both Luhann and Euan who were causing GHA problems early on with good running and fast hands along with assurance under high ball from Euan.
Another attack with fast hands allowed Matthew Stewart to make a break but was stopped just short which with quick recycled ball Luhann Kotze quickly saw a gap and dived over for a score.
GHA then found problems with the Biggar forwards and no more so than with Andrew Nimmo who when allowed to take the ball at speed was constantly rampaging up the field and he scored a well taken try which was converted by Euan Bogle.
GHA then made the mistake of kicking again to Andrew Nimmo who then took the ball at speed and like a Limousin Bull , charged up the field only to be stopped short and with quick ball it was seized on by Jordan Grey who ran at a clever angle to score. In fact Jordan then showed he could also take the lead and he himself took good ball from the half backs to score his second after a terrific run which was converted by Euan Bogle. Jordan was coming onto his game impressively
Forwards moving well while the backs were moving the ball out as wide quickly and cleanly. Biggar were also clearing their liunes well and in their half Robbie Orr was constantly making GHA turn due to some great kicks down field which GHA were not coping well with.
Half Time : GHA 0 points to Biggar 31 points
Now GHA were down in numbers and it was put to them if they wanted to concede and play a development half. This seemed to be agreed and Biggar let 4 players go early to the Autumn international at Murrayfield. However they did not which was confusing and also did not want to take some Biggar players. Biggar did drop numbers to 13 and with this the second half started.
This time it was the backs who got going and with ball moved out well to the wings . Aaron Dobie ran well and cut inside players to score under the posts which was converted by Euan Bogle.
In fact it was Aaron who scored the next with some fine attacking play and clever cutting of angles that allowed him in for his 2nd which was converted by Euan, again.
Biggar then got a bit lazy and a poor pass allowed GHA to intercept and run some 60 yards to score. Biggar did continue for a period to have to rely on last ditch tackling a few times when GHA started to unleash their impressive prop who regularly made good ground. However good defensive work denied him tries and when he was contained Biggar took to the offensive again and with ball moved out wide Alex Toal went in the corner to score.
The last try of the day fell to the ever present reliable Rory McGinn to score a fine try which was converted by Euan.
Good 1st half was a bit diluted by a strange 2nd half which really offered little for both teams .
Good squad performance but there were also some notable performances .
In the forwards Jordan Grey and Andrew Nimmo rampaged all round the park . Gavin Raftery lead the boys well and in fact showed high a level of skills with his athletic presence all round the park.
In the backs Luhann Kotze continues to cause issues everywhere along with Rory McGinn. The Dobie wingers with their incredible physique just run at and tackle anything no matter what is put in front of them. Euan Bogle put in a very mature performance as he was solid at the back which is a great assurance to have and he is attacking lines at speed and showing quick hands.
Biggar now regroup and will start to build for their last 3 league games and will be bolstered by others returning from injury.
Final Score : GHA 7 points to Biggar 57 points
Next week is a home league game against Falkirk
Story date: 14/11/2016
Biggar Colts shut the door on Dunfermline
Biggar Colts 33pts v Dunfermline Colts 0pts .
Green Conference – Saturday 29thOctober 2016
Success doesn't become reality through luck; it takes sweat, hardwork and determination.
If Biggar Colts are to achieve their objectives this season then it is the belief in themselves and they fear of not wanting to let their team down that will drive them to their destination.
The Colts took another step towards their goal by overcoming a strong Dunfermline side on Saturday to win by 33 points to 0 points.
On another ideal day for running rugby Biggar took the game to Dunfermline early and after good running rugby the ball was moved Robbie Orr who kicked ahead and chased to score the 1st try with Ali Steele converting. Forwards were laying good foundation ball to allow it to be put out to the backs who continually made yards out wide with good hands but were failing to actually break through with Dunfermline having to do some frantic last gasp defending.
Guy Kelly was leading from the front and he was rewarded with his efforts by taking the ball at speed and powering over for a score converted by Ali Steele. Each week Luhann Kotze makes his mark on the game and no more so in this encounter as he was able to take advantage of scrappy ball from Dunfermline to score which was gain converted by Steele. Luhann not only was solid in his attacking game but he had to deal with at times unsecured ball at rucks as Dunfermline often counter rucked well. His partnership with Robbie Orr who himself is making his mark in every game is continually developing. Biggar in the 1st half were not going to let Dunfermline into the game and were causing continual issues for them out wide . In the Biggar pack along with Guy Kelly , Craig Frame was quickly hampering any Dunfermline attack with his ferocious tackling. With the backs Rory McGinn was a thorn to the opponents with fast play and hard tackling which was well backed up by Matthew Stewart. Both Marcus and Aaron Dobie continue to be a match for an any opposing backs with their tenacious tackling and darting runs. No matter how hard they are hit they just seem to bounce off their tacklers and keep going.
Half Time Biggar 21 points to Dunfermline 0 points
In the 2nd half Biggar made changes due to squad rotation and a few injuries were occurring. The game was not as fluent now and errors started to increase. However Biggar stuck to their task and continued to deny Dunfermline any chance to break through. Biggar were not themselves finding it easy to break through but Jordan Gray was starting to make good yards at times. Eventually after some time Biggar did score again, as a result of a break down at the back of a Dunfermline scrum , which Angus Kerr seized on to score. Angus Kerr was taking on the scrum half role from Luhann Kotze who was forced from the field with an injury . Angus thrived with some confident running , passing and tackling.
The tempo now lifted and it did not take long for Neil Jones who continues to improve bursting over the line to score which was converted by Ali Steele. Ali had been very secure at full back all day.
Final score with the result that Biggar had firmly shut the door on Dunfermline
Final Score ; Biggar 33 points to Dunfermline 0 points.
A well deserved victory with many positives to take from it. Attacking was well structured and continues to improve in organisation. In the forwards team work is improving and in the backs no matter who is playing in what position they are a threat all over the park. Playing and training in different positions is paying dividend.
Next week is a home league game against Dumfries Kick Off 2pm
Story date: 31/10/2016
U15 Bully past Bulls
Biggar U15’s bully past Bulls
The Lanarkshire derby of Hamilton and Biggar is one that is always hotly contested; no matter the age group, no matter the competition. Like all others, this weekend’s 15s game versus the Bulls did not fail to disappoint. Rueing a previously missed opportunity to beat their counterpart’s earlier in the season, the young lads refused to be pipped at the post twice and produced an enormous effort to take the win and halt the Hamilton’s league winning celebrations.
The game started frantically and with some serious physicality occurring all over the pitch. Early hits came from Will and James gave Hamilton an indication of what they were in for, but unfortunately it was the opposition who got the first points after a minor defensive error allowing their centre to score. Quickly after, the boys in green and blue got another under similar circumstances. Not the greatest start but certainly not unreachable. 0-14.
Having gotten over their early lapse, the young rams finally got into the swing of things, using their strong pack to gain yards and their backs to outstrip the Hamilton wings. The first try came from an increasingly characteristic maul on the Bulls twenty two. Having gained about ten yards it was brought down but momentum was not lost as Will and Jack carried strongly. Quick recycling and fast reactions from Callum McCallum resulted in big Jack bullying his way over the try line for Biggar’s first try. Back in the game. Conversion made. 7-14
Half time: Biggar – 7 Hamilton – 14
The second half begun like the end of the first, with Biggar on top. Straight from the kick off the ball found its way into the hands of the lightning quick Callum Smith. As ever, he backed his abilities and set off, running around the slow Hamilton pack and fending off the wing to run over the try line for an early Biggar try. Conversion excellently made again. 14-14
Biggar were now truly in control and it was beginning to take its toll on the young Bulls. More and more carries from the likes of Hayden and Andrew were reaping good yards and another try was inevitable. It came in the form of some very intelligent play from the Biggar boys. Our prop Jack picked the ball off the back of a ruck on halfway and fighting all his front row instincts, beautifully drew the man and popped the ball to Aaron in space who was eventually hauled down 15 out. A penalty was won however, and the ball was kicked to touch. Promptly the ball was won and tucked under the jumper in a maul which proved unstoppable, collapsing over the line the ball was raised by our hooker, try by Cameron and the lead to Biggar. Callum McCallum miraculously nailed the kick from the touch line to put us 21-14 ahead with ten to go. Squeaky bum time Indeed.
Hamilton came right back at us however and after some long pressure under our line they scored but missed the conversion. 21-19 with five to go, even squeakier.
More and more pressure ensued, but Biggar would not allow themselves to be robbed and defended valiantly, holding the ball up over the line. A few scrums later the impossible happened and Hamilton were awarded a questionable penalty in the last play, posts were opted for and the game was in the balance. An anxious minute followed with the pitch being silent. The Hamilton lad strode up and struck it well; the ball sailed and spun and swerved but would not come, drifting past the right upright. The whistle was blown and celebrations spread. The boys had done it.
Full time: Biggar-21 Hamilton-19
Credit to the Hamilton boys who gave us our most competitive game of the season. However, the ever present improvement of this young bunch of rugby players continues to march on. Skill and speed, pace and power, brains and brawn, nothing seems to be lacking at the moment. Maturity is beginning to flow through this team and a few leaders are really stepping up and taking responsibility. Every boy played his part and gave his all to put us in a position to win it at the end and its just that sweeter against a big rival of the club. Whilst it looks like Hamilton may still win the league with a win against Dumfries next week, we know we can compete with and beat them, no matter the league standings. Whitecraigs await us next week, another tough game, but we’ll be ready for it.
Story date: 07/12/2016
Minis in action at Watsons
Mini Section at Watsons with Falkirk (Sunday 20th Nov)
Story date: 22/11/2016
THE BIGGAR PICTURE - October November Edition
Welcome back. Lucky for you, the October and November edition are being mashed together… pumpkin spicing it up a little bit.
October started with the U15 and U18 girls making an 8 hour journey up to Caithness to play one of their conference games. Both teams won and it was great team building for all the gals… even got to stay in some interesting wee hostel rooms! After this, there were two conference games left – first up Hillhead Jordanhill. Yet again, it was another game and another win at both age groups. The final game of the conference was against Stirling County – who were also unbeaten. U15’s pulled through and won U15 conference title. Unfortunately, U18’s were pipped at the post and lost 19-17. Man of the match for U15’s was Abi Bandtock – congrats and well deserved! U18’s man of the match was Abbie Baillie – but it certainly wasn’t for her passing.
Biggar are currently sitting at 3rd place in the whole club conference table and the colts are at the top of the U18 table with 8 wins and 1 draw. Their last game was against GHA, which ended up becoming a development game due to GHA injuries.
S1 and U15 grabbed a win at the weekend with S2 and U16 unfortunately missing out. This weekend they play Falkirk – support would be appreciated. Minis A lot of delivery has been happening in primary schools across Biggar, Lanark and Carluke. The primary schools have had 4 or 5 week blocks teaching the basic skills and playing fun games... However they are all desperate for contact! Perfect opportunity to bring them along to the Come and Try Day which is happening on Sunday 4th December down at Biggar Rugby Club! While you're here you can also check out the new pitches! Refereeing The club are always looking for more volunteers to start refereeing. Level 1 refereeing courses are regularly available and the club can also help with some of the cost. If Cameron Forrest can do it then anyone can. Pitch Opening It's been a long wait but the pitch opening is due to take place this Friday night. This is where the 3 new pitches will be officially opened and played on for the first time – rather exciting! Come along as there will also be stalls you can buy some stocking fillers from as well as some great rugby to be watched! Hope you enjoyed this edition of the Biggar Picture. Happy Holidays!
S1 and U15 grabbed a win at the weekend with S2 and U16 unfortunately missing out. This weekend they play Falkirk – support would be appreciated.
A lot of delivery has been happening in primary schools across Biggar, Lanark and Carluke. The primary schools have had 4 or 5 week blocks teaching the basic skills and playing fun games... However they are all desperate for contact! Perfect opportunity to bring them along to the Come and Try Day which is happening on Sunday 4th December down at Biggar Rugby Club! While you're here you can also check out the new pitches!
The club are always looking for more volunteers to start refereeing. Level 1 refereeing courses are regularly available and the club can also help with some of the cost. If Cameron Forrest can do it then anyone can.
It's been a long wait but the pitch opening is due to take place this Friday night. This is where the 3 new pitches will be officially opened and played on for the first time – rather exciting! Come along as there will also be stalls you can buy some stocking fillers from as well as some great rugby to be watched!
Hope you enjoyed this edition of the Biggar Picture. Happy Holidays!
Youth section host Dumfries Saints
Biggar Under 16’s Dominate against Dumfries Saints
A beautiful early winters afternoon at Hartree Mill saw Biggar under 16’s take on their Green Conference counterparts from Dumfries and having lost the away fixture earlier in the season the Biggar boys were keen to make amends.
This was evident from kick off as Biggar scored with their first attack. Biggar kicked off deep into the Saints 22 and the team followed up well as a unit. Some excellent tackling had the Saints pinned in their own 22 followed up with good counter-rucking causing panic in the defence. The referee blew for a penalty to Biggar having seen illegal hands on the deck and Ali Steele didn’t hang about. From about 8 yards out he took the quick tap and dived for the line. First blood to Biggar. In tough windy conditions, the kick was missed.
This was the sign of things to come for most of the first half. The Biggar lads had their collective tails up and really took the game to Dumfries. The second score came from Cammy Snell. A great run by Josh JVR saw him barrel through the Saints defence deep into the 22. Harry Low followed up well and got to within sight of the line. From the resultant ruck, Cammy took the ball quickly and dived over to score. Again the conversion from wide left was missed.
The third Biggar try was an excellent team effort finished off by Sam Wallis but with great forward play setting it up and some excellent penetrating runs from the other backs. Once again a secure scrum was followed up with aggressive rucking to gain a real hold in the Saints half. Finn Barr picked the right time to go to his backs and first Ali then Drew made ground before getting the ball to Sam. He had work to do but finished well close to the posts to allow the conversion to be made.
Biggar had dominated the game completely with Dumfries not really showing in the home team half at all but with some good back play they managed to get over the line just at the end of the half
Half Time Biggar 17 Dumfries 5
Into the second half and Biggar were again unrelenting scoring a further 3 or 4 tries. I thought 4 more tries but the referee had 3. In my defence there were a couple of close calls at the line but as I’m not sure which one was ruled out I’ve written them all up!
Next up to score his second of the game was Ali Steele with another good team try. Again ball was secured this time via a maul by the forwards. Harry Archibald, Rhys and Lee Smith wrapping up the ball and man to secure the scrum put in in the middle of the Saints half. With options either way, Charles hit the ball at pace and made some real ground before popping the ball to Drew. Again a good carry from the centre saw ground made and when the ball was popped to Ali he managed to dive over.
Cammy Snell then scored 2 more tries each a copy book of the other. In both cases he ran in from inside his own half with the backs creating a gap for the mobile forward to run into. Both trys were converted.
The final try was almost a mirror image of the opening try and show that quick thinking can pay dividends. With Biggar attacking deep in the Saints 22 again a high tackle was called by the referee. Ali Steele grabbed the ball and ran for the line, no doubt sensing a hat trick; sensibly as the defence ran at him he popped the ball to Dan McConkey. There was still a deal to do and not a lot of space to do it in but he barrelled through to score.
Final Score (officially) Biggar 36 – Dumfries 5
An entertaining game for all who saw it with some really good strong running rugby from Biggar. Some real craft on display from all the backs and real aggression in defence to ensure that Dumfries rarely got into the Biggar half. The same could be said of the forwards. It’s easy to pick out Cammy with 3 trys to his name but Harry Archibald and Dan McConkey worked tirelessly in defence while Craig and Josh never gave the Saints defence a moment’s peace. All 18 boys who turned out today played well and were well worth their victory.
A special note for today’s referee Cammy Forrest who did an excellent job in officiating his second match of the day. It can’t be easy refereeing some of your peers but he did a fabulous job. Only slight worry was when it looked like he might have to yellow card Charles in the second half for a late hit but thankfully (for Biggar) he made do with a warning! Well done and keep up the good work.
Story date: 08/11/2016
Minis host Dumfries Saints
Story date: 02/11/2016
s2’s win in Fife
The S1's meanheile came back well in the second half of their match.
Story date: 01/11/2016
Narrow defeat at Penny Pit
Preston Lodge 20 Biggar 19
After two games where Biggar have struggled after the interval Biggar sprung a bit of a surprise at Pennypit by coming out all guns blazing after the break to get within one point of their hosts who proceeded, just, to cling on to that 1 point advantage and sneak the win.
There are always 'ifs and buts' in sport and Biggar may well rue the interception pass at the outset which put them a score down when they were in attack and also the missed conversion to their first try, but in similar vane PL would point to a disallowed try – for a forward pass – which would have given them a clearer victory margin.
Frustrations and bias aside, this was a keenly contested match between two evenly matched squads, featuring 6 tries and the usual talking points, a couple of which have already been mentioned. The win pushes PL into 6th spot and Biggar to 7th with just 2 matches remaining before the end of the first round of matches and the league break. Biggar have Ardrossan and GHK to play with, after that, all bar one of the teams above them to face at home and all those below, bar one, to visit. If Biggar can maintain their home record and pinch a couple of away wins – away wins still proving problematic - then they should be in the hunt come the end of the league programme.
Another series of changes were forced on Biggar's XV due to illness and unavailability. Up front Duncan Withers and Stevie Campbell were forced out of the squad due to illness and other commitments. Alan Warnock and Zander Lyon came back into the starting XV with Ross Jackson back on the bench. In the backs Robbie Lavery had work commitments and could not play while David Paterson was injured in the warm up and replaced by David McArthur, this of course reducing Biggar's options from the bench when looking to freshen things up or replace injured players.
Biggar had the best and then, almost immediately, the worst of starts. McArthur was up quick on to the PL winger as he took Jardine's box kick, Notman just managing to charge down the clearance and force a PL lineout in their 22. Having regained possession Biggar attacked the blind-side only to see Gregor Stewarts wide pass snapped up by flanker Pete Johnstone who had the legs of the Biggar cover to reach the line from some 50 metres. Those who were in attendance at this game last session will well remember the ease with which Biggar conceded points to their hosts – surely history could not repeat itself?
It was quickly evident that Biggar had more than an edge in the tight scrum, PL under all sorts of pressure and getting shunted back at regular intervals and also ceding possession on their own put in. That Biggar got so little of an advantage from this is open to some conjecture, visiting referee Greg Dawson from Northumberland preferring scrum re-sets to penalties or free kicks and at the games end seeing fit to penalise Biggar for wheeling when in attack.
Biggar's scrum dominance came to the fore after 10 minutes when after a knock-on gave PL the scrum put in. Biggar took the ball against the head and slowly marched the home 8 back to a point where Andy Dunlop picked and dived for the try. Richard Peacock's conversion bounce off the upright to deny Biggar a 7-5 lead.
Within 3 minutes PL had scored again. Peacock had taken a good 'mark' in his 22 and had then tapped to feed the ball right. Notman's boot took play into the PL half but a neat step by fullback Glynn took him past Alistair Sinclair and saw him sprint down a touchline almost bereft of Biggar cover. Sinclair got back into position but a hefty fend sent him sprawling before an inside pass saw No8 Whittingham crash over for a notable try.
Another long range conversion from Griffin fell short and so the score was 10-5 to PL.
Biggar have been prone to making a number of unforced errors in recent weeks and this pattern continued as players were put under pressure, something to which the youngsters in the side are having to adapt. While these errors did not lead directly to scores it meant that possession and/or position was lost. These errors and several long advantages did nothing to assist Biggar as PL ran hard, employing some neat angles at the Biggar defence. This held for the most part although Griffin did increase his sides lead to 13-5 with a penalty after a sustained passage of play in the Biggar 22.
With 5 minutes to go before half time PL almost struck again, No 8 Whittingham hitting a good angle in a run which took him across Biggar's line only for referee Dawson to adjudge the pass forward. Able to maintain their field position the 3rd try did eventually come, back rower Jason Riley crossing under a pile of bodies for score which when converted took PL into a 20-5 half time lead.
Coach Mercer spared few at half time as he harangued the squad for what appeared to be a somewhat 'flat' display. Whatever was said seemed to have hit home as the side had to work really hard to halt a determined PL start. Kicking to the corner PL again employed the driven lineout to good effect. In previous seasons Biggar would have conceded scores in the face of this but on Saturday they competed ferociously and while a penalty was conceded which gave PL a second bite, some great work by the pack, with Dunlop to the fore, saw the maul halted. The rules pertaining to this have to be looked at however as, if set properly, there is no legal way in which a score can be prevented, players always likely to concede penalties in attempts to steal possession. On this occasion however Biggar managed a good exit.
Although 15 points down games can turn quickly and so it was on Saturday as Biggar clawed their way back into things in the space of some 10 minutes. A neat pass wide from Chisholm gave Notman a chance to take ball on and with this recycled well Biggar attacked on the right making good yards on the other touchline. Ball initially lost was regained and prop Dan O'Connell burst up the blind off Stewarts wide link. The big man made yards before neatly off-loading to Sinclair who made it to the line for his second score in as many weeks – and this after a barren spell when Biggar had been scoring freely.
Peacock added the conversion for 20-12. It now seemed that the tide was turning ever so slightly as PL began to make errors, passes being dropped or not finding their man as they had previously. Biggar were able to capitalise on this with some fairly ferocious offence defence as all put in the hits adding the the spectacle.
Able to gain a foothold in the PL 22 good work by Peacock – should the pass have gone wide earlier? - Biggar gained a scrum put in close to the PL line. A good pick and drive by Dunlop almost saw the No 8 notch a second score but some equally good defence brought him down short. The pressure was sustained however and after a couple of pick and go's by the pack ball was swung left to Chisholm who stepped inside the cover and lunged for the line for a try which, when converted put Biggar just one point adrift at 20-19.
With just short of a quarter of the match remaining it was definitely a case of 'game on' and all to play for. In the aftermath it is perhaps surprising that neither side was able to add to their tally in this last quarter. Aside from some decent running rugby which ended as progress was halted via good defence there was never a penalty awarded which would have given PL some additional breathing space or Biggar the lead.
Play swung from 22 to 22 but rarely any further as defences came out on top and errors meant possession was lost. PL were forced into several changes out of necessity as they picked up knocks in what was a physical contest. Biggar also made changes but this was down to players being swapped to provide some rest. Jackson had replaced Warnock but he returned for Lyon while the front row, save for replacement hooker Orr who was unlucky not to get game time this time round, were again routinely switched.
And so, exciting though play was, there were no further scores, PL, via Griffin, delighted to get the ball into touch after another penalty.
As has been suggested previously there is little between the teams in National 2. Just 12 points separate the top 7 positions and so things will remain tight for the foreseeable future until perhaps the weather begins to take effect to disrupt form.
Biggar's immediate goal is to defeat next opponents, Ayrshire side Ardrossan who have yet to win a match and are currently second from bottom. A trip west is never easy and Biggar won their last year courtesy of an inspirational Andrew Peacock pick up virtually on full time. It is to be hoped the side doesn't have to rely on a late intervention this time round!
Richard Peacock, Alistair Sinclair, Douglas Notman, Gregor Stewart, David McArthur, Iain Chisholm, Aird Jardine, Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Jamie Orr, Zander Lyon, Ewan Sanderson, Alan Warnock, Andrew Dunlop Reps: Ross Jackson, Calvin Henderson, Andrew Orr (David Paterson).
The 2nd XV meanwhile were hosting Murrayfield Wanderers in their East Reserve League 1 match. It was great to learn that they had again extended their unbeaten run to 8 from 8 with a comfortable 45-0 win over their Edinburgh guests.
Having secured the win and the 4-try bonus the focus switched to keeping their line intact and this they managed despite some determined Wanderers play.
For the record Davy Reive, Thomas Steele and Craig McDonald all scored a brace each, Stuart Alder notching one also.
Story date: 31/10/2016
Gold Club results for October
Story date: 31/10/2016
Kirkcaldy defeated and another win for the 2nds
Biggar 33 Kirkcaldy 22
As a measure of how far the club has come in the past year you need look no further than the frustrations expressed within the dressing room post match chat. Both senior sides had won games and collected the maximum 5 point totals from their league matches and yet there was a consensus that neither side had played particularly well and had struggled in phases and parts of the game, this being a source of great frustration for all.
In recent seasons bonus point wins have been scarcer than hens teeth but on Saturday the focus was all about how the sides could and must do better. A remarkable turnaround and borne from a fantastic spirit within the squads, a growing maturity amongst the players and of course a much more structured approach to training and play. Well done to all involved – onwards and upwards!
Lasswade 2nds 3 Biggar 2nds 28
The 2nds journeyed to Lasswade for their game as they went in search of another win to extend their 6 match unbeaten run. That they returned having maintained that run is excellent and keeps them ahead of the chasing pack.
Biggar's previous two outings had pitched them up against the sides in that chasing pack - Jed and Kelso - and while Lasswade's league position suggested that they would be a weaker side than their Border league opponents, the East Lothian outfit put in a determined shift that defied their league position.
Biggar had to work as hard for their points this time round just as they had in the previous matches but they ground out a win by 28-3.
Tries came from Lewis McLachlan, Alan Warnock, Andrew Peacock and Craig McDonald. Gary Morrison added 4 conversions from 4 attempts!
At Hartree Mill, the 1st XV welcomed Fife club Kirkcaldy. Coached by old pal Quinnie Sanft they have had an inconsistent start to their season. As anticipated they used their large pack to good effect and, much as was the case last week, Biggar struggled in phases of the game to match their opponents forward effort. In sharp contrast however, Kirkcaldy struggled to keep track of Biggar who were keen to move the ball about and so this was a clash of two very different styles of rugby.
Biggar made another few changes to their starting XV. Up front Zander Lyon, who took a knock last week, was rested while Ross Jackson was fielded in the 2nds to give the teenager a break from the top team action.
Douglas Notman returned to his preferred position of back row to replace Jackson while Andrew Dunlop moved from No8 to replace Lyon in the 2nd row. Stevie Campbell made a return to top team action after some sound performances in the 2nds. In the backs DO Iain Chisholm made a return to action after being injured against GHA in the cup match back in September. That meant that Aird Jardine was dropped to the bench but with Davy Reive forced to call off he was quickly promoted back, but to scrum half instead of stand off – Jardine a particularly adaptable member of the squad. Richard Peacock returned after holiday to take the 15 jersey. As backs coach, David Wilson has had to work with a different back division for almost every game to date, this never an easy situation but one which he has managed well.
On a pleasant Autumnal afternoon Hartree Mill was blessed with as big a crowd as has been seen for many seasons, a rough count seeing the total approach 300. Some of those were in attendance to see the Colts take on Irish tourists Corinthians which kicked off at 4pm but to see the touchlines packed is a wonderful sight and a clear indication that the way Biggar are playing is a talking point about town and attracting spectators. Long may that continue.
The early exchanges were punctuated by the whistle, both sides missing penalties. Kirkcaldy's first attempt came after referee Alan Hoyle deemed hooker Euan Stewart's tackle at the ruck base and in the face of another forward effort, to be a 'chop' tackle. This consigned the Biggar man to the bin for 10 minutes. And this all with the match just 5 minutes old.
Kirkcaldy had clearly identified Dunlop to be a threat and they soon set out their stall taking every opportunity to hold him down and back from the action. None of this was spotted by the referee and in another time he might have retaliated but happily he chose instead to laugh it off which only made then all the more upset! But best riposte.
A second Biggar penalty was pushed wide by Peacock before Kirkcaldy opened the scoring this after a passage of forward orientated play took the Fifers into the Biggar 22, the defensive effort deemed to be holding on after the tackle. Wallace kicked the penalty for 3-0.
It did not take Biggar long to respond with their own score, this after play had been switched left and then right. Jamie Orr made a great break – one of several during the match - through the Kirkcaldy defence before off-loading to Gregor Stewart who was brought down just metres short. With possession retained Lavery had a tilt at the line and should probably have been penalised for crossing, play almost halted as players waited for the whistle. It didn't come however and the move continued with Andrew Orr – he replacing Stevie Campbell who had to go off to allow a replacement at hooker – making a determined breenge for the line. Ball came back again and Chisholm threw a long wide pass to Alistair Sinclair who picked it up cleverly from his toes before out-stripping the defence in a sprint for the corner. From a long way out on the touchline Peacock found his mark and Biggar were ahead at 7-3.
Biggar increased their lead within minutes of the restart as again their open style of play had Kirkcaldy chasing shadows. Orr made another great run, Donald Voas and David Paterson combined well on the left before ball was swung back right. While Stewart's pass failed to go to hand Notman picked up and fed Lavery who dodged his way across for a try which Peacock also converted.
It was now Kirkcaldy's turn to score, this coming after Biggar were unable to deal effectively with the restart, an old failing! Kirkcaldy used their pack to advance ball downfield using the pick and drive to good effect, this taking them deep into the Biggar 22. They were able to create a huge overlap on the left flank which was unseen by the Biggar defence and hard though they defended Kirkcaldy's initial attacks on the line, a wide pass to Littlejohn saw the fullback squeeze over. 14-8.
As Biggar returned immediately to the attack Kirkcaldy were reduced to 14 as they were penalised for not releasing, this apparently deemed to be in a try scoring position. Using Kirkcaldy's preferred tactic Biggar kicked to the corner via Chisholm and, having won the lineout, preceded to drive the Fife defence back before Ewan Stewart took control to dive over for a try converted by Peacock for 21-8.
In what was a see-saw match Kirkcaldy then had their own period of pressure, this due in no small part to a number of penalties conceded by Biggar. Until recently Biggar's discipline has been much better than in previous seasons but they conceded a large number on Saturday – particularly after the break – and these gave Kirkcaldy field position, possession and hope in abundance.
On this occasion Kirkcaldy were very fortunate that referee Hoyle didn't pick up on a deliberate stamp by the Kirkcaldy prop on the exposed head of Sanderson. Fortunately no damage other than bruising was done but this type of brutality has no place in the game whatsoever.
Happily there was no score for Kirkcaldy as Orr managed to get a boot to a loose ball to turn defence into attack. Opening up from a lineout taken with a salmon-like leap from Dunlop on the left (all jumpers from both sides took ball really well in this game), some wonderfully adept handling saw play swept from one side of the pitch to another with Chisholm orchestrating things well. Providing first a link for Campbell, who then released Jardine and then Ewan Stewart, play was transferred left via passes from Jardine and Chisholm (again), before a long looping pass found Gregor Stewart who freed Peacock. The fullback popped to Voas lurking ominously on the wing, the big prop cantering over as the Kirkcaldy defence was torn apart. Peacock added the extras and the bonus point was secured as the whistle brought the first half to a close.
Given their lead Biggar should perhaps have then done so much better after the break but in fact they were outscored 15-5 in this period as Kirkcaldy got a grip on the game and largely dominated proceedings via their pack. Biggar contributed in no small part – much as had been the case against Cartha – by trying to play too much rugby in their own half and with some poorish kicking meaning that the visitors were able to counter. Add in some further penalties for poor discipline and the evidence is there for all to see and explains the frustration felt post match.
Right from the start of the half Biggar began to take chances in opting to run out of defence instead of using the boot to take play downfield. When they did kick, they failed to find touch, this allowing Kirkcaldy to counter. With their forwards making things really difficult for Biggar in the tight scrum technical penalties were conceded and, given their advantage, it was hardly surprising that the visitors opted for the scrum. This tactic paid off handsomely and with 10 minutes of the half gone No8 Rhys Bonner picked up from the advancing scrum base to drop over the line for a try to reduce Biggar's lead to 26-15.
A quickly taken tap penalty by Jardine made some good yards but when possession was lost a soft late tackle by Lavery ceded yards and possession to Kirkcaldy who again employed the scrum drive to good effect. Bonner rounded off the scrum drive with a second try and as the conversion was kicked by Wallace Kirkcaldy were right in the mix at 26-22.
There was still a quarter of the match remaining and the game at this stage was wide open. Biggar's task was to cut down on the errors and penalties and string some phases together. The first half had proved that Kirkcaldy could not keep up with a fast game but Biggar had not been able to put this into practice in this second half.
And then in a blink Biggar scored a cracking try with birthday boy Stevie Campbell dotting down. Jamie Orr initiated the move when he made another trademark burst up the middle of the park before giving a well-timed pass to the supporting Duncan Withers. Recycled ball was fed left to Chisholm who freed Paterson. His run was brought to a halt but ball was fed right to Campbell on an angled run which took him through the last defenders and to the line. So, so simple! Peacock added the conversion for 33-22.
Not phased at all by this try Kirkcaldy continued to work to bring their pack into the game and this again they did well to take play deep into the Biggar 22. Defence has been pretty solid this season and it needed to be again on Saturday as the game came to a close. On several occasions Biggar engineered turnovers from 'choke ball' where the attackers are held up in a maul and possession is given to the defending side. This paid off and provided Biggar with some yardage out of the danger area, albeit only temporarily as Kirkcaldy again piled on the pressure. Each Biggar player did their bit with some big hits coming in from the back row, while Dunlop's experience showed through in these situations. As a result Kirkcaldy were unable to score another try which would have given them a losing bonus.
Man of the match fro Biggar was Stevie Campbell while Connor Wood got the nod for Kirkcaldy
Biggar retain their 6th spot after this result, a position they share with their next opponents Preston Lodge who have come good in the past few weeks after what was a rocky start. Last season PL proved to be a very good side and this will be another big test for the Biggar squad. A reduction in errors would go some way to aiding Biggar's cause, something that is certain to receive due attention at training.
Richard Peacock, Alistair Sinclair, Robbie Lavery, Gregor Stewart, David Paterson, Iain Chisholm, Aird Jardine, Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Jamie Orr, Andrew Dunlop, Stevie Campbell, Duncan Withers, Douglas Notman. Reps: Calvin Henderson, Andrew Orr, Ewan Sanderson.
Story date: 26/10/2016
Biggar Colts impressive win in “Battle of the Celts”
Biggar Colts 26pts v Corinthians 7pts .
Friendly – Saturday 22nd October 2016
“Alone we can do so little ; together we can do so much”
Biggar Colts showed that they are a team who can work so well together and this they did winning 26 points to 7 points against a strong and fit Corinthians team from Ireland.
Corinthians continue to achieve championships in Ireland but at Biggar they could not break down the home team who were both solid in both defence and attack.
Although Biggar had not played for 3 weeks they started off at a ferocious pace taking it to Corinthians who found to settle in to a pattern. Strong tackles by Biggar were making a difference with Mark Ewart and Kyle Anderson leading the way who both were returning to Colts duty after taking some time out from rugby to concentrate on fitness. !!!!!!!!!!!!.
In the backs Rory McGinn was leading the way with his defence work . Indeed it was Rory who scored the 1st try after some good interplay through the backs allowed him to take the final inside pass to release him for the line.
Corinthians were not finding it easy to find opportunities as Biggar kept them on the backfoot and when their players failed to cover the fringes of the rucks Luhann Kotze exposed the gap down the blind and ran in for a try between the posts which was converted by Euan Bogle.
Scrums were going well for Biggar but lineouts were not being won cleanly and good attacking opportunities were not being taken to put more points on the board.
Both sets of forwards were canceling each other out with Neil Jones, Keir Hamilton and Gavin Raftery showing their ability and leading well from the front. In the backs Luhann Kotze, Robbie Orr and Rory McGinn were putting notable performances in and were causing Corinthians continual problems when attacking and providing a solid wall when defending.
However prior to half time Biggar allowed the Corinthians back in and they started to put phases together and with quick ball moved out wide they scored in the corner which was well converted.
Half Time : Biggar 12 points to Corinthians 7 points
Biggar knew this was going to be a hard 2nd half as Corinthians were looking sharper and fresher as the game was progressing while injuries continue to mount for the home team.
For most of the 2nd half both teams put in excellent performances with strong attacks and defences. Biggar had more opportunities but were not putting the points on the board due to final passes etc.
Biggar did press forward and with the forwards continually setting up phase after phase the time came for Luhann Kotze to again find the defence missing round the fringes and set off on a 40 yard dash for the line which he took well for a try which was converted by Ali Steele.
The home team now looked to put the game away and with good hands out wide it was left to Aaron Dobie to run at speed down the wing and step inside for a score which was again converted by Ali Steele.
Full Time : Biggar Colts 26 points to Corinthians 7 points.
Coaches Barr, Hill and Murray were extremely delighted with this performance as each and every one of the squad played their part in this game. These boys worked so hard for each other and stuck solid to their task and as players return from injury and district duty there will be no doubt selection will not be easy as each one of these boys on Saturday staked their claim.
“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars but if they don't play together the whole team will not reach its goals”.
Next week is a home league game against Dumfermline
Story date: 23/10/2016
Biggar defeated at Cartha
Cartha Queens Park 20 Biggar 11
After 3 great weeks when points have been scored with ease Biggar were brought down to earth in a much tighter, more pressured contest against the league leaders Cartha. That Biggar's error count by Biggar in this one game must have exceeded the combined total of the last 3 gives indication that this result was somewhat self-inflicted although the hosts will point out that their errors cost them at least 3 tries which would have put them well ahead after the first quarter alone.
The loss means Biggar drop back to 6th place in the league which, although 'OK', and certainly so much better than in recent seasons does not equate at all to the effort which the players and coaches have put in and will certainly not please either group.
With Richard Peacock and Craig McDonald both unavailable there were changes again in the backs, Douglas Notman dropping back from flank forward to centre and David Paterson resuming at wing while Robbie Lavery took over at fullback. The pack which started saw Calvin Henderson start at prop in place of Dan O'Connell while Duncan Withers replaced Notman in the back row.
On a day which was much nicer than had been forecast Biggar's errors began at kick off the normal safe hands of Withers seeing ball spilled on the catch, immediately ceding both possession and territory to the hosts. This simple unforced error was merely the first of many made by the side in the course of the 80 minutes.
Being up against things in the opening exchanges is nothing new for Biggar who have weathered well the strong starts from their opponents and so it was very much same old, same old as Biggar were forced into defensive chores. Some sound tackles, a couple of opportune turnovers and at least one player held up over the line saw Biggar hold out as Cartha launched wave after wave of attacks with big runners choosing good lines and angles. That the hosts should have scored is not in doubt one 2v1 ending as Lavery appeared to wrong foot the ball carrier who lost control of the ball with the line at his mercy.
Both packs were running well whenever called into action while the tight exchanges were well contested, both packs fiercely combative in scrum and lineout.
Able to slowly get a foothold of possession and territory Biggar were awarded a penalty after 16 minutes, this virtually the first such award of the game, and one which Gregor Stewart slotted for a 3-0 lead.
Straight back into attack Jamie Orr was set free for a tilt at the line and suffered the same fate as one of Cartha's attacks as he was held up over the line. Maintaining tremendous pressure on the Cartha line Biggar's forwards were lining up to take ball on, Cartha proving so much more difficult to open up than recent opponents. Another penalty was their reward, Stewart converting again to give Biggar a 6-0 lead.
The restarts, which hitherto have always been taken well, were proving troublesome, Davy Reive slipping as he collected the kick, this slowing the option to exit the 22 and in fact seeing Biggar concede a penalty which was converted to reduce the gap to 6-3.
This Cartha penalty aside, the middle section of this half was undoubtedly Biggar's purple patch as they really took the game to their hosts. The next score was just minutes away and the try scored after a great run by Orr saw the big lock pop the ball inside to Withers who galloped across the line. Stewart was unable to add the conversion but at 11-3 Biggar were on the 'up'.
Frustratingly from a Biggar point of view, but perhaps not surprisingly, Cartha fought back and using the driven line to good effect managed to shunt Biggar back and score a try from their hooker.
The conversion was missed and Biggar retained their lead at 11-8. The driven lineout option from Cartha was to cause all manner of problems for Biggar although it is virtually impossible to legally halt this move.
The remainder of the half was played out with Biggar still on the front foot but unable to unlock the Cartha defence again, several errors (crossing offences, knock-ons, missed touch kicks) all allowing Cartha some respite.
In the post match chat it seemed incredible that after this great spell and having added the 11 points in about 20 minutes that the try was the last time that Biggar troubled the scorer! Cartha definitely deserve credit for their defensive effort which saw them slow the Biggar attack down and then put a stranglehold on almost everything Biggar did, although Biggar did become a tad predictable in their attacking options, this playing directly into Cartha's hands.
Andrew Dunlop who was making a return after an injury sustained at Aberdeenshire took over at half time from Ewan Sanderson while O'Connell came on for Calvin Henderson. Another crossing offence gave Cartha the chance to push Biggar back. It quickly became clear that Cartha had regained some shape during the break and as the game progressed their forward effort seemed to increase.
A great team tackle by Lavery and Paterson denied Cartha a try but then from the resultant lineout – an area in which Biggar had taken much great ball in the first half – an error spawned possession at the back, Cartha's back rower unable to get a clean hold of the ball and botching a great chance and with the line at his mercy.
The try was merely delayed however as an offload from Dunlop as he picked up at the scrum base saw possession spilled. Cartha were in quick to secure the possession and run in for a try which, when converted, turned the tables on Biggar and meant they were behind for the first time in the match at 15-11.
This score seemed to really enthuse the Cartha side who slowly began to take a greater stranglehold on proceedings. Try as they did Biggar were unable to play the game they wished as Cartha forced Biggar back into their own 22. At the same time, and in the face of this pressure (this the first match in 4 in which Biggar have been put under such pressure) the number of unforced errors crept up.
A kick direct to touch, a lazy runner penalty, a couple of turnovers and instead of being in the Cartha half, Biggar found themselves once again on defensive duties.
Biggar made a couple of changes, Lavery moving up to centre and Stewart dropping back to fullback, Jackson giving way to Sanderson.
A missed Cartha penalty and then a great breakout by Cartha through the middle forced Stewart to make a great hit on the runner and with ball spilled Biggar engineered an escape but this was short lived as Cartha kicked out of defence.
Another big line drive saw Biggar throw themselves at the Cartha attack to hold them up and with the match entering the last 10 minutes it was all hands to the pumps as Biggar fought to deny Cartha another try.
This they almost managed, Cartha opting for the kick to the corner, confident that they would eventually get over for the try which would decide the match. A Biggar try at this point would have seen them win but deep inside their own half this seemed unlikely – their hopes increasingly pinned on a losing bonus point which in the circumstances would have been just reward for their efforts if not for the errors.
As the minutes ticked down the try eventually came, this again stemming from a line drive, replacement prop Irvine credited with the score. The conversion was immaterial, the game won/lost.
This result was a real frustration for Biggar as they travelled with some confidence after recent solid performances. Coach Mercer though still upbeat after the match was quick to highlight the need for greater concentration and the need to bounce back. The opportunity to do so comes this weekend when Kirkcaldy come to Hartree Mill. Possessing a big pack it will need a concerted effort from the boys in black to regain their winning ways.
As always a big support would do much to help them on their way. Kick off is 3pm.
Robbie Lavery, Alistair Sinclair, Gregor Stewart, Douglas Notman, David Paterson, Aird Jardine, David Reive (C), Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Calvin Henderson, Zander Lyon, Jamie Orr, Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson, Duncan Withers . Reps: Andrew Orr, Dan O'Connell, James Barr, Andrew Dunlop.
The 2nds entertained Kelso in their Edinburgh Reserve league match.
As league leaders Biggar were in determined mood to retain their top spot and in the end they managed to do so with a 22-15 victory.
Kelso proved to be every bit as determined opponents as had Jed last week with another big defensive effort required to keep the visitors out. A decent lead at half time of 15-10 saw Biggar take the initiative to go further up at 22-10 before Kelso hit back to make it 22-15.
As Kelso received a yellow card Biggar might have managed to increase their lead but this was not to be and they had to settle for the 7-point advantage.
Tries from among others Scot Chapman and Stevie Campbell.
Despite not playing quite as well as they might have this was another great result for the 2nds who now have a 6 point lead in the league.
They travel to take on Lasswade this Saturday.
Story date: 17/10/2016
Biggar Youth section in action
Youth rugby and the Green Conference
On Sunday it was Green Conference action again with Glasgow side Whitecraigs the opponents.
S1 and U-16 sides played training matches while the S2's and U-15's played league matches. In these honours were even, Biggar winning the S2 match but losing out narrowly to the Glasgow outfit at U-15.
U-15's at Hartree Mill
After a closely fought contest last weekend versus local rivals Hamilton, the U15’s were looking to put their league campaign back on track with a strong performance against Whitecraigs. Unfortunatly, due to a number of reasons we came out second best this time, but sometimes you learn more from a loss than a win and the whole coaching staff feel there are positives and lessons to be learnt from this weekends game.
Following an abrasive and physical beginning to the game, it was the visitors who got the first points on the board. After some sustained pressure and good phase play from the Whitecraigs outfit, their 10 managed to scythe through a previously resolute Biggar defence. 0-5.
Biggar were not to be disheartened easily though and were quickly taking it back to the opposition. A cracking bit of decision making by Aaron to go blind off a scrum bore fruit with an offload to Euan who got us deep into their twenty two. Good carries by the likes of new boy Josh and step in captain Will earned us a penalty, which was intelligently tapped and passed to isaac out on the wing, who finished well. Conversion missed, 5-5.
A lull in the Biggar squad was to follow and Whitecraigs capatilised with three tries in quick succession before the break. One as a result of their winger’s pace, another from a loose kick and accumulated pressure on our line allowed their forwards to carry over for a third.
Half time: 5-26
One player who impressed in both attack and defence was young Isaac at outside centre. He showed his effective speed and footballing ability at the beginning of the second half, streaking past all the defence with some excellent footwork which deserved a try. The bounce was unkind however, and the chance went begging, positive play nonetheless, signs of more to come.
The Biggar crowd did not have to wait long for their next boost of excitement. Yet another strong carry by the ever present Will and Jack gave Isaac good clean ball which he promptly shipped to the wing and eventually to Aaron who used his strength to barrel his way over. Well desrved team try for the work put in by the whole squad. 12-26
The spark of a fight back was further ignited when Euan Barr ripped the ball excellently in defence who popped to a few forwards who brilliantly used the brains giving it to Gregor who released Isaac. Once again he pierced the defence with a show and go, stepping the full back to finish off under the posts. Conversion well made 19-26.
Despite the optimism, Whitecraigs closed out the game well with two tries in the games dying breaths. A frustrating finish to a game that could’ve gone either way, the score line certainly did not reflect the closeness of the game.
Final Score: 19-38
Many congratulations to debutant referee Cameron Forrest who took charge of the U-15 match. Despite his tender years – Cameron is 16 – he took charge of proceedings and managed the game well.
With this such an important aspect of the club game it is particularly praiseworthy of Cameron to take on the officials role. May there be many more to follow in his footsteps.
Of course with SRU referee commissioner Tappe Henning living locally any trainee referees will be given the ideal opportunity to develop. There are of course specific referee training courses to attend, Cameron enrolling at Gala RFC.
Story date: 11/10/2016
THE BIGGAR PICTURE - September Edition
… pation. Longer than expected, I know.
A September issue starting off the rugby year isn’t so bad..?
The mini section dove straight into the deep end with their very own tournament being held at the start of the season. All went well, and it was a good day to be had for all. A big thanks goes out to Laura Watson for having the patience to organise the whole event and making it run nice and smoothly. ONE CLUB ONE FAMILY.
With the season settling in, the midi’s and colt’s drop – kicked off their green conference battle, which includes playing sides such as Dunfermline, GHA, Dumfries, Falkirk, Hamilton and Whitecraigs. It’s been a hard start for U16’s due to playing numbers… so if you’re a 15 year old boy reading this for some reason or other, you clearly have nothing else to do. Get yourself down to Hartree Mill on Wednesday nights at 7pm and live life to the max – come and join the fam. The colts have had a pretty decent start, with wins all round apart from a draw with Hamilton… awkies. One way to improve would be to actually watch your games when Sarah doesn’t lose the footage and I actually upload them lol soz.
On a plus note, 8 of the colts are part of the U18 Glasgow Academy. This includes training sessions every week and games against the other regions. The boys included are Guy Kelly, Rory McGinn, Luhann Kotze, Matthew and Lewis Stewart, Andrew Jardine and Andrew Nimmo (who defs bribed his way in with a few cows). There are also 3 boys in the Glasgow U18’s development squad – Stuart Forrest, Rowan Stewart and Jordan Gray. This is a pathway to Scotland and definitely shows that Biggar Rugby club are doing something right.
Going back to conferences, U15 and U18 Girls played their first President’s Conference game against Murrayfield Wanderers. The Presidents conference is making its debut this year with 6 teams from across Scotland taking part. Both teams won with U15’s winning very convincingly and U18’s winning but realising they should’ve done pre season. It was injuries galore with concussion going round like the plague, but luckily Abbie Baillie will be back playing soon after suffering with concussion since March. However we are playing rather well and you’re putting Sarah out of a position so we don’t need you anymore. Let the games go on the way they started.
So there you go, another monthly update for you. Hope you enjoyed.
Rhiannon (and Sarah)
Story date: 10/10/2016
Biggar rack up another 50 in home win against Whitecraigs
Biggar 54 Whitecraigs 10
Biggar welcomed Glasgow side Whitecraigs to a Hartree Mill looking at its finest in the warm Autumnal sunshine.
Biggar fielded a XV with just two changes from that which won at Hill Jills last week, Aird Jardine starting at stand off in place of brother Andrew who sustained a broken forearm, with Gregor Stewart reverting to inside centre and Craig McDonald replacing the unavailable David Paterson.
Selection promises to be ever more difficult for the coaching team given that there are a handful of players who would normally start but who will have to work extremely hard to regain their place, so well is the current squad performing. Competition for places and in all positions is intense and all the more so because the 2nd XV, ably led by Doug Fleming continue to perform as well, their excellent win away to Jedforest a massive boost for the club. There is therefore another group within their ranks waiting for their chance to get a top team start.
Separated by just one point prior to the match Whitecraigs had a number of call offs and a bad start when Captain and prop Iain Laidlaw turned an ankle in the warm up. To make matters all the more difficult they took the field to find a Biggar squad in top form, clearly relishing the opportunity to extend their winning home run and keen to erase the memories of two defeats to Whitecraigs last season.
A forward pass denied Ross Jackson a try and Biggar a dream start but this was merely delayed as Craig McDonald rounded off a fairly simple backs move initiated after Biggar stole possession from a Whitecraigs scrum. 3 minutes gone and a 5-0 scoreline for Biggar.
Undeterred at this stage Whitecraigs began to make their mark, the next 10 minutes or so proving tricky for Biggar as the Glasgow side gave full indication of their style; backs and forwards running at pace and finding good angles to take play into the Biggar 22. The Biggar defence stood resolute however and aside from a couple of penalties gave little away. Two attempts at driven lineouts failed to get Whitecraigs on the scoreboard – a magnificent take by Jamie Orr and his lifters denying one catch and drive - so it was left to kicker Stuart Gillies to open 'Craigs account from a penalty on 18 minutes.
Having kept their visitors out Biggar's initial attacks faltered on two loose Biggar lineouts – perhaps the only real flaw in the whole match as the packs dominance throughout meant the Whitecraigs effort visibly wilted as the game progressed. Respite was short-lived for the visitors however as Biggar added to their tally via two Richard Peacock penalties to take them ahead at 11-3.
Indeed an 8 minute period from 25-32 minutes saw Biggar take the initiative and largely condemn Whitecraigs to second place, the two penalties preceding two excellent tries. A great Zander Lyon take on the second penalty restart saw Davy Reive chip and Jardine chase. An error in the catch allowed Jardine to hack clear to beat the defence for the try. Peacock converted.
Another error from stand off Gillies – not a day he will wish to remember – gave Biggar territory and position and following an initial surge ball was fed back to the blindside where Ewan Sanderson exploited a weak defensive effort to run round and then through the remaining cover.
Biggar almost added to their tally from the next restart as Jardine made an interception, the cover defence this time up to the task and cutting off the stand-offs run.
Half time then and a 3 try lead at 25-3 for the men in black. This was an almost identical score to that from the previous week with again the 4-try bonus point within reach. Could the Biggar lads repeat that feat?
The answer, although not just as quick as last week, was still in the affirmative and with bags more as well.
A couple of penalties gave Whitecraigs some possession and territory but their attacks again floundered as Biggar's defence remained firm. Within 8 minutes of the restart Biggar opened out from their own 22 with a lung bursting and particularly effective exit, Jardine initiating the charge with a boot downfield. Peacock took the kick at full pace making a couple of yards before cleverly off-loading to Alistair Sinclair who took and then game almost immediately to Lavery. He evaded the nearest defenders to pop the ball back inside to the ever-present Jackson. The young back rower made short shrift of the sprint to the line and a deserved try. One kick and 3 passes for the try and the bonus point.
Another hammer blow befell 'Craigs as Biggar scored again almost from the restart. Notman took ball up and into the advancing pack, something he does with great regularity. Recycled ball saw Reive offer the box kick which, although initially dealt with by 'Craigs No 8 Haswell, was then turned over by Sanderson. The counter attack on this occasion was one break, by Jardine, and a neat pass to Lavery who sprinted in from some 40 metres.
Notman was then shown a yellow for some careless work at the breakdown but despite their numerical advantage 'Craigs could not stem the flow of the Biggar attack. The 'Craigs attack failed and a Biggar penalty allowed them to kick and then win good line out ball from Sanderson. A pre-planned move saw replacement flanker Duncan Withers take an inside pass from Jardine to outpace the despairing cover from some 40 metres for try number 6. Peacock added the conversion. The score now read 44-3; could the side record another 50 point haul?
Whitecraigs had other thoughts and to their credit and regardless of the battering they had received they managed a try of their own. This was credited to replacement prop Ingram, he a strong and direct runner who would surely, on most other occasions, have been able to make a significant mark on proceedings. Gillies added the conversion for 44-10.
Another fantastic breakout after another 'Craigs handling error under the box kick saw Biggar quickest to react, replacement hooker Andrew Orr latching onto the loose ball to make yards before finding Lavery. His run beat the defence before Jardine and then Reive took over. His pass was taken by Sinclair who gave quickly to Peacock who was able to round things off with another try.
It was clear that 'Craigs were now almost punch drunk such had they given to absorb the Biggar attack and the hits in attack. At almost every breakdown another 'Craigs player looked for treatment.
Biggar's finale became a little untidy in the face of this and they managed just one further try this to Reive who had been the proverbial thorn in 'Craigs side all day. On this occasion Jackson took advantage of another massive surge by the Biggar pack which had their opponents on a rushed retreat to snaffle ball and pass to Reive – a score the scrum half clearly relished!
Peacock had a bit of an off day with the boot although the final conversion from Jardine also missed its mark. Add the missed conversions and Biggar would have been well through the 60 point mark.
Regardless, this was an excellent win for the home side. There were some terrific performances from all with no one looking out of place or playing poorly. Each player made significant contributions with the nod for man of the match going to stand off Aird Jardine, one audacious hand off in particular sticking in the memory.
In the last three matches Biggar have amassed over 145 points (21 tries) while conceding just 25 (3 tries) – the best defensive record in the league. The win takes Biggar into 4th top spot level with local rivals Peebles.
The division remains particularly close however with the impression being that any side on their day has the capacity to beat any other.
Things will certainly get tougher of that there is no doubt with a visit to League leaders Cartha Queens Park this Saturday just the start. There is an air of confidence within the squad however and where in previous seasons coaches might have been reluctant to give the replacements a run, each man off the bench now brings something different to the side, to wit on Saturday the attacking flair of Withers, the work rate of Henderson or Orr and the pace of McArthur. Well done to all, including of course coaches Mercer and Wilson.
Richard Peacock, Alistair Sinclair, Robbie Lavery, Gregor Stewart, Craig McDonald, Aird Jardine, David Reive (C), Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Zander Lyon, Jamie Orr, Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson, Douglas Notman. Reps: Andrew Orr, Duncan Withers, Calvin Henderson, David McArthur .
The news of the 2nds 21-17 win came through just before the final whistle and was met with a great cheer from the 1sts in their post-match huddle.
The 2nds had faced a tricky away match against Jed and to return with the win after a really tousy last 10 minutes when they were forced to finish with 14 men after Lewis McLachlan had been sin-binned was testimony to the character within the squad.
This was an excellent win and means that Biggar retain top spot in the East Reserve league. They face another Border test this week when they entertain Kelso who are in 2nd spot.
Story date: 09/10/2016
Youth v Hamitlon and Girls in Caithness
Firstly, the Girls sides journeyed north on Saturday to play Caithness in the Girls Presidents Conference. Biggar were happy to travel as Caithness have previously been guests at Hartree Mill. Two great games ensued with Biggar winning both convincingly.
On Sunday Hamilton were the opponents in the Green Conference Youth fixtures.
At Hamilton the S1 squad played a development match as this Biggar unit is still short of players. The S2 group had their work cut out and went down by 52-21.
At Biggar the U-15 squad had a narrow defeat by 26-19 with the game being a nip and tuck affair from start to finish.
The U-16's played in a Development match
Biggar under 16’s got only their 3rd game of the season under way against Hamilton Bulls at Hartree Mill on Sunday and managed a great win in a tight game. Having been forced to cancel the last 2 games against GHA and Falkirk due to lack of players, this game was also in doubt up until the last minute. As it was, Hamilton agreed to play a development match having only turned up with 11 players themselves.
The game kicked off as 13 a side with Jamie Shannon and Cammy Snell turning out for the Bulls in the first half and Hugo Baillie, Harry Archibald and Shawn Cottam (a short spell of injury cover) turning out for them in the second.
What followed was good high-intensity, high-scoring game with Hamilton drawing first blood early on. Their number 10 who was comfortable the whole game with ball in hand picked it up in midfield and ran for the try line. Rusty tackling was in evidence from some in black and red as he was allowed to get up a head of steam and fly over in the corner. Biggar had started well and a lapse in concentration had allowed the bulls into the game.
Biggar hit back with some excellent direct running from the backs. The ball was well won in the midfield and hit up by the forwards. After 2 or 3 phases, the backs took over and good hands were shown by all to get the ball to Drew. He took off and had the Bulls defence backtracking. Exploiting indecision in the tackle the big centre stepped inside his man and made it in for the score. The conversion from out wide right was missed by Sam Grieve.
The next try was a standard Cammy Snell try. Pick the ball from the base of a ruck, run at the defence and exploit the gaps to score. Great run, great try, great news – except Cammy was playing for Hamilton! This one from under the posts was converted to put the Bulls back in the lead.
Biggars forwards then took over. Hamilton were a big set of lads but Biggar are big too with perhaps more mobility. A penalty break saw Daniel into the Bulls half a pop to Harry Low and the big prop set off for the line. He picked a slightly sideways line but clearly saw a gap to exploit. Through the winger he went and over to score. Sam Grieve kicked the conversion.
Biggar took the lead on the stroke of half time. A great phase of forward play down the right started by a great break from captain Dan McConkey was well supported by all as the ball was secured and then hit up by Lee Smith, Hugo Baillie and Josh JvR in quick succession. The ball was picked up by Harry Low who made a bolt for the line from the base of the ruck to head over for his second score. Again the kick was made by Sam.
Half Time Biggar 19 – Hamilton 12
Into the second half and the there was no let-up in intensity. Once again, Biggar seemed to switch off slightly at the start of the half and let the Bulls in to score. As with the first half, Biggar seemed comfortable and a slip in concentration allowed the Bulls in to level.
Next up it was the turn of Jamie Bell to get on the scoresheet. This one was made by Josh and could have been his try. The big man got hold of the ball and battered his way through almost to the line. A last ditch tackle was made but he made it over. Double movement according to the ref - shame but probably a fair call. From the penalty Hamilton failed to find touch. Sam Wallis tracked back well and turned and ran at them. He made up some great ground and with support from Drew the ball was back into Hamilton territory. Into a ruck and Josh picked and went again. He seemed destined to score but was prevented by another last ditch tackle. Scrum half Jamie Bell was on hand with a quick pick and through a tight gap for the score. Sam converted again.
Hamilton went over again this time out wide right. Crucially the kick was missed. Biggar held a 2 point lead!
The final Biggar try was scored by Captain McConkey and was a great mix between backs and forwards. Good straight running from Sam who popped it to Daniel. He still had work to do but showed good speed to make it over. Again Sam kicked the extras.
The final score of the game went to Hamilton who went over but again missed the conversion. With 90 seconds left Biggar were 4 points up but were kicking to the visitors. It was kept tight for a number of phases and a Biggar knock on in midfield gave us a scrum as the last play of the match. The Bulls held the ball and in their eagerness to get the ball, Biggar conceded a penalty. Fingernails were being chewed on the touchline!! Hamilton ran it as you would expect but a great tackle from Charles Connolly saw the runner isolated. Sam Wallis went into the ruck, secured the ball and launched it out of the park. A win for Biggar!
Full Time Biggar 33 – Hamilton 29
This was a very entertaining game played in an excellent spirit by all. The boys continue to make progress and some really good strong running rugby was on display. Some real big performances ensured that Biggar won the day. Sam Grieve took on the kicking role and did superbly. Not sure if he has kicked in a game previously but converting 4 out of 5 won the match for Biggar so he deserves huge credit. Lee Smith played the full 60 minutes at hooker. His scrum impact was good and he put in some excellent throws too. GH came in for his first game of the season and made some great tackles on the right wing as well as showing some great passing skills in the second half. The whole pack deserves huge credit as time after time, they made tackles and gains in equal measure. Some of the carries from them produced great yards and they were rewarded with 3 cracking forward tries (4 if you count Cammy scoring for Hamilton!).
As coach John Archibald said, it was great to see a smile on all the boys faces. Too true and it put a smile on the fans faces too. Well played lads! Many thanks too to Lanark whistler Stewart Wise who presided over proceedings. Always handy to have guys willing to take control and support Youth rugby.
Story date: 03/10/2016
Senior sides knock up sizeable scores
Hillhead Jordanhill 5 Biggar 56
In much calmer weather than the previous Saturday Biggar travelled to Glasgow and laid a few bogeys to rest as they demolished an uncharacteristically weak Hillhead Jordanhill XV who currently prop up the National 2 table.
In taking another 5 points the statisticians were trying to figure out when Biggar had last claimed two back to back bonus point wins. Answers on a postcard please! The win lifts Biggar up just one place to 6th in the table with other results confirming the belief that this League is pretty much wide open with each side on their day capable of beating others. Guests at Hartree Mill this weekend are Whitecraigs and a win in this match could lift Biggar into the top 4 – but that is a week away and, as in politics, a week in league rugby is a long time.
Biggar made a couple of changes for this match. In the pack, Douglas Notman moved back from centre to No 8, and Ewan Sanderson started ahead of Duncan Withers in the back row. In the backs Andrew Jardine moved to stand off in place of his brother Aird who was unavailable. Gregor Stewart made his 1st XV start at centre, pairing up with Robbie Lavery who returned to the side after his trip to Oz. The side had to make an early change as Jardine sustained an arm injury, Stewart moving to stand off and replacement Craig McDonald coming on at centre. Jardine, it transpires, broke his thumb in an early contact, playing on bravely for some 10 minutes until he was forced off. This injury is a real blow for the youngster who is in the frame for Scotland U-18 selection. He faces between 4-6 weeks in plaster and the club wishes him well in what is hoped will be a speedy recovery.
Hill Jills opened strongly and only stout defence kept the Biggar line intact – in previous seasons the defence would have been breached but there is a steely determination borne of sound organisation which, though not infallible, is working.
Making their way upfield a sustained passage of play eventually spawned ball which Davy Reive flicked to Notman who burst through the cover defence for a good try, converted by Richard Peacock.
Hill Jills took advantage of a penalty to advance play forward. Hooker Harry Perston scoring after a couple of good phases of attacking play.
Much as had been the case last week with West that marked the end of Hill Jills scoring exploits, Biggar able to rack up the points at fairly regular intervals. Biggar's next forays into the hosts territory saw them take full advantage of an HJ lineout error and resultant close scrum, Reive on hand to dot down (Peacock converted) following a big shove in the tight. This was soon an area in which Biggar dominated, the HJ eight being shunted back and making things very difficult for scrum half Thomson.
The next Biggar attacks came to nought as two lineouts proved costly but normal service was resumed as Peacock converted a penalty to stretch Biggar's lead to 17-4 just after the half hour mark.
Ewan Stewart made a typically bulldozing run through the middle prior to the next try. Alistair Sinclair made good ground on the right before ball was fed left and with the HJ cover stretched, ball was fed wide to David Paterson who then burst round and through the remaining defenders to motor over. This came just before half time and took Biggar into a commanding 22-5 lead, one try short for the 4-try bonus point.
The half time chat emphasised the need to dominate proceedings and to quickly claim the 4th try.
That was achieved relatively quickly as, following a poor restart from HJ, Biggar forced the home side into their own half. Pressing forward Gregor Stewart took an interception and sprinted to the line from some 35 metres, neatly avoiding the cover defence on the way. Peacock converted for 27-5.
HJ's hopes were dealt a blow as their flanker Ryan Reilly was sent to the bin, Biggar taking advantage to add to their tally. Peacock crossed for a try after Reive pillaged a loose HJ lineout and Jamie Orr stormed into the HJ 22. And then just before HJ regained full strength, McDonald was freed for a run to the line, this after another breenge by Withers and Ewan Stewart. Peacock's conversion rebounded off the upright.
Peacock added another try, this after a strong run from Donald Voas and Stewart's wide pass. Notman then rounded off another passage of play which perhaps should have seen a try scored earlier, play now becoming a little less structured as 'white-line' fever struck the players. It's some time since Biggar have enjoyed being top dogs and this can go some way to explaining this lack of discipline.
The final try – number 9 - was credited to prop Voas who rounded a maul to run in from some 10 metres, HJ's fringe defence posted missing.
There was just enough time for Biggar to lose the services of Ewan Sanderson who had worked tirelessly throughout but who was on this occasion deemed to have obstructed the HJ breakout after a penalty award.
Five points and a general satisfaction but still not clinical enough for coach Davy Wilson who emphasised the need to maintain focus to the final whistle. Other sides will definitely not be as generous and the side must use such occasions as were presented on Saturday to do the basics properly. With one Jardine out and the other returning, selection will again prove to be testing and this without the injured Iain Chisholm, and the unavailable Lewis McLachlan and Stuart Hull.
Close on their heels of course are the members of the 2nd XV who enjoyed another big win defeating Heriots 3rds by 40-17. There are several of their number putting their hands up for 1st XV selection so there is all to play for. This latest 2nd XV result means that they are on a hat-trick of wins over Edinburgh opposition having previously disposed of Watsons and Edin Accies. The 2's face a tough trip to the Borders this Saturday when they tavel to take on Jedforest, easily the hardest task to date.
Richard Peacock, Alistair Sinclair, Robbie Lavery, Gregor Stewart, David Paterson, Andrew Jardine, David Reive (C), Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Zander Lyon, Jamie Orr, Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson, Douglas Notman. Reps: Lewis McLinton, Duncan Withers, Calvin Henderson, Craig McDonald.
Story date: 03/10/2016
Biggar take 4 try bonus against West
Biggar 35 West of Scotland 10
In conditions hitherto alien this season – gale force blustery wind and wet - Biggar and West combined to produce an excellent match which held the sizeable crowds' attention to the end.
Both sides deserve great credit for their efforts with all contributing positively to the entertainment and while there were errors these were not perhaps as plentiful as one might have expected given the weather.
In the end Biggar deservedly gained the win with an all-important 4 try bonus point to boot. That gives them a 50% success rate and lifts them up to joint 6th in the table. Last season home form proved to be very different from away form and so it seems this season with Biggar winning comfortably at home against Kelso and West but clearly struggling on their visits to Peebles and Aberdeenshire. That is mirrored largely throughout the division although if Biggar are serious about challenging for honours then they must improve their away results.
Having said that this is still a team which is developing. Saturday's squad of 19 included no fewer than 11 who were aged 21 or under. Spare a thought for the elder statesmen, Davy Rieve and Dan O'Connell, both of whom put in great performances which belay their years!
Up front, Dan O'Connell started at prop, Calvin Henderson dropping to the bench and with Andrew Dunlop still injured there was a recall for Duncan Withers, he coming in at the expense of Alan Warnock. In the backs Douglas Notman took over at centre from the unavailable Stuart Hull. Steven Campbell took over from Grant Hamilton to join Andrew Orr and Gregor Stewart on the bench.
Facing the elements Biggar were soon tested in defence as West used their pack to take ball forward a couple of early driven lineouts sweeping play to the Biggar line. Biggar's line held firm in the face of this early onslaught and pressure was relieved following a poor transfer which saw Aird Jardine kick upfield.
Quickly back into the Biggar 22 West centre Mark Davies coughed up possession with the line almost at his mercy, Biggar's drop out restart charged down and gifting West another tilt at the Biggar line. A penalty by Davies opened the scoring.
Not to be outdone Biggar then took control of proceedings with the pack dominating with a series of the best 'pick and go's' which took play deep into the West half. This eventually spawned ball for Notman who beat the West defence to slide over for a try which Richard Peacock cleverly converted for a 7-3 lead.
Flight judgement was always likely to be difficult in the conditions and so it proved as both sides made errors under the high ball but it was Biggar who again took play to the visitors to ask questions of their defence. A forward pass to Ewan Stewart gave West some respite and a penalty allowed them to kick downfield where they took full advantage of another lineout drive to march Biggar over their line for a try credited to their No 8. Davies kicked for 10-7.
Quite remarkably given the ease with which they scored this try this was the last occasion West bothered the scoreboard, Biggar's pack largely dominating proceedings thereafter although credit to the backs all of whom also played their part when asked.
Every member of the pack had at least 5 carries to his name in this first half – a remarkable statistic – and given this Biggar might have expected to take a lead but a number of penalties which broke up play and inevitable errors meant that they had to be content with a Peacock penalty which tied the scores. This penalty was one too many for referee Lee fish who sent West flanker Fraser Smeaton to the bin for a 10 minute rest.
A breenge to the West line probably should have led to a try on the stroke of half time but the ball slipped from Andrew Jardines hands as he made for the line.
Both sides and the officials took the opportunity to escape the wet at half time. The teams returned to the pitch ready for action and Biggar were almost on the point of kicking off when they realised that the referee had not reappeared, proceedings delayed until he did so!
Biggar made one immediate change for this half, Henderson taking over at prop from O'Connell. A combination of the first half front row efforts and the introduction of Henderson wrought havoc with the west scrummage as Biggar opened strongly, driving West off their own put in on each scrum put in.
This gave skipper Davy Reive the opportunity to attack although the only reward was another Peacock penalty for 13-10. Just as the tight scrummage began to yield possession and cause problems for West, so did the lineout, where Jamie Orr, Zander Lyon and Euan Sanderson (and their lifters) began to disrupt and steel ball on the West throw. Hooker Ewan Stewart had another very productive afternoon, his throwing accurate and his driving play seeing him make good ground on many occasions.
With 15 minutes of the half gone Peacock kicked his 3rd penalty to give Biggar a 6 point lead. The pack were able to maintain their grip on the match, West, though returned to full strength, gaining precious little respite before Biggar won ball to re-establish their position in the West 22 via ball taken forward by hand or advanced via a kick.
With the 3rd quarter at its end West's Angus Thomson (the 4th player in as many weeks to have begun his career at Biggar but who is now playing for the opposition) became the second West player to incur the displeasure of referee Fish and earn a yellow. Biggar took full advantage of their extra man by calling a scrum and marching the visitors back over their line for a try credited to No 8 Ross Jackson. Peacock added the conversion before being replaced by Gregor Stewart. Campbell also came on at this time for Withers who had put in a huge shift.
On the half hour mark another series of scrums which saw West in all sorts of trouble ended with referee Fish awarding Biggar a penalty try which Andrew Jardine converted for 30-10.
Andrew Orr replaced Ewan Stewart but the hooker merely shifted into the back row to give Jackson a break, the youngster another who had carried ball all day.
Biggar maintained their stranglehold on the match and continued to make things very difficult for the visitors, the 4th try credited to Campbell who controlled ball well at the base of a 5metre scrum before plunging over for the try. Jardine was just off target with the conversion.
Altogether an excellent performance from the Biggar squad and one in which they controlled things as well as they have for several seasons. West were given no respite as Biggar's defence, aside from the first half line drive, held firm and their attack pulverised the West defence.
Man of the match for Biggar went to Donald Voas for his work in the tight and his willingness to carry ball in the loose while the same award for West went to Angus Thomson who very typically and as was expected, worked tirelessly throughout.
Other results were fairly true to form save the GHK result which saw the Glasgow side defeat Aberdeenshire who Biggar had found to be a very complete outfit. Next up for Biggar is a trip to Glasgow and Hillhead Jordanhill who in the past have often been a real bogey side. The touchline support ion a bleak September day was magnificent and very much appreciated by all the squad. It would be great to see you all again on Saturday at Hughenden.
Richard Peacock, Alistair Sinclair, Andrew Jardine, Douglas Notman, David Paterson, Aird Jardine, David Reive (C), Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Zander Lyon, Jamie Orr, Duncan Withers, Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson. Reps: Andrew Orr, Calvin Henderson, Steven Campbell, Gregor Stewart.
The 2nd XV travelled to Haddington to take on the East Lothian club's 2nd XV. Struggling for numbers the Haddington squad had previously conceded at least one match the fact that they had a home match clearly helping the situation for Biggar's appearance.
In the end Haddington provided limited opposition as the Biggar lads had a bit of a field day running in some 12 tries, all of which were converted by Craig McDonald.
Story date: 26/09/2016
Biggar hit back in Aberdeen after sluggish start
Aberdeenshire 51 Biggar 27
There was real drama in Aberdeen on Saturday when Biggar and their hosts Aberdeenshire put on some great entertainment in a match which featured 10 tries. Aberdeenshire claimed the spoils with their 5 league points while Biggar claimed a 4 try bonus despite the loss.
Last season Biggar's away form was disappointing with the visit north to Woodside in January a case in point with points gifted early on and the issue beyond recall by half time. Final score 45-5. That the opening salvos on Saturday suggested a similar scenario was all the more disappointing then, Biggar on this occasion gifting their hosts no fewer than 25 points in the first quarter. The spirit of the 2016/17 squad is very different from that of 2015/16 however and while the end of the half saw Biggar still their three good tries suggested that the result was far from a foregone conclusion.
This trip was always likely to be one of the most difficult away matches, not only because of the distance involved but also because 'Shire finished in 4th spot at the end of last season's league campaign. They were a well organised XV last season and there was nothing to suggest that they would be anything less this time around, their 80+ point win the previous week against PL seemingly confirming these thoughts.
Coach Gary Mercer's preparations were made trickier after injury ruled out the complete back row which faced Kelso (Doug Notman - dead leg, Andy Dunlop - back strain and Duncan Withers - ankle) while Jamie Orr struggled midweek with food poisoning. Ewan Stewart was available after injury however and Dan O'Connell, though not 100% fit, declared himself available to travel. In the end the back row fielded was Ewan Sanderson, Alan Warnock and Ross Jackson, a selection which could easily be first choice in any event. Orr was also able to travel.
Proceedings began at a cracking pace and one which barely relented the whole match. Stuart Hull took an interception which almost saw him free to the line, before he was hauled down by the cover defence. Biggar then conspired to gift their hosts two early tries as the defence was found wanting under the high ball. The sun was the only possible mitigating excuse but as it was, 'Shire stand off Carne Green took full advantage of the first and Michael McKeand the second (he another who began his rugby career at Hartree Mill). Green kicked one conversion and then added two penalties before the third 'Shire score, this going to Nathan Clough although there was more than a hint of a forward pass in the final transfer. 25-0 down.
In what was virtually their first attacking opportunity David Paterson was set free but a 'Shire turnover relieved the pressure albeit for only a short time as an Aird Jardine grubber saw the 'Shire defence scramble back to concede a drop out.
The restart saw a sustained passage of play involving some good phases which stretched the 'Shire defence and which culminated in stand off Andrew Jardine taking Richard Peacock's pass for a sprint to the line. Peacock was wide of the target but the 'duck' was broken and Biggar were on the scoreboard. Barely two minutes later and on the half hour mark a Hull break saw ball transferred to Aird Jardine who kicked cleverly to winger Paterson who scampered across for try number two – Peacock's conversion added the extras and took the score to 25-12. Game on!
In reply 'Shire scored arguably the best try as some excellent angles and well-timed passes saw winger Luke Taylor round the defence for a try expertly converted from wide out by Green. Not to be outdone and just before half time, Peacock took Andy Jardine's pass to break clear for a try which he converted for 32-19 and the break.
25 points in 20 minutes to 'Shire, then a further 26 points shared by the sides in the second quarter! What would the second half bring?
With Peacock forced off with a dodgy stomach Gregor Stewart made his 1st XV league debut, the opening exchanges seeing Andrew Jardine kick a penalty for Biggar to put them just two scores adrift at 32-22.
In typical fashion 'Shire replied with a well worked try for their skipper Greg Ryan (he was later awarded the man-of-the-match for 'Shire, Ewan Sanderson getting the nod for Biggar). Green typically added the conversion.
Play continued to flow back and forth, Biggar gaining yardage only to lose possession – often too easily, with this likely to be a focus for this week's training. There were some promising moves but they came to nought and to further punish these errors 'Shire scored their 5th try from a neat attack down the blindside from a scrum some 5 metres out, Brad Fraser the scorer. Green struck his only poor kick of the afternoon but Biggar trailed 44-22.
The game then entered an even more frantic phase as 'Shire began to test referee Andrew Peterson's patience as they frequently crept offside. Indeed the Dollar whistler awarded a string of penalties against 'Shire, these culminating eventually in yellow cards for two of their number; try scorers Clough and Fraser dispatched for the requisite 10 minutes with around a 5 minute overlap. In the midst of this 'Shire also lost two players to injury with one stoppage for a cut lasting some 10 minutes. Best wishes to both injured parties.
The stoppage gave 'Shire some respite but Biggar took up from where they left off, several attacks mounted, all deserving of scores. As it was, a combination of some stout defence and some costly errors prevented Biggar from adding to their tally. 'Shire were let off the hook in this period with on one occasion, a line out drive seeing the pack drive over the line but drop the ball some 3 metres out. Another attack saw Alistair Sinclair opt to kick ahead, the winger just failing to beat the cover defence to the line.
In the end it was scrum half Davy Reive who broke the deadlock with just 8 minutes remaining. 44-27. Andy Jardine was unable to add the conversion but there was still just about enough time to sneak a losing bonus or sneak the win.
Throwing caution to the wind Biggar tried running the ball from wherever and while they again made inroads and won penalties they were unable to cross the line, 'Shire having the final word with a try and conversion to wrap things up at 51-27.
Players and spectators alike were left with minds and bodies wrecked! What a contest!
Biggar will doubtless learn from this defeat. They must work to begin matches fully focused as they cannot afford to play catch up from the start. A calm head is required in such circumstances and although there was much good individual effort Biggar were unable to finish as clinically as they would have wished. There is absolutely no doubting the team spirit however as 'Shire were forced to cling on for their win. There were some good performances from all positions with special credit to the 5 teenagers who played – Ross Jackson, Andrew Orr, Andy Jardine, Gregor Stewart and Grant Hamilton, please take a bow. The whole squad is worthy of congratulation however and thanks to 'Shire for contributing positively to the match. On a cracking day for rugby weather-wise, another positive was the turnout of support for Biggar – excellent to see and hear! The return fixture in January is eagerly awaited.
Next up is West who will again feature players whose rugby origins were in Biggar!
Richard Peacock, Alistair Sinclair, Andrew Jardine, Stuart Hull, David Paterson, Aird Jardine, David Reive, Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Calvin Henderson, Zander Lyon, Jamie Orr, Alan Warnock (C), Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson. Reps: Andrew Orr, Dan O'Connell, Grant Hamilton, Gregor Stewart.
The 2nd XV entertained Edin Accies 3rds for their league match although the Edinburgh side was closer to a VII than a XV.
Biggar supplied players and a 14-a-side training match ensued, Biggar awarded the points as the visitors failed to provide a full XV. Indications are that Haddington may well also struggle for numbers this coming weekend and so the search is already on to seek an alternative opposition should it be required. It is vital that the momentum which is quickly developing amongst the senior squad is maintained and regular games are integral to this.
Story date: 19/09/2016
u-15’s at GHA
GHA 31 Biggar 44
Coming off the back of two promising wins against both Dunfermline and Dumfries, the U15 lads travelled up to GHA in search for a third to consolidate their place at the peak of the Green Conference. This was set out at the beginning of the season as a big challenge for the team, but this didn’t phase them one bit. They came out with the most effective and efficient game of rugby the coaching staff had ever seen them produce and were good enough to clinch the win.
With a frantic start to the game, it seemed as if Biggar were bound to put the first numbers on the scorecard. Deja vu of Callum Smith’s excellent try scoring performance from last week ran through everyone's mind when he made a break early on. Quickly linking with young Johnnie who had stepped up from the s2’s to help us out, many thought we were in. But an infringement that looked a lot like a GHA knock on rather than a Biggar one denied us a certain try. Instead, the GHA boys displayed some good counter attacking play to get themselves into our half, and eventually over our line. 0-7.
Not to be disheartened the boys quickly got back into the swing of things. Good phase play got us a penalty and a wee nudge in the corner set us up for a maul. A good initial drive was cut short when Cameron Snell peeled off the back and used a strong fend and his physicality to get himself a try. Conversion made by Callum, 7-7.
GHA would not allow us to get a head of steam however, and they scored a nice try off a secure scrum to put us on the back foot once again. 7-12. Again the lads showed great resilience to get themselves into the opposition half again. Great carries from Cameron, Jack and Andrew got us right over the gain line. Johnnie’s running had impressed all day, especially for a back rower playing centre, and it was a good hands by Aaron and Gregor that allowed him to show his athletic ability and bag himself a five pointer in the corner. The scores were level at 12-12.
Another try from GHA put their noses in front but just before half time Biggar scored an excellent try. As a team, the forwards coaches – alongside consultation from Biggar’s set piece expert: Johnnie Bogle – have been working really hard to tighten up our set piece so we can really use it as a weapon in games. This practice was perfectly put into place here. A good lineout by Cameron got us into a maul from about 15 metres out. A massive effort from the forwards drove us a few metres short before a few backs joined in to get us over the line. Fantastic display of a driving maul. The try went to Cameron Snell, but it was a full forward pack effort. 17-19.
Half time- Biggar 17 GHA 19
After some technical talk at half time, the boys come out fighting. A good kick off by Gregor was beautifully kept in by a silky 'out the back' offload by Euan. This was quickly followed by good carries from Jack and Andrew. The try scoring machine that is Will Kelly found himself with the ball two metres from the line, no one was going to stop him. 22-19. Another good set of carries resulted in a well deserved try for Cameron Gray. 27-19.
Another unfortunate lax in defence allowed GHA to score again and get within 3. Again a maul that was exceptionally set up was excellently driven over the line and gave Cameron Snell his third try of the day. 32-24.
The back and forth of the score board continued when GHA managed to sneak over for another to bring it within a point; nail biting moments to ensue. Another try from Cameron Snell however, quickly eased our nerves a little. 39-31. And the last of the day went to a really worthy recipient. Since the beginning of the season our prop Jack McAllister has been a constantly reliable source for a good four or five yards in every carry. His work rate and strength has really shone through since their first appearance on our tour to Oban. He gratefully took the ball in the dying minutes and barrelled his way over for Biggar’s last of the day. 44-31.
Full time – Biggar 44 GHA 31
An unbelievable performance by the boys all in all. Special thanks must go to Johnnie who hugely impressed with his maturity and ability to make a break out of nothing; to Cameron Snell who is almost impossible to stop in attack and Daryl who put in a strong defensive and attacking performance when he got on. These three boys came from their own age groups to help us out and we really appreciate that. Star performances came again from Jack, who, as mentioned, was a machine in attack, from Callum McCallum who defended very well and kept the tempo at nine and James who only consolidated his position as our defensive stalwart. The forward pack as a whole put in a hugely dominant effort and showed us their full potential and the backs took the opportunities they were given. An excellent performance, and now, on to the next.
Story date: 13/09/2016
Biggar defeat Kelso and claim 3 from 3
Biggar 24 Kelso 19
'One swallow does not a summer make..' But….?
Whether this result was down to an over-confident Kelso XV caught napping, a rejuvenated Biggar XV getting lucky, the effect of the striking new strips (cutting edge meets tradition), a home game in front of a decent crowd or even just simply a side playing to its strengths – or more likely a combination of all of these – will never be known. But make no mistake, this was a cracking match and, from a Biggar point of view at least, a cracking result.
To make things even better, this result was the 3rd win recorded by a Biggar side on Saturday, the Colts having set the scene with a scrappy but successful performance over GHA and the 2nds clinching a deserved win over Watsons. It's not often you get a 3 from 3 so it's all the more enjoyable when it happens!
Coach Gary Mercer was in Bath watching his son Zach make his Premiership debut against Newcastle, somewhat ironic given Scott Lawson's Biggar/Newcastle connections. That game saw the team from the south record a resounding win and while Biggar's was considerably less emphatic it was every bit as important. The win came on the back of a somewhat lack-lustre performance at Peebles but this time round the squad raised it's game tenfold to consistently pressurise the visitors and to ensure that if, and when, they got the ball, they had to work to keep it, never mind make advances towards the Biggar try line.
Davy Wilson was in charge therefore and he had the happy task of reporting the win to Mercer who will have the video to enjoy.
Without last week's centres Robbie Lavery and Lewis McLachlan, the backs showed a new centre pairing with Stuart Hull making a timely return to action after injury, alongside teenager Andrew Jardine who moved out from stand off. This berth was claimed by brother Aird with Davy Reive also returning after injury. Up front Dan O'Connell was forced out with a calf injury, Calvin Henderson and Donald Voas both playing the full 80 minutes and showing up well throughout. At lock Zander Lyon took over from Andrew Peacock who was initially selected for the 2nds but then drafted onto the bench after O'Connell's withdrawl. Andrew Dunlop returned to action at the expense of the unlucky Ewan Sanderson.
The new black strips were voted an immediate hit by all and this may have had an impact on the squad as they appeared 'bigger' in black.
Biggar enjoyed the lion's share of both possession and territory in the first half, Kelso keeping the
scoreboard ticking over as Phil Hume struck 3 penalties in reply to Biggar's first half try from Stuart Hull. On a day when superlatives were flying it would be easy to get carried away but this try, involving a 60 second burst of play and seeing the whole team contribute must be one of the best scored by Biggar for a good number of years. It began with a good lineout take from Jamie Orr and then featured 8 excellent phases with ball shipped right then left and finally right again with Douglas Notman feeding Hull for the line. Richard peacock struck the conversion sweetly for 7-3, Hume having kicked his first penalty after just 1 minute.
A series of penalties threatened to spoil all the good work undertaken by the Biggar XV. In their desire to compete they fell foul of the referee, this giving the Border side the chance to either relieve pressure or rack up points.
On the half hour mark Andrew Dunlop was shown a yellow card and with Kelso deep in Biggar's 22 it looked as though Biggar might slip behind. They probably should have as Kelso executed a neat blindside move which culminated with their winger crossing the line. The final pass was adjudged forward however and Biggar escaped.
For their part Biggar had two penalty chances of their own, Peacock seeing the first rebound off the upright and the second slip to the left. Crucially, Dunlop returned after the break with Biggar having kept the visitors out and with the 9-7 score standing.
Biggar made just one change at the break, teenager Ross Jackson coming on at flank forward for Notman.
Now playing towards the clubhouse Biggar needed to get an early score to regain the lead and to exert greater pressure on the Border XV. This proved too difficult to do however, Kelso coming out in the second half with all guns blazing and turning the tables on Biggar who had a lucky escape when Hull managed to do enough to hustle the chasing Kelso runner and to clear the danger following a clever through kick.
Another Peacock penalty slipped wide but Biggar retained their position as Kelso's drop goal restart was partially charged down. Biggar's line speed in offensive/defence meant that Kelso were forced to act quickly and with tackles coming in low and hard Kelso's ability to 'exit' their 22 was sorely tested. Deep in their 22, and with the third quarter coming to a close, the Kelso defence faltered and Hull was able to take full advantage to latch onto a loose offload to catch and dive for his second score.
Peacock added the conversion but this 5 point lead at 14-9 was short lived as Hume kicked a conversion to a try from Jack Chambers who was at the end of a well-controlled line drive from the Kelso pack. Indeed had they managed to use this tactic more often the final score might have been a little different. 16-14 to Kelso.
In see-saw fashion however, and with around 10 minutes left, Biggar retook the lead via another Peacock penalty and then increased that lead to 24-16 as winger David Paterson rounded off an excellent move instigated by Reive but carried on by hooker Ewan Stewart whose timely offload was gratefully taken by the winger.
Eight points ahead meant that Kelso had to score twice to overtake Biigar and as forays to the Biggar line had been infrequent it looked as though Biggar might gain the win. Given the relative ease with which they had scored their second half try from the line drive, a last minute penalty and option of the kick to the corner – with Biggar reduced to 14 again following a yellow card to Orr for a tip tackle - might have provided a second try. Instead, and mindful of the losing bonus, Hume was called up to kick and he duly slotted the penalty for 24-19. Cue the final whistle and much celebration.
Home wins are really important and Biggar would have been languishing at the foot of the table without the 4 points gained on Saturday. As it is they retain their 7th placed spot, Kelso ahead by virtue of their 4 try bonus last week and their losing bonus gained at Hartree Mill.
Hooker Ewan Stewart was later rewarded as being Biggar's man of the match and this was well-deserved after a battling performance which involved some solid defence and lineout accuracy but there were a pile of candidates who could have taken this honour. The back row of Duncan Withers Dunlop and Notman put in typically abrasive performances, the whole pack carried and defended
well, the Jardine brothers who kept things moving sweetly in midfield, the double try scorer Hull…..and so it goes on. All members of the squad can take great pride in their performance. Ian Wallace was selected as Kelso's man of the match.
This is of course just the beginning and the side now face what could be their toughest match of the season when they travel to take on Aberdeenshire this weekend. The Granite City side recorded a whopping 80-26 win over Preston Lodge on Saturday. This on the back of a 40+ win over Kirkcaldy the previous week. Interestingly, Biggar will face another ex-Biggar player in the shape of Michael McKeand on Saturday as he now plays for 'Shire, while Andrew Muir featured in Peebles colours and Colin Arthur played for Kelso on Saturday!
It's a long trip north but the side appreciate the support the Biggar crowd provides. If you can get there you would give the boys a big lift.
Biggar 2nds (surely one of the strongest 2nd XV's Biggar have had for a number of years and featuring the return of ex-1st XV Grant Owens), recorded a fantastic and confidence boosting win over Edinburgh opponents Watsons 3rds on Saturday. Watsons reputedly have a 45 man 1st XV squad and so they have great strength in depth but their 3rd XV was shown up as Biggar put in a great shift for the win. Man of the match was Gregor Stewart with Watsons Adam Watt earning the honours for the visitors.
Bear in mind that there are at least 5 other players who could come into contention for places at senior level. Competition for places is on across the board therefore with all likely to benefit from this competition. It is some time away yet but there could well be an opportunity soon for a 3rd XV which would be a massive step forward for the club.
The 2nds have a second home game when they entertain another Edinburgh club, (Edinburgh Accies) who will also bring their 3rd XV as East Reserve League 1 opponents.
Story date: 13/09/2016
1st Gold Club Draw of the new season
£250: Jane Bairner
£100: Andrew Duncan
£100: Alf Tucker
£100: Neil Harrison
£100: Bill Conn
£100: Tom and Sheila Tweedie
Story date: 06/09/2016
Colts and Youth travel to dumfries
S2's: Dumfries 13 Biggar 43
What a scorcher at Dumfries. Both the heat of the early September sun and the blistering play of the Biggar S2 team.
Hosts Dumfries Saints were low in player numbers so it was agreed to share 2 players to the home team and play 13 aside and play 3 sessions of 20 minutes. This looked a worrying decision as the hosts rucked Biggar off the ball and scored 3 trys with no reply 1 even coming from the Biggar pair Murray and Jonathan who partnered up to score. The team were (just about) left to wake up and sort themselves out, which they did! By the end of the first 20 minutes Biggar had scored 3 through Fraser, Archie and Andrew and were up 11 - 10.
More switching of players and Biggar moved into ascendancy in the 2nd period scoring first through Jonathan from a kick off return. Then 2 more from winger Fraser on the predatory rampage as has become a trade mark of the team and 1 for Callum under the posts. The second period ended 26 - 10.
In the final period there were further player changes but the fast offloading game continued but also with laser direct tackle breaking runs from Daryl, Fraser and Jonathan. A missed tackle allowed the hosts to score but another try for Archie and the final try coming from Murray with a battling score in the corner.
The score ended 43 - 13 with 12 trys scored from Andrew, Archie (2), Callum, Daryl, Fraser (4), Jonathan (2), Murray. Conversions from Callum (2), Archie (2), Euan L (3).
Thanks to the hosts for a tough and always spirited match.
Dumfries win the Numbers Game against Biggar Under 16’s
A beautiful late summer rugby match was the order of the day on Sunday when Biggar under 16’s travelled to their Dumfries counterparts for the latest instalment of the Green Conference matches.
The sight of the coaches counting and recounting boys was a worry for all as it raised the spectre of numbers once again for this team. Only 14 available boys to fill 15 slots – early signs were not good. As it was, Dumfries agreed to a 14 a side match which was very good of them so we kicked off all square.
Biggar started brightly and had their hosts pinned back with some real aggressive rucking from the forwards and quick hands from the backs. An overlap was created and Guy Hunt tore for the line only to be tackled just short and dragged into touch. From the resultant line out Daniel McConkey was lifted well to grab the ball against the head. He dove for the line and scored. The kick from out wide was missed.
Unfortunately Guy sustained a head knock as he went for the line and was unable to take any further part in the game. Biggar 5 – 0 up but it was 14 v 13. The space in the backfield showed as superior numbers allowed the Dumfries backs to find space and score with a converted try.
Biggar then took the game by the scruff of the neck. The pack was rucking and scrummaging well and took 2 or 3 balls from Dumfries lineout throws. With the ball in hand, the backs started to really penetrate the Dumfries line none more so than Finlay Stewart. A great break down the left saw him jink past 2 or 3 defenders and in for the score. Again the conversion was missed.
Biggar then started working the links between backs and forwards well. From a cleared kick, Sam Wallis took a great catch and ran straight back at Dumfries. He was supported well by Daniel McConkey who recycled the ball and popped it to Drew on the right. The big centre ran at Dumfries who had no answer to him and he went over for a 3rd Biggar try. The conversion was hit this time.
Unfortunately Jamie Shannon sustained a knock as he was clearing out at the ruck so he was now off the park too. Biggar 17 – 7 up but it was 14 v 12.
Drew scored another great try for Biggar. Again the forwards were doing well rucking aggressively and pushing their counterparts back. The ball was won and worked out to Rhys Thompson who went for a run, drew his man and popped the ball to Drew. The big centre again had work to do but he could see that Dumfries were nervous of him and he went flying over. As was now becoming the norm, this resulted in another injury for Biggar. Drew had been having a knee problem and took a knock when scoring. With 3 players now off, Biggar were 22 -7 up but were playing 14 v 11. Everyone watching knew something would have to give.
Biggar continued to fight manfully and were unlucky to concede again just before Half time but with payer shortages all over the pitch it was no wonder.
Half time Dumfries 12 – Biggar 22.
Biggar had been fantastic for every second of the 35 minutes but you could see it had taken its toll on the players. A very warm day and a big heavy pitch meant it would be a difficult second half. Jamie Shannon was able to continue into the second half which provided a big boost and Drew came back on but with his knee troubling him was unable to have the devastating effect he had had in the first half.
As was expected still with 14 v 13 Dumfries came storming back Having scored 2 converted tries they led 26 – 22 but Biggar raised themselves and fought back. A great try with the pack showing that they had listened well to Yogi on Wednesday. The line out was taken and they went for a maul and they mauled their opponents off the park. The ball was with Jamie Bell to spin over for the try but every single forward deserves credit (as well as Yogi)!
That was to be the end of the scoring from a Biggar point of view. With Drew hobbling it was effectively 14 v 12 and gaps inevitably appeared. Dumfries scored 2 more tries to take the win.
Final score Dumfries 36 Biggar 27
It’s really difficult to sum up this game without sounding disrespectful to Dumfries. They recorded a win and should rightly be proud but this was very hard on Biggar. Every young man once again fought and fought for 70 minutes and some fantastic performances were on display. Jamie Bell was called in to play Scrum Half and was outstanding. He covered every blade of grass and when Biggar were down to 11 was covering 3 or 4 men and doing it superbly. Cammy Forrest played very well at Centre. His communication, work-rate and running were excellent. Drew played an excellent first half and had the Dumfries defence terrified every time he got the ball. Jamie Shannon pulled off tackle of the season when running back to prevent a try late in the first half and the aggressive rucking from all of the forwards was impressive.
To lose a game when so many have given so much is frustrating and whilst lack of numbers has to be put down as the main cause of this loss, I would urge each young man to take that as a positive. You were all fantastic, you are developing so well and when we finally can get 18/19 fit and healthy players on the pitch, I am sure that results will follow.
Story date: 06/09/2016
Biggar collect a losing bonus in League opener
Peebles 24 Biggar 20
Having outscored Biggar by 3 tries to 1 Peebles felt that they deserved to win this opening league match. From a Biggar point of view however this was one which Biggar felt they lost. There were chances a-plenty but where Peebles capitalised on their incursions into Biggar territory Biggar failed to do so when in the Peebles 22.
Captain Andrew Dunlop was forced out of the starting XV after picking up a dead leg at training on Thursday, his replacement being Ewan Sanderson whom was making a return after a two week absence. In the pack Andrew Peacock was preferred to Zander Lyon in the second row while injury to Iain Chisholm against Marr saw Colt Andrew Jardine make his 1st XV debut at just 17. David Paterson was fielded on the wing to the exclusion of Craig McDonald with Richard Peacock recovered after a knee twist last week to retain his place at fullback. There was another debutant on the bench as Lewis McLinton provided front row cover.
Biggar conceded an early score as Peebles exploited a gap in Biggar's defence which saw Cameron Pye scorch through under the posts for a great score converted by Greg Raeburn. The ease with which this try was scored was a wake up call for Biggar and while they responded well and set up camp for the next 10 minutes in the Peebles 22 they could not turn pressure into points. A series of penalties conceded by Peebles offered points but kicks at goal were eschewed for kicks to touch and lineouts but the initial drives and pick and go's were defended by Peebles.
A breakout by the home side took play back into the Biggar 22 where a penalty for offside saw Rayburn kick successfully for 10-0.
The restart saw Peebles immediately under pressure as a clearance was charged down. A penalty quickly taken by David McArthur took play to the Peebles line and another penalty award. This time a knock on in the lineout allowed Peebles to escape.
Play up to the half hour mark saw both sides struggle to gain any consistent attacking opportunities. Dan O'Connell was replaced by Calvin Henderson and McArthur gave way to Aird Jardine. The half back partnership of brothers Aird and Andrew was the first time the two have ever played together!
This coincided with Biggar's first score, Richard Peacock kicking for 10-3. The same player took advantage of further penalty chances to claw back the deficit at 10-6 then 10-9. It seemed surprising that given the high penalty count referee David Muir did not see fit to sin-bin a Peebles player.
The last kick of the half saw Peacock's 4th penalty sneak to the right of the posts.
Biggar engineered the perfect start to the second half as an effective lineout yielded possession and led to the pack hitting up to the Peebles line. Fast ball was then shipped right with Douglas Notman and Sanderson combining well before the latter’s' looping pass was taken by winger Alistair Sinclair who made and won the race to the corner. Peacock was unable to land the conversion but Biggar were in the lead at 14-10.
As is so often the case the penalty count now swung away from Peebles as Biggar fell foul of referee Muir's decisions. This culminated after some 15 minutes of the half with a yellow card and sin-binning of Notman for persistent infringements. A man to the good Peebles quickly took advantage of their numerical superiority hooker Blair Laurie set free on the right flank for a try in the corner. Rayburn struck the conversion perfectly to regain the lead at 17-14.
McClinton replaced Andrew Orr at No2 for Biggar.
Peebles probably should have scored their 3rd try shortly after this but a forward pass brought the attack to an end. A couple of penalties and a free kick to Biggar gave Peacock the chance to tie the scores at 17-17.
Back into Biggar's 22 and Peebles' pack rounded off a driving phase with a try for William Brown, Raeburn adding the conversion to open up a 7 point lead, this almost as quickly reduced again to 4 as Peacock kicked his 5th penalty.
A promising passage of play and some much better pace and variety in attack gave Biggar some real hope but again Peebles did enough to nullify these efforts. Biggar also failed to stretch the Peebles defence as they seemed reluctant to move the ball wide, preferring instead to cut back into the cover defence. With less than 20 minutes remaining however there was still time to get the score to sneak the win.
Peebles then brought on ex-Biggar lad Andrew Muir. His involvement lasted barely 2 minutes however as he fell foul of referee Muir who showed him a yellow card as following a team warning, he became the 'next' Peebles player to transgress. There was, as one would expect, a good deal of good-natured banter at his brief appearance!
Rohan McIver was the next to be sent to the bin, this reducing Peebles to just 13. Devoid of front row cover however, this gave Peebles some respite as scrums were then uncontested. This guaranteed them possession at a time when Biggar's scrum was gaining in ascendancy. Despite a couple more chances when lineout possession failed to provide the possession to attack that Biggar so desperately craved, time ran out and Peebles gained their win. Consolation for Biggar came in the shape of the losing bonus but 4 points would have been very much more preferable.
Biggar's coaching team were left frustrated at their sides failure to cross the line but it is still early in the campaign with a whole lot of rugby to be played. First up is the visit of Kelso, who were relegated last year alongside Peebles. It is rumoured that they have recruited strongly so they will be a tough nut to crack.
Praise for the effort from the Biggar squad, all of whom worked hard. Points are what really count however and Biggar must be able to convert the pressure into points. Man of the match went to Biggar's stand off Andrew Jardine who performed with confidence and style. At 17 he was of course too young to sink the 'prize' of a pint of beer, deputy Jamie Orr on hand to win the race.
Vice President and father, Aird Jardine, was as proud as punch at his sons' performance. Their involvement and that of the Peacock brothers means Biggar had two sets of brothers in the side. It will be some time however before a repeat of the days when there were as many as three sets of brothers playing at the one time – Flemings, Harveys and Youngs take a bow!
Once again, but hopefully the last time for many weeks, the 2nds were left twiddling their thumbs without a fixture. They now face a tough ask as they kick of their league programme with a home match against Watsons 3rds with little or no match practice. Training for all on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Story date: 06/09/2016
Boys Youth v Dunfermline - mixed results
S2's Biggar 37 Dunfermline 11.
The S2s welcomed Dunfermline to Hartreemill for the first game of the season in the Green conference. The boys started this season the way they finished last season with fast open attacking rugby.
Some excellent passing, support play and tough tackling broke down a tough and determined Dunfermline team. The final score 37 - 11 to Biggar with trys coming from Fraser Simpson (5), Callum Yardley (2), Archie Damer (1), Chris Brett (1) and Euan Laing (1) conversion's coming from Callum and Euan.
The try scoring started with winger Fraser on a trademark supporting run and sprint from 30 yards to take the lead. Dunfermline replied quickly then the home team started to excert pressure through the forwards and pass the ball wide with nr 15 Callum running in 2 trys into the corner. HT saw Biggar lead 14 - 3. At the start of the second half Biggar came out strong applying pressure on the kickoff and Euan collecting a loose ball for a 1 yard dive over the line. Fraser collected a couple of more trys with his speed and support play.
A drop in concentration allowed the visitors to score 2 trys before Biggar refocused. The most exceptional try was probably Chris Bretts, on for only 2 minutes total game time due to injury he collected a pass following a Biggar restart dodged 4 defenders to get a try to then quickly be subbed back off to protect an injury. A mazy run and try from Archie capped the try scoring.
The full team worked hard for each other and started to put together the structures and roles that we have been working on in training.
U-15's Match report
Under 16's keep on fighting at Dunfermline
Biggar under 16's travelled to Dunfermline on Sunday knowing a tough game would be in store. Having played them twice last season they knew that Dunfy were a tough well drilled outfit who were blessed with big numbers too.
Both sides played fantastically well working very hard to put on a really tough rugby battle. The final score of 34-5 to Dunfermline flattered the hosts somewhat as they score of 2/3 late tries with Biggar tiring towards the end of the game.
Numbers were tight as ever for this group and with only 16 available it was hoped that they could all stay fit to allow changes to be made during the game. As it was after 10 minutes they lost Ethan Webb to a bad knock as the winger made a crunching tackle. He knocked the Dunfy man back on his heels but incurred a concussion in the process. Bad news for Biggar as they would now have to play the next 60 minutes with only 15 men. This was to prove telling as with a 22 man squad to pick from Dunfy were able to rotate players and bring on a number of fresh legs.
Most of this game was almost like an attack against defence exercise. Dunfy taking the game to Biggar and Biggar fighting and tackling like demons to repel them. Every single young man played his part in an excellent display from Biggar. Communication, work rate, team work and determination were all on display in abundance. That coupled with some fantastic tackling combined to see a Dunfermline limited to one score in the first half.
Half time score 5-0 to Dunfermline.
Into the second half and Biggar were again on the back foot. It would be easy to say that numerical superiority won this game but that would be disrespectful to Dunfy. They played some excellent aggressive rugby and kept moving the ball and probing for openings. As Biggar tired Dunfy started to find more gaps and scored a further 4 unanswered tries to lead 29-0. Some of the Biggar persuasion were worried that Dunfy might run riot but these boys dug deep and fought back. Rallied by Captain Daniel McConkey under the posts they took the game to Dunfy. Hard running as a team, pinpoint kicking from Ali Steele and determined play had Dunfy pinned in their 22. A scrum was won and the ball held. Cammy Snell went for the no 8 pickup and left the defence in his wake going over for a score that Biggar richly deserved.
Full time Dunfermline 34 - Biggar 5
This was an excellent effort from all of the young men in black and red. They worked so hard on defence and having seen them working on these aspects week in week out at training their coaches should be proud of the effort they put in to this aspect of the game. There were 2 or 3 players that I viewed as playing the best game of rugby I have seen them play. Harry Archibald was outstanding in defence hitting tackle after tackle. Sam Wallis Superb at full back again making a number of last ditch tackles and supporting his back line well and Lee Smith played an excellent 70 minutes carrying the ball, hitting rucks and scrummaging well. Having said that, this was a team effort and all deserve massive credit for their play. The sight of every single player hardly able to applaud Dunfermline off the pitch after the game was a sign of how much they had given. You should all be very proud of yourselves.
Story date: 30/08/2016
Biggar lose Cup tie
Biggar 10 Marr 50
Under pressure from the outset Biggar did really well to repel the first Marr salvo with a great defensive effort. An early penalty saw Biggar first of all steal lineout ball, Jamie Orr putting in a clearing punt with a strike which would have pleased any back on the pitch. Marr struggled to clear the ball and Zander Lyon managed to charge down the attempted clearance. David McArthur fed the ball left and Craig McDonald rounded the defence for a great opening score, converted by Richard Peacock.
Frustratingly the 2nds failed to get a match, this youthful group champing at the bit to get onto the field of play.
Story date: 30/08/2016
Biggar win through against Penrith.
Biggar 24 Penrith 7
Playing away from the clubhouse Biggar were given the advantage afforded by the east wind, a rare occurrence in itself but one which gave some assistance to defence and clearance kicks.
This was a sizeable step up from the Dumfries match and will help prepare the side for the first real competitive match which is this Saturday when Marr are visitors in the BT Cup. Marr were in last season's Premiership promotion play-offs and will offer another set of problems for Biggar prior of course to the BT League programme when Peebles are opponents (3rd Sept).
The 2nds were down in their match but as suggested there is a very promising side in the making.
Story date: 22/08/2016
Biggar Colts lose out at Boroughmuir
Boroughmuir Colts 24pts v Biggar Colts 19pts.
Friendly – Saturday 20th August 2016
Simply , the Biggar Coaches of Yogi, Gav and Muz will have learned more from this defeat than they will ever have by winning it. There is no harm in losing as it focuses the squad that much still needs done.
Biggar as ever knew they just needed to get into their stride and take their opportunities and this they did with good hands and running lines culminating in a try for Aaron Dobie to bring them back into the game.
Biggar then capitalised on a poor pass from the Boroughmuir back line to which Robbie Orr greatly accepted to run in for 50 yards which was converted by Euan Bogle.
From this Biggar should have moved further ahead a good running from the backs continually broke the defence lines but the final passes and wrong options were stopping the tries being taken.
Much of the play Biggar tried to enforce was more suited to playing 7's on a dry summer day. The result was too many wrong decisions and mistakes in the game.
With 10 minutes to go Biggar did come back into the game with a try in the corner for Aaron Dobie which was well converted by Euan Bogle. However Biggar could not get the final upper hand and Boroughmuir took the win
Final Score : Boroughmuir Colts 24 pts v Biggar Colts 19pts
Areas have been identified and these will be worked on at training and lessons will be learnt. The most obvious is “Playing to the conditions”
Next week is the start of the league campaign with a trip to Dunfermline.
Story date: 21/08/2016
Colts start season with win at Hamilton
Hamilton Colts 7pts v Biggar Colts 41pts.
Friendly – Tuesday 16th August 2016
Full Time :Hamilton Colts 17pts v Biggar Colts 41pts.
Story date: 21/08/2016
Biggar get the better of Dumfries
Biggar 35 Dumfries 26
Story date: 17/08/2016
School of Rugby Programme
When youngsters go up into their first year of Biggar High School they have the opportunity to participate in the 'School of Rugby Programme'. This involves youngsters getting the opportunity to build on their social, physical and mental capibilities through the highly enjoyable environment that is of rugby union.
To download the programme information booklet click DOWNLOAD INFORMATION BOOKLET
To download our year 1 overview, which looks at the success of the first year of the programme, click DOWNLOAD YEAR 1 REVIEW
Story date: 25/05/2015
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:
Story date: 25/08/2011
Biggar Colts show the way and Secure League Championship
Biggar Colts In Full Control Away To GHA
Biggar Colts shut the door on Dunfermline
U15 Bully past Bulls
Minis in action at Watsons
A great days play at Myreside for the Minismore
THE BIGGAR PICTURE - October November Edition
An update of the latest news!more
Youth section host Dumfries Saints
Biggar hosted all of Dumfries youth section on Sunday, recording 4 great wins.
The 16's report is here, others pending.more
Minis host Dumfries Saints
Our Minis do well against Dumfriesmore
s2’s win in Fife
The S1's and S2's journeyed over the Forthmore
Narrow defeat at Penny Pit
A second half revival just not quite enought to sneak the winmore
Gold Club results for October
This month's results - congratulations to the winnersmore
Kirkcaldy defeated and another win for the 2nds
A return to winning ways for the 1sts while the 2nds march on!more
Biggar Colts impressive win in “Battle of the Celts”
Biggar defeated at Cartha
Biggar's winning run brought to a halt by Glasgow league leadersmore
Biggar Youth section in action
Beautiful sunny weather for Sunday rugbymore
THE BIGGAR PICTURE - September Edition
Biggar rack up another 50 in home win against Whitecraigs
Another 4 try bonus win in National Division 2 take Biggar into 4th spot.more
Youth v Hamitlon and Girls in Caithness
Biggar Youth find it tough against Hamiltonmore
Senior sides knock up sizeable scores
The 1sts and 2nds run riot against Hill Jills and Heriots respectively.more
Biggar take 4 try bonus against West
A cracking match in miserable conditions ends with Biggar claiming all 5 league pointsmore
Biggar hit back in Aberdeen after sluggish start
This was an entertaining match despite the defeatmore
u-15’s at GHA
The U-15's maintain their recent run of formmore
Biggar defeat Kelso and claim 3 from 3
The Colts led the way on Saturday with their win over GHA but the 2nds and then the 1sts rounded off a great day at Hartree Mill. Sunday followed and with it the Mini Tournament which again showed the club off really well.more
1st Gold Club Draw of the new season
Are you a member of the Gold Club? See Willie Chapman if you wish to be included and read on to see what you could win!
This is a great source of income for the club but apart from that it is a cracking wee earner for the individuals who are lucky enough to have their numbers drawn from the famous bucket.
There are 8 draws per annum. Each draw sees 6 prizes drawn: 1 x £250 and 5 x £100more
Colts and Youth travel to dumfries
Honours even against Dumfriesmore
Biggar collect a losing bonus in League opener
Biggar were unable to finish the job on Saturday when, having chased Peebles down in the second half, they failed to do enough to secure the win.more
Boys Youth v Dunfermline - mixed results
Boys Youth begin defence of the Green Conference titlemore
Biggar lose Cup tie
Marr proved too strong for Biggar in the BT Cup on Saturdaymore
Biggar win through against Penrith.
Biggar defeat Penrithmore
Biggar Colts lose out at Boroughmuir
Colts start season with win at Hamilton
Biggar get the better of Dumfries
Biggar a match for Dumfriesmore
School of Rugby Programme
Click here for more information about the School of Rugby Programme.more