Hartree Mill Sports Grounds, Biggar ML12 6JJCharity Number: SC 047700

Biggar open with win

Dumfries 5 Biggar 17

This match won’t be remembered as the prettiest spectacle but it was a typically hard-fought and robust contest which had the crowd enthralled until the final whistle.

 

Games between the two clubs are always tough matches and with Dumfries winning the two encounters last year and on home turf there was an expectation that Biggar would be in for a real test regardless of their resounding win at the Moffat 10’s which was never going to provide any real pointers as to the result in a full XV-a-side contest.

 

That Biggar ultimately triumphed by 2 tries to 1 was probably a fair result given the territory and possession they enjoyed. Dumfries meanwhile, will doubtless rue the fact that they allowed themselves to become increasingly unsettled by referee Mr Ian Morrisson. Careless penalties conceded and back chat cost them dearly, none more significantly than in the second half and with some 10 minutes remaining when a penalty was advanced 10m forward giving Biggar’s Conor Lavery a much easier pot at goal. The successful kick put Biggar ahead by 2 scores at 17-5 (the final score).

 

Biggar made several changes in the pack for this match with Andrew Nimmo, Ewan Stewart (for their first starts this season) and Chris Milligan all featuring. The latter’s performance, in what was his first senior game for Biggar after 6 years at Heriots, was an all action affair and earned him the Man of the Match award - though there were several other worthy contenders in what was a good all round team performance.

 

The match began at a helter-skelter pace and one which hardly let up all half. Errors there were a-plenty, as both sides were slow to get to grips with the ball, players running the ball from all parts of the pitch which certainly added to the excitement! Both sides tackled fiercely, with defences generally on top and giving little away.

 

A passage of pressure in the Dumfries 22 was the precursor to Biggar’s opening try, Lavery moving right off ruck ball and finding Rowan Stewart with a deft pop pass, the winger cruising through the defence for the touchdown. Lavery added the conversion for 7-0.

 

Further pressure saw Biggar attack deep into the Dumfries 22 but a succession of errors in transfer combined with some resolute defence meant that Biggar were unable to add to their tally. Ironically it was from another period of pressure, when Biggar disrupted the Dumfries scrum, that led to the home sides score. In trouble as the scrum was shunted backwards, and following a tackle by Biggar skipper Euan Sanderson play seemed to have halted with ‘ball held up’. Referee Morrison allowed play to continue however and Dumfries 9 Jack Johnstone put in a relieiving kick up the middle of the pitch. Biggar fullback Iain Renwick was just short in his chase to catch the ball, the bounce taking the ball over his head and into the path of the Dumfries breakout. It was then a race to the line, the whole length of the pitch and while Biggar chased well, none more so than Robbie Lavery, the home side got their try. The conversion was missed however and so Biggar still held a slight lead at 7-5.

 

The half ebbed and flowed with Biggar certainly enjoying the bulk of the territorial advantage but unable to add to their tally, again errors stemming the attack. Another scrum in the Dumfries 22 saw the home side breakout again, Biggar’s Robbie Lavery and Renwick again to the fore in defence to stop the immediate breakout and while Dumfries took play into the Biggar 22 they probably should have done better, Biggar able to escape without further punishment.

 

The last part of the first half was a scrappy affair as all seemed to lose shape, ball lost in contact and passes not as accurate.

 

Penalties were exchanged although none were within kicking range until Lavery was just wide with an attempt with just a few minutes of the half remaining.

 

The half ended with what appeared to be a penalty award but instead of allowing play to continue half time was signalled. The second half started with a yellow card to Biggar’s lock Franco Carossi and a penalty to Dumfries.

 

A man down meant Biggar’s scrum was under pressure and Dumfries worked hard to get into the match but again the Biggar defence held firm.

 

Lavery had a great break from his own half into the Dunfries 22 but scrum pressure allowed Dumfries to clear. That Dumfries were unable to score in this period was significant as Biggar with the wind behind them had an advantge that they now pressed home.

 

Lavery made good ground with a variety of kicks to pin Dumfries back and good pressure meant that the Dumfries defence was tested to the max. A chip to the wing from Gregor Stewart saw a chase to the line which had there been a TMO could easily have seen Biggar get a try as James Barr and then Matthew Stewart seemed to have got the crucial touchdown but it was a call that only a TMO could have made and so Biggar had to be content with a 5m scrum. Dumfries engineered another breakout from this position but again a lost ball allowed Biggar to escape and regain territory.

 

Barr was on the end fo what was deemed to have been a forward pass while Reive, Conor Lavery and Sanderson were all held up short. The decisive score came at the beginning of the 4th quarter ball moved left seeing Barr take Gregor Stewart’s well-timed pass to cross untouched in the corner. Despite the acute angle Lavery added the conversion to make the score 14-5.

 

A penalty award to Biggar after Dumfries centre Michael Yates was shown yellow for a late hiton Moffat took play into the Dumfries half where another penalty and then back chat advanced play forward for lavery to kick the lasy points of the match and give Biggar what was a commanding lead.

 

Supporters will remember last season when on at elast 3 oaccsions Biggar managed to squander winning positions but not this time round and the visitors took the honours, Dumfries denied even a losing bonus.

 

The error count will disappoint the coaches from both teams and certainly neither sdie will escape as lightly in other matches but Biggar will take heart from the win with the team effort a very pleasing aspect of the game.

 

Stewarts Melville are next up, this a home game and which sees the city side making a first visit to Hartree Mill for some 4 seasons. Therwe will be plenty for the coachuing team to work on but with a few players still to make their first appearances there is now real competition for places across all positions. The availability of Andrew Nimmo and Chris Milligan will undoubtedly have an impact as will the injuries highlighted.

 

The injury count continues to creep up with Barr, Rowan Stewart and Ross Bradford all picking up knocks which will test the club’s strength in depth.

Biggar

I renwick, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, G. Stewart, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, D. Reive, A. Nimmo, E. Stewart, F. Maggiolo, A. Peacock, F. Carossi, C. Milligan, E. Sanderson (c), R. Jackson.

Reps: D. Voas, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, J. Barr


Musselburgh take charge

Musselburgh 53 Biggar 14

After two warm up games Biggar travelled to National 1 club Musselburgh on National League Cup action on Saturday. Musselburgh and Biggar have not met for several seasons as the clubs missed each other when Biggar were relegated from National 1 to 2 as Musselburgh were promoted some 4 years ago.

Matches hitherto had been fairly even although there have been similar high scoring wins and defeats.

On this occasion it is fair to say Biggar were comprehensively beaten by the East Lothain side who showed a strong presence up front – including ex-Biggar man Colin Arthur – and who scored freely in the first half to go ahead 32-0. Biggar will point to a better 2nd half showing when the score was 21-14 but M’burgh will doubtelss contest that having done the damage in the first half they slackened off a bit as their progress to the next round was secured.

Biggar were without a couple of regulars but this cannot be used as an excuse and the side will have to quickly regroup prior to the league opener this weekend when they journey to Dumfries.

 

The big home pack did most of the damage and while Biggar looked dangerous with the ball, possession is always key and when a side struggles to retain possession they will forever be on the back foot.

M’burgh ran in 4 first half tries and kicked two conversions and two penalties for their 32 point lead. The first and third tries came from a week defensive effort from Biggar which will task the coaches as this has been an area they have been working on in training. The second after some good support running saw the M‘burgh side breach the Biggar defence while the fourgh was a forward drive controlled by that man Arthur who ultimately touched down.

 

After the break and an early try to the home side – this an interception which could equally as easily seen Biggar in for an opening score, Biggar got their first points with Matthew Stewart taking a pass from stand-off Conor Lavery who added the conversion.

A series of penalties at scrum time disrupted Biggar’s concentratiion and they were posted missing as M’burgh took a quick tap and go to record their 6th score.

A neat off-load by Rowan Stewart put Lavery over for Biggar’s second try.

A testing time for the three quarters who spent the bulk of their day defending and tackling but who have so much more to offer of they can get their hands on the ball.

A number of changes will be made for this Saturday and Biggar will have to dig a good bit deeper if they are to get a win at Dunfries a sdie thet lost to twice in last season’s campaign.

 

There was no 2nd XV match on Saturday but they too will be on duty this weekend when they take on Currie. On 9th September the club are looking to field 3 XV’s with the first appearance of the Biggar/Lanark Development XV. To this end ALL players from the two clubs are encouraged to make themselves available and to let their team secretaries know asap in order that arrangements can be made for the game which is scheduled for Duns.


Rugby Force and St Boswells visit to begin pre-season proper

WHAT a week, WHAT a weekend!

 

Biggar’s Summer Camp ran all of last week and played host to some 80 rugby daft youngsters who were put through their paces by the Development team supplemented by youngsters and coaches from the club.

 

A full programme of skills practices, fitness work and all manner of fun games meant that the kids (and the coaches) went home each night exhausted!

 

A highlight came on Friday with the appearance of the Calcutta Cup and an opportunity for each player present to get a photograph with this famous trophy – these can be downloaded from the website (under Gallery).

 

Many thanks to the SRU and Graham Law for again providing the trophy.

 

RBS/SRU Rugby Force kicked things off on Saturday when at 9am volunteers started appearing to be allocated one of the various tasks to prepare the Hartree Mill site for the new season.

 

General cleaning and tidying up, sorting, mending, building, painting, plastering, weeding, raking…..and so on were included and the 80+ volunteer army got stuck in.

 

RBS volunteers and SRU personnel (including Glasgow North Rugby Manager Alex Edmonstone) augmented the Biggar members and all got stuck in with much enthusiasm.

 

A vast number of jobs were completed and another list was started – running the club is akin to the old adage about painting the Forth Road Bridge , no sooner are you finished than you need to start again!

 

A big thank you to all who turned out, your efforts were very much appreciated and have made a big difference to the club. Volunteer days and the hours devoted to house-keeping and large project tasks have been crucial to the club moving forward over the years and will continue to be the main way of maintaining progress. To out-source the work would make the whole job prohibitive and the club would simply stand still.

 

Congratulations are due to Nic Humphries for the initial application which saw Biggar as one of two award winning clubs and to the committee with Nigel Pacey leading with the provision of materials and equipment and the distribution of tasks.

 

There were two winners on the day, both taking home a signed Scotland shirt, this coming as a reward for their morning work. In the U18 category, Katie Innes beat the rest for her disciplined approach to her work in the fitness hut while Michael McConkey won the adult award, this for his unstinting stint as post-painter!

 

Guests to be thanked are (in no particular order) Sarah Ayton from RBS, Rex Hughill from Leith Management, the RBS film crewman Ewan Fletcher and Tom Hallam from Stripe PR.

 

At 1pm and on schedule some of Scotland biggest names arrived – Stuart Hogg and Huw Jones from the men’s side and Lana Skeldon and Megan Kennedy from the Ladies. Many of the youngsters found the atttraction of these players too great and the workrate dropped a bit but there are no complaints – their presence had quite an effect on several of the adults as well!

 

True to form and in rugby style the guests quickly pitched in to help. A quick fire round of questions with locals interviewing stars and stars interviewing locals was followed by the main coaching phase of the day where all sections of the club were represented – including members of the Lanark Eagles - and when the stars moved around the groups providing coaching tips and generally assisting the youngsters and their coaches.

 

Although scheduled to stay until 3pm the queue at that time for autographs and selfies stretched for 50+ metres and the 4 stars stayed until the job was completed. Fantastic!

 

Great ambassadors for their clubs and for the SRU – well done folks for a magnificent effort.

 

There was action on the pitch when National 3 side St Boswells arrived for a pre-season friendly. Having reportedly recruited successfully again this season the Border side will again target promotion to National 2. Boswells were let down somewhat by some very late call offs however which meant they turned up with the bare XV and with Biggar counting on a squad of some 25 this was always going to make the visitors task all that more difficult.

 

Played over 4x20 minute quarters play was a tad disjointed and scrappy although given that this was both teams first run out of the season that is hardly surprising. The Boswells pack posed some problems for the Biggar side in the scrum and should have probably made more of an impression had their lineout functioned properly but this cost them dearly when promising attacking positions were lost via over throws.

 

In reply Biggar ran well to test the Borders defence to the full.

 

In a tit-for-tat game the sides traded tries over the first two quarters before Biggar began to open up a gap in the third to eventually run out winners by 33-17.

 

Boswells points came from tries credited to Lawlor, Paxton and Hogg with Chisholm (brother of former DO Iain) adding a conversion.

Biggar’s points came from newcomer Franko Carossi, Ross Jackson (2), Douglas Notman and Ali Steele. Euan Bogle kicked 2 conversions, with Davy Reive and Steele both notching one a-piece.

 

Holidays, weddings and work will continue to effect selection over the next few weeks but the side should be able to welcome back their Glasgow reps and others who have yet to be in a position to commit to training.

 

On this note very many congratulations to all those who were involved in representative rubgy on Sunday on the final day of the Fosroc academy programme played at Murrayfield.

 

Guy Kelly, Matthew and Lewis Stewart and Luhann Kutze were all in action for the U20’s with Andrew Nimmo, now registered with Hawks another named, while Jonnie Smith, Sam Taylor and Ben Nicol were all in the U16 squad.

 

In the Girls U18 VII’s were Sarah Denholm and Feebi Robinson (Thistles) and Emma Orr (Saltires). The Saltires won with Orr notching two scores.

 

 

In a big step forward the Biggar and Lanark are to join forces this season to provide a side which will compete in the East Development league.

 

A shortage of players at Lanark which led to their enforced withdrawl from last years West league and insufficient numbers at Biggar for a 3rd XV meant that a significant number of players were getting only irregular matches.

 

The ground-breaking arrangement will run on a season by season basis with games played at either Biggar or Lanark with the potential for Friday evening floodlit games should the opportunity arise.

 

Both Presidents, Iain Hughes from Lanark and John Bogle from Biggar, are enthusiastic about and whole-heartedly support the venture as players from both clubs are going to benefit from the added game time.

 

A new strip which incorporates colours from both clubs has been created for the team which will play under the name of Biggar Eagles. There will be a Barbarian type look with players wearing their own club shorts and socks. Opponents will include Duns, Dalkeith, Linlithgow, Watsonians and Livingston.

 

Players will train at Biggar with Lanark’s David Masters joining the coaching team.

 

 

This weekend

This coming weekend will see further Senior club action at Hartree Mill when Penrith are the visitors. This will be the 4th year the sides have met in what have been competitive pre-season fixtures. In past seasons the game has been the first for the English side but this time round this will be their second outing this season and so the sides should be at the same stage in terms of preparation.

 

With Biggar facing Cup opponents Musselburgh on the 26th before the League starts on 2nd September, coaches Mercer, Wilson and Fleming will look to field their ‘top’ XV. There were several players who stepped up the mark on Saturday and selection will be a tough ask for the coaches and for the players! Exciting times ahead!

 

The 2nds will also play against Penrith so a top afternoon of rugby is in prospect.

 

 

Junior rugby – Sunday

U12 and U13 v Livingston – home

U15 and U16 v Livingston - away


Membership

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 gy1680@aol.com or Nigel Pacey on 07714 713504.

 

If you would like to know a little more about our rugby programmes for Primary or Secondary school children please refer to our Mini and Midi pages under the "Teams" section or contact either Laura Watson for information about Primary School age children and Paula Yardley on 07830022447 for Secondary School aged children

Membership rates and packages are as follows:

 


NEWS

Biggar open with win

A great start!

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Musselburgh take charge

1sts bow out against Musselburgh

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Rugby Force and St Boswells visit to begin pre-season proper

Rugby Force weekend

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Membership

Memberships 2018-19

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