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

1sts defeat Howe

Biggar 57 Howe of Fife 3

Biggar’s 13th win came at the expense of Howe of Fife who now prop up National 2 alongside Lasswade.

 

Biggar meanwhile retain their top of the table spot, 4 points ahead of Highland who are in second spot and 16 ahead of third placed Stewarts Melville. The top two have two games before they meet on January 19th in a match which, if both teams continue winning, will be a massive clash and which would most likely take on the mantle of championship decider. But, as mentioned, there are two games to go before that clash and in sport, anything can happen!

 

 

Biggar had to make no fewer than 5 changes for this match, 4 of last weeks starting squad (Alan Warnock, Jamie Orr, Euan Sanderson and Davy Reive) in attendance at Alan and Emma’s wedding while Matthew Stewart was in the Scotland U19 squad which faced Wales on Sunday (Scotland lost out by ). Zander Lyon, Andrew Peacock, Declan Dinnen, Iain Renwick and Ryan Moffat all stepped up and as all have had bags of 1st XV experience there was a limited impact on the side.

 

Howe have had a difficult campaign to date and indeed struggled to provide a team list until late on Friday, this due to a scarcity of front row players meaning that they could only list 17 instead of 19 for their match day squad. There were fears that they might have to forfeit the match or that the game would go to uncontested scrums but in fact this was not the case and the match proceeded as normal although there will be several who must be in a sorry state this week following what was a bit of a mauling. Having said that the Howe side played with great spirit and had they not lost centre Sean Murray after less than 5 minutes or had another couple of ball carrying forwards to support George Henderson and Chris Mann who always took ball on to make good yards, then things might have been a tad different.

 

As it was Biggar contained the big pack and with a rock solid defence Howe were kept out, their solitary score coming from a Dylan Suttie penalty.

 

Playing into the elements – the wind and rain which had been absent all morning seeemd to reappear at kick off and then disappear by half time – Biggar nabbed an opening score after Chris Mulligan made a very typical 40 metre breenge through the Howe line. His pop pass was grabbed by Peacock who also made great yards before off-loading to winger Ross Bradford who stepped over for the opening score. Conor Lavery was off-target with the conversion attempt.

 

Howe hit back through Suttie’s penalty before Robbie Orr took a scoring pass from Rowan Stewart to add Biggar’s second. Lavery was again just wide with the kick but Biggar were 10-3 ahead.

 

In what was a scrappy game, this down to the wind and wet conditions, errors there were a-plenty and neither side were able to string perhaps any more than a few phases without stoppages. This made for an exciting encounter however with attack followed by counter attack and repeat.

 

With just over half an hour gone Biggar notched their 3rd score, this falling to No8 Ross Jackson who controlled the ball well at the scrum base as Biggar’s dominant pack drove the Howe 8 back over their own line. Lavery added the conversion for 17-3 and half time.

 

Howe stand off Suttie had a good game on limited ball but their main weapon was in the shape of No 8 Mann whose control at the scrum base as his pack was shunted back at almost every scrum got them out of jail on several occasions. In attack he offered himself as a threat but the support was rarely sufficient to provide clean quick ball and it was that failing that undid much of his good work.

 

A late tackle by Jackson on Howe stand off Suttie as he continued to try and orchestrate the Howe attack earned the Biggar man a yellow card.

 

The remaining minutes of the half however saw Howe in attack and ensconced in Biggar’s 22. Only the home defence, which saw players throw themselves at the feet of the visitors, kept Howe out as they opted for line drives and mauls.

 

Otherwise, Biggar’s defensive effort, which has been a massive and hugely important aspect to their season kept things watertight, leading to the fact that in the last 3 games Biggar have conceded a miserly 3 points.

 

As the minutes ticked by however, and as Howe continued to attack, it seemed almost inevitable that Howe would eventually gain a score and so sound defence or not, the Biggar support and the Biggar XV were very grateful to Iain Renwick who popped the ball into touch to end this prolonged spell on the line.

 

Biggar began the second period on the attack and while Robbie Orr just lost control of the ball as he prepared to score, the next phase saw Mulligan on hand to romp home from some 20 metres for Biggar’s 4th and bonus point winning try. Lavery added the conversion for 24-3.

 

Biggar welcomed Jackson back and began to ring the changes with Franco Carossi replacing Guy Kelly.

 

Some 15 minutes into the half and prop Donald Voas who is continuing a very fine series of performances managed to get on the score sheet again – his 3rd try this season - with a typically low driving burst for the line. Lavery added the 2 points and Biggar were 31-3 up.

 

As Biggar continued to press there was an untidy flare up between the sides and although he didn’t appear to be the instigator it was Howe’s No 8, Mann, who was shown a yellow by referee John Smith. Deprived of their main ball carrier and control at the scrum base Howe continued to struggle.

 

Biggar replaced Ryan Moffat with Gregor Stewart, Jackson with Lewis Stewart and Mulligan with Craig McDonald.

 

Dinnen was next on the score sheet, the big back rower crashing over from 10 metres out after Biggar took ball off the Howe put in. Lavery converted.

 

The next Biggar attack was halted by Howe fullback Jack Todd who was deemed to have deliberately knocked the ball down as he attempted an interception on Biggar’s play. Given the scoreline this seemed a tad harsh but Howe found themselves another man down, albeit it that it was just a few minutes before Mann resumed after his 10 minutes had elapsed.

 

Rowan Stewart was the next Biggar player to score, the winger benefitting from some good quick passing in the backs which created the space for him to exploit.

 

Although Conor Lavery was just wide with the conversion, he found the mark as Orr claimed his second try, this after he won the chase to a grubber kick from skipper for the day Robbie Lavery.

 

By this time conditions were becoming really tricky as the gloom descended, spectators struggling to catch the action.

 

This took its toll on Howe who, up against things again, botched a lineout. Ewan Stewart latched onto the loose ball and made ground before releasing Conor Lavery who crossed for the try and added the final conversion to wrap things up at 57-3.

 

This was Biggar’s 6th match in which they have broken the 50 point mark and the 11th time they have recorded a 4 try bonus point. Neither of these landmark moments have ever been recorded before which is cause in itself for celebration.

 

Biggar now prepare for a very tricky trip to play Falkirk. Three years ago Biggar journeyed to the same team who were angling for promotion to National 1. A 46-14 drubbing was the result as Falkirk swept forward to gain promotion. There are few Biggar players who remain to make the return trip this season but none that do will have fond memories of that match. A chance for some ‘revenge’ then, but Falkirk will doubtless be very determined to slow Biggar’s progress.

 

Biggar

R. Orr, R. Bradford, R. Lavery, R. Moffat, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, I|. Renwick, D. Voas, E. Stewart, G. Kelly, A. Peacock, A. Lyon, D. Dinnen, C. Mulligan, R. Jackson

Reps: F. Carossi, L. Stewart, G. Stewart, C. McDonald

 

The 2nd XV match scheduled against Currie was postponed at Biggar’s request, there being too many players unavailabe. This match will be rescheduled.


1sts and 2nds take on Stewarts Melville

Stewarts Melville 0 Biggar 31

This was a result which will tax the statisticians from both clubs; when was the last time Biggar won back to back games whilst keeping their line intact and when was the last time Stew Mel failed to record a single point at home?

 

Answers on a postcard please to BRFC and if it’s possible these will be included in this Saturday’s match programme when Howe of Fife are the guests.

 

Having managed to defeat the Edinburgh side by 36-3 at Hartree Mill back in September, Biggar were convinced that on Saturday they would face a really fired up opposition desperate to gain some sort of revenge. The Stew Mel warm up gave credilbility to that conviction as the home side, with an onimously large pack, ran through a host of moves at pace. Fast forward to the match however and things were very different when the same moves stuttered and failed as passes were dropped and lacked accuracy while the pack, aside from a couple of notable exceptions came off second best both in the set piece and in the loose.

 

That this was the case was down to the pressure exerted by an equally fired up Biggar squad combined with a real off-day for the Edinburgh side who struggled to match the Biggar effort.

 

Chances to get the Stew Mel scoreboard moving there were, but these were few and far between and on each occasion they found the Biggar defence at its solid best. Players were knocked back in tackles, possession was conceded while opportunities to gain and/or retain field position were lost when the set piece malfunctioned. Indeed, two of Biggar’s 5 tries came from lineout errors when possession was gifted to Biggar players who reacted far quicker to press home the advantage.

 

Biggar fielded a strong XV with competition for places seeing a couple of regulars dropping to the 2nd XV who played their Stew Mel hosts on the adjoining pitch.

 

Up front Ewan Stewart returned at hooker which allowed Chris Mulligan to play on the flank, Lewis Stewart unavailable due to injury. In the 2nd row, Andrew Warnock joined up with Jamie Orr, these two contributing massively in winning and pinching valuable lineout ball.

 

The backs began as of late, and the bench saw newcomer Declan Dinnen making his first appearance in a Biggar shirt.

 

Given the torrential rain during the week it was hardly surprising that the Inverleith pitch was sodden and slippy, this a factor both sides had to contend with, but happily the overhead conditions were reasonably fair.

 

Biggar kicked off up the ‘slope’ and faced an initial onslaught (as expected) and which saw Biggar pressed into defensive roles. A knock on off a neat chip was the first Stew Mel foray into Biggar’s half. Some really good defence and a big scrum saw Biggar gain territory and it seemed a burst to the line from Robbie Lavery would open the scoring but at the last possible moment the ball was knocked from his grasp. Another good scrum saw Stew Mel struggle to break free and Biggar regrouped to make an assualt on the Stew Mel line. Conor Lavery took the ball going right and put in a neat grubber behind the Stew Mel backs, Ross Bradford winning the chase for the first try which Matthew Stewart converted for 7-0.

 

Stew Mel maintained possession from two penalties and subsequent lineouts as Biggar fell foul of referee Steven Turnbull. A searing break through the Biggar line was perhaps the best line break of the match but Biggar’s cover defence in the shape of Rowan Stewart was up to the mark and the attack halted.

 

The hosts opted to take a scrum from the next penalty award, they believing that their scrum would be able to dominate but a somewhat predictable blind side move saw the winger bundled in to touch.

 

Despite gaining some relief via Davy Reive’s box kicks and a good ‘mark’ from Alan Warnock Stew Mel managed to retain possession and territory.

 

The game at this stage was broken and scrappy as both teams made errors, these due to the slippy conditions underfoot and/or as players tried to open play up. Still suffering from a number of penalties all for a variety of different offences, Biggar were under some pressure but this they dealt with pretty well, their two man/double tackles sapping the energy from the hosts attack. Two examples of this with Rowan Stewart and Donald Voas and another by Jamie Orr and Ewan Stewart caught the eye.

 

As it was Biggar began to gain more ground and just after the half hour they struck again. A good attacking position was won from a penalty from Conor Lavery and good lineout ball. Matthew Stewart, Voas and Ross Jackson combined well to take play to the Stew Mel 22. Ball was recycled and pressure maintained via a driving run from Jamie Orr. With quick ruck ball provided a pop pass to Euan Sanderson saw him crash over from 5 metres for a score which saw the ‘points for’ total move past the 500 mark, it all the more appropriate that this try was claimed by the 1st XV captain. Matthew Stewart duly converted the try to put Biggar into a 14-0 lead.

 

Stew Mel came back from the restart but Biggar were able to hold their line intact after Warnock took a good lineout off the hosts possession.

 

The second half saw Guy Kelly – the youngster showing again that he is a talent with some solid scrummaging combined with some very good ‘carries’ in the loose - replaced by Franco Carossi.

 

The half couldn’t have had a better start for Biggar as in what was their first attack an attempted break out by the Stew Mel pack saw hooker Doug Randall pass the ball directly to his opposite number Ewan Stewart who had the simple task of turning and making the 5 yards to the line for an opportunist score. Matthew Stewart was just short with his conversion attempt.

 

Less than 10 minutes later and Biggar claimed their 4th and bonus point winning try, not something which had been given much thought in the pre-match build up. This too came directly from a Stew Mel error and as such a bit of a gift. Biggar have often conceded possession from lineouts in the past but they haven’t been punished just so harshly. An overthrow and knock-down on their own lineout saw ball spilled to the ground, the ever-present flanker Chris Mulligan on hand to pounce on the ball and then make the 5 or so yards to the line for the try. Matthew Stewart duly converted for 26-0 but this was his last involvement as Ryan Moffat took over in the centre.

 

Minutes later and a penalty gave Conor Lavery the chance to extend his sides lead but he was off target from what was a long way out.

 

Dinnen made his first appearance on the pitch when he replaced Warnock and Iain Renwick then took over at scrum half from Reive. These changes disrupted the Biggar effort a little and the remainder of the contest became a little less fluid with errors again creeping into both sides play. It was an entertaining contest nevertheless, with plenty talking points and several chances to add to the Biggar total.

 

Biggar’s 5th try came as Biggar were deep in their hosts half. A series of attacks had come up against some btter defence but with great vision stand off Conor Lavery put in a super cross kick which Ryan Moffat was able to take before crossing for a great score. Lavery was just short with the conversion.

 

The last passage of play saw Stew Mel enjoy a bit more pressure with better possession and they forced Biggar back into defence. That Biggar kept the city side out was as big a bonus as the additional point for scoring 4 tries. The side have now scored 521 and conceded just 87, an average over the 13 games of 40-6!

 

Biggar’s next test is against Howe of Fife, a side languishing at ther foot of the National 2 table. Complacency is a dangerous enemy and with several players unavailable as they travel to celebrate Alan Warnock’s wedding to Emma (best wishes to the couple from all at Hartree Mill), the squad must regroup and ensure that they retain their top spot.

 

 

Biggar

R. Orr, R. Bradford, R. Lavery, M. Stewart, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, D. Reive, D. Voas, E. Stewart, G. Kelly, J. Orr, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, C. Mulligan, R. Jackson

Reps: F. Carossi, D. Dinnen, R. Moffat, I. Renwick

 

Biggar’s 2nd XV were left tight for numbers on Saturday and their cause was hampered early on with a nasty head cut injury to stand off James Barr. Happily he has been stitched up and is set for recovery.

 

Further injuries to Ali Steele, Euan Bogle and Paul Davidson meant the side was further depleted although the latter two were able to stay on the pitch.

 

A Bogle penalty was their limit in the first half but a try and conversion from Gregor Stewart in the second period gave the side a lift but Stew Mel were able to run in several tries to win by 41-10.

 

There is bags of potential in this side, especially if those who are available were all able to play regularly. Their mid table position is not at all reflective of thier ability or potential.


1sts bounce back against Dumfries

Biggar 39 Dumfries 0

What a difference a week makes! A Biggar win as they bounce back after the defeat by Peebles while the Border side who looked a competent and strong side come unstuck against Glasgow Accies....

 

After the disappointment of last week when Biggar produced a somewhat lack-lutsre display, the side came out of the traps with all guns firing against Dumfries. Having weathered the Dumfries storm of the first half, they then opened up to record an excellent win, with just as importantly, preventing the visitors from recording any points.

 

Having suffered defeat last week, Biggar were determined to ensure that they got things back on track on Saturday. This was the first game of the second ‘half’ of the season and against a side which had provided stern opposition in the opening encounter.

 

Biggar welcomed back two warriors in lock Alan Warnock and scrum half Davy Reive with Guy Kelly recalled to the front row. Andrew Peacock and Franco Carrossi dropped to the bench with Chris Mulligan taking over at hooker from the injured Ewan Stewart, and with Lewis Stewart at flank forward. In the three quarters the other Stewart brothers (Gregor and Rowan) were unavailable and so Matthew Stewart returned from injury at centre with Iain Renwick, who had been at 9 against Peebles playing on the wing.

 

As had been expected Dumfries began strongly some neat moves in the backs seeing them create great yardage and on one occasion splitting the Biggar defence in two, only a great tackle from Robbie Orr halting the move.

 

Against the run of play then it was a boost to see Matthew Stewart kick a penalty top give Biggar an early lead.

 

Play was a tad fractious at this stage with both sides getting into good attacking positions but errors spoiling all the hard work that had gone before. The wind, which was coming across the pitch, was a major factor with Dumfries struggling to master restarts and with Biggar just too long on a couple of occasions. These, combined with a variety of penalty awards and a mal-functioning Dumfries lineout and some uncharacteristic handling errors from Biggar meant that there were regular stoppages.

 

Dumfries continued to put Biggar under pressure however and it took all of Biggar’s defensive strength to keep their line intact, one superb try-saving tackle from Davy Rieve which did just enough to prevent Dumfries from scoring was one of many to catch the eye, Donald Voas another who put in some thundering hits throghout the match.

 

Dumfries should have tied the scores ast 3-3 but kicker Alan Birdsall was off target from a relatively ‘simple’ distance.

 

Having seen that kick miss Dumfries opted thereafter to run the ball with a series of tap and go’s but again it was Biggar’s first up and cover tackles which came to the fore to repel the visitors.

 

Biggar were a match for their opponents in the tight scrum but they took the lion’s share of lineout ball, Jamie Orr in fine form although tribute too, to his lifters.

 

As ahs often been the case this season Biggar’s ability to counter-attack has been impressive and it was this which led to the first try. A squint Dumfries lineout in Biggar’s 22 led to a sscrum and Biggar possession. Ross Bradford got the ball in midfield and made a great break to the left with Iain Renwick adding more yards. Ballw as then transferred inside to Reive who made short shrift of the gap to reach the line. Matthew Stewart added the conversion for 10-0.

 

This score came just beofre the half hour mark and some 5 minutes later Biggar struck again with Stewart kicking a second penalty for 13-0.

 

A major error on the restart meant the Dumfries were gifted possession and had it not been for their defence Biggar would have conceded a score. Instead however, Bradford, Voas, Chris Mulligan and the Orr brothers all tackled well to stem the tide.

 

A Conor Lavery clearnace took play to half way with the chase stopping Dumfries from a counter attack. A knock on gave Biggar scrum ball and with Ross Jackson making the initial thrust, yards were made by Robbie Orr, then Jackson again who popped the ball to Lewis Stewart who looked to be on his way to scoring a try. The despairing cover tackle did enough to trip him up but the youngster had the presence of mind to find Euan Sanderson in support, Biggar’s skipper diving in for the score, though the flying tackle by the last Dumfries player was not to his liking!

 

Half time then and Biggar were ahead at 20-0.

 

A series of penalties from referee Mike Milner disrupted play as the second half began, Dumfries benefitting from these awards and managing to relieve the pressure exerted by Biggar. Faced with poor possession from their lineout meant that a tap-and-go ploy was again their preffered option, but Biggar were up for this with another batch of big hits ending the momentum Dumfries so craved.

 

With some 15 minutes of the second half gone Biggar struck with a third try. Reive tidied lineout ball before gaining some much needed yards. Robbie Lavery spread play wide and Lewis Stewart linked well before getting the ball to Robbie Orr. The fullback is very elusive and made the try line form the half way mark, out-stripping the Dumfries defence on the way. Matthew Stewart’s conversion took Biggar to 27-0.

 

There was now the real possibility of collecting another 4 try bonus – not something that had been given much thought in the lead up to the game.

 

Robbie Lavery made a great line break with his next foray and with Mulligan carrying play forward again his pass found Lewis Stewart who flew in from the Dumfries 22 for a try convertde by his brother for 34-0 and that all important bonus point try!

 

With the thrid quarter beckoning Voas was carrying well again as Biggar rang the changes with Franco Carossi replacing Kelly and Peacock replacing Alan Warnock. Robbie Lavery then took over at scrum half as Reive left the field to a well-deserved round of applause for his efforts.

 

Dumfries continued to run at Biggar with scrum half Birdsall tireless in his attempts to spur his side and on and with flanker Ben Johnstone and No8 Luke Gilbert making good ground into the Biggar 22 but errors and Biggar’s defence brought these efforts to nought.

 

The last try was one of the best of the season to date and there have been plenty from the top drawer as well. A missed kick to touch was cleared fownfield by Dumfries and into Biggar’s 22 where it was gathered by Robbie Orr. He found Iain renwick who set up a ruck on Biggar 10m line. There were then a series of phases each of which involved different players but which continues to take play into the Dumfries half. An injection of pace by Mulligan and then by Bradford who made some great runs on Saturday set Jackson free for the try in the corner! A total of 13 players were involved at some point…..fantastic!

 

The final few minutes saw Biggar penalised on a number of occasions at scrum time when they seemed to be totally dominant and which meant that Dumfries ended the match in Biggar’s 22.

 

Congratulations to all involved on Saturday. There was no one who did not perform and it was really encouraging to see how the younger members of the squad – 4 in their teens – worked together. This was a big result given the previous week’s performance and one which should again boost confidence. With a weekend off due to the Cup commitements Biggar now prepare for the real challenge posed by Stewarts Melville who are currently in 3rd spot. Biggar won the match at Hartree Mill and took the Edinburgh side by surprise. They will be eager to return the compliment there is no doubt.

 

Biggar

R. Orr, R. Bradford, R. Lavery, M. Stewart, I. Renwick, C. Lavery, D. Reive, D. Voas, C. Mulligan, G. Kelly, J. Orr, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, L. Stewart, R. Jackson

Reps: F. Carossi, A. Peacock, R. Moffat, J. Barr

 

The 2nd XV entertained Peebles 2nds in a friendly on Friday evening. After a good first half Biggar dropped off the pace a bit and allowe their visitors too much space.

The Border side ran out deserved winners. Ali Steele, Alex Toal and euan Bogle scored tries with the latter also kicking 2 conversions.


Win at GHK signals 10 from 10

GHK 7 Biggar 61

Biggar’s 10th consecutive win – a record as far as we can tell – came at the expense of Glasgow side GHK (Glasgow High and Kelvinside Academy combine).

 

The eventual 9-1 score included another 4 for winger Rowan Stewart, whose league total now stands at 18 from 10 games (another record we think) and which elevates him to the top try scorer for the club...ever!

 

GHK ran the ball well throughout. Their handling was as good as any of the opposing sides Biggar have faced this season, this seen particularly in the counter attack try they scored. Lock Ruaridh Wintersgill who scored and No8 Hugh Parker who initiated the try backed up by centre Danny Campbell, indicates that their current league position of 9th belies their skills and potential. Up front in tight play however they were exposed by the Biggar pack who took control of the set scrum and also managed to disrupt much of the lineout play.

 

Biggar made several changes again for this match, Ewan Stewart returning at hooker with Chris Mulligan resuming on the flank. In the backs Davy Reive started at 9 and Conor Lavery returned at stand off.

 

With conditions much better than had been forecast Biggar began against the breeze, this much more of a factor in play when on the opposite side to the stand which sheltered that half of the pitch.

 

As expected, and with a reputation for running ball through the backs, GHK opened strongly moving ball at every opportunity, but, as other sides have found to their cost, Biggar’s defence was pretty much rock solid with any yards gained by GHK won with maximum effort.

 

Biggar opened the scroing after 11 mins with Ross Bradford benefiting from some good work in the centre which created space out wide and which he exploited to dot down. Mathew Stewart converted this try and Biggar’s second, Rowan Stewarts first. Conor Lavery used a well weighted miss pass to his winger who used some good footwork to cross in the corner.

 

Not to be outdone GHK managed an excellent score of their own, this after a midfield pass went astray between Lavery and Matthew Stewart. Quick to counter GHK moved the ball quickly to the left where a neat off load from Campbell saw Wintersgill gather to cross undet the posts for a try converted by Kyle Henderson.

 

Ten minutes later and Biggar added a 3rd try. Ryan Moffat made good yards through the centre before creating a ruck deep in the GHK 22. Possession retained, ball was moved right to conor lavery who then popped the ball back to Rowan Stewart who crashed over. Matthew Stewart, whilst able to add the conversion, then deprated the field with a thigh injury. He was replaced by Robbie Orr who took over at fullback with Robbie Lavery moving forward to centre.

 

GHK continued to press and had play at the Biggar line courtesy of a penalty but the lineout failed to function properly and Biggar were able to clear their lines. Half time, then at 21-7.

 

The second half was a much more productive period for Biggar as the GHK effort began to falter. Given the strength of Biggar’s defence this was perhaps not surprising, Donald Voas (who had to be patched up after sustaining a head cut), Mulligan, skipper Euan Sanderson and Jamie Orr to name but a few, putting in some really offensive tackles which had the GHK players thumped backwards on a fairly regular basis.

 

Biggar also profited from the control they had up front, Orr and Andrew Peacock pilfering ball at the lineout and the pack steam-rolling the GHK pack back in the tight scrum. This gave Biggar ‘go-forward’ ball which they used to good effect.

 

First up was Bradford. Ewan Stewart swept up a loose pass from GHK and with great vision popped the ball to his winger who ran in from half way, evading the GHK defence with a neat change of direction. With regular kicker Matthew Stewart off, Conor Lavery took over the kicking duties and added the 2 points to this and then Biggar’s 5th try which was scored by replacement scrum half Iain Renwick who had come on just after half time. Zander Lyon disrupted GHK possession to create Biggar possession and the ball was moved swiftly to Renwick who scorched home from some 40 metres. Lavery duly obliged with the conversion.

 

A better period for GHK saw them in the Biggar 22 but a turnover led to another Biggar counter.

 

Mulligan and then Bradford led the charge before the move was halted by some desperate last ditch defence. Ball shipped left found Robbie Lavery who made a neat line break before improvising with a great off-load which was gathered by Robbie Orr for the try, Conor Lavery adding the conversion.

 

With GHK now struggling to match Biggar’s pace and with an electric counter-attack which few could follow Biggar added another 2 tries in quick succession – within 5 minutes in fact and this including the time taken for the conversions.

 

The restart after Orr’s try was taken by Mulligan who set up ruck ball on the Biggar 22. Lavery fired a pass to Gregor Stewart behind the forwards who in turn released Orr on another rampage downfield. Judging his pass perfectly he found Rowan Stewart on the wing and the youngster needed no second invitation before sprinting over in the corner. Undaunted by the angle again, Lavery added the conversion to this try.

 

Biggar then added an 8th score, this again directly from the restart. Ross Bradford took the kick and burst through the GHK line and looked to be almost home when he was eventually brought down by the GHK cover. His pass found the supporting Jamie Orr who in turn, though halted, found Lewis Stewart who dived over for his first try at this level. On this occasion Lavery was just short with the conversion.

 

This achievement then saw a relative lull in the action as the game drfited towards full time. There was room for one more try however, this falling to Rowan Stewart. Conor Lavery put in a well-judged cross kick which the winger failed to catch but nevertheless managed to knock down to the ever-present Jamie Orr. The big man promptly returned the ball to the winger whio dived over for the final try, converted again by Lavery for the 61 point total.

 

Coaches Davy Wilson and Doug Fleming were not particularly overjoyed by the first half performance but with another win, and another bonus point win at that, there is not much room for over-criticism.

 

The week ahead will be devoted to preparations for the next big test, and they don’t come much bigger than a home match against local rivals Peebles.

 

Though there are a couple of the more experienced players unavailable, selection will be tough with all who have come off the bench in recent weeks staking very worthy and completely justifiable claims for inclusion in the starting XV.

 

Please note that this match kicks off at 12.30pm to allow those who wish to attend the Scotland/Fiji match at Murrayfield.

 

 

Biggar

R. Lavery, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, R. Moffat, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, D. Reive, D. Voas, E. Stewart, F. Carossi, Z. Lyon, A. Peacock, E. Sanderson, C. Mulligan, J. Orr

Reps: I. Renwick, G. Stewart, L. Stewart, R. Orr

 

The 2nd XV travelled to take on Boroughmuir Bears in their National 2 Reserve league fixture. Fielding a stronger XV than in recent weeks Biggar took control to record an excellent and thoroughly deserved 52-5 win.

 

A strong wind in their faces in the first half led to some trying conditions but the Biggar XV opened up with a try from James Barr, converted by Euan Bogle. A B’muir try led to a tight 7-5 score at half time before Biggar turned round to enjoy the assistance given by the elements. They were able to open out in this second period to run in 6 tries, these going to Alan Warnock, Steve McKeown (2 tries and voted man-of-the-match), Andy Fleming (2) and Guy Kelly. Bogle added 5 conversions and a penalty for the 52 point total.


Biggar take another 5 pointer

Biggar 49 Preston Lodge 0

 

 

On a bright cold Saturday, Biggar 1st XV made it 9 from 9 in National Division 2, extending their lead at the top of the table.

 

 

The scoring came within the first 10 minutes of play when Andrew Peacock crossed the line in the corner following some clever play from a line out on PLS twenty two. Following shortly after Rowan Stewart started his scoring for the game with a similar try in the same corner. Matthew Stewart unfortuantley missed out on both of these conversions. (10-0). Within 20 minutes Ross Bradford made it 15-0 after recieving a pass from James Barr to go over the whitewash. With then only a kick to goal for the rest of the half, the hosts held onto a led of 18-0 going into the second half.

 

 

Matthew Stewart got his frist conversion of the game after Rowan Stewart broke through several tackles to get his second try making it 25-0. With little possession the visitors struggled to string attacks together allowing Biggar to play open and expansive rugby which allowed their lead to continually increase. The 5th try of the game, potentially the most memorable, came from a kick and chase from Ryan Moffat who then offloaded to Jamie Orr to score under the posts. At this point changes started to happen and Douglas Notman was exchanged for Lewis Stewart. Rowan Stewart completed his hatrick after a well constructed counter attack came from Robbie Lavery and Ross Bradford who allowed the 18 year old to continue his own socring record. Again changes were made as Robbie Orr, Gregor Stewart and Paul Davidson all got their run off the bench during the second half of the second half.

 

 

Rowan Stewart then made it 4 tries for the afternoon as he went under the posts after a crisp backs move from a scrum in front of the clubhouse. To conclude the scoring Matthew Stewart got his own try after Robbie Orr made a clever dummy on the blind side to allow the lead to be secured at 49-0.

 

 

It was a very conivcing and comfortable win for the hosts who continue to impress their fans. A special mention should go to Man of the Match Jamie Orr and the three sets of brothers who all played together for the first time. Jamie and Robbie Orr, twins Matthew and Lewis Stewart and brothers Gregor and Rowan Stewart. Biggar look to continue their form as the head away to GHK next Saturday.

 

 

Biggar

R. Lavery, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, R. Moffat, R. Stewart, J. Barr, I. Renwick, D. Voas, C. Mulligan, F. Carossi, Z. Lyon, A. Peacock, E. Sanderson, D. Notman, J. Orr

Reps: P. Davidson, G. Stewart, L. Stewart, R. Orr

 

The 2nd XV hosted Musselburgh in their match. Of course the changes to the 1sts led to resources being stretched somewhat and so Biggar fielded a very young side with a couple of veterans included. They found the visitors with a large pack who were able to dictate play.


Lasswade defeated for 8th win

Lasswade 7 Biggar 67

Biggar secured their eigth straight league win with this latest result from Lasswade.

 

The 10-1 try count is not necessarily representative of the game however with the home side contributing more than their meagre tally would suggest. Credit too that at no time did they concede, working hard throughout and thoroughly deserving of their score. That they are in such a lowly league position is due in a major part to the number of injuries their already small squad has suffered.

 

Biggar were forced into a change at wing with Ross Bradford injured last Saturday against Glasgow Accies, Euan Bogle slotting in after a spell with the seconds. Luhann Kotze retained the No9 shirt with Davy Reive on the bench. There was a return to 1st team squad for Gregor Stewart who was also on the bench.

 

There is now an air of expectation from the Biggar support. While this is probably only to be expected given the sides current form, this level of expectation does not take into account the desire of their opponents to raise their game and to become the first to topple the league leaders. The squad too must be patient and guard against any sort of complacancy as they strive to retain their unbeaten record.

 

The first half saw the home side face the breeze which is always a factor at Hawthorndean. Their only option was to run ball and their pack put in a big effort early on to control ball with pick ups and off-loads which tested the Biggar defence. A feature of Biggar’s play has been their defensive strength and this was in evidence once again as they repelled the Lasswade effort.

 

Ball won by Biggar was run back to Lasswade but their efforts to expose the Lasswade side foundered as the backs with Kutze and Conor Lavery struggling to put their passes together, this undoubtedly due to the wind as the home side had similar probloems in the second half.

 

As it was Biggar struck with just under 10 minutes on the clock fullback Robbie Lavery collecting centre Ryan Moffat’s pop pass to cross over for a try converted by Matthew Stewart – this the first of 5 conversions for the youngster.

 

The Biggar fullback scored his second as he split the stretched Lasswade defence with a lovely angled run to cross under the posts.

 

A great choke tackle by Lewis Stewart prevented a Lasswade breakout and while another knock-on meant that Biggar lost possession in their next phase normal service was resumed as Lasswade conceded a penalty within their 22. A quick tap and go from Kutze saw him make good ground to the line and when he was stopped he managed to slip the ball to his stand off Conor Lavery who crashed over from close range.

 

Matthew Stewart added the conversions to both scores and then converted a penalty as Lasswade erred.

 

Biggar hooker Ewan Stewart was then shown a yellow card as he was deemed to have made a no arms tackle on flying winger Ross Combe who was stopped in his tracks by what appeared to many to be a textbook tackle. Biggar then were unfortunate not to score with two interceptions, the first by Kutze and the second by Conor Lavery. This was certainly the pick of the two, the stand off gathering the ball from Lasswade No 8 Stephen Hunter as the home side made a rare excursion into the Biggar 22. Faced with an 80m sprint to the line the Biggar man looked to be going to go all the way but with the Lasswade defence tracking back he elected to pass to the supporting Kutze. The pass was another to drop in the wind and a knock-on saw Lasswade escape further punishment.

 

The resultant scrum brought the half to an end and Biggar turned to face the elements.

 

On the restart Andrew Peacock replaced skipper Alan Warnock.

 

The half had barely begun when Rowan Stewart scored. Jamie Orr had had a slightly less productive day in the lineout when compared to the previous week’s fantastic stats but in the first lineout of the half he managed to get a hand to the Lasswade throw. The ball ricocheted past Kutze and was gathered by Stewart some 5 metres outside his 22. Running back to the packs he exploited a gap and finding himself in space he burst past the two remaining defenders to cruise home from some 60 metres with defending winger Combe unable to prevent the try despite making good yardage to the Biggar winger.

 

Matthew Stewart added the conversion and Biggar were 31-0 up.

 

Playing with a breeze, while making kicking easier, can often make pssing more difficult as the ball floats away from the receiver. Lasswade found this to be the case, several passes missing the intended receiver.

 

Ewan Stewart’s return coincided with Conor Lavery’s second try the stand off using a neat ‘show and go’ to split the Lasswade defence for a try again converted by Matthew Stewart.

 

Davy Reive replaced Kutze and shortly after that Gregor Stewart came on for Matthew Stewart.

 

Lasswade then found a way to the Biggar line as a couple of penalties which were kicked to the corner gave them an opportunity to use a line drive which they completed successfully, lock forward Liam Greig rounding off the move. Matthew Smith added the conversion.

 

A neat passing movement was the prelude to Biggar’s next try, Ross Jackson taking Reive’s pass after Peacock had made good yards round the side of a ruck. Euan Bogle kicked the conversion and then found himself replaced by Kutze.

 

Coach Mercer then introduced the rest of his bench Craig McDonald coming on for Conor Lavery and Bogle returning to replace Rowan Stewart.

 

A probing run by Ross Jackson saw the No8 almost reach the line but the Lasswade defence halted his progress. However, ball recycled ended with Mulligan picking up and diving to score to mark the half century. Bogle was just wide with the kick.

 

Sadly Jackson damaged a knee in his efforts and he left the field to be replaced by Warnock.

 

Orr was next to touch down, the lock using all his strength to first of all drive his opoosite number back to the Laswade line before twisting to cross the line and dot the ball down. Bogle had his range and added the two points from the tee.

 

Try though Lasswade did and while they were able to retain possession well in their pick and drives and close quarter off-loads the Biggar defence made their hosts work really hard for any yardage they did gain. And any error saw Biggar back on the attack at a pace which challenged the home XV.

 

A quickly taken penalty initiated the next score, McDonald making ground with Ryan Moffat rounding off another sweeping movement which saw play moved from touchline to touchline.

 

Moffat rounded off proceedings with his second try, this a scamper through the middle after another sustained passage of play involving his team.

 

A deserved victory and win No 8. Next up are Preston Lodge who have been showing good form this season and who put Whitecraigs to the sword on Saturday. They will pose a real challenge to the Biggar side who will be without several key men due to unavailablity and injury.

 

A massive effort will be required with the youngsters again tasked with stepping up to the mark.

 

Biggar

R. Lavery, E. Bogle, M. Stewart, R. Moffat, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, L. Kotze, D. Voas, E. Stewart, F. Carossi, J. Orr, A. Warnock (Capt), L. Stewart, C. Mulligan, R. Jackson.

Reps: A. Peacock, G. Stewart, D. Reive, C. McDonald

 

The 2nd XV hosted Selkirk in their match and were on the wrong side of a relatively narrow 21-13 defeat.

 

This was a disappointing result however as the side seemed to lack the fire which had been so prevalent the previous week.

 

They too have a home game on Saturday when Musselburgh are the visitors.


Fantastic contest sees Biggar maintain top spot

Biggar 22 Highland 7

Biggar’s total of 22 points, which last week was only just enough to give them victory over Whitecraigs, was more than enough to see them over the winning line against Highland.

 

A sixth win from six starts is as good a record as Biggar have ever had and means that they retain their top spot in National 2 with Stewarts Melville leap-frogging Highland into second place. Having played 4 of the 5 sides immediately below them (local rivals Peebles are the 5th), is also a bonus with Glasgow Accies and then Lasswade next up. Neither of these sides are currently on form and on paper these should equate to two further victories although the coaching staff, with one or two selection headaches in the offing, will be adamant that there should be no complacency in their approach to any match. Banana skins…..

 

In wonderful Autumnal conditions and with Hartree Mill an absolute joy to behold – please check Nigel Pacey’s wonderful pictures from his drone if you are in any doubt – Biggar hosted Highland who hail from Inverness and are the furthest travelled of all National 2 sides. A massive club in the 1970/80’s the club is in the process of recovering from a slump which has seen them climb up through Regional Leagues and Div 3 in the last 3 seasons as they have at the same time also redeveloped their clubhouse and pitches.

 

They are well used to travelling and deserve all credit for their efforts which sees them board a bus every two weeks at 8am for the joureny south. On the evidence of Saturday’s match Biggar’s trip north in January will be a massive test as the Highland side are clearly the best drilled XV they have met so far this season. Highland lost because they were penalised on numerous occasions for high tackles, losing 2 men to the bin and because they were unable to break the Biggar defence which again was immense throughout.

 

In short this was a fantastic match, played with no quarter asked or given and one which had the very pleasingly large crowd enthralled until the end.

 

In the pack, Donald Voas and Chris Mulligan were unavailable for this match and so Guy Kelly started at prop. The youngster completed the best 80m minutes he has had since joining the ranks of the senior squad. His tight play was solid while he also performed well in the loose, carrying ball well on several occasions. Mulligan was replaced by Lewis Stewart who made his first senior start.

 

Andrew Peacock, another who has again blossomed this season, was moved to the bench to provide front row cover and was replaced by Douglas Notman while Jamie Orr made his first return to the senior squad this season. In the backs Conor Lavery returned at stand off with Robbie Orr moving from there to full-back, he another to return a performance well beyond his tender years and claiming two tries in the process, the first of which was a fantastic effort and which saw his speed and strength take him round and through the Highland cover.

 

With this being a top-of-the-table clash it was hardly surprising that this match was absolutely full on from the first until the last minute. Both sides ran at pace, challenging their opponents to defend and off-loading as they sought to play an expansive game. Yards were gained as players ran and found players with neat passes and, as players tackled, yards were lost as there were turnovers and mistakes were made.

 

A series of penalties were awarded to Biggar as referee Tom French took issue with the preponderance of shoulder high tackles made by the visitors but few of these were in kickable positions and so ground was won but on each subsequent attack the Highland defence managed to halt Biggar. At other times ball was lost in contact, this as much to do with the ferocity of the hit as it was to poor ball retention.

 

When in attack, Highland also opted to go for position, this despite the fact that they were playing with the wind and had a couple of penalties which looked to be within range. Had the position been swapped Biggar might have opted for a pot at goal. As it was and having taken good lineout ball Highland ran Biggar close, only some superb defence with all playing their part keeping the visitors out. In this regard Robbie Lavery put in some thundering hits, these backed up by some equally good hits from Conor Lavery, Rowan Stewart, Matthew Stewart and Franco Carrossi.

 

Ball in hand saw Biggar running well, Robbie Orr solid at the back and always making great yardage in the counter attack, while others to shine were Ewan Stewart (whose footwork on a couple of occasions was top drawer), Lavery who hit up well and the afore-mentioned Kelly.

 

After a series of penalties for high tackles (the penalty count was 11-3 in Biggar’s favour in this half) referee French resorted to showing a yellow to Highland’s flanker. The resultant penalty saw Biggar take play to within yards of the Highland line before play was again halted for another penalty, this one for off-side. Prior to this award the solitary kickable penalty Biggar had, proved to be just outside Conor Lavery’s range although he did manage to slot this last award to give Biggar a slender 3-0 lead at the break.

 

With the breeze now on their backs Biggar were able to control play a little better, ensuring that Highland were kept at bay as Biggar kicked from hand to pin the visitors back in their half. While Biggar’s counter attacking had always threatened, Highland’s proved less successful although this was also due to the quick, flat support from the Biggar chase which meant that the Highland counter was always under pressure.

 

An early penalty opportunity drifted wide but with Ross Jackson, the Lavery’s and Peacock (who had come on for Notman) all in possession, Highland were kept in their half. Yet another penalty ended with Highland centre Rob Eatogh shown a yellow and so for a few minutes the visitors were down to 13 men. An initial tap and go from Jackson did not impress referee French but on the scrum restart his pick exploited the short-handed defence and the No 8 cruised over in the corner.

 

Lavery was unable to add the conversion. A mix up on the restart had Biggar at sixes and sevens although they did manage to extricate themselves from a difficult position.

 

Biggar struck next with some 20 minutes of the second half gone. Highland were back to full strength but some excellent attacking play from Biggar which saw play swept from left to right with Conor Lavery and Jamie Orr in the attack ended with fullback Robbie taking possession from around 20 metres out. His typically mazy run bamboozled the Highland defence although he needed all his strength and reach to eventually dot the ball down for what was a wonderful score. Matthew Stewart, from an almost identical position as he had faced against Whitecraigs, kicked the conversion from near the touchline. 15-0 Biggar.

 

Four minutes elapsed before Biggar struck again. Running at pace and asking all sorts of questions of the Highland defence eventually created space on the left. Luhann Kutze who had replaced Davy Reive passed wide to his left, the ball snapped up by Orr who sprinted clear and under the posts for his second try. Stewart added the conversion and Biggar were 22-0 ahead.

 

Undaunted by this latest set back Highland continued to play and attack. Maintaining possession well they pressed deep in the Biggar half but again the Biggar defence was up to the mark and the pressure exerted forced the error to give Biggar some respite.

 

Iain Renwick replaced winger Ross Bradford as Biggar sought to press on.

 

Nevertheless Highland regained territory and courtesy of a needless penalty and by forcing play to the left and then to the right ball found prop Stuart Watson with 15 metres or so from the line. Swatting Biggar attackers aside as if they were troublesome flies the big man barrelled over for a try which stand off Craig Irvine converted for Highland’s 7 points.

 

A spectacular jump and catch by Rowan Stewart off the restart took play immediately back to the Highland 22 where Biggar went in search of what would have been a real bonus of a 4 try bonus point. The same player was then bundled into touch just feet from the Highland line as desperate defence came good.

 

Kevin Robison came on for the injured Lewis Stewart with some 3 minutes to go.

 

Although Biggar managed to retain ball and territory Highland put an end to proceedings with their last kick to touch from a penalty award ending the contest.

 

A massive cheer greeeted the result, Biggar’s support having thoroughly enjoyed the contest and of course the result.

 

The icing on the cake from a club point of view came with the news that the 2nd XV had also recorded a fine victory over their oppoenents, Cartha QP.

 

Biggar have (possibly) never had such a fine start to any previous league campaign and while some of the less optimistic believe that the side is just a couple of wins from being 100% safe from relegation, there is a belief in the squad that they can go forward and improve. The confidence and skills exhibited is a great motivational aspect for play and for development. The number of players used over the past few weeks will increase as injuries and other factors come into play but all those who have been called up have all stepped up to the mark and have done so seamlessly.

 

Biggar

R. Orr, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, R. Lavery, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, D. Reive, G. Kelly, E. Stewart, F. Carossi, J. Orr, A. Warnock (Capt), D. Notman, L. Stewart, R. Jackson.

Reps: A. Peacock, K. Robison, L. Kotze, I. Renwick

 

Post Script

Donald Voas took part in the European Log Lift Championships in Glasgow at the weekend finishing in 6th place in his category. A fine effort for someone who is a novice at this event.

Biggar ‘s 2nd XV as described above won their match with Cartha.

Having conceded 2 early tries things looked a tad grim but the home side then mounted a fight back and with Ryan Moffat (who was unlucky to have been dropped from the 1st XV squad) leading the way with 3 tries, Biggar overcame the city side to win by 33-26.

This was the sides first win and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. As is the case with the 1st XV they have played 4 of the 5 sides at the top of the Reserve league and so they have had a wicked start to their campaign.

A lot will depend on whether they can continue to rely on the mixture of youth and experience fielded on Saturday. Some 7 teenagers were joined by some gnarly veterans in the shape of Grant Owens, James Tawse, Calum Taylor and Andrew Goodall (making a return to Biggar colours after several years in the city).

 

Special mention should be made of what was apparently a real contender for ‘try of the season’ scored by Andrew Howatson. Gathering ball on his own as he covered back the prop come fullback ran to the Cartha pack, flumoxed them with a chip and catch and then burst over the line for a wonderful individual effort.

 

In addition to the above Euan Bogle kicked 4 conversions


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

1sts defeat Howe

Howe are well beaten but put up a spirited fight

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1sts and 2nds take on Stewarts Melville

Biggar's senior sides journeyed up the A702 to take on city side Stewarts Melville

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1sts bounce back against Dumfries

Biggar bounce back after Peebles defeat

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Win at GHK signals 10 from 10

Another two wins for the senior sides

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Biggar take another 5 pointer

Biggar run out winners

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Lasswade defeated for 8th win

Biggar continue on their winning streak

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Fantastic contest sees Biggar maintain top spot

A cracking top-of-the-table clash lived up to its billing

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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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