Hartreemill, Biggar, ML12 6JJ

What’s On this Weekend: 24th/25th Sept

Saturday

1st XV v West of Scotland : BT National League Div 2. (H) KO 3pm

2nd XV v Haddington 2nds BT East Division 1 (A) KO 3pm

Colts v Ayr – friendly (H) 12pm KO

 

Sunday

Mini Training

 

Boys Youth: this is a 'free' weekend for the Biggar Youth section.

The U-16's are planning a 'come and try' day at Carluke as they seek to increase their squad size. Training will be at the John Cumming Stadium in Carluke from 2pm to 3:30pm.

If you're curious/interested in trying rugby and you're 14, 15 or 16 years old, come along and have a go. You'll meet new friends, learn new skills, be coached by qualified and experienced coaches and best of all - It's FREE!


Biggar hit back in Aberdeen after sluggish start

Aberdeenshire 51 Biggar 27

There was real drama in Aberdeen on Saturday when Biggar and their hosts Aberdeenshire put on some great entertainment in a match which featured 10 tries. Aberdeenshire claimed the spoils with their 5 league points while Biggar claimed a 4 try bonus despite the loss.

Last season Biggar's away form was disappointing with the visit north to Woodside in January a case in point with points gifted early on and the issue beyond recall by half time. Final score 45-5. That the opening salvos on Saturday suggested a similar scenario was all the more disappointing then, Biggar on this occasion gifting their hosts no fewer than 25 points in the first quarter. The spirit of the 2016/17 squad is very different from that of 2015/16 however and while the end of the half saw Biggar still their three good tries suggested that the result was far from a foregone conclusion.

This trip was always likely to be one of the most difficult away matches, not only because of the distance involved but also because 'Shire finished in 4th spot at the end of last season's league campaign. They were a well organised XV last season and there was nothing to suggest that they would be anything less this time around, their 80+ point win the previous week against PL seemingly confirming these thoughts.

Coach Gary Mercer's preparations were made trickier after injury ruled out the complete back row which faced Kelso (Doug Notman - dead leg, Andy Dunlop - back strain and Duncan Withers - ankle) while Jamie Orr struggled midweek with food poisoning. Ewan Stewart was available after injury however and Dan O'Connell, though not 100% fit, declared himself available to travel. In the end the back row fielded was Ewan Sanderson, Alan Warnock and Ross Jackson, a selection which could easily be first choice in any event. Orr was also able to travel.

Proceedings began at a cracking pace and one which barely relented the whole match. Stuart Hull took an interception which almost saw him free to the line, before he was hauled down by the cover defence. Biggar then conspired to gift their hosts two early tries as the defence was found wanting under the high ball. The sun was the only possible mitigating excuse but as it was, 'Shire stand off Carne Green took full advantage of the first and Michael McKeand the second (he another who began his rugby career at Hartree Mill). Green kicked one conversion and then added two penalties before the third 'Shire score, this going to Nathan Clough although there was more than a hint of a forward pass in the final transfer. 25-0 down.

In what was virtually their first attacking opportunity David Paterson was set free but a 'Shire turnover relieved the pressure albeit for only a short time as an Aird Jardine grubber saw the 'Shire defence scramble back to concede a drop out.

The restart saw a sustained passage of play involving some good phases which stretched the 'Shire defence and which culminated in stand off Andrew Jardine taking Richard Peacock's pass for a sprint to the line. Peacock was wide of the target but the 'duck' was broken and Biggar were on the scoreboard. Barely two minutes later and on the half hour mark a Hull break saw ball transferred to Aird Jardine who kicked cleverly to winger Paterson who scampered across for try number two – Peacock's conversion added the extras and took the score to 25-12. Game on!

In reply 'Shire scored arguably the best try as some excellent angles and well-timed passes saw winger Luke Taylor round the defence for a try expertly converted from wide out by Green. Not to be outdone and just before half time, Peacock took Andy Jardine's pass to break clear for a try which he converted for 32-19 and the break.

25 points in 20 minutes to 'Shire, then a further 26 points shared by the sides in the second quarter! What would the second half bring?

With Peacock forced off with a dodgy stomach Gregor Stewart made his 1st XV league debut, the opening exchanges seeing Andrew Jardine kick a penalty for Biggar to put them just two scores adrift at 32-22.

In typical fashion 'Shire replied with a well worked try for their skipper Greg Ryan (he was later awarded the man-of-the-match for 'Shire, Ewan Sanderson getting the nod for Biggar). Green typically added the conversion.

Play continued to flow back and forth, Biggar gaining yardage only to lose possession – often too easily, with this likely to be a focus for this week's training. There were some promising moves but they came to nought and to further punish these errors 'Shire scored their 5th try from a neat attack down the blindside from a scrum some 5 metres out, Brad Fraser the scorer. Green struck his only poor kick of the afternoon but Biggar trailed 44-22.

The game then entered an even more frantic phase as 'Shire began to test referee Andrew Peterson's patience as they frequently crept offside. Indeed the Dollar whistler awarded a string of penalties against 'Shire, these culminating eventually in yellow cards for two of their number; try scorers Clough and Fraser dispatched for the requisite 10 minutes with around a 5 minute overlap. In the midst of this 'Shire also lost two players to injury with one stoppage for a cut lasting some 10 minutes. Best wishes to both injured parties.

The stoppage gave 'Shire some respite but Biggar took up from where they left off, several attacks mounted, all deserving of scores. As it was, a combination of some stout defence and some costly errors prevented Biggar from adding to their tally. 'Shire were let off the hook in this period with on one occasion, a line out drive seeing the pack drive over the line but drop the ball some 3 metres out. Another attack saw Alistair Sinclair opt to kick ahead, the winger just failing to beat the cover defence to the line.

In the end it was scrum half Davy Reive who broke the deadlock with just 8 minutes remaining. 44-27. Andy Jardine was unable to add the conversion but there was still just about enough time to sneak a losing bonus or sneak the win.

Throwing caution to the wind Biggar tried running the ball from wherever and while they again made inroads and won penalties they were unable to cross the line, 'Shire having the final word with a try and conversion to wrap things up at 51-27.

Players and spectators alike were left with minds and bodies wrecked! What a contest!

Biggar will doubtless learn from this defeat. They must work to begin matches fully focused as they cannot afford to play catch up from the start. A calm head is required in such circumstances and although there was much good individual effort Biggar were unable to finish as clinically as they would have wished. There is absolutely no doubting the team spirit however as 'Shire were forced to cling on for their win. There were some good performances from all positions with special credit to the 5 teenagers who played – Ross Jackson, Andrew Orr, Andy Jardine, Gregor Stewart and Grant Hamilton, please take a bow. The whole squad is worthy of congratulation however and thanks to 'Shire for contributing positively to the match. On a cracking day for rugby weather-wise, another positive was the turnout of support for Biggar – excellent to see and hear! The return fixture in January is eagerly awaited.

Next up is West who will again feature players whose rugby origins were in Biggar!

Biggar

Richard Peacock, Alistair Sinclair, Andrew Jardine, Stuart Hull, David Paterson, Aird Jardine, David Reive, Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Calvin Henderson, Zander Lyon, Jamie Orr, Alan Warnock (C), Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson. Reps: Andrew Orr, Dan O'Connell, Grant Hamilton, Gregor Stewart.

 

The 2nd XV entertained Edin Accies 3rds for their league match although the Edinburgh side was closer to a VII than a XV.

Biggar supplied players and a 14-a-side training match ensued, Biggar awarded the points as the visitors failed to provide a full XV. Indications are that Haddington may well also struggle for numbers this coming weekend and so the search is already on to seek an alternative opposition should it be required. It is vital that the momentum which is quickly developing amongst the senior squad is maintained and regular games are integral to this.


Biggar defeat Kelso and claim 3 from 3

Biggar 24 Kelso 19

'One swallow does not a summer make..' But….?

Whether this result was down to an over-confident Kelso XV caught napping, a rejuvenated Biggar XV getting lucky, the effect of the striking new strips (cutting edge meets tradition), a home game in front of a decent crowd or even just simply a side playing to its strengths – or more likely a combination of all of these – will never be known. But make no mistake, this was a cracking match and, from a Biggar point of view at least, a cracking result.

To make things even better, this result was the 3rd win recorded by a Biggar side on Saturday, the Colts having set the scene with a scrappy but successful performance over GHA and the 2nds clinching a deserved win over Watsons. It's not often you get a 3 from 3 so it's all the more enjoyable when it happens!

Coach Gary Mercer was in Bath watching his son Zach make his Premiership debut against Newcastle, somewhat ironic given Scott Lawson's Biggar/Newcastle connections. That game saw the team from the south record a resounding win and while Biggar's was considerably less emphatic it was every bit as important. The win came on the back of a somewhat lack-lustre performance at Peebles but this time round the squad raised it's game tenfold to consistently pressurise the visitors and to ensure that if, and when, they got the ball, they had to work to keep it, never mind make advances towards the Biggar try line.

Davy Wilson was in charge therefore and he had the happy task of reporting the win to Mercer who will have the video to enjoy.

Without last week's centres Robbie Lavery and Lewis McLachlan, the backs showed a new centre pairing with Stuart Hull making a timely return to action after injury, alongside teenager Andrew Jardine who moved out from stand off. This berth was claimed by brother Aird with Davy Reive also returning after injury. Up front Dan O'Connell was forced out with a calf injury, Calvin Henderson and Donald Voas both playing the full 80 minutes and showing up well throughout. At lock Zander Lyon took over from Andrew Peacock who was initially selected for the 2nds but then drafted onto the bench after O'Connell's withdrawl. Andrew Dunlop returned to action at the expense of the unlucky Ewan Sanderson.

The new black strips were voted an immediate hit by all and this may have had an impact on the squad as they appeared 'bigger' in black.

Biggar enjoyed the lion's share of both possession and territory in the first half, Kelso keeping the

scoreboard ticking over as Phil Hume struck 3 penalties in reply to Biggar's first half try from Stuart Hull. On a day when superlatives were flying it would be easy to get carried away but this try, involving a 60 second burst of play and seeing the whole team contribute must be one of the best scored by Biggar for a good number of years. It began with a good lineout take from Jamie Orr and then featured 8 excellent phases with ball shipped right then left and finally right again with Douglas Notman feeding Hull for the line. Richard peacock struck the conversion sweetly for 7-3, Hume having kicked his first penalty after just 1 minute.

A series of penalties threatened to spoil all the good work undertaken by the Biggar XV. In their desire to compete they fell foul of the referee, this giving the Border side the chance to either relieve pressure or rack up points.

On the half hour mark Andrew Dunlop was shown a yellow card and with Kelso deep in Biggar's 22 it looked as though Biggar might slip behind. They probably should have as Kelso executed a neat blindside move which culminated with their winger crossing the line. The final pass was adjudged forward however and Biggar escaped.

For their part Biggar had two penalty chances of their own, Peacock seeing the first rebound off the upright and the second slip to the left. Crucially, Dunlop returned after the break with Biggar having kept the visitors out and with the 9-7 score standing.

Biggar made just one change at the break, teenager Ross Jackson coming on at flank forward for Notman.

Now playing towards the clubhouse Biggar needed to get an early score to regain the lead and to exert greater pressure on the Border XV. This proved too difficult to do however, Kelso coming out in the second half with all guns blazing and turning the tables on Biggar who had a lucky escape when Hull managed to do enough to hustle the chasing Kelso runner and to clear the danger following a clever through kick.

Another Peacock penalty slipped wide but Biggar retained their position as Kelso's drop goal restart was partially charged down. Biggar's line speed in offensive/defence meant that Kelso were forced to act quickly and with tackles coming in low and hard Kelso's ability to 'exit' their 22 was sorely tested. Deep in their 22, and with the third quarter coming to a close, the Kelso defence faltered and Hull was able to take full advantage to latch onto a loose offload to catch and dive for his second score.

Peacock added the conversion but this 5 point lead at 14-9 was short lived as Hume kicked a conversion to a try from Jack Chambers who was at the end of a well-controlled line drive from the Kelso pack. Indeed had they managed to use this tactic more often the final score might have been a little different. 16-14 to Kelso.

In see-saw fashion however, and with around 10 minutes left, Biggar retook the lead via another Peacock penalty and then increased that lead to 24-16 as winger David Paterson rounded off an excellent move instigated by Reive but carried on by hooker Ewan Stewart whose timely offload was gratefully taken by the winger.

Eight points ahead meant that Kelso had to score twice to overtake Biigar and as forays to the Biggar line had been infrequent it looked as though Biggar might gain the win. Given the relative ease with which they had scored their second half try from the line drive, a last minute penalty and option of the kick to the corner – with Biggar reduced to 14 again following a yellow card to Orr for a tip tackle - might have provided a second try. Instead, and mindful of the losing bonus, Hume was called up to kick and he duly slotted the penalty for 24-19. Cue the final whistle and much celebration.

 

Home wins are really important and Biggar would have been languishing at the foot of the table without the 4 points gained on Saturday. As it is they retain their 7th placed spot, Kelso ahead by virtue of their 4 try bonus last week and their losing bonus gained at Hartree Mill.

Hooker Ewan Stewart was later rewarded as being Biggar's man of the match and this was well-deserved after a battling performance which involved some solid defence and lineout accuracy but there were a pile of candidates who could have taken this honour. The back row of Duncan Withers Dunlop and Notman put in typically abrasive performances, the whole pack carried and defended

well, the Jardine brothers who kept things moving sweetly in midfield, the double try scorer Hull…..and so it goes on. All members of the squad can take great pride in their performance. Ian Wallace was selected as Kelso's man of the match.

 

This is of course just the beginning and the side now face what could be their toughest match of the season when they travel to take on Aberdeenshire this weekend. The Granite City side recorded a whopping 80-26 win over Preston Lodge on Saturday. This on the back of a 40+ win over Kirkcaldy the previous week. Interestingly, Biggar will face another ex-Biggar player in the shape of Michael McKeand on Saturday as he now plays for 'Shire, while Andrew Muir featured in Peebles colours and Colin Arthur played for Kelso on Saturday!

It's a long trip north but the side appreciate the support the Biggar crowd provides. If you can get there you would give the boys a big lift.

 

Biggar 2nds (surely one of the strongest 2nd XV's Biggar have had for a number of years and featuring the return of ex-1st XV Grant Owens), recorded a fantastic and confidence boosting win over Edinburgh opponents Watsons 3rds on Saturday. Watsons reputedly have a 45 man 1st XV squad and so they have great strength in depth but their 3rd XV was shown up as Biggar put in a great shift for the win. Man of the match was Gregor Stewart with Watsons Adam Watt earning the honours for the visitors.

Bear in mind that there are at least 5 other players who could come into contention for places at senior level. Competition for places is on across the board therefore with all likely to benefit from this competition. It is some time away yet but there could well be an opportunity soon for a 3rd XV which would be a massive step forward for the club.

The 2nds have a second home game when they entertain another Edinburgh club, (Edinburgh Accies) who will also bring their 3rd XV as East Reserve League 1 opponents.


Biggar collect a losing bonus in League opener

Peebles 24 Biggar 20

Having outscored Biggar by 3 tries to 1 Peebles felt that they deserved to win this opening league match. From a Biggar point of view however this was one which Biggar felt they lost. There were chances a-plenty but where Peebles capitalised on their incursions into Biggar territory Biggar failed to do so when in the Peebles 22.

Captain Andrew Dunlop was forced out of the starting XV after picking up a dead leg at training on Thursday, his replacement being Ewan Sanderson whom was making a return after a two week absence. In the pack Andrew Peacock was preferred to Zander Lyon in the second row while injury to Iain Chisholm against Marr saw Colt Andrew Jardine make his 1st XV debut at just 17. David Paterson was fielded on the wing to the exclusion of Craig McDonald with Richard Peacock recovered after a knee twist last week to retain his place at fullback. There was another debutant on the bench as Lewis McLinton provided front row cover.

Biggar conceded an early score as Peebles exploited a gap in Biggar's defence which saw Cameron Pye scorch through under the posts for a great score converted by Greg Raeburn. The ease with which this try was scored was a wake up call for Biggar and while they responded well and set up camp for the next 10 minutes in the Peebles 22 they could not turn pressure into points. A series of penalties conceded by Peebles offered points but kicks at goal were eschewed for kicks to touch and lineouts but the initial drives and pick and go's were defended by Peebles.

A breakout by the home side took play back into the Biggar 22 where a penalty for offside saw Rayburn kick successfully for 10-0.

The restart saw Peebles immediately under pressure as a clearance was charged down. A penalty quickly taken by David McArthur took play to the Peebles line and another penalty award. This time a knock on in the lineout allowed Peebles to escape.

Play up to the half hour mark saw both sides struggle to gain any consistent attacking opportunities. Dan O'Connell was replaced by Calvin Henderson and McArthur gave way to Aird Jardine. The half back partnership of brothers Aird and Andrew was the first time the two have ever played together!

This coincided with Biggar's first score, Richard Peacock kicking for 10-3. The same player took advantage of further penalty chances to claw back the deficit at 10-6 then 10-9. It seemed surprising that given the high penalty count referee David Muir did not see fit to sin-bin a Peebles player.

The last kick of the half saw Peacock's 4th penalty sneak to the right of the posts.

Biggar engineered the perfect start to the second half as an effective lineout yielded possession and led to the pack hitting up to the Peebles line. Fast ball was then shipped right with Douglas Notman and Sanderson combining well before the latter’s' looping pass was taken by winger Alistair Sinclair who made and won the race to the corner. Peacock was unable to land the conversion but Biggar were in the lead at 14-10.

As is so often the case the penalty count now swung away from Peebles as Biggar fell foul of referee Muir's decisions. This culminated after some 15 minutes of the half with a yellow card and sin-binning of Notman for persistent infringements. A man to the good Peebles quickly took advantage of their numerical superiority hooker Blair Laurie set free on the right flank for a try in the corner. Rayburn struck the conversion perfectly to regain the lead at 17-14.

McClinton replaced Andrew Orr at No2 for Biggar.

Peebles probably should have scored their 3rd try shortly after this but a forward pass brought the attack to an end. A couple of penalties and a free kick to Biggar gave Peacock the chance to tie the scores at 17-17.

Back into Biggar's 22 and Peebles' pack rounded off a driving phase with a try for William Brown, Raeburn adding the conversion to open up a 7 point lead, this almost as quickly reduced again to 4 as Peacock kicked his 5th penalty.

A promising passage of play and some much better pace and variety in attack gave Biggar some real hope but again Peebles did enough to nullify these efforts. Biggar also failed to stretch the Peebles defence as they seemed reluctant to move the ball wide, preferring instead to cut back into the cover defence. With less than 20 minutes remaining however there was still time to get the score to sneak the win.

Peebles then brought on ex-Biggar lad Andrew Muir. His involvement lasted barely 2 minutes however as he fell foul of referee Muir who showed him a yellow card as following a team warning, he became the 'next' Peebles player to transgress. There was, as one would expect, a good deal of good-natured banter at his brief appearance!

Rohan McIver was the next to be sent to the bin, this reducing Peebles to just 13. Devoid of front row cover however, this gave Peebles some respite as scrums were then uncontested. This guaranteed them possession at a time when Biggar's scrum was gaining in ascendancy. Despite a couple more chances when lineout possession failed to provide the possession to attack that Biggar so desperately craved, time ran out and Peebles gained their win. Consolation for Biggar came in the shape of the losing bonus but 4 points would have been very much more preferable.

 

Biggar's coaching team were left frustrated at their sides failure to cross the line but it is still early in the campaign with a whole lot of rugby to be played. First up is the visit of Kelso, who were relegated last year alongside Peebles. It is rumoured that they have recruited strongly so they will be a tough nut to crack.

Praise for the effort from the Biggar squad, all of whom worked hard. Points are what really count however and Biggar must be able to convert the pressure into points. Man of the match went to Biggar's stand off Andrew Jardine who performed with confidence and style. At 17 he was of course too young to sink the 'prize' of a pint of beer, deputy Jamie Orr on hand to win the race.

Vice President and father, Aird Jardine, was as proud as punch at his sons' performance. Their involvement and that of the Peacock brothers means Biggar had two sets of brothers in the side. It will be some time however before a repeat of the days when there were as many as three sets of brothers playing at the one time – Flemings, Harveys and Youngs take a bow!

 

Once again, but hopefully the last time for many weeks, the 2nds were left twiddling their thumbs without a fixture. They now face a tough ask as they kick of their league programme with a home match against Watsons 3rds with little or no match practice. Training for all on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


Biggar lose Cup tie

Biggar 10 Marr 50
Ayrshire side Marr were Biggar's opponents on Saturday, the visitors demonstrating that having reached the play-off stages last season they will again be a force to be reckoned with in National 1 this time round.


This was another significant step up for Biggar following on from their pre-season runs against Lasswade, Dumfries and Penrith. That the score suggests a thumping is not in doubt although this is perhaps a little unfair, as for long periods the Biggar defence held firm and tackled well. The Marr side was just that bit swifter in deed and action and certainly more clinical when in scoring positions. Biggar were also guilty of making a few unforced errors which on occasion allowed Marr to gain vital field position and on other occasions allowed them to relaunch attacks when Biggar should have cleared their lines.


Perhaps of greater disappointment than the result or these errors however was a number of injuries which could have an impact on the starting XV over the next few weeks. Of these, an ankle injury sustained by stand off Iain Chisholm after just 15 minutes was the most worrying. Other twists, bumps and bruises to Craig McDonald, Richard Peacock and Andrew Dunlop were also of some concern with Biggar forced to play with just 14 for the last 5 minutes or so as the bench was completely used up. They will at worst provide coach Gary Mercer with some challenging decisions for this weekend's joust with neighbours Peebles.

 

Under pressure from the outset Biggar did really well to repel the first Marr salvo with a great defensive effort. An early penalty saw Biggar first of all steal lineout ball, Jamie Orr putting in a clearing punt with a strike which would have pleased any back on the pitch. Marr struggled to clear the ball and Zander Lyon managed to charge down the attempted clearance. David McArthur fed the ball left and Craig McDonald rounded the defence for a great opening score, converted by Richard Peacock.


A great start with just 6 minutes on the clock. Marr replied with a period of pressure which yielded another penalty which stand off Colin Sturgeon dispatched to open the Marr account. A similar award gave Peacock a chance which he accepted to extend Biggar's lead to 10-3.


That that was the end of Biggar's scoring opportunities was disappointing to say the least, Marr gaining a foothold on possession and territory and enjoying long periods of time in the Biggar half.


Biggar were forced into defensive duties and this they largely handled very well with all clearly benefiting from the organisation brought by Gary Mercer whose constant encouragement to players on the pitch is a positive factor.


With 15 minutes gone prop Will Farquhar rounded off a forward drive with a try converted by Sturgeon to tie the scores at 10-10. Biggar's defence was struggling after a series of good attacks by forwards and backs together, and also the injury to Chisholm which saw Biggar operate with just 14 players during this time. Aird Jardine replaced Chisholm whose discomfort was clear to see.


This try was quickly followed by a try and conversion for Sturgeon as he dummied his way through the Biggar defence.


Biggar captain Dunlop led the way with some typically strong defence although all the squad played their part as Marr increased the pressure. Inevitably, while several attacks fell short, the pressure eventually told, Marr capitalising on a failed clearance to launch another attack which saw ex-Biggar man McKenzie Pearce get the ball over the line for a try which Sturgeon again converted.


Biggar worked the touchline well to gain a toehold in the Marr 22 but their attack faltered as a crossing offence gave Marr a penalty which they used to clear the immediate danger. Half time.


Turning now to play towards the clubhouse hopes were high that Biggar would enjoy a better half with Marr by no way out of sight at 24-10.


Biggar made two changes at the start of the half, Ross Jackson (who has spent the past month with Glasgow U-20) making his first 1st XV appearance as he replaced Duncan Withers and Lyon making way for Andrew Peacock.


Biggar began brightly with Dunlop and Jardine combining well to break down the clubhouse touchline but a knock-on again gave Marr the chance to clear. A series of penalties were conceded and these too gave Marr both respite and attacking options. Biggar's defence held strong until almost the end of the third quarter when Pearce crossed for another try after Biggar conceded a free kick in their 22. Sturgeon added the conversion. 31-10 to Marr. This score coincided with an injury to Richard Peacock who was replaced by Gary Morrison.
Mercer rang the changes again with Orr replaced by Lyon and Douglas Notman by Withers.


Try as they did Biggar were unable to make headway, their attacking opportunities limited to valiant attempts to breakout from deep. As is often the case when under the cosh Biggar also failed to get the bounce of the ball, one such breakout seeing a potentially dangerously bouncing hack ahead ending with the ball popping into Marr hands when Biggar might have regained possession. Tom Steven was the next to cross and score for Marr, this arguably the first time Biggar's defence had been found wanting from set piece play. Sturgeon's conversion attempt rebounded off the upright.


One promising Biggar attack ended with a knock-on and another with possession lost at the lineout, Marr able to regroup and relaunch an attack, Scot Bickerstaff shrugging of some weaker tackles to score, Sturgeon on hand to add the two points. 43-10.


With some 5 minutes remaining a breakout by Withers ended with McDonald being twisted awkwardly and forced off the pitch. Down to 14, numbers were then evened up as Biggar made one final fling into the Marr 22. Replacement Ollie Rossi was penalised and shown a yellow. The penalty award was kicked just too long and again Biggar yielded a promising attacking opportunity. A long restart saw Marr have one final tilt at the Biggar line. Ball was taken right and then left before fullback Craig Kolarik put in a peach of a cross kick which Sturgeon ran onto to take and score, the stand off fittingly adding the conversion to round of the match with an impressive 25 point tally.


Coaches Mercer and Davy Wilson were generally upbeat despite the defeat but quick to point out the need for hard work at training and a positive approach to the Peebles match which is eagerly awaited.

 

Frustratingly the 2nds failed to get a match, this youthful group champing at the bit to get onto the field of play.


Biggar win through against Penrith.

Biggar 24 Penrith 7
In very different wet and windy conditions from the previous week when they played Dumfries on a dry ground, Biggar entertained Penrith for this pre-season friendly.


Last season Biggar were given a real test by the English side but this time round Biggar managed to turn the tables and record a fine win.


As pleasing however for coaches Gary Mercer and Davy Wilson was the style of play and the commitment shown both in defence and attack. For the first time to date numbers were reduced to a 1st XV squad as the 2nds were also in action, Penrith able to bring two sides for what both clubs hope will be annual joust. This meant that there were fewer changes which gave the side a chance to develop together.


Another equally very positive factor was in the shape of the 2nd XV , the side featuring a whole host of youngsters who if they can attract others who have not yet committed to playing will generate a really useful side and push for places in the 1st XV. Coach Doug Fleming was mightily impressed with the turnout although a concussion to hooker Ryan Ferguson brought the contest to a premature close. Attended by one of the Penrith contingent who is a fireman an ambulance was also called. Ryan was given a full assessment and on Saturday evening and then Sunday felt much better.

 

Playing away from the clubhouse Biggar were given the advantage afforded by the east wind, a rare occurrence in itself but one which gave some assistance to defence and clearance kicks.


Biggar opened the scoring with prop Donald Voas crossing again for his second try in as many weeks. Richard Peacock slipped as he prepared to kick and the conversion was missed.
Under pressure and conceding a number of penalties Biggar had to work hard in the tight, where they had some positive results, and in open play where their tackling was sound.


Underfoot conditions proved difficult and players were slipping and sliding while the ball was also tricky to control by hand, moves from both sides breaking down at crucial moments.
A line drive and try for Duncan Withers gave Biggar a bit of breathing space while a kick and chase from stand off Iain Chisholm which saw the DO run virtually the length of the pitch and latch onto a clearance from Aird Jardine put the home side further ahead.


A final try from newly appointed 1st XV captain Andrew Dunlop was well deserved and very well received, the No 8 getting through a power of work in both defence and attack. Richard Peacock added 2 conversions for the 24 point tally, Penrith having the last word with a try and conversion to help avoid the whitewash.

 

This was a sizeable step up from the Dumfries match and will help prepare the side for the first real competitive match which is this Saturday when Marr are visitors in the BT Cup. Marr were in last season's Premiership promotion play-offs and will offer another set of problems for Biggar prior of course to the BT League programme when Peebles are opponents (3rd Sept).

 

The 2nds were down in their match but as suggested there is a very promising side in the making.


Biggar get the better of Dumfries

Biggar 35 Dumfries 26
For their second warm up match Biggar hosted Dumfries on Saturday.


There was need for an improvement following last week's outing at Lasswade and this indeed proved to be the case. Starting at a great pace – much as had been the case last Friday – the difference this time was that points were scored and in fine fashion.


Alisdair Sinclair was first up after just 3 minutes, the winger scorching over in the corner after a great passage of play as Biggar retained ball well to put pressure on the Dumfries defence. Gaps eventually opened up to give Sinclair the chance which he took well. Richard Peacock struck an excellent kick to add the conversion.


With Biggar on the offensive once more, Dumfries managed to gain possession from a lineout deep in their 22. A weak clearance was taken by Peacock who was able to feed Robbie Lavery. The ball was put wide to Stuart Hull who burst through the Dumfries cover to score a great try which Peacock again converted.


Up front Biggar seemed to have the advantage in the tight scrum although Dumfries were not the force that Lasswade had been. Andrew Peacock and Douglas Notman were held up well in forays forward but Biggar were over the line again after 15 minutes when Andrew Orr took full advantage of a quick tap penalty to pick and drive, catching the Dumfries cover at sixes and sevens before crashing over from close range. Peacock again added the two points for 21-0.


Inevitably Dumfries came back into things and exerted their own period of attacking play. Able to secure ball when under pressure Biggar made things difficult for themselves by trying to run ball from deep when the kick might have been a better option. Caught close to their line Dumfries should have perhaps done better but in fact they conceded a penalty which allowed Biggar some relief.


This brought the first period to an end and heralded a host of changes to the teams with both sides taking the opportunity to give all their senior squad players a run and to try different formations and pairings.


This was a less structured period as players struggled to gain any consistency of possession with errors from both sides punctuating the flow of the match. Dumfries fared better as they put Biggar under a good deal of pressure. Things were not helped as play became somewhat fractious and ended up testing the Australian referee's patience. Two Dumfries try's made things a good deal closer at 21-14.


Biggar began the third period much as they had the first, with Douglas Voas taking a leaf from Orr's book to tap a penalty and crash over for another try which Peacock again converted. 28-14.


Just when Biggar looked as though they would become more dominant Dumfries upped their game with Biggar making a number of unforced errors. The visitors collected a third try before Ewan Stewart grabbed one for himself, the hooker intercepting a loose pass to scamper over for a try converted by Peacock who maintained his 100% record.


A final score from Dumfries took the score to 35-26, Dumfries having the last word with this. Had they kicked their points this match would have been a lot closer, but as it was Biggar recorded their first win under new coach Gary Mercer. Assistant coach Davy Wilson, who will look after the backs, was also pitch side to view his charges in action for the first time.


Both coaches were content with the performance though not yet happy as there had been too many unforced errors. A positive however is that the squad are as one and look to be enjoying the style of play which Mercer is advocating. This weekend Penrith will travel to Hartree Mill and the English side will pose a number of very different problems with increased bulk their advantage.


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 or Aird Jardine on 07917731494 for Secondary School aged children

Membership rates and packages are as follows:

Download the form by clicking here (docx format)

The Standing Order form can be downloaded here (doc format)

The BRFC membership form can be downloaded here (doc format)

 

 

Membership Rates

 

 


NEWS

What’s On this Weekend: 24th/25th Sept

Another busy weekend of rugby action

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Biggar hit back in Aberdeen after sluggish start

This was an entertaining match despite the defeat

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Biggar defeat Kelso and claim 3 from 3

The Colts led the way on Saturday with their win over GHA but the 2nds and then the 1sts rounded off a great day at Hartree Mill. Sunday followed and with it the Mini Tournament which again showed the club off really well.

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Biggar collect a losing bonus in League opener

Biggar were unable to finish the job on Saturday when, having chased Peebles down in the second half, they failed to do enough to secure the win.

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Biggar lose Cup tie

Marr proved too strong for Biggar in the BT Cup on Saturday

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Biggar win through against Penrith.

Biggar defeat Penrith

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Biggar get the better of Dumfries

Biggar a match for Dumfries

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Membership

Memberships 2016/17

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