Biggar’s record win at Kirkcaldy
Kirkcaldy 19 Biggar 42
All sorts of ‘firsts’ were recorded this week as Biggar took maximum points from their Friday evening trip to Fife to play Kirkcaldy in National 2.
This was the first time Biggar have scored over 40 points against Kirkcaldy, the first time they have scored over 40 points in consecutive matches for many years and the first ‘three in a row’ for three seasons. In addition while it has been done before it some time since one player – in this case Richard Peacock – scored 4 tries in one match, a feat which was as thrilling to witness as a spectator as it must have been for the player himself.
A great result then and another which gives further proof to the theory that this side is continuing to gel as a team with the young players slowly gaining in the confidence which comes from playing good rugby, scoring tries and winning.
There is no doubt that this is early days yet and that the 9th place Biggar occupy is still perilously close to the two relegation spots, but there is undoubted promise borne from these recent displays and which augurs well for the coming weeks.
Coach Gavin Blackburn made two enforced changes for this match from the side that defeated Whitecraigs the previous week. Both of these were in the backs where Graham Jamieson started at centre for the injured Douglas Voas and Aird Jardine took over at scrum half for the suspended Davy Reive. Their contribution to the win was hugely significant; Jamieson’s try from his own half a signal of what he is clearly capable of as he knocked down, stepped and ran past numerous defenders on his way to the line while the collective, sharp intake of breath issuing from the Biggar support when Jardine was hauled down and apparently injured just short of the line after a fantastic burst was clearly indicative of how valuable this teenager has become to the side.
Happily Jardine was able to continue, the damage adjudged to be muscle tear while Jamison’s try was this was just one side to his game as he continues to develop with the assistance of both Robbie Lavery and Francois Nel.
Biggar had the best of starts as Peacock ran in his first try within the first minute, this a great piece of awareness and opportunism. Following a good piece of recovery work from Douglas Notman and as play was advanced by Craig McDonald, Peacock was set free for the line with only the home fullback to beat. Opting to kick and chase the Biggar man dived from long range, landing under the retreating Kirkcaldy defender to claim the touchdown. Nel added the conversion for 7-0.
Biggar maintained their territorial advantage with some excellent line breaks from Nel and Lavery with Notman and Jamieson also in the van, this keeping Kirkcaldy employed in defensive duties. The Biggar pack also kept the pressure up, their scrummage play making things really difficult for the host side as they shoved them off the ball and forced them onto the back foot.
A Biggar penalty from Nel after 18 minutes saw Biggar again get the rub of the green which has so often eluded them in recent seasons. The ball, though well struck, rebounded off the upright and as the hosts sought to clear, Biggar managed the charge down catching a Kirkcaldy man offside in the process. Referee John Shaw an –ex-pro player who handled the match really well throughout - won no friends in the Kirkcaldy camp with this decision which gave Biggar another penalty. A quick tap and thrust from Jardine, followed by a massive looping pass from Nel, found winger McDonald who crashed over at the corner for try number 2. Nel obliged from far out to make it 14-7.
Not surprisingly Kirkcaldy came back into the match with their pack taking full control from a penalty kick which took play to close to the Biggar line. With the lineout won it was a relatively and ominously simple forward drive which led to a try for back row Ronnie Brown. Stand off Finlay smith added the conversion.
Peacock grabbed his second try shortly after this, the fullback benefitting from the combination provided by Nel and McDonald before the latter created the space required with a well-timed pass for the try. Nel converted but was off target with a penalty, as was Kirkcaldy’s Smith following a Biggar offside.
Biggar squandered a couple of chances in this half as passes went stray and a kicking option was preferred to an outside pass while on another occasion a wonderfully balanced, sniping run from Jardine took the scrum half to within a couple of metres of the line before he was brought down short by the cover defence in the tackle previously described. Half time then and things finely balance at 21-7.
There was no wind and little advantage available to either side but Biggar took the match by the throat after an early wobble which gave Kirkcaldy space and numbers to run in for a try which took them to 21-12.
Just 11 minutes into the half and Jamieson scored a great solo try from half way, this Biggar’s 4th try and therefore bonus point score. Nel converted for 28-12. Biggar maintained their territorial advantage as they began to take greater control of the match. There were positive runs from Nel and Jamieson and the Fife side began to tire as their pack were kept under pressure. There was some consternation within the Biggar camp when host scrum half Callum Parsons cleverly tapped the ball out of Jardine’s hands and into the scrum on the Biggar put in (unseen by referee Shaw) and this created the space for Kirkcaldy to mount a rare attack. Their winger Owen Bonner ran well for the try, which, when converted by Smith, gave them a glimmer of hope at 35-19.
Both Andrew Peacock and Ewan Stewart led the riposte and Biggar came back via a very good kick and chase form McDonald before Lavery made an excellent turnover. This play saw McDonald combine well again, this time with Peacock, the fullback cantering home for his 4th score. Nel dutifully added the conversion.
There had been some apprehension about this match as Beveridge Park has never been an easy place to pick up points, the programme notes confirming that Biggar had only won twice from their ten previous visits. This then, was a great and very welcome result and one which lifts Biggar into 9th spot (on 9 points) and just clear of Kirkcaldy and Ardrossan (on 8) and Greenock in bottom spot (with 0 points).
J. Warnock, A. Jardine, R. Lavery, D. Voas, A. Horton, F. Nel, D. Reive (Capt), D. Voas, E. Stewart, D. O’Connell, J. Orr, Z. Lyon, D. Notman, A. Warnock, A. Cairns. Reps: A. Orr, P. Davidson, R. Peacock, A. Peacock.
It was good to catch up with ex-Biggar star Quintan Sanft who is still player/coach at Kirkcaldy. He was a great servant to Biggar when his performances helped us gain promotion to Premier 1 and he has been instrumental in ensuring the Fife club have maintained their current position within Scottish rugby.
There are no league or cup games this coming weekend and so the players will be able to regroup in preparation for the visit of Whitecraigs on 17th October, this the Glasgow sides second visit, the first having been on Cup business. There can be no complacency in assuming that Whitecraigs will not put up a fight to regain the balance after their weak showing in the Cup. Depending on results elsewhere Biggar have a chance to climb another couple of places and this they must do if they are to continue to develop.
The 2nd XV travelled to take on Marr in National Reserve 2. The Marr 1st XV with McKenzie Pearce in their ranks are riding high in National 1 and it was expected that this would be a very tricky match. With no game last weekend Biggar feared ring rustiness but in a high scoring match Biggar edged things by the closest of margins 35-34 although the SRU website suggests 27-26!
Story date: 07/10/2015
Biggar lose out to Preston Lodge
Preston Lodge 52 Biggar 14
Another hefty defeat for Biggar and another scoreline which would seem to suggest a capitulation by the young Biggar XV. Nothing could be further from the truth however and while PL undoubtedly deserved their win and the score is emphatic, Biggar played again with fantastic spirit, falling foul of several handling errors and bad luck which saw PL capitalise on every error and enjoy the absolute rub of the green.
For the trip to Prestonpans, the first by a Biggar 1st XV for many years, Biggar were unable to call on the injured Douglas Notman (hand), Ian Baillie (knee) or Steven Campbell (ankle) but welcomed back prop Dan O’Connell, scrum half David Reive and stand-off Francois Nel while Zander Lyon and James Simpson made their first top team starts with Richard Peacock appearing on the bench after his return to these shores following a sojourn to Oz. The home side fielded ex-Biggar prop Colin Arthur, the big man throwing his lot in with PL after several years at Melrose.
Playing into a stiff breeze, which crucially dropped at half time, Biggar played some really good rugby from the outset, the pack picking and driving and retaining possession well. The first score then came somewhat against the run of play and after what was to become a run of bad luck. A loose ball was hacked downfield by PL and while it appeared fullback Jack Warnock had slid and dived text-book style to recover the ball before passing to reive to clear, referee Tony Jenkins awarded PL as scrum for what he deemed to be a knock-on. The PL scrum took control and with a big drive gave No8 Jason Riley a simple task for the first try. Stand-off Thomas McMann added the conversion with an excellent kick from the wide touch line angle.
Just 5 minutes later and Biggar suffered again as a knock on by Nel deprived them of what would have been a wonderful try. Alan Warnock took ball on from a lineout and his pass was taken by centre Robbie Lavery. A mercurial break from the wee man saw him nip through the smallest of gaps and into the clear but Nel was just unable to take the off-load with the line in his sights.
On the 20 minute mark and with Biggar maintaining momentum in the PL half a ball stripped out of full-back Warnock’s hands saw PL hack downfield again, the wind taking the ball deep into the Biggar 22. This time a dive to secure possession by Craig McDonald saw the ball squirm from under his body and right into the path of Riley who scored – McMann notching another conversion from almost exactly the same spot as the first.
Nel took full advantage from every penalty awarded to Biggar to take play downfield but Biggar could just not get through the PL defence to turn them, speculative kicks ahead being taken and returned by the PL back three. On the half hour mark Biggar lost the services of hooker Andrew Orr, the youngster being shown a yellow for talking back and shoving an opponent. Down to 14 men Biggar were on the defensive and forced to make some stout tackles to keep PL out as the home pack crept ever closer to the Biggar line. Inevitably a break came this allowing lock Matt Sanderson to cross for a try which McMann again converted for 21-0.
Forced back into their 22 from a kick ahead which led to a drop out, Biggar were then again caught as ball which was always going to be too difficult to kick clear was run out of defence. A pop pass from Nel to Lavery which would have put the centre into acres of space failed to go to hand and instead was gleefully taken by PL centre Blair Robertson who coasted through untouched from 10 metres out. McMann added the conversion for 28-0.
Orr returned to the fray and Biggar once more rose to the challenge with some spirited play taking them into the PL half. Donald Voas, Ewan Sanderson, Alan Warnock, Nel and Lavery all took ball forward and with another phase beckoning Reive lost control at the breakdown, possession going directly to Robertson who burst through the unprotected middle to gallop in for PL’s 5th try, McMann converting for 35-0 and half time.
Richard peacock replaced Peter Miller (who had played very tidily) at half time. Biggar’s task in the second half had to be to keep PL out and to get a score of their own. As previously described however the wind dropped, this denying them the advantage enjoyed by their hosts in the first half. Biggar’s first foray into the PL half ended as position was lost first from a lineout which was adjudged squint and then as they were penalised from the resultant scrum.
If previous tries came from Biggar errors this next score was all PL. Initially it appeared the lineout call was miscued leaving Arthur the job of tidying ball up at the tail but his drive spawned possession for McMann who broke the line. The stand-offs pass was taken by Robertson who sent Paddy Cooney away from half way for a sprint to the line. A great score from a PL point of view but another hard knock for Biggar.
Andrew Peacock then joined his brother on the pitch as he replaced Zander Lyon who had carried ball well in what was his first start at this level and a real test for the youngster who has been out injured for the best part of two seasons. O’Connell was then shown yellow as he was deemed to have kicked a player. Arthur’s take and drive off a tap penalty was held up but the cavalry arrived in the shape of PL’s 17, the replacement crashing over for a good try.
The 10 minutes which followed saw Biggar again play some excellent rugby but PL fully exploit a couple of lapses as Biggar’s effort waned ever so slightly. With the tails up PL, with a one man advantage, were now in the ascendancy and their confidence was growing. Another very good passage of play saw fullback Jonathan Brash freed for a run to the line, McMann converting for 52-0.
With some 10 minutes remaining Biggar could well have capitulated given the way the game was going but this XV has a dogged spirit and they play for each other and for the full 80 minutes, something which the large Biggar support added and responded to with constant encouragement. O’Connell’s return coincided with a scrum. Having been under the cosh for much of the match Biggar managed to take ball against the put in and Alan Warnock and Sanderson advanced play on the blind before Reive switched play back right. O’Connell took the pass and burst through the defence for a very good try. Nel converted.
Orr and Douglas Voas then suffered as they picked up knocks, Orr forced off but Voas able to hobble on. Lavery, Sanderson and Peacock all made good ground to take play into the PL 22.
The whole pack was involved in Biggar’s second score as they upped their game to drive to the line. Although the initial hits to the line were held up – one offside and tap to Reive could so easily have seen PL been shown a yellow card – Nel managed to pick and scuttle over from a couple of yards. Despite continuing problems with his ribs which he injured at Lasswade the stand-off added the conversion.
These two scores were the very least Biggar deserved and they could well have added to that tally has things been a little kinder. Another wonderful midfield break by Sanderson saw the flanker find Jamie Orr on his inside. With great technique the lock burst to the line and despite being knocked to the ground picked himself up prior to diving for the line – a perfect score? Nope – referee Jenkins adjudged a double movement and PL escaped with a penalty. Rough justice. The final minutes saw Biggar redouble their efforts and again they might have been rewarded with a try as PL sought to slow play down, Whittingham perhaps fortunate not to have bene shown yellow as he lay offside.
And so the game came to its conclusion.
It’s a cliché there is no doubt but there were many positives despite the defeat. A tremendous spirit exists and if the boys can learn and mature together then they will get that currently elusive win. That in turn will provide the confidence which the side craves. There were some really spirited performances and some very tired bodies and emotional minds at the end of the game and there is an undoubted will to improve and to win.
Jack Warnock, Craig McDonald, Robbie Lavery, Douglas Voas, Peter Miller, Francois Nel, David Reive (Capt), Donald Voas, Andrew Orr, Dan O'Connell, Zander Lyon, Jamie Orr, Euan Sanderson, James Simpson, Alan Warnock. Replacements: Ewan Stewart, Andrew Peacock, Richard Peacock
This Saturday sees unbeaten Glasgow side Cartha Queens Park visit Hartree Mill. Having beaten Hill Jills, Falkirk and Ardrossan they will come full of confidence but Biggar must use the positives from Saturday to their advantage. They will surely never have so much bad luck in one game again, and just a little rub of the green would do so much to help.
A big home support would be a bonus, so come on Biggar get behind your rugby club!
Due to a large number of injuries Biggar were unable to field a 2nd XV on Saturday. This was a big disappointment and the cancellation one which the club is keen not to repeat. Another call to arms for all former players – please make yourself available for the club.
Story date: 15/09/2015
Membership Forms and Rates
Membership renewals are now due and the current rates and form are on the membership page. Your club depends on the membership Fees to develop what we have at Hartree Mill and what we are able to offer our playesra nd spectators. Clubhouse maintenance, training equipment, heating, lighting......ALL are paid for by your fees. BE PART OF THE CLUB!
Please think about and take advantage of the discount offered. If you pay this month (August) you get a significant saving on your membership for the 2015/16 season. If you wait until Spetember however, you will pay more!
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Story date: 12/07/2013
Biggar RFC Second XV
This season 2014/15, Biggar 2nd XV will compete in the Edinburgh RESERVE LEAGUE 1. A good blend of experience and youth allows us to compete well with teams who have far greater resources.
The team is manged by John Bogle and Malcolm Bruce and if you would like to play or assist with the team please contact our Playing Convenor, Ian Notman 07899803916
Story date: 16/09/2011
Biggar RFC operates and Open to All policy and welcomes new members from all sectors of the community
We accept members from 5 years upwards who can join our Mini section to those that have retired and want to assist and retain their links with our active club.
Our membership year runs from May to April and if you would like to find out more about the playing arrangements at the club or become a member please contact either Gordon Young on 07774678617 or via email at email@example.com or Nigel Pacey on 07714 713504.
If you would like to know a little more about our rugby programmes for Primary or Secondary school children please refer to our Mini and Midi pages under the "Teams" section or contact either Laura Watson for information about Primary School age children and Paula Yardley on 07830022447 or Aird Jardine on 07917731494 for Secondary School aged children
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Story date: 25/08/2011