Match report 19th September U16 at Gala
Sunday 19th September 2021
This week saw the girls attending Gala for a festival event organised by themselves where Murrayfield Wanderers, Leith and Gala provided the opposition……or so was the plan. Murrayfield and Leith teamed together and Biggar took on the 3 Gala players and 1 from Berwick (Nina, Sarah, Rhiah and Carrie) which allowed both teams to field 12 a side with plenty of subs as again Biggar were very well represented with 14 travelling players. The games were played over 3 sessions of 20 minute games with 10 minute half’s (or if it wasn’t as obvious as this to spectators then 6 x 10 minute games).
Game 1 – Biggar vs Murrayfield
Before the kick-off the coaching team were keen to see how the girls would set themselves up against an unknown opposition and from the kick-off, Biggar attacked straight away through some untidy ball initially from the Wanderers allowing Poppy to find a gap in the defence to which she didn’t need a second invite and ran through for Biggar’s first try. It must be pointed out at this time that when this report mentions ‘ran through’ many times the girls had to run the full length of a pitch as it was full size but slightly narrower than usual, so a huge effort from everyone throughout the day.
From the kick off Biggar again defended well (scoring team kicked back to opposition) earning the first scrum of the day. Those spectators that were watching the warm up will have noticed a very quick coaching session being carried out with the girls on scrummaging with 5 as up to now, due to numbers, Biggar have only ever played with 3 forwards. Nonetheless up stepped Cat, Nina, Kailey, Jess and Ashley who, for scrummaging with 5 for the first time, did an awesome job with Natasha, Imogen and even Freya getting a piece of the forwards action throughout the day. From this first scrum Biggar called the backs into action with the PB move releasing Annabel to show her speed with a great run on the nearside only to be just tackled by Murrayfield’s last defender.
In the first 5 minutes it was evident that Biggar needed a lift to get into the game as things became a bit lethargic for the girls which was duly provided by Imogen and Freya showing great defensive line speed and winning a turnover ball. This turnover was picked up by Lisa who has come on leaps and bounds since starting at Biggar and showed her determination with a strong run through the middle breaking the defensive tackles to put Biggar two up. The last few minutes of the half saw the back line putting together some good offloads and
support running with Lisa taking the ball from Freya who went on one of her signature runs splitting the defensive wall.
The play of game 1 came with Biggar’s next score with some great close passing and offloading between what looked like the whole team down the far wing where after Murrayfield simply running out of defenders, Poppy was left to put the ball over for another Biggar score. The final play of the half was Lisa showing what she does best, running determined strong lines and breaking through the Wanderers defensive line scored Biggar’s fifth try of the half.
With the second half under way, Biggar received the kick-off and after some great rucking from Cat, Biggar shifted the ball out to the far wing where Iona had her first opportunity to show her pace and simply outran the Wanderers defence for her first score of the day. Despite this however, not everything went Biggar’s way with the team still seemingly lethargic. This proved costly with Wanderers having a great attacking spell and running through the middle of Biggar’s defence who were struggling to execute their tackles. Murrayfield took advantage of this lull and pulled a score back which seemed to lift their resolve and gave them encouragement.
At this point the Gala girls (who were honorary Biggar girls for the day) showed their skill where again after some great rucking from Ash, Cat and Kailey, Sarah showed some excellent footwork, sidestepping the Wanderers defence and ran half the pitch with great support from Imogen to run in for her first score of the day. Biggar seemed to have bounced back from that disappointing Wanderers try. From the re-start though, tackle execution just seemed to let Biggar down with Wanderers, through some great support and running, managed to break through Biggar’s defence pulling back another score.
In the dying minutes of the game, Biggar seemed to pick up the pace and intensity with again some awesome rucking by Cat and great interlinking play between Annabel, Lucy and Jess put the Wanderers under sustained pressure where the ball found its way to Molly who came through on a great line to beat the defence and ran in for a Biggar score. The Wanderers seemed to switch off at this point as almost straight from the re-start, Freya collected her own kick and ran in for the last try of game 1.
This game was no easy start for Biggar and Gala where the girls took time to settle into the rhythm of the game. That being said every player showed some really impressive attacking ability and their supporting game continues to develop.
After the first twenty minutes Biggar came out 9-2 (45-10) winners.
Game 2 – Murrayfield Wanderers vs Biggar
This ‘away’ leg would hopefully see Biggar tightening up the defensive line and secure the tackles after the team talk at the end of game 1. With Biggar receiving the kick off the girls set up where Nina confidently received the ball and went on a powerful run weaving through the Wanderers defence putting Biggar on the scoreboard early on. Biggar again showed some
ruthless game play where straight from the subsequent kick off, Wanderers took the ball comfortably however through excellent tackling and counter rucking from Molly and Jess, Biggar won the ball where Imogen was quick to take advantage of the situation with a pick and go resulting in another quick score for Biggar.
Game 2 seemed to be one for counter rucking by Jess, who through an almost identical play to the previous score showed great line speed in putting the Wanderers defence under pressure and again some great rucking won possession for Biggar where this time Nina reaped the spoils of the hard work having to show some nifty footwork herself ran in for another Biggar score in quick succession.
Biggar certainly seemed to be taking control of game 2 however Wanderers ensured that Biggar had to fight for every try with some hard rucking and great runs of their own breaking through the Biggar defensive line several times only to be felled at the last by some great covering tackles from Sarah, Molly and Lisa who were all rotating as fullback. It was during one of these sustained attacks by Wanderers that Biggar managed to pounce on a great turnover by Poppy who offloaded to Lisa who went on one of those long, direct runs challenging the defence to tackle her, to which they could not and Biggar added to their tally.
Unfortunately, during game 2, Biggar lost Lucy to a head injury after a tackle which was a blow at this time as Lucy was performing excellently with continually putting the wanderers defence under pressure and working hard in the rucks and scrum to allow the backs to have those scoring opportunities. With the substitutions made and the last play of the game, through some simple rugby and passing, Poppy ran in for the last try of the half.
After a quick turnaround Biggar were to receive the re-start where Poppy gathered the bouncing ball where she saw an opportunity and backed herself going on a wide looping run around the oncoming Wanderers defence who couldn’t match her speed and opened up Biggar’s scoring account in the second half. Again, Wanderers came back with some hard rugby making Biggar work for everything to which Cat stepped up and matched them through great rucking and defensive work earning Biggar a scrum from a great attacking position.
With everyone set, the ball was out and again Biggar working the PB move brilliantly, moving the ball to Lisa who was on full steam with Carrie in support, however through some excellent covering tackles by Wanderers their defence held. Biggar continued to put pressure on Wanderers through brilliant phased play and through a truly team effort Freya managed to break through and score for Biggar. Biggar started to finally play the game and style that they know with some brilliant, committed tackles from Jess, Annabel and Natasha which swayed the momentum for Biggar allowing Sarah to go on one of her long looping runs putting another score on for Biggar.
In the dying minutes of this game, Biggar continued to show hunger for the ball with excellent counter rucking allowing Poppy to steal the ball releasing Nina to run in for Biggar. With the last play of the game being a set piece (scrum) to the Wanderers it was all but over however, the forward pack through Nina, Jess, Ash, Imogen and Tash stole the ball from the hook where defence quickly turned to attack and the backs running some great supporting lines allowed Freya to exploit the gaps created and scored Biggar’s final try for Game 2.
This game was a much more competitive game for Biggar which was not reflected in the final score but certainly in the intensity of the rucking and tackling on display and the determined running. With the final whistle for game 2 Biggar came out 10-0 (50-0) winners.
Game 3 – Biggar vs Murrayfield Wanderers
This final game saw Biggar continue as they finished game 2 with pressure from the start. Good spirit from the girls won a turnover where Ash was quick to pounce on this opportunity with a good attacking run. This attacking play continued through some skilful play from the back line where the ball made its way to Eilidh on the nearside wing where she showed superb determination and went on a blistering run down the wing towards the Wanderers try line only to be well caught and tackled by a chasing defence. Murrayfield Wanderers found it difficult to clear the lines with Biggar putting in some hard tackles from Imogen, Jess and Natasha and set up Ash to counter ruck, winning the ball for Biggar where Molly saw an opportunity for a pick and go, running in for Biggar’s first score of game 3.
Biggar were playing at a higher tempo in this last game, where fitness and desire were the difference between the two teams at this point with Biggar in control of the game and producing excellent attacking rugby at every opportunity. This showed after the restart where Ash took advantage of quick ball from the breakdown and a disorganised Wanderers defence running in for Biggar’s second score of the game. That being said, the Wanderers showed grit and determination to keep going and still put Biggar under pressure ensuring that Biggar’s defence had to stay strong which they did – across all the girls.
After several phases both sides began to show tiredness where Poppy again saw an opportunity to break through the defensive line scoring Biggar’s third try. Lisa scored Biggar’s next two tries with her usual strong running and exploiting gaps in the Wanderers defence and the second coming from another hook against the head by Biggar’s scrum where Lisa attacked a disorganised defence and ran through several tackles to add to her tally for the day. The play of game 3 came in the last few minutes with excellent team play running down the far wing and some great offloads saw Cat running in from the 22m line for her first try of the day and just rewards for the sterling effort she put into her rucking game.
The last few minutes of the half saw Natasha making a break with great support from Eilidh however, in what seemed like a conspiracy against her it appeared that ‘someone moved the try line’ which saw a final scrum being played out and after several phases Freya managed to run in for the final score of the half.
Unfortunately, due to a Wanderers player sustaining a suspected serious leg injury early in the second half it was decided to end the proceedings at that point which saw Biggar finishing Game 3 as 7-0 (35-0) winners.
The three games all offered something different for the girls and also for the coaches to work on and improve, however what was evident was the growing confidence Biggar U16’s are developing both as individual players and as a team which is excellent to see. It was encouraging to watch them all bring in Nina, Carrie, Sarah and Rhiah as part of the Biggar family and particular thanks need to go to these girls who were all excellent players in their own right whether providing supporting runs, defensive tackles or working hard in the forwards – well done. Again all the Biggar girls showed how well they are developing their overall rugby game and management of the live situation and it may seem to be standard expectation of the effort put in by them but all the coaching and management staff know the commitment every girl shows to learn and improve. This is clear to see by watching them on the pitch – Well done Biggar U16’s.
Match Report: Whitecraigs Sunday 29th August 2021
Yesterday saw U14’s travel to Whitecraigs for an SRU festival . We started with some nerves showing but the girls quickly rallied and their hard work at training kicked in. Our toughest game by far was against Oban where the girls really dug deep with some incredible try saving tackles but the biggest achievement was the forward pace of the girls which enabled us to put the opposition on back foot
Really well done girls !!!
Today saw the return of the SRU organised events for the Glasgow North area in which Biggar are grouped within. The format for the day was flexible to say the least and certainly kept the coaches on their toes never mind the players and spectators.
For the U16’s Biggar took a squad of 11 players which again showed the depth of membership in the girls set up as we were only matched in numbers by the home side themselves. The games were played over 9 minutes where the U16’s were pitched against Wests, Cambuslang, GHA Barbarians and Whitecraigs with teams’ sizes varying dependent upon opposition numbers.
Game 1 – Biggar U16’s Vs West (9 a side)
For our opening game the girls were quietly confident in their abilities which showed throughout a very quick 9 minutes with Imogen opening the points for Biggar early in the game with some confident running. This seemed to spur the team on with Poppy doing her ‘trademark’ pick and go exploiting the gap at the breakdown excellently and running in for Biggar’s second score. The play of the game came from a determined run through the middle by Freya who whilst in the process of being tackled managed to offload to Imogen who showed real grit to ensure she was in support and gaining the benefits by getting her second score of the game.
Biggar went on to score 3 more tries through Poppy and Imogen with Wests pulling 2 scores back making the end result a 6-2 (number of tries) win for Biggar.
Game 2 – Biggar U16’s Vs Cambuslang (8 a side)
Moving down to 8 a side didn’t seem to phase the girls who by now were relishing the challenge of the games. Not wanting to be left out of the scoring, it seemed the time was right for others to get on the score sheet with Grace showing what direct running can gain you with an opening score for Biggar. For the spectators watching, Biggar’s second try came from one of those bizarre moments when a player coming back onside, seems to somehow be given the ball by the opposition and for a second or two they wonder ‘what’s going on and am I allowed to do that’. Freya found herself in this position and going by her facial expressions and her shrugging shoulders, she had those exact thoughts until urged on by the side-lines, she took advantage of the situation and ran in for Biggar’s second score. Cambuslang managed to pull a try back through good enterprising play and wide ball which unfortunately Biggar were left exposed to and unable to defend against.
Spurred on by this and having experienced the benefit of direct running, Grace seemed to have this as her tactic for the day and again got through Cambuslang’s defence adding to Biggar’s tally. Having played much of the game through the middle, Biggar started to move the ball wide where Iona on the wing showed a turn of pace beating her opposite number and showed good strength to hold off the covering Cambuslang defence to offload to Freya who positioned herself in an excellent supporting line, running in for her second score for the game. By this time Biggar were growing in confidence with Poppy showing great agility receiving the ball in the middle and outrunning Cambuslangs defence to score in the corner.
Supporting runs seemed to be the order of the day for this game with Molly coming through on a great break by Freya, receiving the offload and running in for her 1st score of the day for her. This was quickly followed by Biggar’s last 2 tries through some quick thinking by Cat at the breakdown, taking advantage of no defence with a pick and go run taking her almost to scoring where the ball worked its way to Iona who ran in down the wing showing strength against the Cambuslang defence in riding a tackle and scoring. Biggar’s last try for the game came from a great attacking play by Freya, kicking over the Cambuslang defence and chasing her own kick, dribbling it over the try line and still managing to control the ball for her 3rd score of the game, a great show of kicking ability and football skills.
For such an entertaining game across the board it would be unfair to single out any 1 play of the game as to be honest there were many.
After the 9 minutes of play, Biggar ran out as 8-1 (number of tries) winners.
Game 3 – Biggar U16’s Vs GHA Barbarians (8 a side)
Game 3 took place after lunch which is always a worry that the focus and attention drops off however both Alex and I were proud and pleased to see the girls started as they finished the morning sessions. This time Poppy opened up the scoring with great vision at the breakdown and exploiting the defence with a quick pick and go from the breakdown with Annabelle in support. Biggar should have been 2 tries up soon after this however, without mentioning names ???? and showing that others can pick and go, Biggar were on for second try with a clean break only for the ball to be dropped forward with the Barbarians being awarded the scrum – Guess what we will be working on at training on Wednesday, something along the lines of carrying the ball in 2 hands.
Not to be downhearted, Biggar bounced back with some good open play and rucking where the ball found its way to Poppy to run in for Biggar’s second try of the match. Biggar’s third try came under one of the ‘questionable’ moments which bizarrely involved Freya again somehow managing to get the ball from an interception without being offside but this time not hanging around and breaking through the Barbarians defence and offloading to Iona who scored for her first of the game. Biggar’s next three tries came from good team play across the park with Freya, Imogen and Poppy all adding to Biggar’s tally for the game with Poppy showing a great dummy pass to offset the defence and running through. Biggar’s last try for the game came in the dying moments of attacking play with excellent rucking from Grace and this time Iona seeing the opportunity to pick and go down the wing to score.
Biggar came out 7-0 (number of tries) winners after the 9 minutes of play.
Game 4 – Biggar U16’s Vs Whitecraigs (8 a side)
Our last game was billed as probably going to be our hardest against the home side and as coaches it was pleasing to see the girls showing the enthusiasm and determination to continue the standard of play into this last game. After some jostling for control of the game and some good initial attacks by Whitecraigs, Biggar go the upper hand through a great steal from Freya who offloaded to Poppy who used her speed to outrun the defence line and put Biggar on the scoreboard. Biggar’s second try was one of those that you hope as a coach is brought from the training pitch into a game and this was that moment, a move worked off the back of a scrum which was executed excellently, resulting in Freya running through the gap created for Biggar’s second try of the game.
This game was by no means an easy one for Biggar with Whitecraig’s pulling a score back with some direct running and good offloads, again managing to exploit the wide areas of Biggar’s defence making the score 2-1 to Biggar. The girls showed some great camaraderie at this point and supporting each other which obviously work with again Biggar using a set mover off the back of a scrum and this time Poppy running in for Biggar’s third score of the match. This open play continued with again excellent tackling and rucking from Grace with Annabelle and Iona breaking down the wing supporting each other with the break, unfortunately with the try line in sight the ref deemed it to be in touch.
Biggar certainly took control of the game at this point with Imogen adding to Biggar’s tally and poppy finishing off with two more tries firmly put Biggar in the driving seat although the last try of the match by Poppy was created by a great break from Grace who was through to score but unselfishly offloaded it to Poppy who was in support who scored. When asked about this Grace explained that the cheering from the side-lines she heard (for her to score) was interpreted as ‘pass the ball to Poppy’ – not sure how we can train for that one on Wednesday night????
With the final whistle that was Biggar’s competition over with 4 wins from 4 and convincing scorecards for each game. The girls should all be proud of the way in which they conducted themselves on the pitch, they all played every bit a part of every game, every point scored and every win – no individual can do this without the team. Some mentions I think should go out for effort is to Grace for her immense rucking (which allowed the pick and go’s and quick ball), Eilidh for showing courage and determination in playing and Jess and Annabel for their accomplished tackling technique. The team as a whole showed excellent support, off loads, game decisions, running lines, rucking and tackling and from a coach’s point of view that is over and above expectations this early in the season, so well done everyone.
The last congratulations have to go to Poppy who was voted by the SRU as the ‘Player of the Tournament’ for U16’s and was presented with a signed woman’s Scotland rugby top. This was for overall ability, enthusiasm, gamesmanship and skill shown throughout the games. Well done Poppy.
The overnight rain threatened to halt all events at Hartree Mill on Sunday – it put paid to the Minis trip to Lanark – but with the Girls Festival organised for a 9am meet and a 10am start things went ahead as scheduled.
As the final day of Scotland Women and Girls in Sport week this was a fantstic opportunity to showcase girls involvement in sport, with, of course, rugby as its prime focus. The fact that the weather was so poor might have led to cancellation but, undeterred, the girls turned out with a healthy touchline support from their families.
Although the pitches were sodden and the rain never stopped, the girls who came to the SRU festival on Sunday morning were in high spirits and never let the weather bother them. The idea of the SRU festivals is for Clubs to bring as many or as few players in each age group as possible to ensure they all get as much rugby time on the pitch as possible. On Sunday Biggar RFC had more than 40 players over three teams U14, U16 & U18, Other clubs involved where Waysiders Drumpellier, West of Scotland, Cartha Queens Park, East Kilbride, Hillhead Jordanhill and Lenzie. At all age groups there was an excellent standard of play with plenty of tries scored with teams evenly matched.
Our under 18 girls, bolstered by a few Wayside Drumpellier girls, took on Hillhead Jordanhill in extremely wet conditions, a hard fought game with tries scored by Geraldine Kimm, Kaylee Fraser, Mariana Finlayson(x2) and Katie McPherson (x2). A big thank you to all of the supporters who braved the rain to cheer the girls on. If you would like to try rugby, no matter your age or experience we are always happy to welcome new players at Biggar RFC. We are looking forward to our next festival on the 3rd of November at Clydebank.
The 3rd Girls SRU festival took place at Clydebank RFC where over 150 under 14 and under 16 girls came to play and enjoy their rugby.
Biggar under 14s were able to field 2 teams and they both played Cartha, Hillhead/West of Scotland, Wayside Drumpellier and each other. Once again the standard of rugby was high and it was good to see most teams were evenly placed and there was some good running rugby with plenty of tries scored.
The U16s, although only fielding 9 players, started the day in confident fashion with good wins against Lenzie and West of Scotland. However, after a couple of our players took some knocks, it was a hard battle against a Hills/Oban combined team and we had to regroup to play Waysiders. It was a very evenly matched contest with biggar just getting the win by one try. Unfortunately, during the game against Cartha, Lana took a very bad knock, resulting in the game being abandoned and a long wait of over 2 hours for the ambulance. Poor Lana has broken her collar bone and we wish her a speedy recovery.
The girls did extremely well, playing some fantastic rugby in cold and damp conditions and we hope all the girls recover as they travel to Stirling next Sunday for their festival.
Next week the girls head to Stirling, who are hosting a rugby festival, and we look forward to playing clubs from some of the other regions for the first time this season.
Elsewhere the U18 girls in faraway Aberdeen teamed up with Strathaven to play to Caledonia series festival matches. The combine side lost out by 22-17 and 20-7.
Biggar Girls Youth section played a festival courtesy of Waysiders Drumpellier at Coatbridge on Saturday morning. It was no surprsie to find the pitches wet and muddy but despite this the Biggar girls did their club proud.
What a fabulous day of girls rugby at Waysiders Drumpellier in Coatbridge. It was well organised with music and food all day and great rugby being played by all teams. Biggar U14s made it to the final v Kelpies (Falkirk) and it was a fast paced high quality final with Biggar just losing out by one try. Under 16s also played some great rugby but paid for a slow start and just missed out on progressing to final. Well done to everyone involved today.