After a somewhat lacklustre start the previous week when Newton Stewart were the visitors, Biggar Rugby Club knew they had to up their game against last year’s National 1 Champions Marr in Saturday’s home friendly, writes Alistair Stewart.
The Marr squad numbered some 30+ players and they provided a very different challenge from that offered by Newton Stewart.
A troubling aspect to the game was an ankle injury to Conor Lavery who limped off in considerable discomfort.
This will be a concern for the coaching team as the preparations continue for the league season which kicks off in three weeks’ time (first game is against Boroughmuir on September 7).
Meanwhile, Marr denied Biggar ball regularly and retained possession well.
As the game wore on the Biggar defence improved and there were some very encouraging signs that this aspect of their game which was a trademark of last season’s play would feature prominently once again.
Played over four quarters Marr scored after just three minutes but Biggar replied through Lewis Stewart.
A second Marr try (both of these were converted) saw them go ahead 14-5.
There were then three further scores to the visitors with Biggar responding with two of their own – Iain Renwick and James Barr the scorers – to give the 17-31 score, Euan Bogle on target with one conversion. There was much to be positive about despite the defeat, several players showing up well.
The three try scorers all performed strongly and thoroughly deserved their tries while there were also sound performances from Luhann Kutze, the veteran Alan Warnock and newcomers Simon Horell, Craig Borthwick and Richard Basset.
This week the Biggar lads journey south to Penrith for their annual joust.
There are a large number of players still currently injured/unavailable and while it is hoped to field 2 XVs numbers are currently a little thin on the ground – if you can play please make yourself available and speak to Doug Fleming or Andrew Howatson.