Biggar continued their 100 per cent start to 2020 in Tennent’s National League Division 1 with a 26-0 win against Boroughmuir at a blustery Meggatland in the capital on Saturday afternoon, writes Ross Bradford.
Biggar travelled on the back of two handsome bonus point wins to start their year, while Boroughmuir have struggled in this year’s competition, sitting in 11th place and scrapping for survival.
It would be fair to say that the form book suggested that an away win would be a safe bet, however those in sport and with a penchant for a gamble understand that the form book is often deceptive.
Biggar kicked off into a gusty wind on the back pitches at Meggatland, with the first XV pitch unavailable due to a Scottish cup fixture involving Tynecastle FC who ground share with the Edinburgh side.
The fact that the game was rearranged due to an earlier postponement in November ensured the pitch was not available prior to the rearranged date being agreed.
From the early exchanges it was easy to see the team who were fighting for survival, as Boroughmuir came flying out of the traps, showing a tremendous energy ensuring a lion’s share of early possession and a disruptive influence on Biggar possession.
This resulted in an early penalty attempt on goal for Boroughmuir stand-off Calum Anderson, who pushed his effort on goal wide from 15m out.
A seesaw battle ensued in the lead up to half-time with Biggar starting to exert more dominance on proceedings thanks to the hard running of their pack and dominant scrum, counteracting Boroughmuir’s use of the gusty wind at their backs, with the game remaining scoreless at half an hour.
More sustained pressure led to a Biggar scrum in Boroughmuir’s 22. Biggar’s backline took advantage with Connor Lavery feeding Ross Bradford, the winger offloading to Andy Jardine who coasted in for the first points of the day.
Jardine converted his own try to leave the score 7-0 at half-time.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first, with both sides making errors that disrupted the flow of the game, but with Biggar taking more advantage of opportunities that presented themselves in comparison to their hosts.
On 55 minutes after further carrying from the pack, Biggar found themselves camped within Boroughmuir’s 5m line.
Numerous carries were repelled by the home defence, before the ball was fired wide to Rory Hutton who crossed on the left hand touchline once the ball had been released to the backline.
Andy Jardine once again added the extras to double Biggar’s tally.
It was not long before Biggar once again found themselves deep in Boroughmuir territory.
A characteristic barnstorming run by Donald Voas (not his first of the day) punched Biggar deep into Boroughmuir’s territory.
An infringement led to a lineout 7m out from the home team’s line.
An effective catch and drive took Biggar close to the line, with hooker Euan Stewart peeling off the maul carrying two would be tackles over the line with him.
There was time for one further score with further forward pressure leading to Richard Bassett driving over from close range under a pile of bodies, not for the first time this season.
This ensured the crucial bonus point try with 15 minutes remaining.
Jardine again added the extras to take the score to 26-0 and that is how it finished in front of another brilliant travelling support, despite Boroughmuir’s best efforts to breach Biggar’s line in the final minutes, solid defence keeping them at bay.
An Important win on the road for Biggar who now find themselves 20 points clear of Heriots at the top of the table, albeit having played two games more.
Particularly pleasing will be the shutout although this was harsh on Boroughmuir, who battled manfully up front, disrupting Biggar’s flow, with a highly effective lineout setpiece to boot.
They certainly contributed to the encounter far more than the score line may suggest.
Biggar now face a three-week hiatus before they face Melrose at the Greenyards on February 15, another game which is critical to the Lanarkshire side’s Tennent’s Natonal 1 title aspirations.
Biggar team: Donald Voas, Euan Stewart, Richard Bassett, Craig Borthwick, Jamie Orr, Chris Mulligan, Lewis Stewart, Ross Jackson, Lohann Kotze, Connor Lavery, Rowan Stewart, Andy Jardine, Robbie Lavery, Ross Bradford, Rory Hutton. Replacements – Andrew Muir, Andrew Peacock, James Barr, David Reive, Mark Bertram.
* Lanark Rugby Club are fifth in Conference 2 of Tennent’s West Division 3 after losing 31-0 at home to Loch Lomond last Saturday.
This Saturday, Lanark have a home league game against Lochaber, kick-off 3pm.