Although there was no overhead rain during this week’s Tennent’s National 1 match the heavier, more mature and more street-wise Biggar team certainly rained on the Melrose parade. With only two minutes of the match played Thomas Brown was sin-binned for collapsing a maul just short of the try line. Biggar opted for an attacking scrum 5 which they won with Ross Jackson claiming the unconverted push-over try in the left corner. Four minutes later Andrew Jardine converted Biggar pressure into another unconverted try, and a further four minutes on he intercepted a Melrose pass on halfway and raced half the length of the pitch to score and convert a try. The Biggar bonus point try came on 28 minutes after a rolling maul progressed from the Melrose 22 to the try line where the ball was held up over the line. From the resultant attacking scrum 5 Rowan Stewart nipped in the blind-side running to the posts to leave Jardine with a less testing conversion. Four minutes from the interval, and following the third penalty in short order in the left corner, Douglas Crawford came around the blind-side of the maul to score a try converted by his brother Donald. The half ended with Rory Hutton being sin-binned.
Half time – Biggar 24 Melrose 7
Fourteen minutes into the second half a Biggar rolling maul was converted into a try to which Jardine added the extras. At the kick off Hutton latched onto the ball and raced down the left side off-loading to Stewart who scored an unconverted try in the left corner. Six minutes later Biggar scored another push-over try from a scrum 5 and, this time, Conor Lavery converted. From the kick off Biggar put in a fine handling move down the pitch with Robbie Orr scoring an unconverted try a feat which he repeated three minutes later, but with Lavery converting this one. With five minutes remaining Melrose won a penalty lineout in the left corner and, with the Biggar defence anticipating that Melrose would pass to the right in-field, Connor Spence ran left receiving Douglas Crawford’s short pass to dive into the blind-side corner for an unconverted try. Not the best day at the office!
Biggar 55 Melrose 12
Biggar – Robbie Orr, Ross Bradford, Rory Hutton, Andrew Jardine, Rowan Stewart, Conor Lavery, Luhann Kotze, Donald Voas, Chris Mulligan, Richard Bassett, Craig Borthwick, Jamie Campbell, Jamie Orr, Lewis Stewart, Ross Jackson. Replacements – Ewan Stewart, Paul Davidson, Andrew Peacock, Robbie Lavery, Mark Bertram.
Melrose – Gary McWilliam, Lewis Mallin, Darren King, Connor Spence, James Brown, Donald Crawford, Douglas Crawford, Jake Fairley, Richard Ferguson, Sean Fisher, Thomas Brown, Gregor Lindsay, Ben McLean, Ethan Deakin, Grant Runciman. Replacements – Logan Kirk, Connor Russell, Callum Folan, Ross Lile, Keiran Clark.
Referee – Samuel O’Neil (Gosforth RFC)
Touch judges – George Forrest (Biggar) & Ian Cooper (Melrose)