Biggar 57-3 Howe of Fife

Biggar's 13th win came at the expense of Howe of Fife who now prop up National 2 alongside Lasswade.

Tuesday, 11th December 2018, 12:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th December 2018, 1:55 pm
Howe struggled to get to grips with their league leading hosts. Pic by Nigel Pacey.

Howe have had a difficult campaign to date and indeed struggled to provide a team list until late on Friday, this due to a scarcity of front row players meaning that they could only list 17 instead of 19 for their match day squad. There were fears that they might have to forfeit the match, or that the game would go to uncontested scrums, but in fact this was not the case and the match proceeded as normal.

The Howe side played with great spirit and had they not lost centre Sean Murray after less than five minutes or had another couple of ball carrying forwards to support George Henderson and Chris Mann who always took ball on to make good yards, then things might have been different.

Biggar contained the big pack and with a rock solid defence Howe were kept out, their solitary score coming from a Dylan Suttie penalty.

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Biggar nabbed an opening score through Ross Bradford. Conor Lavery was off-target with the conversion attempt.

Howe hit back through Suttie’s penalty before Robbie Orr took a scoring pass from Rowan Stewart to add Biggar’s second. Lavery was again just wide with the kick but Biggar were 10-3 ahead.

With just over half an hour gone Biggar notched their third score, this falling to Ross Jackson. Lavery added the conversion for 17-3 and half time.

Howe stand off Suttie had a good game on limited ball but their main weapon was in the shape of No 8 Mann whose control at the scrum base as his pack was shunted back at almost every scrum got them out of jail on several occasions.

In attack he offered himself as a threat.

A late tackle by Jackson on Howe stand off Suttie as he continued to try and orchestrate the Howe attack earned the Biggar man a yellow card.

Only the home defence, which saw players throw themselves at the feet of the visitors, kept Howe out as they opted for line drives and mauls.

Otherwise, Biggar’s defensive effort, which has been a massive and hugely important aspect to their season kept things watertight, leading to the fact that in the last 3 games Biggar have conceded a miserly 3 points.

As the minutes ticked by however, and as Howe continued to attack, it seemed almost inevitable that Howe would eventually gain a score and so sound defence or not, the Biggar support and the Biggar XV were very grateful to Iain Renwick who popped the ball into touch to end this prolonged spell on the line.

Biggar began the second period on the attack and while Robbie Orr just lost control of the ball as he prepared to score, the next phase saw Mulligan on hand to romp home from some 20 metres for Biggar’s 4th and bonus point winning try. Lavery added the conversion for 24-3.

Biggar welcomed Jackson back and began to ring the changes with Franco Carossi replacing Guy Kelly.

Some 15 minutes into the half and prop Donald Voas got on the score sheet again with a typically low driving burst for the line. Lavery added the two points and Biggar were 31-3 up.

As Biggar continued to press there was an untidy flare up between the sides and although he didn’t appear to be the instigator it was Howe’s No 8, Mann, who was shown a yellow by referee John Smith.

Dinnen was next on the score sheet, the big back rower crashing over from 10 metres out after Biggar took ball off the Howe put in. Lavery converted.

The next Biggar attack was halted by Howe fullback Jack Todd who was deemed to have deliberately knocked the ball down as he attempted an interception on Biggar’s play. Given the scoreline this seemed a tad harsh but Howe found themselves another man down.

Rowan Stewart was the next Biggar player to score, the winger benefitting from some good quick passing in the backs which created the space for him to exploit.

Although Conor Lavery was just wide with the conversion, he found the mark as Orr claimed his second try, this after he won the chase to a grubber kick from skipper for the day Robbie Lavery.

Conor Lavery crossed for the final converted try.