Biggleswade Men’s 1sts, 2nds and 3rds players all got valuable game time today with pre-season friendlies at the club.
Head coach Matt Skirving paid tribute to the senior squads after the matches, and said: "I am proud of every single player today. They played their hearts out and held their heads high in both games. The teamwork and support for each other was amazing. Roll on next week."
- THE 1st XV lined up against Enfield Ignatians (whose line-up on the day featured three former Biggleswade players and their ex-coach), setting up some great on-field rivalries. Biggy had to soak up a lot of pressure from Enfield throughout the match and spent much of the first period in their own half. Enfield exploited space and notched up points by working the ball to both wings, scoring twice. But the home side defended well and got points on the board when centre Ollie Vagg broke through from the halfway line, and gassed it all the way to the posts before converting his own try, putting the score at 7-10 after 30 minutes.
A great tackle from Dan ‘Plank’ Rogers wrapped up an Enfield player who squandered an overlap, but the opposition managed to spread it out to the opposite side and score again. Will Roake also put in a cracking hit, reading a side-step to stop a full pelt Enfield player from scoring, only to see a support man scoop up the ball to run in. The Sod’s Law of Ex Players meant former Biggy Captain Dom Knott was bound to score, and the half finished 7-31 with him breaking through from Biggy’s 22, and one sideliner commenting: “Did he ever run that far for us?”
Biggleswade stepped up their after the break, holding their line, punching through, gaining ground with strong mauling, and putting pressure on Enfield in their 22. Will Roake saved a certain Enfield breakaway try with a corner flag tackle, and Biggy kept their opposition away from the scoreboard for a full 30 minutes, before a long kick bounced right into the chaser’s hands, and Enfield were able to run in despite a spectacular flying tackle from Ethan Sinclair that deserves to be recreated at The Shuttleworth Collection’s next aerial display.
Again it was during the last 10 minutes of the half that Enfield were able to notch up more tries and points, but Biggy’s heads didn’t drop and it was the home side’s determination to win the rucks and gain yards that led to them getting the final points of the game, to a rousing cheer from supporters. Flanker Jacob Martin forced his way over the line, Ollie converted from distance, and the final was score was 14-53.
- A SQUAD SIDE of Biggleswade Men’s 2nds and 3rds lined up against a St Neots 2nds/squad team in today’s other pre-season friendly.
It was a close match, although relaxed record-keeping means no-one will ever be officially sure how close (!), and the game was played in great spirits, with St Neots lending Biggy a couple of players, and jugs being shared afterwards. “Today was what rugby is all about,” said Biggy’s 2nd team captain, Jack Unite.
PHOTOS BY NAD GRUMMITT