West of Scotland 26
Al Stewart at Burnbrae
BIGGAR claimed only their second away win this season after they scraped over the line against West on Saturday.
That Biggar claimed a four try bonus was another boost.
In a whirlwind start, this much to do with the fact that the game was played on West’s 3G pitch, Biggar ran the hosts ragged and allowed them barely a touch of the ball.
Aird Jardine opened the scoring with a neat chip and chase.
David Paterson, who had a very positive and very industrious day in both attack and defence, made the break for the next score although it was opposite winger Sinclair who rounded off the move.
Having missed the first conversion from a relatively good angle Jardine saw his next effort from virtually the touchline rebound off the upright. .
A penalty gave West the chance to use their driving maul to good effect to take play into Biggar’s 22.
Their pick and goes looked to have done enough for a score but the referee blew for a knock on instead.
The scrum saw Biggar penalised and West regain the initiative.
A couple of phases later and their centre crashed over for a score which took the score to 10-7.
Undeterred Biggar came right back into things with a try Donald Voas, the prop tracking a dynamic charge from Ross Jackson. When tackled Jackson presented well and gave Voas the chance to pick and go for the last eight metres.
Barely three minutes elapsed before Ewan Sanderson crashed over after another assault on the West line.
Jardine’s conversion put Biggar ahead at 22-7.
Stewart’s try just short of the half hour was set up by Robbie Lavery whose run took him through the first West line of defence.
His pop pass was gratefully accepted by his fellow centre who was able to get the ball down despite the attentions of the West cover. Jardine added the points for the 29-7 half time score.
Biggar almost added a sixth try as Jackson intercepted off West in the Biggar 22. The youngster set off for the line but a cracking cover tackle from the West fullback did just enough to prevent the off-load.
A combination of errors and an increase in confidence from the home side conspired to give West the initiative. Their scrum half nipped over from an early attack and the conversion took the score to 29-14.
West will rue the missed chances they had in the game and which would have given them the win had they been converted.
Twice they lost control of ball over the line although this was also due in no small part to some excellent cover defence from Biggar’s back three of Sinclair, Paterson and Steele.
A mix up off the scrum base, an area which Biggar generally controlled well, led to possession being lost by Stewart who could only watch as the West centre pounced to score the try and make it 29-21.
A penalty and kick to the corner preceded the next West try, which happily from a Biggar point of view at least, was not converted.
But at 29-26 the match was set alight for a nerve-jangling 10 minutes.
An opportunity came as West lost ball in attack. Showing some great skills Biggar passed the ball wide to Lavery who made ground before passing to Paterson who took off on another run.
There is a time to pass and a time to run and on this occasion Paterson held on for a fraction too long, the off-load to Orr just not quite going to hand.
Just minutes later however Biggar were awarded a rare penalty which Jardine slotted for 32-26.
Biggar: Thomas Steele, Alistair Sinclair, Robbie Lavery, Gregor Stewart, David Paterson, Aird Jardine, David Reive (C), Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Andrew Dunlop, Jamie Orr, Duncan Withers, Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson. Reps: Andrew Orr, Calvin Henderson, Andrew Nimmo, Craig McDonald.