KIRKCALDY 40 BIGGAR 13
Biggar scores at either end of this National 2 game bookended an outstanding Kirkcaldy showing which keeps them at the top of the division. Although they were forced into uncontested scrums mid-way through the game a fiery performance by the home pack laid the foundations of victory. Also with much improved form by the back line this Kirkcaldy side carried threats in every department.
Forwards coach Kenny Fraser oozed satisfaction after his side's performance. He put this success down to the work the players have put in at training in recent weeks. “We are trying to play direct rugby, using our particular strengths, mainly keeping the ball tight and only going wide when the occasion is right. Everybody has bought into the game plan and the results show it is paying off”
Since they first played each other nearly thirty years ago, the south Lanarkshire have held the upper hand over the Blues for many seasons, although Quintan Sanft's men had single wins in the last two seasons. Little did any in the Beveridge Park crowd think in the opening minutes that such a handsome win would materialise. A furious Biggar start pinned the Blues into their 22 from kick-off eventually leading to a Carne Green penalty goal and a 3-0 lead.
Restored to a starting berth after weeks on the bench lock Michael Harper led the Kirkcaldy riposte with several high powered carries taking play well into the Biggar half. A penalty to touch set up a scoring position for hooker and man of the match Greg Wallace to open his side's account with a try, converted by Finlay Smith.
While Kirkcaldy continued to dominate possession Biggar looked solid in defence in this first quarter until the 24th minute. From another attacking Kirkcaldy line-out Biggar briefly held the forceful Blue pack but eventually from a re-set 5 metre scrummage Dayle Turner went over and Smith converted for 14-3 lead.
There was no relenting in the Kirkcaldy offence thanks to some excellent carrying and driving, with play almost exclusively in Biggar territory. The visitors' defence started to creak a bit and there no stopping Rhys Bonner as he went in for the third Kirkcaldy try.
After the scrums had gone uncontested Wallace cruised past lingering defence for the bonus point try, again converted by Smith, taking the score to 26-3 which remained until half time. This try rounded off as good a half of rugby as Kirkcaldy has had for a long time.
Biggar had their best spell of the game in the opening ten minutes of the second half and this showed the Kirkcaldy defence in a good light as their line remained intact. After weathering any potential setbacks, the Blues roared back into attack. An excellent tactical kick from Craig Letham took the ball deep into the Biggar 22 only for Biggar to knock on at the line out. Replacement scrum-half Scott Anderson simply strolled away from the scrummage for the fifth Kirkcaldy try with Smith adding the extra points. The Biggar cause was hardly improved with lock Alan Warnock binned for persistent infringement.
The Blues completed their scoring with almost fifteen minute left. A quickly taken penalty in from of the posts saw the ball whizz to the right wing for Finlay Bruce to claim his side sixth try converted by Smith.
With their job done and some fatigue in evidence Kirkcaldy loosened their grip in the final minutes for Biggar to score two unconverted tries from wingers Ross Bradford and Alistair Sinclair.
The Blues have been on a rocky road at time in the last two games but this performance took them onto a much smoother pathway confirming their table top position.
Kirkcaldy:- F Smith, F Bruce, I Gillies, O Bonner, C Littlejohn, C Letham, G McKenzie, D Jennings, G Wallace, G Mangalo, M Harper, C Wood, S Barclay, R Bonner, D Turner
Replacements:- M Salt, S Mitchell, R Low, S Anderson
Biggar:- A Jardine, R Bradford, R Lavery, R Moffat, A Sinclair, C Green, D Reive, A Nimmo, E Stewart, C Braid, A Warnock, A Peacock, A Orr, L McLachlan, D Notman.
Replacements:- K Robison, G Kelly, G Stewart, C Lavery
Iain Morrison (SRU)
Fife Trophy Centre STAR CHECK
3 Greg Wallace
2 Michael Harper
1 Craig Letham
17 Connor Wood
12 Dayle Turner
8 Rhys Bonner, Finlay Smih
4 Greg Wallace
3 Scott Anderson, Danny Jennings
2 Marcus Salt. Owen Bonner, Michael Harper, Craig Letham
1 Matt Harvey, Iain Gillies