Biggy battle strongly but are downed by Vipers’ rare bite

Biggleswade RUFC. PNL-170913-100349002
Biggleswade RUFC. PNL-170913-100349002

Biggleswade lost their opening match of the season in Midlands 3 East (South) going down 17-10 to visitors Vipers.

A converted try on the stroke of half-time was the deciding score in this first league fixture.

Although Biggleswade battered away at the Vipers line for most of the second half they could not find a way through.

Vipers, who by their reports had a great start to their build up which included a win over Oadby-Wyggestonians, were rocked back by the Biggy onslaught in the first quarter.

Biggleswade scored two tries wide out and threatened more. Both came down the right flank. The first was from Gareth Rutt this week playing as a flanker. Winger Tom Flather made a great break from half-way and the flying flanker was on hand to finish off the move.

The second try came from a kick through the defending Vipers line. Gavin Taylor gathered the ball and put fellow centre Alex Borg in for the touchdown.

The turning point was a yellow card for a high tackle by a senior player. Vipers made the most of the man advantage scoring a try under the posts and then a penalty to level the scores.

Biggy defended bravely and as the clock ticked down the last seconds of the first half seemed to be succeeding in keeping out the visitors. But one final scrum of the half saw slim Will Roake having to defend the line against a bury Viper coming off second best.

Most of the second half was played in the Vipers end of the pitch. The visitors only threatened Biggleswade’s line once and were kept at bay.

It was a similar story at the other end but – Biggleswade created many more chances but came up short by inches on numerous occasions. Both three-quarter lines had their moments and the forward packs had the upper hand only in some areas of the play.

The home side struggled to get the ball away from the base of the scrum and there were some over throws at the lineout which the opposition exploited. But around the park the Biggy pack more than held their own with some aggressive play from the back-row of Liam Dunne, Gareth Rutt and Michael Hall.

When replacement Sean Hopper made an appearance he immediately impressed with powerful runs with ball in hand. Unfortunately service duties for Queen and Country prevent him from being available on a regular basis.

Biggleswade were without first choice wing forward Michael Haddow, away on a business celebration, and new scrum half Ieuan Evans not yet eligible to play. Eliot Tunstall came into the side at full back and had a solid match catching well and running the ball back at speed.

But the accolade for the man-of-the-match award sponsored by the Rehab Hub Physical and Sports Therapy Company was young Tom Flather, playing a few games before heading back to university. His powerful running down the line and some determined defence earned him a “flying pint”.

Biggleswade have a week off before returning to league duties with another home match against Daventry. Last season Biggleswade lost both ties home and away and will be keen to do better this time.

There will be a pre-match buffet for the game which kicks off at 3pm.