QTS School of Rugby Partnership

Ayr Rugby is delighted to announce a partnership with National Rail contractor, QTS Group. Ayr Academy will host the ambitious project as part of a tie up between Ayr Rugby Club and the QTS Group. The deal will see the launch of the QTS School of Rugby at Ayr Academy, a comprehensive school in the area, which QTS Group will fund for one year.

Young people aged 12-15 at the school will have the opportunity to join three contact sessions per week, which will comprise of a wide-ranging support network that includes strength and conditioning, nutritional support and workshops to aid individuals’ personal development, alongside rugby skills and training.

Alan McLeish, managing director at QTS Group with students from Ayr Academy and Modern Apprentice Jamie Mclauchlan

Stuart Fenwick, Director of Rugby at Ayr Rugby Club, said:

“We’re thrilled to launch the QTS School of Rugby, which will give so many young people across the area the chance to learn new skills and benefit from coaching, mentoring and valuable life experiences such as watching live rugby games.

Rugby isn’t just a sport but a culture; the values and discipline that can be instilled in young people through playing the game is unparalleled. It is a key tool for engaging young people, leading to improved attitude, confidence and mental and social agility, as well as community safety.

We’re so grateful for the financial support from QTS, which gives us the opportunity to build on our impact of working with young people across Ayrshire. We can’t wait to see what the year brings."

Alan McLeish, managing director at QTS Group and Ayr Rugby President Stewart Kerr, with students from Ayr Academy

Alan McLeish, Managing Director at QTS Group, added:

“We’re so pleased to embark on a new partnership with a much-loved club that makes such a huge difference, not only to the professional rugby scene, but in its local community and across South Ayrshire.

At QTS Group, we are committed to investing in young people within our communities, and particularly supporting grassroots activity. Although we know that we can’t reach every young person across our region, we are hopeful that the QTS School of Rugby can change the pathway for just one or two, which will make our work and our investment worthwhile.

It has been a pleasure working with Stuart Fenwick and Glen Tippett and we look forward to building our relationship with the club over the next twelve months, and hopefully further into the future."


Ayr Rugby Launch Multi-Year Deal With O’Neills

Ayr Rugby are delighted to announce a new multi-year deal with sportswear manufacturer O’Neills, which sees them becoming the club kit supplier for all sides - from Minis' to the Ayrshire Bulls.

The new kit will be launched this Friday night when the Ayrshire Bulls kick off their FOSROC Super6 Sprint Series campaign under the lights at Millbrae. They will take to the field in their new-look threads which are available to purchase online and at the physical store.

The Bulls jersey, expertly designed by O’Neills, brings back the iconic club pink and black socks, along with a few other fresh details. Instead of the tire track pattern on the home shirt both jerseys incorporate the logo of Whiteley’s Retreat, Ayr Rugby’s official charity partner.

A fresh new away jersey sees white instead of black, with a swooshing pink stripe shooting across the middle and being carried on to the shorts. On one side of the line remains the Whiteley’s logos and the other a glaring Bull with steely eyes.

Dean Barlow, Sales Manager at O’Neills, was delighted to come on board: “When the opportunity arose to partner with Ayr Rugby & the Ayrshire Bulls it was one we couldn’t miss!

We wish to thank Ayr Rugby and the Ayrshire Bulls for choosing O’Neills, a name synonymous with quality sportswear across the world. We are really looking forward to working with the club moving forward to create a product the loyal fan base will love”.

Club president Stewart Kerr had the following to say: “When we laid eyes on the Bulls kit we loved it. They have created a fantastic line of clothing for our players, members, sponsors and fans – we can’t wait to witness a sea of Millbrae in their jerseys over the coming seasons.

It ends an era with Raging Bull, who were the clubs predominant kit designer for the best part of a decade. We thank them for their services and for creating memorable garments that will forever be synonymous with some of our most memorable moments”.

The Ayrshire Bulls kit is now available to pre-order online and the full line of both on-field and off-field stock will be hitting our shop soon.

 


ALL FOSROC SUPER6 SPRINT SERIES FIXTURES TO BE BROADCAST TO A WORLDWIDE AUDIENCE

Ayrshire Bulls will start the defence of their FOSROC Super6 crown at home to Boroughmuir Bears on Friday 15th April, under the lights at Millbrae.

The Scottish Rugby Union have confirmed that the Super6 Sprint Series will start with Round 1 on 15th April and conclude with Round 5 on Saturday 21st May.

In addition, every Friday night game in the Sprint Series will be broadcast live on television by broadcast partner FreeSports and both Saturday games will be available on the BBC Sport website, BBC iPlayer and the Scottish Rugby website.

FreeSports will also make each Friday night fixture available to view on their FreeSports Player within the UK and Ireland, those out with those territories will be able to watch the games on the Scottish Rugby website.

They first partnered with Scottish Rugby last summer to deliver every Sunday fixture and the grand final in the 2021 FOSROC Super6 and are the only free-to-air sports channel in the UK and Ireland. Formed in 2017, FreeSports are the sister channel of Premier Sports who broadcast the United Rugby Championship and French Rugby’s Top 14 competitions.

The broadcasting of the tournament will be produced by Glasgow-based production company QTV who were integral to the broadcasting of the inaugural FOSROC Super6 tournament in 2019.

Bringing the action to life will be the experienced commentary team of Stuart McFarlane, Paul Mitchell, Hugh Dan MacLennan, Jamie Lyall, Dale Clancy and Bruce Millar who will be joined by weekly guest co-commentators.

Ayrshire Bulls lifting the FOSROC Super6 in 2021

The FOSROC Super6 Sprint Series will commence this month, with all six participating teams playing each other once. The league will then be split with the teams who finished in the top half playing the teams who finished in the bottom half over three weekends of play-offs to determine the final placings.

Although the FOSROC Super6 Championship in the summer will be our main competition, the FOSROC Super6 Sprint Series will play a crucial part in building towards the first full season of Championship fixtures.

Scottish Rugby Head of Performance Programmes, Grant McKelvey said: “We’re delighted that both FreeSports and BBC Scotland will be continuing as broadcast partners of the FOSROC Super6. To be able to broadcast all 21 matches to a worldwide audience is a significant landmark development for the competition.

With cross-border opportunities on hold for this season due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, we’re focused on delivering a quality season of rugby at this important level. The FOSROC Super6 Sprint Series gives all players and teams an opportunity to showcase themselves with the expansive brand of rugby we saw in the last edition, played in better, hopefully warmer weather.

Once all Super6 clubs have managed to reset after the sprint we move into the block of 10 intensive fixtures for the FOSROC Super6 Championship, which culminates with the semi-final play offs for the top four placed teams in the league, followed by the grand final at the end of October.”

Bulls Head Coach Pete Horne said:

With news of the fixtures being announced, the excitement is really building to get back to competitive rugby.

Our boys have worked incredibly hard since Christmas and with the culmination of the U20’s 6 Nations and the club domestic season we are looking forward to having our full squad back together, ready to rip into the sprint competition.

Having spoken with the other coaches, it sounds as if everyone has recruited well and their squads are in a better position than ever to take the competition to another level.

As Champions from last season, we know the target will be on our backs but it will drive us to work harder as we aim for more success.”

FreeSports can be found on Freeview HD channel 65, Sky HD channel 422, Virgin HD 553, TalkTalk 64, BT Vision channel 64 and on the online FreeSports Player.

The Ayrshire Bulls fixtures in full:

Round 1

Friday 15th April

Ayrshire Bulls v Boroughmuir Bears

KO: 7.45pm – Live on FreeSports

Round 2

Saturday 23rd April

Stirling County v Ayrshire Bulls

KO: 4.30pm - Live on BBC iPlayer and Scottish Rugby website

Round 3

Saturday 30th April

Ayrshire Bulls v Heriot’s Rugby

KO: 4.30pm - Live on BBC iPlayer and Scottish Rugby website

Round 4

Saturday 7th May

Southern Knights v Ayrshire Bulls

KO: 4.30pm - Live on BBC iPlayer and Scottish Rugby website

Round 5

Saturday 21st May

Ayrshire Bulls v Watsonians

KO: 2pm - Live on BBC iPlayer and Scottish Rugby website

Once the standings are confirmed, the remaining fixtures will be as follows:

Friday 27 May
2nd v 3rd, 7:45pm – Live on FreeSports 
Saturday 28 May
5th v 6th, 2pm – Live on BBC iPlayer and Scottish Rugby website

Friday 3 June
3rd v 1st, 7:45pm – Live on FreeSports
Saturday 4 June
6th v 4th, 2pm – Live on BBC iPlayer and Scottish Rugby website

Friday 10 June
1st v 2nd, 7:45pm – Live on FreeSports 
Saturday 11 June
4th v 5th, 2pm – Live on BBC iPlayer and Scottish Rugby website


AYRSHIRE BULLS TO TAKE ON JERSEY REDS

The Ayrshire Bulls will travel to Jersey to take on Jersey Reds, in the final weekend of March as part of our pre-season preparations for this seasons FOSROC Super6.

It will be the first time an Ayr side have played the Reds since a trio of matches that saw Ayr RFC play in 2014 & 2015, with the fixture enabling the home side to bridge the gap between the conclusion of the RFU Championship season and Championship Cup matches scheduled for April and May.

Jersey Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon said: “It will be great to welcome Ayrshire Bulls to Stade Santander International – we are looking forward to the challenge of taking on a team whose last match was a cup final win.”

Bulls Head Coach Pete Horne said:

“Everyone at the Bulls is excited to test ourselves against some quality opposition. We have an aspirational squad and competing against a full-time professional outfit who are flying high in the Championship will motivate the boys to bring out their best and help us prepare for the new season.

“It will also be a great chance for our guys to enjoy each other’s company for a couple of days somewhere slightly warmer and sunnier than the west coast of Scotland!”

The fixture will throw up some familiar faces; two members of the current Reds squad, Steve Longwell and Tom Everard, formerly played for the Bulls, as did Jersey Reds Athletic prop Ewan Davies.

The fixture is sure to be a great occasion as previously, the Reds and Ayr RFC were paired in the 2013/14 British & Irish Cup, with the Reds winning 28-16 on home turf but the Scots taking revenge with a 14-13 win at Millbrae. In August 2014 Ayr visited Jersey again for a pre-season match which resulted in a comfortable win for the Island side.

The fixture on Saturday March 26th will kick off at 3pm, with ticket details to be announced shortly. For full fixture information, including the Championship Cup, click HERE.


SUPER 6 SET FOR NEW SEASON

Scottish Rugby has today announced the FOSROC Super6 will return in the spring with two competitions taking place during the 2022 calendar year.

Now entering its fourth year the part-time professional league, which awarded franchises to six teams in 2018 (Ayrshire Bulls, Boroughmuir Bears, Heriot’s Rugby, Southern Knights, Stirling County and Watsonians Rugby), is hoping this is the first competitive playing season not impacted by covid.

The first competition in 2022 will be the FOSROC Super6 Sprint Series to start in April which will then be followed by the FOSROC Super6 Championship, which will start late summer.

The FOSROC Super6 Sprint Series will start on the weekend of Saturday 16 April, with all six participating teams playing each other once. The league will then be split with the teams who finished in the top half playing the teams who finished in the bottom half over three weekends of play-offs to determine the final placings.

Following the FOSROC Super6 Sprint Series, teams will combine to participate in a one-off match representing the East and West of Scotland. Players from Southern Knights, Heriot’s Rugby and Watsonians Rugby will be selected to represent the East with players from Ayrshire Bulls, Stirling County and Boroughmuir Bears selected to represent the west.

The FOSROC Super6 Championship itself will kick-off in the first weekend of August following a playing window that proved successful last year. The structure of the Championship will mean that every team plays each other twice, with semi-finals and a destination Grand Final.

Over the course of the year teams will compete in between 17 to 20 competitive fixtures, dependant on league standings.

Due to all home unions focusing on recovering from the pandemic, the Cross Border competition (which was due to take place in 2020) is currently not an option. By providing two competitions within Scotland during this playing period Scottish Rugby is looking to mirror the season, game time and number of fixtures that what was originally proposed.

As in previous years, five FOSROC Scottish Rugby Contracted Academy players will be aligned to each of the six clubs to enhance the development of the next generation alongside their full-time training at either Edinburgh Rugby or Glasgow Warriors.

In 2021 three former FOSROC Super6 players earned full international honours. Jamie Hodgson (Watsonians Rugby) became the first as he started in the second row in Scotland’s win over Tonga at BT Murrayfield during the Autumn Internationals, he was joined by Ross Thompson and Marshall Sykes (both Ayrshire Bulls) who made appearances from the bench in the same match.

From Scotland’s opening two rounds of the 2022 Under-20 Six Nations, there are 10 age-grade international players who played in the 2021 FOSROC Super6.

Ayrshire Bulls made history last year when they defeated Southern Knights to become the first ever Champions of the FOSROC Super6. Watsonians Rugby overcame Stirling County to earn third spot whilst Boroughmuir Bears got a victory over Heriot’s Rugby to take fifth place.

Whilst the rugby on-field has made strides in its development, one of the learnings from previous years of the FOSROC Super6, and from the professional game, is that Super6 teams require more off-field support as these aspects are critical to running a part-time professional team.

Scottish Rugby will provide financial support to the six teams in the appointment of a full-time General Manager to lead on their respective Super6 team’s off-field operations. Funding for this role will be allocated to the six teams from existing High-Performance budgets which has been approved by the Scottish Rugby Board.

It is hoped that by resourcing and investing in the off-field side of the competition, it will develop in a way that will help it meet the same level of professionalism on the field.

Scottish Rugby’s Director of Performance Rugby Jim Mallinder said: “The FOSROC Super6 made huge developments on the field last year. The type of game that was able to be played in the late summer window is conducive in developing the players in-line with the speed and intensity that the professional game is played at.

“To now have two windows in which to play Super6 rugby, the spring and late summer, is hugely beneficial in helping players develop and prepare better for a professional rugby environment.

“For Super6 players to have the opportunity to play between 17 and 20 competitive games full of intensity and physicality is what was always planned for Super6. The aims and objectives of Super6 [to bridge the gap between the amateur and professional game] has not changed since its inception.

“I’m really pleased that we have been able to allocate existing funding to each team in support of the General Manager roles. Whilst we’ve previously invested on-field we now feel that the time is right to support and invest in the teams off-field, within budget.

“The General Managers at each of the teams will be responsible for developing and improving all off-field activities prioritising commercial expansion and overseeing the marketing and communications strategy for each of their teams.

“We believe that by doing this, the teams and clubs will become more sustainable and able to create better environments more alike the professional rugby game."

Ayrshire Bulls Head Coach Pete Horne said:

"It will take a real squad effort for us to remain competitive in both competitions this season. However, we feel well placed to do so as we are starting to build some real strength in-depth.

I have been really impressed with how the guys have conducted themselves in their off season break and they have come back in good shape to start our pre-season."


Ayr Suffer Defeat At Melrose

Callum Kerr @ The Greenyards

In what was another epic encounter between Ayr and Melrose this afternoon, the Millbrae men couldn’t secure victory over their old foes. A secure performance defensively and slightly better reading on the unforced errors stats benefited the home side, who in the end came out 28-17 in front. 

As ever, the Greenyards provided a picturesque back drop for the encounter, delightfully boosted by the autumn sunlight sprawling across the pitch.

Ayr wasted no time in opening their account. Two minutes into the game a dropped ball from the hosts fell into the grasp of Jamie Bova who broke clear up the wing. The centre did well to entice the tackler before finding Ciaran Wood on his inside to finish off the move. The touchline conversion caught the November breeze eloquently to drift through.

The score managed to spring Melrose into life. Immediately they mounted pressure and marched towards the line from numerous touchline penalties. It looked like they were over minutes later, but the ref deemed their maul held up.

Ayr were still in bother. A yellow card to Scott Clelland was followed by a Melrose scrum which found Donald Crawford charging up the middle of the park. Crawford collided with several tacklers but had enough momentum to carry over for the score. David Colvine’s conversion tied it all up after a frantic opening ten minutes.

As the glimmering sun subsided behind the Eildon Hills the introduction of heavy clouds and harsh wind hindered the flowing rugby witnessed in the opening exchanges. A change in tack for both sides didn’t bring any more scores in the half, only a penalty a-piece to make it 10-10 at the break.

Half-Time: Melrose Rugby 10-10 Ayr Rugby

With the wind showing no sign in breaking the restart to the game would have been better suited for Wimbledon than the Greenyards. An array of mixed kicks from both sides aimed to exploit space behind the defence, and it was Melrose who made it fifteen-love.

Fullback David Colvine managed to stab the ball into touch and pin Ayr on their line. Following a further turnover, it was his brother who capitalised. Scrum half Bruce Colvine, usually known for his distribution, faked a crafty pass which parted the Ayr line, creating a gaping hole for him to stride clear. David Colvine poetically finished the job with the routine conversion.

Melrose soon stretched the lead further, with the boot of Colvine making it a 20-10 lead with an hour played.

Playing against the wind, Ayr were struggling to find territory, but a superior scrum allowed them to stay in the contest.

It soon turned out to be this superiority which thrusted them back into contention. From Melrose’s own scrum the Ayr pack drove them over their line, securing a team try. Bova once more slotted a tricky conversion in the conditions to make it 20-17.

As the match ramped up to its conclusion play became desperate. A barrage of loose passes and dropped balls resulted in electric pace – Ayr hell bent on stealing the lead and Melrose determined to stretch the gap. 

A Colvine penalty with a minute to play helped the home side’s cause, but Ayr did get one more roll of the dice.

With the clock in red, Ayr mounted one last attack and had the travelling support off their feet when Richie Simpson snuck through the line. The full-back looked around for his teammates but was met with a swarm of yellow jerseys. In a game which consisted of fine margins throughout, it ended with a pass narrowly missing the intended target, allowing Melrose to run clear and put the match to bed with one last score.

Full-time: Melrose Rugby 28-17 Ayr Rugby.


Ayr 1st XV Maintain Home Winning Streak

Ayr 1XV managed to maintain their 100% home win streak yesterday with victory over Watsonians at Millbrae. Despite leading 31-7 deep in the second half it was anything but routine for Stuart Fenwick’s men, with Watsonians mounting a late charge to threaten the lead. In the end the hosts just managed to hold out to secure a 31-28 win.

Contrary to the biblical rainfall that threatened the fixture for most of the week, come kick-off it was clear skies and blinding sun at Millbrae.

Ayr wasted no time in opening their account. From a loose ball flanker Robbie McLaren managed to latch onto possession and spring up a well-timed offload to catch the charging Ciaran Wood. The full-back had nobody in front of him and cantered over for the first score of the game. Jamie Bova made it seven points after seven minutes.

Ayr enjoyed superiority at scrum time, but from a successful drive on the twelfth minute jubilation soon turned into confrontation, resulting in a penalty reversal and Ben Cree seeing yellow for a bust-up with his opposite man.

Photo by George McMillan

The numerical advantage didn’t convert to points for the guests, and after the ten-minute binning Ayr found themselves further in front, courtesy of a Jamie Bova penalty.

Scoring began to slow down but Ayr remained on the front foot thanks to a dominating display at scrum-time.

After 26 minutes of deadlock, two scores in the final 90 seconds of the first half woke up the spectators.

The first extended Ayr’s lead further. McLaren, who set up the opener, was repaid by scrum-half Adam McGowan. McGowan wrangled through a barrage of tackles to find his seven with a crafty offload - McLaren stormed between the posts unchallenged.

The final act of the half was for the visitors. Despite not finding any success in the first 39 minutes Watsonians managed to think up a score from relative obscurity. A well-placed kick from Stoddart wasn’t delt with allowing the idle ball to be scooped up by their full back to run clear unchallenged. The conversion from Stoddart was good.

Half-time: Ayr Rugby 17-7 Watsonian FC

Ayr’s control in the first half transferred into instant success in the second. A pair of tries in similar fashion, for Ross McCorkindale and Cam Reece respectively, stretched the lead for Ayr within the opening five minutes of the half. Jamie Bova maintained his 100% kicking record on the day to make it a 31-7 lead.

Watsonians held in and didn’t dip their heads. Their resolve was rewarded on the 57th minute with a second converted try, bringing the score to 31-14.

A third five minutes later thrusted Watsonians back into the contest, with only a ten-point lead separating the sides.

Photo by George McMillan

Filled with new-found confidence Watsonians struck again, setting up a nervy final act keeping fans on the edge of their seats.

Ayr sprung back into life and managed to hog the ball for the last ten minutes, successfully inching their way to a three-point win.

Full-time: Ayr Rugby 31-28 Watsonian FC.

Robbie McLaren was responsible for the first two scores and rounded off an abrasive 80-minute display with Player of the Match honours.

It was similar fortunes for Ayr/ Millbrae, who charged to a 40-7 victory over Hillhead Jordanhill 2XV


Ayrshire Bulls Win FOSROC Super6 Final

The first ever FOSROC Super6 Final saw Ayrshire Bulls crowned Champions this afternoon at the DAM Health Stadium, Edinburgh, in a highly entertaining contest.

After some fierce opening exchanges, Ayrshire Bulls opened the scoring with Elias Caven scoring in the corner following a Bulls scrum, with the ball played quickly wide for Caven to score, taking out the flag in the process. Tom Jordan converted to give Bulls' the dream start after five minutes.

Bulls' made it 0-10 soon after with a penalty safely kicked by Tom Jordan, after an offside decision against the Knights.

After 18 minutes, Knights’ forward Iain Moody broke superbly from the maul, heading for the try line he looked certain to score, before Bulls full-back Matt Davidson made an incredible last-ditch tackle to hold him up in the try area. After reviewing the try, it was not given much to the delight of the Bulls' players and management.

Mid-way through the first half, Bulls' applied some pressure to the Knights' defence. Just inside the 22m line, a superb pick along the slick surface from Tom Jordan saw Bobby Beattie chase it down for the try, but a wonderful sliding tackle from Knights' full-back Jacob Henry saw the try prevented.

The play was however pulled back for an earlier infringement against the Knights’ which saw Tom Jordan score his second penalty of the match to extend the Bulls’ lead to 13 points.

With half an hour played, Knights’ got their first points on the board, with a penalty converted by fly-half Jason Baggott to make it 3-13.

Baggott doubled his tally minutes later, with another penalty for Knights’ to make it 6-13, five minutes before the break.

The Knights’ applied some pressure just before the break, opting to kick for touch after a penalty was awarded following a line-out.

Only metres from the try line, the Bulls' defence stayed strong and a superb turnover saw the Bulls’ clear their lines to hold a 6-13 lead at the interval.

Southern Knights started the second half strongly, with the Bulls’ being reduced to 14 after a yellow card for Yaree Fantini and a penalty awarded to Knights’.

The result, Knights' opted to kick for touch in the corner and following the line-out and intense pressure on the Bulls’ try line, a quick ball saw Jacob Henry score, with the conversion added by Baggott to make it all-square at 13-13.

A high tackle from Knights' saw the Bulls' awarded a penalty, which Jordan elected to kick from just outside the 22m line. The kick sailed between the posts, for Jordan’s third successful penalty of the game, giving the Bulls' a 13-16 lead, 10 minutes into the second half.

As Fantini re-joined the action, Knights’ were awarded their 3rd penalty of the game, which Baggott once again converted to maintain his 100% record, levelling the match at 16-16.

A Bulls’ break from skipper Blair Macpherson, saw the play move into the 22, where the Bulls were awarded their 4th penalty of the match, converted once again by fly-half Tom Jordan to once again extend the Bulls’ lead by 3 points, 16-19.

Some excellent forward play saw Tom Jordan break free, however some good defence work from Knights’ saw them win yet another penalty and clear their lines.

As play entered the final 10 minutes, some fine work from the Bulls’ midfield saw forward George Thornton break free, holding off 3 tackles to hit the try line in style!

The conversion was added by Tom Jordan to extend Bulls’ lead by 10 points to 16-26.

As play entered the final eight minutes, Bulls’ were yet again reduced to 14 as Jordan Lenac was given a yellow for tackling off the ball.

With four minutes to play, Tom Everard was then shown a straight red for a high tackle – leaving Bulls’ with 13 on the field - as he raced to defend a high ball in the corner, which saw Knights’ full-back Jacob Henry leave the field on a stretcher.

The resulting penalty saw Knights’ kick for touch in the corner, and with some outstanding Bulls’ defensive work and a try saving tackle from George Thornton Bulls’ were able to play out of trouble with only two minutes left on the clock.

The Bulls’ defended with their lives to prevent a Knight’s score in the closing seconds, holding on to lift the FOSROC Super6 Title!

Coach Pat MacArthur said:

"We started well, put ourselves in a good position and a big part of what we are trying to teach the team, it's a young team we have is how to control what you can control, you will get some pressure on you and it's the ability to just keep to our systems and keep to our shape, especially in defence. and you see at the end there, the effort the boys put on together to hold anyone out is second to none so credit to them for that."

FULL TIME: 16-26

MAN OF THE MATCH: Tom Jordan

TEAMS:

AYRSHIRE BULLS

15. M. Davidson, 14. A.Tait, 13. B.Beattie, 12. T.Williams, 11. E.Caven, 10. T.Jordan, 9. J.Lenac

1. G.Thornton, 2.A.McGuire, 3. M.Scott, 4.E.Bloodworth, 5.T.Everard, 6.R.Sweeney, 7.Y.Fantitni, 8.B.Macpherson (Captain)

Replacements: 16. R.Tanner, 17.R.Sayce, 18. C.Henderson, 19. R.Jackson, 20. G.Wilson, 21. H.Warr, 22. C.Townsend, 23. G.Lowe

SOUTHERN KNIGHTS

15. J.Henry, 14. P.Anderson, 13. N Godsmark, 12. B.Wara, 11. S.Pecquer, 10. J.Baggott, 9.M.Mcandrew, 1. G.Shiellls (Captain), 2. F.Renwick, 3. E Mclaren, 4.D.Suddon, 5. A.Runciman, 6.H.Borthwick, 7.R.Knott, 8. I.Moody

Replacements: 16. R.Anderson, 17. S.Gunn, 18. C.Crookshanks, 19. D.Redpath, 20. A.Ferrie, 21. C.Jones, 22. C.Scott, 23. A.Mitchell

TRIES: E.Caven, G.Thornton (Bulls), J. Henry (Knights)

CONVERSIONS: T.Jordan (X2, Bulls), Baggott (X1 Knights)

PENALTIES: T. Jordan (X4 Bulls), Baggott (X3 Knights)

CARDS: Yellow: Y.Fantini, J.Lenac, Red: T.Everard (Bulls)


Bulls Seal Victory Over Stirling

David Graham at Millbrae:

The Ayrshire Bulls pulled off a convincing win over Stirling County at Millbrae this afternoon with a 48-17 victory.

The home side scored 7 tries courtesy of; Matt Davidson, Yaree Fantini (x2), Blair Macpherson, Robert Beattie, Gavin Wilson and Elias Caven.

Tom Jordan and Christian Townsend both added conversions and penalties respectively.

A superb performance from the Bulls saw them secure a victory that will have no doubt tasted even sweeter after suffering defeat in the final seconds last time out against Stirling.

Double try scorer Yaree Fantini picked up the FOSROC Super6 Man of the Match Award to complete a superb afternoon at Millbrae.

(Yaree Fantini receiving his award from skipper Blair Macpherson)

Bulls coach Pat MacArthur was delighted with the bonus-point victory and said afterwards:

“The boys started with a lot of intensity and to be honest that set the tone for the game and credit to them.

Backing up performances is another thing you have to learn to do and we did well.”

On his side’s defensive efforts he said:

“The Super6 as you see in a lot of the games, they can be won by either team so at points you are going to have to defend really well.

We’ve done a huge amount of work and a big focus of our pre-season was our defensive setup and setting our stall out.

Credit to Stirling they had a spell of 12 or 13 minutes where they really put us under a lot of pressure and our boys stuck to our systems and kept up with their effort and managed to turn the ball over with a couple of good tries.”

Asked about other performances that stood out Pat said:

“I thought Tom Williams was outstanding today, his ball carrying and playmaking, he had a really outstanding game, then you look at your 10,12 and 13, (Tom Jordan, Tom Williams & Robert Beattie) they are all working well, then we can bring in Christian (Townsend) and our number 9’s are all interchangable, and a big part of where we are at is strength & depth.”

The Bulls next action is in one weeks’ time (Sun 19th September) when they travel to Heriot’s Rugby. The action kicks off at 13.30 and will be shown live on Free Sports with highlights available shortly after.


Ayr Beat Gala in First Home Game of the Season

David Graham at Millbrae:

Ayr made it two wins from two as they saw off Gala Rugby at Millbrae this afternoon with an emphatic 37-20 victory.

(Frazier Climo holds off the Gala defence. Photo – George McMillan).

The opening exchanges saw both sides battle for possession but it was the home side who created the first chance of the match inside 10 minutes, however the final pass after a free-flowing move was loose and dribbled into touch.

Four minutes later, Ayr had their first try of the afternoon.

An excellent attacking move saw club captain Cameron Recce hit the try line, with the conversion narrowly wide from centre Frazier Climo.

Just after the 20 minute mark, Gala levelled the score with full-back Matt Reid crossing the try line, Gala making no mistake with the conversion as they took a 7-5 lead thanks to fly-half, Craig Dods.

10 minutes later Ayr re-took the lead, as Frazier Climo fended off 2 Gala players with sheer strength and power to touch down beside the posts.

Bova took the conversion but for the home side it was narrowly wide once again, with Ayr now 5 points ahead.

That lead was soon 10 points minutes later as some excellent midfield play and quick passing saw scrum-half Adam McGowan score in the corner. Bova’s conversion was once again just wide of the posts.

On the stroke of half-time, Gala opted to kick after being awarded a penalty which Dods converted, to close the gap to 7 points. Some 90 seconds later the game was level as Marius Tamosaitis picked the ball up in the ruck and powered through for the line, converted once again by Dods.

(Man of the Match Frazier Climo hits the try line. Photo – George McMillan).

A quick start to the second-half saw forward Seth Rae score Ayr’s 4th try of the match. Frazier Climo this time denied by the post as his conversion clipped it and fell wide.

Gala were reduced to 14 early into the second period as Murray Wilson saw yellow for a high-tackle.

Without question the try of the afternoon on 50 minutes, Daniel McCluskey picked the ball up just after half-way. A quick-thinking kick over the Gala defence saw McCluskey in a foot-race with Gala full-back Matt Reid.

An unfortunate, or fortunate bounce saw McCluskey collect the ball and score in the corner, to the delight of the home crowd. Climo’s conversion was pulled wide, with Ayr 10 points ahead.

A Gala penalty, once again converted by Dods looked to have sparked the start of a comeback, however Ayr were then awarded their own penalty right in-front of the posts, with Climo converting.

The final minutes off the game saw Man of the Match, Frazier Climo, once again at the heart of the action with a superb fend then offload to McCluskey, who scored his second try of the afternoon.

Climo converted with ease to see Ayr finish 37-20 victors.

(The Ayr players lap up their victory. Photo – George McMillan).

Tries:

Ayr – Cameron Reece, Frazier Climo, Adam McGowan, Seth Rae, Daniel McCluskey x 2

Gala – Marius Tamosaitis, Matt Reid

Conversions:

Ayr – Jamie Bova, Frazier Climo

Gala – Craig Dods x 2

Penalties:

Ayr – Frazier Climo

Gala – Dods x 2

Yellows:

Gala – Murray Wilson

Ayr: 15. Richie Simpson, 14. Jamie Bova, 13. Harry Lynch, 12. Frazier Climo, 11. Daniel McCluskey, 10. Ross McCorkindale, 9.Adam McGowan; 1. Caleb Rae, 2.Stuart Collier, 3. Ben Cree, 4. Euan Hamilton, 5. Seth Rae, 6. Michael Kirk, 7. Cameron Young, 8. Cameron Reece (captain)

Replacements: 16. Gregor Lynch, 17. Logan Richardson, 18. Morgan Leatherbarrow, 19.Craig Brown, 20. John Fulton

Gala: 15. Matt Reid, 14. Fergus Johnston, 13. Murray Wilson, 12. Tim McKavanagh, 11. Ben Gill, 10. Craig Dods, 9. Lachlan Johnston; 1. Kyle Scott, 2. Jack Easson, 3. Marius Tamosaitis, 4.Cameron Tate, 5. Richard Tod, 6. Taylor Wilson, 7.Liam Scott (captain), 8. Stephen Cairns

Replacements: 16. Adam Keeler, 17.Lochie Milne, 18. Mark Amos, 19. Gregor Mein, 20. Harris Rutherford

 

Photos courtesy of George McMillan.