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.


Ayr Rugby Announce Captains for the New Season

Ayr Rugby Head Coach Stuart Fenwick has named Cameron Reece as the 1st XV Captain, with Vice-Captain as Zac Howard, for the upcoming season.

Stuart said, “We have a good squad with talented players throughout I’m delighted to announce Cameron as Captain and Zac as Vice-Captain. Both are Ayr men who have come through the youth structures at Ayr and want to do well”.

Cameron has played for the club all his life and was part of the League and Cup winning squad of 2019. The athletic back row forward said, “Training has been going well. We have a good group of players and we want to do well. I’m really looking forward to playing. When Stuart asked me to be Captain, I didn’t hesitate as it’s a real honour to lead the Ayr 1st XV for this season. I can’t wait to start the league”. Strong running back and Vice-Captain Zac Howard said, “Just like Cameron, I believe we have a good squad. It’s great to back training and I’m really looking forward to playing. I’m sure we will have a good season. It’s just great to be back at the club”.

The league starts with an away game at Highland Rugby Club. The first home game is on Saturday the 11th of September, against Gala with a 1:15pm KO at Millbrae. This is also Ladies’ Day, always a great day at Millbrae. Following the 1st XV game, the Ayrshire Bulls will play Stirling with a 3:30pm KO.


Ayr Rugby Coaching Team for the New Season

Ayr Rugby is delighted to announce that Stuart Fenwick will be the club’s 1st XV Head Coach for the upcoming season. The former Scotland U21 player who was a part of the club’s first-ever winning Premiership squad in 2009 and Cup team of 2010, took the head coaches role on in the last competitive season that never completed, he’s now looking forward to the new season.

He will head up a coaching team that will include Frazier Climo and Robbie Fergusson as his assistants.

Stuart said “I’m really excited to have Frazier and Robbie working with me, they have so much knowledge and experience to pass on, I know they are keen to support the development of our players’ as much as possible. We are all looking forward to getting back to playing, training and socialising with each other at Millbrae. I know the players all feel the same as well”.

Frazier, has been a First XV star and was part of the first ever Ayrshire Bulls squad. He will be stepping back from the Ayrshire Bulls and will have a player/coach role for the 1st XV, where he aims to develop the club’s younger players. Born and bread in Taranaki, New Zealand, his playing career has seen him win the Scottish Premiership three times and the National Cup twice with Ayr, including the Premiership and Cup double in 2019. He had a fulltime contract with Scarlets and one of his biggest achievements would be winning and defending the famous New Zealand Rugby trophy called the Ranfurly Shield.

Robbie Fergusson, another famous Millbrae face, will be assisting when available. Last season he was part of the Glasgow Warriors squad and of course everyone was delighted to see Robbie being selected for the GB 7’s Rugby Squad that took part in the recent Tokyo Olympics. Robbie has been a part of the Ayr Rugby family from a very long time now, playing all his youth rugby and then progressing into the senior squad where he was part of the club’s Premiership and Cup double team in 2013.

Ayr Rugby’s front of shirt sponsor Billy Lynch, of Lynch Homes said, “I know all the lads very well, these are great appointments for the club. To have this level of experience supporting the development of our young players is very positive. Millbrae is looking great and I’m looking forward to the season starting”.


William Duncan + Co Continues to Support Ayr Rugby

Above photo is Robert Fergusson, Managing Director of William Duncan + Co with new Ayrshire Bulls strip and their pitch side board.

William Duncan + Co, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, are delighted to announce their continued commitment as sponsors of Ayr Rugby Club.

This marks the latest in a long history of local sports sponsorship and associations for William Duncan + Co. Plans are currently in the works to run a range of events in association with Ayr Rugby Club at Millbrae, including a new business club offering speaker events and access to match training sessions.

Robert Fergusson, Managing Director of William Duncan + Co, commented,

“We are absolutely thrilled to continue our support of Ayr Rugby Club as we have a shared vision of a positive future for the sport in Ayrshire. What the Club are doing, particularly in the arena of youth and female rugby, we believe greatly benefits the local area and encourages people from all walks of life to get into the sport. The Club is making massive inroads in involving all of the community and we are excited to be a part of this.”

Ayr Rugby General Manager said, “I would thank Robert and the team at William Duncan + Co for their continued support. They have been a part of the Ayr Rugby family for a long time. I’m delighted that we share the same vison for sport in our community. Our youth and female sections are the heart of our club and we are very proud of them. We are very much looking forward to starting our business club in partnership with William Duncan + Co and I know we have a good number of local businesses who would like to be a part of this networking opportunity. We look forward to launching this soon.”

Robert Fergusson, Managing Director of William Duncan + Co, and Glen Tippett, General Manager of Ayr Rugby, holding the Ayrshire Bulls’ strip on the Millbrae pitch. As part of the William Duncan + Co sponsorship, their logo will be on the Ayrshire Bulls, Ayr 1st XV, Ayr/Millbrae and Ayr Ladies’ strips.


Ayr Rugby Community Trust and Unity Grill Kiltwalk

The above photo has the Ayr Community Rugby Trust Chairperson Paul Davidson, handing over a check for £4,632.32 to Unity Grill’s Angela McNay. They are surrounded by other Ayr Rugby members who took part in the Kiltwalk.

During the pandemic Ayr Rugby Club teamed up with Unity Grill to help them with their fight against food poverty in the local community. So far there have been two ways Ayr Rugby has supported the Unity Grill.

The first was a group of volunteers from the club making food deliveries over the summer and Christmas holidays. During the Christmas period alone Unity Grill prepared around 180 food hampers and 50 delicious Christmas lunches for home delivery. The 40 volunteers from ARC delivered the hampers in the three days before Christmas and almost 30 of the squad returned on the 25th to deliver the hot meals in time for Christmas lunch.

The second was through the Kiltwalk, where the Ayr Community Rugby Trust linked up with Unity Grill and held a joint Kiltwalk day, with all finds raised being split 50/50 between both the Unity Grill and Ayr Community Rugby Trust.

The combined total raised on the Kiltwalk was £9,246.64. This includes the 50% top up from Sir Tom Hunter and the Hunter Foundation. With over 60 people all from different parts of the club taking part, the day started well with bright warm sunshine and clear blue skies. The walk started at Unity Grill with a coffee and roll then proceeded out along the outstanding Ayrshire coastline to Prestwick. Back to Unity Grill for a quick bite and once more along the coastline, finally heading to the club. A great day was had by everyone and it was very encouraging to see other Kiltwalkers out walking for their charities as well.

Ayr Community Rugby Trust Chairperson Paul Davidson said, “I think we can all be proud of the efforts that everyone put in for the Kiltwalk.  Thank you to all our walkers and those who supported them, as well as to The Hunter Foundation for the 50% top up! We are delighted to have teamed up with the Unity Grill and help raise funds for them to combat food poverty in our community. These are tough times and we are delighted to play a role in supporting the Unity Grill”.

Unity Grill’s Angela McNay said, “We are very grateful for the support Ayr Rugby and the Ayr Community Rugby Trust have given us. It’s been very much appreciated. Working together, we all had a great day for the Kiltwalk. Here’s hoping we can do it all again next year”.

Food poverty is a growing concern across the UK and Ayrshire is not immune to that. The numbers using the local foodbank are growing year on year. At Unity Grill they want to offer a beautiful, welcome space where the local community can come and enjoy a meal, or just a coffee together. Those profits will be used to help pay for a meal for those who cannot afford it. Unity Grill is not offering something for nothing. Those in need can volunteer an hour of their time in return for a voucher, helping to restore some of the dignity food poverty takes away.

To everyone who took part in the Kiltwalk or donated money, a massive thank-you. Your time, effort and funds are very much appreciated. Thank you.


FOSROC Super6 Secures New Broadcast Partner

Scottish Rugby can today confirm that every Sunday fixture in the second season of the FOSROC Super6 competition will be televised live on free-to-air television by the competition’s new broadcast partner, FreeSports.

FreeSports is the only free-to-air sports channel in the UK and will broadcast 11 matches in the FOSROC Super6 exclusively live on TV, and on the online FreeSports Player, within the UK and Ireland.

Formed in 2017, FreeSports is the sister channel of Premier Sports, which will show next season’s United Rugby Championship and French Rugby’s Top 14 competitions.

The FreeSports coverage will also include highlights of every Friday and Saturday match played across the tournament’s 10-week regular period. Highlights of all 33 matches will also be available, with more information to follow ahead of the competition kicking off at the end of July.

For anyone living outside of the UK and Ireland, all the Sunday matches and the three finals will be available live on Scottish Rugby TV. All Sunday games will kick-off at 1.30pm BST.

The FOSROC Super6 commentary team will include Stuart McFarlane, Paul Mitchell, Hugh Dan MacLennan, Jamie Lyall and Rory Hamilton.

The first match played in front of the FreeSports cameras will be on Sunday 1 August, when Ayrshire Bulls host Watsonians Rugby at Millbrae (kick-off 1.30pm BST).

The next two live matches will feature Heriot’s Rugby, at home to Southern Knights at Goldenacre on Sunday 8 August and then away to Stirling County at Bridgehaugh on Sunday 15 August.

There will be five live broadcast games in August, as Southern Knights host Boroughmuir Bears on Sunday 22 August at the The Greenyards, before attention turns to Meggetland where the Bears will welcome Stirling County on Sunday 29 August.

In September, Boroughmuir Bears will host Southern Knights in a return fixture on Sunday 12 September and Heriot’s Rugby will welcome Ayrshire Bulls on Sunday 19 September.

On Sunday 26 September, Stirling County host Watsonians at Bridgehaugh in front of the FreeSports cameras and in this fixture last time out Stirling County sat bottom of the league table and put in a dominant second-half performance to score three tries and overcome table toppers Watsonians.

Watonians will then host Boroughmuir Bears on Sunday 3 October at Myreside before the FreeSports cameras return to Myreside the following weekend for Watsonians’ clash with Ayrshire Bulls in the last fixture of the regular season before the finals weekend.

The FOSROC Super6 finals weekend will take place on the weekend of 15/16/17 October and FreeSports will broadcast the 1st v 2nd Final exclusively live in the UK and Ireland, with the 3rd v 4th and 5th v 6th games shown live on Scottish Rugby TV.

FreeSports Director of Operations, Richard Webb said: “We are delighted to further enhance our coverage of Scottish Rugby with the announcement of live FOSROC Super6 games. We have developed a strong product for Scottish rugby fans to get behind, so it felt like a natural step to also support the game at this level.”

Scottish Rugby Head of Group Sponsorship and Marketing, Toni Blackhurst said: “This is excellent news for the FOSROC Super6. To have our part-time professional tournament, which is designed to bridge the gap between club and professional rugby shown live every Sunday is great.

“It is fantastic that it will be included in the same Premier Sports / FreeSports family of broadcasters that will show Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors in next seasons United Rugby Championship as it further enhances the pathway of moving through to the professional game. The increased profile of the league through Freesports coverage is great news for the clubs, fans and partners.”

Ayrshire Bulls General Manager, Glen Tippet said: “Today’s FreeSports announcement is an exciting opportunity for all FOSROC Super6 clubs as it will allow both the clubs and the competition further exposure into new audiences across the UK and Ireland.

“I would like to thank Scottish Rugby and the people who pulled this broadcast deal together, as this is also a fantastic commercial opportunity for Super6 to grow their brand and help further enhance their part-time professional status.”