Cross-Border Cancelled

Scottish Rugby and the Welsh Rugby Union has today announced the cancelation of the 2020 Cross-Border competition between Scottish and Welsh club teams, due to the current restrictions and health advice around Coronavirus (Covid-19). 

 

The Ayrshire Bulls were set to compete in the competition commencing on Saturday 25 April, alongside the five other FOSROC Super6 teams and six Indigo Group Premiership teams from Wales (Cardiff, Llandovery, Merthyr, Ebbw Vale, Aberavon and Pontypridd).

  

All twelve teams were to play three home fixtures and three away fixtures over a consecutive six-week period in what would have been the first edition of this new club competition.

 

Scottish Rugby and the Welsh Rugby Union are committed to the competition moving forward, with discussions between both unions looking ahead to next season.

 

Ayrshire Bulls C.E.O Billy McHarg, said: “We are disappointed the tournament is not taking place as the club was very excited to be playing in it…

 

“However, every individuals welfare is of more importance and we wholeheartedly support the decision to postpone for this year”.


Awards Dinner Postponed

After considering current safety protocols around on-going Coronavirus (Covid-19) concerns, Ayr Rugby has made the decision to postpone the 2020 Pink and Black Awards dinner scheduled for April 4th.

The club is continuing to follow both government and Scottish Rugby advice to prioritise the safety of all staff, players, sponsors and fans.

Thank you to Ayr Racecourse for working alongside Ayr Rugby in organising what was set to be a fantastic event in beautiful surroundings.

We will keep everyone informed of a rearranged date in due course.

Photo - George McMillan


Millbrae closed until further notice

Following on from the club’s statement last Friday, Ayr Rugby have proceeded with the closure of all facilities at Millbrae in-line with government guidance on Coronavirus (Covid-19) and Scottish Rugby’s suspension of all rugby activity.

 

 

This is uncharted territory for the club and we are working hard to ensure the safety of all players, staff, sponsors and fans. We appreciate everyone’s understanding during this time.

 

 

This will result in immediate cancellation of any on-field activity, closure of club bar and denied gym access.

 

 

Ayr Rugby are monitoring both government and Scottish Rugby advice daily. We will strive to keep you informed as and when new information becomes available to us. We will update you on reopening dates when we can.

 

 

If you have any queries please direct them to [email protected].

 

Thank you all for your support during this time.

 

Photo - George McMillan


Rugby Suspended

Scottish Rugby have released a statement suspending all domestic competitions and training from Sunday 15 of March at 18.00 until, and including, 29 March.

This is uncharted territory for all parties involved and we are working together to ensure the safety of all players, coaches, volunteers, sponsors and fans. We appreciate everyone's understanding during this time.

Scottish Rugby's decision comes in light of government restrictions on public gatherings due to rising concern around Coronavirus (Covid-19).

 

This will impact rugby in all domestic league and cup fixtures, training, festivals and other rugby events as well as the FOSROC Super6 tournament, which come under Scottish Rugby's jurisdiction.

 

During this suspension period Scottish Rugby will undertake further assessment and advise on any further action that may be required. The Ayrshire Bulls Play-Off Semi-Final against Heriots Rugby next Sunday will therefore be affected.

 

The Scottish Rugby Age-Grade Programme (male and female) will also be cancelled with immediate effect for the remainder of the season. This includes all training sessions that were planned for the age-grade teams as well as all other age-grade internationals for the rest of the season.


Gordon Reid Departs the Bulls

Ayrshire Bulls prop Gordon Reid has joined English Premiership side Northampton Saints with immediate effect.

 

He joins the Saints for the rest of the 2019/20 season and is available for selection for their next match. The 33-year-old has played an integral role in the Bulls securing a FOSROC Super6 semi-final.

Last August Reid was unveiled as the Ayrshire Bulls first signing ahead of the inaugural Super6 season. The following month he was selected in Gregor Townsend’s Rugby World Cup squad where he went on to feature in all four of Scotland's matches.

 

In November he agreed a partnership contract between the Bulls and Glasgow Warriors. He leaves both sides to head south of the border.

 

We wish Gordy all the best at Northampton and thank him for his services.


Semi-Final Confirmed!

The Ayrshire Bulls' FOSROC Super6 Play-Off Semi-Final against Heriots Rugby has been scheduled for Sunday 22nd of March at Goldenacre, kicking off at 14.00.

The fixture was previously announced for the weekend of Friday 20th and has been pushed back to Sunday 22nd for television coverage. The match will be live-streamed on Scottish Rugby TV and the BBC Scotland website.

 

The winner of the semi-final will go on to play the winner of Watsonians v Southern Knights at Scotstoun Stadium on Saturday 28th of March. The final will kick-off at 19.20 and you can secure your tickets online now at scottishrugby.org.


Annual Pink and Black Awards Dinner

This year's annual Pink and Black Awards dinner will take place on Saturday April 4th at the beautiful setting of Ayr Racecourse. The night gets underway with a 19.00 arrival for a 19.30 start. Guests will be treated to a delicious three-course meal, live entertainment and the 2020 awards ceremony.

The latest edition of the Pink and Black Awards will mark the inaugural end-of-season dinner for the Ayrshire Bulls - who will celebrate the conclusion of their maiden domestic campaign alongside Ayr RFC's senior teams.

 

The evening is priced at £35 a-head and players and coaches can book via their respective team managers. To book a table or seat separately contact [email protected]


Bulls fail to secure home semi-final

The Ayrshire Bulls fell 26-15 on the road to Heriots Rugby in their final regular season match, but still remain in the mix for the FOSROC Super6 playoffs. The loss rules out the possibility of a favourable home semi-final, but Peter Murchie’s men are still in the hunt for silverware.

At one point it was all to play for, with a 12-10 lead Heriots only bumper. At final whistle a frustrated Peter Murchie expressed his disappointment not to kick on from there: “We had our chances… but we just got too many of the little momentum swings go against us. A lot of their scores were pretty soft from our perspective.

 

“We have to make a team work harder for their points”.

 

There were areas of the game to be pleased about, but the Bulls failed to convert them into points: “Our maul was dominant, our scrum was dominant, but we didn’t get the rewards off that and capitalise”.

The hosts shot out of the blocks and enjoyed the first half hour camped deep in Bulls’ territory. Their breakthrough came after twenty minutes. Despite a strong scrum the ball bundled away from Bulls’ hands at the base allowing Jason Hill to collect and canter clear unscathed. Ross Jones converted to put the hosts up by seven.

 

Despite a surge from Peter Murchie’s men to close the half they couldn’t get over the line.

 

Half-time: Heriots Rugby 7-0 Ayrshire Bulls.

 

Heriots stretched the lead on 47 minutes with another opportunistic score. A dropped ball in the midfield release the hosts, with Callum Marshall finishing off a string of passes to dot down.

 

The second try came as a wakeup call for Peter Murchie’s men, who sprung into life and started to look dangerous. Territory turned to points three minutes later, with Ross Thompson converting from the tee from a deliberate knock-on by Hill – he was shown yellow for the infringement.

 

The Bulls continued to control proceedings and narrowed the gap after an hour. Sam Kitchen was first to get over but Heriots done well to hold the ball up. From the resulting scrum Blair Macpherson made no mistake in his effort. Thompson converted to make it a 12-10 ball game.

 

As the game marched into its’ final stage it was neck-in-neck before a lapse in concentration resulted in a flurry of Heriots scores. Two tries three minutes apart all but sealed the result, with the Bulls staring down a 26-10 deficit.

 

Playing for pride Hooker Alex McGuire managed to end the afternoon on a high for the Bulls, scoring from a maul to narrow the margin.

 

Full time: Heriots Rugby 26-15 Ayrshire Bulls.

Heriots flanker Jack McLean was named FOSROC Man of the Match.

 

The Ayrshire Bulls now have a three-week window before they travel for a play-off semi-final. With Watsonians v Southern Knights postponed due to weather they’ll have to wait to find out where they are headed.

 

Photos - SRU//SNS


Climo Returns for Heriots Clash

The Ayrshire Bulls have named a strong side for their final regular-season match this Sunday at Goldenacre. In a former life the origins of these clubs clashed in last year's Scottish Cup and Premiership finals, so it is only fitting the man who dealt the fatal blow eleven months ago, Frazier Climo, returns from injury.

(Climo lines up his injury time winner. Photo - George McMillan)

 

That was then and this is now. In the newly-formed FOSROC Super6 semi-professional league the sides are equally as close, with Heriots sitting in second on 29 and the Bulls in third with 28.

 

It could all still change with one round of fixtures left to play. Watsonians Rugby, who lead the pack, sit just four points clear of the Bulls on 32 and face fourth placed Knights. The Knights have racked up 25 points - four behind the Ayrshire Bulls. What that means is, depending on how this weekend plays out, the Bulls could finish in either first, second, third or fourth heading to the play-offs.

 

Their objective is simple - win Sunday's game to be guaranteed a seed one or two finish, securing a home semi-final.

Marshall Sykes joins Climo returning from injury, with the two straight back into the starting line-up at four and ten respectively. David Armstrong also returns, but is held to a bench spot after a Man of the Match performance from Harry Warr last weekend.

 

Grant Anderson also re-enters the fray, replacing Aylan Schabort on the bench.

 

Newly-signed wing Kody McGovern, who was announced earlier today, starts at 14 to earn his debut.

 

The action gets underway at 14.00 and you can follow live updates at @AyrshireBulls, or watch along at scottishrugby.org.


McGovern joins from Watsonians

The Ayrshire Bulls have confirmed the signing of 26 year old Kiwi Kody McGovern from fellow FOSROC Super6 side Watsonians Rugby.

(Kody dotting down for the Edinburgh outfit. Image - Graham Gaw)

 

The winger played for Mitre 10 side Bay of Plenty before flying north for the innuagural Super6 season. He is eligible to join the Bulls through emergency cover after injury blows to the back three.

 

Head coach Peter Murchie has been delighted with what he has seen so far: "We are really pleased to welcome Kody to the team. We have been hit with injuries so it is a real boost to bring in a player to increase the competition in the team.

 

"He has settled in well and we look forward to see what he can do in a Bulls shirt".

 

The Bulls would like to extend a thanks to Watsonians Rugby for working with the club and allowing this move to go through.

 

The news comes just in time for the Bulls crunch match with Heriots this Sunday, where McGovern will be keen to be involved.


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