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.

Bulls hunt down Bears and cruise to third

On Sunday the Ayrshire Bulls returned to winning ways after a slow start to 2020. A clinical performance from Peter Murchie’s men seen them breeze to a 17-40 victory over Boroughmuir Bears – a rearranged game delayed from the carnage of storm Dennis last weekend.


The action played out at the Queensferry Hub due to poor weather at the Bears’ home of Meggetland, and the 4G pitch provided the perfect canvas for fast flowing attractive rugby.


The win puts the Bulls back into third, with a clash against second place Heriots coming up this Sunday. Heriots sit one point ahead on 28 with Watsonians the pacemakers on 32.

With it all still to play for approaching the last round of regular season action Peter Murchie was delighted with his men’s effort: “We played pretty well especially in the first half with that wind against us… All in all, we haven’t played for four or five weeks so I was delighted with the performance”.


It has been a slog of a season so far, with the FOSROC Super6 league kicking off in November and being hampered by the harsher weather: “It’s (conditions) been a challenge for every team. Training over the last two months has been challenging – 50mph winds and all these storms – it’s difficult. Credit to the guys who have stuck at it and managed to keep us ticking along”.

It was the Bears who struck first, taking a three-point lead from the kicking tee just four minutes in.


Ten minutes later the Bulls took the lead, with captain Pete McCallum breaking through the line and over to score. A lacklustre restart gifted the Bears possession, and a score from a fumbled ball put them back in front.


It was 21 minutes in when the Bulls took a lead which wouldn’t change hands. Sam Kitchen bagged his eighth try of the season with a powerful surge over the line from close range.


The Bulls bagged one more before the break, with George Bordill diving under the posts. Ross Thompson’s conversion concluded the first half scoring at 10-19.


In the second half Nico Griffiths stretched the lead. A Boroughmuir pass deep in their half failed to meet hands and the prop reacted quickest to score.

With an hour gone the Bulls were coasting, but a spike in intensity from the Bears made it a ball game. Jordan Edmunds broke clear against the run of play to make it a one possession game, before fly-half Chris Laidlaw crept through the line from the restart. Laidlaw through a looping pass to Edmunds but failed to connect for what would have been a certain try.


The Bulls weathered the storm and secured two late scores to provide some cushion. The first came through Tyler Beary, who sniped into the corner after quick hands from Isaac McNulty put him away.


The last score was arguably the best. On his way to Man of the Match honours, Harry Warr pulled off an audacious through-the-legs pass to debutant James Pinkerton. Unfazed by the step up from Club XV rugby, Pinkerton did well to draw the defender and dink a crafty grubber down the line for Craig Gossman to score.


Full-time: Boroughmuir Bears 17-40 Ayrshire Bulls.


Photos - SRU//SNS

FOSROC Man of the Match Harry Warr at full time.

Bulls Match Rescheduled

The Ayrshire Bulls encounter with Boroughmuir Bears which was called off on Saturday has been rearranged to this Sunday (Feb 23).


The match will take place at Queensferry RFC, Dundas Avenue, kicking-off at 15.30.


With the Bulls sitting just off a home play-off place in fourth the last two games are vital. A win over sixth placed Bears would propel the Bulls into third before their final regular season tie against Heriots, who occupy second.


Ticket information will be posted shortly on the Boroughmuir Bears website and social channels.

Ayrshire Bulls 20-29 Southern Knights

It was a disappointing afternoon for the Ayrshire Bulls, who fell the wrong side of a close 20-29 clash with the Southern Knights.


Neither side were able to keep leads for the first hour with momentum batting back and forth, before the visitors wrangled control in the final stages to secure victory.

Talking after final whistle, Peter Murchie believed his team were in good stead the second half and was frustrated his men lost control: “We got ourselves into a winning position at 20-17 and then we let it slip from there. We made way too many mistakes today”.


The Southern Knights started the season losing five games on the bounce before finding their groove at the turn of the year. Peter Murchie was able to find positives in their turn of form: “We have lost our mojo a little bit… There is no magic wand to get your form back but look at the Knights.


“We just have to drive high standards. First things first we have to win the game at Boroughmuir (Saturday 15th) and we’ll worry about what comes after that later”.


It was the Knights who struck first. Referee Sam Grove-White deemed a rolling maul was brought down illegally resulting in a penalty try. Blair Macpherson, the guilty man, was sent to the sin bin for the act.


Despite being a man down the Bulls mustered a quick ten points. Sam Kitchen dove over from a line-out drive before a Ross Thompson conversion and penalty pulled them in front.


As Macpherson returned David Armstrong left. The scrum half was pinged for a high tackle on Knights winger Patrick Anderson, resulting in a yellow.


Struan Hutchison chalked up the game moments later from the tee.


After half an hour played Thompson’s boot was back bagging points. The ten capitalised from the tee after Macpherson did well to force a turnover in front of the posts.


The Borderer’s regained the lead just before the interval. A breakaway score courtesy of Neil Irvine-Hess put them in front, before Hutchison stretched the lead with the conversion.


Half-time: Ayrshire Bulls 13-17 Southern Knights.


After a long stoppage for an injury to Irvine-Hess, Sam Kitchen was back in to score. The FOSROC Super6’s leading try scorer secured his seventh of the season with a bull-dozing carry from the back of a ruck.


Thompson’s conversion made it 20-17.


Kitchen’s brace concluded the Bulls’ scoring. The Knights took the lead when replacement Conor Young broke through the line after 55 minutes.


With 15 left to play Ciaran White was first on the scene to a hacked grubber over the try line, to seal the tie.


Full-time: Ayrshire Bulls 20-29 Southern Knights.


The Bulls will seek redemption next weekend when they travel to Meggatland to face Boroughmuir. The action gets underway at 15.00.

Arise, Burnsy the Bull

Congratulations to Rory Smith, aged 10, who has won the Ayrshire Bulls’ Mascot naming competition with: ‘Burnsy the Bull’.


The Wellington pupil was surprised earlier today at School by Ayrshire Bulls’ Tyler Beary, Ewan Davies, Isaac McNulty and newly named mascot Burnsy. The quartet interrupted Thursday morning’s maths lesson to break the news in front of Rory’s classmates and teacher.

As a reward Rory will enjoy a unique matchday experience on Sunday when the Bulls lock horns with the Southern Knights at Millbrae. He will run out alongside the team and also enjoy a few surprises along the way.


He will also be getting cheered on by his fellow teammates, as a valued member of the Ayr/Wellington P6 squad.


Follow our social channels to see what Rory will be getting up to.


After an extensive search the Ayrshire Bulls narrowed name suggestions down to four: Angus, Brae, Rabbie - and of course Rory’s suggestion of Burnsy. The final four went to public vote and after a whopping 400 votes counted Burnsy reigned supreme.


We know Rory will be in attendance this Sunday, will you? Secure you tickets and hospitality below.

Bulls fall in top-of-the-table clash

It was a disappointing afternoon of rugby in the capital for Peter Murchie and his Ayrshire Bulls, falling 27-10 at Myreside in round seven of the FOSROC Super6.


Despite a closely contested first forty, the hosts managed to pull away after the break. Carelessness cost, and the trusty boot of Lee Millar kept the Bulls an arm’s length away as the game drew to a close.

Speaking on final whistle, Peter Murchie was frustrated with what he seen from his men: “Watsonians deserved their win. It was a bad day at the office. We could have been more down at half time, they’d a lot of line breaks against us.


“Defensively we just weren’t good enough”.


The message to the squad at half time was that the game was still there to be taken despite playing poorly, but once Watsonians get on the front foot it seemed to drift away from the Bulls. Peter explained: “When you are chasing the game often mistakes start to happen, and that’s what happened for us”.


The Bulls can’t spend to long licking their wounds, with a crunch match against the Southern Knights in just eight days’ time: “We need to be better next weekend. If you react in the right way sometimes setbacks can be useful, but at this minute in time my reaction is just disappointment”.


The hosts drew first blood just five minutes in. A lovely break from centre Joey Reynolds split through the midfield, before he selflessly gave up the score for Lomand Macpherson to dive clear. Lee Millar, who is well-known for an impressive strike rate, made no mistake from the conversion.


The Bulls reacted well, with an equalising score coming moments later. Ollie Smith wriggled through a handful of tackles to break free. The full-back drew the last man before sending Tom Lewis on his way. Ross Thomson chalked it up with a touch-line conversion.


After twenty minutes Watsonians pulled back in front. After a period of pressure in the Bulls 22 Connor Boyle managed to break through, again Millar converted.


The visitors managed to muster another bounce back effort but were thwarted numerous times by impressive Watsons defence. Eventually Thompson settled for a routine three points, to scrape at the deficit.


Half-time: Watsonians Rugby 14-10 Ayrshire Bulls.


Peter Murchie’s men started the second half in fine fettle but couldn’t turn good territory into points.


The breakthrough ended up coming from the hosts with almost an hour gone. Edinburgh pro Kunavula pulled off an audacious offload to put Lewis Berg in and take the game away from the Bulls.

With the Bulls now trying to force the issue Lee Millar kept his side ticking over from the tee, capitalising on a poor penalty count.


Full-Time: Watsonians Rugby 27-10 Ayrshire Bulls.


In amongst the rabble of the final half hour Aylan Schabort, Ewan Davies and Grant Anderson all made their Bulls debuts off the bench.


The Bulls return to Millbrae for their clash with Southern Knights on Sunday 26th of January. Secure your ticket below!

Strong side for top-of-the-table clash

Tomorrow the Ayrshire Bulls travel to Watsonians Rugby for their first competitive action of 2020.

The two sides butted heads in their last outings, with Peter Murchie's men inching victory in front of a home crowd. The sides are now tied at the top of the FOSROC Super6 with Watsonians enjoying the narrowest of margins on points difference.

Pic: Peter Murchie addressing his men after their victory over Watsonians (George McMillan)


A settled starting XV has been named, with just a handful of changes from the side that got proceedings underway in December. In the front row Ruairidh Sayce moves over to loose-head for the absent Gordon Reid and Nico Griffiths comes in at three. Sam Kitchen replaces Lewis Anderson between them.

The engine room remains unchanged and George Bordill comes in at six for Gavin Wilson.


In the backs the half-back pairing of David Armstrong and Ross Thompson remain, Frazier Climo misses out through an Achilles injury. Lee Jones is released by the Warriors to start on the wing, with Tom Lewis replacing Craig Gossman on the other. Stafford McDowall is also released by the Warriors, coming in at 13 for Danny McCluskey.


A revamped bench could mean debuts for three Bulls. Prop Ewan Davies, scrum-half Aylan Schabort and Ayr legend Grant Anderson are all set to feature for the first time this season. Lewis Anderson and Michael Scott complete the front row cover. Fraser Hastie, Graham Geldenhuys and Matt Davidson complete the substitutes.


Peter Murchie is eager to make it a double over the current league pacesetters: "We are looking forward to the game this weekend. Our game at Millbrae was a tough contest that we managed to come out the right side of.


"Watsonians away is a real challenge, and one that we will really need to rise to and produce a performance".


The action kicks-off at 15.00 and you can follow the action every step of the way on Twitter @AyrshireBulls.

Murchie Ready for Trip to Myreside

After a few weeks of rest and recuperation Peter Murchie is excited for his Bulls to get back into the swing of things this Saturday against Watsonians Rugby.


The Ayrshire Bulls head coach signed off 2019 with a victory over the same opposition and is expecting another close encounter when they butt heads this weekend at Myreside.

Pic: Peter Murchie addressing his men after their victory over Watsonians (George McMillan)


In preparation, his men enjoyed a scrimmage with a Scotland U20s select at the weekend, which pitted Ollie Smith, Rory Jackson and Gavin Wilson against their teammates. Peter insists it was a much need exercise despite playing out to a 14-all draw: “It was important to get the hit-out. You don’t want to go into a league game off the back of a break. It was good to get into that game mentality ahead of Saturday”.


It was a 19-13 Bulls win in the two sides previous encounter, and Peter knows how hard a challenge it’ll be to get a double over the current FOSROC Super6 pacesetters: “It was a very tough game at Millbrae and we will be expecting much of the same on their home turf. They have a great defence and are hard to break down.



“They have got quality throughout their side and work very hard for each other. We will need to be better than we were at Millbrae even though we got the result”.



There were certainly positives to take from the Bulls victory in December, and Peter has confidence his men can take those into the fixture whilst improving on other areas of the game: “We won the game without necessarily playing to our full potential. We probably won a little bit ugly but managed to show a lot of character in clawing it back.


“We can definitely play a lot better- and we will need to on Saturday”.


With only four games to go in the regular season Peter Murchie insists his men aren’t yet focusing on the prospect of home advantage come the play-offs: “History will show it (a home semi) will give you an advantage, obviously we would like to be at home as would every team. It would be a big boost being in front of our crowd but we have to have a game-by-game mentality.


“This league has shown if you get too far ahead of yourself and think you’ve cracked it then you’ll come unstuck. We need to just keep focusing on what we are doing, there is nothing better than playing Watsonians on Saturday to focus the minds”.


Saturday’s encounter kicks-off at 15.00 and you can follow the action every step of the way on Twitter @AyrshireBulls.


The Bulls next home fixture is on Saturday 26th of January, when they welcome Southern Knights to Millbrae. You can purchase your tickets below.