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.


Beary settles to life in Burns Country

You’d be mistaken for thinking 23-year old Tyler Beary was kiwi through-and-through when he travelled from New Zealand to Ayr for the start of the FOSROC Super6 season. His foreign twang mixed with hard-nosed running ability and crafty skill-set in the midfield impersonated many of the names associated to “the Land of the Long White Cloud”.

Pic: Beary crosses white wash for the Ayrshire Bulls first ever score (SNS/SRU)

 

You’d be wrong. His story began in the rival nation of South Africa, where he was born to a South African mother and Irish father. As a baby they moved to Cork, where he grew up watching the likes of O’Driscoll over Umaga. It wasn’t until he was ten years old that he moved to New Zealand and started to kick-on at rugby: “I first picked up a ball at Crosshaven RFC in Cork, I think I played one game when I was very small but I didn’t play again, I was into my football. It was when I moved to New Zealand I got really stuck into it”.

 

After five years playing, and studying, at Otago University Tyler decided the time was right to start looking back north. Equipped with a degree in Economics and Management, he started to put the feelers out: “I knew I wanted to come back to Europe, and I wanted to do that through rugby… I got a few offers across England, Scotland and Italy and decided the Bulls gave me the best chance to progress”.

He took the plunge into the unknown, deciding the Ayrshire Bulls were the best fit and has seamlessly integrated to life in Ayr: “I’m surrounded by a great bunch of lads. We are having a lot of fun.

 

“It is a fantastic little town”.

 

The camaraderie of the group is personified by where he spent his Christmas. Too far to travel home, he still managed a shorter flight south to the isle of Jersey with his kiwi midfield partner Tom Jordan. The pair sought refuge with teammate Ewan Davies and his family, who welcomed the boys over the festive period: “We really enjoyed ourselves and Ewan’s mum Sue took great care of us… her Brussel sprouts were phenomenal”.

 

Tyler is getting used to adapting to things. From accents and the pace of speech to the style of play on the pitch: “It is very forward dominating so I’m adjusting my play. It is a bit more crash ‘n’ bash than I’m used to but hopefully with the weather getting better we can start to throw the ball around a little more and have fun”.

 

It is an unprecedentedly short season, with Tyler having to find his feet quickly. Just six games in and already we are reaching the business end of domestic competition. With it all heating up there is only one thing on his mind:

 

“The goal is to win it all”.

 

Tyler and the Bulls have a training game this Saturday against Scotland U20s, before returning to Super6 action next weekend away to Watsonians.

 

You can catch them at Millbrae on Sunday 26th of January when they host Southern Knights in their final regular-season home game. Secure your tickets below…


The Bulls topple top seed Watsonians

The Ayrshire Bulls signed off 2019 with a narrow victory over FOSROC Super6 leaders Watsonians, to join them at the top of the pile.

 

A slow start saw Peter Murchie’s men ‘nilled at the break, but a change in momentum in the second half secured a 19-13 victory in front of a rocking Millbrae.

On final whistle Peter Murchie was full of praise for his opposition and admitted they were the better side over the first 40 minutes: “Watsonians were good. We had a lot of territory and a lot of possession… but every time they got to our 22 they came away with points.

 

“That was the difference, they were clinical, and we weren’t – and part of that was because they defended really well”.

 

The Bulls’ first points of the afternoon came courtesy of a try-line intercept, one which if young Ollie Smith didn’t make they’d have been looking at a 15, maybe 17, point deficit.

 

Murchie didn’t play down the importance of that moment: “It was a massive momentum swing, from defending on our line to getting a try… It was a large part as to why we won the game”.

 

Ollie Smith’s heroics alongside a disruptive full-eighty for the full back earned him FOSROC Man of the Match honours.

 

The score set them on their way, and a penalty try twelve minutes later put the Bulls in front. After repeat infringements at a scrum five the Bulls pack managed to muscle Watsonians over their try line. As the front row collapsed referee Mike Adamson’s hand waived for the score to make it 12-10.

 

It was a lead short lived, with Lee Millar executing from the tee minutes later for a one-point lead.

 

Despite the three-point swing the Bulls stayed in control, and when a Danny McCluskey break put them in touching distance, they managed to regain the lead. Another scrum five, this time the Watsonians pack stayed in the air but couldn’t halt Blair Macpherson who picked up from the base and dived over. Ross Thompson concluded scoring from the tee.

 

It could have all been different. As the full-time claxon echoed around Millbrae Watsonians earned a penalty and kicked for the corner. A few penalties later and the visitors looked to have muscled over, but the Bulls held up to secure victory. A moment of confusion engulfed the crowd, but Mike Adamson dismissed any doubt of an illegal collapse of the maul and called time.

 

FULL-TIME: Ayrshire Bulls 19-13 Watsonians Rugby.

 

The two sides now go into the break tied on 23, sharing Christmas top spot.


Murchie Names his Bulls to sign-off 2019

Ayrshire Bulls Head Coach Peter Murchie has named a strong side for what will be their last outing of 2019.

 

Going by the original schedule the Bulls would have already been enjoying the festivities, but a frozen pitch a few weeks ago pushed back this top-of-the-table clash against Watsonians Rugby. The Edinburgh-based side are undefeated so far in FOSROC Super6 action, and will be looking for similar fortunes tomorrow at Millbrae.

The two sides butted heads back in November in a pre-season friendly at Myreside. Despite the Bulls inching victory, neither side will take much from that run-out.

 

Peter Murchie has named a balanced back-line, with the only change Craig Gossman in for Tom Lewis. In the pack a re-vamped front-row sees Lewis Anderson and Ruairidh Sayce both earn their first starts as Bulls at two and three respectively.

 

In the back-row skipper Peter McCallum returns to replace George Bordill, who misses out through illness. Gavin Wilson starts over Graham Geldenhuys to also bag a first start.

 

Sam Kitchen is named on the bench alongside Nico Griffiths. Frazier Climo is rested, with Tyler Beary coming in. Glasgow Warriors and Scotland wing Lee Jones is released through the pro-draft to complete the replacements.

 

The game kicks-off at 15.00 at Millbrae and you can follow the action live on Twitter @AyrshireBulls.


line out Ayrshire Bulls

Defence Key in Bulls Victory

The Ayrshire Bulls cruised to a five-point victory on Saturday over Stirling County at a packed-out Millbrae.

 

It was pack muscle that ruled the roost, with the Bulls forwards leading the charge to a 30-8 win.

It was pack muscle that ruled the roost, with the Bulls forwards leading the charge to a 30-8 win.

Speaking at final whistle, head coach Peter Murchie admitted that a bonus-point wasn’t on his mind at half time, with the game neck-in-neck at 10-8: “We didn’t play as well as we liked in the first half… In the second I thought we were excellent in terms of the way we approached the game.

“We had a lot more intensity to us”.

As a whole, Peter was delighted with the style in which his men secured victory: “There was some excellent bits of play. A few tip-ons from the forwards and offloads from the backs.

“It was quite difficult handling conditions, so I am obviously pleased with the skill level”.

Once the Bulls found their feet it looked like nothing would stop them – not even a local power-outage in Alloway which saw the game plunged into darkness at half-time. Thankfully, the floodlights flickered back on just as the last of the daylight shimmered away.
The Bulls scores came through Blair Macpherson, Ollie Smith and a Sam Kitchen brace. Ross Thompson Added the extras from the kicking tee.

The Bulls now welcome Watsonians to Millbrae this Saturday in a rearranged fixture from the match called-off a few weeks ago. The action gets underway at 15.00.