Weekend Roundup

The Ayrshire Bulls managed to scrape victory over Stirling County at Bridgehaugh, battling the elements as much the opposition. The rain did its' best to deter any attacking rugby, but the Bulls managed to muster a solo try and penalty to secure a 0-8 victory.

 

Speaking afterwards, Peter Murchie was happy with how his men managed the conditions: "We learnt a lot. We learnt that guys are willing to dig in for each other.

 

"We have got guts".

 

A Ross Thompson penalty was the only difference for majority of the match, before Nico Griffiths sealed the win with a score with five left to play. The ball spewed out the back of a ruck on County's try-line for the prop to dive over and get a palm on the ball.

 

Ross Thompson was named FOSROC Man of the Match.

 

It was similar fortunes for the Club XV yesterday, who secured victory over Boroughmuir at Millbrae. A 26-12 victory got Stuart Fenwick's men back on track after a disappointing month of November.

 

At the final whistle, Stuart said: "This feels much better. The spirit amongst the boys has been good as well, it is a big weight off their shoulders getting that win.

 

"It would have been really easy to batten down the hatches in those conditions but we stuck to our game plan and continued to play rugby".

 

Matt Donaldson was named Slaters Menswear Man of the Match.

 

Ayr/Millbrae also found victory, toppling Glasgow Accies 19-7 on the 2s pitch.

The Ladies fell earlier today to Cartha in the Tennent's Premiership Play-offs. Despite a close first half, with Cartha leading 7-0 at the break, the hosts broke away to secure a 33-0 win and league safety. The Ladies will now face Heriots next week in a relegation shootout. Match details to follow.


Climo Energised by life as a Bull

One of the main traits of the FOSROC Super6 was its' promise to provide a platform for young up-and-comers, but seasoned vet Frazier Climo is relishing life in the new competition.

Pic: Climo bags the Ayrshire Bulls' first ever points (SNS/SRU)

 

Whether you're from Scotland's west coast or reside in the shadow of Mt. Taranaki, those in rugby circles will have heard his name. The Ayr RFC stalwart has enjoyed a career both sides of the equator. A New Plymouth product, the fly-half has turned out for Mitre 10 side Taranki as-well as Scarlets in the Pro14, with his Ayr career falling either side.

 

"What we achieved in my first spell at Ayr sent me on my way, and to come back a good few years later and do it all again felt great".

 

Now a proud Killie native, with wife Shelly and kids Mila and Luke, the 32-year old is showing no sign in slowing. His touchline, injury-time, winner in this year's Scottish Cup final instantly etched into club folklore - and he plans for more of the same in the inaugural FOSROC Super6 season: "The great thing about this club is every year we want top spot. Ayr built up a reputation to be in with a shout season-after-season, and the Bulls will be no different.

 

"We are starting to hit our stride after a disappointing round one. We have a lot of new faces and a lot of talent, so we are clicking better every time out on the field".

Thirsty work - Climo is reprising his beloved 'Taradise' colours this season, wearing the new Whiteleys retreat charity Bulls jersey. Available to buy- Click here! (Photo - George McMillan//Ayrshire Bulls)

 

 

Now in the later stages of his playing career, Climo is involved in Peter Murchie's coaching set-up, alongside working full-time as a Development Officer for the Ayr Community Rugby Trust.

 

"I get a real kick out of coaching, and I get a lot out of heading up the Ayr Senior Academy. These guys are in their final years before adult rugby, so it is all about maximising their potential.

 

"We have a strong spine at Ayr RFC, and even more so now with the club XV there's great opportunities for youngsters to kick on straight out of U18s".

 

The fly-half is taking one game at a time, and is looking forward the the challenge Watsonian Rugby will bring when they travel to Millbrae this Saturday: "We played them in pre-season so know a bit about them, but I'm sure this Saturday's game will be unrecognisable to that runaround.

 

"They are top of the Super6 for a reason so we will be wary, but I know the Bulls will be firing come kick-off".

 

The match kicks-off at 15.00 and you can secure your tickets below:


Bulls Charge to Five Points at the Greenyards

The Ayrshire Bulls bagged their second win on the bounce on Saturday with an emphatic 10-29 victory over Southern Knights at the Greenyards.

 

It was a slow starter, with the teams locked horns at 3-3 after 35 minutes before two scores in quick succession sent the Bulls on their way.

 

On the full-time whistle Head Coach Peter Murchie was elated with his sides performance: “I’m really happy to come down to the Southern Knights and get five points.

 

“The Knights gave away a lot of penalties in the first half and that gave us field position. We were frustrated we weren’t taking opportunities… we then managed to get one, then a yellow card (to the knights), then we executed a good backline play so went in with a fairly healthy lead”.

 

Scotland U20s star Ross Thompson, who was selected over club stalwart Frazier Climo to start, was named FOSROC Man of the Match after a 14-point haul. Peter Murchie was delighted with his performance: “We need to give guys opportunities. We have a 35-man squad… He has done well off the bench in the first two games and we gave him an opportunity tonight.

 

“He did well, managed the game well in the first half and scored a good try”.

 

The 3-3 stalemate was broken on the 37th minute by Sam Kitchen, who barrelled over from the back of a rolling maul. Thompson converted before adding a score of his own a minute later.

 

The fly-half palmed off his opposite number to spring through the line and finish masterfully. He added the extras for good measure, too.

 

Half-time: Southern Knights 3-17 Ayrshire Bulls.

 

The hosts struck first after the break with Russell Anderson dotting down in similar style to Kitchen’s earlier effort. Jason Baggott slotted the conversion to make it 10-17.

 

The Bulls’ hooker wasn’t done yet and stretched the lead on the 55th minute. Once again latching onto the back of the maul, this time kitchen broke off on a solo run. He dived clear in the corner, unphased by his trademark red scrum-cap being ripped off on the charge.

 

The final try for Ayr came courtesy of Glasgow Warrior Stafford McDowall, who charged down a kick in the 22, gathered and ran home. Thompson poetically ended the scoring with the conversion.

 

Full-Time: Southern Knights 10-29 Ayrshire Bulls.

 

 

It was different fortunes for the Club XV, who struggled to get going against Heriots Blues, losing 38-0.


Watch Japan v Scotland at Millbrae

Join us at Millbrae this Sunday as we cheer on Gordy and the rest of the Scotland team when they play RWC hosts Japan.

It is quite simply the biggest game in four years for Scotland, as they look to qualify for the knockout stages of Rugby's marquee event.

 

Join us from half 11 for full coverage, a finger buffet and Ayr Ladies Q&A.

 

Afterwards, the Ladies take on Stirling ladies in a massive match in the Woman's Premiership.

It is £10 a ticket and you can book your place by either emailing [email protected] or phoning Liz on 07968205024. We urge anyone planning on coming to book in advance so we have an idea of numbers for food.

 


Murchie names his full squad list

In an action-packed day on Twitter and Instagram, Ayr Rugby unveiled their remaining Ayrshire Bulls players - with two being announced every hour on the hour.

The day kick-started at 10 am with the news that Ayr Rugby centurion Craig Gossman will be plying his trade with the Bulls this season. The winger was a fan favourite at Millbrae during his seven-year stint but headed east to Boroughmuir last year. Alongside the Scotland Club regular was Glasgow Hawks second-row Fraser Hastie, who will also join the Ayrshire Bulls.

 

It was a double-serving of young props at 11 am, with GHA's Michael Scott being unveiled beside Ewan Davies, who joins from Jersey Reds in the Greene King IPA Championship. Aged at 22 and 20 respectively, the two have a bright future at Millbrae in front of them.

 

Midday saw Ayr Academy product Cam Reece announced alongside Outside Back Tom Lewis, who joins from Durham University RFC.

 

13.00 welcomed Argentine prop Nicolas Griffiths from Club Alcobendas Rugby and Gavin Wilson from Glasgow Hawks. A 19-year old back-row, Wilson is a product of Dumfries Saints and will represent the south-west coast of Scotland as a Bull.

 

At 14.00 Ayr Club XV centre James Pinkerton was announced alongside Fosroc Academy Stage 3 prospect Rory Jackson, who plays in the engine-room.

 

The final announcement revealed that Scotland U20s star Matt Davidson will be returning to Millbrae after a year in the Greene King IPA Championship with London Scottish. Alongside Davidson was utility back Tom Jordan, who joins from Waikato Rugby in New Zealand.

 

"I am delighted to have announced the final signings of the 35-man squad" insists Peter Murchie, "We have a really talented squad together and have been working hard for a number of weeks now.

 

"It is a really exciting opportunity the players have got, so they are doing everything they can to make sure we are successful".


Four More Bulls Enter the Ring...

This evening Peter Murchie has bolstered his squad with the inclusion of two familiar and two fresh faces.

 

Leading the way is Ayr Rugby's most decorated player of all time, Grant Anderson, alongside club favorite Danny McCluskey.

Joining from further afield is outside back Chester Duff, who joins from Leeds Becket University, and Sam Kitchen, from North Suburbs RFC (Sydney)

Pic: Danny McCluskey weaving through Hawks defences.

 

McCluskey and Anderson both need no introduction to the Millbrae Faithful.

 

Anderson is the stand-alone man to have won four Scottish Cups and four Premiership titles in his ten-year career at Ayr.

"Grant is one of the, if not the, most successful club player of all time". Insists Murchie, "One of his best attributes is his competitive edge and will to win".

McCluskey is a home-grown talent and the embodiment of the Ayr Rugby system. His talent in both attack and defence has been a key trait of the 1st XV over the past few years.

"He is a real modern-day centre. He can catch, pass, run and tackle at a high level".

"He was one of our most consistent performers in the double team last year".

 

22-year old Duff joins from Leeds Becket University and is comfortable on both the wing and at full-back. He is Scottish-qualified through his grandparents.

 

Hooker Sam Kitchen joins from Shute Shield side Nothern Suburbs in Australia. He has also played for the Sydney Rays in the National Rugby Championship.

 

Speaking of his two new faces, head coach Peter Murchie said: "Chester is a strong, powerful winger who knows his way to the line. He had a really successful season last year at Leeds Beckett, reaching the Bucs Super Rugby Final.

"Sam has been a regular performer in the Shute Shield and has previously won the competition. He has a strong set-piece and great skillset which will suit our style of play.

 

"I am delighted the two have decided to join the Bulls".


Thompson & McGuire are your Latest Bulls

Peter Murchie has today announced that Scotland U20s star Ross Thompson has joined the bulls alongside Ayr RFC Hooker Alex McGuire.

20-year old Thompson is a Scottish Rugby Forsroc Academy Stage Three player along with already-announced Bulls Ollie Smith, Euan McLaren and Marshall Sykes. The Fly-Half has notched up 20 appearances for Scotland U20s and was vice-captain for the 2019 U20 Six Nations.

 

Peter Murchie described Thompson with: “He is a young ten who has managed to get a fair bit of experience under his belt from playing in the Premiership and U20s. He has a good running and kicking game and we think he will fit in well with us.

 

“He has also developed his leadership skills through his experience with the 20s, which is important in such a key position. I also think the chance to work alongside Frazier Climo will be great for his development”.

 

Thompson joins from Tennent’s Premiership outfit Glasgow Hawks.

Alex McGuire joined Ayr from GHK last season and was a main stay in the historic matchday squad that secured a league and cup double. The 21-year old settled into life at Millbrae with ease and bagged a brace at Mansfield Park against Hawick which is hard to come by.

 

Peter Murchie is excited to see how McGuire can develop: “Alex had a big step up last year coming from National Two, but he handled it well and got plenty of game time. His ball carrying is very good and he has a big physical presence on the park.

 

“We look forward to seeing him compete this year and I think he has huge potential to improve his game”.

 

The young pair are Peter Murchie’s 16thand 17th Bulls signings

 

Photos:

Ross Thompson - Scottish Rugby/SNS

Alex McGuire - George McMillan


Murchie adds Trio to Bulls Ranks

Ayr RFC stars Blair Macpherson and Harry Warr become the latest players to join the Bulls alongside Kiwi Tyler Beary, who joins from Otago University RFC.

28-year old Macpherson enjoyed a decade at Ayr broken up by a sabbatical year at Hillhead Jordanhill in 2013. He secured two Scottish League titles and Two Scottish Cup’s during his tenure. The bulldozing back-row has also been a main-stay in the Scotland Club XV squad over the past few seasons. A devastating carrier of the ball and an integral cog at the line-out, Macpherson will look to bring his aggressive attacking play to the Bulls.

 

Head Coach Peter Murchie described his style of play with: “He is an experienced player who was excellent last year for Ayr. He is a really powerful carrier and hits hard in the tackle.

 

“He also has good leadership qualities”.

Scrum-half Harry Warr has been involved at Ayr for three seasons and enjoyed a fine run with the 1stXV last season, culminating in him being named Breakthrough Player of the Year. During his time at Ayr the former Dollar Academy captain bagged two Premiership titles and one Scottish Cup. Warr has also enjoyed success with Glasgow University Rugby and represented Scotland Universities for the past two seasons.

 

Peter Murchie was delighted with what he got from the scrum-half last season: “He seemed to get better with every game he played. He is a competitor and reads the game well, defensively he is strong and also possesses good leadership qualities”.

23-year old Tyler Beary joins from New Zealand and plays in the midfield. The Otago man has been training with the Bulls for a few weeks now and Murchie is pleased with what he has seen so far: “Tyler is a strong running centre who has a good skill set and physical presence in defence. He will fit in well with our centres and he is very coachable.

 

“I’m looking forward to seeing Tyler develop with the Bulls this season”.

 

 

Confirmed players so far (In order of announcement):

 

Gordon Reid, 32, Prop

Frazier Climo, 32, Fly-Half

Ruairidh Sayce, 21, Prop

Ollie Smith, 19, Outside-Back (Stage 3 Player)

Lewis Anderson, 23, Hooker

Isaac McNulty, 22, Centre

George Bordill, 21, Back Row

Lars Morrice, 24, Second Row

Euan McLaren, 20, Prop (Stage 3 Player)

Marshall Sykes, 20, Second Row (Stage 3 Player)

Peter McCallum, 27, Number Eight

Graham Geldenhuys, 24, Back Row

Blair Macpherson, 28, Back-Row

Harry Warr, 21, Scrum Half

Tyler Beary, 23, Centre

 

 

 

 

 

 


Murchie Adds Scrum-Half duo to Bulls Ranks

Peter Murchie has revealed the two latest players to join his Bulls roster, unveiling scrum-half pairing of club legend David Armstrong and Scottish-Qualified South African Aylan Schabort.

 

 

 

A man who needs no introduction to the Millbrae faithful, David Armstrong is a fan favorite at Ayr and has established himself as one of the top half backs in Scotland. He has enjoyed success for both Ayr RFC and Scotland Club XV over the past few years.

Armstrong is now fighting fight after his season was derailed through injury last year.

 

Peter Murchie expressed delight with Armstrong opting to join the Bulls: “He is a hugely influential player that has a natural ability to read the game. He has been training hard and is looking really sharp at the moment.

 

“We are extremely excited to see him back out on the pitch”.

Born a Scotsman in Perth 19 years ago, Schabort grew up in South Africa and joins from Currie Cup side S.W.D Eagles where he was captain. He was named the clubs’ back-line Player of the Year in 2018.

 

Speaking of his latest signing, Peter Murchie said: “Aylan is a young talented Scottish qualified scrum-half. He has a strong kicking game and has a good physical edge that we like in a nine.

 

“We think he will continue to grow and develop with us this season”.
The pair are the 13th and 14th Ayrshire Bulls signings to be unveiled so far. Full list below.

Frazier Climo, 32, Fly-Half

Ruairidh Sayce, 21, Prop

Ollie Smith, 19, Outside-Back (Stage 3 Player)

Lewis Anderson, 23, Hooker

Isaac McNulty, 22, Centre

George Bordill, 21, Back Row

Lars Morrice, 24, Second Row

Euan McLaren, 20, Prop (Stage 3 Player)

Marshall Sykes, 20, Second Row (Stage 3 Player)

Peter McCallum, 27, Number Eight

Graham Geldenhuys, 24, Back Row

David Armstrong, 29, Scrum Half

Aylan Schabort, 19, Scrum Half


Fosroc Named Title Sponsor for Super6

Fosroc Constructive Solutions has today been named as the title partner of Scottish Rugby’s new part-time professional competition Super6 for its inaugural season.

The leading international manufacturer is currently the official academy sponsor for Scottish Rugby and this strengthens the partnership between the two.

Ayr Rugby C.O.O Glen Tippett was delighted with the news, stating: "Having a company of Fosroc's stature come on-board with the Super6 is massive.

"The league is starting to piece together nicely and we cannot wait for our opening game on November 10th".

Scottish Rugby’s Chief Operating Officer, Dominic McKay said: “I am delighted Fosroc is continuing to invest in the future of the game in Scotland and helping to develop Scotland’s pipeline of talent. It gives me great pleasure to welcome Fosroc into the Super6 competition which is now in a strong position ahead of its inaugural season beginning in November.”

Scottish Rugby Commercial Operations Manager, Al Kellock added: “Having Fosroc’s support of our Academy has been hugely beneficial to Scottish Rugby. The recent Scotland match against France saw the first academy graduate since their support began, Grant Stewart, win his first cap.

“Each Super6 team will have five players from the Fosroc Academy playing for them, which is designed to link the development of young players into the player pathway - Super6 gives these players a high level of competition within Scotland.”

“The Fosroc Super6 is really starting to take shape and this important new title sponsor adds to the already fantastic range of partners we have on board.”