Callum Kerr @ Millbrae


On Friday night the Ayrshire Bulls claimed the 2023 FOSROC Super Series Sprint title after an enthralling 19-15 victory over Heriot’s at Millbrae. It’s the second piece of silverware for the Bulls and Pat MacArthur, after winning the inaugural Super6 season in 2021.


Both sides had to battle through adversity, with two lengthy stoppages for injuries (both to Heriot’s players) curtailing much of the action.

(Photo – George McMillan)

The Bulls had to do it the hard way, with the visitors holding a 5-15 lead at the interval. An upper hand at scrum-time allowed them a way into the game, and they choked out Heriot’s to win the second half 14-0.


Frazier Climo opened the scoring in what would be his final farewell. A razor-sharp pass from the 36-year-old unleashed Luca Bardelli down the wing, who was brought down just short. Climo was first to the scene and a pick and go from the base put him over.


Heriot’s stuck to their systems and found themselves ahead moments later. Their back line struggled to assert themselves but a thundering rolling maul proved their best weapon. Two successful maul tries – the first from Michael Liness and the second Iain Wilson – gifted them 12 points in two trips to the Bulls’ 22.


Bruce Houston added three more with a penalty kick from just shy of the halfway line to make it 5-15 at the interval.


The match stopped early in the first half for a serious injury to Charlie Jupp, but the longer of the two came just after the restart. A second try from Frazier Climo was chalked off for handling the ball in an offside position, but Heriot’s fans had concerns for Callum Anderson who was injured in the same move. The number eight collided nastily with a teammate, prompting a 20-odd minute break in play to move him safely.


At the time of writing both players have been discharged from hospital and we wish them both a speedy recovery.


From the return of play the Bulls had a strangle hold on possession and territory. The introduction of Ben Afshar injected some zip which allowed the backs to wear down a sturdy Heriot’s defence.


When they worked themselves into the strike zone it was route one stuff from the forwards, and two colossal carries from Blair Macpherson hauled his side back into the lead. Two successful conversions from Eli Caven made it 19-15.


With the clock dwindling away Heriot’s mustered one last attempt to snatch victory – and came mightily close – but a penalty at the break down gifted MacArthur’s men an easy-out to hold on for victory.


Full-time: Ayrshire Bulls 19-15 Heriot’s Rugby.


For rising higher than anyone else when it mattered most, Blair Macpherson was named FOSROC Player of the Match.