York 2nd XV 8
Sheffield 3rd XV 22
The Men’s Rugby 2nds Team’s push for promotion took a hit on Wednesday as they went down 8-22 in a plucky display at home to Sheffield University 3rds.
Before the game York found themselves sitting fourth in the table after having only played three matches in the BUSA League due to a host of frustrating cancellations and postponements, knowing that a win against Sheffield would have lifted them right into promotion contention.
The conditions on Wednesday were perfect for the free-flowing open rugby that York’s team have been attempting to play this season, and hopes were high thanks to the full-strength line up.
However, things did not start brightly as Sheffield were the first to race out of the blocks and flew into a 0-10 lead after just 20 minutes.
York’s first try was scored following a brilliantly executed move. It was finished off in the right corner thanks to the full back offloading well out of a last ditch tackle by York winger Sebastian Hurst.
York continued to defend well but the pressure told as Sheffield scored their second try following sustained close quarter forward work. The well drilled Sheffield forward pack maintained possession for a prolonged period until their number 8 eventually scored despite protestations that the ball was being held up on the line.
This was a major impetus for York as, for the next fifteen minutes, they dominated and pulled themselves back to within two points. Nick Mason’s score within three minutes of the second Sheffield try lifted spirits as York managed to slice open the opposition’s defence for the first time in the match. York were back in the game and expectation were high from the supporters and from the team.
However they were soon brought back to earth as a momentary lapse in concentration from York in the crucial period before half time ensured that Sheffield would go into the break with a seven point advantage. A rolling maul from the Sheffield forwards pushed York back deep into their 22 and quick rucking led to the visitors’ prop scoring to make it 8-15.
After the break, both sides sought the crucial first score in the second half. York’s defence prevented long periods of possession territorial advantage turning into Sheffield points but eventually the winning try came. The visiting forwards rumbled the maul under the posts after a series of patient tight phases to make the score 8-22.
The last ten minutes saw the home side fight back but York were unable to break through the resolute Sheffield defence, which withstood the sustained pressure. This meant that the final score ended up as an 8-22 defeat.
Chris Carrington, the captain, was proud of his team’s performance despite the defeat, saying “We played well considering the amount of games we have played together”.
Player of the Match:
Excellent tackling throughout the game meant York were always in the hunt.
Alex Tominey, Mike Hornby, Satnam Surae, Toby Roberts, James Smallwood, Mike Callis, Chris Carrington, Hugh Wigzell, Sam Dudley, Tim Maitland, Nick Mason, Alex Neoh, Keeley Taylor, Seb Hurst, Sam Taylor