York begin defence of Varsity title with comfortable victory

York Men’s 1sts 47
St John Men’s 1sts 5

YORK’S RUGBY Union team made a fantastic start to the University’s Varsity defence against York St. John with a decisive victory over their city rivals in their rescheduled game.

The game was played earlier than the rest of the tournament owing to fixture congestion, but on the plus side this crushing victory lays down a marker for the rest of the University sport clubs to follow when Varsity takes place this week.

The University of York made an encouraging start. It was clear from the beginning who the better team were. Paul Goodall opened the scoring nine minutes in, with his try easily being converted.

The York team then began to impose their dominance. The St. John defence were unable to cope with the penetrating runs made by the York University’s backs and their cause was not helped by desperately poor kicking in their attempt to repel York.

However, the University of York failed to convert their attacks into trys; they frequently came close, but failed to break through. It was not until the twenty-sixth minute that York finally registered their next score as James Wilson touched down to make it 12-0 which was then converted to make it 14-0.

There was barely time to digest that scoreline before The University of York pushed even further ahead.

Lionel Owusu had put pressure on the St. John backs all afternoon and it was no surprise when he scored after 31 minutes and again just before half time. With both tries converted, The University of York entered the second half 28-0 in front, and utterly dominant.
The York team started the second half in a similar fashion to the first by piling more pressure on a hapless St. John side. It came as no surprise when Alex Corp bundled over after 47 minutes to make it 33-0.

After this, St. John began to counter-attack. For a while it was them putting the University of York under pressure, as they seeked to save themselves from further embarrassment. However, York’s lead was by this time unassailable.

St. John found themselves unable to penetrate the resolute York defence, who on the whole held firm. Eventually they did manage to score a try to make it 33-5 but were still left with a mountain to climb.

Indeed it took just two minutes after conceding their first points of the game that the York team hit back with another converted try. This meant that with twenty minutes to go it was 40-5 and very much game over.

The University of York clearly noted this, and despite having the upper hand, began to lack defensive energy for the last twenty minutes. In a game more evenly matched this may have seen the wide gap in scores narrow slightly but this was never going to be the case.
Every St. John attack was still easily repelled by the University of York defence. York only needed to put a small amount of pressure on towards the end to widen the gap even further. A converted try in the last few minutes of the match saw the final score reach 47-5.
The University of York players were jubilant as the final whistle blew – rightly so after an utterly dominant performance. A well-earned victory.

If any members of the University’s other sports clubs taking part in Varsity this week saw the game, they will no doubt draw inspiration from the courage and talent on display here.

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