UNIVERSITY OF YORK FIRSTS 124
UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE SECONDS 0
BUCS League 2B – Wednesday 17th March
York secured a resounding victory on Wednesday against Newcastle seconds to round off another successful league season. The home side played smart, confident rugby, taking advantage of the opportunities offered to rack up a towering final score. York’s defence never looked anything less than solid, and when on the attack they worked fluidly as a unit to cut through the opposition line. Newcastle were fielding a mostly green side and this inexperience showed against their more practiced opponents, but Newcastle’s determination was impressive, keeping them on the attack even when trailing by more than fifty points.
Ang Ball and Emma Hodgson got York’s game off to a brisk start, with Ball scoring close to the posts within the first few minutes of play, and Hodgson rocketing the ball over the bar to take York to an early lead. Unfortunately, Ball was put out of action several minutes later with a broken wrist, adding to York’s high tally of injuries this season, but after this first score the tries just kept coming. Aimee Miller and Kate Fullilove led the field with four tries each, but Hodgson, Prance and Nugent also managed to notch up multiple scores. Nugent looked particularly confident, several times attacking the ball after a Newcastle kick to charge deep into their half and set up the York attack. Hodgson’s accurate boot rarely missed a conversion, and York had soared to a lead of more than fifty points in the first half.
York’s backs really showed what they were made of, moving the ball quickly down the hands and accelerating at an astounding rate to blast through the gaps created by the overlap. The forwards, not to be outdone, displayed some impressive fitness of their own, often chasing the backs up half the length of the field to provide support.
The team line up to mark the end of another successful season. Photograph courtesy UYWUFC.
Newcastle’s reduced team of thirteen players had forced uncontested scrums, taking away York’s opportunity to turn over the ball in the scrum, usually one of their strongest areas. This meant York had to focus on not giving away penalties and knock-ons, good practice for Roses, where this aspect of their game will need to be as tight as possible.
In open play, York dominated at the ruck and maul, displaying power and precision. When defending they thought ahead, committing enough players to win rucks without leaving the line weakened. Newcastle had their own moments to shine, with their tighthead prop providing a particular challenge as she stormed through several York tackles. Although York were never seriously threatened, Newcastle did not allow them to slouch, and would step through rucks if allowed to.
When the final whistle blew, York had racked up 124 points, and looked like they could still play for another eighty minutes. They could not have asked for a bigger confidence boost going into the gruelling build-up to Roses, where Lancaster will be eager to avenge the defeat York have handed them two years in a row. Based on York’s performance today, Lancaster will have their work cut out – York have never looked better.
York Line-up: 1. Ellen Larson, 2. Victoria Cusick, 3. Kirsty Wheeler, 4. Angharad Ball, 5. Sarah McLoughlin, 6. Linzi Hull, 7. Rachel de Quidt, 8. Lizzie Prance, 9. Emma Nugent, 10. Emma Hodgson, 11. Kate Fullilove, 12. Aimee Miller, 13. Amee Wilson, 14. Amy Davies, 15. Clare Beer
Replacements: Alex Khoo, Jess Sharpe, Alanna Olive-Smith, Louise Blockwell