UNIVERSITY OF YORK 31
NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY SECONDS 0
A lack of precision at converting the five tries scored was the only thing that marred an otherwise impeccable performance from York as they routed Northumbria seconds 31-0. The win sees York return to some of the form they showed at the beginning of this term and means they approach Manchester at the top of the 1A league.
York established the theme of the match within the first ten minutes of play as they stringed together a number of good passes, stretching the Northumbria pack across the width of the pitch. While it looked like York could have utilised their advantage by sneaking down the blindside, Northumbria just about managed to prevent York charging deep into their half.
The defence, cracking at the edges however, was broken following a fine run from Richard Bremner who scored York’s first try after ten minutes. The ensuing conversion attempt was dragged just left by Tom Bugge but did little to perturb York’s intentions.
Despite a couple of blemishes York displayed a deft touch in the handling of the ball, effortlessly switching between left and right and occasionally attempting a burst down the middle from one of the big men. Constant pressure and good communication went rewarded when Pete Tarrega was the recipient of a beautiful offload. He showed good pace to almost break away down the right but was brought down by a Northumbria team that managed to track back well.
Images: Peter Iveson
Approaching the end of the first half York still looked lively and dangerous. Gabriel Adebiyi, on the left wing, was clearly itching to get the ball but found himself the victim of a concerted Northumbria defence when he did; the visitors targeting him in a bid to prevent him from using his renowned pace.
While Adebiyi would have to wait until the second half for his next chance, his opposite winger Tarrega – who had looked threatening for a while – took York to a 10-0 lead with a try of his own.
Although Northumbria were by no means out of it they were unable to get much further than the York twenty-two. The one instance when they did was thwarted by a staunch York defensive effort that produced a turnover and an end to the promising play.
York started the second half looking to build on the solid foundations they established in the first. James Mortimer finally managed to guide a kick between the two uprights as he converted a penalty. The lead was extended to eighteen points after Rory McGregor took advantage of a substantial drive from the York forwards that left him the simple task of retrieving the ball from the back of the pack to secure another try.
With the score at 18-0 Northumbria looked a beaten side. The sheer numbers they were forced to commit to try and block a York attack meant that when they did get the ball they were limited in their options.
While attacks were few and far between they did manage to muster one that briefly troubled York. Danger was averted however when Jack Miles made a darting run from deep inside his own half – eating up the metres and Northumbria players in the process. Miles finished off a move he started by getting over the line and making it 26-0.
Matt Pollen capped off a dominant performance with a try after benefitting from another brilliant offload, this time from Rishi Niadoo. The 31-0 scoreline at full time could have been more but the players looked less than worried about some of the missed conversions – made more difficult by the blustery conditions – as they celebrated a great win.