COLLEGE BARBARIANS 13
UNIVERSITY OF YORK THIRDS 15
The York College Barbarians team gave the University thirds a mighty scare on Varsity weekend, despite having trained just once together. In the end though the thirds higher fitness levels told and a last minute Alex Taylor try salvaged their dignity.
The Ba-Bas began the match well; pegging the thirds back into their own half. Their high intensity was soon rewarded after a turnover in the University team’s 22 allowed Alex Muntus to sprint all the way to the try line. It was a near perfect start for the underdogs, despite Ben Brummit missing the conversion. Things got even better for the Barbarians when just minutes later they went over again; this time Chris Smith on the overlap dived over to make it 10-0.
Image: Philippa Grafton
The thirds were rocking, whilst their noticeable lack of match practice may seem an unconvincing excuse against a team of supposed strangers; it has to be noted that the majority of the Barbarians were from James College which did bring a degree of familiarity to the their play. The thirds did well then to work their way back into the game; as they began to dominate possession and territory. They finally broke through the Ba-Ba’s solid defence when Jordan Abbot cannily took a quick tap penalty, catching the Barbarians unaware as he raced under the posts. However, any suggestions that this would serve as a definitive turning point were quickly dismissed as the College XV forced a penalty straight after the restart which Ben Brummit coolly converted.
The thirds came out after the interval with renewed vigour as they went through the phases in the Barbarians’ 22 before finally barrelling over the try line to close the gap to just three points. As the second half wore on, both teams missed chances to score. It was to be an agonising finale for the Barbarians who were just moments away from claiming an unlikely victory as they defended desperately. They were to be heartbreakingly undone with another tap penalty when Taylor pounced on an opportunity to dive over the line.
Thirds captain Sam Carr-Archer admitted his team’s “lack of cohesion” but added that in the end he was just “pleased to get the win”. Barbarians’ skipper Gideon Heugh meanwhile was defiantly “proud of the performance”. The Barbarians are an exciting addition to the York Rugby scene and providing plans for semi-regular matches for the College XV go ahead; we can hope for some equally exciting matches in the future.