UNIVERSITY OF YORK FIRSTS 14-31 UNIVERSITY OF HULL FIRSTS
Images: Agatha Torrance
York’s men’s rugby firsts were on the end of a heavy defeat in their Varsity clash with Hull.
After losing to the same opponents midweek, a much-changed York side lost 31-14, as Hull took the three points on offer.
The visitors did much of the pressing early on, as they looked to secure a clean sweep in the rugby after win’s against York’s women and college barbarians.
Their persistence was rewarded after ten minutes, as Hull’s inside centre scored with a penalty to make it 3-0.
York were now left chasing the game, and this seemed to provide them with the attacking impetus they needed, as they finally began to mount some attacks of their own.
With half-an-hour played, the men in black and yellow took the lead. Rich Rhodes was on the end of a brilliant flowing move to dive over between the posts, before Ed Harris secured the conversion to put York 7-3 up.
That proved to be as good as it would get for York, as the away side produced two quick-fire tries before half-time. With their highly impressive inside-centre converting both with consummate ease, Hull took a 17-7 lead into the break.
The second half began in promising fashion for York, with Conan Osborne denied what looked a certain try by a last-ditch tackle on the five metre line.
York were pressing well and pinning the visitors back, but they lacked that vital end product.
And they were made to pay soon after, Hull’s inside-centre again tearing through the York defence to go over, and make it 24-7 with the extras.
Just a minute later, the game was well and truly over, as Hull’s blindside flanker went over, though there were complaints from the home side after he appeared to kick Stuart Duncan in the shoulder in the build-up.
With the score at 31-7, York were in need of some damage limitation and they successfully managed to stem the tide of Hull attacks.
With the clock ticking down, the home side were able to claw back some pride with a beautifully crafted try worked down the right flank and converted by Harris.
But this was too little too late, as Hull took a convincing win back to Humberside, albeit against a York side that was severely depleted.
York’s captain for the day Steve Bryan, normally the seconds captain, gave this reaction after the match: “Our firsts played these boys last week and they had pretty much the same team today. We let ourselves down a bit with messed up tackles, but the effort level was immense.
“There were some great performances from the likes of Conan Osborne, Jonny Robertson, Matt Thorpe, but it was just one of those matches. Personally, I thought it was a great display, especially in the last 15 minutes when we really rattled them.”