Rugby firsts make winning start

The men’s rugby firsts got York’s BUCS campaign off to a great start this afternoon, as they secured a 28-6 win over Manchester Met on 22 Acres

BUCS Northern Conference 1A

Images: Agatha Torrance

The men’s rugby firsts got York’s BUCS campaign off to a great start this afternoon, as they secured a 28-6 win over newly promoted Manchester Met on 22 Acres.

It was far from a perfect performance from the White Rose, but they still delivered the result they were looking for thanks to tries from Hugo Watson, Matt Pollen, Alex Cormack and Will Sharp.

York made the ideal start to the match, putting their opponents under pressure early on, and they were rewarded with a try inside five minutes. A great move was finished off by Watson, who collected fly-half Tom Chadwick’s pass and just managed to squeeze the ball over the line. Chadwick made the conversion to put the hosts 7-0 up.

Manchester responded well, though, and scored a penalty straight after the restart to reduce the deficit. York were missing a number of key players, most notably last year’s captain James Faktor who is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a dislocated shoulder, and at this stage in the match they were struggling to get on the offensive.

But that soon changed, as the White Rose added a second try after a superb break from their own 22. Chadwick jinked his way through two challenges before handing the move over to Watson, with Pollen then left the simple task of running the ball under the posts. With Chadwick kicking the extras again, York led 14-3.

The scoreline would stay the same until half-time, but only because of a series of missed penalties. The visitors first missed their chance to capitalise on a poor York mistake, and Chadwick then missed two in the space of a minute, putting them wide of either post.

With York looking the better side at the break, though, hopes were high for the second half. But within moments of the restart, Met managed to claw back another three points with a penalty and for long spells afterwards looked like they could reduce York’s lead further.

The away side were denied what they thought was a try when the ball was judged to have gone into touch, with York captain Sam Lord going down injured in the build-up.

The pressure was mounting on the home side, Met denied a great chance at a try only by some poor handling, but with 15 minutes to play York raced further in front. An excellent driving run from Pollen through the heart of the opposition allowed Alex Cormack to score between the sticks.

With Chadwick in the sin bin, kicking duties fell to Conan Osborne, and he duly dispatched the conversion to make it 21-6.

Though it had come somewhat against the run of play, York were able to extend their lead once again before the full-time whistle, this time through Will Sharp, who capitalised on a poor mistake to run in down the wing and score.

Chadwick scored the final points of the match, his third conversion making the final score 28-6 to York.

York skipper Lord reflected on the win at full-time, telling Nouse, “It’s the first match of the season and the most important thing was to get off to a winning start. There’s lots to work on and freshers to come in this weekend, so as long as we continue on an upward trajectory we’re going to be ok.”

On his shoulder injury sustained during the second half, Lord added, “It’s not too serious and it’s not dislocated. It’ll probably be a couple of weeks before I get it back to full strength though.”

York XV: Kirkley, Turner, Burd, Gaskell, Lord (C), Morrison, Ross, Woods, Cormack, Chadwick, Duncan, Pollen, Watson, Sharp, Osborne.

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