UYRUFC claim tight win over College Barbarians


Images: Agatha Torrance

The University rugby team battled to a hard-fought win over a College Barbarian side this afternoon, beating their opponents 12-5.

In what was a tight and scrappy affair on 22 Acres, tries from Matt Thorpe and David Sissons made the difference for the University team, with Derwent’s Hugo Marino scoring for the Baa Baas.

UYRUFC started positively, and were well on top in the early stages. Fly-half Ed Harris missed the best chance to open the scoring with a penalty that fell well short of the posts, but they went in front soon after as Thorpe finally made their sustained pressure pay.

Harris redeemed himself with a superbly judged conversion to make it 7-0 to UYRUFC.

The early onslaught of pressure didn’t continue, though, as the College side fought to regain some territory. But with both sides guilty of some poor passing and sloppy handling, any further scoring looked unlikely.

However, just as the University outfit looked to be regaining the upper hand, the Barbarians produced a try out of nothing. Muzzy Foley was the architect of a great breakaway, with Marino the man left to finish off a classy move under the sticks.

Though the Baa Baas were unable to make the conversion, the question at half-time was whether UYRUFC would rue their inability to make the most of their early dominance, as they went in 7-5 up.

The second half produced much of the same, with the University team in control but lacking the composure to further their lead. A second try seemed inevitable when Sissons looked to go over in the corner, but he was somehow stopped just before the try-line, and the chance went begging with UYRUFC unable to play a decisive final pass.

With ten minutes to play, though, the second University try finally arrived. A neatly worked scrum saw the ball worked left to Sissons again, and this time he was able to touch down. Harris missed a difficult conversion, but the seven point margin would prove enough for the win.

The Baa Baas tried to mount a last attack of their own, but the game had taken it’s toll on their small squad and it was UYRUFC who came closest to continuing the scoring, only to be cruelly denied by the referee.

University skipper Chris Pollard was happy with his side’s display, telling Nouse, “I was really pleased with that, very impressed by Baa Baas. I wasn’t expecting it to be that close after the first 10 or 15 minutes. It wasn’t the most technically brilliant rugby, but it was a good result for us and gave everyone who came down a good taste of college and uni rugby.”

Barbarians captain Marinus Maris was similarly pleased with the match, despite seeing his side lose: “We only had one practice session today, whereas the uni guys have been training for three weeks. We spoke before the match about playing with passion and for your college and that’s what everyone did – I can’t ask for any more than that.”

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