UNIVERSITY OF YORK 40-0 LANCASTER UNIVERSITY
Images: Lily Grant
UYRUFC’s 3rd XV put their opposition to the sword in the first of Saturday’s two men’s rugby fixtures. York’s forwards were always in control of the game and although Lancaster made it difficult for the home side at times, the white rose of York ultimately ran out as comfortable 40-0 winners.
York were creating chances from the outset, with Santiago Parilli making the most eye-catching break of the first 10 minutes. Parilli could not offload to his supporting runners, but it did not take long for his side to convert the pressure into points. Excellent ball control from the forwards allowed Anthony Starling to rumble over for the first try of the afternoon.
Tom Finnerty converted and already momentum seemed to be firmly with the home side. A spell of faultless defence from York frustrated Lancaster and when a loose ball was fly-hacked downfield, the hosts did not take long to capitalise. A series of strong runs from the likes of Christian O’Sullivan and Parilli culminated in Sam Wright barging over for York’s second, which Finnerty duly converted.
Wright continued to impress as the first half wore on with a series of devastating carries and York looked set to add a third before half time. What could have been a try-scoring pass was intercepted, however, and Lancaster cleared their lines as the halftime whistle blew.
York were dominant at both scrum and lineout and their impressive attack continued after the break, with more big carries from Wright and a stunning break by hooker Jonathan Treece. York recycled to the left and after some slick handling from Finnerty and his midfield colleagues it was Hugo Barennes who eventually danced underneath the posts.
A raft of replacements renewed York’s efforts and the backline scythed forwards before some neat offloading created an opportunity for the fourth try. It arrived courtesy of replacement Harry Eastwood, who burrowed over to the delight of his teammates.
A few minutes later fullback Matt Stephenson cut a beautiful line into Lancaster’s midfield. He was hauled down but the ball was spread out to the right flank, where Tom Hughes dotted down for another well-worked try. Finnerty missed his only kick of the afternoon from wide out but the result was, of course, beyond doubt.
The resounding victory was rounded off by a wonderful solo effort – the pick of the afternoon – by scrumhalf Calvin Williams. His forwards turned the ball over inside York’s half and Williams spotted space in behind Lancaster’s blindside defence. He sent a beautifully weighted grubber downfield and outsprinted the covering defence to re-gather and score himself. Finnerty made it 40-0.
The performance was one for the club to be proud of and a valuable contribution to York’s growing overall Roses lead on Saturday afternoon.