Rugby Union Varsity Revenge Goes Awry

Men’s Rugby Union

University of Leeds 1sts 17 – 34 Beckett 1sts

LEEDS University’s rugby union first team were unable to seek revenge against local rivals Leeds Beckett 1sts as they unfortunately lost 17-34, a harsh score line against our Gryphons after a valiant performance.

Despite their loss at Varsity earlier this year, Leeds Uni started the stronger of the two sides. Leeds managed to dominate the early scrums, an area Beckett controlled when the teams met in October, but suffered an early setback as Captain Luke Harris reopened an old gash above his eye, meaning he was unable to take part in the remainder of the match. Despite this, Uni capitalised on an attacking lineout as a brilliantly run hard-line by Adam Lambert opened a hole in the Beckett defence to allow James Conville to cross for the first try of the match.

After a brilliant hit by Hamish Hughes from the kick-off, Beckett struggled to clear their lines once again. Uni quickly shifted the ball to the wing where Harry Jukes was able to utilise his pace to score Uni’s second and put his side 12-0 ahead within the first 15 minutes.

Beckett responded by applying some sustained pressure on the Uni defence as they turned down an easily kickable penalty to go for the jugular. Uni’s defence seemed to be holding strong, before a missed tackle allowed Beckett to score their first try. Both sides struggled to maintain possession of the ball for some time, before a quick Beckett counter-attack resulted in a defensive error from Uni. The resulting attacking move, which was expertly executed, made the score 12 apiece.

Image: Matthew Norman

Beckett were soon applying extreme pressure on the Uni scrum but the visitors showed incredible character to win a penalty right on their own try line when another penalty would have no doubt led to a penalty try to Beckett. Beckett attempted one final attack, but an unbelievably strong hit by Monty Reed caused a knock-on which brought a close to the half.

Unfortunately for Uni, the second half did not quite go as smoothly as the first. Uni did look to be continuing the high intensity of the first half, as centre Will Byron managed to break early on. However, after a period of manic play from both sides which saw the ball intercepted three times within 30 seconds, the luck was on Beckett’s side as they were able to break to score their third try.

Some magic feet from Jukes would have allowed Uni to equalise once again, if it wasn’t for a last-ditch Beckett tackle. Uni maintained the pressure, but Beckett held firm to win a penalty themselves and clear their lines once again. After a successfully converted penalty from Beckett, a further stray pass from Uni led to yet another intercepted try to put them comfortably in front. Beckett extended their lead further with a fifth try straight from the kick-off, once again the result of numerous missed tackles by the Uni defence.

The away side did, however, end the match on a high as some quick hands down the line allowed them to score the final try of the match but as the final whistle sounded Beckett were victorious 17-34. Uni will now play Newcastle 1s next week, looking for their second win of the season.

In other news, the women’s rugby union side managed a 107-0 cup victory against an undoubtedly disheartened Glasgow Caledonian side. The overwhelmingly ridiculous nature of the win will surely provide University fans with both an abundance of hope for the rest of the season, as well as a hearty chuckle.

Matthew Norman

Featured image: Matthew Norman  


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