Published on February 26, 2014 | by Keelash Bokhoory0
Arts rugby power through to cup quarter finals
UAL XV 39 – 15 City University 1st XV
UAL men’s rugby kept their impressive season going by progressing to the quarter-finals of the BUCS South East Conference Plate Cup with a victory over City University 1st XV.Arts got off to a flying start with centre Ruairi Fallon scoring a long solo try within the first 10 minutes.
UAL kept their foot on the pedal and didn’t have to wait long for their next try as number 8 Mitch Clare powered over in the corner after 15 minutes.
City University got off the mark mid-way through the first half, knocking over a penalty after some ill discipline in the Arts defence to pull the score back to 12-3.
City’s hopes of pulling themselves back into the game were dashed on the stroke of half time after a moment of genius from Henry Burns, the winger throwing a dummy and breaking the line, before collecing his own grubber kick in the goal and touching down for what is undoubtedly Arts try of the season to date. Burns’ score sent the sides in to the break with UAL holding a comfortable 17-3 lead over City.
In the second half, UAL started impressively, with the outstanding Hee-Won Cho scoring his first try of the day after a good move through the backs and a clever offload from full-back Sean Coppack. Cho didn’t have to wait long to get his second of the day as he fended off several defenders to score a superb solo effort under the posts.
Cho’s back to back tries had put Arts in a commanding position and a penalty from Coppack extended their lead, any hopes of a City come back were looking increasingly remote.
On 60 minutes UAL picked up their final score of the game as top scorer Andrew Pickup evaded some desperate City tackling to give UAL a 39-3 lead.
A degree of parity was added to the score board late on as City University scored two quick fire tries after some uncharacteristic complacency from UAL, but the damage was already inflicted as the Arts ran out 39-15 winners to progress to the quarter final.
One negative to come from the game for UAL was a dislocated shoulder sustained by prop Alex Spink, whose recovery could be key to a congested run in for the Arts.
After the game, vice-captain Sean Coppack praised his side saying, “When you get to the later stages of a cup competition like this, it’s important that you front up and play well otherwise you’re going home, at times we were superb today”
He especially praised both centres who had a terrific game: “Ruairi [Fallon] and Hee [Won Cho] were outstanding, they bring a real physicality that not many teams at this level can match or cope with,” Coppack said.
“They boost everyone’s confidence because you know that as a team you’ll be very dangerous every time you go forward,” Coppack added.
With their quarter final opponents yet to be determined Arts focus returns to the league with a crucial top of the table clash against Portsmouth University at Burgess Park next week.