Published on October 15, 2013 | by Max Petch

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UAL rugby start season with commanding win

UAL 1st XV 68 – 5 Reading 4th XV

Matt Gibson running over for UAL's first try

UAL 1st XV get off to a powerful start to the season [Joshua Hayes]

Arts Rugby Men’s 1st XV started the season in the best possible fashion with a crushing victory over Reading 4th XV at Burgess Park.

After a brilliant turn out of students wanting to play for the team at the Freshers Fair, all eyes were fixed upon the team’s new recruits at the game on October 9.

Arts were looking to improve on last season’s performances, and mould a team able to push for promotion.

Arts were dominant in the scrum with the opposition not possessing the raw power to compete, with only some last-ditch defending keeping out the approaching forward drive.

The pressure soon paid off with Arts opening the scoring through flanker Matt Gibson who sprinted through the Reading defence to score the first try. Jubilation swept across the UAL team with full back Sean Coppack neatly converting to make the score 7-0.

Gaps

Arts were in high spirits and could sense a deflated opposition who looked weak under sustained pressure. Arts were awarded a penalty with Coppack striking the ball between the posts to extend the lead to 10-0. As UAL began to push further into the opposition half, Reading put up a considerable resistance but gaps and breaks throughout the back line were apparent.

“Awesome, awesome start to the season.”

Adam Bloomfield

Arts were on the score sheet again with debutant number eight Ollie Bailey finding space from a scrum to barge through the opposition defence and score a brilliant try. Coppack calmly slotted the conversion to make it 17-0. With further tries from debutants Patrick McNulty and Fred Warburton, Arts went in at half-time 34-0 up.

Good pressure from Reading followed an Arts penalty. The home side broke out from defence with Coppack making a superb run from his own 22m line. The full back powered straight through the Reading defence, breaking tackles and scoring to take the score to 44-0, before complacency saw Arts concede a try.

Listen to the ALN sport podcast featuring University sports president Adam Bloomfield 

UAL responded instantly by putting in big hits to seize back possession. They were rewarded with Andrew Pickup running through to score another Arts try, followed by McNulty and Warburton collecting their second tries of the game, capping solid debuts, and Coppack completing a 100% conversion rate for the game.

Captain Adam Bloomfield said the performance was an: “Awesome, awesome start to the season”. He added he “couldn’t ask for anymore from them. I’m very happy that there’s a ton of new lads in the squad who have come in with two hours under their belts and put in a massive performance, we have so much depth in the squad this year with loads of potential.”

 

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