Published on October 22, 2013 | by Sean Coppack0
UAL rugby hammer LSE
UAL 1st XV 63 – 0 LSE 3rd XV
UAL rugby 1st cemented their position at the top of the table as they followed up on their opening day victory with a 63-0 demolition of London School of Economics away at Berrylands.
In wet conditions handling errors were always going to be prevalent but Arts quickly gained the upper hand.
They soon opened the scoring, with the first points coming from the boot of full back Sean Coppack after some good work from the forwards earned Arts a penalty inside the opponents’ half after 13 minutes.
Less than a minute later the in-form Patrick McNulty added to the two tries he scored last week, capitalising on a gap in the opposition defence before a neat give and go with his back-row partner Matt Gibson put McNulty in under the posts.
With the lead at 10-0, UAL failed to deal with a kick off and some poor discipline led to repeat penalties for LSE including one for a high shot from Asher Flowers which saw the inside centre sent to the bin for 10 minutes.
Despite their numerical advantage, LSE failed to get on the scoreboard and another Coppack penalty extended the Arts lead.
On the 25 minute mark, substitute Drew Shearwood, who had only been on the field for three minutes, was involved in a sickening collision which saw the big second-row knocked unconscious and unable to return to the fray.
Seemingly unfazed by the incident Arts pressed on and less than a minute after the injury delay, scrum half Andrew Pickup scored in the corner after showing off some fancy football skills to evade the LSE defence.
A second try for Pickup plus a lovely team move, which saw Coppack put clear to score meant that the visitors went in at half-time with a 30-0 advantage.
UAL came out of the blocks like a shot in the second-half and found themselves camped deep inside the LSE 22 for a concerted period. The pressure eventually told and second row Zachary Park was able to barrel over for his first score of the season which was followed by his second ten minutes later to extend the advantage to 44-0 to UAL.
On the hour mark, Eugene Lee came on to make his debut and quickly got into the action, making some strong carries and causing plenty of problems for the LSE defence.
“It’s a good bunch of lads, great team spirit and we’re winning as well so it’s all a bonus.”
The seventh try for Arts came from a superb piece of creativity from the excellent Fred Warburton, the fly half spotting space on the left wing and placing a cross field kick perfectly into the arms of the on-rushing Coppack who placed the ball down in the corner for his second try of the day.
Tries late on from returner Ruari Fallon, making his first appearance of the season, and Nikhel Patel, who finished off a lovely team move after some tremendous support play increased the margin of victory to 63 points on the final whistle.
The beaming captain Adam Bloomfield was naturally delighted with his team’s strong showing: “We conceded five points last week and shut out LSE this week – can’t ask for much more than that,” he said.
President Will Krause echoed the skipper’s thoughts: “We were a little bit undisciplined towards the end of the first half, a couple of scrappy penalties out there but definitely a strong showing, in particular the pack who I thought were outstanding again.”
Prop Alex Bournat added: “[The victory is due to] a lot of hard work that the boys are putting in on the training ground.”
Another stand-out performance from the freshers who’ve joined the squad this year was a hallmark of this victory, something new fly half Fred Warburton has attributed to the welcoming atmosphere around the squad: “It’s really good to meet all the lads as a fresher and get playing. It’s a good bunch of lads, great team spirit and we’re winning as well so it’s all a bonus.”
Two games in to the new season and UAL has already run in 17 tries with a points difference of plus 126, with Andrew Pickup as the surprise top try scorer.
Next up for Arts is a crucial top of the table clash against Buckinghamshire New University at Burgess Park next week as two of the division’s unbeaten sides square off.