Published on October 28, 2013 | by Sean Coppack0
Dominant Arts end Bucks unbeaten runUAL 1st XV 43 – 0 Buckinghamshire New University
UAL rugby’s unbeaten start to the season continued with a powerful, efficient display at Burgess Park where they ended Buckinghamshire New University’s 100 per cent record.
Bucks came into this game brimming with confidence after a perfect start to the season, and appeared to have the upper-hand as Arts were without captain Adam Bloomfield and other key players.
The visitors’ first opportunity came after ten minutes, working through the phases and building some momentum, with strong carries from debutant centre He-Won Cho and Ollie Bailey pushing Arts to within touching distance of the opposition line.
Eventually the pressure told and the referee awarded a penalty which stand-in skipper Sean Coppack converted for a 3-0 Arts lead.
The first try of the game came at the quarter hour mark. Cho received the ball from Fred Warburton just inside the opponents’ half and showed blistering pace coupled with a powerful hand-off to race away from the opposition and score under the post. The try was converted and Arts were beginning to turn the screw on their bewildered opponents.
UAL extended the lead on 32 minutes when Cho made another marauding run, sliced through the opposition defence, passed to Danny McDonald who touched down under the posts for a 17-0 lead.
On the stroke of half time, with Bucks attacking the Arts, flanker Eugene Lee made a superb interception and broke up field. Strong support from Asher Flowers gave Lee a simple option which he duly took, passing to Flowers who strolled in for his first UAL try to leave the visitors 22-0 ahead at the break.
The second half turned into a game of territory with UAL looking to camp down inside the opponents’ 22. The increasingly assured half-back pair of Man of the Match Andrew Pickup and fly-half Fred Warburton were beginning to dictate the tempo and frustrate their opponents.
“I’m really proud. Defensively it was a huge performance from the lads.”
Yet it took until the 65th minute for the second half deadlock to be broken, Alex Spink intercepting a Bucks pass inside his own half and showing a great turn of pace to race away under the posts, a well-deserved reward for the excellent front row forward making it 29-0 UAL.
There was still time for Arts to score two more tries in the last ten minutes of the match.
The first came from winger Andy Cole, who was making his first appearance of the season as a substitute, grabbing the opportunity with a neat finish in the corner.
That try was followed by a lovely team move finished by flanker Patrick McNulty for his fourth try of the season on the final whistle.
The hugely impressive display from an improving Arts side cemented their place at the top of the table and marks them out as the team to beat in the division.
Coppack, was delighted with the effort put in by the team: “I’m really proud. Defensively it was a huge performance from the lads. At points today we were camped deep inside our own half but I never felt like we were going to concede, it was great to be a part of.”
Vice-president Matt Gibson echoed those thoughts: “I think everyone fronted up brilliantly today, they will be one of the tougher teams in the league.”