Published on January 21, 2014 | by David Drake0
UAL men’s rugby start 2014 with a win
The University of Arts men’s rugby first team annihilated bottom of the league London School of Economics 54-3 at Burgess Park.
UAL got off to a good start looking organised and retaining much of the possession, while LSE were forced deep into their half.
It wasn’t long before Arts exploited a gap in the opposition’s defence, some nifty hands and a darting run were rewarded with a try. Captain Sean Coppack stepped up confidently for the conversion that gave Arts a 7-0 lead.
In spite of the driving rain, Arts found momentum once again. They dominated the game on a poorly marked pitch but they didn’t lose sight of the try line.
Breaking once again, Arts were this time forced to make use of the whole pitch with support coming from the flanks. LSE managed to disrupt the flow at their 22-metre line with a ruck.
On a blindside run, Coppack received the ball with only a few yards to the try line and two players ahead. He made the run down the wing, after shimmying around one player he was caught off guard by another; taking him out of play and sent clattering into the scrum machine.
With considerable time left in the first half and Arts without their captain, LSE had a spring in their step and they began to string together some passes with innovative phases of play. But for the regimented Arts defence it proved no trouble.
At the half-time break LSE were still yet to get a score on the board, whilst Arts were cruising comfortably with 37.
The second half saw Arts playing head-on into the weather. With the same resilience as that of the first half, little time elapsed before the score counter was moved along for Arts.
LSE made a number of changes – opting for two speedy replacements on the wings to test the opposition’s tiring legs, and in a bid to claw back some pride and show that the Arts’ defence was penetrable.
An error from Arts defence after a LSE ruck gave the referee no option but to award LSE with a penalty that was converted putting the score at 44-3.
Arts’ Ollie Baily was delighted with the team performance. “It went well, another win for the mighty Arts,” explained Baily. “It was a bit scrappy in the first half but we pulled it back together towards the end of the first half.”
Head coach Mick Finnegan also expressed his concern over injured captain, Sean Coppack, who was taken to King’s College Hospital for an X-ray on his chest. “I wish him a speedy recovery, as he is a very big part of this team and integral to our game plan,” explained Finnegan.
For LSE the result was a disappointment, as captain Laurence Sutton explained: “We faced a tough team today, we found it difficult and we know we have a long winter ahead of us involving a lot of training.”