This weekend The University of Ulster Coleraine Rugby Team, travelled to Grosvenor RFC for a particularly poignant game. Both sides were eager for the win, Grosvenor wanting to get revenge for the league defeat in 2008/2009. However it was UUC who took the spoils gaining a bonus point win over their rivals.
The game started in favour of UUC. Michael Dunleavy went for the chase after the kick off and successfully claimed the ball. A quick series of pick and go moves allowed the students to spread the ball wide and allow Alan Whitcroft to skilfully aim for the corner for a lineout. The lineout was stolen by UUC and a strong drive from the students allowed Club Captain Jamie Wilkinson to score in the corner. Alan Whitcroft added the conversion points. This started the scoring at 7:0 in favour of the visitors.
Further pressure applied by the visiting side resulted in them once again within distance of the line. However strong Grosvenor defence kept pushing the students back. Quick thinking by Whitcroft allowed him to get into position for a drop goal adding three more points for the students. The score was now at 10:0.
After the restart Grosvenor advanced into the UUC half, and poor discipline from UUC resulted in a penalty being given. However the Grosvenor scrum half couldn’t quite get the length required and the kick fell short of the posts. Gareth Millar of UUC acted quickly and caught the ball short of the posts and successfully cleared the line with precise kick. UUC responded to the pressure from Grosvenor and began to press towards the try line once again. Grosvenor began to get frustrated with the UUC defence and resultant ill discipline at the breakdown led to a UUC penalty which Whitcroft achieved. This left the score at 13:0.
The Grosvenor side responded to further pressure from the UUC defence and used their forward strength to push over the line for their first try of the game. The conversion was missed, leaving the half time score at 13:5.
After the half time break Grosvenor came back determined to rectify mistakes made in the first half. They pushed toward the UUC line, however a knock on led to a penalty being awarded, standing the score at 13:8. UUC responded to this pressure from Grosvenor and worked their way back up towards the try line. Quick thinking from Captain Andrew Winder led to him dodging past the Grosvenor defence, leaving them all behind to score a well deserved try under the posts. Whitcroft added the conversion points to make it 20:8 in favour of UUC.
Further ill discipline from UUC allowed the home side to take further points with two more penalties. However the students responded with a well worked back move allowing winger Calum Rowden to score in the corner. This left the score at 25:14.
The students were determined to make the most of this win and pushed for another try to claim the bonus point up for grabs. Rowden again took it on himself to add the points, to sprint from his own 22 leaving the Grosvenor team behind scoring a try directly under the posts. Whitcroft added the conversion with the last points of the game. The final score stood at 32:14.
Next weekend UUC return to Belmont Park to take on CIYMS and hope to maintain the strong game they have demonstrated so far this season.