UUC RFC 3rd XV take on Larne 3’s Away, Saturday 22-02-14 in the semi final of the Butlers Shield, a prospect that would never have crossed anyone’s mind at last years AGM when it was voted to start a 3rd XV side again after 12 years from when it was first removed from the fixture lists.
They are now sitting mid table in their own league and have reached a semi place, from which they can only hope but to go out and challenge for the final and win a place, ‘Win, Lose or Draw it is just an epic thought that this team has come so far this year, with some players that started their season playing for us on the 3’s have went on to play right up through the club. We have had this year, a french, spanish and german players all play for the 3’s this season, with Adrián Benedicto (Spanish) and Ben Schweighöfer (German) both being completely novice to the sport. Coming out to training and becoming a part of rugby and a part of a team which is fantastic and a credit to the club, and after the game Saturday whatever the result we will add some rugby songs for them too take back home, it is what the 3’s is all about’ Says Richard Boyd 3rd XV Capatin. He goes on to add ‘Rugby should be enjoyed at all times, and this semi final is just another game were we shall go out to enjoy, with no pressure to win, no pressure to lose, we are all mates and look out for each other and that is what a team is about. I hope that is what I have shown these lads this season though I have to say these lessons have been made easy in the support from Big William Waddell and Nigel Irwin who have all had a say in the sing songs on the way home from games.’
So whats next after the semi final? ‘After the semi final win or lose we still have a few games left and we intend to go out and win them to end the season on high, fingers crossed with Ulster winning their game against Saracens April 5th, from there we will concentrate on developing a team for next year and hopefully achieve another fantastically enjoyable season. The great thing about student rugby is you get fresh new faces joining the club, and you have new challenges and you get to watch players grow and progress in their development. Like Aaron Hunter prop at Under 18’s and now the engine room beside Big willy at second row, busting a gut at training and every Saturday on the pitch. Jamie Byers at hooker who pound for pound is the toughest guy on the team, never backs down and never gives up. These are the people like everyone else on the team that has made it special this season, but it could not been done without the help of our Exiles stepping up to the mark when needed, especially when we had 3 teams out playing this year, so a special thanks goes out to them!’
It is evident that the 3rdXV will be around next season and we wish them all the best in their semi final campaign towards some silverware in their first year playing together. UUC RFC would like to invite all Mothers, Father, Brother’s, Sister’s, Aunt’s, Uncle’s Wives and Girlfriend’s to come along and watch the game at Larne RFC kick off is at 2.30pm.