UUC 3’s make Butler’s Sheild Semi Final

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.

UUC RFC 3rd XV Sponsored by
Angel-Wash-Header

slide-sponsor-1

2012 Exiles

Exiles 2012

The Exiles kicked off this year with a new kit as the old one has served its time for well over  20 years. It is with special thanks to Danny Coyles at The Anchor Bar and Michael McQuitty from Onside Sportswear who helped in sponsoring a new Exiles Kit.

Present in picture left to right Dave Orr Exiles President Select XV, Danny Coyles and Lee Murphy UUC 1st XV Vice Captain.

 

In the 40th year of this long standing tournament of UUC RFC past players come back to pit their skills against the youthful current players of the present teams. This year’s special occasion brought back some old touring teams including the UUC Touring Team Of 1982 and from 1992 as Rupert West had a cataclysmic thought when talking to Dave Lougheed on his flight from Auckland to LA and they remember with fondness the colour of the Ex-Larne Mayor’s Blood on that day in Kingston Canada! Then came about the 1992-2012 reunion of his teams’ triumphant tour of Canada. His plan now hatched as he went on a recruitment drive to put the band back together and form the 1992 Exiles Dream Team to take on the UUC 2nd XV.

 

The game was a hard fought game. Unknown to the Dream Team the UUC 2nd XV have been a very strong this season with several players featuring on the 1st XV team. As the 2nd XV had been out for their pre game warm up practicing moves, the Exiles in true spirit of the occasion managed 1 lineout and 1 scrum, 5 minutes before kick off. I dare say if the 92 side knew what was coming at them they would maybe have had second thoughts as some hadn’t played rugby in over 10 years a tad more practice would have been done. The game itself was from one end to the other with such ferocity the touring exiles found it difficult to keep up as they found themselves 3 try’s to 1 down at half time.

A fantastic purple patch by the Dream Team saw them claw back 2 quick try’s in 10mins to 3 try’s a piece, but the students fought back hard to score again to take the lead. It has to be said a few injuries and a lack of fitness was starting to tell but with a regathered kick off saw quick possession to the wings and the Exiles go in at the corner with 10mins left to play. Undeterred the 2’s came back hard from the proceeding kick off and managed to get a turnover penalty. A quick tap and fast recycling saw the students go over in front of the sticks with the crucial 2 points to come. Calum Rowden comfortable converted 34-32 to the UUC 2’s. The Exiles Dream team haven’t lost in 10years and this day wasn’t going to be one of them as they regrouped under the posts and decided the last 5 minutes of the game was win it or die trying! Kick off and Aussie lock Andy Kennedy gathered possession for the Dream Team. Quick ball delivered by the ever present Michael McQuitty to Jacko (Michael Jackson – former Ulster player and cousin of Ulsters Paddy Jackson) saw a thundering run up the middle of the pitch. A couple of pick and goes from the backrow let the Dream Team edge ever closer to the line  with some fantastic defense from the uni 2’s kept the Dream Team at bay until Andy Kennedy used his 6 foot 7inch frame to nudge over the line!

34-37 to The Dream Team, the closest game in many years but played in the true fashion of a Barbarians game.

 


Exiles Dream Team 2012

UUC 2nd XV Class of 2012

 

UUC 1stXV vs Exiles President Select XV

We now turn our attentions to the main event, the 1st XV clash against the President Select XV. This is  a long running tradition were past Captains invite players to represent the President Select Team. An invitation that is steeped in history and tradition and is considered an honor to be selected for the Presidents XV. In recent years it has been a very one side affair with the UUC 1’s dominating the games, but Dave Orr Captaining the Presidents side put together on paper a formidable team.

 

But it was clear to see from the start the game was not going to be easy for the President’s team as they leaked an early try in the corner inside the first 10 minutes. You could tell by the slick moves by the students that the year long training had become second nature as they secured another 3 try’s before half time, 4try’s to 1 to UUC 1’s.

 

The President’s team did not deter and as often is with tradition started to open the game up and fought back hard to secure 2 fantastic try’s in quick succession notably the line break of  David Thompson aka Tompo scoring on a somersault touch down, much to the cheering delight of the watching crowd.

The openness of the game saw John Dillon intercept the ball for the students only to be called back. The Exiles also intercepted but in this occasion scored.

The score line swopped a few times but ultimately the shear power and fitness levels of the UUC 1’s told as they put a sizable gap in the score line in the last 20mins of the game.

Final Score saw UUC 1’s hold on their reign as Exiles Champs 59-27.

The winning UUC 1’s League Winners 2012 and The Spirit of Exiles….

 

UUC RFC would like to take this opportunity to say Thank You to all the Exiles that turned up to play and support this fantastic day in the clubs history and long may it continue. UUC RFC would also like to thank The Anchor Bar Portstewart, The Senior Common Room and Spar Coleraine Campus for their sponsorship which helped UUC RFC win Qualifying League 2 and get promotion into Qualifying League 1.

 

1stXV 6 from 6

This match billed as a top of the table clash, lived up to its expectations with a high quality, entertaining game of rugby served up by both teams despite the atrociousness weather conditions at Uprichard park. The game started with the lively student team taking the match to the home team with the University back row of Mike Dunlevey, Ollie Millar and Henley prominent with some big carries and recycled well into the Bangor 22, the home team having to work hard to clear their line, however a clever series of kicks first from scrumhalf Jamie Ball whose game management was excellent all day, and then fullback Lee Murphy kept them pinned deep in there goal line quarter of the field.
The weather very much dictated that patterns of play should be tight and probably any expansive play would be error strewn however the opening score of the game came from the university out-half Whitcroft making the brave decision to put the ball clinically through the hands of his backs and outside center Winder made a great ghosting run cutting out and then back in, totally standing the home defence up before he looped a pass to Sam Hall on the wing who ran in for a trade mark quality finish. The difficult conversion was kicked by Whitcroft, crucial within the context of the match, but reward for the 10 who had spent an hour before the game working out how to use the elements from the kicking tee, (proving the old saying right you prepare to fail if you fail to prepare) 7-0 to the visitors with a quarter of the game gone.
As you would expect from a team of Bangor’s tradition the home team came back strongly from the restart and only from some outstanding tackling on the home team midfield by fresher Henry who improves with every game coupled with the uni work horses in the second row of Danny Morgan and Darren Leonard stepping up to the mark by stopping Bangor’s ball carriers on the gain line on every occasion. The students continued to ride out the well organised onslaught and ball kicked into the swirling wind was well dealt with by the Uni wingers Rowden and Hall, despite there effort however the home team never really threatened the young visitors line. The game moving to about the half hour mark, one of the trade marks of this student team is how all 15 players contribute intelligent rugby and a superb inter passing phase from the front row of Wilkinson, Eecock and O’Neill to which any back line would have been proud of released the hard running University skipper Mike Dunlevey who beat one defender then choose to go for a kick and chase option, however the ball carried to far and went dead. Unfortunately Prop Wilkinson damaged a metatarsal and from that point on limped from set play to set play for the remainder of the game.
Bangor score to level things up, which came from the one period of the game when the students dropped there high standards and made several unforced errors, from which the home team duly punished, a kick which would have entered touch, was unnecessarily flicked back into play, the Bangor winger was quickest too react and won the loose ball as he then popped it up onto his support runner a missed tackle let him make good yards and he stood up the fullback Murphy and fed his fullback who should have been brought down, but was not and he scored and the conversion followed. 7 -7
The Students regrouped and went after the next score, the pack dominated scrum and line out starving Bangor of possession, the visitors attacked the blind side regularly keeping the dangerous Bangor midfield starved of possession, their reward for hard work came just before the break when Man of the Match Dunlevey stole a lineout which eecock drove into the Bangor’s 10 channel, a quick clear out gave the uni 9 room to operate and his precision pass releasing winger Rowden whose clever pass to Dunlevey set the big 8 running at the Bangor back three having stood them up he kicked through and promptly won the foot race to put the score at half time 12 – 7 to the Uni.
The second half saw much the same pattern for 20min both teams trying hard but rarely getting into each others 22. The telling score came on the half hour mark when the students tightened up there attack with quick pick and drives deep into the red zone , Whitcroft controlled the pack well to create the right angle to allow a drop goal attempt which bisected the posts to give the students the crucial 8 point lead. Bangor attempted to chase the game but the student’s defence not only stopped them but also turned over ball on key occasions. The home team also did not help there cause by missing a penalty attempt which would have given them a loosing bonus point. The university then showed the safest way to defend by camping on the Bangor goal line and Marty O’Neill and then Ryan Eecock crossing the score line but held up with wee Marty perhaps unlucky as some thought he had grounded. Final score Bangor 7 – UUC 15

Away win in donegal

Great away win for Uni 2’s

UUC 2’s travelled the lengthy distance to Donegal RFC, from the kick off it was clear that the Donegal were out to make good on the 62-0 defeat they suffered at the Sam Logan Stadium. Both Donegal and Uni started off brightly with both teams defending tremendously with both teams missing some scoring opportunities at the posts but it was UUC to score first from some beautiful hands taking the uni lads up to the Donegal 22 but failed to capitalise, Matt ‘Tails’ Hill had a fantastic game at fullback controlling the game well, and importantly keeping Donegal back in their own half with well fielded kicks, but the sustained and constant pressure that
Was exerted onto Donegal resulted in a penalty just before half time, Richard Murphy once again showing his fine kicking ability took the 3points.
Half time 0-3
UUC made one change as Joe ‘Zeus’ McKinney was replaced by Liam ‘George’ O’Discin at the half time break. The second half saw the uni lads start with far more vigour than Donegal, such was the intensity number 8 Aaron Doherty charged down a kick just past the UUC 10metre line, kicked the ball on, and showing a fantastic turn of pace beat the Donegal winger to slide over the line, Conversion slotted over my Murphy 0-10.
This sparked the game into life as Donegal were now chasing the game and the defensive line led by returning backrower who put in massive tackles all day causing turnovers, this never let Donegal anywhere near the UUC try line. From a resulting scrum Doherty picked up a great hook by Scott ‘Randy’ Stevenson beating their seven and stepping 10, his line drew in the covering winger, he then popped up to the uni 9 who got hauled down just short of the line but hand the whereabouts to put a pass up from the deck to oncoming support of Stuart Whitcroft who went over in the corner, conversion missed 0-15
As Donegal were chasing the game hard now, they were starting to throw the ball wide at any occasion but the unrelenting pressure from the UUC backline saw a speculative pass picked of by Whitcroft who went half the length of the pitch to dot the ball below the posts, Murphy kicked the conversion 0-22
The rest off the half saw UUC play most of the game in Donegal territory, but on occasions couldn’t exploit their field position as the lineout was letting them down, but continued pressure resulted in Ty Young making a great hit followed in by Hetherington and it was a penalty for UUC Donegal were holding on, Murphy again calmly stepped up to the mark and took on the 3 points 0-25.
5 mins before time saw Hetherington making a break from the back of a maul beating 2 defenders, a breaking a great tackle he popped the ball outside him to supporting prop Linsey ‘Phats’ McLaughlin who burst over the line, but alas the referee deemed it a forward pass. Final Score 0-25
A great performance on the road for the UUC lads as returning player Kyle Hetherington scooped the man of the match award for his outstanding efforts on the pitch.
Next up is Letterkenny at home who are mid table and a very capable team indeed, the lads will have to hit the training fields this week to ensure a home win.

UUC 2’s suffocated by Inishowen 1st XV

The Uni lads travelled northward to Inishowen R.F.C 1st XV who previously played Qualifying League Rugby until very recently, however undeterred the students were eager to find out how far they had come this year, as they were going up against such a strong team in the minor league.

It was a pleasant day in Donegal, the right conditions for running rugby and the first half did not disappoint, as both teams we’re willing to run the ball and it was 10mins and soft tackling that allowed the Inishowen team to score first down the wing. Try was converted 7-0.

UUC started to realise this was a tougher game than the previous week and stepped up the physicality in the tackle and started to force the odd turnover, however some speculative passing midfield by the forwards gave a turn over to Inishowen from which they scored on the opposite wing 10 mins later. Try converted 14-0.

A quick chat under the posts and the UUC lads dramatically upped the pace of the game working Inishowen hard from the kick off, and the continued pressure saw scrum half Tommy McGlaughlin force a penalty near the posts; it was kicked by out half Richard Murphy. 14-3

The receiving kick was fielded well by Daniel Morgan and a powerful drive by open side Stuart Whitcroft ably supported by Scott Stevenson saw the lads drive deep into the Inishowen 22, A lovely crash ball by Linsey McLaughlin and quick ruck ball saw the UUC full back head over the line 5 meters from touch. Try Converted by Murphy on the stroke of half time. 14-10 and the lads were confident they could take the game to Inishowen.

However Inishowen had other thoughts on how to play rugby in the second half, as the closed the game out by continually picking and driving in ugly but ultimately efficient rugby as the continued pressure from picking and driving led to a hands in the ruck penalty, and it was a kick top the corner, lineout maul and pick and go rugby saw Inishowen score to trys in 20mins one in each corner.

UUC 2’s never deterred from trying to play a better brand of rugby but it was hard for the chaps to get any continuity together with only 5mins of game time on the ball in the second half, but credit has to go to the uni as they never stopped defending as we seen 18 pick and goes from Inishowen and they hadn’t left their area just outside their own 22.

Final score was Inishowen 1stXV 24 UUC 2ndXV 10.
The guys have taken great pride from the game being a genuine Minor League team doing so well against a former qualifying team and look forward to the Inishowen lads travelling up to the Sam Logan Stadium in the New Year.

Man of the match was yet again a hard decision with so many guys making an impressive contribution to the team, but Stuart Whitcroft certainly had to take the honours as he battled hard at every ruck and maul.

UUC 2’s Too Strong for Ballymoney

The individual performances coupled with a titanic backline effort dragged Uni over the finish line as victors against a much bigger and more physical Ballymoney team.

As soon as the game started our error became clear. What Uni lacked in size they more than made up for with speed and sheer ferocity in contact. With a rampant back row led by the outstanding Number 8 Aaron Doherty, and Number 7 Joe ‘Zeus’ McKinnley barely missed a tackle all game. Uni’s pack ran Ballymoney off their feet in the first half, suffocating them and linking brilliantly with the backs.

And what a back division! Feeding off the sheer number of offloads from their pack, the Uni back line, led by Tommy McLaughlin at fly half and the effervescent scrum half Mark Gillespie tore into Ballymoney. Within 10 minutes Uni were on the board, choosing to run a penalty from ten metres out and Tommy went in virtually under the posts. Ballymoney stepped up the pressure forcing themselves into the Uni 22, but struggled to deal with the physicality of Uni and lost the ball. Quick hands out the back line saw Jackson the full back scoring again under the posts. Towards the end of the half and after shrugging off a few injuries both Tommy and Jackson where on the score sheet again. Continued pressure from the Uni forwards resulted in a scrum just outside the 22, a quick hook and quicker feet from the number 8 left the Ballymoney backrow bemused as he sprinted past them to dot the ball down between the post. Half time Score 36-0

After the half-time talk, Ballymoney came out and began to play with more purpose. It paid dividends at first, the Ballymoney forwards scoring under the posts, and then some poor tackling from Uni saw them score again under the posts. Uni regrouped under the posts and came out fighting; the inexorable physicality of the Uni defence began to tell, soaking up everything that Ballymoney could throw at them, leading by example Jonny Dingley new to the club this year making tackle after tackle. The telling moment of the half came when Ballymoney’s forwards knocked the ball on and Tommy McLaughlin swept the ball up in full stride side stepping 3 defenders and running half the pitch to score just beside the posts. Uni continued the pressure as Jackson made a fine tackle on the Ballymoney centre and turned the ball over, and cleverly seeing the open space, chipped the ball over the oncoming Ballymoney rush defence and collecting it to score under the posts.

The last 10 minutes saw some end to end action, as Ryan Gilmore drew two defenders to unleash new comer Tony Colgan down the wing to score on his debut to rugby and for the Uni. A mistake by the Uni saw Ballymoney who, never looked like quitting, continue there onslaught of forward play with great close quarter handling they fooled the uni lads as the big prop went over the white wash in the dying moments of the game. Final Score UUC 2’s 58-21 Ballymoney 5’s.
A well deserved man of the match award goes to Jonny Dingley for his outstanding defence and ball carrying skills. And a mention to Gareth Bell the injured captain for his organisational efforts with the 2ndXV squad that has helped introduce great depth to the club.

Next week UUC 2’s look forward to welcoming newcomers Tir Chonaill to the Sam Logan Stadium at Cromore Road.

UUC 2nd XV Too Strong For Finn Valley

2nd XV Of To Winning Start

 

Squad Picture Of UUC 2's and their new strip

This time last year Brett Campbell was spluttering with exasperation at the wastefulness of his UUC RFC 2nd XV team, who had failed for the third consecutive season to win the minor league. Now he is beaming as the UUC 2’s storm towards the top of the table after their first win of the season and this has restored the twinkle to his eye.

Campbell is keen to point out that this was a true 2nd XV team and one he knows will be very successful this year.  UUC are a fresh and fit young team who are well used to playing against the big boys. Newcomers to the league; Finn Valley 1st XV were shown by Brett Campbell’s team that youth along with skill and passion has become a tradition at the club. This is the ethos that defines UUC RFC.

UUC RFC scored eight tries. Five from swaggering backs moves and three from rolling mauls. Ignominy could not have got much worse than that for Finn Valley fans, none of whom had much to celebrate bar a little period of pressure in the last minutes.

Daniel Morgan, Andrew Munce and Kyle Hetherington benefited from fantastic forward interplay, finishing with a brace of tantalizing tries.

The Athletic UUC 2's Pack

New boys Ryan Gilmore and Lee Johnston waded into the action with UUC’s flare points, scoring after a typically relentless build-up from the home team.

Lee Johnston Makes Line Break Against Finn Valley

Campbell believes the unrivalled companionship this team has will lead them to league and cup wins in the 2011-12 season.

This could be the most exciting season ahead that the UUC2’s have had in a long time.

Pictures – Micheal McQuitty

Match Report – Gareth Bell

Dear Fresher

Welcome to the University of Ulster Coleraine Rugby Football Club. We have been in existence since 1968 during this time we have become associated with an exciting open brand of rugby which we pride ourselves in. Our ethos is to help you develop your skills, fitness, self confidence and if you wish sporting administration skills. We welcome you to become part of our club during your 3 or 4 years at Coleraine and hope you will have an excellent experience on and off the field through participation.
We currently field two Saturday teams, the 1st xv playing in Qualifying 2 and the 2nd xv in the Minor league; we also compete in the Irish College’s Rugby Division 1 league on Wednesday afternoons. We currently have a squad of Players who have joined us from senior teams north and south of Ireland with representation at u20 inter-provincial, Irish and Ulster colleges and Ulster u18’s. Last year we had five leavers from the 1st xv return to their home clubs. They are now playing senior rugby, Qualifying 1 and Qualifying 2 rugby. In recent years we have won leagues and cups and participated in over sea tours. We have also had club members go on to play , inter-provincial rugby and indeed achieve international representation.
Do not feel playing for your university would be a backward step in your rugby development or career.

How can you join?
Contact some of this year’s officials:
Captain Mike Dunleavy 07597600954
Vice Captain / Club Secretary Lee Murphy 07783956654
2nd XV Capt Gareth Bell 07895743349 or through our web site via the contact link, or just bring yourself along to the sports fields every Monday 5.30pm and Thursday 6.30pm, everyone is welcome.

So you are aware Ulster branch rules and regulations – You can transfer as an incoming or returning student up until the 31st January 2012 If you are an AIL registered player you can if you wish become a dual status transfer which allows you to play for your University but still be available to play some AIL matches for your home club.

Coaching and facilities
The Coaching team this year includes Nathan Moore a former club Capt. in the 1990’s he understands student rugby and prides him self in player development ethos,
He has been apart of the Ulster Branch coaching programme, and a club development officer across the province with several clubs. Player coach Jamie Wilkinson, graduated from the university last year and turned down offers from many senior clubs for his talents to continue his development and coach forward skills and strength and conditioning at the club. Brett Campbell and Alan McCully have been coaching and promoting student for over 30years, all are IRFU qualified
The club has access to excellent indoor and outdoor Facilities, two quality match pitches, 2 pitch size floodlit grass training area’s. Indoors, a superb fitness suit and a strength and conditioning studio. We would also look at nutritional and sports psychology as a matter of course.

This is a short period in your rugby career and we as a club will want you to develop your skills and express your talent and return to you home club a better player for the rest of your career.

The Legendary Exiles Weekend

Exiles Weekend

 

This year is 29 April – 2 May (same weekend as the Royal Wedding)

 

The itinerary is as follows:

 

Friday 29 April

 

Exiles Golf Competition at the Riverside Course, Portstewart. The tee is booked from 2.30 to 3.30 pm. We have been allocated 7 x 4 balls. Those who wish to participate should contact John Lutton, john.lutton1@btinternet.com by the 21st April.

 

Saturday 30 April

 

Matches          UUC 2nds v. Exiles @ 1.30 pm

UUC 1st XV v. President’s XV @ 3.00pm

 

This year’s President’s XV is being organised and captained by Jonathan Brown.

Those wishing to play in the 2nds match should contact Chris Tees or William White

 

There will be refreshments afterwards at the pavilion.

 

There will be a semi-formal get-together in the University Senior Common Room from 6.00pm to 10.00 pm and this will include a sit-down meal and craic. The price will be £20 per person.  There will be a live ‘big screen’ viewing of the Heineken Cup Semi-Final match.  Unicabs will be on hand to transfer those with staying power to the Shenanigans afterwards, to book him early call 0751692022.

 

Partners / Girlfriends / Wives are very welcome to attend the dinner.  In order to organise food could you indicate to Calum Rowden, rowden-c@email.ulster.ac.uk if you intend to be attending the dinner by Thursday 21st April.

 

The club is looking forward to seeing you at exiles.

 

 

John Lutton, Honorary Secretary

Brett Campbell, 1XV Coach

Alan McCully, Director of Rugby