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

uni seconds return to winning ways

Uni were simply superb as City Of Derry were the visitors and the freshly strengthened side saw the return of Joe McKinney, Aaron Doherty as well as the long awaited return of Andrew Munce to the second row, the uni now at full strength for the first time in 2 weeks had a team that wanted to prove a point.
The weather conditions were perfect for playing, however it was the City Of Derry lads who scored first from a messy ruck, a hack on and a more than suspect grounding of the ball saw a score for them in the corner, conversion missed. 0-5

The solid front row of Linsey McLaughlin, Scott Stevenson and Dave McCullough dealt with the larger City Of Derry pack well as they ensured unyielding scrums all day long, and from a scrum on the halfway line, quick ball along the back line saw a great backline move up towards the City Of Derry 22, when the forwards recycled the ball well and lock Daniel Morgan broke through several defenders to crash over the line, conversion missed 5-5 it was game on.

City of Derry battled back hard, soon after kick off with a sustained period camped on the Uni try line, but fantastic defence by both forwards and backs shown the way by Andrew Munce and Joe McKinney lead to the uni lads forcing a penalty from City Of Derry,

this was the vital turning point in the game, as you could visibly see the intensity of the Uni step up considerably, and as they increased the pressure in the last 20mins of the half the uni scored 3 more times from Berge, McMenemy and Whitcroft, half time score 24-5

City Of Derry kicked off the second deep into the Uni 22 and a moment of miscommunication saw no one claim the ball and the City of Derry winger took full advantage of the bounce, too dot the ball under the posts, 24-12. However this would be the last time City of Derry would enter the Uni 22.

The Fantastic defensive work of the forwards forcing turnovers combined with the magic hands and great running lines of the backs saw a bombardment of trys in the second half, as the fitter pack led strongly by Scott Stevenson helped open up space for McMenemy, Berge and Whitcroft all to score their second trys. And as the game opened up further sub Tails Hill, went over the white washed joined by Richard Murphy soon after. Final Score was 62-12, keeping the Uni’s record of being the most attacking backline in the league. It was also great to see that subs of Niall Diffin, Tony Colgan and Tails slotting into the game seamlessly.  Man of the match went to Andrew Munce whose work rate was second to none on the day. They hope to carry this team trough to the next game against Donegal away, with their ones are not playing it will be a tough encounter, but the belief is in the squad to bring home a win from Donegal next week 26/11/11.

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 2s leave it late to seal win

After last weeks win against Donegal 2s the students had a much tougher task of Strabane 2s at the Sam Logan Stadium. A close fought encounter saw the students come out 10-9 winners against Strabane.

From the whistle it was obvious the game was going to be physical and that every point would count as the rain was becoming heavy. The uni defence was solid and the students where able to keep Strabane in their own half, and for the first 20 minutes didn’t look like either team was going to score. After a period of play indiscipline started to creep into both sides but an excellent forwards drive and a dubious call from the ref penalised the uni, giving Strabane a penalty in the 22. Their out half stood up to the mark and converted the kick. The students hit back immediately and earned a penalty in the Strabane 22. Jamie Ball stepped up to the mark and converted making the score 3-3, the Uni lads had another attempt at a penalty just before half time but kicker Jamie shaved the up right and missed, at half time the score was 3-3.


The second half started off with the same intensity as the first half, both teams defences where solid. Soon into the second half Strabane where awarded a penalty and converted to make the score 6-3 to Strabane. Straight from the kickoff Strabane worked their way back into the students 22 and a great tackle by lock William Waddell stemmed a telling attack from the Strabane forwards, the students were unlucky as Strabane were awarded another penalty for an infringement in the ruck. Strabane converted the penalty to make the score 9-3.

At this point the students switched on and pushed Strabane deep into their own half. With outstanding ruck work from the uni forwards, saw phase after phase of recycled ball and it was only a matter of time that frustration would set into Strabane, the fitness of the Uni and quick recycling produced the end result as frustration set in and Strabane gave a penalty away less than 5 minutes from time. Tommy McLaughlin took a quick tap and the ball was spread through the backs to winger David McMenemy who cut up Strabane’s defence and crashed over the try line close to the posts, making the score 9-8 in favour to Strabane. Jamie Ball stepped forward to take the conversion and slotted it between the posts making the score 10-9 to the students. With a minute and half to go the uni received and secured the kickoff, recycled the ball and on the 80th minute kicked the ball out of play to seal a hard fought win.

Jamie Ball Delivers Winning Kick in a nail biting finish

This game has shown the lads that they can match the physical teams and puts them in good stead for their fourth coming teams of Armoy 1st XV and Inishowen 1st XV, its just a pity it took 60mins of rugby before the Uni lads opened up and showed Strabane what they could really do. Man of the match award went to Romain Berge who was outstanding at full back, But credit must go to Jamie Ball who steadied the ship and showed nerves of steel to clinch the match!

Randy has been in the wars!!

UUC hang on, in a tough encounter with Larne

UUC hang on in a tough encounter with Larne

A close fought encounter saw the students come out 16 – 11 winners. The home team started playing into the strong breeze but this did not stop the lively student pack from putting Larne under pressure form the start, and from a line out the ball was worked into the middle of the field, excellent hands from the mid field put winger Hall away, although tackled, he off loaded to James Henley who had made a great supporting run, however Larne broke down the UUC attack and broke out of defence, a series of great tackles in mid field by Johnny Henry and Stuart Whitcroft on his debut in the cup, led to Pack leader Wilkinson stealing possession, and out half Winder’s delicate chip into the corner forced Larne to concede a line out 5 yards out. A great catch and drive saw several quick pick and goes with Marty O’Neill being the one too score the try. The conversion by Lee Murphy was missed narrowly.
From the restart Larne showed their intent to play open rugby, but got little change out of the hard working University back row of Millar, Doherty and Dunlevey, the students through a good blindside attack saw Callum Rowden and Romain Ber break out, taking play deep into the Larne 22, from a line out again the students built a platform for the forwards to claim another try with scrum half Murphy touching down. The conversion against the difficult wind was missed.
The students seemed to be in full control at this point playing intelligent rugby, however a lot of unforced errors and lack of primary possession very much changed the course of the half and Larne started to dominate proceedings and were well worth a brace of penalties and a try to lead at half time.

The first ten minutes of the second half again saw Larne on the attack, with only the excellent defence protecting the student line, eventually the tide turned ad the students using the elements intelligently with Murphy and Rowden kicking well, to gain good field position they started to force the pace and ask questions of the Larne defence, also the students upped the tackle count with the skipper in particular leaving his mark on the Larne midfield. Eventually penalties were conceded and Murphy converted from 30 yards out to put the students back in front, Although the students pressed, Murphy’s next effort came back off the upright and the students could not get the day light required to make the game safe, as the game closed out a penalty from just inside his own 10 m line by Rowden made the game safe for the students, shortly thereafter the ref blew the final whistle.

Next Saturdays Junior cup match with top of the Qualifying 1 table Ballymoney who last played UUC some 12 years ago when they won qualifying 3 league that day, it will be a one sided affair again if the students make the same errors, however the beauty of cup rugby is, well you never know, perhaps a bit like Ireland the University team are happy being the underdogs.

UUC v Carrick Junior cup

UUC v Carrick Junior cup 1/10/2011

The students travelled to Carrick with the highly impressive new facilities at Woodlawn. The weather conditions were atrocious, and the heavy rain had left the playing surface tricky at best. The University team much changed from the previous Saturday with five freshers making their university débuts. The reward for modifying their game plan at Thursdays training  and their pre match preparation’s paid dividends early on after some great recycling out half Andrew Winder brought centre Jonathan Henry onto a pass and the big Ballyclaire lad on his debut  made a superb break through the Carrick centre partnership, in hindsight an early off load to Winder who’s support run deserved the pass would have seen the university surly score wide right, instead the Carrick defence scrambled but with the students camped on the Carrick line they conceded a penalty which scrumhalf Lee Murphy, who kicked imperiously all afternoon, converted the penalty.

The restart superbly fielded by second row Darren Leonard set the university working tight then open patterns to create a good space on the blind side two good passes saw skipper Mike Dunlevey beat two defenders and sprinted 20yards to score in the corner, Murphy made the difficult conversion into the swirling wind to give the students a ten point lead.  Carrick came back at the students hard but found no way through the D wall with the front row of Wilkinson, Eecock and O’Neill knocking men back time and time again and back row Ollie Millar and Danny Morgan winning every loose ball on the ground led Carrick to kick hard won possession away to easily, which Hall and Rowden dealt with cleanly. The rest of the first half saw the students who now had their line out with Coaches, Millar and Dunlevey doing well and scrum functioning solidly to secure primary possession. in the home teams half and pressure  told on two more occasions which Lee Murphy bisected the posts    with for the students to reach half time leading 19 – 0 the key to their performance to this point was the fact that no unforced errors occurred and only one penalty was conceded

During the break backrow Dan Morgan who had done little wrong was replaced by Kyle Hetherington who joined the 1stxv for the first time having missed much of the pre-season with an ankle injury, he quickly made up for lost time by imposing his presence on the blind side of the scrum.

 

The students playing down the slope and the elements in their favour saw play maker Andrew Winder  opened the game up and bring Whitcroft and Henrys impressive handling skills to the fore giving the back three an opportunity to get ball in hand with the right winger surfing into the corner to score a deserved try ,the conversion was missed. To their credit Carrick came back at the students and forced a penalty, however the attempt drifted wide of the uprights, frustrating for the home team the University went down to their opponent’s half and a great turn over by pack leader Wilkinson drew the defence off side and Murphy slotted from 40m out. Disappointingly the home team lost their discipline somewhat and the game became very niggle based and one scuffle saw Leonard spend ten minutes in the bin surprisingly the Carrick centre did not join him for a similar indiscretion. Injury to the student’s scrumhalf saw Campbell’s 2nd sub Scott Randy take the field and his fresh legs made a positive contribution. The students came close on several occasions to score another try but Carrick’s line held to the final whistle. Result UUC 24-Carrick 0

The Students with a refreshingly honest approach to the game will want to learn from several aspects of this tough encounter, especially the importance of not letting the opposition distract them from the job in hand and that only hard work on the training ground will improve their performance

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.