UUC 1stXV Take First Points On The Road

UUC RFC 1stXV defeat CIYMS 17-15 at Belmont

UUC got their first win and points of the season as they defeated CIYMS at Belmont. The students got off to a poor start as CI scored an early try in the first half. Try was unconverted. At the restart the students switched on and challenged the kickoff. Unfortunately the ball was knocked on by UUC leading to a CI scrum. Ross Hackney picked at the tail and was put back by UUC’s John Dillon and Jonathan “Taff” Brown.
The students managed to string a number of phases together and looked extremely dangerous playing with the wind at their backs. It wasn’t long until UUC got on the scoreboard. Glenn Baillie broke the CI line and he managed to get over the try line for a touch down. Calum Rowden stepped up and slotted the conversion. UUC lead 7-5 at half time.
The students had to play into the wind during the second half. It wasn’t long before CI conceded a penalty for ill discipline in the 22. Calum Rowden stepped up and slotted his kick making the score 10-5 to the students. The two teams battled hard against each other until CI scored a try against the students. Try unconverted and score 10-10. The students hit back from the restart and soon regained the ball. A number of phases through the forwards battered CI back towards their line and the pressure eventually told as Gareth Millar spotted a gap and squeezed over the line for the students second try. Calum Rowden calmly slotted the conversion. Score 17-10 to the students. The students regained the ball from the restart. An unfortunate error allowed CI to score their third try of the day. Again CI’s out half missed his third conversion.
The game finished 17-15 to the students. Big congratulations to the students for their outstanding performance and great win away from home. Man of the match was a very tough decision as everyone in the team played extremely well. Glenn Baillie who had a fantastic game managed to clinch man of the match.

Report By
Gareth Bell

Winning on the road

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.

 

UUC Win Qualifying 2

UUC 1st XV travelled to Omagh knowing a win on the road would secure the league title and promotion to Qualifying 1.

Omagh had four penalties in the first 20 minutes converting only two of them. 10 mins before half-time UUC’s first score was from Jamie Ball intercepting an Omagh pass and running three quarters of the pitch to score in the corner. The score was 6-5 to Omagh at half time.

In the second half UUC had the wind at their backs. Soon into the half Ollie Miller received a yellow card and was sent to the bin for 10 minutes. Omagh took the penalty making the score 9-5.  As soon as Ollie returned from the bin UUC worked through a number of phases and Sam Hall ran half the pitch breaking three tackles to run in under the sticks. Lee Murphy missed the conversion. Score 10-9 to UUC. A few minutes later UUC scored again through the speedy former Blackrock winger Calum Rowden who was passed the ball from an Omagh player to run in and touch down from half way. The score was then 15-9.

The next phase of play saw great work from Andrew Winder and Jamie Ball rip the ball from the Omagh winger deep into the Omagh half. Winder popped the ball to Jonathan Henry who had very little room on the blind side to crash through the gap and run in and score. Score was now 22-9 to UUC.

Again the uni defence stood firm and UUC earned a penalty from Ollie Millar from which UUC kicked for the corner. UUC caught and drove forward to the line. They worked through a number of phases and Ryan Ecock another former Blackrock player crashed over the line. Murphy converted making the score 29-9 to UUC. With 10 minutes to go Omagh hit back with a consolation try and converted it. This made the score 29-16 to UUC.

With 5 mins left to play on the clock UUC won a penalty from the half way line. Gareth Millar stood up to the mark and slotted it over the posts to make the final score 32-16.

UUC won the game with a bonus point and are now Qualifying 2 Champions. This day will go down in club history as promotion to Qualifying 1 will be the highest level the club has achieved. Both Coaches Nathan Moore and Brett Campbell acknowledged the fantastic achievement but noted that if it hadn’t been for the depth of players within the 1st and 2nd XV teams this year it wouldn’t have been possible.

Brett loves it when a plan comes together!


The club would also like to thank The Anchor Bar Complex Porstewart, The Senior Common Room and Spar Coleraine Campus for their loyal support in helping UUC take on this fantastic journey.

Next week the students will defend their 100% home record against the leagues in form team Grosvenor RFC on Saturday 21-04-12. Everyone is welcome to come down to the pavilion and watch what should be an exciting game.

Report: Gareth Bell
Pics: David McCullough