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British universities & Colleges Sport

Hartpury overcome Durham in BUCS Rugby Union Championship Final 28/03/2012

Both Hartpury and Durham were shown tremendous support by their fans who made the journey to the capital to watch them compete in the BUCS men’s Rugby Union Final at RFU Twickenham. In glorious sunshine the Durham and UWE Hartpury fans created a real party atmosphere and cheered and sung for the entire duration of the match.

BUCS Rugby Union men's Championship 2012Both Hartpury and Durham were shown tremendous support by their fans who made the journey to the capital to watch them compete in the BUCS men’s Rugby Union Final at RFU Twickenham. In glorious sunshine the Durham and UWE Hartpury fans created a real party atmosphere and cheered and sung for the entire duration of the match.

In barmy weather conditions at Twickenham Stadium, the home of English rugby, Durham and UWE Hartpury treated those in attendance to a compelling contest that raised the already scorching temperature of the Championship final even higher.

Early on Durham missed an opportunistic drop goal from Mike Ward who shortly after missed a penalty at goal with the ball falling off the tee as he connected.
UWE Hartpury’s Craig Jackson broke the deadlock when he converted a straight forward penalty from in front of the posts and repeated this just minutes later to make it extend the lead to six points inside the opening 20 minutes.

From the restart Durham won a penalty and showed their attacking intent by kicking for touch in the corner rather than attempting three points. They were soon rewarded for their bravery when from the resulting lineout Hartpury were penalised for bringing down the maul and had Ben Chan sin binned. Again Durham looked for touch and drove towards the try line after successfully winning their own lineout, with the man advantage Hartpury were unable to stop the Durham maul once it got going as Duncan Finnie grounded the ball for Durham’s first score. Ward was unable to add two points with the conversion but he did put Durham in the lead as half time approached, with his first success of the afternoon.

With little more than five minutes left till the break the defining moment of the game was the return of Ben Chan. Spurred on by his time spent on the side the second rower’s first act after his re-introduction was to burst through the Durham defence and start the move that led to Ian Clark rounding his opponent to score Hartpury’s and his first try of the day. Within minutes he had his second with a spectacular dive on to a perfect kick through from Seb Rodwell that bounced agonisingly away from the Durham backs and into Clark’s path. Craig Jackson converted brilliantly inches from the touchline to give UWE Hartpury a 20-8 half time lead.

The second half was equally as watchable as the first half as Hartpury started to show their dominance.  With immense pressure from Hartpury at a Durham scrum it was turned over with Tom Ailes muscling his way forward and reaching out across the line to score their third try of the game (pictured).  Craig Jackson converted  the try and Hartpury were in complete control.  Durham seemed lost for ideas and squandered possession far too easily, more pressure lead to an infringement in the scrum with Craig Jackson converting  the penalty from a few yards inside the Durham half. 

The game was out of reach for Durham but they pushed on and had an opportunity to break the Hartpury resilience but a knock on and interception by Brad Field allowed him to sprint the whole length of the pitch and score Hartpury’s fourth try of the game.  Jackson converted from under the posts to bring up 20 points for him from the game.  Durham pushed Hartpury back into their own 22 and with multiple infringements Durham were awarded a penalty try in the 72nd minute, with Sam Watkinson converting. 

Arguably the best try in the match came shortly after as Craig Jackson rode four tackles before offloading to Grant Hancox who had an easy finish in the corner.   Durham scored a consolation try in the last few moments as Nick Haigh capitalised on some tired play by Hartpury but it was the West Country college that returned home with the title as the final whistle sounded.
Hartpury’s number 10 Liam Gallagher was voted Man of the Match, but he would of been pushed all the way by most of the Hartpury team as they outmuscled Durham at RFU Twickenham Stadium.

Picture courtesy of www.simonroephotography.co.uk. For a review of the women's game, which took place earlier in the day please click here

Match Statistics

  DURHAM HARTPURY
SCORE 20 45
Tries 3 5
Conversations 1 4
Pens 1 4
Drop Goals 0 0
Tackles Made 58 95
Line Breaks 9 6
Visits to Opposition 22 9 6
Scrums won (own put-in) 0 7
Scrums lost (own put-in) 0 3
Lineouts won (own throw) 17 7
Lineouts lost (own throw) 2 1
Pens Conceded 8 17
Possession 52% 48%
Territory 57% 43%
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