Before the main event the ever growing crowd were treated to an exciting encounter, as a strong all-round performance from UBRFC’s 2nd XV, ran in five tries to beat the UoB ‘BUMMERS’ (Engineers), 29-14, Will Corrie, Matt Swan, Rory Chatterton and Alex Clark with the tries.
With the Bournbrook pitch looking spectacular under the floodlights, and the bank filled with spectators it was time for the much-anticipated Varsity 2015 to kick off, the UBRFC 1s were set to play the UoB Medics side. The Medics went into the game high on confidence following a 47-0 thrashing of Swansea Medics the week before, and they would have been eager to gain bragging rights following their heavy loss to the Lions the year before. The UBRFC 1’s went into the match following a mixed bag of results, losing 44-31 to Bishop Burton College the week before, but decimating Warwick 45-3 the week before that. They sit respectively in fifth in the BUCs Northern Premier B Division and they too would be keen to retain their bragging rights over the Medics.
The game got off to a cagey start with the Lions dominating early possession, but a number of handling errors and some strong defensive work and counter-rucking meaning the Medics held firm. It was instead the Medics, against the run of play, that struck first. The Medics’ scrum-half opportunistically collected the ball from a ruck and made for the posts, capitalising on the Uni’s full back being out of position, to score the game’s first try. Fly-half Rourke kicked the two point to give the Medics an early 7-0 lead. Following that the game continued as it had in the early stages with the Lions dominating possession but unable to break the Medics down. That was, until the mercurial winger Rich Galloway danced past several oncoming tacklers to score, leaving the score at 7-5 to the Medic, as Craig Bonnar missed the conversion. A penalty on the verge of half-time for the Medics, made it 10-5 at the break. The game was right in the balance and the impressive crowd were loving every minute of it.
The University side clearly upped their game in the second-half, playing with vigour that was not apparent in the first-half. Their positive play was rewarded when flanker Jordan Cranton scored following a powerful driving maul, tying the scores up at 10-10. Shortly after outside-centre Riven Earle dived over in the corner following a neat pass from the ever-present Galloway, which gave University a 15-10 lead, after Bonnar missed both of those conversion attempts as well. On around the 65th minute mark, the Medics scored their second, as one of the forwards went over following some strong phases from the pack, an area of the game the Medics dominated all day. And Rourke obliged with the conversion, giving the Medics a slender 17-15 lead going into the final 15. Much of the final minutes were spent by the Lions, camped deep in the Medics half, but despite actually getting over the try line on one occasion, the ball was adjudged to have been held up. And the University side weren’t able to make the pressure count, as the Medics defended admirably until the final whistle. A massive win for the Medics, who were swamped by their course mates on the final whistle. A disappointing day for the UBRFC 1st XV, who ultimately weren’t able to break down a resolute Medics defence, who were clinical in attack, taking their few chances well.
Final score UBRFC 15-17 UBMSRFC.