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Men's rugby firsts enjoy brilliant second half to overpower Lancaster

York's rugby firsts produced a scintillating performance to comfortably overcome their Lancaster rivals 30-8 in front of a packed crowd at the Huntingdon Stadium (Thumbnail credit Image: Justyn Hardcastle)

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Images: Justyn Hardcastle, Peter Iveson and Philippa Grafton

York's rugby firsts produced a scintillating performance to comfortably overcome their Lancaster rivals 30-8 in front of a packed crowd at the Huntingdon Stadium.

Tries from George Wissen, Tom Bugge, Matt Pollen and Will Sharp did the damage for Tom Weir's side with 22 of York's points coming in the second half.

The game was first Roses match to be played in a stadium and it would perhaps be fair to say the event somewhat got to the players on the field as the first twenty minutes passed by fairly uneventfully, the tension displaying itself in repeated fumbles. Neither side wanted to give anything away and as such the majority of the first quarter of the match were played in the middle half of the pitch.

The crowd had already resorted to Mexican waves by the time the White Rose took the lead. A penalty in the Lancaster half proved little problem to Fly-Half James Mortimer who dissected the posts nicely to trigger the pyrotechnics that celebrated each York success. This allowed York to kick on and they began to increase in confidence in the following minutes. However the scores were soon levelled as Lancaster's number 12 ignored the boos and derision of the crowd to notch up a penalty of his own.


Interview with UYRUFC Captain Tom Weir

With the game tied at 3-3 and heading to the break Lancaster scored the game's first try. The ball was kicked into the corner and the unfavourable bounce meant it was misjudged by the York defence, allowing the Red Rose's Edward White to sneak in and make it 8-3. York came straight back at Lancaster and were rewarded in the final minute of the half as Prop George Wissen barrelled over from close range to level arrears, Mortimer's kick missed to leave the scores tied at the break.

During the break there was the inevitable Lancaster streaker but it did nothing to distract York as they went from strength to strength. The first score of the half went to Scrum-Half Tom Bugge who broke superbly to score under the posts. The extras were added and from 8-3 down just before the break York had gone to 15-8 up.

The crowd began to get behind the team even more as the half continued, perhaps due to the beer on offer, and it seemed to drive them forward. One of the stars of the day's earlier cricket victory, Will Felgate, thought he'd added another for York moments later but the referee pulled play back for a debatable forward pass.

This did nothing to distract Weir and his men however as they continued to strengthen their grip on the game. Next year's captain-elect James Faktor then made it 20-8 as he fought his way through a few tackles and drove his way over the whitewash to put the game out of Lancaster's reach.

There was time for another James Mortimer penalty and, with time running out, a fourth try as sub Will Sharp finished superbly to cap off a great evening's work for the University of York rugby club.

York Sport President Sam Asfahani


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