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Rugby firsts dominate to claim Roses points

York's men's rugby firsts romped to a 22-6 victory in Saturday's showpiece Roses fixture, completing yet another Roses whitewash for men's rugby (Thumbnail credit Image: Philippa Grafton)

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UNIVERSITY OF YORK 22-6 LANCASTER UNIVERSITY



Images: Philippa Grafton and Agatha Torrance


York's men's rugby firsts romped to a 22-6 victory in Saturday's showpiece Roses fixture, completing yet another Roses whitewash for men's rugby.

The White Rose were made to play the majority of the match without their captain, as James Faktor was forced off early on with a shoulder injury, but their class and superior fitness shone through.

It was Lancaster who made the perfect start, though, as they were awarded an early penalty and their inside-centre put it straight between the posts, much to the delight of the fervent home support.

York were matching their opponents in every aspect and soon levelled the scores, as Tom Chadwick kicked a perfect penalty of his own.

With the match eagerly contested in the early stages, it soon became a battle between the two kickers. Lancaster's man planted a monstrous penalty between the sticks to regain the lead, but Chadwick was equal to him once more, scoring his second after Faktor was taken off to be replaced by Tim Ross.

Both sides were looking difficult to break down and there was a feeling on the sidelines that fitness would be key come the final moments of the match.

However, York struck a decisive blow on the stroke of half time, Chadwick again the difference-maker, as the fly-half nudged over his third penalty.

The stage was set for a tense second half, but the White Rose soon put the game to bed. The seemingly irrepressible Chadwick was at it again, this time chipping over a poorly aligned defence and benefiting from a misjudgement by Lancaster's scrum half to dive over in the corner.

Without the conversion, the score was 14-6, but York were further ahead within minutes. They drove forward in the scrum, forcing Lancaster back for Adam Gaskell to put his name on the scoresheet.

York were playing inspired rugby by this stage and the home crowd's mood had been severely dampened as a result.

The visitors continued to press and almost scored another try, only for both Will Ward and Hugo Watson to be denied by some heroic defending.

York would have the last word though, and it was Chadwick who completed the scoring with another penalty to cap a fine performance which was matched by the efforts of Gaskell, Gregor Morris and more.

Lancaster were able to mount a rare attack, but the game was ended in subdued fashion, as an injury to Sam Lord just before full time prompted the referee to finish the match prematurely.

That did nothing to calm York's celebrations though, as they revelled in a fourth consecutive Roses whitewash.

Their injury-stricken skipper Faktor told Nouse: "It was a great performance, quite similar to last year actually. We knew Lancaster would come out strong and cause us problems, but once the game went on our tackling meant they couldn't get over our try line and we had the pace to score.

"It was a question of not panicking and letting them have possession when they wanted. Our guys were dominant at every set piece and I'm so proud to be here with this great team.

"There are so many freshers in this side, and I'd back them for promotion next year. I couldn't be prouder."

York: Kirkley, Morris, Burd, Pampiglione, Lord, Gaskell, Faktor (C), Arnold, Ward, Chadwick, Turner, Pollen, Watson, Adebiyi, Bremner, Paton, Draycott, Abbott, Ross, Morrison, Naidoo, Peters, Sharp

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