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Flying wingers lift rugby second XV

Tries from Ollie Woodward and Conan Osborne helped the mens' second XV seize a valuable pair of Roses points in an entertaining match on Saturday afternoon (Thumbnail credit Image: Philippa Grafton)

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UNIVERSITY OF YORK 34-12 LANCASTER UNIVERSITY

Tries from Ollie Woodward and Conan Osborne helped the mens' second XV seize a valuable pair of Roses points in an entertaining match on Saturday afternoon. York raced to an early 10 - 0 lead but were made to work for the result by a resolute Lancaster side who scored two tries of their own in front of increasingly vocal home support. The 34 -12 victory for the White Rose put UYRUFC at two out of two for the day, with things building nicely towards the first XV game later that afternoon.

It took less than a minute for the first try-scoring opportunity to arise. Impressive outside centre Rich Rhodes sliced between two would-be defenders with Osborne on his shoulder hunting a try. Only a magnificent covering tackle by Lancaster's sweeping defender denied the left winger an early score, but York won a penalty and nerveless fly half Will Peters made no mistake in giving York the lead.

A few minutes later York were rewarded even more handsomely for their early precision. A fantastic flowing move involving forwards and backs through a number of phases manufactured an overlap for right wing Ollie Woodward to run in the first try of the game. Peters converted and there was a real possibility that the game could be over inside the first quarter.

Lancaster dug in, however, and came back with a sustained period of time attacking in York territory. The visitors did well to keep them out, and it looked like they were to be rewarded with another try when Woodward intercepted a sloppy Lancaster pass and raced down the right flank. Another majestic try-saver by home full-back denied Woodward his second, but thanks to the outstanding fitness of the York forwards, enough support was on hand to win a penalty.

Peters could not convert but the momentum was undoubtedly with York. Industrious hooker Hugh Draycott ignored the jeers of the home fans to hit his target beautifully at the tail of a lineout, before the York backs created another chance for Woodward, who was denied this time by the bounce of his chip ahead.

Moments later Peters spotted Osborne in space and sent a cross-field kick skywards, but the electric winger was deemed offside and York would have to defend as half-time approached.

Lancaster came within inches of scoring on two occasions, denied first by the referee who called them back for a penalty (to the disgust of the home crowd) and then by a last-ditch rip of the ball from the carrier's arms when a try looked certain. York held their 10 - 0 advantage at the break.

A slick set-piece soon after the break put Osborne into space. The young winger stepped inside the final defender and was rewarded for his work-rate, celebrating in style. Peters converted but York's elation was short-lived, a mistimed pass invited Lancaster's inside centre to intercept and gallop 45 metres for a try, bringing the score to 17-7.
The pendulous nature of the game continued; back-rower Tim Ross crashed through an increasingly tired defence, evading the full-back to score, but shortly afterwards the Lancaster backs mustered the persistence and skill to score a try of their own - a clever offload finally unlocking York's otherwise sturdy defence to make it 27 - 12.

York sent on their substitutes to finish the job and spent most of the last quarter camped in Lancaster's 22. Replacement Edward Harris spurned the chance to add three points but it mattered little. A trademark snipe by Luke Cunnah took York close to the line and Rishi Naidoo was on hand to round off a productive afternoon for York.

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