Rugby Roses Sport

Roses concludes with Rugby Union defeat

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After a humbling weekend for York, the overall trouncing was completed in the Men's first Rugby Union, the final fixture of the Roses weekend. Similar to the match following the opening ceremony, this match, itself preceding the Closing Ceremony, ended 15- 31 to Lancaster after the York side squandered a half-time lead.

York kicked off the match supported by a huge contingent of fans cheering them on and made some gradual ground on the Red Rose. Lancaster attempted to gain some respite in the early stages of the game but fumbled a penalty as York's pressure continued with most of the play occurring in Lancaster's half. Lancaster then kicked another penalty upfield but York still didn't relent. After dominating the match since the start, York's aggression was rewarded with their first penalty of the match, but the kick skewed sideways, passing up the change to take the lead.

Lancaster punted the ball forwards, and while the initial run was blocked by a last-ditch tackle from Lancaster's Jacob Storey, Pierre Goulin neatly ran it into the corner after an efficient York switch from the left to the right-hand side. The conversion was missed, giving York a 5-0 lead.

A poor kick off from Lancaster then lead to York continuing where they left off, by keeping the play in the Lancaster half. During this period, the referee failed to spot an off-the-ball incident between a York player and Lancaster's #5, leading to jeers from both sets of fans. The play in Lancaster's half was eventually broken up by a line out, leading to a scrum and a penalty for the Red Rose.

York eventually restored their dominance, patiently chipping away at Lancaster's defence. This tactic paid dividends for the away side as Mike Waters ran in from close range to make it 12-0. Lancaster then woke up, immediately getting down the other end of the pitch and, after some impressive defensive work from York, finally making their breakthrough, scoring a try, duly converting and cutting York's lead to 12-7, sending a wave of enthusiasm through the thousands of home supporters just before the half.

Lancaster kicked off the second half, and, after an initial attack from York, the home team were pinned back. Lancaster were inching forward before a penalty relieved pressure on York. At the 50 minute mark, the game evened up, with neither side breaking through. A lineout near the try line led to a converted try for Lancaster which had York's lead disappear for the first time in the game. The score now 12-14, York reasserted their lead, successfully kicking a penalty on the  67 minute mark and edging the away side ahead 15-14.

Led by York Sport President Laura Carruthers, an anthem of 'whitewash!' began to ring out from the York end, but this was proven to be premature as a late try from Lancaster completed the home team's comeback;  York's defensive line unable to hold firm against a Lancastrian onslaught. A penalty soon followed, kicked from just inside the sticks, with Lancaster now 15-24 ahead. The late tries from Lancaster cemented their win, finishing the match on 15-31, ending Roses 2018 in the way it had begun: a pitch invasion with a semi-naked participant.

Speaking after the match, York Sport President, Laura Carruthers berated that the match "was the story of the weekend" with York sides racing ahead and then Lancaster "[finding] something extra at half-time." but commended the efforts of all York athletes nonetheless.

Roses will once again be white.

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