Perhaps it was a case of pathetic fallacy as the heavy clouds rolled in. Or perhaps it was down to luck. Either way it was the same story as last year, as Lancaster were whitewashed in the men’s rugby 7s. The women’s side restored some pride with a battling draw.
Playing first and keen to avenge last year’s drubbing, Lancaster men’s 3rds didn’t start as they had planned. An early try for York after a lapse in concentration in the Lancaster defence set the tone for the rest of the game. After York scored another try, Lancaster atoned for their defensive mistakes in the 2nd half with three tries from Stuart Rowland and substitutes Conor Anand-Shaw and ‘Dutch Wonder’ Ian Van Mourik.
Sadly, this fine example of Dutch courage could not spare Lancaster from defeat, as in the final play of the game; York broke free and secured the victory with a converted try to win 24-19.
York See Off Brave Lancaster 2nd Team
York men’s 2nd team battled to a 29-17 victory against a resilient Lancaster unit. The half time interval saw the scores close with York edging it 12-10.
The second period proved to be a similar story as York and Lancaster exchanged blows with the final minutes seeing the scores at 19-17 in favour of York. However, a late rally from the York team saw 2 late tries and the scores end 29-17 in favour of the visitors despite the brave and battling spirit of the Lancaster team.
Post-match, York player Rishi commented positively on the game stating how “it was a really close game against good Lancaster players. It was an even game where one mistake can cost a try and luckily for us we made fewer mistakes”.
Physical Dual Ends in Stalemate
Lancaster and York women’s rugby teams went into battle on Saturday ahead of the main rugby XV match on Sunday. Lancaster drew blood first with a great breakaway and a conversion putting them 7-0 up.
York did reply with a try followed by a successful to even the scores at 7-7 just before the half time break in a physical encounter.
Lancaster began the 2nd half with strong tackles and a stern defence, much to the delight of their non-playing team mates who were supporting behind the posts. With the 2nd half being played predominantly in the York half it was of no surprise when Lancaster broke free with a try, scored by the same player as the 1st try making the scores 12-7 as the conversion was unfortunately missed.
However, the joy was short lived as in the dying seconds York replied with a late try. Despite this, the drama was not over as the York player failed an easy conversion and the score ended 12-12.
Post-match Lancaster’s captain stated how “it was a good result but York will feel the full power of Lancaster women on the Sunday”.
Scrappy game ends in narrow defeat for Lancaster
Despite both the 3rds and the 2nds suffering defeats, Lancaster 1st’s captain Dave Wrightson said his team was feeling, “confident and positive” going into this match, having spent 3 weeks intensively training for Roses, including a total booze ban.
An organised and well disciplined Lancaster defence however could not stop a 5th minute York try. Having taken first blood in this tense game, York caught Lancaster napping in the ruck and strolled to a second try, converting the kick. In a game of limited chances, neither side took full control. Despite 2 tactical changes at half time for Lancaster, they went on to lose 12-7.
Whilst it may appear on the surface that this was simply a repeat of last year, as Wrightson stated, there are indeed many positives to take away from this. He complimented the crop of freshers, “they’re a much stronger bunch this year”. Wrightson added that once the “little things” that have been the thorn in Lancaster’s side are removed, they will be a better side for it.
By Ben Smith, Lorna Starkie, Mat Chard and Matt Todd