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It’s fair to say that Roses 2011 was nothing short of a disaster for the Lancaster men’s rugby union club. Defeat in every single fixture was compounded by a series of off the field antics which led to the club facing a potential year long ban for the 2011/12 season. A successful appeal saw the ban overturned and the club reinstated. Now with Roses 2012 just around the corner, there can be no doubt that the decision to overturn the ban was most certainly justified with the club looking stronger and more committed than ever before.
The Firsts will go into Roses having been relegated from the Northern 1A league, a league which saw a staggering thirteen losses for the Cats and only one victory. Fortunately, the team have a lot to take into the tournament considering the fact that their sole victory came in a 17-10 home win over Roses rivals York in January. The victory was the first time Lancaster had beaten the White Rose since the clubs previous league meeting in October which finished in a 29-13 defeat to York. Last year’s Roses match saw York triumph with a 30-8 victory in front of a crowd of over 2,000 at Huntingdon stadium in York. Despite the score line, the determination of the team was never called into question with a half time scoreline of 8-8 only being undone by York’s superior attack. After a fantastic defensive display by Lancaster in the January meeting, the team must be hugely optimistic about their chances of gaining the four points on offer.
The Seconds and Thirds have experienced hugely varied performances during the league season. The seconds finished an extremely successful league season being crowned league champions whilst the Thirds have endured a torrid time finishing rock bottom of the league with nine losses and only a single league victory to their name. Last year’s Roses tournament saw defeat for the second’s in a close match that finished 19-11 to the White Rose. Meanwhile, the Third’s were sunk by a 17-6 defeat.
When asked about the clubs preparation for the tournament, President TJ McCaw had this to say to SCAN; “The 1st XV have many players returning from injury and following the success of the previous encounter coupled with an intense Easter training schedule, will enter into the tournament with a very positive mind frame. The 2nd XV are carrying huge momentum from a league winning season and are expecting a very close encounter with a side one league above. As for the 3rd XV, after a difficult season, the players are looking to put the league behind them and have really concentrated on this one game. The LURUFC as a club are looking towards the Roses clash in a positive light expecting results.”
A total of nine points are up for grabs in men’s rugby union matches which also includes two points for men’s Rugby Sevens. Victory in every game will mark a fantastic contribution by the club to Lancaster’s Roses chances. Considering the clubs recent performances, the club are sure to perform well and put the ghosts of Roses 2011 well and truly to bed.