Men's Rugby Union secure the North A title in style

Men's Rugby Union secure the North A title in style as they beat Bishop Burton 53-5.

Yesterday the Nottingham Trent Men’s Rugby Union 1st team had the chance to secure the North A league title, and boy did they do it in style.

Going into the day clear at the top, the men in pink needed just two points to secure the title, but their winning mentality meant that they were determined to continue their dominant form.

It didn’t take long for NTU to get on the scoreboard, going over the line after nine minutes. The conversion was missed, but Knight made up for it shortly after with a penalty to make it 8-0.

More pressure lead to a break through the line from the hooker Brownlie, and he dotted down for this first try of the game, easily converted by Knight. At this point NTU were dominating the opposition, and a kick to the corner, followed by a well-executed line out resulted in a driving maul over the line for Brownlie to score his second. The conversion was successful again, taking the score to 22-0 after 25 minutes.

This seemed to spur Bishop Burton into action and they managed to secure some possession in the NTU 22. A well-executed back’s move from a scrum ended up with a simple finish for their winger, to take the score to 22-5. However, NTU didn’t take long to get back on top. Some excellent hands to the left-wing put Goble in space and the defence opened up for him to cross the line for the all-important fourth try and bonus-point. Again the conversion was successful, 29-5 after 30 minutes.

With ten minutes to go in the first half, and the game seemingly already won, NTU showed their class to maintain their authority, resulting in Brownlie crossing the white-wash yet again for his hat-trick. A carbon copy of his second try.

Half-time score: NTU 36 – 5 Bishop Burton

NTU got off to a lightning start in the second half, and for a third time, a rolling maul from the line-out resulted in a Brownlie try. Four tries for the hooker now, and Knight continued his great form with the kicking tee to make it 43-5.

Five minutes later, the back’s worked the ball to the right wing to Branco, who showed composure to chip over the top of the full-back, and great support from Ozdili was rewarded with an easy pick up to cross the line in the corner. This time the conversion was unsuccessful, but NTU looked unstoppable at 48-5.

Unfortunately for Bishop Burton, one of their forwards suffered a serious injury when defending NTU’s latest try, and a long stoppage was required to treat the player. Everyone at NTU would like to him all the best.

Play got back underway and the rain really started to pour. The game became quite scrappy, but NTU managed to react the quickest after the break, and a defensive scrum on the Bishop Burton 5-metre line was won against the head by NTU. The number 8, Grant just had to pick up the ball from the base and cross the line to score NTU’s eighth try. The conversion from Knight was unfortunate to fall just short and hit the bar: 53-5.

NTU showed composure in tough conditions to close out the game, and keep Bishop Burton to just one score. When the final whistle blew, the score line showed a convincing 53-5 win and as a result, NTU were crowned league champions! They will now progress into the promotion play-off against Bristol (champions of South A), for a chance to progress into the BUCS Super Rugby next season

Full-time score: NTU 53 - 5 Bishop Burton

Speaking after the game, Head Coach Neil Fowkes commented: “It was a really good win today from the boys. They set their stalls out from the start of the game and played some really sensible rugby, exiting well to put the pressure back on Bishop Burton. It’s really pleasing to get the win.”

Before they can focus on the promotion play-off, NTU have the Championship to look forward too, with the top four teams in North A competing in the last 16 with the eight teams currently in the Super Rugby. Of the four games taking place (the top four teams in Super Rugby have byes), two will be streamed live and highlights will be shown on BT Sport. It is a very exciting time for NTU Men’s Rugby Union and the last 16 game will take place on either Tuesday 28 February or Wednesday 1 March.

Fowkes said: “We have to build now going into the Championship, which will be a tough test for us against the top teams in the country. With the play-off to look forward to afterwards, it means we have to keep building, keep working hard like we have done all season, and make sure we keep performing well.”

To keep up to date with the team, make sure you follow them on Twitter.

Photos from the yesterday's game can be found on the NTU Sport Facebook page.

Men's Rugby Union secure the North A title in style

Published on 16 February 2017
  • Category: Sport

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