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1st XV progress in to last 32 of NatWest national vase

College Rugby - 1st XV  progress in to last 32 of NatWest national vase

The 1st XV continued their good start to the season with a third round victory over Bishop Heber 24-27 away in Malpas. Heber who have produced players like Ben and Tom Curry, who is currently starring for England in Japan, were physical and tough opponents.

However, the 1st XV have put in a lot of extra training sessions in recent weeks and this was reflected by an excellent start. Colquitt who is starting to find his form of last season, scored an early try following powerful forward play and good work in the line-out.

St Anselm's dominated the early exchanges and should really have been well ahead on the score board. Sloppy defence allowed Heber to score a soft try but then a powerful burst from Hancox gave us a 12-5 lead. The last ten minutes of the first half were spent in the Heber 22m area but excellent defence and a lack of accuracy meant it was a frustrating finish to the half.

Playing with the breeze and the slope in the second half St Anselm's started to gain a firm grip on the match. Pressure led to a Lynch penalty 15-5. However, sloppy play once again gave Heber the initiative and they scored a well worked try to make it 15-12.

The next fifteen minutes were then our best of the match and the ball from 9 and 10 was quicker and more controlled. A good backs move and excellent link play led to Hancox powering through for his second converted by Lynch. Further inroads into the Heber 22 led to a well finished try by Roscoe.  A cross-field kick from Lynch nearly led to a try for youngster Paziuk.

The score line looked comfortable at 27-12 with ten minutes to go but with penalties at the breakdown going against us the momentum started to swing back towards the home team. A well finished break and then a score at the very end made it a close game and a subdued finish to the match.

However, overall it was an excellent away win by a very young side that is growing in confidence week by week. Hard work and commitment are the foundations to success in Rugby and if the boys keep training with intensity the season will get better and better. With key players set to return from injury we can look forward to a last 32 match v Altrincham after half term and games against Merchant Taylors, Sandbach, Ellesmere and Liverpool College.

Well done to all those who have contributed to a very encouraging first half term of senior rugby.

Mr S Mason