Congratulations have to go to our University 1st XV who last night beat Cardiff Met by an amazingly close 27-24 scoreline to wrap up their second successive win in the BUCS Super Rugby play-off final at Twickenham. The match was won with the last play of the game when hooker Luke Stratford finished off a gutsy line-out drive.
The victory means that Hartpury, who only formed the rugby academy in 2001, have now won seven of the last twelve BUCS finals at Twickenham, since their first-ever appearance in 2007. Not bad!
Hartpury were cruising at the break after tries from Maliq Holden and Alex Forrester (pictured, scoring) had put them into a 20-3 half-time lead.
Full credit to Cardiff Met, who produced a stunning second half which threatened to snatch the game away from the holders – scoring 21 unanswered points to take the lead – before a strong final ten minutes saw Hartpury lay siege to the Cardiff line until the pack finally drove over successfully.
It just goes to show that not all last minute scores have to be painful!
Earlier, Hartpury’s Women had played all the open rugby in their first-ever BUCS final against Exeter but, in the end, it was the more pragmatic approach of the Green & Whites that took the honours, 35-32, with a penalty kicked in extra time the difference. No doubt, this will not be the last Women’s final for Hartpury, whose HE rugby programme has developed incredibly in a short space of time.
Hartpury Men’s 3s and 4s also won their respective league competitions this season, while the 2s were again the highest-placed second string in all of BUCS rugby. Well done to all of the players and coaches concerned and, in particular, to Jack Combes, a final-year Sports Coaching student, who was separately awarded the title of Student Coach of the Year.
The future seems to be in good hands…