Durham University win BUC Cup Final.
by Kent Pattinson/On The Tryline
The listing was posted by Berkshire County RFU
Berkshire and Windsor’s Jack Pattinson played at Twickenham last Wednesday in the British Universities Championship Cup Final for Durham University in a last gasp victory against the University of Wales, Cardiff. Around 150 supporters from Windsor Rugby Club and The Windsor Boys’ School were among the crowd of 7,000 at rugby’s HQ . Durham mounted a spirited second half comeback having trailed 23-12 at half time. The deficit was reduced to one point and then with only four minutes to go Durham were awarded a penalty which was scored to secure the Cup in a 25-23 win. In his post match interview Durham University’s Head Coach, Alex Keay , said “ I thought the lad who came on for us at 6, Jack Pattinson, was absolutely exceptional, exceptional. I mean his tackle rate, his turnover rate, they were fantastic“. (Full interview below as audio).
Jack getting ready to come on after 25 minutes.
By any standards it has been a very special year for Durham University and the icing was definitely put on the cake yesterday with a splendid last gasp 25-23 victory in the BUCS Championship Final against UWIC. Seemingly out of contention with five minutes to go, Durham staged another of their great escape acts to score ten unanswered points to condemn UWIC to their third successive final defeat and in doing so, secured for themselves an unbeaten season and the double of the Championship and the Northern Premier League title.
UWIC will reflect on their inability to build on a strong first half performance which saw them lead 23-12 at half time or to capitalize on at least two scoring opportunities in the opening stages of the game. Their backs looked dangerous and with a good supply of possession they looked to move the ball wide, frequently breaking the defensive line with full back, Dan Bibby very much to the fore.
Despite the lively start from UWIC and an early penalty from Rhys Roberts, it was Durham who secured the first try of the game. Rather belying tha 80kg weight disadvantage, the Durham pack produced two fine line out drives with the second of the drives seeing them cross the line with relative ease from five metres allowing Guy Sears to touch down.
It was Bibby who then sparked a response with a wonderful solo run from just within his own half to give UWIC their opening try on 18 minutes. Evading six tacklers, Bibby finished his run with a dummy pass to leave a hapless final Durham defender in his wake to the delight of his team and vocal supporters. The response from Durham was immediate and after a fine passage of interplay, UWIC were penalized for killing the ball at a ruck on their 22. With the UWIC defence in disarray, a quick tap penalty and slick pass saw David Haigh, the Durham left winger run in from 20 metres unopposed.
With no sign of the end to end phase of the game abating, UWIC took advantage of a lack of concentration at the restart and after some fine support play, the UWIC tight head, Nick Halse barged over from 10 metres. With UWIC in the ascendancy, another try seemed very likely and a flowing move down the right wing, provided a try on 31 minutes for Josh Jacas after some very deft handling.
After the break it was Durham that started strongly and only a deliberate knock run prevented Haigh from adding to his first try from another quickly taken penalty. The resulting penalty was completed by Ward and Durham were within 8 points of UWIC. Although Durham continued to press with some impressive strong running from Tom Shiel in the centre, remarkably there was no further score as the game entered the last ten minutes. A whole raft of replacements was necessary as cramp took hold with UWIC Captain and No.8, Richard de Carpentier having to leave the field.
UWIC still had their chances to secure the game and after a sustained period of pressure and some tenacious defending from Durham, Roberts missed an attempted drop goal from just outside the 22. With this respite Durham looked to keep the ball alive and after a passage of play starting in their own half, it was their tireless captain and open side, Rob Malaney who charged for the line from 15 metres to score with 5 minutes of normal time remaining, A successful conversion from replacement Alex Graham brought Durham within a point of the Cardiff based University.
UWIC immediately had a chance of a reply with a knock on deep in the 22. Despite a penalty against Durham for a collapsed scrum and a choice of another scrum by UWIC, Durham managed to defend their line as the stadium clock reached 80 minutes. With confusion on the extent of the injury time to be played, Tom O’Toole, the Durham fullback lifted the siege with a brave and ultimately game defining break from behind his own line which brought him to the half way line only to see his long pass dropped by his team mate with one defender to beat.
UWIC’s inability to retain the ball in the latter stages of the game was once again their undoing and after securing possession just in their own half, Durham mounted one last attack. Despite some fine defence, Durham were able to retain possession through some exquisite if at time desperate off loading and powerful running. After 20 phases, the North Easterners were finally awarded a penalty for off side deep in the UWIC 22 and Graham once again calmly steeped up to give Durham a one point lead in the eighth minute of injury time. Any expectation that the final whistle might sound, was soon corrected as the referee, Chris Sharp added on an additional four minutes of tension filled time.
In his first year as Director of Rugby, Alex Keay has instilled a powerful combination of great resilience and fitness in his squad and after quarter and semi final comebacks, there was a strong inevitability about Durham’s wonderful comeback and stunning victory.
Alex Keay – Durham University, Director of Rugby
“They don’t surprise me – they have done that all year, four times in total and twice in the cup. We just have a bad habit of digging ourselves a hole but the good thing is we can climb out of it, but one day we might not.
The players have been magnificent and they have not lost a game all season and to do that and win your last game at Twickenham – man they are just legends.
“We have some good individuals but we are better as a team and our pack is developing in to a nice unit. Perhaps nice to show that you don’t need big heavy lads.
“We also thought that they would tire and they did.”
Alun Williams UWIC Coach
“On reflection a good first half performance but probably did not get enough from our dominance. I felt we bombed two possibly three tries which would have put the game to bed. Started reasonably well in the second half but did not really look after the ball well enough and gave up some cheap territory.
“Bit of confusion in the end as we played the stadium clock in the first half till the second and then somewhere we find thirteen minutes of injury time in the second half which may or not been but either we are playing the stadium clock or we are not playing the stadium clock. Our guys were feeling that the job was done!