Roses 2012: UYRUFC Complete Clean Sweep
Defeat overall meant that Roses 2012 was in general not a weekend to savour for York's finest sportsmen and women. However, if there was one sports club that truly did the White Rose proud this weekend, it was UYRUFC, with the men's rugby squad gaining four comfortable wins out of four over their main rivals.
The club were clearly well prepared for the weekend, convening a week before the start of the summer term to begin their training. Their lively and regular social calendar was watered down so that they could focus on being ready for their most important fixtures of the season, and judging by the performances of all four squads, their efforts clearly paid off. Not only was the consistency of their performances across the board particularly impressive, but so was the remarkable consistency of their tactics. Boom forwards such as Ayo Fatuga (3rd XV), Jordan Abbott (2nd XV) and Campbell Paton (1st XV) carried well, laying the platform for the club's plethora of electric backs, such as the 2nd XV wingers Conan Osborne and Ollie Woodward, who both particularly stood out. Meanwhile, the three fly halves; Tom Chadwick (1st XV), Will Peters (2nd XV) and Ed Harris (3rd XV) controlled proceedings throughout, putting in assured displays with the boot, both with their tactical kicking and goal kicking to keep Lancaster at a perpetual disadvantage.
The weekend began for UYRUFC with the Sevens match on Friday afternoon, where captain James Faktor led his side to a 12-5 victory. Faktor got the ball rolling with a try in the corner, before Gabriel Adebiyi's added a second. Despite a late fightback from Lancaster, and the closeness of the scoreline, Faktor's men fully deserved to win. Saturday saw the 3rd XV as the next to lock horns with the Red Rose, overcoming a scrappy and error strewn first half to run out comfortable 37-5 winners courtesy of late tries from Santiago Parilli and Ollie Oates. The 2nd XV produced a far more commanding performance, arguably the best of the day, as their lightning fast back line ran rampant in a 34-12 victory. The game saw some sumptuous tries, but none more so than York's first, where Will Peters' beautiful weighted kick to the corner found Ollie Woodward totally unmarked.
Saturday's showpiece occasion though was the 1st XV match. Lancaster were harbouring hopes of an upset, having won their only BUCS fixture of the season 17-10 at home against York in January. However, the visitors were clearly in no mood to be embarrassed again, and despite going behind 3-0 early on, three excellent Tom Chadwick penalties gave them a 9-3 lead at half time in a tightly contested half.
It was Chadwick who proved to be the difference between the two sides, as the former Liverpool Collegiate fly-half produced a masterful display of tactical kicking to constantly pen Lancaster in their own half. He also demonstrated his running skills, gathering his own chip over the top of the defence to score the first try of the match early in the second half. This provided the catalyst for York to pile on the pressure, and flanker Adam Gaskell eventually ensured that their pressure counted on the scoreboard. Chadwick failed to convert both tries, but he did kick his fourth penalty of the match late on to make the final score 22-6.
It was therefore a thoroughly deserved fourth successive whitewash for York's finest, and one particularly for the club to savour. Spectators witnessed four truly dominant performances, and learned how tactical rugby union should be played. It was a fantastic end to a somewhat average season for UYRUFC, which all connected with the club has every right to be proud of.