On Wednesday the Rugby Saints came away with the largest victory over UCC in my 20 years at SAC, and probably ever.
With three converted tries by your Saints in the last 10 minutes, the score is perhaps not reflective of the intensity and closeness of the match. Although there is no doubt that your Saints were the better team, having the majority of possession and making fewer mistakes overall, UCC were superb at the breakdown with many poaches, and the only team capable of stopping most (but not all) of Gabe’s runs.
Your Saints scored first, only a few minutes into the match, after a UCC knock-on gave us a scrum inside their 22. We scored twice more before the half on some very good sequences of possession, but it was a back-and-forth game with both sides demonstrating solid defence, and UCC pressing hard. We went a man down on a dangerously high tackle that left us without a full-back until seven minutes into the second half. UCC put in two well-earned tries to make it a 17-10 score with 30 minutes to go, and they were closing hard.
And then came the reply: Your Saints recovered possession from the re-start and, less than a minute later, saw Will Abbott smash the ball across the line for the turning point of the match. Four unanswered tries followed as the defences wore down, enabling four of our top athletes (Gabe, Hollett, Wells, and Maclean) to finish it off.
UCC 10 @ SAC 52
Will Abbott 15 (3 tries)
Clarke 12 (6 from 8 converts)
Wells 10 (2 tries)
Hollett 5 (try)
Gabe 5 (try)
Maclean 5 (try)
A sweet victory, but this peak only gives a view across the valley to the big mountain we still have to climb: an undefeated season and a CISAA Championship. There’s a lot of work still to be done, but the view from here is good.
Great is yet to come.
Next up: CISAA Semi-final, Wednesday, May 23, Appleby @ SAC 2:00 pm
Story by Jon Butcher, Coach