De Montfort University Rugby 3rd team won their first BUCS game against the University of Derby’s 4th team this week. The third team have only entered the BUCS league this season, so it was crucial to get the first win early.
It was great weather for a good game of rugby, and Derby set out to punish DMU early. They had kick-off and took possession quickly into the DMU half, but these were just a few moments of pressure. Derby kicked close to the try line from a penalty, but failed to win the lineout and win any points.
Having successfully defended this early attack, DMU made good ground with quick passing and keeping it tight in the middle with props consistently making good ground, forcing their way through the Derby tackles. There were some very promising moments of play, but they could not force their way over the line, with some good defending from the opposition, but DMU were controlling possession. There seemed to be some confusion when taking line-outs, with DMU losing a few key catches when they had kicked close to the line from penalties.
Suddenly out of nowhere, DMU broke through the Derby defence and scored a try right under the posts, a great run and line from Harry Lycett to score the first points of the game; this looked like a move devised and practised on the training ground. Darren Garrod followed up from this and scored the conversion, 7-0 to DMU.
DMU continued to pile on the pressure and Derby saw a player yellow carded and sin-binned for a high tackle on Billy McDowell, who was on the floor injured for a few minutes but then thankfully returned to the game. Despite their attacking, Derby defended their line valiantly and the first half ended 7-0.
The second half began with kick-off for DMU, and they immediately caught their kick and began the pressure again. A quick move saw a try disallowed for a contentious forward pass; without the referee blowing his whistle, Alex Ridley was through to increase the score.
A penalty was awarded to DMU close to the posts, and as the tactics of kicking to touch and trying to win lineouts weren’t working as well as it had been planned, Garrod decided to kick the penalty and scored. The score was now 10-0 to DMU.
Derby knew that they only had to score twice to be ahead in the game, and after a quick inspiring team talk from their captain, they began to find some form. There was some good passing and good ground made against the tiring DMU side, but they stood firm and stopped any attacks from getting through the defensive line, and the pressure was eventually dissolved.
The referee called 5 minutes until full time and DMU knew that one more score and the game was over for Derby. There were a few instances where it seemed like the team were trying to waste time and run down the clock, giving away a lineout for taking too much time to set up.
After this warning from the referee, DMU gave one last push and Alex Easton forced the ball over the try line with a great run in the last minute of the match. Darren Garrod converted the try with the last kick of the game, and DMU won 17-0.
It was an excellent performance from DMU, who controlled the play for almost the entire match. The tactics with lineouts and scrums began to work more effectively as the game progressed, and they made their great attacks count when they needed to.
The main criticism of this match was that DMU didn’t take all the chances they had; they could have easily scored a few more tries in the first half, and in other game that may have punished them.
Overall, it was a brilliant display from DMU who were resilient against a good Derby side who piled on a lot of pressure in the second half.
A great way to get their first BUCS win of the season!
My man of the match: Alex Easton for a brilliant try to put the game to bed and great runs throughout the game.