Durham 1st XV vs Northumbria University 1st XV

Match Report: 27/1/16

Durham 1st XV vs Northumbria University 1st XV

This match up was highly anticipated and set to be another cracker if Durham were to follow suit from their previous BUCS match against the current champions Leeds Beckett. Durham did not disappoint, displaying some exciting rugby against this week’s challengers.

As the first whistle blew Durham were eager to get under the ball, Robbie Keith caught the ball and quickly shipped the ball on to Buchan who set the tone for the first half by carrying hard and putting pace into the game. As the minutes passed it was clear that Durham weren’t in for an easy walkover as Northumbria were the first to put points onto the scoreboard via a breakaway try off a failed charge down attempt from the halfway line, Northumbria failed to add the extras.

However, Durham did not seem too shaken by the score line as they had an air of confidence about them, no doubt still inspired by last week’s scalp, they continued to play with pace and intent. Only minutes later, Durham found themselves within the opposition’s half were they forced a penalty out of Northumbria, it was well within Robbie Keith’s kicking ability, therefore 3 points were duly added to make the score line 3-5, this then led to a myriad of points to come Durham’s way. Robbie Keith then converted another penalty kick. Soon after Rob ‘Bobby’ Stevenson ran in a try and Keith easily converted making the score line 13-5. Durham’s next try culminated in a mixed effort by both the forwards and backs. Stevenson had another flourishing run down the right wing. Deep in the enemy 22, the ball shifted to the left. After numerous forward picks, the line was left open for a scintillating step by Robbie ‘The Cash’ Keith to finish under the posts. After the conversion the score line rested 20-5 in Durham’s favour.

Even with Durham’s immense pressure flowing like a cascading river into the second half, the opposition still managed to capture the first score. Like a reflection of the first half, it projected a forecast for the rest of the game. Although, Northumbria got another penalty from far out, Durham were not phased and upped the pressure. Illustrated by a Myerscough like defence, the opposition soon lost possession in the Durham 22. This was followed by a storming run down the middle, again by the on-form Robbie Stevenson, unsnagged he was able to open up showing that he is from stock far superior to that of the “one-trick ponies”: the stallion cantered in for 5. This was followed by another pinpoint conversion by The Cash. 27-15 to the men in Palatinate.

Durham showed no mercy. Resting on the opposition 22 touchline, Durham looked calm. Especially a Portuguese monster whose goes by the human name of Diogo. His egg like appearance seemed to give him a special connection with the game. After a powerful maul, Justin Clegg broke away, replicating the prowess of Sonny Bill Williams with an off-load to Timmy Turner. Quick feet resulted in another try under the posts. Again followed by another 2 pointer for the cash generator. Score 34-15 to Durham.

Sharp lines and tactical changes in the direction of play, saw Durham carve up the opposition like butter. 10 meters from the line, Durham were able to score a barnstorming dive try in the corner. Unfortunately, the conversion was unsuccessful and the final score ended 39-15 to Durham. Promising stuff from a side finding form at the business end of the season.

Joe Duffy



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