South West captain’s try caps remarkable fightback
South East Students 32 – 34 South West Students
BUCS Student Regional Matches
By Chris Wilson at Maidenhead RFC
Image by Alison Fallon
The eight University of Bath players in the squad all contributed to the victory with hooker Tom Plance and wing Conan Osborne leading the way with Plance bagging a couple of tries and Osborne making some strong inroads from the wing. Substitute half-back Jamie Park also scored a fortuitous try under the sticks after capitalising on a South East handling error.
Chris Chatten, South West Team Manager said: “I was proud for the lads, due to the large geographic area we have had some difficulties in training together, they dug in and turned around an 18 point deficit to come back and win the game from the half-way point of the second period, which takes some doing.”
A late try from South West captain James Mason snatched a dramatic win from a South East side that had seemingly won the game with fourteen points in ten minutes just after the interval. When Mason powered over from a Jarrod Simm pass, it capped a remarkable turnaround from 32-14 down as the South West scored four tries in the last quarter of a fast-paced and entertaining match.
There were standout performers on both sides. The South East were well served by prop Malikhi Lloyd-Jones, hooker James Smith and the experienced Sam Druce while for the South West Callum Bradbury took the eye as did Luke Stephens and Conan Osborne.
Throughout the first period, the South East were able to make good ground forward with powerful drives and quick play the balls but the first score went the way of the South West as hooker Tom Plance dived over from close range.
However, the South East recovered possession from the restart and Lloyd-Jones powered over, Druce giving them the lead with the goal.
Plance put the South West back in front with another effort from close to the line but it was soon 12-8 as Druce sent Callum Whitcombe over for a converted try.
The South West rang the changes and one of them, hooker Stephens added a try under the posts, again from dummy half near the line. Danny Fallon’s goal that gave the South West a 14-12 advantage was the last time they saw the lead until the very end of the game.
The home side took a deserved 18-14 lead into the break as the lively Smith scored the fourth try of the half from a dummy half sneak from almost on the whitewash.
The South East had been the better side for the first period and showed it on the scoreboard in the early minutes of the second period as they began to build a lead that looked to have given them the win.
Two minutes into the half, Fraser Marjoribanks went over out wide on the left before picking up a superb offload to cross wide on the right five minutes later.
From the restart, Jamie MacKay powered through the defence and raced away to the line for a sensational try goaled by Kain Monks, which gave the South East a seemingly unassailable 32-14 lead with a quarter of the game left.
Just past the hour mark, Brad Kislingbury stretched over the line to touch down and the chase was on. Kislingbury then finished well in a tight space in the corner from Dawson’s sharp pass before Joe Morgan’s error presented Jamie Park with an unopposed run to the line as he fumbled Mason’s chip through straight into Park’s grateful hands.
The South East were clinging on but conceded one penalty too many and Mason blasted through the defence to touch down. Fallon’s kick drifted wide so there was still a faint hope for the South East but they could not threaten the defence in the few remaining moments.
SOUTH EAST SQUAD (St Mary’s University unless stated): Joe Morgan (Richmond College), Luke Burgess, Charlie Faux, Simon Hrbek (Bedford Uni), James Smith (Oxford Uni), Duncan Ralph, Fraser Marjoribanks (Buckingham Uni), William Ramdhan, Sam Druce (Capt.), Michael Wright (Oxford Brookes), James Clark (Oxford Uni), Kain Monks, Malikhi Lloyd-Jones (Brunel Uni), Miles Huppatz (Cambridge Uni), Charlie Greene, Jamie Mackay, Jonathan Rust (Brunel Uni), Lee Reilly, Callum Whitcombe (Champion School), Mark Giza (Oxford Uni).
Tries: Malikhi Lloyd-Jones (5), Callum Whitcombe (23), James Smith (36), Fraser Marjoribanks (42, 48), Jamie Mackay (50)
Goals: Sam Druce 3 from 3, Kain Monks 1 from 3
SOUTH WEST (University of Gloucestershire unless stated): Ed McGuire (Bath Uni); Joe Ring (Bath Uni), Brad Kislingbury, Chris Barlow, Conan Osborne(Bath Uni); Hanley Dawson, Liam Rice-Wilson; Callum Bradbury, Tom Plance (Bath Uni), Jarrod Simm; Connor Jones, James Mason (Capt.); Danny Fallon; INTERCHANGE: Lartey Laryea (Swansea Uni), Kaine Dimech, James Exley (Bath Uni), Liam Cashman (Bath Uni), David Belcher (Bath Uni), Jamie Park (Bath Uni), Luke Stephens.
Tries: Tom Plance (2, 12), Luke Stephens (27), Brad Kislingbury (61, 66), Jamie Park (69), James Mason (77)
Goals: Liam Rice-Wilson 0 from 2, Danny Fallon 3 from 5.
Referee: Malcolm Holmes (SW RLRS)
STORY OF THE GAME
2 min Tom Plance try, Liam Rice-Wilson missed goal 0-4
5 min Malikhi Lloyd-Jones try, Sam Druce goal
12 min Tom Plance try, Liam Rice-Wilson missed goal 6-8
23 min Callum Whitcombe try, Sam Druce goal
27 min Luke Stephens try, Danny Fallon goal
36 min James Smith try, Sam Druce goal
42 min Fraser Marjoribanks try, Kane Monks missed goal 22-14
48 min Fraser Marjoribanks try, Kane Monks missed goal 26-14
50 min Jamie Mackay try, Kane Monks goal
61 min Brad Kislingbury try, Danny Fallon goal
66 min Brad Kislingbury try, Danny Fallon missed goal 32-24
69 min Jamie Park try, Danny Fallon goal
77 min James Mason try, Danny Fallon missed goal 32-34