UKC Men’s Rugby Thirds Stun CCCU 43-7 to clinch Varsity title for Team Kent
Alex Miller watched on as the UKC Men’s thirds rugby team gave an impressive display on the fourth day of the 2016 Canterbury Varsity, stunning CCCU 43-7 and clinching the Varsity 2016 title for Team Kent.
The match began as a cagey affair with both teams showing early nerves in the opening minutes of the match. Sustained pressure from UKC soon followed though, with early promising runs from Ruben Fernandez-Zhou.
The deadlock was broken in the thirteenth minute with UKC kicking to touch from a penalty on the 22 and driving over the line from the line-out. The conversion fell short but the flood gates opened as Kent showed impressive dominance over the next fifteen minutes, repeatedly pegging Christ Church back in their 22.
An explosive run from the CCCU 10 meter line by Rob Kirwin set Fernandez-Zhou up for his second try of the game just 24 minutes into the match. The try was converted and just six minutes later UKC were over the line again with Freddie McKay pouncing upon a chip over the top of the CCCU backs making the score 17-0 with half an hour gone.
Although the conversion was missed again, UKC looked unstoppable as Morgan Whitehead converted an inside pass from open play into a try. This time the try was converted and with 36 minutes gone, UKC looked set to cruise to victory.
Christ Church did find some form towards the end of the first half. Penalty after penalty conceded by Kent on their own five meter line led to a penalty try being awarded to CCCU which was swiftly converted brining the score to 24 -7.
Scrappy play from CCCU from the restart ensured Kent went into half time with clear daylight between themselves and Christ Church as McKay went over the try line once again. The try was converted and the score was 31-7 at the break.
The second half lacked the flair and finesse of the first half with UKC looking less in control. Kent dominated the scrums though and ensured CCCU did not score again.
On the hour mark, the prop, Brody Robins, bundled over the line from a maul to add a further five points to the UKC tally. Christ Church did have one promising break in the second half but UKC dealt with it well and Josh Law finished the job for Kent by stepping his way to a try which was converted in the final minutes of the game.
This win takes UKC to an uncatchable 10 points clear in the Varsity 2016 league table ensuring Team Kent are Varsity champions for the 18th year in a row.