Department of Sport

Men's Rugby secure a historic double



After a successful season and finishing top of their league, University of Nottingham Men’s Rugby 1st XV had the opportunity to take on league rivals, University of Newcastle, in the Men’s Rugby BUCS Vase Trophy at BUCS Big Wednesday. 

Taking place in a packed-out Highfields, the showcase saw a tough contest between two very competitive teams. The University of Nottingham Men’s rugby programme has seen significant development under the leadership of Head Coach Paul Westgate, and the team have enjoyed a wonderful season and are now knocking on the door of BUCS Super Rugby. 

BUCS Men's Rugby Vase 

University of Nottingham squad: 

  1. Archie van der Flier 

  1. Ben Sugars (Captain) 

  1. Alex Sabin 

  1. Rob Carmichael 

  1. Will Kelley 

  1. Caelan Stanton 

  1. Ed Timpson 

  1. James Cherry 

  1. Henry Mortimer 

  1. Max Brown 

  1. Will Poland 

  1. Freddie Vaughan 

  1. Cameron Furley 

  1. Connor Moyse 

  1. Tom Allen 

  1. Lewis Pickford 

  1. Henry Low 

  1. Oli Thorneywork 

  1. Lewis Barratt 

  1. Dan Aldwinckle 

  1. Jacob Whelan 

  1. Seb May 

After a slow start of playing the ball back and forth between each of the 22’s, the #GreenandGold managed to push Newcastle back to their 5m line and pick up a turnover penalty at 7 minutes. The most trusted boot of the season, Henry Mortimer, lined up the kick and opened the scores for a 3-0 lead to Nottingham. The scoring didn’t stop there, and after some continuous pressure and cheeky chip through the middle from the maverick Max Brown, tight head prop Alex Sabin was able to go in for the score. Mortimer converted making it 10-0 to Nottingham after 11 minutes. 

Following some ill-discipline, Newcastle pinned the #GreenandGold back following a turnover ball from a Nottingham lineout, and score the resulting penalty for 10-3 after 23 minutes. Further ill-discipline from Nottingham saw more penalties for Newcastle, helping them bridge the gap to 10-6 at 32 minutes. With momentum behind them, Newcastle's speedy winger managed to pick apart the #GreenandGold defensive line, eventually putting their 15 under the sticks, with conversion slotted down the middle. It was now 13-10 to Newcastle after 44 minutes. 

Now being behind for the first time in the game, the #GreenandGold wasted no time in getting to half-time for some refocusing, and some words of encouragement from Coach Westgate. 

The second half started similar to the first, with the #GreenandGold applying pressure onto Newcastle who gave away multiple infringements, and saw their hooker sin binned at 59 minutes. Shortly after gaining the man advantage, Nottingham picked up another penalty which Mortimer quickly took to put captain Sugars in the corner for a beautiful try – All Blacks legend Dane Coles would be proud! Mortimer then curled in the conversion to put tthe #GreenandGold back in the lead at 17-13 after 62 minutes. Mortimer followed this with another penalty after a powerful turnover from James Cherry, to make it 20-13 after 70 minutes. 

With a score between them, Newcastle managed to up their game into another gear and put continuous pressure on the Nottingham XV. Powerful pick and go after powerful pick and go, Newcastle crashed through the defensive line to tie the game 20-20. 

With the scores now tied, the fixture went into extra time of two 10 minute halves. After 82 minutes, winger Poland managed to break through the holes in the Newcastle defense to widen the gap, and Brown (deputising for Mortimer) nailed the conversion to put Nottingham ahead 27–20. Newcastle though, replied with a score of their own, a standard phase play and crash through on the wing. However, the conversion was missed! This meant it was 27-25 after 92 minutes. 

Nottingham ultimately managed to hold off wave after wave of Newcastle attack, and eventually won a turnover penalty in the Newcastle 22. Brown lined up the conversion and hit it straight through the sticks when the final whistle blew. Nottingham take the win and BUCS Vase by a score of 30-25!  

Final Result: University of Nottingham 30 – University of Newcastle 25 

Head of Performance Rugby, Paul Westgate, commented: 

“I’m so pleased and incredibly proud of all the players today, what a fantastic achievement. We’ve worked incredibly hard in practice to back up winning our league. Our experienced players have been invaluable today, offering leadership during some crucial moments. The season doesn't stop here, we've a play-off fixture to prepare for and I know with this squad it's going to be an exciting few weeks of preparation!” 

For more information on Performance Rugby Union at the University of Nottingham, please click here.

Posted on Wednesday 23rd March 2022

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