3rd October 2018
After a fantastic seven week pre-season programme, the Bishop Burton mens rugby finally got the chancee to put into action all the planning and hard work out on the field.
First up was arguably the hardest match of the season against last years champions on their home ground. After a great trip up and an intense warm up the boys were full of confidence and ready to go.
In a eagerly contested first half, it was Newcastle who struck first with a well worked catch and drive line out, from 5 meters out, to get the first 5 pointer (conversion missed).
Bishop Burton College, spurred on, made some powerful inroads into the Newcastle half with Jerry Turagabeci and Ratu Bavadra showing fantastic footwork to get in behind the hosts, this lead to a breakdown infringement that allowed Morgan Bunting the chance to notch the first points of the new season. This he duly slotted from 53 metres to silence the boisterous crowd. A further infringement by Newcastle allows Bunting to add to the score to lead 6 - 5.
Newcastle made some telling runs with their very strong centre partnership including England 7s star Harry Glover who showed his class with some illusive running and powerful fends. This lead to Newcastles next try again their kicker missing the conversion to leave the scores at 10-6 to the hosts.
Undeterred the Bishop Burton boys rallied again in a very physical game with both defences engaging in fast line speed and committed tackles. A defensive mix up lead to Newcastles third try of the half. Then Bishop had a fantastic opportunity with a 5 metre scrum from Newcastle’s line. A powerful burst from Bavadra from no 8 came inches from the line but was then bundled over by Danny Vannet for Bishops first 5 pointer of the campaign.
Half time 15 - 13 to Newcastle
Second half saw Newcastle demonstrate their champion winner class and applied plenty of pressure to the Bishop Burton defensive line, this pressure was starting to show with some incomplete tackles allowing their hard running Centre and 7s star, Glover to finish off two early tries.
The pace began to take its toll on the Bishop Burton boys as frustration kicked in, this was quickly followed by some heroic defence from Will Hall.
The inclusion of three members from the FE ranks Zak Redmond, George Austin - Thompson and Brandon Leggett must be mentioned who all held a great account of themselves on the first outing at this level.
Some dubious refereeing interpretations at the line out lead to two more tries from the driving maul to see Newcastle take the game out of reach.
It was a great learning day and the Bishop Burton boys (as usual) never gave up and should feel very proud of the effort they showed with plenty of room for improvement.