Team Derby Dominate Northampton In Varsity Warm Up
The University of Derby’s Men’s 1st XV Rugby Union team ran out 55-12 winners against Varsity rivals Northampton University, in tough conditions at Kedleston Road on Wednesday.
The home side blew the opposition away in the first 15 minutes by dominating set pieces and scoring three tries.
It was a set piece which led to the first try, after a big push from the Derby pack pressured Northampton into kicking the ball away from their own try line. The resulting play saw Jack Chesney put winger Richard Davis over in the
corner, to score the first try of the game.
Then the forwards started to get on the scoresheet. First it was number eight Oscar Cotton, who went over the whitewash, after breaking free from the back of a maul to get his first try of the season.
Moments later, Derby bagged another try, after centre George Playford ran a brilliant switch line to scythe through the Northampton defence. He eventually offloaded to prop George Pollock who dotted down. The successful resulting conversion from Will Moore put Derby 19-0 up in the first 15 minutes.
The conditions then started to play a part in the game, as a lot of chances went amiss for Billy Robinson’s side. It was the industrious captain Nathan Crow, leading Derby from the front with some huge carries and tackles who bagged the try, after Davis was stopped just short of the line.
Northampton started the second half by scoring one of their own. A scrum inside Derby’s 22m line led to Henry Rawlings putting centre Ollie Harrison through a huge gap, to go under the posts untouched.
This sparked a reaction in the Derby side, and the tries began to pour in; Playford scored after a nice backs move.
The replacements then began to get on the scoresheet; firstly through winger Joe Wright, who went over after some nice play from the backs on the short side.
Connor McHale got his reward for a hard-working performance, when Pollock put him through a large gap to go over from short range.
Northampton managed to grab another try, when Rawlings and Harrison linked up again. This time Harrison dived on a nice little chip through to score their second.
Derby continued to show their pack dominance, when a driving maul set up the field position for replacement hooker Joshua Cant, to fight his way over in the corner.
The game was finished off when, a kick through was chased through and dived on by replacement centre Phill Brown, to seal a dominant win from Derby to earn early Varsity bragging rights over rivals Northampton.
BY HARRY MORGAN