The University of Sheffield’s rugby union men’s 2s ended a brilliant year on a high with a convincing 25-0 victory over Sheffield Hallam.
The University of Sheffield played with some real ferocity and there was plenty of controlled aggression, which at moments in the second-half did overspill for both sides, in a match that was eventful both on and off the pitch.
The opening 15 minutes were cagey and tense as both teams tried to assert their dominance on the game. It was Uni who looked like the team more likely to score first, dominating the opening battles, but they struggled to breakthrough Hallam’s organised defensive line.
It was a defensive error that allowed Uni to get the first points on the board in the 16th minute. A Hallam kick went straight to the hands of a Uni player, before Kaspar Strugar crossed over the try line to give the University of Sheffield a 5-0 lead. Strugar was unable to extend Uni’s advantage further, missing the conversion.
Two minutes later, the University of Sheffield scored another try. Uni once again targeted the left-side of the Hallam defence and, for the second time in two minutes, they carved a way through the Hallam defence, with Lewis Allan doubling the University of Sheffield’s points tally. The conversion was in a similar position to the first try, but Strugar was again unable to convert.
The University of Sheffield continued to dominate the possession and territory, with Hallam having few chances as Uni were quick on defence to shut down any space. It was another 10 minutes, however, until Uni extended their advantage further. Sam Alderton looked as though he had been held up inside Hallam’s 10-metre line, but he powered his way towards the try-line, before touching the ball beyond the line to give Uni a 15-0 lead after 28 minutes.
Adam Spinner took over the kicking responsibilities from Strugar, but like the left-winger, Spinner had no joy with the conversion as he failed to convert Alderton’s try from the left side of the field. The University of Sheffield extended their advantage to 20 on the stroke of half-time through Ollie Lazarevic. A Uni kick was not dealt with by the Hallam defence; a scramble inside Hallam’s 10-metre line followed, before Lazarevic took the ball over the line to give Uni a comfortable lead at the halfway stage.
Similar to the first-half, the University of Sheffield dominated the possession and territory, with Hallam not able to get out of their own half until 14 minutes into the second-half. But for all Uni’s dominance and pressure, they were unable to extend their advantage until the 70th minute when Joe Sinclair scored Uni’s fifth and final try.
Things did boil over at moments in the second-half both on and off the pitch. There was a stoppage in play while the referee dealt with an altercation between a few of the players from both sides. Things appeared to have calmed down on the pitch, before there was another stoppage in play while security dealt with fans entering the field of play.
Captain Ed Wild told Forge Sport: “It doesn’t get better than this. We have had a great season and this just tops it off. We haven’t lost a game all season, but Varsity means everything for us. That is what we have worked for all year and that is why we train so hard. There’s no feeling quite like beating your local rivals.”