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Going for kicks

 

Varsity Match report by University of Leicester student James Burridge

[Photo: Varsity Match crowd]
A carnival atmosphere of close to 5,000 fans aided a fast and furious game of eight tries in the second Varsity match at Welford Road. [Photo: Cheerleaders at Varsity Match]

They were also hoping to create a new Guinness World Record, downing around 900 half pints of Everards best bitter! [see report below]

[Photo: throw-in] [Photo: Two players]
Leicester nudged a feisty and frenetic first half of rugby, three tries to two. Although three points down in the first minute thanks to a Nick Ventress penalty for De Montfort, Leicester quickly regained their composure. After Nick Sutton’s break into the twenty-two, fellow centre Bonar Styles managed to slip two men to score in the corner. [Photo: players running]
It was the start of things to come. Four minutes later, Leicester's fly-half Al Fox cut through his opposite man on the half way line, before the Leicester backs showed a cracking display of running rugby. Full-back Matt Murtagh became the 
'glory boy', scything through the De Montfort twenty-two, scoring and then converting his own try.
[Photo: rugby tackle]
De Montfort, however, were not to be outdone. James Downes scored from a line-out five yards out, and nine minutes later, number 8 Scott Williams strolled over for DM’s second try, exploiting the holes in a stretched Leicester back line.

[Photo: Varsity Match tackle]
Both sides missed chances to take a convincing lead, and indeed it needed something fortuitous for Leicester to sneak their third try before the break. Scrum-half Oli Peck chipped over the DM defence, before catching his own kick and offloading it to number eight Al Jones who touched down to the left of the posts. [Photo: Match in progress]

Six minutes into the second half, and Leicester stole a march on DM. Right wing Oli Poole eluded three DM tackles in a mesmerising run, before scoring in the far corner.

[Photo: Rugby player] Yet somehow DM refused to buckle. In an eighteen-minute spell, DM scored two tries and a penalty, putting them into the lead for the first time in the game, 30-25. The former polytechnic did what they knew best, scoring two push-over tries, their third of the match, and started to cause their university nemesis to panic. Leicester were forced onto the back foot, started to look uncomfortable in the back line, and conceded several penalties in the rucks.
It turned out to be the most crucial period of the game. A last gasp effort by defending champions Leicester in injury time - a full ten minutes in fact - saw DM conceding penalty after penalty five yards from their own line, yet they still held on. Ten minutes was all Leicester would be given. A turnover ball in front of the posts was soon cleared and booted into touch by DM, and then it was all over. Boy, was it a spectacle! [Photo: Varsity Match in progress]
TEAMS:
University of Leicester:

15 – Matt Murtagh, 
14 - Oli Poole, 
13 - Nick Sutton, 
12 - Bonar Styles, 
11 - Mark Harwood, 
10 – Al Fox, 
9 – Oli Peck, 
1 - Derek Hussain, 
2 – Robbie Adair, 
3 - Adam Mason, 
4 – James Weaver, 
5 - Hugo Young (c), 
6 – Mark Farrell, 
7 – David Mcturk, 
8 – Al Joness

Replacements – Taj Fregarne, Ian Forster, Matt Sishton, Sam Bennett, Roger Saladich, Peter Todd, Chris Vargyas, Oli Booth, John Clayton, Oli Caunce

De Montfort University:

15 - Ben Frost, 
14 - Will Hatchard, 
13 - Leo Lockwood, 
12 - David Nash, 
11- Rory Edmunds, 
10 - Nick Ventress, 
9 - Dan Ridley, 
1 - Sam Jackson, 
2 - Dan Wythe, 
3 -Jamie Nixon, 
4 - Blake Walker, 
5 - Dave Dearlove, 
6 -James Downes, 
7 - Matt Hahn, 
8 - Scott Williams.
A TASTE
FOR ACTION

Before the Varsity Match at the Tigers Ground on Welford Road in Leicester, spectators joined forces with the Tigers in a attempt to beat the world record for drinking beer.

[Photo: University of Leicester players]
Nearly 950 people lined up to each down a drink in turn. The aim was 1,000 half pints of Everards Tiger Best Bitter - the previous record - held by Bath University Mathematics Society - stood at 750 vodkas. The Leicester event, which is believed to have been a successful attempt at breaking the record, took two hours and twenty minutes.

The event was filmed and watched by judges from the Guinness Book of Records.

James Burridge's report was first published on the Leicester Tigers website at http://www.tigers/co/uk/sub_newsview.ink?nid=9201

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Last updated: 16 May 2003 10:55
Created by: Barbara Whiteman

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