– Josh Clark contributed with this report.
The University of Lincoln’s rugby union team triumphed in a one sided home fixture against a high-spirited University of Warwick team, winning 19-0 on Wednesday, October 27th.
After last week’s epic encounter against Staffordshire, improvements needed to be made if Lincoln wished to match their ambitions with results. Another home fixture provided the perfect stage for Lincoln to get their title challenge back on track after dropped points last week.
In sunny but blustery conditions the team knew that only a victory would satisfy and keep them in the hunt for promotion. It showed as Lincoln got off to a highly impressive and confident start.
The game began with Lincoln dominating the early exchanges, with maximal pressure being applied as Warwick struggled to contain a fired-up Lincoln team. With some precise tactical kicking coming from half-backs Nick Bates and Adam Shaw, Warwick often became stretched and struggled to get off the back foot as Lincoln piled forward.
Any resilience from Warwick was dealt with by a solid defence ushered by Nick Bates in the backs and Lee Hunter in the forwards. Full back Steve Callis ensured that Warwick’s territorial kicking game was nullified through his ability to deal with the high-ball and clever kicking.
With the two sets of forwards matching their opposition, it was up to the backs to test their skill and wits against a tight Warwick defence.
Warwick finally succumbed to the Lincoln pressure as a strong scrum proved too much for the away side’s pack. Tom Landers showed his qualities at number 8, offloading to Ryan Hough who was allowed to race over for the first points of the game. Mark Woollard kicked the subsequent conversion.
Half time came with Lincoln failing to add to their first score. Warwick were still in the game with the scoreline at 7-0. With Warwick reeling, it was identified that a second half first score was essential.
Lincoln came out strong again for the second half but failed to convert for long periods of time due to the combination of poor communication and strong defence from Warwick. The game remained at a standstill, until Lincoln’s Ryan Hough went over for his second try of the game after some slick handling in the backs.
With the score at 12-0 both teams started to tire and errors started to become more prominent from both sides.
Lincoln added to their score five minutes from time with fly half Nick Bates scoring after a fluent passing move, the match finishing 19-0 to the home side. Lee Hunter received man of the match for an industrious performance in the back row.
Captain Jake Dobson was full of praise for his team after what was a great result for Lincoln which keeps their title challenge alive.