1st XV
Sat 07 Mar 2020
Hadrians Cup Pool A - Typhoons RUFC
Berkshire Unicorns RFC
1st XV
Hadrian's Cup Pool A - Match 3

Hadrian's Cup Pool A - Match 3

John Kelly9 Mar 2020 - 17:46
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Unicorns emerge victorious but are sorrowful in victory


The Unicorns final pool match was against the Lancashire Typhoons RUFC, a side we have yet to play in any IGR competition. Having watched their opening match it was clear that like the Serpents we were not likely to win up front though they also had some nippy backs which would make open play quite dangerous if we were spread too thin. The advantage we would use for this game was going to be experience as that seemed to be the main weakness in the team. Victory was required to assure progression to the Semi Final which set up the game to be an interesting one. The Unicorns started as they intended to go on by shipping the ball to Winger Steve Tyler who ran in close to the posts but not close enough as the conversion just did not have the legs (Unlike Steve) dropping short of the posts but at least on target.This was quickly followed by a storming run from Prop Richard Dunn who half pitched to glory in the corner. A feat he repeated minutes later with a near identical run.With both try's in the corner conversions were sadly lacking but fate meant that Winger Darren Chester would find himself in space with the ball and broke through the remaining Typhoons defence to score under the posts and join the honored Unicorn kickers club by getting the drop goal conversion. This was quickly followed up by another Steve Tyler try, again in the corner, which meant that the Unicorns had dominated first half proceedings and missed four from five kicks.

Half time score 27-0 to the Unicorns.

After such a one sided half the Typhoons were hungry for retribution and started a determined comeback. A series of well executed breakdown plays saw the Typhoons cross the line for the first time on the outside and sadly missed their conversion. Nevertheless the game was on. Aware of how the other matches had gone with us leading the Unicorns dug deep into defence mode and held the state of play for a good five minutes keeping the Typhoons tied down in rucks and denying them running opportunities. The Typhoons next break came from a poor Unicorns lineout that saw the ball get to the Typhoons backs. Some superb work from the Typhoons got them to within 7m of the Unicorns line but their winger was cut down by Second Row John Kelly. After all that hard work, the winger did not deserve what happened to him, but all credit to the player who managed to get the offload to his team. In the course of the tackle the Typhoons player had fell awkwardly and by the conclusion of the tackle the player had sadly suffered a broken leg. Nevertheless the player ensured that his sacrifice was not in vain and the Typhoons crossed the line beneath the posts to score their second and also converted it.

At this point the Typhoons Captain decided to call the game rather than move pitches and thus the game ended on a more downbeat note than it should have. Though it is part of the contact game, no team wishes injuries on their opposition and when these things happen they are always regretful. The whole Unicorns team sends their best wishes (as well as Ambassador Pennywise) to the player in question and hope for a speedy recovery. Victory had all but assured progress to the semi finals though that was still open with the Tritons and Serpents to play, but with the former emerging victorious we took runner up in the pool to get to the Semi's.

Unicorns coach and 1st XV Captain John Kelly was very sad that he had been directly responsible for the injury of the Typhoons player which distracted from a good team performance and play more worthy of the Unicorns. He commented "We all know the risk when we play the game but when they happen they are shit and when you are responsible it is not possible to feel anything other than being gutted. First and foremost mine and the teams best wishes go to the injured player and we hope that the injury does not dissuade him from continuing playing rugby. The Typhoons were a great opposition and while we ruthlessly exploited their weaknesses to win the game there is an underlying quality there that is not reflected in the one sided scoring of the first half. This was the match where we found our groove and got the tempo right and it should have been a much more upbeat victory than the circumstances allowed. We look forward to playing the Typhoons again in much more happier circumstances."

The Unicorns finished as Runners Up in Pool A which will see them in action against the Winners of Pool B the Dublin Emerald Warriors.

Match details

Match date

Sat 07 Mar 2020



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