Hartpury College – 07/10/2017

29Hartpury College

27Doncaster Knights

2:30 pm · October 7, 2017

Hartpury RFC 29-27 Hartpury.

A hat-trick for 19-year-old scrum half Harry Randall saw Hartpury RFC inflict a second defeat of the season on the Knights in the dying seconds of a dramatic tie at the Gilman’s Ground.

Hooker Ben Hunter lead the Knights out for the Club’s very first clash with Hartpury RFC. Whilst the two sides had never locked horns before, Hunter knows both very well having studied previous at the Gloucester based college however it wasn’t to be a happy home coming on his 100th appearance as a Knight.

Both Ben and the Knights began the fixture brightly and dominated the very early proceedings.

A solid set piece allowed for quick phase play and tidy carries as Donny frequently made inroads into the Students territory. On a couple of occasions the Knights went close but could not convert; the pressure told before too long though.

Centre Will Owen hit a short line and carried with gusto through the Harptury line, dragging defenders with him before getting his hands free and offloading to the oncoming Andy Bulumakau. Andy, another Hartpury alumni, put his foot down and raced away to score under the sticks and Humberstone converted.

From this moment onwards the first half very much belonged to Hartpury. A combination of purposeful carries and great work at the breakdown saw the hosts carry the fight to Donny for the remainder of the opening period.

‘Pury got themselves on the scoreboard on the twenty-minute mark winning a turnover on the floor, something they seemed to do all afternoon, and quickly whipped possession from coast to coast. Spinning the ball back to the right hand side opened up space and full back Mike Wilcox was able to run in.

The attacking momentum was pretty much one way until the interval as Hartpury really went after the Knights. The Donny set piece continued to perform well but it was not enough to create anything of note.

As the clock sneaked towards the forty-minute mark it seemed as if Hartpury had unlocked the Knights defence with a huge left hand side overlap but Junior Bulumakau gambled to pull off a much needed interception.

The respite was only brief however as moments later scrum half Harry Randall went over for his first of the afternoon

A good counter attack kick return set ‘Pury in motion and as the ball was spun wide winger Ed Sheldon was able to get a nice offload away to Matt Gilbert. The flanker continued the attack before handing onto Randall who was just able to keep out of Curtis Wilson’s clutches to score.

With just moments left in the half the Knights showed some killer instinct to retake the lead ahead of the break. Junior Bulumakau did well under a high ball and after a carry infield Tom James switched play blind back to the winger. Bulumakau found Tyson Lewis on his inside shoulder with an offload who charged forward before passing to the oncoming James to dot down. Humberstone’s successful conversion made the half time score 12-14.

Donny couldn’t have hoped for a better start to the second period, increasing the lead just a couple of minutes after the resumption.

Curtis Wilson climbed highest to reclaim the kick off and carried smartly into Hartpury’s 22m. Possession was recycled and the Knights set about the home goal line with Tyson Lewis almost getting in out wide. Donny continued to charge and Colin Quigley rumbled close before offloading to Will Owen, the centre was stopped just short of the line but Quigley picked and went to bundle over for his first ever Knights try. The extra two points from the boot of Humberstone gave the Knights a nine point advantage.

Unfortunately, Hartpury produced an immediate response and reduced their arrears to just two points.

A flurry of phases following a counter attack put the Students in good possession where they were awarded a penalty for a high tackle. Randall tapped quickly a weaved through a body of Knights as they attempted to retreat the required ten yards. The scrum half evaded contact to record his second.

The Knights steadied the ship with two long range penalties from the boot of Humberstone shortly before the hour but at no point did it feel as if the result had been secured.

Both sides looked to their bench for inspiration, opportunities were created for both side but each promising attack was seemingly met with increasingly intense defending. With ten minutes to go the hosts put themselves within a score of the Knights as replacement fly half James Williams slotted a penalty to make it 22-27 and set up a dramatic finish to the game.

By this point the Knights seemed resigned to holding on in the clash and gallantly defended against a never ending sequence of deep line outs, scrums and pick and go carries.

The clock continued to tick and anxious groans from the sidelines grew as Hartpury continued to bash at the Knights defences. Time and time again Donny knocked the hosts back but for a third time Randall was able to breakthrough with a smart show and go before darting over.

The try leveled the scores putting all the pressure on James Williams’ conversion but he showed no sign of nerves to slot the two and win the game.

A tough pill to swallow for the Knights who lead for all but moments of the game but credit goes to Hartpury who battled impressively from minute one to eighty to record their second Championship win of the campaign.

Match Statistics

Hartpury XV; 15) Mike Wilcox, 14) Harry Cochrane, 13) George Boulton, 12) Luke Eves, 11) Ed Sheldon (Nick Carpenter 64’), 10) Jacob Perry (James Williams 63’), 9) Harry Randall, 1) Dan Murphy (Mike Flook 64’), 2) Will Tanner (Henry Walker 55’), 3) Rupert Harden (Mike Daniels 20’), 4) BJ Edwards, 5) Joe Quinn (Joe Dancer 55’), 6) Rob Langley, 7) Matt Gilbert, 8) Darrel Dyer (Iain Grieve 62’)

Replacement; 16) Henry Walker, 17) Mike Flook 18) Mike Daniels 19) Joe Dancer 20) Iain Grieve 21) James Williams 22) Nick Carpenter.

Tries; Wilcox 20’, Randall 38’, 44’, 79’

Conv; Perry 38’, 44’

Pens; Williams 70’

Knights XV; 15) Junior Bulumakau, 14) Curtis Wilson, 13) Andy Bulumakau, 12) Will Owen, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Simon Humberstone, 9) Tom James (Michael Heaney 63’), 1) Richard List (Owen Evans 40’), 2) Ben Hunter (David Nelson 63’), 3) Colin Quigley (Joe Sproston 59’), 4) Morgan Eames (Jason Hill 68’), 5) Tom Hicks, 6) Matt Challinor, 7) Michael Hills ©, 8) Alex Shaw.

Replacements; 16) David Nelson, 17) Owen Evans, 18) Joe Sproston, 19) Jason Hill, 20) Sam Jones, 21) Michael Heaney, 22) Declan Cusack

Tries; Bulumakau 13’, James 40’, Quigley 42’

Conv; Humberstone 13’, 40’, 42’

Pens; Humberstone 50’, 59’

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