Wednesday 26th February signalled the start of the BUCS Vase, the cup competition for sides from North A and South A. UoB were faced with the challenge of new opponents from the south in the form of St. Mary’s University, Twickenham who finished 5th in South A this season.
UoB began the game in great fashion, executing perfectly a set piece move to allow winger Eddie Jenkinson to score in the corner. It was not long before Jenkinson was on the scoresheet again as he collected a quick tap and go from Scrum-Half Will Hardwick to score from 5 metres out. Centre Jake Attwell added the extras to give UoB an early 12-0 lead.
Jenkinson then completed a 20 minute hat-trick as he pounced on a St. Mary’s mistake on half way to expertly finish from 50 metres out. UoB continued to dominate the mainline and make big yards on each carry and the scoring continued as second-rower Pete Vickers touched down over in the corner. Hardwick then got himself on the team sheet getting on the end of a good break from Number 8 Aiden Ali before then himself beating a few defenders to finish from 30 metres out, with Attwell adding the extras to make it 31-0 with barely half an hour played.
UoB were rampant. St. Mary’s continued to fight and following a series of attacking scrums managed to find their way over in the corner. UoB did not let this deter them from their rampant mood as fly-half Sunni Jardine got in on the action to help push the score to 38-5. St. Mary’s then to their credit once again found the try line on the half-time whistle.
Half Time score: UoB 38-12 St. Mary’s
The second half continued in much the same way with Jardine collecting a loose St. Mary’s kick to dance his way through under the posts from 40 metres out. Attwell once again adding to his tally of conversions. Then substitute Ali Gunn for the second game in a row produced a sublime chip and chase to put Hardwick in under the sticks for his second. UoB continued to dominate the St. Mary’s defence and capitalised on any mistakes they made in attack with some neat interplay down the sideline between Hardwick and Jenkinson eventually allowing centre Oscar Clayton to become the latest try scorer.
St. Mary’s once again showed huge courage to get themselves on the scoreboard bringing the score to 59-19. UoB though couldn’t stop and some excellent work from tightwad prop Adam Piggott down the touchline freed up Hardwick to go over the whitewash once again to complete his own hat-trick. With the score at 66-19 there would’ve been every reason for St. Mary’s to give up but kept going and grabbed a fourth try from a jinking run off a maul.
UoB then finished the match in style with Jenkinson grabbing a hat-trick of assists as well as a hat-trick of tries as he released substitute Cullen Daly for his first try for the 1st XV. Then Number 8 Ali finished the scoring with a strong finish in the corner.
Full time: UoB 78-24 St. Mary’s
“It was great performance and it is the first time since I have been here the 1st XV have won cup game which is a big achievement” – Eddie Jenkinson, Hat trick hero and Man of the Match
It was a dominant win which saw UoB progress in the Vase for the first time in many a year, however yesterday they fell away to a very strong Hartpury College 2nd XV, meaning they bow out at the quarterfinal stage. The club have had another great season and the first XV would like to thank their coaches Tom and Ollie, physios Rosie and Matt and analysts Izzy and Kyle for all their time and effort that they’ve put into preparing the side this season.