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EUWRFC lifting the BUCS Championship trophy

Golden moment-EUWRFC take the title in extra time at Twickenham

EUWRFC snatched a dramatic extra time victory at Twickenham to beat fellow South West rivals Hartpury University Centre in the BUCS Championship final lifting the trophy for the 2nd time in recent years.

In a stadium setting the match was a closely fought encounter right from the opening whistle with nothing separating the 2 sides. Hartpury took an early try inside the first few minutes to make a blistering start and go up by 5 points. Yet almost immediately Exeter responded with Poppy Leitch bursting through the Hartpury defence to take the scores level. Exeter were trailing 13-22 going into the 2nd half with Hartpury scoring a well worked try just before half time. On the comeback after the half time break captain Hannah Gascoigne found the try line to bring Exeter right back in it, behind by just 4 points 18-22. Hartpury showed they meant business by responding not long after with a try between the posts and what should have been a straightforward conversion. Showing true fighting spirit Sports Scholar and 1st year Sports Science student Lagi Tuima charged down the conversion preventing Hartpury taking the full 7 points. At 18-27 a Hartpury yellow card gave Exeter a big opportunity to score which they did and also made the conversion to get them within 2 points. Again Exeter made the most of a further Hartpury yellow card and ran in another try making the conversion and taking the score to 32-27. In some tense moments with Exeter leading in the dying seconds Hartpury refused to give in and went over the line in the final play of full time to level the scores and force the game to extra time. Preparing for 100 minutes of rugby is no easy task but Exeter showed all their belief, grit and determination to earn a penalty in the 1st half of extra time. Lagi Tuima stepped up to kick for the posts and took the 3 points. Showing composure and holding on for the final 10 minutes Exeter snatched the BUCS Gold and Championship title in such a close and highly contested showcase of a final.

Reflecting on an outstanding final performance University of Exeter Head of Women’s Rugby Jo Yapp commented “We are so proud of the girl’s effort in the final, going to extra time was both physically and mentally challenging but the girls kept to the game plan and put their bodies on the line. They have worked so hard this year and thoroughly deserved to get the win against a really strong Hartpury team”. Try scorer, Sports Scholar and final year Sports Science student Poppy Leitch added “The final was undoubtedly the hardest game of Rugby I’ve played, as well as the most enjoyable and memorable”.

As one of the University of Exeter’s 9 focus sports and part of the High Performance Programme, Rugby Union ends the 2017-2018 season ranked no. 1 in the BUCS Sports rankings, with the 7s competitions still to come. EUWRFC play their BUCS 7s competition on Wednesday 25th April in Leeds, where Exeter will be hoping to add to their season’s medal haul.

Date: 18 April 2018

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