Nine Be The Glory
Exeter University Rugby League on flying high after triumph in Student Nines Tournament.
Exeter University Rugby League started their season with a bang on Wednesday with a comprehensive victory in the Student Rugby League Nines tournament in Hemel Hempstead.
Back to back victories in the group stages against St Mary’s Twickenham 2nds, Filton College and Bristol saw the first team coast through to the knockout stages before a more competitive semi-final win against St Mary’s Twickenham 1sts put them head-to-head with a bulky Northampton side in the final.
Northampton had already narrowly beaten the Exeter 2nd team in the group stage, and showed signs of tiredness as the 1sts broke their line time and time again. Stand-out performances from Matt Laventure in the pack and debutant Xander Seddon on the wing ensured that Exeter put the game on lock-down, while consistent good delivery and direct running throughout the day earned half-back and fresher Alex “Thunderstruck” Mills-Baker the coveted Man of the Tournament award.
The 2nds had a more challenging afternoon, losing three tough group games
The 2nds had a more challenging afternoon, losing three tough group games against Brunel, St Mary’s 1sts and Northampton, though showing steady improvement throughout. This was validated in the fourth-place play-off against Filton College, where smart on-field decisions made by captain Rob Ede and his vice Andy Turner ensured a victory by a six-point margin.
First XIII captain Hugo Fraser was ecstatic with the day’s progress, declaring the Nines a “really good opportunity to tune up for BUCS. All of the new boys gave a good account of themselves, and it was altogether a good day out.”
Club Captain Billy Glover was equally satisfied, saying that it was “good to get back into a match situation. We can take a lot of strong points today: the performance of both the 1sts and 2nds, as well as how well the freshers gelled with the team. We’ve really put down a marker for the season to come.”
Exeter’s 1sts play their first game of the BUCS season this coming Wednesday away at the University of Oxford, whilst the 2nds play at the same time just down the road at Oxford Brookes.