BUCS University League – Championship Quarter Finals
University of Gloucestershire 23 – 28 Hull University
By Chris Wilson at the Prince of Wales Stadium
Wednesday 1 March 2017
Hull University survived a late scare to emerge victorious from a game they almost lost despite being the better side for much of it.
They took advantage of a lacklustre display from Gloucestershire to build a 22-6 lead but found themselves 23-22 down after a whirlwind response from the hosts and had a try from Ryan Langton with barely two minutes remaining to thank for the win.Hull deserved their triumph but, as Gloucestershire coach Anthony Murray said after the game, desire got his side back into it when they were looking dead and buried, but in the end Hull were just that little bit too good.
In halfbacks Langton and Jack Lazenby they had the standout performers, though Gloucestershire captain Harry Kidd performed heroically to drag his side back into the match from a seemingly impossible position.
Langton’s kicking game was pivotal to the Hull win and he also had a key role in the final try of stand-off Lazenby’s hat-trick.
Gloucestershire were behind for much of the game and trailing 22-6 going into the last quarter looked to be dead and buried but somehow dragged themselves off the canvas with 17 unanswered points to snatch the lead before Langton struck.
The scoring started early as Gloucestershire set the tone for their performance with an error from the kick-off and Lazenby dived over from the resulting possession.
They scored again ten minutes later, Sam Wilkinson-Dycock crossing in the corner despite claims that he had stepped in touch.
Gloucestershire were being put under pressure with some raking kicks from Langton and were making too many errors. Too often they were guilty of losing possession early in the tackle count when in promising position and they allowed Hull to make progress upfield with Lazenby and captain Josh Hamilton leading the way.
But as the half went on they slowly gained the ascendancy and, aided by a glut of penalties, scored through Josh Williams’ good finish in the corner. Ben Stead added the goal.
However, just before half time, Lazenby cut back inside the sliding defence to dive over for his second to restore the ten-point lead at the break.
On the restart, the momentum resumed with Hull soaking up Gloucestershire pressure and countering effectively on the break. The home side survived until the hour mark when Langton went on an unstoppable 60-metre run and Lazenby was in support to score his third try by the posts to seal the game.
But Gloucestershire had other ideas. Luke Stephens secured possession from the restart and Callum Bradbury ploughed over to score, Stead adding the goal.
Hull escaped as Kidd knocked on a spilled kick then went close again before Bradbury crossed a second time straight from a penalty to reduce the deficit to four points.
The scores were level four minutes later when Kaine Dimech dived over in the corner as Gloucestershire finally made the most of consecutive sets on the Hull line. Stead hit the post with the touchline conversion but slotted a drop goal on the next set to give his side the lead for the first time in the game with six minutes left.
However, a clever restart earned Hull possession and Langton set up a drop goal of his own. The kick was charged down but Langton reacted quickest and secured possession to score the winning try, adding the goal for good measure.
There was time for one last Gloucestershire attack but it foundered with a poor kick and Hull were able to celebrate their third consecutive win over Gloucestershire at this stage of the competition.
GLOUCESTERSHIRE: Josh Williams; Errol Carter, Brad Kislingbury, Archie Gibbs, Callum Merrett; Liam Rice-Wilson, Ben Stead; Malikhi Lloyd-Jones, Luke Stephens, Callum Bradbury; Connor Jones, Kaine Dimech; Harry Kidd (Capt); INTERCHANGE: Paul Bolger, Lewis McCracken, Matt Jones, Harris Jones.
Tries: Williams (32), Bradbury (63, 69), Dimech (72)
Goals: Stead 3 from 4
Drop Goals: Stead (74)
HULL: INTERCHANGE: Nathan Hill; Sam Wilkinson-Dycock, Matthew Leyland, Ben Holdstock, Jacob Phillips; Jack Lazenby, Ryan Langton; James Cowan, Ronan Newton, Josh Hamilton (Capt); Elliott Townsend, Cash Radford; Kyle Saunders; INTERCHANGE: Tom Nozeder, John Young, David Kitenge, Joe Mankle.
Tries: Lazenby (1, 38, 62), Wilkinson-Dycock (13), Langton (76)
Goals: Langton 4 from 5
Referee: Malcolm Holmes
STORY OF THE GAME
1min Lazenby try; Langton goal 0-6
13min Wilkinson-Dycock try; Langton missed goal 0-10
32min Williams try: Stead goal 6-10
38min Lazenby try; Langton goal 6-16
62min Lazenby try; Langton goal 6-22
63min Bradbury try: Stead goal 12-22
69min Bradbury try: Stead goal 18-22
72min Dimech try; Stead missed goal 22-22
74min Stead drop goal 23-22
76min Langton try; Langton goal 23-28