Updated: Wednesday, 1st July 2020 @ 4:56pm

University of Manchester Rugby Union suffer Scottish defeat in Edinburgh

University of Manchester Rugby Union suffer Scottish defeat in Edinburgh

By James Gilbert

The University of Manchester suffered a difficult loss away to Edinburgh University on Wednesday, all but underlining their credentials as underachievers this season.

With pre-match optimism infectious among the team, the players took to the field looking down the barrel of a real opportunity to climb the BUCS Premier North table with a win in Scotland.

The opening ten minutes saw a battle of mistakes as both sides seemed to refuse to take control by dropping the ball and conceding turnovers, further enhancing Manchester’s reputation as slow starters. As either side settled into the game, it was clear Edinburgh were looking to throw the ball around in the same way as Manchester which resulted in a very entertaining first 40 minutes.

Just before half-time, Manchester pounced on a loose ball from an overthrown Edinburgh lineout which saw Henry Brooke clattering over from short range after some great sniping from Ed Allison. Fly-half Oli Lancaster converted the try and demanded much more from his team during the half time break.

As the second half got underway, the frantic play from both teams became fiercer as Edinburgh and Manchester took more risks in an effort to gain parity on the scoreboard. With concentration levels being put to the test, Edinburgh scored two penalty kicks and a converted try in a ten minute period that saw Manchester abandon their usually impeccable communication in defence.

This kicked Manchester back into gear and they found their usual pragmatism out wide and made some real inroads into the Edinburgh half whilst only heroic defence kept Manchester from taking the lead. Guy Ridley showed excellent work at the breakdown and his efforts were rewarded with a penalty that Oli Lancaster converted.

With the clock running down, the pressure saw both sides pick up the pace and with five minutes to go Manchester made a scything break down the left wing. Instead of retaining the ball, Manchester kicked the ball away in an effort to score a try and the ball was lost to the Edinburgh full-back who duly counterattacked, ran the length of the field and scored in the corner, making the final score 18-10 to Edinburgh.

'Rank' was the word that Coach Thiu Barnard used to describe how he felt about the game.

With not too much of the season remaining, Manchester’s captain Oli Lancaster said: “I demand a strong finish to the season for the last few games. This season has been one of very fine margins and we have been agonisingly on the wrong side of them.”

The University of Manchester Men's Rugby Union Club would like to thank Ernst and Young for their continued support of the club.