The Annual University Rugby league match has taken place at the regional athletics stadium in Manchester, as A crowd of 401 saw the University of Manchester ultimately triumph over Salford University in a tight end to end affair.
The early stages of the game were dominated by Manchester, running some nice lines but eventually paying the ultimate price for not making the pressure count when Salford scored the first try of the match in the 9th minute of play. The try came through some smart link up play from the Salford backline which created an opportunity for Dan Mund to cross over the line. Conversion missed
They say you are always most vulnerable when you have just scored and this certainly proved to be the case for Salford as just 3 minutes after scoring they found themselves behind, thanks to Adam Heal. The powerful runner drove for the line and dotted down under the sticks and a successful conversion put the team from Manchester ahead.
What followed next was a sustained period of attacking pressure from Salford, and that pressure paid off when Dan Munt grabbed his second try of the day on the 19th minute mark. Munt showed a clean pair of heels to wheel away from the chasing pack and dive in under the posts. Salford added a conversion.
Salford seems to finish the half exactly how they started it, by scoring a try. The backline again at the forefront of the attack as there play created a man advantage, allowing the team to cross over for their third try of the game, making the half time score Salford 14-University of Manchester 6.
Into the second half and it seems the team from Manchester certainly came out the dressing rooms strongest. And this fired up spirit brought rewards as they scored the first try of the second half on the 48 minute, as Travis Pearson left the rest of the field for dead with some blistering pace, and a successful conversion meant Manchester were right back into the game.
This end to end contest took another twist as Manchester took the lead on the 57th minute, could they hold on?
What followed was a barrage of Salford attacks, one in particular on the 67th minute as Salford thought they were in but A huge defensive saw them pushed over the line at the last moment.
The defenders efforts were rewarded moments later as Manchester broke away to score what looked likely to be the winning try, With emotions running high there were a bit of handbags after this, heartbreak for Salford but pure joy for Manchester.
Right at the very last, Manchester grabbed another try, meaning the Rugby league varsity trophy would be heading back to Manchester for the second consecutive year.
Final score – University of Salford 14 – University of Manchester 30
Picture courtesy of Elle Mcdade