Rugby round-up: UCS Old Boys, Hendon and Haringey Rhinos suffer cup KOs
Beset by a selection crisis, UCS continued the pattern of disappointing defeats this season as they slipped out of the Intermediate Cup in the first round.
Calling upon a number of players to make their first appearance for the club, the Old Boys lacked cohesion in the opening stages and Tom Loughnan had to be alert to prevent an early score on the wing.
UCS did threaten intermittently, but failed to make a breakthrough. Alex Lowe collected his own chip and fed Dan Hastings, who nearly broke free, while handling errors denied Damir Jovanovic and James Boyde try-scoring opportunities.
The game was drifting towards a scoreless first half, but Norwich capitalised on a loose ball from a UCS scrum to run over from 10 metres out.
Buoyed by their try, the hosts emerged full of confidence after the break and twice took advantage of their visitors’ narrow defence in the first 15 minutes – their left winger side-stepped the last defender to touch down, and the fly-half then sold a dummy to run in unopposed.
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UCS spent the remainder of the match camped inside their hosts’ 22, with forwards Noah Miller and Chris Harris particularly prominent, but to no avail.
Meanwhile, Hendon were also in cup action at the weekend – and they were eliminated from the RFU Junior Vase after going down 48-8 against London Welsh Amateurs.
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LWA are unbeaten this season and they racked up 19 points unopposed before Mike Evans-Jones kicked a penalty to claw back three points after captain Tommy Middleton had been halted by a high tackle.
Hendon struggled to deal with the home outfit’s strong forwards and LWA ran in two more converted tries before the interval.
Full-back Judah Simpson’s forward runs offered Hendon hope and scrum-half John-Paul Cremin crashed over, but London Welsh scored three more tries in the final 20 minutes.
Elsewhere, Haringey Rhinos’ hunt for their first win of the season continues after Surrey outfit Old Pauline triumphed 20-11 in the Junior Vase.
Hampered by withdrawals and injuries, the Rhinos had to do without Henry Kiviorg, who marked his debut with a broken nose and a hospital visit after 10 minutes.
It got worse, as Old Pauline touched down after a Rhinos knock-on, before an overlap allowed the hosts to cross the line again and take a 10-point lead into the interval.
Tom Armer kicked Rhinos’ first three points of the game after the restart, but Old Pauline replied with an overlapping try.
Mark Whitear and Matty Peterson both withdrew with injuries before Armer kicked another three points and the limping Olly Miller dived over the line, but Old Pauline scored again to make the game safe and progress to the next round.