UCS Old Boys suffer a fourth successive defeat with loss at Hitchin

Rory Gibson in action for UCS Old Boys. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Rory Gibson in action for UCS Old Boys. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

UCS Old Boys were defeated 31-11 away at Hitchin on Saturday, and a fourth successive defeat leaves them two points above the bottom two in London North-West Division Three.

Rory Gibson kicked two first-half penalties for UCS, who were in the game and only trailing 12-6 at the interval - but the home side scored three successive tries after the break, before Peter Blyth scored a consolation try for the Old Boys.

Coach Carl Bradshaw said: “We did not play our rugby in the right positions, and our first-up tackles were not good enough. We fight on and know that we need some big performances by the players in the next few games if we are to retain our Level Eight status.”

Both sides had opportunities to score in blustery conditions in the early exchanges - Hitchin from a driving maul following a line-out, with their prop being stopped just short, and UCS with breaks from Henry Walton and then Gibson.

Mert Zabci was excellent in linking the play up with the backs and, although Tom Arnold was stopped short of the line by some desperate defence, UCS gained a penalty from the ensuing scrummage and Gibson kicked the visitors into the lead.

Hitchin eventually scored a lucky unconverted try to go 5-3 up when a hack through hit a UCS player and ricocheted straight to Hitchin’s lock forward, who crashed over – and the hosts’ inside centre also crossed the whitewash two minutes before the break.

Hitchin were penalised for hands in the ruck just before half-time, and Gibson kicked the penalty to narrow the gap to 12-6 at the interval, but the game got away from UCS in the second period as their opponents ran in three more tries before the 65th minute and go 31-6 ahead.

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UCS never gave up though they and scored an excellent consolation try. James May made a great break through the midfield, which was carried on by Christian Henk and, from the ruck on the Hitchin 22, Gibson moved the ball wide to Blyth, who stepped back off his left foot to beat two defenders and dot down.

UCS Old Boys: Watson-Cowen, Henk (Brandt 79), Larsen, May, Zabci (Chapman 65), Jovanovic, Filip, Walton, Breakwell, McQueen, MacWhirter (Blyth 20), Arnold, Gibson, Caunter, Hastings