23 Mar 2017

Northumbria crowned national University champions

Northumbria crowned national University champions

BUCS Championship Final | Northumbria University 24-18 Leeds Beckett

Northumbria University and The University of Nottingham claimed the two national titles on offer as Rugby League took its place at BUCS Big Wednesday, hosted at The University of Bath, this week.

Leeds Beckett's remarkable run of winning the last 11 national University titles is at an end as Northumbria claimed 2017's national title in a dramatic 24-18 win.

They were 24-0 up with half an hour to play, but were forced to fight off a stirring comeback by Leeds to be crowned the country's best University Rugby League team.

England Students' Paddy Hargreaves broke the deadlock for Northumbria eight minutes in, going over from close range.

Tom Shaw's goal made it 6-0, which is how it stayed for over half an hour as both sides searched for points.

But, as half time approached, Northumbria cut loose as Newcastle Thunder star Lewis Young used some tricky footwork to find his way over.

Shaw converted for a 12-0 lead and, seconds later, the men from the north east were in again, with Liam Richmond scoring after a roaring break by Ieuan Jones - Shaw with the goal.

Young, a former Champion Schools winner with Castleford Academy, was in again soon after the interval, intercepting a stray pass before going the length of the pitch.


Shaw made it four from four to set up a stunning 24-0 lead.

But that only served to motivate Beckett, as they flew back into contention in the final quarter.

Hunslet RLFC's Marcus Webb barged over to kick off the comeback, Sam Druce converting, before Jordan Harper got his hands on a clever kick through:

Druce was on target again as Northumbria's lead was halved within minutes.

Beckett, who have won the title every year since 2006, were cranking up the pressure, but Northumbria's defence held firm until the final two minutes...

Beckett ripped downfield in a sweeping attack to set up a try for Curtis Edwards, Druce converting, but Northumbria held on - sparking remarkable celebrations on the final whistle:

Before this unbelieveable team song!