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9th May 2019, 09:18 | university
England Universities were left rueing missed opportunities following a challenging encounter with a robust Great Britain Police side in Round 2 of the RFL President's Cup although, having ground out the win, the student side sit at the top of the table with a superior points difference over their opponents UK Armed Forces who dispatched GB Teachers 22-0 in the other Round 2 encounter.
The less than favourable weather conditions at Siddal were always going to be a leveller and the opening salvos of the match saw both sides struggling to complete their sets owing to handling errors.
Dan Munt broke the deadlock for the students 12minutes into the game, finishing flowing passing move set up by Tom Jubb and Alex Smith, diving for the line and beating the corner flag. Nathan Taylor was unable to convert from the touchline.
Munt left the field shortly after following an unpunished late challenge by Andy Webber, which set the tone for a scrappy first half, with both sides indiscipline.
Lee Registe nosed England further ahead on the 20 minute mark after the students put together ther best execution of the game, moving the ball from left to right on the park and making seventy metres in the process, Jubb finding Registe with the cut out pass at the end, with Matthew Chrimes demonstrating one of his trademark knee slides to duck the ball.
Both teams slugged out the remainder of the half, with the Police looking threatening at times, but unable to score even after one point attacking for three back to back sets.
The second half went much the way of the first, with neither team really wanting to stamp their authority on the game. Folowing two further late challenges by the Police, tempers boiled over and Police fullback Jack Snowdon and Universities hooker Callum Fletcher were dispatched to the sin bin to cool off, with Taylor electing to kick the penalty to move England ten points clear with 53 minutes on the clock.
Shortly after both sides were restored to 13 men, Alex Smith pounced on Snowdon's goal line fumble to add a further try to his season tally, with Taylor on target with the boot to stretch the student's lead.
The final word however went to the Police who, down to 12 men again following Webber's yellow card for persistent penalties, caught the Universities team napping allowin Lewis Ainley to jink through with a dummy run on the final play of the game. Snowdon added the conversion to reduce the margin to 10.
Great Britain Police: Jack Snowdon,Geraint Owen, Andy Hoggins, Nick Taylor, Josh MacDonald, Lewis Ainley, Aaron Lloyd, Josh Greaves, Jon McCloud, Jimmy Connaughton, Jason Southwell, Callum Sampson, Ben Marsden. Interchanges: Sam Ogden, Andy Webber, Tom Walker, Tom Gallagher, Jonty Morrisly, Isaac Noi.
Great Britain Police Scorers: Tries: Lewis Ainley (79) Goals: Jack Snowdon 1/1
Sin Bin: Jack Snowdon (53 - Fighting), Andy Webber (77 - Late Challenge).
England Universities: Nathan Taylor, Lee Registe, Matthew Chrimes, Daniel Munt, Errol Carter, Tom Jubb, Alex Smith, Conner MacCallum, Callum Fletcher, Robert Branton, Alex Eckley, Jacob Jones, Caley Gray. Interchanges: Alex Bielby, Craig Banks, Kai Fagan, Sean Croston.
England Universities Scorers: Tries: Daniel Munt (12), Lee Registe (20), Alex Smith (64) Goals: Nathan Taylor 2/4.
Sin Bin: Callum Fletcher (53 - Fighting).
Referee: Joe Turner.