Rugby League


6 Jun 2024

England Universities victorious against UK Armed Forces in the 2024 RFL President's Cup

England Universities victorious against UK Armed Forces in the 2024 RFL President's Cup

England Universities kept a clean sheet against UK Armed Forces in the second round of the 2024 RFL President’s Cup (24-0 win) at Lock Lane Sports Centre (Wednesday 5 June), with England now having one hand on the trophy as they prepare to face GB Teachers in two weeks’ time.

With weather having seen two rounds of this year’s competition postponed, both teams seemed hungry to get out of the blocks and get some game time under their belts, with both sides’ front rows exchanging big hits early in the game. England looked nervy in completion in early sets, whilst UKAF were clumsy in contact being penalised for lifting England prop Femi Sanya in the tackle three times on the bounce, giving away easy metres to the students.

Probing kicks from both sides half-backs saw momentum swing and both sides threatened each other in the opening exchanges which were enthralling for the assembled crowd.

It took 24 minutes for England to break the deadlock as Jake Dickinson scorched down the left wing having been put free by Leon Stewart’s slip pass as England played high tempo Rugby League and moved the ball well. Nathan Redmond added the important extras, but the Forces refused to give way for the remainder of the half as both sides continued to play attractive rugby.

Stewart backed himself one on one in the left corner ten minutes into the second half to move England further ahead, having been testing his opposite number all day. Redmond’s towering conversion pushed the scoreboard further ahead.

England were applying super pressure to the Forces line and a fumble coming out off their try line saw Redmond snaffle up the ball and fire it our right to Freddie Ziegler who raced in to add an opportunist try. Redmond added the important extras to extend the lead.

The Forces through everything at England who showed a supreme defensive effort, repelling charges in the middle from Tyler Leighton and Eden Quantock and seeing both wingers Inoki Nakoronivalu and Robert Matamosi being bundled into touch at the line to the delight of the England supporters.

The final word went to Stewart, who broke down field, dummied and stepped back inside on an angle to score a decisive try near the death. Redmond ate up the clock with a final successful conversion and England celebrated a famous victory.

England Universities now face Great Britain Teachers on Wednesday 19th June, 7pm Kick Off at Lock Lane Sports Centre in their final RFL President’s Cup game and a win will see them crowned champions for a successive year.


England Universities: Charlie Gay, Freddie Ziegler, Tom Oldroyd, Leon Stewart, Jake Dickinson, Elliot Shaw, Nathan Redmond, Femi Sanya, Tyler Hepple, Harry Lowery, Henry Davies, Euan Parke, Harry Gray. Interchanges: Tom Wilkins, Aaron Powell, Noah Tyson, Fin Hay, Delaine Bedward-Gittens

Tries: Jake Dickinson (24), Leon Stewart (49, 77), Freddie Ziegler (56)
Goals: Nathan Redmond 4/4


UK Armed Forces: Jake Boardman, Inoki Nakoronivalu, Joseph Varo, William Lamont, Robert Matamosi, Keegan Bartlett, Ethan Riley, Jamie Teixera, Tyler Leighton, Shaun Allen, Eden Quantock, Jonny Green, Michael Ogunwole. Interchanges: Kieran Fleming, Aaron Haughton, Ratu Tabuere, Viune Yabaki, Elima Seniqai, Alex Greedwood-McDonald Christian Wooler.


Half Time: 6-0

Referee: Paul Strafford