EUWRFC celebrate BUCS Gold at Twickenham. Photo credit: BUCS Sport
Fairy tale finish for EUWRFC and head coach Jo Yapp
It was a fairy tale send off for Head of Women’s Rugby Jo Yapp with EUWRFC taking the BUCS Championship title for the second year in a row, following an exceptional display of women’s rugby at Twickenham stadium.
With both Exeter and Durham having won their respective North and South BUCS Premier leagues the final showdown in the BUCS women’s rugby season on the biggest stage at Twickenham promised to be an intriguing battle. The expectation as defending champions was firmly on Exeter’s shoulders, with Durham in their first ever BUCS final they had nothing to lose. Durham came out and attacked the game from the offset, showing what a quality side they are and how well deserved their success this season is. Player of the match was Durham University’s Sophie Shams who made two fantastic solo breaks backed up by some quality kicking which kept her side very much in the game for the full 80mins. Tries for Exeter came from Clara Nielson, Lily Stoeger-Goddard, Caity Mattinson and Hollie Cunningham. With Exeter leading by just a point at half time 15-14 and Durham snatching the lead immediately after half time, Exeter found themselves chasing the game and on the back foot for the first time this season. Showing resilience, persistence and a drive to succeed under immense pressure Exeter worked their way back into the game and to a 27-26 lead, with moments left on the clock an Exeter penalty was given in front of the posts which Lagi Tuima kicked in the last play of the game to take the win 30-26.
Reflecting on the win in her last year with EUWRFC captain Hannah Gascoigne commented “We always knew it was going to be a tough final but we went into the game humble and wanting to make the most of our last game together in a green and white shirt. The girls’ determination and grit shone through and we fought hard to bring back the trophy home. There is honestly no group of girls who deserve this more. A special thanks to Jo Yapp for everything she has done for the club and her unconditional support”.
University of Exeter Head of Women’s Rugby Jo Yapp added “It was a tough game and absolute credit to Durham who pushed us all the way through the 80mins but I’m really proud of the girls efforts and the character they showed to come through and take the win. We always talk about it being a family and when it gets tough they dig deep for each other and come together under pressure. It was the best way to finish off my time at Exeter and I know that with the talented players we have coming through the programme is in a really good place”.
Director of Sport Alison Davidson added “The BUCS Championship final was a great advert for University women’s rugby and it was fantastic to see the girls retain their title for the second year in a row. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Jo Yapp for all her hard work with EUWRFC throughout her time at Exeter. She will be hugely missed from our Performance team but we wish her all the very best for the future”.
Women’s rugby is one of the performance sports at University of Exeter where all performance athletes have access to high quality coaching, exceptional facilities and a comprehensive support services package. Exeter has had numerous representations from Sports Scholars and Performance athletes at U20 and senior international level. This includes current student and part of the BUCS Championship Gold winning squad Poppy Leitch who represented England Women in the Six Nations earlier this year.
The University of Exeter women’s rugby 1st and 2nd teams now focus on the BUCS 7s Trophy and Championship tournaments played on Wednesday 17th April and Wednesday 1st May respectively. Best of luck to both teams #BleedGreen!
Date: 17 April 2019