BUCS Cup triumph over St. Andrews
St Andrews University RFC 1st XV 24 – 27 Glasgow University RFC 1st XV
For the first time in weeks, the weather conditions were not the main talking point in perhaps Glasgow’s greatest win in recent years. The previously unbeaten St Andrews were hot favourites in the first round of the BUCS Cup but it was Glasgow who got the better start, two penalties from Fly Half Euan McKean giving the visitors an early 6-0 lead. St Andrews came back with a bang though and scored three well taken tries in the first half as Glasgow struggled to defend their strong direct running around the fringes. The home side went in at half time 19-6 up but Glasgow were by no means out of game as they went on to prove after the break.
The boys in Black and Gold came out firing on all cylinders after a firm half time team talk highlighting the need for an increase in intensity and tempo. Merely minutes into the half and Captain Richard Murdoch wriggled over from 2m out after continuous, well disciplined drives from the forwards. Glasgow had turned down two opportunities to kick at goal but their ambition paid off as Mckean added the extras and Glasgow were within a converted score. St Andrews refused to lie down though and came back to score swiftly in a similar manner but perhaps crucially missing the conversion, bringing the score to 24-13. At this point, Glasgow could have let their heads drop but raised their game to an unprecedented level and began to fight back. The scrum began to, not only gain parity, but dominate their opposite pack and this, coupled with fantastic impact from the bench, spurred the team on to march St Andrews back to their 22. Clean off-the-top ball from the lineout gave the Glasgow backs a perfect opportunity to penetrate the St Andrews defence and they did not disappoint; John Rae speeding over untouched straight from an exquisite training ground backs move. Mckean steadied himself to knock the kick over from under the posts and the game was back within Glasgow’s grasp.
The intensity from both sides was immense and he crowd could sense a grandstand finish. Some messy ball at the back of a ruck found its way to Scrum half Guy Fairburn who unselfishly released Rae who once again showed his pace to beat the defence and stretch over to score. Mckean increased Glasgow’s lead to three and a nervy last 5 minutes ensued. The restart was taken safely and the control from the forwards to wind the clock down at the end of the game must be commended as they kept their discipline and ensured a historic win for the boys in Black and Gold. The game ended 27-24 to the visitors and the attitude from 1 through to 22 to come back from 13 points down was exemplary. The victory was made all the sweeter after Glasgow’s narrow loss to St Andrews in the previous week. Next week the boys travel north again, this time in a tough away trip to Aberdeen where they will look to get revenge after an agonising last minute loss to them at home earlier in the season. In terms of the BUCS cup, the team travel across the border to play Newcastle 2nd XV in the second round on the 27th of November.