Queens entertained Rainey for the second time this season at a surprisingly dry Dub pitch, with the season getting to the business end of things Queens knew that every match was key if they were to continue their quest for some silverware.
The match started off with Rainey using their big forwards to drive close to the rucks forcing Queens to defend in numbers, however Queens line speed in defence kept the Rainey attackers at bay and eventually Rainey either coughed the ball up or the out half kicked the ball down the throat of the returning Cartmill at fullback, with 10 minutes Queens opened up their account with a well struck penalty from Wright. Rainey continued with their tight driving game, with the out half looking to bring his centre back in at every opportunity, Queens on the other hand looked to spread the ball wide at every opportunity, eventually Queens worked an overlap with Huntley who was having a fine game on the wing, stretching the cover, Huntley fed Cartmill who scored under the posts. Almost immediately Queens extended their lead with a sweetly worked move involving Pringle who was playing out of position in centre , he hit the line at pace and crashed over near the posts. Rainey however proved a hard nut to crack with their robust defence and strong carried from their pack proving a handful for the much changed Queens team.
Half Time Queens 15- Rainey 0
Barely a minute had gone in the second half when a mix up in the Rainey defence allowed Wright to fly hack through, although impeded the quick footed Pringle dived on the loose ball to extend the Queens lead to 22-0. This spurred Rainey into action and they immediately went down the field to score a well worked try amongst the forwards. Queens quickly put a lid on any Rainey revival with push over trys from Howard, this knocked the stuffing out of the spirited Rainey side and with Queens now dominating scrums, Queens saw the match out with trys from Devlin and Wright, with the last phase of play Rainey scored a fortuitous try from their winger, with the conversion missed.
Man of the Match Paddy Pringle
Final Score Queens 43- Rainey 12
Queens entertained Ards for the third time this season, hoping to avenge their first defeat of the season against Dungannon 2 weeks ago.
The weather conditions for early February were fairly typical, with a gale force wind blowing from the Mary Peters Track side of the pitch down to the Belfast Activity Centre, it would be fair to say that the elements did not suit the fast flowing rugby which this Queens side had been playing this season.
Queens kicked off the wind in their face and immediately put the Ards 8 under pressure forcing them to rush a kick into touch, however even with this pressure Ards still made considerable distance. Through out the first half Queens pack endeavoured to play a close game using their front 5 and Robbie Stewart as target men to work off, however with the wind proving difficult to master knock on’s and dropped passes became the norm, however the conditions were equally as difficult for Ards, who to be fair did not make optimum use of the wind with kicks missing touch and knock on. This gave Queens easy outs or the opportunity to run the ball back, this this did with good effect, with Sam Russell and Andrew Dickenson ( on debut) making great yardage. With 25 mins gone the score was still scoreless, however a great passage of play sent Andrew Dickson away on the blind side, the former Campbell College man ate up the ground to score a fine try in the corner, from the kick off Queens nearly doubled their lead with Sam Russell cutting a tremendous line and in a foot race to the line he was hauled down with a high tackle from the Ards winger, a penalty was given, it could be argued that a penalty try could have been given. With seconds remaining Queens had done all the hard work taking a 5 nil lead, however a charged down kick in injury time led to Ards scrambling a score in the corner.
Half Time Queens 5 Ards 5.
Queens were confident starting the second half with a strong wind that they could push on, following the kick off Ali Wright sent a booming kick into the Ards half, Queens put the squeeze on Ards, however a tip tackle by Hannon resulted in him taking a 10 minute break under Spike’s umbrella. However even with a man down the Queens 8 kept the pressure up and after 10 minutes, a quick penalty resulted in Foster barrelling over the line, Wright made sure of the conversion. For the remainder of the half, Ards found it difficult to get out of their own half. The back row with Dick, Winters and Howard prominent harried Ards into numerous mistakes and following one turn over the ball again moved to Dickson who squeezed in the corner, conversion was missed. The final try was scored by Craig Devlin who again was the recipient of some work by Dick and Russell who did the hard graft to create the space for Devlin to score against his old club, the conversion was successful from Wright.
Final Score Queens 24 Ards 5.
Man of the March Andrew Dickson & Matty Dick.
Queens (18) v Old Wesley (10) - Sat 25th Jan 14 - UB League Div 2A
In a tightly fought battle at Upper Malone last Saturday, Queens emerged as narrow winners by 18-10 over Old Wesley in their Ulster Bank All Ireland League fixture. It was not a day for open rugby as heavy rain and persistent high winds limited opportunities for both sides. The hosts failed to use the wind to much advantage in the first half and Old Wesley adapted better into the wind and it left to some great defending to keep the visitors from crossing the try line.
10 minutes in Old Wesley went ahead after a penalty but two penalties from Ritchie McMaster kept the students ahead and at half time Queens led by 6 points to 3. Against the run of play the students increased their lead with a superb solo try by left winger Andrew Butler who ran from the half way line and evaded 4 attempted tackles to touch down after 7 minutes. Old Wesley kicked well to the corners in reply and Queens had to work hard at the resultant line-outs to keep out the bigger and heavier forwards. Mistakes were made by both teams in the dire conditions and again Queens were lucky when Old Wesley hit the posts after a penalty attempt. Conor Spence intercepted when the visitors were only 10 meters from the line and from a long kick, Ritchie McMaster had the back line going left and right before he himself ran through a gap in the Wesley defence to score under the posts. McMaster converted his try and Queens were suddenly 15 points ahead. Old Wesley used the wind to keep play in the hosts ‘22’ and eventually were rewarded with a try by Wesley Deverell, converted by Barry McLaughlin. This was to be the final score of a hard fought game and Queens just about deserved their victory.
Queen’s University 16 vs. 13 Armagh- 28th December 2013
Queen’s Just managed to edge out Armagh at the Dub last Saturday in the final Ulster Senior League game of 2013. This was a very tight affair and a game which could have gone either way. The visitors had the upper hand in the scrums and Queen’s had more pace in the backs. However it was nip and tuck throughout the entire game and some strange refereeing decisions had both sides scratching their heads.
Andrew Magowan opened the scoring on 4 mins with a penalty and Queen’s replied with a penalty from Ritchie Mcmaster 3 mins later. During the next 30 mins both teams had opportunities but poor finishing meant the 3-3 scoreline remained until 32nd min when Andrew Butler went over for a try to put the hosts ahead. Mcmaster converted but Armagh again narrowed the gap with a second penalty from Magowan and then took the lead with converted try by Fletcher, leaving the interval score at 13-10 in Armagh’s favour.
Queen’s had Ritchie Mcmaster even up the score to 13-13 after 4 mins of the second half and there was no further change in the score until 3 mins before full time. During the entire second half play moved from one end of the pitch to the other, scrums were tight, line outs hard fought and both defences put in great spells of tackling.
Perhaps a draw would have been a fair result but Queen’s did manage to get over the line with a penalty from Ritchie McMaster, 3 mins prior to the final whistle. All in all, a good post Christmas work out for both sides with a short break before the All Ireland League recommences on 11th Jan 2014
Queen's 2nds 43- 0 City Of Derry 2s
Queens played City of Derry seconds, for the second time this season on a dry, overcast Saturday at the Dub, Queens were looking to continue with their unbeaten start to the season, and preserve their home record.
Queens kicked off and from the outset City of Derry started to pressurise the Queens line with only stout defence keeping the North West men out. Queens eventually got a foothold in the match with Milliken and Russell making good breaks, and from these breaks Queens earned 2 penalties which Wright duly converted.
City of Derry it seemed had the upper hand at scrum time and were very physical at the breakdown, forcing a number of turnovers when the lighter students ran into the heavier City of Derry pack. Once Queens worked out that in order to beat City of Derry was to go wide, the scores started to flow, towards the end of the first half great carry from Doak, who had a fine game in the loose and the tight, set up a platform in the CofD midfield, the ball was quickly spun through the hands with the returning Craig Devlin squeezing in at the corner, the conversion was scored.
From the restart City of Derry came back at Queens and following one of many strange officiating decisions, Hannan got yellow carded, City of Derry battered the Queens line only for the students to defend their line with gusto, they saw the first half out, keeping their try line in tact.
Queens upped their tempo in the second half, with Dick scoring a well worked try down the blindside, carrying 2 CofD men over the line with him, and then a scintillating break from Milliken, followed up with good hands from Marshall, led to Peter Story scoring in the corner, it now became apparent the stuffing was now out of City of Derry, with the second half littered with strange penalty decisions and numerous yellow cards. Queens continued the pressure with the forwards now demonstrating their off loading ability, the 2 final try recipients included Milliken and Wright, the ref at this stage had, had enough and blew up early.
Final Score Queens 43- City of Derry 0
Man of the match – Matthew Doak.
Queen's 2nds 51 v 10 Instonians 2nds
Saturdays match against Instonians was played at the Dub was played in near perfect rugby conditions.
Queens received the ball and quickly got into their stride going through numerous phases with their forwards setting a solid platform for half backs Russell and Wright. With 10 minutes gone Queens worked an overlap on the blindside, and with quick hands from Hannan and Milliken, Devlin squeezed in for an un converted try. 5 minutes later Russell was the recipient, again the overlap was created with good hands from Milliken and Wright , the conversion was missed. Hannan then got in on the act on the blindside he received the ball from a lovely pass from Milliken who drew the defender before setting Hannan free to dive over in the corner, again the difficult conversion was missed.
Following a lapse in concentration Instonians benefitted from some Queens indiscretions at the ruck, there outhalf slotted over the penalty to reduce the arrears.
By this stage Queens were dominating the first phase possession, turning over Instonians scrums and winning clean line out off the top from Hannon and Pringle. A text book play from the training paddock resulted in Devlin slicing his way through the Instonians midfield, he was hauled down short of the line, Ali Wright seeing that the Instonians defensive line had not reorganised quickly ran between 2 forwards to score a 7 pointer. Then straight from the resulting restart Queens attacked again, Milliken who was having a fine game at full back jinked his way passed a number of Instonians defenders to score under the posts, the conversion was scored.
Queens kicked off the second half and following a big hit from Hannon they retrieved the ball back, then following 3 phases the ball was swung across the line to Eoin Devlin he scored in on the left hand corner.
For the next 20 minutes the match became a scrappy affair with both sides guilty of a number of errors, however the match sparked to life when Wright seeing Butler unmarked on the left handside angled a perfectly weighted kick across to Butler who caught the ball and ghosted past 2 defenders for a try under the posts.
Instonians refused to give in and with their big number 4 and 8 they continually punched holes in the Queens defensive line only for players to drop the ball or get turned over in the tackle, following one such turn over by Marshall Queens spun the ball along the line for Devlin to score his third try of the match. The final Queens try of the match was left to Ali Wright who again showed great game awareness to jink his way past 2 Inst defenders to score beside the posts.
Instonians however showed tremendous pride at the end of the game to score a great individual try from their full back who following a loose kick beat 2 Queens defenders to score under the posts for a converted try.
Final Score Queens 51- Instonians 10
Man of the Match- Cathal Hannan
Queen’s University 21 Banbridge 7- senior cup semi final
Queen’s made their way into the final of the Ulster Senior Cup with a 21-7 victory over Banbridge at the dub on Saturday. The home side were slow to start and most of the early play was in and around the Queen’s 22, with only some fine early tackling preventing the visitors gaining an advantage.
Queen’s eventually settled and made a few penetrating runs into the Banbridge half and after a deft grubber kick, winger Michael McAuley touched down after 19 mins . The strong wind favoured Banbridge in the first half and every kick from the visitors drove the students back towards their own line. On 29 mins the Pressure from Banbridge eventually told with captain Jonny Graham going over for a good try converted by Adam Doherty.
This left the score at 7-5 in the visitors favour at the interval, with all of the pressure and possession the home team had, this should have been greater.
Queen’s used the wind to get deep into Banbridge territory early in the 2nd half and Robert Whitten crossed the whitewash for a try, converted by Mcmaster taking Queen’s back into a 5 point lead. Michael McAuley, John Russell, Chris Colvin and Marc Campbell all made good runs into the visitors ‘22’ and following a few missed tackles by the Bann defence, Queen’s were able to extend their lead with Mcmaster penalties in the 53rd and 56th minutes to show the students with an 18-7 lead.
Banbridge continued to threaten and it took some great tackling from Stuart Mcilwaine and Nigel Simpson to keep the defensive line intact. Play was mainly contested in the middle of the pitch for long periods, with Banbridge having the edge in the scrums, but excellent loose play from Queen’s frequently taking play into the opposition 22. With 3 minutes left Ritchie McMaster made the game safe with his 3rd penalty and Queen’s ran out winners 21-7
Queen's 2s 42- 8 Ards 2s
Ards entertained Queens 2nds on a bright and breezy Hamilton Park, Queens had a number of enforced changes due to the unavailability of Eoin Devlin and Peter Storey, this was compounded by the late withdrawal of James Farmer, this meant call ups for Schools Cup winning winger Patrick Colhoun, Connaught Under 19 centre Finn Stoneman and the ever reliable David Bingham.
Ards kicked off with a strong wind at their back and, set their stall out early using their big forwards to try and punch holes round the rucks, with the wind behind them and an outhalf with a big boot, Ards set up camp in the Queens 22, only strong defence from Doak, Dick and Bingham kept Ards at bay. It quickly became apparent that if Queens could gain parity up front that they had the backs to do damage to Ards, and with Queens first sortie in the Ards half they came away with 5 points, through a try from Colhoun, the try was created by strong running from Butler and Stoneman and the fast hands of the Wright brothers who created a walk in for Colhoun.
However Ards quickly reduced the deficit to 2 points through a penalty from Cox, following an infringement from Bingham at a ruck. Ards continued to press, however Queens again showed that once they received possession that they had the beating of Ards out wide, Wright quickly put some day light between Queens and Ards with 2 well struck penalties, however Ards scored a well worked try of their own with 10 minutes to go through their left winger who squeezed in the corner, Queens then were dealt a blow when Hannon was yellow carded for holding a player back. Normally a yellow card leads to at least 6 points to the team with the extra man, however Queens scored an opportunist try on the stroke of half time through Butler, which was largely due to the skills of Ally Wright who took the ball to the line and then flicked it out of the back of his hand to Butler to race in from the 22.
With a 10 point lead and a strong wind at their backs Queens felt confident going into the second half. This proved true when Bingham intercepted Ards Centres pass to run in unopposed with barely 2 minutes on the clock. Queens continued to dominate even when the unfortunate Colhoun had to go off with a leg injury. With Queens winning an abundance of first phase ball the backs started to get behind the Ards gain line, with Milliken, Bingham the recipients. With Ards flagging the ref blew up with 10 minutes to go with Queens the eventual winners 42-8.
Man of the match – David Bingham.
Queens played Rainey old boys on another wet and cold day. Queens hoped on an improvement on the weather from last week, but sadly the weather gods ignored the students pleas!!
Rainey started off playing down the hill with a sizeable wind behind them. And with a large set of well drilled forwards including ex queens man Rory Flanigan. They dominated the early exchanges. Queens were finding it extremely difficult to get out of their own half , largely due to poor kicking, bad options and good pressure from Rainey. At this stage only good well disciplined defence was keeping queens in the game.
Rainey set up camp in the queens 22 for 35 out of the 40 mins and at half time only had 1 try to their name.
Queens were confident with the slope and the drying conditions that they could turn the deficit around. This they did , with 15 Mins gone Milliken danced his way into the Rainey 22 and with a wall of black and red in front of him he confidently chipped over the defence to score in the corner , russell calmly slotted the conversion from the touch line.
It became apparent that Rainey were going to experience the same problems queens has with the slope and wind, with the backs realising that today was not the day for queens rugby , the second half became a match of aerial ping pong. Queens finally got a foothold in the Rainey 22 and howard, who was having a fine game at prop barged his way through 4 Rainey tracklers to score on the corner , again russell slotted the conversion , however with 9 mins to go Rainey in there only sortie into queens half scored a try through a well worked maul, normal service was resumed in the last 5 mins with queens squeezing RAINEY out of the game through the forwards.
Final score queens 14 Rainey 12 man of the match Ben howard.
QUB 2nd XV 12-11 Instonians 2nd XV
Queens played Instonians on a wet and windy Shawsbridge. Queens were looking to maintain their 100% start to the season, and cement the bragging rights as the top 2nd xv in South Belfast. Queens started the match brightly making a number of line breaks through Eoin Devlin and Robbie Stewart, however due to the bad weather the final pass was either dropped or knocked on. However after 15 mins Queens finally got their break through a quickly taken penalty which Ali Wright benefitted from, with John Russell nailing the conversion from the touchline. However for the remainder of the first half Queens went into their shell and allowed an increasingly dominant Instonians team back into the match, with 30 minutes gone Instonians profited from a hack through following a dropped Queens pass, and they scored 5 metres to the right of the posts, the conversion was missed.
Any hope of a change in fortunes in the second half failed to materialise with a litany of penalties going against the men from the Dub , and with 20 minutes left Queens found themselves 11-7 down. Queens continued to try and press for the winning score however poor passes and dropped balls plagued their endeavours, with 8 minutes left Queens mounted another attack inside the Instonians 22 this time Eoin Devlin who was coming back from injury found a gap down the left wing and slid under a mass of Instonians bodies to give Queens a 11-12 lead.
With little time left on the clock Instonians kicked off Farmer who had been secure under all the high balls took the restart which eventually found it’s way to Marc Campbell who set off up the blindside, he intelligently kicked ahead and dragged the Instonians full back into touch inside his 22. The Queens 8 put the squeeze on Instonians and wound the clock down, to secure their 4th win this season.
It’s a sign of a good side that can win they are not playing well, hopefully an improvement in the weather may lead to a an improvement in performance!!
Final Score Instonians 11- Queens 12
Man of the Match- Marc Campbell
Banbridge 13- 21 Queen's University 21
Queens gained revenge from their 2012 defeat with a hard fought victory over local rivals Banbridge east sat. The students took time to settle and despite an Ian Porter penalty after 19 minutes, they pressed hard and contained play in the home sides half of the pitch for long periods. The Queens pack had a very tough task in the scrums and were frequently penalised- Banbridge were most impressive in the fight and it was nearly half an hour before the visitors started to click. Chris Colvin was on hand to make the opening try following sterling work from Robert Whitten and Damon Hall. Ritchie McMaster added the conversion but a second Panter penalty narrowed the gap to 6-7 at the interval.
With a slight wind advantage Queens kept the ball deep in Banbridge territory during the opening minutes of the second half and Grant Bartley was unlucky not to touch down. After 13 minutes Damon Hall got the second try again converted by McMaster and 8 minutes later Stuart Mcilwaine, who had an excellent game, completed the try scoring for Queens when he cut through three tackles and touched down on the left hand side. McMaster was in great for and kicked his third conversion to leave the scoreline at 21-11 in the visitors favour. Banbridge, not as dominant in the scrums in the second half still had plenty of possession and territory but frequently spilled the ball and allowed Queens to counter attack. For the home side Jonny Graham, Stuart Cromie and Miles O’Hagan stood out, although Queens had Robert Whitten as “man of the match” backed up by some great performances- Richard McMaster, Stuart McIlwaine, Chris Colvin all impressed in the backline while Jonny Craig, Ryan Clarke and Stuart Hooks all made big contributions.
Overall, very satisfactory outcomes for the students and after 2 games Queens are fourth in the league. Next week it is back to the Ulster senior league- at Upper Malone against Harlequins and the following week, the quarter final of the Ulster senior cup, again at upper Malone. Another very encouraging performance.
Result Banbridge 13 - QUB 21
Queen's 27- 23 Highfield
Queens opened their Ulster Bank league (All Ireland) account with a bonus point win at Upper Malone last Saturday.
In brilliant sunshine the students provided a great display of open running marred only by some poor finishing at times. Queens opened the scoring after 16 minutes with an excellent try by Chris Colvin, converted by Ritchie McMaster. The home sides backline cut through the Highfield defence time after time and there were two tries within 3 minutes by Stuart McIlwane and Michael McAuley stretched the lead to 17-0.
Five minutes before the interval Highfield hit back with a try under the posts following two missed tackles and with the conversion the gap hallowed to 17-7. Queens hit back just prior to half-time with a penalty from McMaster to show a home lead of 20-7.
Queens got a shock after 3 minutes in there was a try from the visitors and at 20-14, it looked like anything was possible. Penalties were missed at both ends and both packs had their work cut out in the hot trying conditions, neither ever getting complete supremacy.
The students were relieved to see Michael McAuley gallop away for his second try after 30 minutes which Ritchie McMaster converted. The final ten minutes was the most contested part of the match with the home side on the back foot. Highfield increased the pace and scored a fine try to again narrow the gap to 27-19.
In a tense final few minutes Queens had to defend manfully and although conceding a penalty which the visitors kicked to make it 27-22, the final outcome was a win for the home side. The first half dominance provided the key for Queens’ success but hopefully a lesson will have been learnt about the need to maintain pressure for the full 80 minutes and close out the games when deemed necessary.
Queen's 2nds 41-0 Ards 2nds
Queens 2nds played their second league match on Saturday at a bright and sunny Dub. A much changed Queens side took the field against Ards with no fewer than 9 changes from the previous week.
It quickly became apparent that the changes had an impact on the continuity and general play of this young Queens side, who after an initial successful penalty from John Russell, quickly found themselves on the back foot for most of the first half, with the pack in particular struggling to gain any good first phase ball for the backs. The general slack play quickly spread to the backs who once they received clean ball tried to force things in an effort to try and up the tempo and put the Ards backs under some pressure.
In the 2 instances that Queens managed to put some phases together Stoneman, who was making his debut at centre finished a fluent move instigated by a break by Wright, this quickly followed by a fine individual try from Fallows who ran from his own 22 only to be apparently caught and brought down, but not held, Fallows greatly received this generosity from Ards and fell over the line.
Half Time QUB 15- Ards 0
The second half continued as the first with Queens making a plethora of unforced errors and bad decisions , the Ards pack who were having a fine game unfortunately could not capitalise on the line breaks they made, and going into the final quarter the Ards fitness levels began to wane, this coincided with the Queens 8 starting to win some quality ball from both scrum and line out, with 15 minutes to go Queens ran in 26 un answered points with trys from Stewart, Wright, Devlin and Russell.
Full Time QUB 41- Ards 0
On reflection a win is a win but this Queens side knows that they cannot afford to cough up so much ball and give the opposition easy opportunities to gain a foothold in their half, but 2 from 2 is a good start to the season, but there are tougher hurdles ahead.
Queen's 2nd xv 20- 11 Harlequins
Queens 2nds opened up their league campaign with a 20 points to 11 victory over South Belfast rivals Belfast Harlequins on Saturday.
The match started ominously for Queens losing debutant second row Annett after 20 seconds, who injured his shoulder after claiming the kick off. After reshuffling the pack Queens quickly found themselves 3-0 down following a penalty at a ruck.
It quickly became apparent that Queens had the beating of the Quins side if they could secure quick ball, for their backs, the question was could the 7 man pack provide sufficient ball against the larger heavier Quins 8. The young Queens pack rolled their sleeves up and went to work on the Quins 8 with Ed Scott Bowden and Peter Fallows coming to the fore, with skipper Hannon making a nuisance of himself at ruck time, Rea brought the sides level with a sweetly struck penalty outside the 22, this was quickly followed by a try from Bowden which was a culmination of some good phases of rugby involving Storey, Farrell and Russell. However this turned out to be one of Bowden’s last acts as he shortly went off with an ankle injury.
With Queens down to 13 men the question was could the students hold onto half time to re-group, a penalty for a ruck infringement, followed with a penalty on the blow of half time gave Queens an 11 point lead going into half time with a swirling wind in their face.
Queens started the second half trying to run the ball at every opportunity, unfortunately poor handling and decisions gave Quins ample opportunities to gain field position inside the Queens 22, with Queens looking decidedly edgy and hesitant, Quins brought the game to within a converted try, with a penalty in front of the posts, this was quickly followed up with a try by Quins who for the first time used their numerical advantage to score. With Quins within 3 points, Queens finally but some phases together through good work from Farrell, Sinclair and Marshall, Quins in their eagerness to steal the ball went off their feet, Rea obliged to increase the Queens lead to 6. The match then became littered with errors with both teams pressing to win the game, Queens finally broke out of attack with Storey and Fallows taking the ball to the heart of the Quins line, again Quins went off their feet and Rea who was having an exemplary day with the boot, duly obliged to take the Queens lead to 9 points with 5 minutes to go. The match finished with Steele powering up the middle but with his turn of pace he caught both his team mates and the opposition unaware, and the ball was lost in contact.
All in all a tremendous performance from this young Queen’s side who played the majority of the match with 2 men down. Man of the match was Peter Fallows due to his tremendous work rate and tackle count, which must have been in the 20’s!!!
1ST WIN DUDLEY CUP!
On Tuesday 10th September 2013, the 1st XV saw off a determined Trinity side to win the prestigious Dudley Cup by a 16- 13 margin at Upper Malone.
A packed crowd watched Queen's surge to a 16-0 half time lead through a converted Penalty try and 3 Ritchie Mcmaster penalties. However, the 2nd Half was a much tighter affair with Trinity having sutained periods of pressure and chipping away at Queen's lead.
The trophy now returns to Belfast for the first time since 1994. Hopefully this will set the 1st XV up for a succesful season.
QUB 1st XV 8-6 Ards- USL
The 1st xv's second game in the Ulster League wasn't quite so exciting as the first but Queen's were on the right side of a very tight game against Ards at home in difficult weather conditions.
Ballymena just edge Queen's in 90 point thriller!
Queen's kicked off their USL campaign against Ballymena at Eaton Park. On a great day for entertaining Rugby, the two sides on show didn't disappoint with plenty of excellent scores. The home side just shaded this epic contest, and Queen's will be keen to avenge this loss when the two sides meet in the All Ireland League later this season!
Queen's Retain Ophir 7s Trophy
Queen's started the season with some silverware, after retaining the Ophir 7s Trophy for the 4th time in 5 years! The Boys had impressive wins over Ophir, Ards, Belfast High And Randalstown, before beating Lisburn 5 tries to 1 in the final in front of a big crowd.
Here we see the boys with Queen's legend Tommy bowe after winning the trophy, Alistair Wright was named player of the tournament! Great start to the season.
QUBRFC Club Code of Conduct
This code of conduct was officially accepted by club committee on 28th March 2013
Participants in the game of Rugby union include players, parents, spectators, coaches, match officials, volunteers and administrators. Every participant should:
- Discourage all instances of unsporting behaviour, foul or illegal play, or acts of violence, both on and off the field.
- Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person regardless of their age, ethnic origin, gender, special needs, including learning and physical disabilities, class or social background, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, colour or political persuasion.
- Condemn the use of recreational and performance enhancing drugs and doping practices their use endangers the health of players and is contrary to the concept of fair play.
- Important every person who attends a Rugby Union match does so with the permission and license of the home club &/or league.
- Be a good sport. Respect all good play whether from your team or the opposition and shake hands with and thank the opposition players and officials after the game - win, lose or draw.
- Participate for your own enjoyment and benefit. Make every effort to develop your own abilities.
- Always respect the match official's decision.
- Make every effort to be consistent with Fair Play and the Laws of the Game. Never get involved in foul play.
- Honour both the spirit and letter of the competition rules and live up to the highest ideals of ethics and sportsmanship; avoid gamesmanship and respect the traditions of the game.
- Never engage in disrespectful conduct of any sort including swearing, obscene gestures, offensive remarks, taunting or other actions that are demeaning to other players, officials or supporters.
- Care for and respect the facilities and equipment made available to you during training and competition.
- Safeguard your health; don't use any illegal or unhealthy substances.
- Recognise that many officials, coaches and match officials are volunteers who give up their time to provide their services. Treat them with the utmost respect. Remember, without them you do not have a game.
- Do not bet or otherwise financially speculate, directly or indirectly, on the outcome or any other aspect of a rugby league match or competition in which you are involved.
- Actively discourage foul play and/or unsporting behaviour by players.
- Show concern and caution towards all sick and injured players. Follow the advice of a doctor and/or Physiotherapist to the letter when determining when an injured player is ready to recommence training or playing.
- Encourage players to respect and accept the judgement of the Match Officials.
- Never engage in public criticism of officials.
- Maintain appropriate, professional relationships with players at all times.
- Make a personal commitment to maintain a knowledge of the rules of the game and keep abreast of current coaching methods; maintain or improve your current accreditation level.
- Always consider the health, safety and welfare of the players..
- Ensure that your coaching reflects the level of the competition being played; do not be “win-at-all-costs” coaches.
- As coach, conduct yourself at all times in a manner, and in all situations, that shows leadership, respect for the game of Rugby Union and respect for all those that are involved in the game - the players, officials, the fans, the parents, the match officials and the media.
- Understand that sport is part of a total life experience, and the benefits of involvement go far beyond the final score of a game.
- Condemn all violent or illegal acts, whether they are by players, coaches, officials, parents or spectators.
- Respect the match official’s decisions - don't complain or argue about decisions during or after a game.
- Behave! Unsporting language, harassment or aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated.
- Encourage players to play by the rules and to respect opposition players and officials.
- Never ridicule or scorn a player for making a mistake - respect their efforts.
- Do not engage in any jeering that taunts or intimidates opponents, their fans or officials.
- At all times, follow the directions of the Ground Manager and/or other match day staff.
- Never arrive at a game under the influence of alcohol, never bring alcohol to a game, and only drink alcohol, if it is available at the ground, in the designated licensed area.
- Always operate to the principle of “friendship first - competition second”
- Ensure that all volunteers/administrators understand and adhere to the Code of Conduct
- Ensure that all equipment and facilities meet safety standards.
- Encourage all participants to remember that sport is enjoyed for its own sake.
QUBRFC Sports Equity Policy
Policy title- QUBRFC Sports Equity Policy
Date agreed- 1st March 2012
Person with designated responsibility- Robert Ford (Rugby Development Officer- QUBRFC)
2. Policy aim
Queen's University Belfast is committed to the promotion of equality of opportunity and to creating and sustaining an environment that values and celebrates the diversity of its staff and student body, in pursuance of the principle of equality of opportunity which was enshrined in the University's charter of 1908. As one of the University’s sports clubs, QUBRFC subscribes to this, and will seek to promote equality wherever possible.
This club is committed to ensuring that equity is incorporated across all aspects of its development. In doing so it acknowledges and adopts the following Sport Northern Ireland definition of sports equity:
“Sports equity is about fairness in sport, equality of access, recognising inequalities and taking steps to address them. It is about changing the culture and structure of sport to ensure it becomes equally accessible to everyone in society.”
3. Policy purpose
3.1 The Rugby club values and promotes equality and diversity and will seek to ensure that it treats all individuals fairly and with dignity and respect. It is opposed to all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.
3.2 The Rugby club seeks to provide equality to all, irrespective of gender, including gender re-assignment; marital or civil partnership status; having or not having dependants; religious belief or political opinion; race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, including Irish Travellers); disability; sexual orientation and age. It’s hoped that such an approach will help to broaden our participation base, and remove barriers to participation, for potential players.
3.3 This policy applies to:
All players, administrators, supporters, spectators and visitors to QUBRFC.
4.0 Policy objective
The Rugby Club is committed to-
Promoting a good and harmonious environment free from flags, emblems, posters, graffiti or other material or actions or language likely to be provocative, offensive or intimidatory. In doing this, we hope to ensure that players and spectators can enjoy their Rugby, free from the fear of being abused or victimised.
5.0 Monitoring and Evaluation
5.1 The effectiveness of this policy will be kept under review and amended to reflect developments in equality legislation and best practice.
5.2 The University will consult with Queen’s Sport, the Students' Union and Sport NI respect to this policy.
5.3 The club is committed to everyone having the right to enjoy their sport in an environment free from threat of intimidation, harassment and abuse.
5.4 All club members have a responsibility to oppose discriminatory behaviour and promote equality of opportunity.
5.5 The club will deal with any incidence of discriminatory behaviour seriously, according to club disciplinary procedures.
Lawful exemptions to this policy may be made, to limit participation to persons of a specific age, gender or disability groups in order to ensure equitable, safe and reasonable competition
Responsibility for overseeing the implementation of the club’s sports equity policy, will fall upon the Club’s Rugby Development Officer, and committee.
QUB 26 v UCC 24
Queen's gained their first win of the All Ireland Season with a narrow victory over University College Cork at the Mardyke arena on Saturday 1st December.
Queen's struggled throughout the first half against a very strong and mobile cork side who were in 2nd position in the league prior to this game. The Belfast boys held out until a mistake in the 39th minute allowed the host's winger to touch down and at the interval it was stil anyone's game with UCC 5-0 ahead.
Early tries within the first 10 minutes of the second half saw UCC into a commanding 17-0 lead, before a fine effort from Damon Hall reduced the lead to 17-5, and with Ritchie Mcmaster adding the conversion the score was 17-7 after 53 minutes. the game was ll action for the remainder of the time as both sides worked hard to get an advantage, with both backlines showing great skill and pace.
Queen's managed a score through Hugo Harbinson, after good work from Skipper Chris Colvin, and 5 minutes later, Ben Alexander crossed to level the Scores at 17 all, before Mcmaster's conversion put the visitors ahead for the first time in the contest. However, only a minute later UCC scored after a penalty close to the Queen's line allowed UCC to drive over for a score and take the lead with only moments to spare.
Queen's rallied in the dying moments and good work from the inside backs, created space for Damon Hall to level at 24 all, leaving a difficult conversion for Ritchie Mcmaster who was successful giving Queen's a dramatic last gasp win and passage through to the next stage in the Dudley Cup... Hopefully a sign of things to come!
Queen's 4th XV vs Malone 4th XV
A very inexpeienced 4th side went to Gibson Park to play a mature Malone side on a very heavy pitch..
The students might have been light in weight and experience but they played with full heart and committment.
Both sides had scoring chances but the pitch made it hard work. Malone eventually broke the duck when a clearing kick to touch was fielded and Malone drove to the line and after several surges eventually got over to give them a halftime lead 5;0
Queens had a chance with a penalalty but it was missed and Malone were awarded a penalty for a high tackle which they converted . This was the final score in a good match played in good spirit with Malone just about deserving their victory against a plucky Queens side .
Skipper Ben Farmer and debut prop Matthew Harvey and "mighty mouse" James Scott were the pick of the Queens players.
"old loose head"
Queen's 4ths XV vs Academy 3rd XV
Queens 4ths travelled to Mallusk to continue their league campaign with a "Turney" derby as Academy were coached by Christopher son of Queens stalward Victor.
Queens opened the scoring with a good break by the enterprising outhalf Ballentine who added the conversion.
The students added to the score after a good tackle by scrum half Reed who fed Robert Whitten to score . Robert was making a welcome return to rugby after hospital surgery .Ballentine added the conversion.
English lock Saunders scored a third score after several quick recycled balls close to the hosts line . Again Ballentine added the points.
On the stroke of halftime Queens scored their forth try with a good ball from the lineout , 9 to 10 to 13 with a miss in the centre to give Whitten his second try . agaiin Ballentine converted to give Queens a 24 .0 lead at halftime.
Academy turned round with more determination and were awarded a try when Queens old boy Crowe scored
Academy added to the score when Crowe again made several good runs with a well taken try.
Game ended 28.14 with both sides spurning several scoring chances with Academy slightly on top.
A good game and a good result.
"old loose head"
Queens 2nds made the trip to Magherafelt on Saturday to play Rainey Old Boys, due to a late cry off from Tom Johnston, Queens had to play the full 80 minutes with 14 men.
The match started brightly with Queens looking to run the ball at every opportunity, wanting to keep the ball away from the heavier Rainey pack, and after some sustained pressure from Rainey, Queens pounced on a loose ball and through Baccus, Butler and Devlin Queens quickly turned defence into attack, with Butler crashing under the posts after some great running from Foster, score 7 nil after 10 minutes.
Rainey however came straight back and used their one man advantage in the pack and started pummelling the Queens line, however the Queens defence stood firm with some uncompromising tackles from Hooks and Harbinson in midfield, after repelling a number of attacks Queens worked their way up the field and following a discretion at a ruck, Rea stuck over a penalty to increase the lead to 10.
Again Rainey came back and following some uncharacteristic slack handling, Rainey put a 10 minute period of pressure on the Queens line, the back row of Bonnar, Hinton and Bingham who were constantly asking questions at ruck time, snaffled a loose pass and 2 quick passes, set Devlin away on the right wing, the former BRA speedster who was cut down short, Foster who was having a fine game in the loose picked up and drove over the line, Rea converted. Queens normally kick on from a 17 point lead, however this Rainey side did what Instonians, City of Derry and Belfast Harlequins could not do, and following a mix up in midfield and 2 fly hacks down the pitch scored under the posts. At half time the score was Rainey 7 Queens 17.
After some stern words from coaches Sampson and Moore, Queens started the second half with verve, Devlin broke down the right and fed Harbinson who scored under the posts after 20 seconds. This led to Queens 2nd’s dominating the second half , Rea and Russell started pulling the strings with a steady stream of possession courtesy of a dominant pack, trys followed in a one sided second half, with Russell scoring 2, Winters 1. For the first time this season Queens played a full 80 minutes, final score Rainey 7 Queens 43.
Overall a satisfactory performance, a number of handling errors and poor distribution were the only blots on the performance. The seconds have a week off with an away trip to Ards next up.
Queens 2nds entertained City of Derry at the Dub on Saturday, looking to extract revenge on the only team that has beaten them this season. Queens welcomed back Bonnar, Bartley, Storey and Shannon.
In lovely autumnal conditions with a slight breeze blowing from the House of Sport end of the Dub, City of Derry kicked off, and no sooner than the restart was caught, City of Derry were down to 14 men, with one of their props having to go off to an accidental elbow in the eye. This led to the Queens 8 having near total dominance over their North West opponents.
With a solid scrum and a lineout that was functioning well, the Queens half backs of Russell and Rea had a nice arm chair ride with the ball 9 times out of 10 being placed on a plate for them. It didn’t take the talented Queens back line long to show City of Derry their full range of skills, with Newman, Storey and in particular Hooks showing their opposite number a clean pair of heels and a number of occasions. As has been the norm this season Queens raced to an unsalable lead at half time, with Hooks, Newman, Atkinson, Russell and Butler crossing the white wash, with Rea converting all but one.
However the second half again was a reflection of the Inst match was a bit of a damp squib, with wrong options, dropped passes and players forcing things, however after 20 minutes Queens eventually found their mojo again with Russell, Newman, Hooks getting over the tryline. The ref eventually had enough and blew up 10 minutes early. It was another satisfactory performance from this young Queens side who when they are firing on all cylinders play some beautiful rugby, but once they lose concentration the standards drop. However, it's a sign of how successful the side have been that we are critical after a 50 plus points to nil win.
Man of the match was scrum half Russell who scored 2 opportunist trys and kept the pack going forward all day, closely followed by Bonnar and Hooks.
Queens University 2nd XV versus Belfast Harlequins 2nd XV
Queens entertained Belfast Harlequins at the Dub on Saturday, with weather conditions that were perfect for running rugby . An early Queens attack broke down and unfortunately after a spilled ball which gifted Harlequins the ball resulted in a late tackle on the Harlequins winger gave the men from Deramore an early chance to put points on the board, this their out half duly did.
This spurred Queens into action with pack starting to dominate the Harlequins 8 at both scrum time and lineout, it provided Russell and Rea with quality quick ball which they used to unleash the talented back line, after a series of phases McNeill jinked his way past 3 would be Harlequin’s tacklers and scored under the posts, this led to the flood gates opening , the Queens back 3 of Devlin, Hall and Butler started to run back any loose kicks with interest, Hall in particular had a field day taking every available opportunity to stretch his legs, in one break he beat 3 tacklers before flipping the ball into Butler who ran in unopposed under the posts.
At the end of the first half Harlequins put the Queens side under the first bit on concerted pressure resulting in a try and a penalty, after a few choice words from captain McCaughey and his lieutenants Russell and Loughead normal service was resumed with Loughead scoring from a copy book catch and drive from a lineout.
The second half began as the first half ended with Queens completely dominant in all aspects of play, Hall whose man of the match performances resulted him scoring 5 trys, McNeill finished with 2 trys, Loughead 2 and Rea and Butler 1. The ref realising that Harlequins were on the ropes agreed to blow up early.
It was arguably one of the most complete 2nd xv performances in the last 3 years with forwards working hard to secure quick ball and backs inevitably taking the correct decisions. It is difficult to name individuals who performed well as all 15 excelled, from Winters who has started to settle into his new position of hooker seamlessly, Criag and Atkinson who dominated their heavier and more experienced opponents, Shannon and McCaughey who worked hard tirelessly in the engine room, Clarke and Marshall who won most if not all of the 50/50 balls and in the backs Newman and McNeill always who got the team front foot ball and set good targets for the pack.
There will be undoubtedly tougher matches ahead but this side has potential.
Queen's continued their unbeaten run with an away victory against City of Armagh RFC, in an exiting game with each team scoring three tries, only for the game to be decided by the boot of Queen's Fly Half Ritchie Mcmaster.
Just like the previous week against Rainey, Queen's started the game very well and went in at half time with 17-3 lead. In the second half Queen's found a resolute armagh side to be a much tougher prospect but due to Mcmaster's metronomic kicking were able to secure a 33-22 victory. Captain Chris Colvin was in blistering form on return to his home town and scored two tries. Queen's will hope to continue their winning form as they visit Instonians under lighters on Wednesday 12th September (7:30pm kick off) in their next Ulster Senior League game.
Queen's 24-22 Rainey- Ulster Senior League, 25th September 2012
Queen's got their Ulster League campaign off to an excellent start with a win against a much fancied Rainey Old Boys side.
The students started at a blistering pace and seemed to shock the Rainey side in an opening 25 minutes where they scored 3 tries. The physical presence of Stuart Mcilwaine and Michael McAuley was instrumental in creating gaps out wide, and scoring a try each whilst great support play saw Ross McCaughey bag a rare try. All three tries were converted by out half Ritchie Mcmaster who looked full of confidence and marshalled the back line superbly thrughout, ensuring that they went in at half time with a comfortable lead.
However, Queen's were tested in the second half and could only manage a solitary penalty from the boot of Mcmaster. Rainey were much more impressive, with Tim Barker proving to be a strong ball carrier and Jonny Shiels adding a touch of class in theback line. On a side note,it was great to see Jonny (a former Queen's Player) back in action, after an extended period away from the game due to injury. Rainey managed two tries and a penalty from the boot of Mark O Connor to make for an exciting close to the game, but Queen's were able to secure a 24-22 victory.
There were a number of excellent performances, from a young front row against their more experienced counterparts and from Robert Whitten, destructive as ever in the back row, making 13 tackles and not missing a single one. The Queen's backline showed flashes of brilliance despite a number of changes in personal and positions from last year. A positive start and a side full of potential!
Queen's Win Ophir 7s
Queen's got the season off to a winning start by winning the Ophir 7s on Saturday 11th August.
After convincing wins in the group stages over Carrickfergus, BHSFP, Ballyclare and hosts Ophir in the group stages Queen's faced a strong Dungannon side in the Semi final. After a long physical encounter, Queen's finally got the win with a 'golden try' in extra time.
This set up a final encounter with Ards which Queen's managed to win 4 tries to 3, with strong performances from James Reekie, Hugo Harbinson and Eoin Devlin helping them to secure the trophy they last won two seasons ago.
Hugo Harbinson was voted player of the tournament.
Great start to the season.