Rugby Tonight is shown live every Monday on BT Sport 2 inviting rugby teams from all over the country to come down, help out and promote their team on the show. For the second year running, Brunel Rugby Union were lucky enough to be invited on Monday 12th January to be featured on the show as the demonstration team.
The show went live at 8.00pm and guest starred England international and Sale Sharks fly-half Danny Cipriani. He was interviewed and then proceeded to give a master class on attacking and identifying space.
The demo involved how a world-class fly half attacks a defensive line to put the backs through to score. This gave an opportunity for our 1st XV back line to show their abilities on live television.
This was an incredible opportunity to promote our sport and university and, with members of the women's team also appearing on the show, also an excellent chance to promote women's rugby here too. A massive thank you to all on Rugby Tonight and to Danny Cipriani for giving us this opportunity.
Two days after Brunel Rugby’s appearance on Rugby Tonight, they were back to their old duty on the rugby field. It was a fresh winter’s day when Brunel 1st team ran out to warm up for the 20-25 loss against Portsmouth 1st in their first game after Christmas.
With Brunel opting to kick into the wind for the first half, a high hanging kick gave the home team the chance to attack the ball, however a rush of blood to the head from flanker Ryan Naylor caused him to tackle his opposite number in the air, giving away a penalty. From this resulting line out Portsmouth managed to put the balls into the hands of their winger and with a couple of slips in defence saw Portsmouth go into the corner for the first try of the game, 0-5.
The kick off after this saw the play stay in Portsmouth half and, after a strong defensive set, Portsmouth gave away a penalty right in front of the posts for kicker Tom Dunn to slot the three points, making it 3-5.
The game then went on to unfold with some very questionable decisions being made by the referee. Jono Elvin saw an opposition player lying on the wrong side of the ruck, so decided to tell him off with his boot, which saw him receive a yellow card and have a 10-minute rest.
Brunel managed to defend well one man down, however Portsmouth finally took advantage of the extra man in a driving maul, pushing themselves over to score, 3-10.
With Elvin coming back on after this, refreshed from his 10-minute break, Brunel once again camped in the Portsmouth half and they once again gave away a penalty, a little out of Dunn’s range. Captain Sam Voight told him to kick for the corner and a well-placed kick saw the resulting line out inside Portsmouth’s 22. From this it was Brunel’s turn for the push over try, with second rows Voight and Greg Wilmington combining perfectly to drive over for Voight to dot down. Typical of Dunn’s perfect kicking game saw him slot it between the sticks for the extras. 10-10 at half time.
The second half saw Portsmouth kick off with a high kick that they managed to reclaim and put them back on the attack. After a bit of kick tennis, Portsmouth put a decent nudge in causing the return kick from Brunel to go straight out, just inside our own 22. Once again Portsmouth showed how their size works and drove over to dot down for their third try.
After a few phases from the kick off once more saw Portsmouth in Brunel’s 22 and a grubber kick behind the defensive line saw their number 7 dot down.
Brunel then spent a long time camped in the visitors half, but unable to convert their chances soon they were turned over and a scrum was given to Portsmouth on Brunel’s 22. From this Portsmouth’s Number 8 picked up from the base, popping to the nine who passed to the wing who dotted down in the corner. 10-25.
From this Brunel came back hard and putting a lot of pressure on the now fading Portsmouth they conceded another penalty in front of the posts. Dunn slotted this bringing the difference to 12 points.
Unfortunately, Portsmouth were really struggling with fitness now and were purposefully slowing the game down giving multiple penalties away. However, their plan worked, as by the time Brunel made it into the opposition 22 time was almost up, but still giving away penalties right on their try line Portsmouth’s second row received a yellow card and sat off for the rest of the game.
Many onlookers thought a penalty try was looming, however, after some decent phase play, replacement loose head Max Fiddimore crashed over the line to get Brunel a losing bonus point. With the last kick of the game Dunn sealed his 100 percent kicking game, slotting the ball through the posts to finalise the score 20-25.
Make sure you get down Site Five on the 28th January to support the boys in blue for their next home game against Kings College.
Gideon Green