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'We've shown we can match the champions'

By The Citizen  |  Posted: November 24, 2012

drive:  Gloucestershire All Golds captain Sam Blaney led his side to a draw with the reigning champions

drive: Gloucestershire All Golds captain Sam Blaney led his side to a draw with the reigning champions

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THE head coach of the University of Gloucestershire All Golds was proud of his players in their draw with Leeds Metropolitan University.

It was only some desperate defending from the Yorkshire outfit that prevented the All Golds from recording a famous win over the BUCS champions.

Head coach Brad Hepi said: "We gave a very good account of ourselves as a team and as individuals.

"I am very proud of the guys because again we have shown against the champions that we are every bit as good as them.

"This was two points lost rather than one point gained but I'll take that over no points any day."

Due to the atrocious weather, the game was played on the university's 3G pitch, which provided a fast, exciting and physical game.

The All Golds won the toss and elected to kick off, giving Leeds the first taste of what was to be 80 minutes of explosive contact.

The Leeds forwards carried the ball aggressively into the All Golds line.

All Golds captain Sam Blaney and hooker Rory Sharratt were providing great line speed to stop the progress of the Leeds forwards who were trying to smash their way through the All Golds line.

The resulting Leeds kick was fielded by Maxime Claustres and he brought the ball back into the Leeds defence with an equal amount of vigour and carried on by Jordan Rice and Joe McClean.

The next 20 minutes was an arm wrestle as both teams battered away at each other looking for the weakness in defence to exploit.

However, both teams defensive lines held firm until the 28th minute when after five back-to-back sets from All Golds' errors, a Leeds forward was able to slip a pass to a supporting Leeds player to dive over the line.

This made it 4-0 to Leeds.

For the rest of the first half the All Golds attacked the Leeds line directed by Matt Bradley and Ash Haynes.

It was the best they have done all season, but the Leeds defence was up to the task.

The second half began just as ferociously, but the Leeds players were beginning to tire and after good lead-up play by the All Golds, Yannic Parker crashed over to score for the All Golds.

Bradley added the conversion to give the All Golds a 6-4 lead.

Leeds came back strongly and peppered the All Golds wingers and full-back with continuous up-and-under kicks.

The high balls were dealt with safely, especially by Claustres who took great catches under pressure from Leeds chasers.

The All Golds were now enjoying a 70 per cent territorial advantage, but one Leeds foray into the All Golds half ended with a penalty in front of the posts.

Leeds opted to take the two points on offer to square the match at 6-6.

Over the next ten minutes Leeds were able to cling on with some desperate defending to not only deny Ash Haynes a try by causing him to drop the ball over the line but also further pressure on Bradley as he attempted three separate drop goals to deny the All Golds the chance of winning the game.

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