Man Met clinch extra-time win over University of Liverpool and advance to next round
- Man Met in thriller after 100 minutes
- 10 points in extra-time secure victory
- Crucial last minute penalty sealed nervy finish
In a 100-minute thriller, Man Met clinched a win in extra time, scoring 10 points and leaving no way back for the home team, with the game ending 25-15.
A crucial penalty in the dying seconds of the game by MMU centre Cosh allowed the Manchester side to level the score and go to extra time.
Man Met fielded a much changed team from last week's walk over against University of Manchester, giving different players a chance.
MMU dominated the first half, hardly allowing University of Liverpool to cross the halfway line. Their attack flowed well, reaching the UoL 22 several times but small mistakes meant MMU couldn’t convert the chances into points.
The Man Met defence was solid throughout the first half, however, only missing two tackles and leaving the score 7-0 after 40 minutes.
Man of the match Poulson had a superb performance, making numerous tackles, running hard and crossing the line for a try himself.
MMU started the second half as they did the first. A superb up and under by Fly half Ben Pearson moved them into the UoL half, with Pearson managing to offload. The play unfortunately fizzled out with a knock-on.
The UoL attack began to pick up pace, forcing MMU to play much of the game in their own half.
Man Met errors continued in the second half and gave the home side chances to move up the field and into the MMU 22 for the first time.
UoL eventually capitalised, scoring a try from a scrum in the MMU 22 after a nice backline move. The conversion was successful, leaving the score level.
MMU responded well, with a try coming within five minutes of the restart. A good drive up field led to a number of phases in the UoL 22, and eventually a gap in the defence allowed centre Edwards to cross over the whitewash. The conversion was missed, hitting the post as Cosh slipped as he struck the ball.
Pressure by UoL continued, with MMU spending a 10-minute spell protecting their own try line. They could only ride the tackles for so long before finally conceding a try after sustained pressure. The conversion floated wide of the post and the home team drew level.
Man Met’s chances in the final 20 minutes of the game were again wasted by errors, as flashes of brilliance were met with simple mistakes.
The home side’s offence began to find holes behind the MMU defence and crafty box kicks and kicks for possession became a key tactic for them. They crept upfield and in the 78th minute looked to break MMU hearts, slotting over a drop goal from the 22 metre line.
MMU did not surrender however, and made a valiant resurgence, driving up to the UoL 22 metre line with seconds left. Silly play in the ruck by UoL gave MMU a shot at goal with the clock now red.
MMU’s Cosh stepped up and didn’t slip this time, slotting it right down the middle.
Extra time followed and MMU found their stride again, confidently running the ball at a clearly fatigued defence.
A try eventually came from all the hard work, as Druw Fray crossed the line after phases of hard running from the forwards. MMU were later awarded a penalty for a dangerous high tackle, which was converted, putting the icing on the cake for the traveling team.
Defence Coach Carl Fox said “We’re absolutely delighted, the boys got their reward and showed character in that extra time, the young players who started played well. We created the opportunities, we just have to learn how to finish them, we left a good three tries out there”
Man Met will now play Doncaster men's 1st in the next round of the Men’s Trophy.
MMU - Tries: Poulson, Edwards, Fray | Con: Cosh x2 | Pen: Cosh x2.