Man Met Uni and Manchester Rugby in final game of Covid Lockdown league tomorrow
- Series to trial new rugby rules post-lockdown pits MMU vs undefeated Manchester
- The match kicks off at 3pm from Grove Park in Cheadle Hulme
- NQ will livestream the match with an MMU Sports Journalism show from 1445 at https://youtu.be/QWdhadbPytc
Manchester Met sports journalism students will present live coverage of the climax of the 'friendly' South Manchester Lockdown League tomorrow (Saturday), developed to put new rules on contact in rugby into live games.
Recruited through the RISE project, students from all disciplines have joined forces to operate cameras, work as vision mixers and produce and present live or 'as-live' interviews and content. Tomorrow's show will be presented from 1445 by Georgina 'G' Randall, an MA Journalism student, with her colleague Victoria Thiele producing. You can watch the show here: https://youtu.be/QWdhadbPytc
The livestream system broadcasting the show has been designed by SODA technical officer Sam Heitzman with editorial content shaped for each game by MMU Sports Journalism lead Vince Hunt. The team have covered MMU Rugby's games away at Stockport and Altrincham Kersal and at Platt Lane to Glossop. The final game of the season will see Manchester RUFC crowned as series champions, but there will be a party atmosphere at Grove Park as players and coaches get ready for summer. Kick off is at 3pm.
MMU coach Rob Jones said the Lockdown League had been a success as well as a good learning experience.
"I think we all went into this with a mixture of trepidation and excitment. Nobody really knew how to adapt to these rules. We were all new to it, and I think we've adapted to it well. All I wanted from the players and from the coaches was for us to improve each week, and we have done.
"The purpose was to get people back playing and loving and enjoying the game and that's happened. There will always be people pooh-pooing the adapted laws who say 'It's not the same' but that's nonsense. You can still let the ball live, you can still have the physical impact and it's still a great game."
Manchester are one of the oldest clubs in the UK - the oldest 'open' club, ie non-public school - dating back to 1860, and have brought through a number of local players to England international standard, such as Heather Millar-Mills and Luke James. [See feature on the club's history here: MANCHESTER RUFC HISTORY]
With the weather forecast for Saturday good, and catering and refreshments laid on, coach Rob Jones is looking forward to sending his players across the white line for the last time this season.
"We'll welcome back the scrums and the mauls as soon as it's safe to do so, but it's been brilliant to get back on the pitch. You only have to look at the lads and see the big smiles on their face. It's been a shocking 16 months and this is a massive step forward from where we were."