1st XV (BUCS 1)
Wed 13 Mar 2024  ·  BUCS Super Rugby
Leeds Beckett (Carnegie) University
Tries: M Hunting, T Morley, J DevineConversions: J Sanchez (2)Penalties: J SanchezYellow Carded: O Mullarkey
Exeter University RFC
1st XV (BUCS 1)
Tries: O Beckerleg, F JeffriesConversions: B Coen (2)Penalties: B Coen (3)Yellow Carded: F Jeffries
Match Report: Leeds Beckett University 22 - 23 Exeter University

Match Report: Leeds Beckett University 22 - 23 Exeter University

EURFC Media14 Mar - 03:59
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A youthful Exeter side edge out Leeds Beckett in a tight encounter

With the title sealed and the boys looking ahead to play-offs, Gareth Elliot opted to rest much of the first team ahead of a hopefully very busy schedule in April. Not only did those players get a much-deserved rest, but it also allowed many players to get their first taste of BUCS Super Rugby. With 6 debutants in the squad and a further 8 with less than 5 caps, the inexperienced side were given the chance to express themselves and prove a point to the coaching staff. And they did not let them down. A BUCS Super Rugby classic, coming down to a penalty kick in the final 2 minutes.

With such a youthful side it was always likely they would struggle early on as they found their feet at the higher level, which showed yesterday. Leeds Beckett ran in 2 early tries to set the pace at West Park RFC.

The first was scored from a simple catch and drive, with hooker Madison Hunting spying a gap and diving over from a couple of metres. There seemed to be hope for Exeter a couple of minutes later as Ollie Mularkey was sent to the bin for a no-arms tackle, however, that didn’t stop the purple machine in the opening 15 minutes.

The hosts doubled their advantage through a set move from the lineout, putting Louis Guthrie through a hole. The second row showed his footballing ability, hooking the ball back infield towards the on-rushing Toby Morley to score. A blistering start from the hosts leaving Exeter shell-shocked.

After that fast start, the young Exeter side settled back into the game, playing much of the game in the Beckett half, until eventually, the damn broke. Some strong running from Worley-Brady and MacAndrew started the counter-attack, and with the hosts’ defence forced to retreat, there was space out wide. Potter played quickly to Seth Findlay who disguised his pass beautifully to Oscar Beckerleg hitting the perfect line, slicing through the line. One-on-one with the fullback, he brushed him off before scoring the try to get Exeter back in this one.

Despite being down on the scoreboard, that Beckerleg try inspired the boys to win this game, and showed them they had the quality to win it. Behind at the break, but plenty of rugby still left to play in the second half.


Off the back of that try and the front-foot ball the Exeter side had, it would have been easy for them to get carried away in attack. However, they kept their heads and continued to think logically and stay within touching distance on the scoreboard. Captain Chris Freeman turned down multiple chances to go to the corner, in favour of taking the goal kick. Ben Coen slotting back-to-back kicks had for an interesting final 20 minutes.

Despite the constant pressure from the visitors, Beckett scored their first points of the second half through Jody Devine. The fullback picking up a loose offload from a teammate, before finishing out wide. The conversion was missed, which would prove to be crucial late on.

After conceding from the lineout earlier, the Exeter side didn’t want to be shown up at the set-piece. Dummying the maul, Ben Potter looked to pass straight onto Coen, but dummied, fooling the Beckett defence and racing through into the backfield. He offloaded to debutant Frank Jeffries on his shoulder, the centre stepped back inside to beat the covering defence and score his first try in green. Ben Coen added the simple conversion and for the first time, Exeter were ahead.

It wasn’t all plain sailing to the end of the match for the inexperienced side though. 5 minutes from time Dylan Power was yellow-carded for cynically not rolling away. It was twice the pain for Exeter as Josh Sanchez nailed the penalty to re-take the lead for the Yorkshire side.

And so with almost no time remaining, Exeter threw everything they had at the Beckett line, before forcing a knock on just outside the 22. With fresh legs on in the front row, Watts and Rolls drew the penalty out of their opposite numbers, to give Ben Coen a shot at goal. Under a huge amount of pressure, the flyhalf stepped up and nailed the kick. Exeter was back ahead and had just 2 minutes to hold onto the 1-point lead.

The hosts reclaimed the kickoff, leaving the Exeter defence to be tested. Working their way into the 22, Beckett was in range for a drop-goal to win it. However, as they looked to work into the centre of the pitch, the line speed was too much, forcing them back towards halfway.

They kept plugging away until there was quick ball and an overlap on the blindside, with Finn Worley-Brady isolated. The No. 8 had one option, to fly up on the first man and force him into a mistake. Some brilliant defence and a sloppy pass later and the ball was in touch.

A young Exeter side were victorious and had proven their quality against a good Beckett side, as well as their composure to win at the end. A brilliant performance from 1 to 23.


A dramatic and frantic way to end the regular season, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!!

With that being the end of the season we now look ahead to the play-offs and hopefully a trip to the StoneX on the 17th of April. The first team we face is the University of Nottingham in 2 weeks.

Match details

Match date

Wed 13 Mar 2024




BUCS Super Rugby

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Exeter University RFC 1st XV Men (BUCS 1)
Leeds Beckett (Carnegie) University
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