UUC 18 BANN SECONDS 24
Two tries in the closing ten minutes from debutant No 8 Joe McQuade helped Bann Seconds to victory over UUC in Saturday’s season opener.
Unsurprisingly both sides were rusty after the summer break but Bann settled the better early on and took the lead midway through the first half when scrum half Aaron Kennedy landed a 40 metre penalty.
On the half hour Bann stretched further ahead with the first try of the game. A thumping Macauley Little clearance kick penned the students back into their own “22” and when Bann recovered possession they went through the phases until Martin Vorster found a gap in the defence. The young lock was tackled short of the line but his momentum and a good reach saw him touch down close to the posts. Kennedy added the extras.
UUC replied with penalties either side of the half time break to reduce the deficit to four as Bann were repeatedly penalised for ill-discipline at the breakdown.
The Uni side then took the lead when a mix up in the Bann midfield allowed the UUC centre to gather a loose ball and run in unopposed from halfway.
And when the home team scored their second try of the game to lead by eight going into the closing stages, it seemed Bann would return home empty handed.
But the young side dug deep and staged a late fightback. Simon Lloyd, playing his last game before returning to New Zealand, made the initial inroad before McQuade ran a great line to score.
Then Ben Cross made a blistering break from his own half and only some desperate defence saw him hauled down just short of the UUC line but McQuade was on hand to pick up and burrow over from close range.
Kennedy converted both tries to maintain his 100% record for the day as Bann ran out 24-18 winners.