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Nottingham : Pre-Season

It was the first run out for our newly named sides and The Maroons (1stXV) and The Scarlets (2ndXV) took on a very powerful and impressive Nottingham University. The super BUCS side and its second team made the trip down the M5 to face both sides at the impressive Shaftesbury Park, home to the Dings Crusaders. This was the UBRFC first pre-season fixture as Head of Rugby Joe Goodman looks to build his team ready for the start of the season.

Both clubs took the opportunity to show their respect to the late Queen Elizabeth II with a minute silence before both games. First to kick-off was The Scarlets who got off to a flyer with a victory against the Nottingham 2nd XV, a side who beat the Scarlets this time last year.

An open encounter led to tried at both ends in the first half with a high penalty count allowing Nottingham to take the lead before some expertly executed moves allowed the back line to bring Bristol level.

The game was decided with 5 minutes to go, when a powerful driving maul from the Scarlets went in the corner to score. The final score was was Scarlets 24 - Nottingham 2nd XV 17. The Man of the Match as chosen by the visiting side was Jonny Harrington whose running lines tore open the Notts defense throughout the fixture. 2nd XV Head Coach Shane Claridge said "its a great start to the season with so many making their debuts at this level".

The first team faced a different task and bigger task with 8 1st XV debutants wearing the 100 club shirt which included 3 freshers and 5 who played for the 3rd/4th team last season. The first team took on the impressive Nottingham 1st XV who have just gained promotion to BUCS Super League following a very successful 21/22 campaign.

It was a fantastic effort by the 22 man Maroon squad but the very physical and powerful Nottingham were extremely strong coming out as 5 - 46 winners. The Nottingham pack was approximately 250 kilos heavier and that really showed as Nottingham dominated the contact area. However the Maroon team didn't give up and showed how dangerous they can be out wide once they were able to build some phases and link up play.

Head of Rugby Joe Goodman said "The score line isn't pretty but I'm extremely proud of the side today, we have lots to work on as we now look to face The Royal Navy at Coombe Dingle next Wednesday. If we can work on our physicality and energy at the right times we will be in a great place for the start of the BUCS season." Man of the Match was awarded to Cam Keys who put himself about all game and a notable mention to Finlay Campbell who had a very impressive game at fly half.

The Maroons and Scarlets return to training tomorrow as the pre-season camp continues and will be joined on Tuesday by the rest of the club as the Clarets, Tuscans and Imperials return.

The next game is on Wednesday 21st September v Royal Navy Under 23s at Coombe Dingle (7pm k/o) this is free entry and the bar will be open.

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