Rugby Union: Northumbria succeed in the shambles

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The Independent Online
Northumbria University. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

West London Institute. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

NEWCASTLE GOSFORTH may be the down and outs as far as the First Division is concerned this season, but looking to the future at least they have got youth on their side, judging by yesterday's events in the Universities Athletic Union final at Twickenham.

After all, Northumbria University turned up with a dozen from the club in their squad. And northern rock prevailed against a West London Institute boasting three first-teamers from Saracens and a London Irishman, Sean Burns, who is almost a Sunbury regular.

That said, the match was a trifle shambolic amid Headquarters' vast empty terracing, this being just about the only game here where getting in the Gents presents no problems. 'Come to think of it, the whole tournament has been a shambles since it was extended,' a referees' spokesman said.

With the former polytechnics now under the UAU umbrella, the competition has become an administrator's nightmare, with teams not turning up for fixtures and the draw having to be remade.

Northumbria, formerly Newcastle Polytechnic, did keep turning up, however, and yesterday they were rewarded largely through the Institute's generosity after 12 minutes. John Miller made an interception and raced 75 yards for the only try of a grey afternoon. Joel Eley converted and landed two penalties, southern comfort restricted to three of the same from Andy Lee.

Northumbria University: Try Miller; Conversion Eley; Penalties Eley (2). West London Institute: Penalties Lee (3).

Northumbria University: J Miller; D Bennett, A Redpath, M Tetlow, T Penn (E Craig, 79); A Scott, J Eley; R Fuller, D Hayes, S Bowen, J Fowler, S Owen, M Corry (capt), J Ayton, J Nicholson.

West London Institute: D O'Leary; M Kemp, S Burns, G Harrison, R Francis; A Lee (capt), C Mahon; J Cooke, S Rodgers, O Pipe, A Dougan, J Beddoe, C Clements, R Hill, J Potts.

Referee: E Sklar (Argentina).

(Photograph omitted)