COLLEGE RUGBY: Capes’ crunchers storm into national cup final

Owen Miller drives forward for Peterborough Regional College.
Owen Miller drives forward for Peterborough Regional College.
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Peterborough Regional College achieved one of their greatest ever victories yesterday (April 25) when beating Myerscough College up in Preston to reach the AOC National Cup final.

The city lads were big underdogs for the semi-final against a side linked with the Sale Sharks Academy but they pulled out all the stops to record a famous 27-12 victory.

Peterborough reached the Plate Final in May 2011 but this is the first time they have ever progreesed to the main competition final., which is scheduled for Mosely RFC, Birmingham, on May 9. Their opponents will be either Exeter College or the College Of Richard Collyer (Sussex).

Myerscough made the perfect start to yesterday’s game, moving the ball with ease after receiving from the kick-off and they scored a try wide out after just a couple of minutes.

Peterborough were shellshocked and quickly set about imposing their physical game on the contest.

Their forwards attacked the fringes and made positive yards on every take. Myerscough were being driven back and kept infringing which led to Connor Porter slotting three points for Peterborough from the 22m line.

Peterborough raised the intensity in the battle up front and started to dominate the set pieces. Their beefy pack began to find holes - especially number eight Alexander Livingston - and Myerscough were on the back foot.

Eventually the pressure told and Livingston crashed over for Peterborough’s first try to give them an 8-7 lead.

The pack were now fired up and wanting to keep the ball tight which led to another try a few minutes later with flanker Tim Moore powering over for a 13-7 lead.

Just before the interval Myerscough reduced the deficit to 13-12 with their second try.

Peterborough had wind advantage in the second half and their tails were up. They continued with their tight, power game and hooker Mo Gaibee went over and Peterborough were 20-12 up.

Finally at the end of a brutal encounter, Peterborough winger Ronan Rawlins made an amazing cover tackle after tracking his player from the halfway line to put him down five metres from the try-line. And that allowed his captain Tanaka Kanhukamwe to run all the way in under the posts for the final play of the game.

Peterborough coach Lewis Capes said: “What an amazing win by the boys. They played with their hearts on their sleeves and were so physical.

“This was Peterborough Regional College rugby of old - good old smashmouth stuff. I am very proud of these guys.”