Peterborough Regional College got their English Colleges League campaign off to a winning start yesterday when beating title contenders Colne College 33-27 in Essex.
PRC are going to find every game a challenge this season with only 16 full-time players to field 15 every week but they have been working hard on combinations to see them through every game.
Their first score against Colne came from lock Owen Miller, who crashed over after a couple of pick and go phases from a five-metre scrum seven minutes into the game.
PRC’s pack then started to use their size and physicality advantage to good effect, dominating all the set-piece play.
Ten minutes later, however, Colne ran in a try after some suspect tackling by PRC’s backline.
At 5-5 it was game on and both teams kept each other at bay in the centre of the field until Colne won a penalty on PRC’s 22m for offside and slotted the three points to take the lead.
Just before the interval PRC’s forwards kept it tight and prop Luke Green smashed his way over to score next to the posts. That was converted by Hudson Reece-Jones making it 12-8 to PRC at the interval.
In the second half PRC took control and kept the ball tight as Colne were struggling with the physicality of the PRC pack.
A break from deep by winger Ryan Adams saw him fly down the wing for a great individual try under the posts and the visitors’ tails were up.
Another try from full-back Nick Langton gave PRC some breathing space but Colne started to move the ball wide well. The PRC forwards tired and Colne grabbed two tries in quick succession to snatch a one-point lead.
But with five minutes left centre Tanaka Kanhukamwe bullied his way through the Colne defence, swatting defenders with his hand-off to go over for the final and winning score.
PRC coach Lewis Capes said: “That was a very tough first game for us as we did not know where we were. We’ve a lot to learn from this but it was a great win for the boys which sends out a great message that PRC will be a tough and physical side to play.”