Hartpury bounced back from their XV-a-side defeat at Twickenham to clinch the BUCS Championship Sevens title as they beat 2017 winners the University of Edinburgh 22-17 at West Park Leeds Rugby Club.
The two teams both topped their respective pools and the final was closely contested with Hartpury scoring three tries in the second period to overturn a half-time deficit of 10-5.
Two weeks ago, Hartpury lost the BUCS Championship final to the University of Exeter and they found themselves behind in the sevens final after Edinburgh had made the perfect start by scoring in the opening minute. Hartpury regrouped and after a few phases, they created an opportunity which the Gloucestershire outfit took to level the scores.
However, Edinburgh did edge themselves back in front before half-time as some good hands allowed the Scottish side to touch down and gain a five-point advantage at the break.
But, back came Hartpury and three quick-fire tries proved to be the key moment in this final as Susie Appleby’s side used their acceleration out wide to open up a 12-point lead. Edinburgh did break through to score late on, but it was too little, too late as Hartpury celebrated sevens success.
The victory for Hartpury is another step in the right direction for their rapidly growing university programme with this being a significant year in their development. As for Edinburgh, a BUCS Championship semi-final on the XV-a-side stage and a final in the sevens competition for the third season in a row represents another strong year for Claire Cruikshank and her team.
Exeter and Loughborough reach the last four
After success at Twickenham at the beginning of April, the University of Exeter were left disappointed as they failed to advance to the BUCS Championship Sevens final. Jo Yapp’s side lost 28-12 to Edinburgh, but were frustrated after one of Exeter’s players seemed to be in the sin-bin for longer than the fixed time.
FT: Exeter 12-24 Edinburgh.— Exeter Uni WRFC (@EUWRFC) April 25, 2018
Great shift from all the girls today, very proud as always! Best 15s side in the country and top 4 in 7s ?
Roll on next week where we compete in the @BUCSsport Trophy competition #BleedGreen?? pic.twitter.com/tqIk8ualQl
However, the Green and Whites fell at the semi-final stage after coming second in Pool A. Exeter began the tournament with a 21-12 defeat to Loughborough, but showed their class with a 24-14 victory against Bristol, who ended the competition winless, before getting the better of eventual champions Hartpury with a 10-7 win.
The aforementioned Loughborough also ended the pool stages on the same amount of points as Exeter following two wins and a defeat. The Midlands side lost 24-5 against Hartpury in their second match of the competition before producing an excellent performance to beat Bristol 31-12 to book their place in the quarter-finals.
Exeter’s last eight tie came against Northumbria University, who had picked up back to back victories against Durham and Cardiff Met in Pool B, and the Devonshire outfit came out on top to win 12-10 while Loughborough ended Cardiff Met’s tournament with a 24-10 victory. The Welsh outfit secured just one win in Leeds which came against Durham in Round One.
In the other quarter-finals, Edinburgh raced to a 33-5 win over Bristol as they marched into the semi-finals still unbeaten while Hartpury showed their capabilities with a 30-7 victory over Durham to reach the last four before beating Loughborough 31-17 to make it to the final.
Stay tuned to TRU for highlights of both the Women’s and Men’s BUCS Sevens competitions