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2. Take a long term view and act sustainably
June is upon us and with it the end of the university Rugby Season. As part of our ongoing Corporate Social Responsibility work we sponsor and support three university sports teams; University of Salford Mens Rugby Union, Lancaster Mens Rugby Union and Manchester Metropolitan University Mens Rugby Union. This year it’s safe to say that great games have been played, blood spilled, beer drunk, sweat, er, sweated and glory and infamy have walked hand in hand, separated only by the width of a post or a try line. Now is the time to recap the highs and the lows of the season gone.
Salford have boldly stayed exactly where they are after a solid season. They inflicted defeats on the minnows of their league, Lancaster 3rd Team and a weak UCLan side, but were unable to prevail against strong outfits from Liverpool 3rd Team and MMU 3rd Team. The highlight of their league season was inflicting a home defeat on a strong Lancaster 2nd team despite a referee who both sides agreed, made one or two questionable calls in favour of the Lancaster side. They also made a decent fist of the cup, defeating an in form Keele side before being evicted from the premises by Lancaster 2nd Team.
They also put in an exceptionally strong effort in their FGH Cup games this season.
The last challenge of the season was the epic varsity clash with Chester. The final score of the match being Rugby Teams 0 – The Weather 1. At least it provided a good training experience for the festival season for many FGH employees. Next season the Salford boys will be looking to challenge for promotion and, of course, inflicting some savage defeats on their FGH rivals, Lancaster and MMU.
For Lancaster 1st and 2nd teams it was a season of strong effort and vast opportunity, but chances not taken. The first team had been promoted last season into the Northern 1A Division, which was a huge step up in class. Their goal was to avoid immediate relegation and build for the future. Unfortunately, the season ended with a run of close defeats and they were relegated despite some impressive efforts.
The Lancaster 2nd team bounced back from the early season Salford defeat described above to finish third in their league, tying on points and bonus points with second placed MMU, including defeating Salford in the return fixture and the cup. The will be looking for a powerful promotion challenge next season.
Lancaster 3rd Team had won promotion last year to the same division as the 2nd Team which made for a couple of very interesting Lancaster Vs Lancaster games.
Their pre-season goal was not to be relegated, which they achieved by a steep developmental curve over the season resulting in outclassing UCLan and sending them into the relegation zone instead.
— LURUFC (@LancasterUniRFC) April 29, 2017
In the annual Roses tournament against York University almost saw a red wash with wins for the 3rds and 2nds but the 1st narrowly losing.
All in all the team have gone from strength to strength this year which culminated in Chris Taylor (left, above) making the U20 England Counties Squad (and a cheeky-penalty-kick-which-turned-into-a-try video which went viral).
They also closed out the year with a fantastic Summer Rugby Festival which saw cameo appearances from the FGH management (David Hassall and James Mawdsley) and one of the Lancaster teams winning the 7s tournament, beating the favorites in the process.
The crowning achievement of the MMU 1st Team season was their ferocious defeat of the University of Manchester in their varsity match. Coming away from the bruising encounter 10-5 to the good, MMU claimed the glory for the first time in 14 years.
They also enjoyed 7s success, being the runners up in the BUCS 7s tournament. The hard work of their season was borne out by several players being selected for the England Students and England Student 7s teams.
Connor Wilkinson was also selected to represent England in the U20 Counties Squad (3rd from left, front row).
MMU also won the cup, destroying Liverpool 1st Team in the final, although they finished 2nd in the league to Liverpool and narrowly missed out on the promotion they will certainly be targeting next season.
MMU 3rd Team also managed a strong showing in the league, finishing second above Lancaster 2nd and Salford University. In addition to this Jack Wilson made a start for Sale Jets which shows the standard the team are currently playing to.
What’s Next for FGH teams?
Moving forward into next year we are looking forward to continuing our partnerships with our rugby union teams and we are currently in talks with Lancaster and Salford Rugby League teams. If you play for one of these teams and would like the opportunity to work for FGH Security please click here. If you are part of the exec of a university society who would like to be sponsored by us we’d love to hear from you so please click here.