NE Bulls 2017
Ulster Barbarians 1 - RGC, Burn, Crushers 2
Hartlepool - 18.11.2017
On Friday 17th November the Barbarians travelled to Hartlepool to play in a six team GB tournament Hosted by the NE Bulls. The teams were split into two groups of three with Ulster drawn in by far the stronger group with Burn from Southport and RGC from North Wales.
In group 1 the North East Bulls – hosting – took on the Caledonian Crushers from Scotland in the opening game on Saturday morning and were narrowly beaten 45 – 46.
At 10.30am Ulster lined up against a very strong “Burn” team with its three current GB internationals. Bernard, Dave, Sean and Paul started the match with Harry on the bench. After the first quarter Ulster was competing well but went into the first break 6 – 9 down. Harry came on in the second quarter and played well, scoring a number of tries, but the GB internationals had got into their stride and the half finished 15 – 23. Quarter three was more of the same with Burn showing their extensive experience and fantastic skills by adding another 12 tries to Ulster’s 3. Ulster kept fighting in the last quarter but the game was won by then and Burn ended up winning by 46 tries to Ulster’s 22.
After a long break Ulster played RGC at 4.30, Saturday afternoon. Like Burn, RGC had some brilliant players on show, many of them Internationals and Paralympians. RGC got off to a flying start, finishing the first quarter with 14 tries to Ulster’s 3. The second quarter was the period when Ulster played their best rugby. They dominated their opponents for the entire session and won the quarter 12 tries to 8. Going into the third quarter, with the score at 22 – 15, RGC turned on the pressure and started to pull away. The game finished 47 – 29 to RGC but Ulster had competed extremely well for long periods.
Our Ulster boys kept their best rugby of the weekend for the playoff against Crushers on Sunday. After a slow start which had them 10 – 7 down after the first quarter, they got into their stride and started to score quickly. By the end of the half they were 22 – 18 up and getting stronger as the Crushers started to weaken under the pressure. Ulster widened their lead to 39 – 27 in the third quarter and ran out 47 – 39 winners at the end. This was a great end to a very enjoyable and educational tournament.