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Women win, men lose: Varsity 2017 – as it happened

The women’s team secured victory but the men’s team were defeated by their city rivals at the AJ Bell Stadium.

By

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:00 PM

I’m in position here at the AJ Bell Stadium. In somewhat overcast conditions, the mens MMU team are out pitch side taking their customary snapchats.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:06 PM

It’s the women’s teams up first with the 17:30 kick off fast approaching.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:13 PM

REF WATCH: They’re out warming up.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:16 PM

To the sound of studs clacking against the concrete floor, the MMU women have arrived.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:20 PM

The first few spectators are taking to their seats. The gentleman to my right has plumped for a diet coke, personally I feel the temperature is warranting a bovril.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:22 PM

No game is complete without an awful DJ. He is currently blaring out the Cheeky Girls which must be their first airtime since 2003.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:28 PM

The MMU women are now out on the pitch warming up. UoM have yet to make an appearance.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:29 PM

And here they are! The UoM team are out to cheers from the crowd.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:31 PM

Off we go!

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:33 PM

It is UoM who are on the front foot in the early stages.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:35 PM

The first scrum of the night is won by MMU but UoM continue to push them back.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:38 PM

TRY! UoM number 15 shows a good turn of pace to get past the defence and put her side ahead!

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:39 PM

The conversion is converted by the UoM number 10.

UoM 7
MMU 0
Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:40 PM

The MMU fans in the crowd try to pick their team up and it works as they manage to get out of their own half.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:42 PM

MMU are piling on the pressure and UoM are forced to hoof it into touch.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:44 PM

Since the try it has been all MMU.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:45 PM

The MMU number 3 is having a word with the ref

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:46 PM

A MMU line out is stolen by UoM and they make a good march up the pitch.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:47 PM

Chants of “Manchester is wonderful” have begun. Given the two teams playing it is hard to know who they are cheering for. Maybe they’re neutrals?

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:48 PM

UoM are awarded a drop ball and kick it into touch in the far left corner

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:50 PM

Sub for UoM, number 4 for number 17

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:51 PM

An MMU player is down injured which brings a stop in play.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:53 PM

and she can’t continue. number 7 leaves the pitch and number 4 replaces her

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:56 PM

The ref seemingly likes the sound of his own whistle as he blows for a scrum then blows again to redo it.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:56 PM

and again, the scrum will be retaken

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:58 PM

A great breakaway from MMU number 13 brings them high up the field.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:59 PM

MMU number 3 scores the try!

Sam Cooper 6th October 20175:59 PM

But they fail the conversion!

UoM lead 7-5
Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:02 PM

It has been a fair even contest as we hit the half hour mark. A failed conversion aside, the teams have been pretty level.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:04 PM

In true curse of the commentator fashion, as soon as I posted that update MMU went surging up the field!

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:04 PM

UoM sub number 12 off for number 20

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:07 PM

It’s MMU now on the foot, looking to go ahead for the first time in the match.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:09 PM

The MMU fans are certainly the louder of the two, they’ve even brought cheerleaders

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:11 PM

MMU continue to push high up the field but can’t quite breakthrough.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:12 PM

HALF TIME

UoM 7
MMU 5
Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:13 PM

Not to be outdone in the cheerleading stakes, UoM have also brought some complete with matching bee mascot.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:14 PM

At half time, it’s been pretty even between the two sides. UoM started stronger and got a try for their efforts. MMU came back but failed to convert the conversion meaning it remains 7-5 to UoM

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:14 PM

The half time break gives me a chance to let you all know that the temperature is steadily dropping. The decision to bring my woolly hat that is usually reserved for mid January is becoming wiser and wiser by the minute.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:18 PM

No time for cold though as the second half begins!

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:18 PM

UoM swapped number 3 for number 16 at half time

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:20 PM

and now UoM makes another sub. The player coming onto the field wasn’t ready though so she swapped shirts with the player leaving meaning the UoM number 7 was replaced by the number 7.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:22 PM
TRY UoM number 15!
Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:23 PM

That’s the second of the night for number 15 but number 10 is unable to convert.

UoM 12
MMU 5
Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:23 PM

The biggest cheer of the night as the linesman takes a tumble

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:23 PM

Like they did in the first half, UoM have started the brighter of the two.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:27 PM

The MMU physio has been very busy tonight. Yet to see any magic spray though

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:31 PM

Another sub for UoM. Off goes 5 and 14, on comes 23 and 19

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:31 PM

The MMU fans have started the “Iceland clap” which is giving me horrible flashbacks of Euro 2016.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:33 PM

After UoM bright start, it returns to being an even contest. MMU have struggled to get out of their half but will be happy that UoM have failed to increase their lead.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:35 PM

Away from the game, one of the ambulance team is taking a picture with the UoM cheerleading squad.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:36 PM

Another injury for MMU, this time it only appears to be cramp and the MMU physio isn’t needed.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:37 PM

TRY for UoM!

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:37 PM

A scrum is won by UoM and number 8 powers her way to the try line!

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:38 PM

Another failed conversion means the score is

UoM 17
MMU 5
Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:39 PM

UoM sub: number 1, number 6 off, number 17, number 18 on

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:40 PM

More cramp for one of the MMU players.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:41 PM

Number 11 off, number 21 on for UoM

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:41 PM

Despite being fewer in number, MMU fans have been the louder but the UoM fans pipe up with chants of “UoM! UoM!”

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:43 PM

UoM are really piling on the pressure now. I don’t think MMU have been out of their own half in this second period.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:45 PM

An injury break arrives but this time it is UoM

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:46 PM

With time running out, MMU really need to get the ball rolling on their comeback.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:50 PM

All about controlling the game for UoM now, a 12 point lead is a good cushion to have at this point.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:53 PM

A scrum right in front of the goal is given to UoM, could be a chance to kill the game off.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:54 PM

No it is not! MMU defend well

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:55 PM

FULL TIME: UoM win!

UoM 17
MMU 5
Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:56 PM

University of Manchester the deserved winners here as they dominated the second half.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:57 PM

The winning women celebrate in front of the UoM crowd!

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:58 PM

The mascot bee is getting involved

Sam Cooper 6th October 20176:59 PM

So with the women game concluded, the eyes turn to the mens. Just under 45 minutes till kick off.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:00 PM

Temperature update:

Outside temperature: 11°C
My internal body temperature: -11°C
Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:16 PM

Apparently there is going to be a race between the two mascots

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:20 PM

The great mascot race of 2017 is in doubt as they have been unable to find the mascot of MMU. Clearly he has not taken the result of the match well.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:22 PM

The MMU mascot has been found! He appears to be a bird of some kind

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:24 PM

I mean, if anyone has any ideas on what kind of bird they’ve got for there I’m all ears

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:24 PM

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:25 PM

While the mascots prepare for their big race, the mens teams have emerged.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:26 PM

The mascot race was no contest as the unspecified bird of MMU destroyed his UoM counterpart

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:27 PM

The UoM cheerleaders are now out on the field.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:29 PM

Reviewing cheerleading routines is not exactly in my wheelhouse but I’d give it a solid 8/10.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:32 PM

Nice touch from the UoM fans as they boo the MMU cheerleaders.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:33 PM

So just under 15 minutes until kick off, a reminder that the women’s team won the earlier contest 17-5

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:34 PM

Last year’s encounter between the two sides saw MMU defeat UoM 10-5

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:36 PM

The crowds are flowing in. A security guard was talking to me pre-game about how they had trouble last year so this time round the MMU fans are on one side of the stadium and the UoM fans on the other.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:38 PM

The MMU cheerleaders have formed a tunnel for the players to come down. 7 minutes till kick off!

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:39 PM

MMU emerge from the tunnel to Kanye West

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:41 PM

UoM are taking their time to come out of their changing room

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:42 PM

and here they come!

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:43 PM

It’ll be MMU to kick.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:44 PM

First scrum of the game

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:45 PM

It’s a penalty kick to MMU

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:46 PM

and MMU take the lead! Number 10 notches 3 onto the board

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:47 PM

A good surge upfield from MMU number 13

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:48 PM

Scrum in the centre of the pitch, UoM struggling to get going.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:49 PM

UoM finally get out of their half with a line out in the far left corner

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:50 PM

Too much on a throw from the UoM number 15 as the team loses a chance for a try

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:52 PM

MMU get control of the ball again and look to push upfield

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:53 PM

Big cheers as the ball is kicked out of the stadium

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:55 PM

Try for MMU!

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:57 PM

Continuous pressure results in number 5 scoring the try.

MMU 8
UoM 0
Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:58 PM

But UoM are right back at it, forcing a line out close to the try line.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20177:59 PM

It comes to nothing though and MMU can clear.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:00 PM

Seating appears to be becoming an issue as rows and rows of people wander the aisle looking for a place to rest their bums.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:01 PM

UoM again look to get some points on the board. A line out in the far left corner could be a way back into the game

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:04 PM

and they do find the try! Number 5 squeezes it over the line and number 15 converts

UoM 7
MMU 8
Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:05 PM

UoM are awarded a penalty but it is narrowly missed!

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:06 PM

A high tackle and there’s a bit of handbags between the two sides

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:08 PM

UoM are awarded another penalty, more central this time

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:08 PM

and number 15 makes no mistake!

UoM 10
MMU 8
Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:10 PM

UoM firmly on top now

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:12 PM

A chance for a try is denied by the referee, deeming there to be a foul in the process.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:15 PM

Number 8 of UoM leaves injured. Number 20 replaces him.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:15 PM

A penalty kick for UoM is again narrowly missed

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:20 PM

Just past the half hour mark and after a strong start from MMU, it’s been all UoM.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:23 PM

A chance at a penalty here for MMU but it’s a long way out

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:24 PM

But number 10 makes it!

UoM 10
MMU 11
Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:24 PM

That was the last kick of the half as the penalty puts MMU ahead at the break.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:27 PM

So the scores at half time

MMU 11
UoM 10
Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:27 PM

On the balance of play, UoM can feel hard done by to be going in at half time down but it is only the one point.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:32 PM

The cheerleaders of both sides are back out again.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:34 PM

And the second half begins

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:36 PM

MMU try for the drop goal but it goes wide

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:37 PM

Sub for MMU, 12 off for 20.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:37 PM

MMU have started the better in this second half.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:38 PM

A scrum deep in UoM territory is looking dangerous

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:40 PM

UoM defend it well though

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:40 PM

Chants of “UoM” begin again

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:41 PM

Those charts were quickly quietened though as MMU score the try!

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:42 PM

A scrum resulted in number 5 getting his second try of the night.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:42 PM

The conversion is completed by number 10 and MMU look dominant in this second half.

MMU 18
UoM 10
Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:44 PM

UoM will need to turn this game if they want to avoid a result similar to last year.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:50 PM

It’s an uphill battle now for UoM as MMU number 10 converts another penalty giving them a 21-10 lead.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:52 PM

UoM push up to try and claw a way back into this game, line out deep in the right corner

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:55 PM

and they manage a try but no wait, the referee disallows it. The teams proceed to get at each other’s throats.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:55 PM

It was all handbags though and play resumes

Sam Cooper 6th October 20178:59 PM

UoM trying to up the pace and claw back this 11 point deficit

Sam Cooper 6th October 20179:04 PM

MMU have an injury break. These stoppages won’t help UoM in their quest back into the game

Sam Cooper 6th October 20179:04 PM

The crowd animosity is bubbling, yet to see any streakers.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20179:05 PM

BALLS OUT OF THE STADIUM COUNT: 2

Sam Cooper 6th October 20179:06 PM

Line out on the far side

Sam Cooper 6th October 20179:08 PM

Close to 15 minutes left to play, score still 21-10 in favour of MMU

Sam Cooper 6th October 20179:09 PM

Crowd trying their best to encourage the team but they haven’t looked like scoring this half.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20179:12 PM

The first yellow card of the night goes to MMU and UoM push upfield!

Sam Cooper 6th October 20179:13 PM

A scrum won by UoM pushes them closer to the try line but they can’t quite make it!

Sam Cooper 6th October 20179:14 PM

MMU defending well here

Sam Cooper 6th October 20179:15 PM

UoM number 13 makes a great charge from deep!

Sam Cooper 6th October 20179:15 PM

For his efforts, he takes a knock that needs attention.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20179:16 PM

aaaaaaand that brings the first streaker of the night.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20179:16 PM

G4S staff did not seem to keen on chasing him and the streaker returned the stand of his own free will but I doubt he will be allowed to return to his seat.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20179:18 PM

Back to the game, UoM can’t make anything of their scrum.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20179:18 PM

Game over! MMU win 21-10

Sam Cooper 6th October 20179:18 PM

MMU fans flood the pitch, the UoM fans are not happy.

Sam Cooper 6th October 20179:19 PM

Similar to the women’s game, it was a dominant second half performance that won it. MMU started on the front foot and didn’t really let up, increasing their halftime lead of 1 to 11. They run out 21-10 winners in the 2017 Varsity.