Coleraine got this season’s league campaign off to an emphatic start on Saturday when they secured a bonus point win at Ulster University, Coleraine.
The game was scoreless for the first twenty minutes as the sides eyed each other up before the onslaught began.
Fifteen tries to the ‘Cookstown’ sponsored Coleraine side and one in reply from the students led to an impressive 7-93 score line for the town in their first game of the 2016-7 season in the renamed Kukri Ulster Rugby Championships, Division 2.
Speaking after the game coach Richard Boyd said he was delighted with the performance of his new look team and is looking forward to a positive league and cup campaign this year.
In the game itself the students made most of the play in the first twenty minutes but the first points went to Coleraine’s Alan Clarke after he outpaced the defence and scored in the corner. Coleraine captain Mikey Poskitt had kicking duties but saw his first points attempt of the day slide just wide. 0-5
Six minutes later Coleraine attacked from a strong scrum and Bokkie Carstens got the final charge to go over for the try. Poskitt was on target. 0-12.
Credit to the Uni though they were not taking things lying down and from the restart they cleverly bagged possession and their centre scythed through leaving the Coleraine defence in his wake to score under the posts.
The conversion was sound. 7-12
Just past the half hour mark Poskitt gained possession after great forwards play and scored a fine converted try. 7-19
From the restart Coleraine No8 Brian Hughes fought his way over the line and claimed the next try.
Poskitt remained calm as Airshow jets boomed overhead just as he struck a well-placed conversion to increase the deficit further. 7-26
Almost on the whistle the forwards made good ground before the ball went to Nial Irwin for a great sprint along the wing to score. Poskitt converted.
The score at the break UUC 7-33 Coleraine.
The onslaught from a rampant Coleraine side continued into the second half starting with an unconverted try for Kyle McAuley. 7-43
The next went to Roger Bonnar finishing off from a great Irwin break, again the conversion falling just short. 7-43
Five minutes later Dijon McCorkell was in charge as he showed his ability to finish off a massive pack attack to score under the posts. Poskitt converted. 7-50
Next up was Clarke for his second, slicing through the defence for a converted try. 7-57
Rhys McAuley scored next after the pack had forced through the ten metre line.
He picked up and finished the job. The conversion hit the post. 7-62
Poskitt scored another out in the corner, the conversion just wide. 7-67
Irwin claimed another try near the end after a confident, incisive attack from Brian Cochrane created the chance, converted. 7-74
Clarke went in for another try in the corner and Poskitt converted. 7-81
Brian Hughes made a strong run through the defence to score under the posts. Poskitt converted. 7-88
The final points also went to Hughes as he finished another forceful Coleraine attack, scoring in the corner to complete a rout for Coleraine, as they ran out 7-93 winners in the end.
A comprehensive victory for Coleraine and a game display from the University who kept going throughout, battling hard and making things difficult for the visitors.
In Saturday’s other game Coleraine 2s won a hard fought contest against CIYMS 2s, the score 28-10.
This weekend Coleraine First XV face a stern test as they travel to Ards in the Junior Cup, the Seconds are home to Ards 2s and the Thirds are home to Larne 3s.
Coleraine First XV: Chris Nash, David Greatorex, James Blair, DD McAllister, Michael Ferguson, Daniel Ramage, Steven Dickey, Brian Hughes, Rhys McAuley, Bokkie Carstens, Niall Irwin, Kyle McAuley, Mikey Poskitt (Cpt), Alan Clarke, Brian Cochrane. Subs: Dijon McCorkell, Roger Bonnar.