Exeter heat up the action in chilly Midlands

Exeter continued their good University Touch Series form by taking home the cup title from the fourth round of this season’s competition.

Exeter headed to the Midlands leading the UTS standings, and they consolidated their overall lead with a dominant day that culminated in a win over the hosts, Loughborough 1, in the final.

However it was a close-run thing as the clinching score came in a drop-off, with both teams down to four players when the final whistle came.

“I’m very happy and proud of my team,” said Exeter captain Sophie Arbuthnott. “Winning means a lot to us. It’s the first year that we’ve started to win in the UTS series, and there was more pressure because quite a few of our senior players weren’t here today.

“There were a lot of people who had to step up and lead it, especially in the drop-off. It was tense, but it’s always exciting.”

Exeter will still have to maintain their winning record when the UTS visits Maidenhead in Round 5 (February 24th) and Bath in Round 6 (March 17th) if they want to take home the overall crown.

Touch has grown dramatically at Exeter University, and Arbuthnott added that the UTS has played a big part in this.

“I’m a second year, and when the club was founded the year before I came there were around 20 players,” she said. “Now there are over 400 people and it’s massive. A lot of rugby players have started to join, and it’s the only sport you can play mixed and that’s helped as well.

“The UTS tournaments mean a lot to us and they’re a lot of fun. We have weeks of preparation and we really enjoy it.”

The other winners at Loughborough were Loughborough 2, who lifted the Plate, and Southampton, who won the Bowl.

Thanks as always to all the teams for shrugging off the weather to play some great Touch, especially tournament newcomers Northumbria and Edinburgh, to Loughborough for hosting the day, and to the full-time referees, who ensured that all of the games were dual-refereed throughout the day.

Check out pictures from the day on our Facebook page!

If any referees would like to put their name down for Maidenhead’s tournament then CLICK HERE to complete the expression of interest form.

UTS R4 STANDINGS
1 Exeter (Cup winners)
2 Loughborough 1
3 Bath
4 Bristol
5 Loughborough 2 (Plate winners)
6 Edinburgh
7 Birmingham
8 University of East Anglia
9 Southampton (Bowl winners)
10 Surrey
11 Northumbria
12 Royal Veterinary College