Cardiff Met will shoot for the biggest title in their history when they take on reigning champions Hartpury in the final of the BUCS Super Rugby Championship at Twickenham on Wednesday.
Now in its second season, the BUCS Super Rugby competition features the top nine universities in England and Wales. Next season the number will grow to 10 with Cardiff University joining the elite tier.
The Archers have won the BUCS Championship in the past, along with Welsh and British Colleges crowns, but the game at Twickenham is a step up. They finished third in the league and then beat Loughborough and Bath University in the play-offs to go all the way to Twickenham.
The game will give Wales Under 20 centre Max Llewellyn the chance to do something that his father, former Wales captain and lock Gareth, failed to do on seven occasions in his 92 cap career, and win at the home of English rugby.
— Cardiff Met Sport TV (@CMetSportTV) April 11, 2018
“We have worked really hard this year and it is credit to the stuff Chris Davey has done here over the last 15 years. We have continued to develop and now we are really excited by the challenge of facing Hartpury, who put 40 points on Exeter, which is a bit scary,” said Cardiff Met Director of Rugby, Danny Milton.
“Since Christmas, Hartpury have certainly turned a corner and they have a fantastic rugby programme. However, I don’t think anyone would have expected such a comprehensive result against Exeter in the semi-finals.
“I was expecting more of a ding-dong battle and I wasn’t too sure who would come out on top, but Hartpury put in a fantastic performance. We were really disappointed with our performance in the quarter-final against Loughborough because we didn’t think we had done ourselves justice and we only just about got over the line.
“After Bath’s great performance against Northumbria we knew we had to be at our best against them. I was really proud of the boys in that game because it was one of those nights where the ball stuck and we played some really good stuff.
“It would mean a huge amount to win at Twickenham and we are looking forward to a great day for our rugby programme. It would be fantastic for this group of players to win the title.”
Last season, Cardiff Met ended their maiden campaign in BUCS Super Rugby in seventh place, but one year on, the Welsh university now find themselves at the home of English rugby and on the verge of glory.
Milton’s side needed to be more consistent this season following a disappointing inaugural campaign and they won six of their opening seven matches, including a 22-15 win at Hartpury. They finished strongly as well, notching eight wins in their final 10 games to secure third place and a ticket into the play-offs.
Hartpury recovered from their horrendous start to the season, in which they won only once in their first seven games, they went on to beat Cardiff Met at Cyncoed 29-19 in January. Coached by Welshman Sean Lynn, they have their eyes firmly fixed on holding onto their title.