Hull RUFC will make their third appearance in the Yorkshire Cup Final when they take on Doncaster Phoenix RUFC at Clifton Park, York, (7-30pm).
Doncaster Pheonix RUFC began their early life as Danum Pheonix and played their early league rugby in Yorkshire Divisions Five and Four. By season 2003/04 they are recorded as playing as Doncaster Pheonix and in 2005/06 were promoted into Yorkshire Three as runners-up to Aireborough. By 2010/11 they had risen to Yorkshire Two and they maintained their successes, winning promotion to Yorkshire One in 2012/13 finishing in third position that season. This was the start of their meteoric rise to their present level as they posted two back-to-back promotions, winning Yorkshire One in 2014/15 and North East Division One in 2015/16 to reach National Three North. They have found life in the higher division much more difficult and have been fighting against relegation for most of the season.
The first time Hull played Doncaster Phoenix was in a league fixture at Castle Park on 3 December 2016 when Hull ran out winners by 41-28 after a very tough game for us. Phoenix raced into an early 14-0 lead but by half-time Hull had recovered to lead 15-14. We then took a 27-14 lead before Phoenix again struck to take a narrow 28-27 lead which they held up to the 78th minute. Hull then played their ‘get out of jail’ card to score two very late converted tries to win a tense and absorbing game. In the return game at the Ferens Ground on 8 April 2017 Hull scored nine tries in a 59-15 victory over Phoenix. At the end of the season Phoenix avoided relegation but in a geographical league reorganisation they were relocated into the Midlands Premier League.
This season they have had a much better season and have finished in sixth position in the Midlands division winning 14 and losing 12 of their league games. In this year’s Yorkshire Cup competition they had a walk-over win over Sheffield Tigers in the first round. In the quarter-final and semi-final they beat sides from the Northern Premier League, winning 22-21 at Ilkley and Harrogate by 22-19 at Castle Park.
Hull have won one and lost one of their two previous finals and will be looking for a second win on Wednesday night.