Loughborough Students proved why they are top of the league against a strong Bromsgrove side with a 37-15 win at home.
Loughborough could not have asked for a better start; a clean catch from the kick- off passed to wing Craig Dowsett who scored the first try with just 31 seconds on the clock.
Stuart Hall, who is currently the third highest point scorer in the league, successfully converted Dowsett’s try to make the score 7-0 within the first minute.
However, instead of letting their heads drop Bromsgrove went on the attack, pressuring Loughborough into making mistakes and giving Copson a chance at the posts taking the score to 7-3 two minutes after Dowsett’s try.
Both teams had excellent opportunities to score however weather conditions proved difficult and neither team could get the width they wanted.
Bromsgrove had the advantage in the pack, and using this, made ground one step at a time recycling the ball. Some great work at the breakdown from Loughborough managed to slow the ball but the inevitable happened when the ball was shipped off to an undefended Bache who scored in the corner to give Bromsgrove the lead for the first time in the match.
The rest of the first half was a messy affair, which may have been due to the weather. Both teams lost the ball to handling errors causing frustration to mount in both sides.
Loughborough captain Russell Weir did a fantastic job of slowing the ball down and controlling the speed of the game until a gap appeared in the incredibly stable Bromsgrove defence for Will Simpson to place the ball down under the posts to regain the lead.
Hall then converted his 16th successful conversion this season to make the half time score 14-8.
Coach David Morris could not have dreamed of a better start to the second half as Loughborough’s man of the match Fred Silcock scored within a minute of the kick-off.
Loughborough had further reason to celebrate when Hall made the conversion and, for the first time in the match, the rain stopped. Craig Dowsett is never one to be left out and one minute later he saw space down the wing and, using the strength and speed Loughborough’s young side pride themselves on, took on four players to make it to the try line.
This made the score 26-8. Hall again stepped up to take the conversion and made it four successes from four attempts.
Bromsgrove worked hard to get back into Loughborough’s 22, and when they eventually did, they made the most of it.
Hard tackles had to be made by the entirity of the home side, but Bromsgrove’s number 12, Lloyd-Jones, noticed the spaces left on Loughborough’s wing while defenders where being drawn into the breakdown under the post. With a two on one advantage the score line was narrowed to 31-13. Copson made no error in judgement with his conversion to make the score 31-15 with twenty minutes to go.
Both sides have excellent opportunities in the final quarter, both Weir and Holland had moments of brilliance for Loughborough but failed to score.
Hall had no difficulties kicking against the wind, however, to successfully land the next two penalties. Bromsgrove's flanker McGregor was shown a yellow card for dangerous tackles on both Oliver Robinson and Russell Weir with two minutes left. Bromsgrove didn’t suffer from being a man down as Hall completed his final kicking duty of the match and ended the game at 37-15 to Loughborough 37.
Loughborough breathed a sigh of relief after their loss against Leicester Lions last week as this result put them top of the league by points difference over Westoe who Loughborough play away next week.
Loughborough Students RFC:
Tries: Dowsett 3, Simpson, Silcock
Conversions: Hall 4
Penalties: Hall 3
Tries: Bache, Lloyd-Jones
Loughborough Students RFC: Holland, Wilson, Kinloch, Simpson, Dowsett, Hall, Weir, Allan, Gape, Williams, Messum, Conquest, Atkinson, Robinson, Silcock
Replacements: Cunnew, Crozier, McKenna, Bliss, Surman
Bromsgrove RFC: Howard, Bache, T. Wilson, Lloyd-Jones, Oliver, Copson, Ward, Norris, Glenn, Salisbury, Burrows, Cooper, McGregor, Warren, Harper
Replacements: Gardiner, Horton, Bee, Critchlow, Abel