Loughborough maintained their 100% home record and top spot of the National League 2N with victory over Luctonians on Saturday. With a number of players returning from injury, Loughborough missed out on a bonus point by just a single try. The Students will head into December with a four point lead at the top of the league after the 25-14 win.
Approaching the colder months of winter, Loughborough Students set themselves the target of creating a gap between themselves and the other top three teams in the table. Yet another win at home against 4th place Luctonians puts that target very much in sight.
Loughborough welcomed Chris Surman back from injury, and he converted the first penalty to successfully put Loughborough 3-0 up inside the first minute.
It was noticeable that both teams were playing safe rugby as when long passes were played a combination of elements caused knock-ons as well as the occasional forward pass. Loughborough forwards used their skills in holding the ball to recycle it but met a very strong defensive line from the Luctonians. Loughborough consistently drove forward putting pressure on the visiting side, creating an opportunity for Captain Russell Weir to weave his way through the remaining defenders to score the first try. Surman again stepped up to make the score 10-0.
Loughborough have become very proud of their forward pack, this season, turning over balls from scrum and this has become a driving force for the team which was proved case and point as Fred Silcock drove the scrum over the line to bring the score to 15-0.
After repeated phases from Luctonians, full back Jimmy Norris ran through the line to open the scoring up for the visiting side before winger John Morris took the score to 15-7. The pressure that Luctonians put on Loughborough caused trouble and for technical reasons Fred Silcock saw yellow thus ending the first half with Loughborough leading 15-7 but a player down.
In a similar manner to the first half, Surman opened the scoring with a penalty. As well as Surman, winger Ed Rolston was also welcomed back from injury and, although he had not played a game since October, he got back just in time for the last game of the month to prove himself fully fit again by scoring an excellent try.
The last quarter of the game is where Loughborough often dominate due to their age and fitness compared to other teams in the league. However, whether it was due to the lead they had over Luctonians or the fact that they themselves were tired, the visitors were given space to impress.
Loughborough’s defence stood firm; in particular Alex Allan who made countless try saving tackles, it was obvious why he was named man of the match. No matter how hard he and the rest of the team pressed up nothing could stop number 8 Paul Hulland from placing the ball just on the line for the Luctonians and thus narrow the score to 25-12.
As Morris had been substituted it was fly half William Burton’s chance to make the conversion to bring the score to 25-14.
After the match, captain Russell Weir and man of the match Alex Allan both thanked the supporters for coming down to support the boys and said the team really appreciated this effort especially during the colder months.
Coach Dave Morris was questioned on how he hopes to keep the boys motivated through the winter and his response was that he believed that their passion and commitment for the game made his job of motivating them a lot easier.
Loughborough Students RFC:
Tries: Weir, Silcock, Rolston
Conversions: Surman 2
Penalties: Surman 2
Tries: Norris, Hulland
Conversions: Morris, Burton
Loughborough Students RFC: Holland, Rolston, Kinloch, Simpson, Wilson, Surman, Weir, Allan, Crozier, Williams, Parker, Conquest, Atkinson, Robinson, Silcock
Replacements: Cunnew, Gape, McKenna, Bliss, Katz
Luctonians RFC: Norris, Hodnett, Richards, James, Morris, Burton, Bennett, Bufton, Garner, Garner, Davidson, Graulich, Smith, James, Hulland
Replacements: Meredith, Smith, Roy-Smith, Marfell, Street