Nothing – the cold, the muddy pitch, the pressure of the floodlit game or the aggression of their opposition – could stop Loughborough’s BUCS 1s in their seven-try annihilation of the University of Nottingham. Liz Tyler watched for Label Sport.
Click here to see LSUTV footage of the game
Though it would seem that Loughborough just could not nudge the ball through the uprights – they missed all of their nine attempts at goal – the extra points were not needed, with the hosts never allowing their visitors the opportunity to score.
From the word go, Loughborough dominated. Their ever-strong scrum and an impressive run from scrum half Tommy Pointer put them into a position to have a kick at goal early in the game. Pointer’s boot pushed it just wide but it was not long before he had a chance to reconcile his efforts. Just three minutes later, Pointer was lining up right under the posts, only for it to go wide again.
With frustration building and Nottingham losing a player to the sin bin, Loughborough upped the ante. Several attacking lineouts and scrums ensued but all attempts were thwarted before Loughborough could push over the whitewash, until Ian Meads finally slid over in the corner. Pointer missed the touchline conversion but Loughborough were off the mark, the score 5-0.
The hosts wasted no time attacking their opposition again; a great run from Will Seville saw Loughborough back in Nottingham’s 22. Though Nottingham turned over and attempted to clear, a charge-down gave Loughborough the ball and put them on the offensive again.
Seconds later, Loughborough stole Nottingham’s lineout ball and swift hands saw the ball safely into Jack Wardle’s hands on the opposite wing and over the line. Pointer again missed the conversion, but Loughborough were gaining some momentum, 10-0 up on their guests.
This surge of energy was short-lived, however. Though Loughborough attacked Nottingham’s defence, the visitors rallied, not letting their hosts through and gaining a few penalties for themselves.
When Loughborough finally turned over the ball and gained a free kick, tensions were running high and a few handbags were thrown. Even with the score at 10-0, Nottingham seemed to be getting under Loughborough’s skin and the hosts welcomed the half-time whistle.
Regrouped over the break, Loughborough came back stronger, their ever-strong forward pack pushing a rolling maul over just two minutes into the second half. Pointer still could not nudge his conversion through the posts, leaving the score at 15-0.
Loughborough were now firmly on the attack, forcing their way through the Nottingham defence and staying in their opposition’s half until they again pushed over. There was change of kicking duties, with fly-half David Buck having a go, but Loughborough just could not get the ball through the posts. With the score now 20-0, it was becoming a Loughborough whitewash.
Though Loughborough’s openside flanker, Adam Peters, pushed through immediately to get the hosts back in an attacking position it was another eight minutes before Loughborough could get through Nottinham’s defence again, their own mistakes often costing them time.
But with 20 minutes before the end of the match, Loughborough were 25-0 up – this time winger Gair Currie taking his turn not managing to convert.
Nottingham made a resurgence, stealing Loughborough’s lineout and gaining a scrum in their opposition’s 22, but Loughborough remained resilient and forced Nottingham backwards. Before long, they had yet another five points on the board; and though the conversion was missed once again, the University of Nottingham’s chances of redemption were dead and buried – the score now 30-0.
Less than three minutes later, try number seven was scored for the hosts. Rather than break with tradition, Dan Watt too missed his conversion, but Loughborough did not need the points. Their 35-0 demolition of the University of Nottingham 1s was complete.
With no fixtures for the next two weeks, Loughborough’s BUCS 1s can go into their break with a well-deserved sense of confidence and come back rejuvenated and ready to take on Leeds University away.