Match Report: Loughborough 2nd XV vs. University of Nottingham 1st XV

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BUCS 1 stay unbeaten with a half century win that left the University of Nottingham in the dust. Green clad and green-eyed, the away side were sent home with nil as Loughborough saw them beat 50-0 in another bout of BUCS Wednesday victories.

Loughborough commenced the evening kick-off and deterred the spectators’ attention from the bitter cold with a recovered dropped pass and try five minutes in. Henry Wheadon found the whitewash and Bar Bartlett attempted to convert but missed the right upright by a hair. As the scoreboard moved to 5-0, Nottingham responded by running the ball into Loughborough’s 22. They tried to pass down the line but the home team’s defence denied them any success and quickly regain possession, moving play back up the field.

Nottingham were awarded a penalty and attempted a goal kick but missed by a mile. They did proceed to turn a Loughborough ball but a fumbled pass allowed Loughborough to clear with a nudge down the line. A rolling maul in Nottingham’s 22 saw #12 Gair Currie dot down and earn Loughborough their second try. #10 Bar converted to take the score to 12-0.

A Nottingham line out was fruitless for the away side who threw the ball straight to the home team’s jumper. Loughborough turned over a second Nottingham line out and Brandon Mandivenga made a solo sprint towards the posts. The brilliant run showed absolute athletic skill as Brandon weaved in and out of Notts players across two thirds of the pitch. Dancing around the opposing defence he took the ball over the line. Bar converted his try taking the score to 19-0. The momentum rippled through the team as moments later #13 Gair found a break and made a run to pass to Austin Becket who planted the ball on the line. Bar’s conversion split the uprights and put Loughborough further into the lead, 24-0.

Loughborough turned over the ball again in a Nottingham line out and Mandivenga made a second dash for the line, dotting down in another powerful run that earned him his second try. With a successful Bar conversion the score moved to 31-0 at the half-time mark.

After the break, Loughborough wasted no time in regaining possession. They turned yet another ball and set up a rolling maul that took them deep into Nottingham’s 22 where Captain, Sam Harry was able to secure his team another five points to add to the count. With Bar converting the try successfully, the score flicked to 38-0. The pressure was on for the moss green away side to put a number on the board.

A Loughborough penalty was awarded after an overzealous high tackle left a player’s nose bleeding. Sam Fisher made a good run which led to a kick down the line. This set up play for #11 Austin to score his second try. Conversion was unsuccessful and as the game entered its final dozen minutes; the score was 43-0.

Nottingham scrambled to try and put some points on the board as the end of play loomed closer but their attempts to get back into the dormant Loughborough 22 saw them face fierce competition in the form of Mandivenga, who recovered a fumbled pass ardently.

Nottingham did turn over the ball over but their possession was brief as they failed to move play out of their own half. With Harry literally ripping the ball out of their hands, Nottingham didn’t stand a chance at a comeback. Josh Sharp found the line and converted his own try to take the Loughborough lead to a half century, 50-0.

All remaining scrums remained uncontested and as the pace of game slowed slightly in the remaining minutes, Nottingham were able to take the ball into Loughborough’s 22 but a direct pass to their opposition left their hopes as dwindling embers.

Charlie Ding and Freddie Davison were yellow carded in quick succession but despite only having 13 men on the field, Loughborough were unyielding and held onto their lead to take a well deserved and convincing victory over the Nottingham side.

Despite being unable to make a dent on the scoreboard, Nottingham were courageous in their continuous efforts against the home side. With a triumphant win distracting the home crowd from the freezing night air, Loughborough’s BUCS 1 stay unbeaten in the league. Their victory followed that of the BUCS 2 who took a 52-5 win over the University of Manchester.

See more BUCS action next Wednesday where the BUCS 2, 3, 4 teams all play away at Durham University, the University of Worcester and East Anglia respectively.  BUCS 1 play Durham University at home; kick-off at 2pm on the 1st XV pitch.

Amber Thiara

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