Match Report: Loughborough 3rd XI vs. University of Manchester 1st XI

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It was another convincing win for the 3rd XV against Manchester 1s as they out-classed the visiting team once again and continue their unbeaten streak.  With a result of 52-5, they left Manchester in the wind in a heated game that claimed the evening’s first BUCS Wednesday win on the 1st XV pitch.

Loughborough kicked us off and made a strong drive against the Manchester opposition. The home side’s dominant start led quickly to a rolling maul which they took into Manchester’s 22. Play was pushed back out of Manchester’s danger zone briefly but Loughborough’s Luke Chitty returned it back inside the 22. Loughborough managed to turn over a Manchester line out, which led to a scrum and another opportunity for Chitty, who this time managed to find the whitewash.  The home side’s first try was converted successfully by Joe Carolan, taking the score to 7-0.

Loughborough left no time for Manchester to recover and before the away side could catch their breath they ran the ball back to the line. Luke Frost earned the second try and Carolan converted again, 14-0.

A dropped ball was recovered and a Manchester ball turned by the home team, who’s pace was already starting to leave the purple clad away side scrambling to keep up. Jonathan Hughes found his way through the Manchester line to dot down and score Loughborough’s third try. Carolan’s conversion split the uprights easily again and the score moved to 21-0.

The game restarted with consecutive line outs from both teams. An aggressive Loughborough rolling maul resulted in Hughes receiving a red card, cutting the team down to 14 players and putting Jonathan’s contribution to the game to an abrupt end.

Tensions were still high between the teams and Manchester too were penalised with a yellow card. In the remaining few minutes of the first half, with the number of players on the pitch now back equal, Loughborough managed to squeeze in another try before the whistle could blow. Ollie Williams answered and dotted the ball on the line leaving Carolan to convert once again. At half time Loughborough still lead 28-0, with Manchester failing to get any points on the board.

Still heated, the break mustn’t have calmed anyone down as on return Frost was almost immediately yellow carded. With Loughborough now having only 13 men on the field, one would have thought they’d be stretched and Manchester would have ample opportunity to claw back a victory, but no, it wasn’t going to stop them. Loughborough nudged the ball down the field and a Manchester penalty resulted in Loughborough’s fifth try. With a failed conversion the score was now 33-0.

Play was still high tempo and the passes down the line clean and with vigour. It was almost as if Loughborough had a full team as without a head count you couldn’t notice they were outnumbered. Like clockwork, after another few minutes Victor Keunen scored a further try for Loughborough. With a failed conversion the score tallied up to 40-0.

Much to Manchester’s credit they didn’t give up. They relentlessly tried to get some points on the board and managed to keep the ball in Loughborough 22 for a good while before Keunen could respond again and take his second try.  This time it was converted successfully to move the score to 45-0, leaving Manchester’s hope of being able to turn the game around almost extinguished.

Loughborough’s’ pace was still high and passing accurate as they weaved up and down the line. Quiten Koster who’d been playing solidly throughout the match, found a break and made a run only to face a stern Manchester opposition. The away side took possession and bolted down the line and much to the jubilation of the visiting spectators, scored their first try. They failed to convert but, points finally on the board, it was a matter of pride that they didn’t go home with nil. Score now 45-5.

Loughborough took play back into Manchester’s half with swift passes down the middle. Simon Sexton glided over the line in a pass that took Manchester completely unexpectedly and left Simon to dot down without any pursuit from the opposition. This beautiful eighth try combined with Carolan effortlessly splitting the uprights, took Loughborough’s lead and overall win to 52-5.

It was another brilliant performance by the BUCS 2 team who played extremely well considering they were a player down most of the match. Their victory joins the 2nd XV who played the University of Nottingham at home and won with a triumphant 50-0.

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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