A fantastic day brought a fantastic game of rugby. The game kicked off after a minute silence in memory of Graham Dilley, Loughborough MCCU Head Coach, who recently passed away. Dilley was also honoured in the match day programme and the team wanted to put on a display in his honour and that they did with a comfortable 59-24 victory.

The first half started slowly, however it didn’t take long for skipper Chris Kinloch to start the ball rolling for the home side, utilising his line speed to score the first try for Loughborough.

The first half saw tries for Kinloch (2), Holland (2), Silcock, Wilson before the forward pack made an impressive drive to the line with prop Jeremy Cunnew scoring.

With Andy Hall’s impressive kicking, converting five of the seven first half tries; Loughborough led 45-0 at the break. Loughborough’s backs dominating their Kendal counterparts playing with pace and precision.

At half time it looked as if Loughborough already had the game wrapped up, however Kendal came back in the second half with all guns blazing, winning the second half with three tries to Loughborough’s two.

After an early penalty for Kendal, an unnecessary bit of scrapping saw Kendal’s Chris Bratton and Loughborough’s Joe MacManus both saw yellow cards. As Kendal’s performance improved the pressure was on for Loughborough to step up their defence.

Kendal’s David Barton, Kenneth Houghton and William Coxon all found holes in the Loughborough defence in the second half after missed tackles. Kendal’s second half tactic of keeping the ball close to the rucks with the forwards, making ground with short pick and goes.

Conversions from number 10 Luke Jacobs helped to narrow the deficit on the scoreboard but in the end the students remained in control on their home ground.

Centre Andy Hall and replacement Sam Katz both managed to cross the whitewash for Loughborough to push their own score past the half century in a second half performance which failed to match that of the first.

Callum Wilson was deservedly named man of the match, after his try last week against Caldy, he added another try to his impressive count on Saturday. Coach Dave Morris complimented Wilson on his powerful supporting runs, by regularly putting himself on the supporting shoulder of the player’s who broke the Kendal line, Wilson was able to make a real impact in the Loughborough attacking effort.

After the 59-24 win, Captain Chris Kinloch, who scored a brace of tries, said “We all have our individual strengths so when we come together we all play well as a team.”

Coach Dave Morris congratulated Kendal after the game for making it a tough 80 minutes for the Students and that they were always going to be a difficult team to play.

Loughborough Rugby are the main feature of The Big Match on Wednesday against Durham University in their first BUCS 1 game of the year. Next week Loughborough play local rivals Leicester Lions and after their performances in the past two weeks, Loughborough will hope to continue this form to remain top of the National League Two North. 


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