Loughborough’s BUCS 1 Rugby Union side suffered a heavy defeat to reigning BUCS champions Durham going down 44-14 on Wednesday night. Despite trailing by just three points at half time, Loughborough struggled throughout conceding four tries without reply in the second half.
In the first of the Loughborough’s ‘Big Match’ series, where a selected BUCS fixture is moved to a late kick off, an impressive 1700 fans braved the cold to show their support, but left disappointed.
From kick off Durham showed their attacking intent by keeping ball in hand and earned instant rewards with a try after just two minutes. It came from a scrum which Durham were marching towards the Loughborough line before passing wide for a try in the corner giving them an early 5-0 lead.
Despite Durham playing the better rugby throughout the first quarter, it was Loughborough who scored next, completely against the run of play. A superb half break and offload from fly half Elliot Markham putting flanker Joe Atkinson through for Loughborough’s first points of the evening.
Loughborough extended their lead just minutes later as Andrew Killerby intercepted another dangerous Durham attack to score under the posts. A second successful conversion from Markham gave Loughborough a surprising 14-5 lead after half an hour.
In spite of these setbacks, it was still Durham who played the majority of the rugby, and their control of the set piece laid the platform for the fight back which followed. Durham’s second try of the night saw them draw back to 14-10 before a catch and drive from a line out, put Durham back into the lead at 17-14 at half time as well as underlining their continued forward dominance.
The opening moments of the second half saw Durham once again camped inside the Loughborough 22. Durham thought they had extended their lead with a fourth try but the referee judged the ball to have been held up. In a decisive period in the game, Loughborough’s attempts to fight back were crushed by two quick tries. Firstly, from a clever reverse pass from the Durham fly half and secondly, a clever blindside snipe from scrum half, put the away side into a commanding 29-14 lead.
In a physical second half, Durham controlled possession but failed to turn that control into points until the final quarter of an hour. A series of pick and drives from the Durham forwards dragged in the tiring Loughborough defence before the backs were utilised for a simple try in the corner. Two further tries, taking the Durham tally to seven for the game, and a penalty in the dying moments made the final score 44-14.
Loughborough will be looking for a much improved performance as they travel to Newcastle on Wednesday who are yet to record a win after two BUCs Premier North A fixtures.
For live reports, updates and scores from all Loughborough’s BUCs fixtures on a Wednesday afternoon tune into BUCs Live on Loughborough Campus Radio. LSUTV will also be presenting live reports from the Big Match as well as highlights from the day’s action in their live big match show at 7. You can watch Wednesday’s programme from LSUTV here.