Hull welcomed Loughborough Students to Feren Ground for a game that was predicted to be an tough one as Hull, who pride themselves on their strong pack, put up a valiant defence against the students. Loughborough superior speed and fitness however, helped them to win another game vital in their campaign for promotion, 20-3.
The first half was intense to say the least; the students gave away a penalty in the fifth minute allowing captain James Cameron to open the scoring. However, to the surprise of the crowd and players that was the only score of the first half.
There were opportunities at hand for both teams but which, due to the weather or other circumstances, never resulted in points. Defence was strong from both teams with fantastic counter –rucking from captain Chris Kinloch as well as other members of the back line.
Hull remained impressive, playing to their strengths, with the Murphy brothers playing at five and six alongside towering forwards making several influential breaks. Loughborough struggled to gain control as the first half ended.
Frustrations grew as the ball was constantly recycled within the forwards doing pick-and-go as a safe option due to the weather conditions, but against an older, more dominant forward based team one would have thought speed should have been Loughborough’s weapon of choice. Adding to his points tally over these past weeks Joe Atkinson brought Loughborough into the game with a try two minutes into the second half.
Oliver Robinson then showed great skill with a quick pass to supporting second row Jake Parker to score a second try ten minutes later. Loughborough were given a further penalty after Hull players were warned numerous times in the ruck. Hall took pleasure in placing the ball between the posts after two unsuccessful conversion attempts; the wind had made kicking difficult all game. This took Loughborough ten points ahead of Hull at 3-13.
The last five minutes of the game were up to the expected standard of Loughborough rugby; substitute Matt Lamming was welcomed onto the pitch straight into a scrum on the try line and he made a decisive break and although he was held up he helped Conquest cross the line. Katz, on as substitute for Andy Hall, converted, making the final score 3-20.
Loughborough coach Dave Morris and the coach for Hull, John Widowson, both congratulated Lamming for making such an impact in the last minutes of the game. The number eight substitute came on and made an immediate impression in the scrum. Morris added that as a team everyone contributed and did their jobs, but Lamming exemplified the importance that a substitute can have in a game.
Loughborough face Caldy next week in their first home game of 2012 which Dave Morris knows is an important fixture as over the last three seasons the clubs have developed a fierce rivalry on the pitch. Captain Russell Weir continued to stress that it doesn’t matter who the opposition is on the pitch, Loughborough need to concentrate week in week out to build on their past performances and come away with a win. He added that the support of a good home crowd always assists them with that.
Hull RFC: White, Slingsby, Donkin, Godfrey, W. Robinson, Cameron, Rhodes, Longbone, Plevey, Stout, C.Murphy, P.Murphy, Devonshire, Maka, Cook
Subs: Fullman, Lamping, Lewis, Campbell, Piercy
Loughborough Students RFC:
Holland, Wilson, Kinloch, Simpson, Rolston, Hall, MacManus, Steadman, Crozier, Williams, Parker, Conquest, Atkinson, Robinson, Messum
Subs: Allan, Harris, Lamming, Weir, Katz