Loughborough Students 36 – Blaydon 8

Recent encounters between these two have usually ended in favour of the students, last season in particular when they won both games, and yesterdays meeting brought no respite for the Crow Trees side.

It started ominously when prop-forward Andrew Foster suffered a knee injury in the warm-up and had to be withdrawn but within a minute of the start Blaydon were in front. A penalty was kicked to the corner and in typical style they drove on from the lineout for Andrew Archibald to touch down near the flag.

But that was as good as it got for the visitors with them making very little progress in the next 79 minutes. The Students outgunned them in most positions, their forwards easily withstood any pressure from the Blaydon pack, and they had by far the slicker set of backs.

In no time two Blaydon clearances were charged down resulting in simple tries for Loughborough full-back Jack Pons and winger Will Edwards, and then Pons was in again having taken advantage of some poor tackling with Josh Sharp adding the conversion.

By the interval Blaydon fly-half Rhodri Adamson had reduced the deficit to 17-8 with a penalty but there was little sign of a revival.

Occasional forays up-field came to nothing and resistance was poor when the Students applied pressure. Josh McNulty, a replacement prop, Sam Poincon, and then Edwards for his second added 3 more tries and Sharp and Edwards a conversion apiece.

With 3 minutes remaining the game was ended prematurely due to a serious injury to one of the Loughborough backs, with no complaint from a well beaten Blaydon side.

John Brennan