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Lekker hoor, dat internet. Kan je tenminste nog eens een wedstrijdverslagje vinden van een potje ver weg van je eigen clubhuis.

Afgelopen zaterdag, na onze eigen toppot tegen Westoe Allegaartje, werden we getrakteert op een waarlijke topper in de Tweede Klasse Noord van Engeland tussen onze gastheren, Westoe, en de Studenten van Loughborough (de oude club van Ollie). De winnaar van deze pot zou mee blijven doen in de race om de tweede plaats, terwijl de verliezer wel zo’n beetje klaar zou zijn voor dit seizoen.

Van de website van het Sports Development Centre van de Universiteit van Loughborough:

Loughborough Students 40 – 22 Westoe

Loughborough Students produced another outstanding display to secure a bonus point win against promotion rivals Westoe RFC.

Captain Will Warden won the toss and elected to go up the slope in the first half, historically worth 8 points on average to the side going down the slope. With the conditions almost perfect, warm but overcast and on a firm pitch, the game started in a high intensity manner with good rugby being put together by both sides.

It was Westoe who scored the first try after only 5 minutes, some excellent play culminated in James Clark going over in the left hand corner, superbly converted by Mark Bedworth from the tightest of angles.

The early score proved a wakeup call to the Students and from the kickoff the exerted huge amounts of pressure on the opposition. Enough pressure was forced for a penalty 35 yards out, narrowly missed by fly-half Matt Keville. However, on 11 minutes the Students had worked an overlap on the left, leaving Craig Holland a simple run in after Chris Kinloch had held the defensive drift. Despite a significantly more difficult kick Keville slotted the conversion with ease to bring the score to 7 – 7.

It was only two minutes later that Craig Holland went over for his second of the game. With less space down the wing than the first try Holland decided to put a deft chip behind the defensive line. The ball looked to be going dead, but the bounce was kind and allowed the winger to dot down after some excellent follow up play. The try was once again converted by the excellent Keville.

In a game that was proving to be end to end running rugby Westoe pulled together and caught the Students napping only 3 minutes after their second try. Some excellent play once again by the Westoe fly half Mark Bedworth and the ball handling hooker Richard Thirkell allowed Scott Jordan to score in the left hand corner once again. The angle was too tight for Bedworth, leaving the score at 12 -14 in the Students favour.

Ill discipline 3 minutes later allowed Bedworth a simple shot at goal and took the score to 15 – 14 after 19 minutes. The second half did not produce any more scores, but it did show that both sides were able to defend hard. Westoe continued to put pressure on the Students, forcing them to give away a couple of penalties. On both occasions the angle proved too tight for Bedworth, but Westoe managed to keep the ball in the Students 22. The last 5 minutes of the half saw Westoe camped on the Students try line, however some superb defence, led by the fantastic Alex Waddingham, kept them out and left the score at 15 – 14 to Westoe at half time.

The second half saw David Morris’ side come out firing on all cylinders. It took only a minute for the forwards to get some go forward following big carries from the ever influential captain Will Warden and tight head Ryan Bower. This gave a platform for the backs where a flat ball to the hard running centre Will Simpson put him through a half gap. The score under the posts was easily converted by Keville, taking the score to 15 – 21 to the Students.

Sustained pressure from the Students was ably held out by a solid Westoe defence, however a 10 minute spell between the 55th and 65th minute, where the Students scored 3 unanswered tries, proved to be the difference.

Some more big carries from the forwards, including Matt Everard and Jack Steadman opened up some more space for the backs, centres Chris Kinloch and Will Simpson held the space superbly allowing winger Callum Wilson to run in to score the sides 4th try, securing the bonus point.

With Westoe having it all to do they threw everything they had at the Students side. However Westoe spilt the ball in contact allowing back row Waddingham to pick it up in his own 22. A strong run gained 40 metres for the Students and the ball was kept alive all the way down the pitch, allowing second row Charlie Matthews to benefit with a final 10 metre carry and excellent reach to complete the score. The Students led 35 – 15.

The final score in the 10 minute period secured winger Craig Holland’s hatrick. With a number of changes being made by both sides the game was very open, just how the elusive winger likes it. This allowed him to make a break down the left, allowing him to score in the corner. This time the corner was just out of Keville’s reach for the conversion, taking the score to 40 – 15.

Despite the score Westoe still had it all to play for, two more scores would have given them a bonus point and kept even more pressure on the Students in the final run in, which finishes with Loughborough Students vs. Westoe at Loughborough.

Westoe were helped when tighthead Ryan Bower was sin-binned after the Students gave away a number of penalties in their own half. Elliott Booley replaced Alex Waddingham to enable to scrum to take place. With the Students down to 14 Westoe threw everything at the final 10 minutes. Some superb defence once again held them out until the 78th minute when Westoe hooker Richard Thirkell, who had an excellent game in the loose, scored under the posts. The score was 40 – 22 to the Students, but Westoe were still fighting for a try bonus point.

Led once again by captain Will Warden, the Students held firm and closed the game out in a similar fashion to the week before. Final score Westoe 22 – 40 Loughborough Students.

After a superb all round performance from the whole squad they now look forward to two back to back home fixtures vs. Luctonians (23rd April) and Manchester (30th April).

Er zijn ook nog uitgebreide statistieken van deze wedstrijd, en wel hier.

En fotoos, hier.

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