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No mercy shown for NTU away at Exeter

NTU knew that facing top of the league Exeter away from home was always going to be a tough test. The Exeter side looked a solid outfit and proved to be too much for NTU as they sailed to an easy victory.

Exeter v NTU
Photo Credit: BUCS

Despite no score in the first 10 minutes, NTU looked the better side as they kept Exeter at bay in their own half. However, a line-out 5m out gave Exeter the chance to drive a maul over the line for their first try in the 12th minute: Exeter 5 – 0 NTU. NTU still battled and showed that they hadn’t just come here to make up the numbers, but their efforts didn’t keep Exeter out for long. A flurry of tries in the 23rd, 28th and 30th minute sunk the NTU ship as the Exeter forwards continued to dominate in the maul and at the break-down: Exeter 22 - 0 NTU. The Exeter defence was well drilled with a high line, that left little space for the NTU backs to piece together their moves. Struggling to get out their own half, NTU continued to make mistakes that fed the ball back into the hands of Exeter who were extremely clinical in possession. The ball was spread across the pitch on the 22, for Exeter to find another hole in the NTU defence. An offload inside from the prop led to Exeter’s 5th try and the half time whistle: Exeter 29 – 0 NTU.

A dominating display from Exeter for the majority of the half made it clear why they are top of the league. All that was left in this game for NTU was for them to carry on working hard in defence and maybe try something different to exploit the Exeter defence.

The second half didn’t begin the way NTU would have wanted. The kick not going 10m gave Exeter the ball at the scrum and chance to put pressure on from the off. NTU’s defence held strong after Exeter played phase after phase. However, they failed to retain the ball and couldn’t get out their own half. This eventually led to Exeter scoring again in the 51st minute off the driving maul from the line-out. A hat-trick for their prop summed up how they were using their forward dominance to run the game: Exeter 36 – 0 NTU. The first real opportunity for NTU came in the 65th minute when they had a line-out on the Exeter 22. Again, the Exeter defence didn’t look like they were going to concede easily as they remained tight and left no holes. Inevitably, Exeter scored again five minutes later in what was the best try of the game. The Exeter 15 caught the ball 10m inside the NTU half and stepped one player and another and another to go down in the corner. NTU would have been disappointed that a tackle wasn’t made: Exeter 43 – 0 NTU.

Five minutes was left in the game and NTU had a big opportunity to get some point in the game with a line-out 5m out. A chance to give Exeter a taste of their own medicine and take the clean sheet away from them that they would have been in search for. A driving maul was set up and the ref then awarded a penalty try for coming in at the side: Exeter 43 – 7 NTU. Unfortunately for NTU, Exeter pulled back out their endless supply of driving maul medicine and scored the final try of the game: Exeter 50 – 7 NTU.

Another tough loss for NTU still leaves them searching for their first win. Exeter did not make it easy for NTU to get into the game at all, and clearly showed why they are the team to beat this year. The biggest hindrance to NTU being able to build a solid foundation and style of play is most certainly the number of injuries running through the team. All season the side has had to be chopped and changed unlike Exeter, who’s team has remained consistent. Next week, NTU face Cardiff in the last game before the Christmas break who sit 2nd in the table with just 2 losses in 9 games. NTU will pray that they will get an early present from Santa Claus in the form of a victory at The Bay.

Next game: NTU v Cardiff Met - Wednesday 6 December, 3.30 pm, Lady Bay (H)

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Ben Kaluza (Rugby Union Marketing Assistant)

No mercy shown for NTU away at Exeter

Published on 30 November 2017
  • Category: Sport

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