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NTU face tough loss away at Loughborough

A short trip down to Loughborough saw NTU face another tough test in the BUCS Super Rugby 8th round, still seeking their first win. From the off, Loughborough looked in control and dangerous with the ball as NTU struggled to contain their attack. Unfortunately for NTU, the game was taken away from them in the first half before they even had chance to get going.

Loughborough v NTU
Photo credit: Loughborough University

The first five minutes of the game saw NTU’s defence put straight to the test with the Loughborough forwards carrying well and some nice offload play. This set a high tempo to the game that inevitably led to the first score after just six minutes: Loughborough 7 – 0 NTU. A lack of concentration from the restart, meant that Loughborough were quick to regain possession and penetrat the disjointed NTU defence for their second try. The kick was good once again and the lead was extended to Loughborough 14 – 0 NTU. For the first time in the game, NTU had a spell of possession and chance to put some phases together. However, a late pass in the back line resulted in an interception and easy try for Loughborough with 20 minutes gone: Loughborough 21 – 0 NTU. Loughborough didn’t seem to let off after this, putting two more tries away in the 26th and 30th minute that were both successfully converted: Loughborough 35 – 0 NTU. NTU managed to prevent any more points being added to the Loughborough tally before half-time, but the damage was already done.

NTU struggled to get into the game in the first-half as they couldn’t quite keep up with the speed that Loughborough played at. With a score of 35 – 0, there looked little hope for NTU to get back into the game. A gutsy performance in the second half was most certainly required to maintain any pride.

The second half did not get off to the start that NTU would have been hoping for. A cross-field kick to the corner saw it caught and taken over the line just 4 minutes in. The Loughborough 10 sent the ball between the sticks yet again to make the score Loughborough 42 – 0 NTU. NTU needed to start putting something together to avoid further embarrassment and they did just that. From the restart, NTU finally got down to business, putting a string of quick phases together after Alex Goble caught the ball from the skies and made a half-break. Alex Crocker then put the ball down from a ruck just in front of the line for NTU's first points of the game: Loughborough 42 – 5 NTU. Any momentum NTU built with that score didn’t last long, as a grubber was deflected and fell nicely into the hands of Loughborough who went under the posts again: Loughborough 49 – 5 NTU.

For the next twenty minutes the two sides traded possession. NTU started to look more dangerous with the ball but they still struggled to break through the Loughborough defence. In the 69th minute the NTU persistence did however pay off as Will Sutton knocked through a short grubber for Alex Goble to put the ball down over the line. The conversion was missed again but NTU had some points to show for their hard work: Loughborough 49 – 10 NTU.

A flurry of tries then proceeded in the closing moments of the game. Loughborough scored in the 76th minute which was followed by an interception and kick through by Baptiste Chamagne for Tim Cardall to get his first try of the season in the 79th. Loughborough weren’t quite done there and ended the game with another try to make the final score Loughborough 63 – 17 NTU.

A disappointing game for NTU where they couldn’t quite find their feet against a well drilled Loughborough side. A number of key players missing for NTU didn’t help their cause, but they certainly won’t be happy with the errors made in the game. The boys will have to go back to the drawing board to work on their weaknesses both individually and as team, continuing to learn and develop as a side. Next Friday, NTU take on Durham at home who are also struggling in the league which provides a big opportunity to get a much-needed first win.

Next game: NTU v Durham University - Friday 24 November, 7.00 pm, Lady Bay (H)

Ben Kaluza (Rugby Union Marketing Assistant)

NTU face tough loss away at Loughborough

Published on 18 November 2017
  • Category: Sport

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