The 2016-17 season came to a close, securing 11th position in National League One, and 3rd place in BUCS Super Rugby. This ending saw the departure of some key members of the student’s force; James Lasis, Yiannis Loizias, and Isaac Miller to name a few.
This season saw one of the largest management restructures for some time. Director of Rugby Dave Morris and Rugby Programme Manager Dave Bassett both departed to new exciting opportunities with London Scottish and Leicester Tigers. Previous director Alan Buzza returned to lead both the men’s and woman’s Rugby programme, joining him Amy Walmsley newly joins the team as Rugby Programme Manager and Loughborough graduate Andy Rhy-Jones were hired in a new role as Club Coordinator / Performance Analysis Lead.
A fresh bunch of new arrivals joined the side this season, making waves in both the Wednesday and Saturday fixtures. Suvwe Obano’s first try of the season went viral and were displayed on the England Rugby Twitter page. Tom Stapley, younger brother to Jack Stapley showed brilliant vision and timing off the ball, and when on the ball, he looked like he would score every time. And finally, Alex Glashan proven to be a key decision maker for the students, he could see where the space is and pass quickly and accurately, which lead to him scoring the last try of the year.
At the halfway point in the season, Loughborough Students RFC our currently positioned 12th in National League One. The season kicked off with an early win in the 2nd round against Cambridge. Sadly the Students wouldn’t see another win till later in the season against Hull Ionians , and continued their success with victories over Blackheath, Old Albanians, Esher and Fylde.
1st XV Captain Andrew Boyce had this to say about our performance;
“It was a bit of a slow start which I suppose can be put down to a lot of players graduating, but over the last two months, we’ve really improved. We’ve looked a lot sharper and have played with a lot more intent, which has been reflected in our results, winning the last 5 out of 7. Seeing how hard everyone at the club is working, I’m confident we can continue improving and picking up more wins in the new year.”
Director of Rugby Alan Buzza also commented stating;
“The National One side, as is often the case, has taken some time to settle into the season. With the changes over the summer as well as our Tigers partnership to bed down that’s no surprise. But with the quality of players in the squad and the quality of personnel we have to support them, it’s no surprise to see us developing a head of steam as we approach 2018, and every reason to believe that the team will continue to progress.”
The BUCS Super Rugby season started with The Big Match against rivals Hartpury. A packed Loughborough Stadium saw a 35 – 14 victory over the previous BUCS Super Rugby winners. Ending the year, Loughborough is currently positioned 6th in the league, with only 12 points behind 1st place Exeter. Some notable achievements during the BUCS season were Christopher Davies, most individuals conversions in a match and Callum Watson, most individual points in a match.
BUCS 1st XV Captain Musa Yusuff was keen to share his views of the BUCS Super Rugby season;
“This first part of the season has been a bit of a mixed bag for us with brilliant displays against the likes of Hartpury and Durham but then having a few slips. However, I believe we are in a good place. With quite a few new faces to the squad this year it does take some time, but so far as a team, we have been improving, the boys are working hard behind this scenes, which is becoming move evident on the pitch. Therefore, as we come into this new year strides will be made which will see us climb up the table and be dominant force come the knockouts.”
By Ryan Stevens