Rosslyn Park 39 Loughborough Students 37
What an advert for National One Rugby!! For all watching at Rosslyn Park they were treated to a festival of rugby in front of Eddie Jones who was watching the Australian match official prior to him taking charge of England v France. The Students came away with 2 bonus points, it arguably could have been more but on balance something to be pleased with.
A team showing several changes took to the field, with Captain and Hooker Isaac Miller injured Conor Gracey took over the armband for the maiden time and certainly led from the front all afternoon. The students were quick out of the traps and Owen Waters opened the scoring after 2 minutes with a simple penalty. This was followed by a cracking team try dotted down by leading try scorer Gair Currie. 5 minutes gone and the students led 0-8. Park then opened their account the first of 4 catch and drive tries, tighthead Macguire claiming it and Leonard adding the conversion.
Loughborough brought the game to life once again with great interplay leading to Will Edwards finishing off with pace, Waters adding the conversation. Park hit again with a good Henderson score before another catch and drive try for Macguire. Both were unconverted and Park led 17-15 after 25 minutes. George De Cothi on his return from Worcester duty then spotted a gap to cross with Waters adding the extras. Just before half time the students were the masters of their own dynasty when they failed to clear their lines and pressure led to another 5m lineout and another catch and drive try, this time Hudson getting over. Half Time score 24-22.
Park were straight into the scoring in the second half with (you guessed it) another catch and drive try after just 2 minutes, again through tighthead Macguire (score now 29-22). The students hit back quickly with pressure forcing a number of penalties, Waters converting 1 out of 3 of these chances. Will Edwards then scored a fantastic individual try, chasing down his own kick and gathering under pressure before running in from 30m to score under the posts. Waters added the extras and the students went into a 29-32 led with 30 minutes to play.
Unfortunately they could not quite hang on!! Impressive scrum half Gash scored on 59, converted by Leonard. Leonard then added a penalty on 69 to give Park a 39-32 lead with 10 minutes of the game left.
The students have often been guilty of not playing for 80 minutes but this week they used the full 80 minutes and keep trying until the very end. Eventually creating an opportunity for Will Kaye to score in the corner with the last play of the game, score now 39-37. Waters struck the conversion well but it was not to be and the final score was a 2 point loss but 2 league points gained.
Rosslyn Park: Nwakor-Nwanaebi, Vaughan-Edwards, MacGuire, Spivey, Boyle, Frampton, Hudson, Ellis; Gash, Leonard, Kohler, Grove, Henderson, Aspland-Robinson, Robinson. Subs: Lilley, Wade, Inglis, Weir and Reay.
Loughborough Students: Christie, Lynch, Davis, Frost, Pitfield, Gracey, Smith, Kingham; De Cothi, Waters, Watson, Currie, Dockery, Pointon, Edwards. Subs: Adams, Lasis, Morrison, Boyce and Kaye.