DMPRFC were made to work hard for the spoils at their Northern Echo HQ, as visitors Loughborough Students RFC pushed them all the way until the final 10 minutes.
Despite their lowly bottom berth in the league, Loughborough are certainly capable of scoring tries, as evidenced by their accumulation of previous try bonus points and yesterday they deservedly managed another, which may prove vital in their attempts to avoid the drop in the coming months.
They began this game with an interception try by their ‘Player of the Match’, No. 9 Jack MOATES, who judged perfectly a DMPRFC pass on the half way line to win the sprint to the line (0 – 5), after only ten minutes of even play.
DMPRFC quickly responded after some good progress was made by the forwards, taken on by inside centre Ben FRANKLAND, making his first start since returning from injury, who was just halted before the line, only for the ball to be picked up by winger Callum MACKENZIE who carried it and two defenders over the line for DMPRFC’s first try, (5 – 5), converted by fly half Warren SEALS. (7 – 5)
From a lineout on halfway, Loughborough secure good ball and spun it out wide. Some of their runners got ahead of themselves running lines in front of the ball, causing some confusion in the home ranks and calls for crossing and interference, but the ball progressed out to MOATES who again won the sprint to the line for the try. (7 – 10)
Within a couple of minutes, MACKENZIE was over again, this time after good lineout ball was won on half way and taken into contact by hard working flanker George STOKES, before deftly passing to No. 8 Ollie HODGSON, also making his first start since a long injury lay off. The ball was recycles again, before a long pass from SEALS eventually found its way across the line to MACKENZIE who pinned back his ears and forged straight to the line for the score, (12 – 10), which was superbly converted by SEALS from the touchline to put the home side back in front. (14 – 10)
As the game approached the interval, Loughborough mounted one final first half attack and scored a third try after a series of pick and drives in midfield made space on the outside for fullback Tim BITIRIM to exploit an overlap, (14 – 15), REED adding his first conversion of the game. (14 – 17)
So at oranges, Loughborough took a slight advantage into the changing rooms and home onlookers sensed their team had not shown enough after 40 minutes.
Despite an early Loughborough penalty from REED shortly after the restart (14 – 20), it seemed that DMPRFC began the second forty minutes much more purposefully and this paid off within the next few minutes.
As he had done in the first half, it was Callum MACKENZIE again leading the way for the home side, scoring his hat-trick, as DMPRFC’s hard working pack had muscled up to the visitors’ line. As the ball was there for the taking, MACKENZIE obliged, passing on to Matt DUDMAN, who then returned the favour, with MACKENZIE diving through the gap for the score, (19 – 20) SEALS easily converting (21 – 20), putting the home side slightly in front.
The lead then exchanged again, as not to be outdone, Loughborough’s REED added another penalty. (21 – 23)
However, as the game moved towards the final quarter, it was DMPRFC who lifted their game and put down a marker from which Loughborough never recovered.
Home full back Chris McTURK grabbed DMPRFC’s bonus point try, after SEALS invention created an opportunity for him and he obliged finding the gap, running around to make the conversion for SEALS easier. (28 – 23)
As DMPRFC began to dominate possession, centre Ben FRANKLAND was last to emerge from a catch and drive lineout, increasing the home side’s advantage, (33 – 23) with SEALS again converting. (35 – 23)
Loughborough’s MOATES completed his hat trick, with another try after good progress by lock Thibaud FLAMENT who had worked tirelessly all day for the visitors, (35 – 28), REED converting. (35 – 30)
However, those points with 10 minutes remaining proved to be the last for a flagging student team, as first Chris McTURK added his brace (40 – 30) and then Matt HEATON added the last of DMPRFC’s 7-try haul, which was converted by a near flawless Warren SEALS. (47 – 30)
Referee: Mr Callum HOWARD
Referee’s Assistants: Mr Gregg DAWSON, Mr Paul FINCKEN
Player of the Match: Chris McTURK (DMPRFC)
15. Chris McTURK, 14. Oliver WALKER, 13. Thomas BULLOUGH, 12. Benjamin FRANKLAND, 11. Callum MACKENZIE Rian HAMILTON, 76), 10. Warren SEALS, 9. Matthew DUDMAN, 1. Alfie BARRON (Charlie PURKISS-MCENDOO, 77), 2. Jordan POOLE, 3. Talite VAIOLETI, 4. Jacob BRADY (Dave FISHER, 50), 5. Joe CRAGGS, 6. George STOKES, 7. Matt HEATRON, 8. Oliver HODGSON.
Replacements: Daniel BROWN, Garry LAW (Not Used)
Try: MACKENZIE (14, 21, 45), McTURK (57, 70), FRANKLAND (61), HEATON (77)
Conversion: SEALS (14, 21, 45, 57, 61, 77)
Drop Goal: None
Yellow Card: None
Red Card: None
LOUGHBOROUGH STUDENTS RFC SQUAD
15. Timothy BITIRIM, 14. William BROWN (Jack MOATES, 73), 13. Alexander GLASHAN, 12. Oskar HIRSKYJ-DOUGLAS (Harry PRIESTNER, 58), 11. William ATTFIELD, 10. Charlie REED, 9. Jack MOATES (Callum WATSON, 72), 1. Ben CHRISTIE, 2. Harry MAHONEY, 3. Andrew BOYE (Keston LINES, 58), 4. Cameron BOONE (Adrians van der PLOEG, 4), 5. Thibaud FLAMONT, 6. Musa YUSEFF, 7. Victor KEUNEN (Jamie HARDING, 50), 8. Ogwenesuvwe OBANO.
Replacements: All Used
Try: MOATES (10, 18, 70), BITIRIM (38)
Conversion: REED (39, 71)
Penalty: REED (42, 51)
Drop Goal: None
Yellow Card: None
Red Card: None
NEXT WEEK - CHINNOR RFC (A)