Whilst young Jack Lifsey was making his home debut, Tim Robinson also gave a first start to another youngster in Josh Lugsden. The Students were always expected to play the game with a lot of pace and so it proved when they opened the scoring within four minutes through a try by Aston Barber. Tom Ffitch added the extras and the Leicestershire boys were on their way with a 7 points to nil lead. They then increased their advantage with another score after 14 minutes when Tommy Freeman went over and Ffitch once more converted for a 14 points to nil lead.
Scunthorpe at last got some possession and went through multiple phases without being able to breakdown the Students defence. The penalty count also increased against the home boys and they saw Ben Hyde yellow carded after 30 minutes. Loughborough took advantage of their numerical superiority, and with their threequarters piling in, they drove over from a line-out close in. Ffitch again added the extras with a good kick from wide out for a 21 points to nil lead after 31 minutes. The Greens, still a man down then conceded another try when the ever lively Tom Walsh spotted a gap close to the break-down to dash over. The conversion took the score to 28 points to nil after 35 minutes . The was still time for the Students to repeat their catch & drive from another line-out close in, during first half added time to take their score to 40 points to nil at half-time. Scunthorpe had managed to incur the wrath of the referee during the first period and this had some bearing on the half-time score-line.
The second half started quite promisingly for the home boys but once more they were unable to break through the visitor’s defence. Then disaster struck when Ben Hyde was handed a second yellow, for pushing an opponent which meant that he would take no further part in the game. Loughborough full-back Freeman was also yellow carded in the same incident after only 8 minutes of the second period. The visitors scored just two minutes later when Barber crossed for his hat-trick try. Ffitch again converted to stretch their lead to 47 points to nil. Although being a man down, the home boys produced some good rugby and at times were only held back by some strange refereeing. Like the incident when Jacob Hardy made a break, was half tackled, and carried on running only to be penalised because he was adjudged to have held on to the ball after being tackled. It was these fine judgements that always seem to go against the team that is struggling in the league.
The Greens did finally gain some reward when Tom Foster put in an angled cross-field kick, which was well fielded by debutant Lugsden, who the ran in the try from inside his own half. It is unlikely that the Students will ever be outpaced but it happened on this occasion. Will Robinson added the extras for a 47 points to 7 score-line. The fifth yellow card of the day was produced after 32 minutes when Nick Dyson was sent to the bin and the home boys therefore finished the remainder of the game with 13 players and it was no surprise when the Students had the final say with a score just before the final whistle to finish with a winning margin of 54 points to 7.
Next week, The Green play their re-arranged fixture at home to Chester and hope that the young team will once more stand up to the rigours of level 4 rugby.
Match Report by LWJClayton