Durham played hosts to Loughborough on Wednesday 31st. After last week’s loss the 1stXV were looking to bounce back and regain their form from their earlier games in the season. Durham were aware of the challenge posed by their age-old rivals.
Durham start well with Tom Lewis opening his try count for the season after Paddy Mcduell makes a half break, managing to free his arms and offloading allowing Tom Lewis to muscle his way over the whitewash. After sustaining a few phases of the Loughborough attack, Durham was able to force a turnover. Chris Johnston’s powerful running managed to put Loughborough on the backfoot which then freed up space for Myles Rawstron-Rudd to sprint over from 50 metres out making the score line 10-0. Loughborough got the game back under way pumping the ball deep into the Durham 22. Jacob Collins calmly kicks the ball just over the half way line prompting the beginning of a kicking contest between the two teams. Durham grew tired of the ping pong and decide to run the ball from their 22. Lewis catches the ball and feeds Fitz Harding who breaks the Loughborough defence untouched and feeds Chris Johnston who is tackled but before he hits the deck manages to offload the ball to Saul Melvin-Farr who rounds off an incredible counter attack.
So far the game had been all Durham but Loughborough were bound to enter the game at some point and responded to Durham with a rolling maul, near the Durham try line, which is brought down illegally prompting a penalty try and a yellow card for Durham 17-7. Despite being down to 14 men, Durham managed to regain their momentum through some Southern Hemisphere flair from replacement Kippa who offloads out the back of his hand to Jacob Collins who then feeds Myles Rawstron-Rudd for his second try 24-7. Loughborough answer with another try bringing the score to 24-12. Durham then work their way back down the pitch and maul Loughborough back over their own line to extend the score to 29-12. Loughborough then manage to crash over the Durham try line but the conversion is missed making it 29-19. The win is then guaranteed through the boot of Myles Rawstron-Rudd who knocks over a penalty to bring the score to 32-19.
Overall, Durham managed to bounce back after their defeat to Hartpury with an impressive victory over a strong Loughborough side.