Northumbria University and Cardiff Met University both secured victories in BUCS Super Rugby as the domestic title race continues to hot up.
The top six sides are separated by just three points and with all of those teams having played the same number of matches, this is arguably the most competitive season to date.
Both Northumbria and Met are now just one point behind leaders the University of Bath thanks to hard fought wins over Cardiff University and Durham University, respectively.
Below is a review of the BUCS Super Rugby action, plus we take a look at some of the other results from around the BUCS leagues and cups.
Northumbria University 34-29 Cardiff University
Northumbria University produced a gutsy second half display to secure a bonus-point win over Cardiff University, which leaves them second in the BUCS Super Rugby table.
The away side held a 14-3 half-time lead thanks to a couple of tries while Josh Hodge knocked over a penalty for the hosts.
?? || WOW.... WHAT A NIGHT OF @BUCSSuperRugby!!!— NorthumbriaUni Sport (@NorthUniSport) November 7, 2018
We go in at HT down by 11 and come out all guns blazing to steal the win out of Cardiff’s hands!!!
We love to say it... @Dazzfearn’s HT talk worked wonders again ;)
All the best to @CardiffUni_RFC! #BUCSSuperRugby
A third try of the evening gave the division’s bottom club an 18-point lead, but scores from George Wacokecoke and Yaree Fantini put Northumbria back in contention before Wacokecoke’s second nudged the home side ahead.
However, their lead didn’t last long as Cardiff claimed their bonus-point try at Kingston Park, but a penalty and a late score from Hodge clinched the win for Darren Fearn’s side who are now just one point off the summit.
Cardiff Met 15-6 Durham
Cardiff Met edged out Durham University to move to within a point of BUCS Super Rugby leaders the University of Bath.
In the driving wind and a rain, Cardiff Met were clinical at the beginning of the second period and it proved to be decisive for Danny Milton’s side.
In a tight game in miserable conditions, tries from Luke Northmore and Jack Samuel was the difference while Kipa Fawcett kicked two penalties for Durham.
The game was level at 3-3 at the break with Harry Johnston landing a penalty and the fly-half also added a conversion in South Wales.
Man of the Match Luke Northmore: “It was a tough one. The weather conditions turned as the game went on and we knew we had to bring a physical performance. In the first-half, we shot ourselves in the foot because we didn’t take the points when we should have, but credit to the boys in the second-half. I thought we were outstanding.
AND THAT’S THE GAME!! Met use their possession quickly, booting the ball off the pitch to win a fierce game against a defensively impressive @DURFC 15-6!!! An impressive performance in difficult conditions from both sides #CDMDUR #BUCSSuperRugby pic.twitter.com/lFL1rn9QdX— Cardiff Met RFC (@cardiffmetrfc) November 7, 2018
“At half-time, we talked about playing in the right areas and bringing a dominant performance we know we can bring. It was a kick up the backside and we came out flying in the second-half.”
Cardiff Met Head Coach Danny Milton: “The coaches came together beforehand to talk about the half-time message and it was ‘We are in a bit of trouble here!’
“We gave away too many penalties in the first half and we didn’t bring the sort of performance we were looking for so full credit to the boys in the second-half to turn it around.
“These games, week on week, are tough. You do get depressed looking at the fixture list! It is frustrating that we haven’t clicked, but that is pleasing in a way because we are churning out the results we want.”
Durham University maintained their 100 per cent start to the campaign as they saw off North-East rivals Northumbria University 34-10. Durham are five points clear of the University of Edinburgh who thrashed Newcastle University 50-12 while Loughborough University are off the mark with a 34-29 win over the University of Birmingham.
The University of Exeter made it four wins from four as the Premier South league leaders gained their revenge of last year’s champions, Hartpury, with a 34-12 win. Cardiff Met are up to second after a 22-5 victory away at the University of Bristol and Swansea University edged past Oxford University 10-5.
Newcastle University continued their 100 per cent record in North A after a 22-3 win against the University of Leeds. Newcastle now have clear daylight between themselves and the chasing pack as both Durham 2nds and the University of Edinburgh lost on Wednesday.
The former were beaten 30-24 by the University of Nottingham while Loughborough 2nds secured a 20-15 victory against Edinburgh. Elsewhere, Bishop Burton College sealed their third win of the campaign after beating the University of Birmingham 23-22.
The University of Sheffield have gone to the top of North B following a 30-12 away win against the University of Strathclyde. The Yorkshire club also would have been pleased to see the University of Glasgow suffer their first defeat of the season as the Scottish outfit lost 34-15 against Leeds Beckett 2nds. Meanwhile, the University of Manchester battled to a 13-10 victory over the University of Stirling.
Hartpury 2nds still lead the way in South A after securing their sixth straight win of the campaign. The Gloucestershire side beat the University of Bristol 20-7 while the University of South Wales suffered a 29-26 defeat at the hands of Swansea University. Elsewhere, Bath 2nds beat Exeter 2nds 31-20.
In South B, Exeter 3rds made it four wins in the trot thanks to a 29-22 victory over Hartpury 3rds and the University of Portsmouth claimed their second win of the season after beating Reading University 31-27 to move them up to fourth in the table.
In Scottish 1A, the University of Aberdeen made it five wins on the spin after comfortably beating the University of Dundee 29-5. Aberdeen are six points clear of the University of St Andrews after Scott Lawson’s side clinched a 36-7 win away at Aberdeen 2nds. Meanwhile, Edinburgh 2nds narrowly beat Heriot-Watt University 33-29.
Newcastle 2nds won the battle at the top of Northern 1A after defeating Manchester Met 19-14 in the North East. Elsewhere, the University of Liverpool beat Durham 4ths 42-21 while Newcastle 3rds picked up their first win of the season as they came away from the University of Hull with a 15-12 victory.
In the only game in Northern 2A, Sheffield Hallam University returned to winning ways after beating Lancaster University 14-0.
The University of Leicester lead the way in Midlands 1A after a 29-14 victory over second placed Loughborough 3rds while Nottingham Trent 2nds picked up their second win of the campaign by beating Oxford Brookes University 19-10.
Final score: UoL 1s 29-14 Loughborough 3s #BIMAW— Uni of Leicester Men’s RFC (@uolrfc) November 7, 2018
Keele University have progressed through to the last 16 of the Northern Conference Cup after beating Liverpool 3rds 26-9 on Merseyside while fellow Northern 2A side, Manchester 2nds received a bye into the next round. Meanwhile, Liverpool 2nds were given a walkover result against the University of Huddersfield.
Northern 2B side Leeds Beckett 3rds also advanced after thrashing Manchester Met 2nds 45-0 and the University of York beat Leeds Beckett 4ths 27-21, while Leeds 2nds hammered Edge Hill University 53-7.
Northern 3A leaders Liverpool John Moores University are out of the Northern Conference Cup after conceding a walkover result against Newcastle 4ths, but there was better news for the University of Chester as they beat York 2nds 27-5. Nothern 3B outfi Leeds 3rds defeated UCLAN 29-5.
Northumbria 2nds, Sheffield 2nds, Bangor University, York St John University and Sheffield Hallam 2nds all received Byes into the next round.
In the Midlands Conference Cup, Nottingham 3rds beat Ashton University 31-12 to progress to the last 16 while, Birmingham 3rds defeated Staffordshire University 55-9. The standout result saw Warwick 2nds wallop Leicester 3rds 104-0.
There was also a win for Leicester 2nds against Birmingham 4ths while East Anglia, Bedfordshire Northampton Loughborough 4ths, Oxford Brookes 2nds, Derby, De Montfort and Coventry also advanced.