Despite testing conditions in Cardiff, Durham and everywhere in between, Round 4 of BUCS Super Rugby and the Women’s National League still had its fair share of enthralling games this week.
A packed out Recreation Ground played host to the University of Bath’s clash against Cardiff Met University in a game dominated by the wet weather.
Evan Sheldon touched down for the visitors from close range before Steff Crimp finished off a stunning Cardiff Met team try that involved some of the very best footballing skills you’ll see all season, taking them into half-time with a 17-11 lead.
Two pick-and-go tries in the second half from a dominant Bath pack saw them creep into a 25-20 lead - an advantage they were able to hold on to in order to secure their first win of the 2023/24 BUCS Super Rugby season.
Exeter University continued their dominance this term with a nervy 21-19 win over Swansea University, a result that maintains their 100% record this campaign.
??? "Thank you to everyone – @TheSU, @UniofBath , Team Bath, the supporters and the sponsors – for making this another night to remember.”— Team Bath (@TeamBath) October 18, 2023
It was a proud night at @BathRugby for @UOBathRugby in the #AnniversaryGame ??
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The Welsh hosts took the lead 20 minutes into the game but Exeter’s forwards began to take charge in tricky conditions.
Tries from Archie Owlett, Seb Driscoll and Joe Vajner edged the visitors to victory, and the Devonian University remain the only team in the competition still unbeaten.
Durham University continued their winning streak at their fortress Hollow Drift, with visitors Nottingham University falling short in a comprehensive 33-7 defeat.
Some well-worked team tries and an outstanding performance off the tee by Calum Grieve saw the hosts take home all five points and move up to fourth in the table.
Nottingham, who have already had to face all four of last year’s semi-finalists, have struggled so far this campaign and have only picked up a singular point from the first four weeks.
Hartpury University played host to a rejuvenated Leeds Beckett University, who were coming off the back of their first BSR win in 10 months.
However, their winning feeling in BUCS Super Rugby didn’t last long, with Hartpury securing a 21-7 victory in horrible weather, to make it three on the bounce for the three-time champions with them moving up to second in the table.
Loughborough University bounced back from their heavy defeat to Exeter last week to secure a bonus point win against a struggling Cardiff University who are in the rebuilding process.
An exceptional solo try by Elliot Gourlay in the fourth minute got the hosts off to a perfect start. Cardiff University quickly levelled the game, but scores from Doyle, Allan, Isaacs and Langston saw Loughborough run away with the game and secure a five-pointer, 34-10 win.
The first game of the Women’s National League this week saw league leaders Cardiff Met University head across to Exeter University, who are fresh off an impressive win against Hartpury.
The hosts and last year’s runners-up started well and finished the first 40 with a 26-14 lead over Met.
However, a huge second half from the visitors saw them score three tries and take home a 33-26 victory to the Welsh capital, a result that extends their lead at the top of the table to five points.
The only other clash in the WNL this round was a north vs south meeting between Cardiff University and Durham University
The hosts, Durham, got off to an impressive start and raced into a 19-3 lead. Cardiff fought back impressively in the second half but ultimately fell short to lose 24-22, leaving them bottom of the table and winless this season.