Cardiff claim another eye-catching win to head BUCS Super Rugby standings

Cardiff's win over league champions Durham has lifted them to the summit of BSR
©BUCS Super Rugby

The ebbs and flows of BUCS Super Rugby continued in Round Three while there were contrasting wins for Exeter and Edinburgh in the BUCS National League.

BUCS Super Rugby

Cardiff University's stunning start to the season continued as they beat league champions Durham 29-21 to secure their third win on the bounce.

The Welsh institution, who have beaten Bath and city rivals Cardiff Met already this term, were involved in another tight tussle in Week Three as they led 15-13 at the break.

The Red and Blacks were able to have the better of the second 40 and added 14 more points to their total to pick up another eye-catching victory against a side who suffered just one defeat during the 2021-22 league campaign.

The University of Bath held off a spirited Hartpury side to seal a 27-19 triumph in Gloucestershire.

The Blue and Gold responded to their opening day defeat by Cardiff with a solid win over Leeds Beckett in Week Two and backed that up against the three-time champions on Wednesday.

Aaron James' charges trailed 14-12 at the break at the Alpas Arena but they were able to turn the game around after the interval to clinch their second success of the term.

Loughborough University cruised to a comfortable 35-5 bonus-point win as they ended the University of Nottingham's unbeaten start to their maiden BUCS Super Rugby season.

After Charlie Titcombe had landed a penalty inside the first minute to give Loughborough the lead, the hosts went over on three occasions in the first half, with Harry Rawson and Tobias Munday dotting down whilst the home side were also awarded a penalty try.

The intelligence of Nottingham's Henry Mortimer had initially opened the scoring for the visitors, but Loughborough controlled the scoreboard after the break as Joe Plunket's effort and a try in the corner wrapped up a second home triumph on the bounce for Scott Sneddon's side.

Exeter University kick-started their BUCS Super Rugby campaign with an excellent 23-21 away victory at Cardiff Met.

The BSR Championship winners had suffered successive losses against Hartpury and Loughborough to begin the season and travelled to Cyncoed having not won on the Archers' patch since 2019.

Second half tries from Kofi Barton-Byfield, Josh Barton and Sam Higginson proved to be the difference despite the hosts' best efforts to launch a late comeback.

Exeter led 3-0 at the interval thanks to a Barton penalty but it was a very different story following the break.

Barton-Byfield's try lit the fuse on the second 40 before Barton appeared to put the Green and Whites in the ascendency with a lovely solo score. Higginson's close-range effort then made sure Exeter were firmly in the driving seat as they stretched their lead to 20 points.

But Cardiff Met hit back through Bingo Ivanisevic and Brandon Harvey to drag themselves into the contest with eight minutes remaining.

However, Barton steadied any Exeter nerves with a penalty and despite Conor Chapman scoring a third for Met, the visitors held out for their first win of the season.

Swansea University also opened their account for the 2022-23 campaign with a thumping 44-8 win against Leeds Beckett.

The Welsh outfit had lost to Cardiff Met and Nottingham heading into Week Three, but it looked good for them at half-time in Yorkshire as they held a 29-3 advantage.

Swansea were able to keep a firm grip on proceedings for the rest of the afternoon to record their first victory of the term while Beckett slumped to their third defeat on the trot.

BUCS National League

Loughborough were unable to salvage a draw against Exeter University as a missed conversion late on saw Poppy Leitch's side claim a 19-17 victory.

This was the Green and Whites' first win of the season but it could have been a different outcome if Milly Clayton's conversion had hit the target.

Loughborough's Amelia Tutt and Exeter's Jess Thomas scored first-half tries before Sarah Srestha's effort put the Midlands outfit ahead on the hour.

Two tries in quick succession from Exeter Chiefs' Niamh Orchard as well as Maddy Boocock turned the contest around heading into the final 10 minutes, however back came Loughborough.

After waves of pressure and with the clock in the red, the hosts rumbled over but from a difficult angle, Clayton's kick was unsuccessful sending Exeter into raptures.

Elsewhere, Edinburgh University made it two wins from two as they defeated league champions Durham 19-0 away from home.

Also across BUCS...

Despite finishing as runners-up in Premier North 1 to Nottingham last season and losing the BUCS Vase against the Midlands outfit, Newcastle University have dusted themselves down and have begun the 2022-23 campaign with back-to-back bonus-point wins over Loughborough 2nds and Northumbria University, respectively. 

The University of Leeds are also two from two after beating the aforementioned Northumbria 19-14 on the opening day before following it up with a 20-15 success on the road against Durham 2nds. Nottingham Trent sit third after drawing with Loughborough 2nds 14-14 on Wednesday whilst Birmingham got off the mark in emphatic fashion as they defeated bottom-of-the-table Edinburgh 41-14.

Over in Premier South 1, the rise of Brunel University - who won all 14 games on their way to promotion last season - continues after two handsome victories to begin this campaign. They have seen off Exeter 3rds 55-0 and Bath 2nds 69-24 while Exeter 2nds are keeping the early table-toppers in their sights with triumphs over Cardiff 2nds as well as their own third XV.

Bath occupy third sport with Hartpury 2nds and Cardiff Met 2nds level on seven points in fourth and fifth respectively while the University of Bristol are seventh after one win from their first two games.

Elsewhere TRU's featured team, Manchester Met, opened their Premier North 2 season with a 22-12 victory over the University of Strathclyde with Theo Fairn, Ryan Woolfenden and Tanaka Ndoro helping themselves to tries in the North West.

MMU Head of Rugby Rob Jones speaking to Man Met Matchday Live: "Firstly, ecstatic that we got the win. The boys have been talking all the way through pre-season, targeting the first game at home. [They] Strathclyde did us last year, we have done them today so there is a great feeling among the lads and I'm really pleased because they have worked so, so hard."