Loughborough ease to victory over Cardiff Met

Loughborough produced a blistering eight-try rout of Cardiff Met to progress to the semi-finals of the BUCS Championship after a 53-15 win.

Cardiff Met had begun strongly as winger James Beal opened the scoring for the evening before Loughborough hit back immediately with a try of their own through Rhys Davis.

Both sides then exchanged penalties through Alex Seers and Dan Watt before the hosts took control of this quarter-final.

From a rolling maul, Joe Cave barged his way over in the 24th minute before Watt scored a superb individual try to increase Loughborough’s lead to 20-8 at half-time.

Loughborough’s power up front once again set up another try for the home side as Scotland U20 international Ben Christie led his side over after the break.

Brandon Mandivenga, Cam Dobinson and a Penalty Try made sure of Loughborough’s place in the last four of the competition before centre Chay Smith crossed for a mere consolation score for Cardiff Met.

But it was the side that had topped Premier North A that finished the stronger as Watt touched down for try number eight to book Loughborough’s place in the semi-finals.

Loughborough went into the game knowing they were favourites for this quarter-final tie. They had won all 12 of their domestic matches on route to securing the Premier North A crown and this brilliant display highlighted further that they are the team to beat this season.

The Midlands side will now meet the 2013/2014 BUCS champions Hartpury College next Wednesday for a place in the Twickenham final at the end of the month. As for Cardiff Met, they finished the campaign in fourth place in Premier South A having won six of their 12 games this term, but their season ended on Wednesday night as they were blown away by Loughborough.

Despite this, Cardiff Met started the game with a brisk tempo and that positive attitude eventually yielded a try for Beal after nine minutes as the decision to go wide was rewarded as quick ball helped set up the pacey winger to score after a neat step inside.

Cardiff Met prop Ian Etheridge was then shown a yellow-card and that seemed to spark Loughborough into life as shortly after, they sent a maul over from a strong line-out  which ended with Davis dotting down to level things up.

Seers and Watt then knocked over penalties in blustery conditions to make it 8-8 before the home side struck two significant blows before the interval as another rolling maul allowed Cave to touch down before Watt produced an electric burst of pace to break the Cardiff Met line to slide in by the posts.

Great defence on two occasions by Cardiff Met prevented Loughborough from going over straight after half-time but a fourth touchdown was not long in arriving as their power in the forwards once again set the platform up for a score as Christie along with Nathan Higgins helped the ball over the line.

The Cardiff Met defence was then marked absent as winger Madivenga ran in the score that made it 32-8 on 53 minutes before fly-half Dobinson charged down a Cardiff Met clearance kick to waltz in unopposed to increase their lead further.

A series of what were now becoming trademark mauls eventually led to a Penalty Try for Loughborough 11 minutes from the end before a rare handling error presented Smith with the chance to claim his and Cardiff’s second try of the day which he duly took.

But it was Loughborough who had the final say as Watt, who scored 23 points during the evening, dived over to round off a sensational performance for the home side.