It has been a high-scoring, entertaining opening seven rounds of BUCS Super Rugby and the Women’s National League so far.
Round Eight continued this theme, and it was a week that saw some memorable upsets and records blown out of the water.
This league is known for producing some incredibly high scores, but none more so than the clash between Loughborough University and Swansea University this week.
Loughborough put on an attacking clinic in what can only be described as a demolition of the Welsh side. A hat-trick from replacement hooker Isaac Bell guided the African Violet to a record-breaking 95-8 win as they made a statement to the teams around them.
This result was the highest winning margin in BUCS Super Rugby and it featured the most points and most tries scored by a team in a single game in the history of the competition. It was certainly a night to forget for Hugh Gustafson’s squad, but definitely one to remember for last year’s league champions.
Cardiff University looked to secure their first win since the opening week of the campaign as they welcomed Nottingham University to the Welsh capital.
A standout performance from George Shaw led the way to a bonus-point 44-31 victory for the hosts - a triumph that has been long overdue for Cardiff.
Despite putting in an impressive attacking display, Nottingham could only come away with a try bonus point and they remain bottom of the table on seven points.
Bath University travelled to Exeter University on the back of four wins on the bounce, and they would have been hopeful of handing Gareth Elliot’s side their first defeat of the season.
Just as they have done all term, Exeter looked mature in both defence and attack, with a brace from hooker Joe Vajner and a classy display with the boot from Charlie McCaig guiding them to a 31-17 win.
A few #BUCSSuperRugby match records here:— Simon Cruise (@SJCruise23) November 23, 2023
Highest score by 1 team: 95
Highest winning margin: 87
Joint highest combined points scored: 103 (@ExeterUniRFC 53 vs. @NorthumbriaMRU 50 4/10/17)
Most tries (combined): 16
Most tries (single team): 15 https://t.co/UUW1qZyvdv
This is the league leaders’ eighth consecutive win of the campaign, and a further five points this round takes them to 39 out of a possible 40. Will anyone be able to put an end to their unbeaten start?
Next up they face Leeds Beckett University, a side who are on an incredible upward trajectory in comparison to their form last season.
They welcomed Cardiff Met University to Yorkshire this week, and the visitors were hunting for their first win since Round Three.
A tightly contested first half saw Met go into the break with a 12-7 lead. The second period brought the drama BUCS Super Rugby is used to producing, with the game finishing 26-25 in Beckett’s favour thanks to a missed conversion right at the death from the Welsh team.
That result makes it three victories in a row for Leeds Beckett, which is one more win than they achieved in the entirtiy of last season, and takes them up to fifth place in the standings and firmly in the play-off spots.
The final BUCS Super Rugby clash of the week saw Hartpury University welcome Durham University.
After putting 50 points past Cardiff University last week, the northern institution would’ve been confident coming into this game, but Hartpury were in no mood to roll over.
The hosts put together arguably their most complete 80 minutes of the season and dished out a 44-7 drubbing to take them within two points of their opponents in third place.
Round Nine of the Women’s National League played host to only two fixtures with Cardiff Met, Exeter and Hartpury all on a bye week.
After conceding 69 points to Hartpury University last week, Edinburgh University showed exceptional resilience to bounce back and secure a hotly contested 17-12 win against Loughborough University.
It was a victory that took them to within eight points of league leaders Cardiff Met University and 12 points from bottom.
Cardiff University achieved their first win of the season this week against Durham University in a game finishing 31-12 to the Welsh hosts.
Both teams have one victory to their name this campaign but Cardiff sit three points clear of Durham having achieved more bonus points. It is still all to play for at both the bottom and the top of the table of the Women’s National League.