Swansea stun Bath to continue impressive start

Swansea were promoted into BUCS Super Rugby this season
©Swansea Uni Rugby

Newly promoted Swansea University shocked the University of Bath in Round Three to maintain their solid start to life in BUCS Super Rugby.

Hugh Gustafson’s side have won two of their first three game in their debut campaign at this level, but this week’s victory over Bath was most certainly the standout result in the division.

Swansea currently occupy second spot in the early stages of this season as domestic champions Exeter continued their flying start to the term.

The Green and Whites secured their third bonus-point victory in succession as they breezed past Northumbria whilst Leeds Beckett and Durham also maintained their unbeaten records as they defeated Cardiff and Loughborough, respectively.

Meanwhile, there was another setback for BUCS Super Rugby Champions Hartpury who fell to their second defeat of the season against Cardiff Met.

Below is a review from all five BUCS Super Rugby fixtures, plus we round-up the first week of the Women’s National League as well as some of the key divisions across university rugby

Northumbria University 17-59 University of Exeter

Exeter produced a dominant performance as they continued their superb start to the BUCS Super Rugby campaign by hammering Northumbria.

The current domestic champions ran in eight tries at Kingston Park to register their third successive bonus-point win.

The visitors crossed first through Toby Williams whilst Luke Mehson, Harrison Fowke and Fin Richardson also scored as Exeter built a 24-point lead.

The away side added further tries through Mehson, who completed his hat-trick, with Matt Johnson grabbing a brace in the second-half.

Northumbria crossed twice in the second period, but that was merely a consolation as the North-East side slipped to a third straight defeat.

Swansea University 39-32 University of Bath

Swansea sealed their second BUCS Super Rugby win of the season as the newly-promoted side beat Bath in a thrilling contest.

Bath scored four tries in the first period, including one from Jack Kenningham, to lead 24-17 at the break, with Max Nagy and Josh Moore crossing for Swansea.

Lailand Gordon’s try immediately after the interval levelled things up for the hosts before Bath moved back ahead with their fifth try of the day.

A penalty gave Aaron James’ side an eight-point cushion on the hour but Swansea showed their character as tries from Cai Davies and Dylan Moss, as well as penalty from the accurate Gwyn Parks, completed an excellent fightback by the home side.

Cardiff University 10-23 Leeds Beckett University

Leeds Beckett won their second game of the BUCS Super Rugby campaign as victory over Cardiff ended the Welsh university’s perfect start to the term.

The hosts had defeated Hartpury and Northumbria in the opening two rounds, but their unbeaten record came to a halt against last year’s BUCS Super Rugby Championship finalists.

Will Lewin and Toby Francis scored Beckett’s tries while they were guided to victory by the boots of Connor Lloyd and Steff James.

Cardiff’s only try came on 50 minutes, but the away side were able to manage the second period to secure back-to-back victories.

Loughborough University 22-32 Durham University

Durham came from behind to claim consecutive victories in BUCS Super Rugby as they defeated Loughborough.

The visitors landed two penalties and scored their first try of the game through Fred Davies, with Loughborough replying with a try of their own.

The home side were able to cut the gap to a single point with their second score and Tobias Munday’s effort shortly after moved Loughborough ahead.

Grayson Maguire responded for Durham before Loughborough nudged over the points, however, the final 12 minutes saw the Palatinate secure the bonus-point win as both Jack Hedley and Matt Reaney scooted over.

Hartpury University 17-28 Cardiff Met University

Cardiff Met bounced back from their heavy defeat against Exeter to pick up their first victory of the campaign as they beat Hartpury.

The current BUCS Super Rugby champions have lost two of their opening three matches and it is the second time they have been defeated at home.

Tries from Harry Johnston and Harrison Button helped the visitors into a 25-3 lead, with Met also slotting a penalty, two conversions and a drop-goal in the first period.

Another penalty from Russell Bennett increased the lead for the visitors and on a frustrating evening for Hartpury, they could only manage two tries - one coming from fly-half Nathan Chamberlain late on.

Women’s National

The inaugural Women’s National BUCS league kicked off on Wednesday and did so in some style. Last year’s BUCS Champions finalists both suffered defeats on matchday one as current holders Exeter lost 53-17 to an impressive Northumbria outfit while Durham were comfortably beaten 36-0 by Edinburgh. The other result in the division saw Cardiff Met defeat Hartpury.

Men’s Premier 1 – North and South

Both Edinburgh and Nottingham Trent picked up maximum points for the second week on the trot in Men’s Premier 1 North. The Scottish institution came through a pulsating contest to defeat Durham 2nds 33-23 whilst Trent have begun life after BUCS Super Rugby extremely well following a comprehensive 47-18 win against Birmingham.

Newcastle hit back from their matchday one defeat as they eased past Loughborough 2nds 28-3 and the University of Nottingham also followed suit as they picked up their first win (19-8) against Leeds.

Hartpury 2nds and Cardiff 2nds both lead the way in the South side of the division after back-to-back triumphs. Hartpury hammered newly promoted St Mary’s 40-17 on the road whilst Cardiff narrowly defeated Bristol 17-15. Elsewhere, Exeter 2nds opened their account for the season by beating Bath 2nds 27-19 away from home.

Men’s Premier 2 – North and South

Sheffield’s winning start to the Men’s Premier 2 North season bled into round two as they left it late to defeat Manchester Met 27-22 in Yorkshire. Elsewhere, Bishop Burton and Leeds Beckett 2nds kicked off their respective campaigns with victories. Bishop Burton beat the University of Manchester 18-14 and it was also a tight scoreline for Beckett who edged past Strathclyde 13-10.

In the South, Exeter 3rds made it two victories in a row as they defeated Brighton 47-19 whilst Hartpury 3rds also doubled their tally of wins for the season by beating UWE 18-15. Also in this half of the division, Reading picked up a 29-12 victory over Portsmouth.

Men’s Scottish Tier 1

Aberdeen continued their excellent start to the new season by thrashing Glasgow 2nds 42-0 whilst it was a much tighter affair in Fife where St Andrews hosted Stirling. In the end, it was the visitors who prevailed winning 23-22 against Scott Lawson’s side.

Men’s Northern Tier 1

Liverpool and Newcastle 2nds are the only unbeaten teams in Northern Tier 1, with the Merseyside outfit boasting a 100 per cent record after two matches. Liverpool hammered Keele 61-14 on their own patch whilst Newcastle 2nds began their campaign with a 23-5 win over Durham 3rds.

There wasn’t much better news for Durham 4ths as they were comprehensively beaten 56-19 by Northumbria 2nds.

Men’s Western Tier 1

Cardiff Met 3rds are the early leaders in Men’s Western Tier 1 after thumping Exeter 4ths 40-12 on Wednesday. The Welsh side now have a five-point lead at the summit as Bristol 2nds beat Southampton 24-7 and Bath 3rds won 43-12 against Plymouth.

Men’s Midlands Tier 1

In Midlands Tier 1, Loughborough 3rds made it two wins on the bounce as they defeated Harper Adams 34-19 after their hammering of Birmingham 2nds in round one. Sticking with Birmingham, they responded from their opening loss as they beat East Anglia 18-5 whilst Warwick beat Leicester 26-22.