NTU hosted Durham University on Wednesday under the floodlights for the ninth round of the BUCS Super Rugby League. A win for NTU would push them up the table, a loss dangling them closer to the jaws of relegation.
In the build-up, to the game, NTU co-captain Jamie Jack emphasised the importance of taking away points from this match.
“Getting a result today is a huge deal, especially after we felt we didn’t leave the best account of ourselves against Cardiff Met last week”. NTU co-captain Jamie Jack
NTU took the lead early on in the first ten minutes of the game by ruthless physicality from the forward pack resulting in a close-range try from number 7, Jacob Wrafter, converted by Ed Morgan.
Durham capitalised on an NTU error at the kickoff which allowed them to score seconds after Trent, putting them within two points of the hosts almost immediately.
Another error from Trent allowed the visitors to score their second try of the evening, turning the game on its head. A stray pass went to ground and was hacked all the way through for Durham to dot down a try almost unopposed.
The rest of the half saw Durham bleed penalties from an ill-disciplined and frustrated NTU team. The sides entered the interval with the hosts trailing 7-18.
NTU had an optimistic start to the second half with a quick try scored by Caetano Branco, leaving the score close at 14-18.
The game continued to be a tight run affair with Durham scoring their third try. Harry Graham responded quickly with a try for NTU, making the score 21-23.
Nonetheless, sustained pressure saw Durham edge away in the closing stages of the game with a fourth try.
The full-time result 21-30.
The defeat leaves the ‘men in pink’ hanging ominously close to the relegation spot at third from bottom. However, with plenty of games for NTU still to play, fans can remain optimistic heading into the new year.
By Jacob Turner