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Home > News > Loughborough Students 43 - Fylde 0
Your News Loughborough Students 43 - Fylde 0

Fyldes trip to National Two (North) leaders Loughborough Students was never going to be easy for a team that had already lost on five out of seven occasions away from the Woodlands so far this season. For the first half an hour at the Students well appointed ground it looked as if the visitors this time would mount a serious challenge to the outstanding team in the division as their game plan worked effectively.

But on 29 minutes referee Darren Gammage awarded the Students a penalty try for persistent infringements by Fylde near their try line. The conversion was kicked by fly-half George Drake and the Students had a 7-0 lead. The Fylde scrummage was in trouble pretty much throughout the game and this helped to undermine the visitors efforts.

The sinbinning of Paul Reeves for a technical offence in the 35th minute also turned out to be a crucial moment in the game. Fylde paid dearly as the Students attacked from a five metre scrum once more and winger Kristian Cook scored in the left corner. Drake failed with the attempted conversion but the Students had opened up a 12-0 lead at the interval.

Could Fylde survive the initial and crucial minutes of the 2nd half until they were back to full strength? Students centre Nathan Lambden gave an immediate reply as he scythed through the Fylde defence from 35m out in the 41st minute. Drakes conversion attempt drifted wide but he was to have more practice in another two minutes as full-back Geraint Walsh raced through for the Students bonus point winning fourth try. Once again the kicker missed yet the Students were out of sight with a 22-0 advantage.

With Reeves back on the field, Fylde established a greater degree of parity. But the game turned completely against the visitors in the 55th minute when their flanker Laurie Smith was shown a straight red card by referee Darren Gammage for an alleged head butt.

The Students piled on the pressure and in the 63rd minute no 8 Phil Burgess scored a good try to put his side even further ahead. Drake was successful with the conversion this time and the Students were ahead by 29-0.

With Fylde at sixes and sevens, Burgess repeated the trick on 72nd minute and replacement kicker scrum-half Henry Pyrgos goaled the extra points. Burgess underlined his reputation as one of the most outstanding players in the division with another display of speed, power and mobility.

Things surely couldnt get any worse for the Lancastrians. But they did on 78 minutes when a skirmish between replacement lock Nick King and the Students huge prop Camillo Parelli resulted in them both being sinbinned. Down to 13 players, the Students rubbed ample salt in the wounds when excellent centre Lambden bagged his second try in the last minute of normal time, converted by Pyrgos. This was the biggest defeat for Fylde since they lost at home to Waterloo by 3-53 at the Woodlands in February 2004.

It was a long and quiet coach journey home for the Fylde squad as they contemplated the visit of Preston Grasshoppers to the Woodlands next Saturday. This is always the biggest game of the season for Fylde and their coaches will have to work overtime with the players to get the memories of this afternoon out of their collective system.

Fylde Director of Rugby Mark Nelson said: We were beaten comprehensively by a very good side. They are full-time players, well coached and superbly prepared physically. Its chalk and cheese in comparison with part-time players such as ours. They have a total population of 120 talented players to choose from.

After the game I foolishly said that I expected every player to attend the two training sessions ahead of the Hoppers game on Saturday. I soon realised that I was being stupid as some of the players have inevitable work and personal commitments which they have to honour. They simply cant be at training. Thats the difference when you come up against such a full-time squad. Loughborough are by a country mile the best team weve played to date, and that includes promotion chasing Macclesfield. They have a very fast and penetrative midfield and they punished us severely.

Ive told the squad that we cant be negative and have to focus on the games coming up in the next few weeks with teams of a similar ability to ourselves Preston, Kendal & Broadstreet. The win last Saturday against Harrogate was very sound and we have to get back to that level of performance.

On the dismissal of Smith, Nelson said: Laurie told me that he didnt butt the opponent and I always back my players if they are so clear about such incidents. The Club wont be suspending him unless and until the video evidence corroborates foul play.

LOUGHBOROUGH STUDENTS:15 Geraint Walsh; 14 Ashley Smith, 13 Nathan Lambden, 12 Joe Munro, 11 Kristian Cook; 10 George Drake (James Fouracre 65), 9 Henry Pyrgos; 1 Matt Berry, 2 Tom Cobb (Neil Sweeney 58), 3 Camilo Parilli, 4 Jon Aston (Matt Reeves 65), 5 William Warden, 6 Mike McFarlane (James Taylor 21, Jeremy Cunnew 69), 7 Jamie Cullen, 8 Phil Burgess.

FYLDE: 15 Mike Waywell; 14 Matt Gargett, 13 Alex Hurst, 12 Paul Reeves, 11 Taylor Welch; 10 Tom Barlow (Martin Wallwork 68), 9 Craig Aikman; 1 Peter Altham (Andrew Irving 40), 2 Johnny Roddam, 3 Adam Lewis (Jonny Wild 70), 4 Alastair Atkinson (Nick King 63), 5 Grant Ferguson (Sam Beaumont 58), 6 Laurie Smith, 7 Steve McGinnis, 8 Roger Banks.

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