Except for the one defeat at Mowden Park, the Foresters have won every other match this season, despite having to contend with major team changes on a continuous basis and yet again they came up trumps against a strong University side. Their spirit is infectious.
Confronted with wet and windy conditions, the Greens were undaunted in approach settling very quickly into a competitive frame of mind and after good work by both backs and forwards fly half Will Davidson scored a well worked try which was not converted.
The Foresters were adjusting to several positional changes, none more so than Dan Solomi out on the wing, unselfishly giving his all and captain James Druce, the man for all seasons, playing in the centre. The front row of George Altham, Jake Parkinson and Ricky Cano, assisted by a second row partnership of Alex Powell and Simon Borrill gave a solid assured performance throughout and in the back row, Sam Smith, Nathan Myers and Matt Hall were continuously energetic and thrustful.
Soon after their try the Greens lost concentration and poor decision making and sloppy handling allowed Loughborough to bounce back and they capitalised on this poor period for the visitors by scoring two converted tries. Not daunted the Foresters came at the students again and after a strong driven line out, Powell was held up short but Myers emerged to finish off with a try. This was closely followed by a typical Solomi trademark pick and go and now in full blow the Greens just before half time went in again. Altham with a good pass to Powell enabled the big man to sail to the try line from 15 metres.
Half time score 22-14 to the visitors. Solomi can play anywhere.
The first 30 minutes were extremely competitive, neither side prepared to buckle under pressure. The backs stayed steady during this period with full back Maxime Labasse back from injury and Simon Crabtree at centre and Ralph Wellock on the wing competitive ,along with the young scrum half Max Bell.
The forwards, with ambition foremost in mind, took the play to Loughborough. They obtained good turn-over ball in their own twenty two after a very good cover tackle by Wellock prevented the home side scoring. The ball was recycled and swiftly moved in to the opposition half where Crabtree, on the end of a Wellock pass, went in under the posts and Druce converted. In this period Hall is due special mention for his tireless contribution throughout.
This entertaining game finished with skipper Druce intercepting on the half way line, scampering off as if his life depended on it and just managing to go in under the posts. Of course he converted.
A final score of 36-14.
Yet again a terrific performance by the team and not forgetting the replacements Jake Starkey, Rhys Davies and Stephen Graham, (the latter coming in at very short notice) once again gave their all for the cause.
Praise has to be given to the back room team, with Hedley Varity and Robbie Burnett always there to cajole, encourage and provide the enthusiasm and never die attitude which this squad has in abundance. They are all a credit to the club and long may it continue.
Team:- Maxime Labasse, Dan Solomi, James Druce, Simon Crabtree, Ralp Wellock, Will Davidson, Max Bell, George Altham, Jake Parkinson, Ricky Cano, Alex Powell, Simon Borrill, Sam Smith, Nathan Myers, Matt Hall.
Replacements :- Jake Starkey, Rhys Davies, Steven Graham