Stourbridge pass opening day test against Students
Stourbridge earned top marks for an impressive start to their National League Two North campaign.
The Stourton Park men launched the new season in style with a 31-20 success at home to Loughborough Students.
Both sides are renowned for their fast-open rugby and the spectators were not disappointed as they served up eight tries.
Scrum-half Joe Heatley got Stourbridge off to a flier with the first try inside five minutes following a strong drive by his forwards from a five-metre scrum. Chris Scott confidently added the conversion.
Dan Kelly replied within four minutes for Loughborough but that was followed in quick succession by two further Stourbridge scores from Dan Rundle and George Morgan, following a neat exchange of passes between Heatley and Morgan, one of which was converted.
During this spell Stourbridge maintained dominance at the scrum which continued even after changing their two props early in the second half.
Owen Waters then slotted over a penalty for Loughborough following an offside decision to reduce the deficit.
The 10 minutes leading up to half-time saw Loughborough pile on the pressure, but the strong home defence held out until William Kaye followed up his own kick ahead to score close to the posts, with Waters converting to make it 19-15.
Stourbridge saw second-row Nick Murphy yellow carded just before the break.
The second half started with both teams testing each other early on but a powerful break out of defence by Stour’s Joe Collingham, taken on further by Jack Lea, put the home side lads close to the Loughborough try line and Murphy, on his return to the field, touched down. Scott added the extras.
Loughborough winger, Fadahunsi, quickly closed the gap to 26-20 with a sprint down the touchline.
Scott then missed two penalty attempts to extend the lead and give the hosts some welcome breathing space but man-of-the match Heatley then managed to put the game to bed with a fine interception try from inside his own half.
Stourbridge head to Luctonians, who opened with a 36-33 triumph at Tynedale, on Saturday.