By Don McDermott
England Students squad members dominated the scoring in the BUCS Rugby Championship Final between Exeter and Loughborough at Twickenham.
Sam Waltier, one of Exeter’s seven players to make the 30-man training squad, scored the first points of the game in the sixth minute, taking a quick offload and bursting through the middle for the try.
Dan Watt was one of the three Loughborough players selected to travel to Blois and Dublin for fixtures against the French Students and Ireland Universities, and he was the star for Loughborough, keeping them in the match with two penalties and a try conversion in the first half.
But Exeter’s Freddie Hosking further cemented his place in the England Students squad with a first-half try, and Exeter led 18-13 at halftime.
Watt converted a third penalty five minutes into the second half, cutting Exeter’s lead to just two points. The score remained 18-16 in favour of Exeter for the next thirty minutes, and then Watt had a chance to be the hero as Loughborough were given a penalty near midfield.
With time running out, Loughborough had no choice but to go for the penalty and Watt’s flat kick had the distance and put Loughborough in the lead for the first time.
But Watt was not the only ES player with heroics on his mind. Exeter’s James Doe, who had come on as a substitute, coolly converted a drop goal with under three minutes left, sending the crowd into a frenzy and giving Exeter a 21-19 championship win.
The ten players from Exeter and Loughborough will now have to put the match behind them, as they travel together next week to prepare for the game against France on 2 April.