Bonus point only for Old Albanian as Students win with pace to burn

PUBLISHED: 06:45 20 October 2016

Al Gliksten races through to score under the posts. Picture: DANNY LOO

Al Gliksten races through to score under the posts. Picture: DANNY LOO

Danny Loo Photography 2016

Old Albanian Rugby Club slumped to their third successive defeat in National One but did manage to come away with a bonus point in the 35-26 loss to Loughborough Students at Woollams.

The high-scoring game proved one thing at least; there is no substitution for pace and Loughborough had it in abundance in their back line.

Having said that, the Albanian forwards were in the ascendant to the extent that they gained probably 60 per cent of the possession, quite enough to record their first victory in three weeks.

On the one occasion when OAs did spread the ball across the field with real alacrity, Jimmy Speirs had no problem dotting down for the third Albanian try.

Yiannis Loizias showed speed and strength in the second minute wide on the left to put Loughborough in front and although Brian Tuilagi crashed over eight minutes later, the try brilliantly converted by Ben Palmer, Joshua Sharp restored the visitors’ lead almost immediately with a penalty.

William Edwards increased that advantage after a missed tackle with Sharp converting again.

Austin Beckett crossed at the break and Sharp’s kick made it 22-7.

Alex Glixten found his way through the Loughborough defence five minutes after the restart, Palmer converting successfully but two Sharp penalties in this quarter probably put the match beyond the hosts.

Gair Currie ensured this crossing on the half hour after a kick and chase.

Speirs’ effort and Tuilagi’s second, though converted with a wonderful drop kick from the touchline by Palmer, couldn’t quite close the gap.

The result leaves OAs in 10th with a trip to second-placed Birmingham Moseley this Saturday.

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