COVENTRY have plenty to live up to as they take a perfect ten out of ten record against Loughborough Students into Saturday’s game at Butts Park Arena as well as a seven out of seven National League One record for the current season.
Our first league meeting with Loughborough came in season 2012-13 after Students had reached level 3 for the first time, and Cov have won all ten matches played since then. The biggest winning margin came at Butts Park last season, 54-14.
The first record of rugby being played at Loughborough dates back to 1919, although it was 1976 before they were fully formed. Loughborough Students first came into the National Leagues in 1996.
They have experienced a tough time this season, winning just once away at Cambridge on week 2.
They are, however, already shining in the BUCS Super Rugby competition, having secured the scalp of arch rivals and last year’s winners Hartpury RFC, 36–15. That alone we know will have really pleased them!
Last season in National League One, Students finished 11th and managed to keep clear of the relegation places. To date they lie 15th, one place above Fylde, with just one that one win at Cambridge to offset defeats against Caldy, Plymouth Albion and Ampthill at home and, on the road, at Darlington Mowden Park, Old Elthamians and Rosslyn Park.
There were major changes during the off season with director of rugby, Dave Morris moving on to his new role at London Scottish. A former Loughborough man and Cambridge Blue, Alan Buzza is now in the role. A Cov favourite last season, Boris Stankovich, as part of his contract with Leicester Tigers, is assisting with the forwards with Brett Deacon, Tigers’ development coach, also being in charge of the NL1 team.
Fly-half Owen Waters, from Bath Academy, did not feature in last week’s defeat by Ampthill but is top points scorer with 43. Waters was previously involved in the England Sevens Commonwealth Youth Games and is now in his first year studying sports science with management at Loughborough. Of the players listed as being newcomers this season, none appear to have been in the squad last week.