Rosslyn Park returned to winning ways with a 36-29 victory at a spirited Loughborough Students in front of a large Freshers’ Week crowd on Saturday.
Two tries from skipper Hugo Ellis, one from Joseph Ajuwa and a penalty try were complemented by four Scott Sneddon penalties.
Coach Alex Codling made six changes to last week’s 1st XV that lost for the first time this season to Fylde, but they were soon behind here.
Loughborough struck early with a Jack Pons try, but Park levelled four minutes later when Kiba Richards fed Ajuwa to score in the corner.
Twenty minutes in, the hosts scored their second try, Ed Tayor doubling their lead from a line-out before Josh Sharp’s conversion made it 12-5.
Ellis’s first try was converted by Sneddon, before a penalty from the fly-half put Park in front for the first time in the game.
On 35 minutes, Sharp kicked Loughborough level, but Sneddon responded with his second penalty to edge Park ahead going into the break.
A converted penalty try for Park following persistent foul play in the maul put daylight between the teams eight minutes into the second half.
Sam Shires’ yellow card on 51 minutes gave the home side a numerical advantage, and Rhys Owen seized it seconds later with a Loughborough try.
With the game finely balanced at 25-22, the impressive Ellis scored his second try after a neat exchange of passes with Jack Gash.
Tight-head Harry Elrington was then yellow carded for Loughborough, and Sneddon made no mistake kicking his penalty for another three points.
Sneddon converted another penalty in front of the posts to put Park into an unassailable lead.
But Pons had the last say with a last-minute consolation try, which Sharp converted, to make the final score 36-29.
Picture courtesy of Sean Lynch, with thanks