With Ealing’s debut season in the Greene King IPA Championships fast approaching they faced a tough pre-season test in the shape of Loughborough Students on a Monday night.
During the early stages of the game both sides were eager to run the ball with Ealing heaving relentless pressure on the Loughborough try line but the visitors defence holding firm. Winger Joe Southwell had an opportunity in the corner but was bundled into touch by a great covering tackle from a Loughborough player.
However unfortunately for the visitors a deliberate knock on resulted in them handing over possession to the home side giving them a great platform from which to attack. From the resulting scrum Ealing completely splintered the Loughborough back allowing number eight Anders Nielsen to touch down at the base of the scrum. Fly-half Will Magie struck the ball sweetly between the posts and Ealing led 7-0.
The away side kept themselves in touch with two penalties from the boot of fly half George Eastwell bringing Loughborough back to within a point of the Championship side at 7-6.
Loughborough would not go down without a fight and constant pressure in the Ealing half resulted in a deserved try for scrum-half Henry Taylor who sniped through a gap in the home side’s defence to dive over for the try. He could not convert his own try but Loughborough led 11-7 at the interval.
Half-time: EALING TRAILFINDERS 7-11 LOUGHBOROUGH STUDENTS
The visitors continued to pile the pressure on Ealing and deservedly won another penalty opportunity that James Moffat slotted with ease to extend the gap to 7 points at 14-7 to Loughborough.
But Ealing’s power up front showed as a great shove from the visitors at scrum time led to replacement scrum-half Morgan Thompson to diving over the line for the home side’s first try of the game. The try was unconverted and Ealing had closed the gap to 2 points at 14-12 to the visitors.
Ealing’s pack was starting to dominate the visitors and take over the game. This power showed as they tore apart the Loughborough forwards and with the try likely to be scored the referee had no option but to award the penalty try. This time fly-half Will Magie slotted the conversion and Ealing now led 19-14.
Loughborough would not give up and drew themselves back within 2 points as James Moffat slotted another penalty to make the score 19-17.
However Ealing extended their lead to 9 points as replacement scrum-half Morgan Thompson went over for his 2nd try of the match from another destructive Ealing scrum. Will Magie converted the try and the Championship side had a little bit of breathing space as they led 26-17.
The replacement scrum-half was having some game and it wasn’t too long before he completed his hat-trick as he scampered over for the try and all but sealed the game. Will Magie converted the try and the whistle sounded to bring an end to a great game of Monday night rugby.
Loughborough put in a superb performance but ultimately could not cope with the physicality of the Ealing pack. But the visitors fought strongly with the likes of scrum-half Henry Taylor and fly-half George Eastwell having fantastic games. They showed that they are going to be a tough proposition in National League One this season. Ealing dominated the match through their forwards with 4 out of their 5 tries coming off powerful and destructive scrums. A fantastic performance by Ealing who are having a strong pre-season campaign.
Full-time: EALING TRAILFINDERS 33-17 LOUGHBOROUGH STUDENTS