Promotion Hopefuls Confirmed For BUCS Super Rugby Playoffs
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Promotion Hopefuls Confirmed For BUCS Super Rugby Playoffs

Seth Nobes February 8, 2023

Newcastle and Brunel have confirmed their places in the BUCS Super Rugby Playoffs following dominant seasons in which they have lost just once between them in a combined 25 games.

In the Premier South, Brunel have enjoyed the perfect season, with 12 wins in 12 games seeing them with a comfortable deficit of 14 points between them and second-placed Hartpury 2s.

Continuing on, Newcastle sit 16 points clear of second-placed Nottingham Trent, with the latter only able to add a maximum of another ten points to their total in their remaining two games.

Newcastle prove consistency is key

The team from the north-east’s promotion charge this season has been nothing short of impressive, with momentum playing a key role in their push towards BUCS Super Rugby.

In their first 11 games of the season, Newcastle only dropped two points, which allowed them to build a lead at the top of the Premier North which soon became unassailable.

The only game in this impressive run they did not manage to win was the third game of the season, when the team made the trip to Leeds. In a tight affair, the team made the trip back even further north with two points instead of all four following a 19-19 draw.

There was no shame in this result, and actually should be viewed as an impressive result given Leeds’ home form following this game, which was their first at home for the 2022/23 season. They are yet to be beaten at home, including a run of four home victories following the Newcastle draw.

Newcastle have been beaten this season, away at second-placed Nottingham Trent. However, Nottingham Trent are another side who have made their home a fortress, having won six of their seven matches at Nottingham Rugby Football Club. The other was a draw against Loughborough 2s.

These instances of dropped points were more than made up for by Newcastle, as the side picked up bonus-point wins against both Nottingham Trent and Leeds in the reverse fixtures.

No fault found in Brunel’s run to BUCS Super Rugby Playoffs

The race for promotion in the Premier South has arguably faced stronger opposition, but the dominance of Brunel has made it impossible for anyone else to be in with a chance.

12 games have been played by the London side, with the team picking up 12 bonus-point victories. 60 points have been on offer to this point, and it is 60 points that have been achieved.

They have been relentless in their fixtures, scoring 50 or more points on eight occasions. A stand-out performance is their most recent victory against Cardiff Met, which ended 111-5.

They have scored 723 points, with two matches still remaining in the league. This equates to an average of just over 60 points per game, with the team scoring almost 100 points more than Bath 2’s and Bristol in third and fourth combined.

Any stand-out of their march to the top of the table has been their defense. They have conceded just 164 points, which works out at less than 14 points a game. This is also over 100 points less than the next best team, Hartpury 2s.

Given second teams cannot earn promotion to BUCS Super Rugby, the next eligible team is Bristol down in fourth, a whole 29 points behind the league leaders.

Read next: Hartpury Beat Exeter To Go Clear In BUCS Rugby National League

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Seth Nobes is a freelance writer for Freshered, focusing on university sport. He is currently studying for an MA in Sports Journalism, as well as the NCTJ diploma, at St Mary's University, Twickenham after graduating with a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Birmingham. Seth is also an editor for the Sports Gazette, with a keen focus on cricket. He has written and commentated on a wide variety of sports, ranging from football and rugby, to sailing and judo, for publications such as Vavel, Deep Extra Cover, Burn FM, and Redbrick. He is also a long-suffering Watford fan, for his sins.