LUCTONIANS maintained their six-point advantage at the top of National League 2 West, with a high-scoring 31-50 victory on the road at Loughborough Students.

The game was played on the artificial surface at Loughborough University and Lucs were led by stalwart Josh Watkins scoring a brace on his 100th National League appearance for the club

The Students started the brighter and applied wave after wave of high-paced attack, which saw Luctonians winger James Wheeler pick up an early yellow card on eight minutes.

However, the league leaders showed a stoic defence and repelled all that was thrown at them before going down the other end and scoring through Watkins with their first attack of the game, with Tom Jones converting after 16 minutes.

But Loughborough would finally get on the scoreboard, from a set piece backs move that saw winger Karl Warner go over wideout, with Alex Wainwright missing the conversion it made the scores 5-7 after 18 minutes.

Jones would slot over a penalty for Lucs two minutes later, but the Students would score again from first phase attack as centre Archie Kean went through off an unseen forward pass to score under the posts, with Wainwright this time adding the extras the Students deservedly lead.

However, Lucs took complete control of the game with five unanswered tries.

Watkins with the first of these and his second of the game as he out-flanked the Students defence in the left corner.

Scrum-half Josh Nott powered over in the other corner following fine work from his forward pack at set piece.

Jones converted the second of these on 37 minutes and that would give the visitors a 12-22 lead at the break.

The second period started as the first had finished with Lucs on the front foot again. James Wheeler’s score on 42 minutes was arguably the pick of the bunch as Lucs played from deep before the left winger skipped away. Jones again successful with the boot and Lucs had the try-bonus point secured at 12-29 with 43 minutes gone.

Two minutes later Lucs reverted to the power-game and Seb Robinson was driven over from a lineout maul.

Man of the match Lewis Parks then powered through the middle of the defence to score under the posts. With the conversion chipped over by Jones, Lucs lead 12-43 on 58 minutes.

The Students were not done however, and two tries in four minutes from replacement forwards Lucas Eule and Oliver Fisher gave the hosts a glimmer of hope at 26-43 with 14 minutes to go.

That was then fuelled further as Lucs fly half Tom Jones was yellow carded for a high tackle, before centre Tom Riman went over to make things tight at 31-43 with six minutes still on the clock.

But the visitors would seal the win in style as flanker Archie Benson cantered in from 30 metres out and Owen Randell converted.