— Josh Clark contributed with this report.

The University of Lincoln rugby union team managed to salvage a well fought 13-13 draw at home in what was a tough encounter against league rivals Staffordshire University.

With confidence high after the previous week’s triumph against Birmingham City, Lincoln wished to build momentum with another victory in the hope of being catapulted to top spot in the league.

The stage was set and expectations were high as both teams faced off in sunny but chilling weather conditions. Lincoln went behind to an early try after Staffordshire capitalised through a combination of strong fast running and some weak tackling from the home team.

Lincoln struggled to get a foot hole in the game with each team exchanging blows and ultimately cancelling each other out. The only other major incident of the first half was a sin binning for the Staffordshire full back. This opportunity to push on with a numerical advantage passed Lincoln by as they struggled to make any sort of impact on the scoreboard.

Half time was signalled with Staffordshire kicking a penalty leaving the score at 10-0 to the away team at the break. Victory was slipping away from Lincoln.

After some strong but fair words from captain Jake Dobson at half time Lincoln came out fighting, with forwards digging deep and the backs being bossed by the impressive halfback duo Nick Bates and Jack Churchill.

Free scoring hooker Dominic Hodge was driven over the line by his teammates for his fourth try in two games. Lincoln were back in the game and only trailing by five points. The momentum was soon halted as Lincoln’s prop received a sin binning.

Reduced to 14 men, Lincoln had to dig deep in their attempt to stay in the game. Various injuries led to the team becoming disjointed in their attempt to snatch victory from a strong Staffordshire squad. As the game drew to a close Staffordshire extended their lead to 13-5.

A glimmer of hope was presented as Andreas Zacharia scored a well-deserved try and in doing so reduced the deficit to three points.

After yet another sin binning for the home side, Nick Bates was presented with a chance to draw the scores level with the last kick of the game. With enormous amounts of pressure piled on his shoulders he split the posts and the game was tied. The match ended 13-13 with Joshua Clark receiving the man of the match award.

Positives can be taken from the second half performance in which the team dominated most areas of the pitch for long periods of time and Lincoln will hope to build on the performance in the coming weeks.