After their pre- Christmas victory over leaders Loughborough Students, Luctonians were brought back down to earth by struggling Nuneaton. Already hit by a

five- point penalty for an administrative error, the Herefordshire side will view the 24-21 defeat at Liberty Way as further points dropped. Luctonians also

played out the last seven minutes with only 14 men on the pitch after player- coach Alex Davidson was given a straight red card for use of the boot. Caldy,

one place above Luctonians in fourth, were also on the receiving end of a shock after going down 53-25 at home to rampant Harrogate. ‘Gate ran in eight

tries, Jamie Broadley helping himself to a hat- trick.

There were no such surprises, though, for the top two with both Loughborough Students and Fylde easy winners on the day. The Students scored 34

unanswered points after the break to beat Hull Ionians 51-13, while Fylde managed 10 tries in a 62-19 ro0ut of Morley.

Westoe kept their promotion hopes on the boil with a hard- fought 19-10 win over Preston Grasshoppers and Leicester Lions, just one point further off the

pace in fourth, turned in an excellent second half performance to win 17-9 at Hull.

A superb tackle at the death from Rugby Lions’ Liam Munro denied Manchester a first league point of the season. In the battle of the bottom two, which was

full of commitment on both sides, the Lions left Grove Park with five priceless points thanks to a 32-23 win.

Huddersfield versus Kendal was postponed.