Derby made the long trip to Mortimer Park in Herefordshire, to take on 4th placed Luctonians.
Sam Harrington and Jack Dawson returned to the starting XV, while Arturs Kozel made his debut from the bench.
After last week’s win over Lichfield, Derby were looking to pick up more league points, to pull away from the relegation zone of the table.
Luctonians kicked off, on a murky December day and were quickly into their stride, taking the lead after 3 minutes with a penalty.
Luctonians were playing up the slope and against the wind in the first half, but it did not stop them dominating possession and territory.
The first try arrived after 12 minutes, when forward pressure led to the score. The conversion made it 10 – 0.
Half way through the half, Luctonians struck again, with an attack off the back of the scrum, which was converted again.
Derby came close, with 7 minutes of the half remaining, when they kept the ball alive and put Jake Roome away. He was hauled down just short of the line and the supporting McGrath Van Wyk was unable to force his way over.
Luctonians lost a player to the sin bin just before the break, but it did not stop them scoring the final try of the half.
The break saw Luctonians 22 – 0 up and the travelling support feared that Derby were in for a tough second period. This proved to be the case.
Derby brought on all 3 replacements, but they were unable to stop the tide.
2 converted tries in the first 20 minutes put Luctonians 36 points ahead.
Derby continued to tackle, work hard and try to get some phases of their own going, but were unable to make much headway and were kept scoreless for the first time this season.
The final 10 minutes saw Luctonians score 3 further tries and 2 conversions to complete the scoring.
The end of the game saw Luctonians worthy winners; in fact your humble correspondent considers them the best team seen all season.
Derby need to regroup before 2nd place Newport visit Haslams next week.
Come on Derby !
Match Report by Richard Bambra