Loughborough end ‘untouchables’ winning streak

As the longest winning streak in BUCS history comes to a close we speak to DURFC Head Coach Alex Keay and Club Captain Charlie Goodwin, remembering the highlights of an incredible unbeaten run and discuss the prospect of Twickenham this season.


Wednesday night saw Loughborough visit Durham City and end a record-breaking winning streak for the ‘untouchable’ DURFC 1st XV.

In exclusive interviews with The Tab, Club Captain Charlie Goodwin and Head Coach Alex Keay discussed the highlights of the 45 match winning streak, Wednesday night’s match and where the season goes from here.

In a tribute to the incredible achievements of the untouchable, invincible and now legendary Palatinate players, who came back from defeat at Twickenham in 2012 to dominate BUCS rugby and build what will be remembered by the purple army as one of Durham’s greatest ever sporting achievements, we’ve also put together a little highlights reel from our archives.

We spoke first to Club Captain Charlie Goodwin:

Can you pick out a favourite moment from the winning streak?

It’s hard to pick out a favourite – each team will have their own but last year’s win at Twickenham was the culmination of the best season to date and the performance was incredible.

As club captain how do you think the team, and club, will respond over the next few weeks?

Obviously we are looking for a positive response from all teams and players. We may have lost this amazing record, but we are still top of the table and have every chance of winning the league and cup again. Losing that record means that all members of the club now have to write their own history, our 3s and 4s are playing really well and have only lost one game between them. Our 2s have had a tougher season but they have the potential to win the cup as they did in 2012.


What do you think made the ‘untouchable’ Durham XV so good?

Very simply put – The Top Two Inches. Durham are fortunate to have clever sportsmen and women across the board and in rugby we are incredibly blessed to have a plethora of these clever players. Our players understand why we do certain things in rugby, whereas players at places such as Leeds Met, Loughborough and Hartpury don’t. It gives us an edge and we still have that edge today. Brains over brawn every time!

Thanks to Head Coach Alex Keay for giving us an interview at really short notice – here’s what he had to say. 

Alex, how does it feel to have come to the end of such an epic winning streak?

It was a very strange Thursday morning, sad for the boys, its tough to take – but losing should be!

A tough match against tough opponents in tough conditions, what was the mood in the changing room like after the game?

Very low and very sad – but determined to set things right.

What do you think has made your Durham team such a dominant force since your last loss at Twickenham in April 2012?

Attitude, attitude, attitude!

Have you got a highlight from the winning streak and a favourite moment perhaps?

[There have] been so many, it’s difficult to beat the Twickenham moments. Hammers away with the fairies in the motivational speech before last years Twickenham game.

You’re starting to be seen as a sort of near legend Alex Ferguson figure within the University sporting world – do you see any similarities?

No. Sir Alex, please! Boss of the greatest football team of all time, possibly the greatest manager ever – no, not in the same league.

How do you expect the team to react this week in training in terms of performance and mood?

Very positively this is a good team and we’re still top of the league.

What’s the focus moving forward and are the Palatinates still contenders for BUCS glory this season?

To win the league and [the] cup at Twickenham, no change.

There’s talk that the current Palatinate XV just isn’t physically big enough to reach the BUCS final this year, is that something that you’ll be working on over the Christmas break?

As I said, this is a very good team. When we lost at Twickenham two years ago it set a steely resolve in the players to come back better than ever and I expect our players to react the same way.

It’s been an amazing unbeaten run for both supporters and players, did the Palatinate army of support play a hand in that success?

Absolutely amazing, best university students in the world and they certainly raise the game.

Three words to describe how you feel looking back on what will go down as the longest winning streak in BUCS history?

Proud, happy, more.