Cantabs rack up the points in the mud


Atrocious weather just prior to kick off had turned the pitch into a slippery sea of mud for this visit of Billericay. David Bloxsum having had a good game in the 2nd XV the previous week, was making his debut and with Sami stranded the other side of Cambridge, Jonny Regan was also drafted in from the bench.

Cantabs chose to kick with the wind in the first half and following a couple of scrums were able to move the ball to the backs where Jonny Regan made the break and his pass found Finn Morrison in support scoring under the posts after just three minutes. The conversion straightforward for David Reed. Cantabs were on the way at 7 - 0.

Using the fierce wind, fly-half David hit the touch line in the right hand corner with a penalty kick. Seb caught the ball at the front of the line, the maul formed, trundled forward and scrum half Josh Schmidt ran off the back around the blindside to touch down in the corner, making it 12 - 0.

Cantabs continued to dominate in the scrum and with the surface as it was, when the Billericay pack started moving there was no stopping for them. The third try was set up by our new winger, David Bloxsum, who took on his man on the outside down the left wing, skated past two more defenders, moved inside and timed his pass to perfection to Seb in support. He touched down under the posts, making David's kick a formality; 19 - 0 after 12 minutes.

Billericay worked their way upfield and it took some resolute defence to keep their pack out, following some excellent mauling by the visitors' forwards. Cantabs broke clear with the help of a big clearance from our fly-half and were soon pressing in the visitors' 22. We were awarded a penalty just 5m out and elected to take the scrum. No mistake and with Seb holding the ball in at the rear of the pack, when we crossed the line he had the honour of touching down for try number four. David kicked the conversion from the left of the posts to make it 26 - 0 after just 20 minutes.

David Bloxsum was then denied a try of his own when he was tackled just short of the line, seemingly not held he went again and crossed the line only to be penalised for not releasing in the tackle. Cantabs were now throwing the greasy ball around to very good effect and Jonny Regan broke clear of the cover defence to set up the next try for Charlie Searle making the score 31 - 0 at half time.

Cantabs continued to do all the attacking and moved the ball into the Billericay 22. The ball was moved out wide to the right and Harri Beasley showed his winger's pace by shooting through and dived over spectacularly for the try in the right hand corner; 36 - 0, after 43 minutes.

Wholesale changes by Mick with Sami, Oli Roche and Jon Perks reluctantly added to the mud. Cantabs then put Bloxsum away on the left and his run took play to within five metres of the line. Cantabs forwards then took over and it was Dave Evershed who made the try in the corner for 41 - 0.

A back injury to the Billericay hooker forced the scrums to go uncontested, but with Cantabs backs throwing the ball about there was no real problem for the men in blue and mud. Another fantastic clearance from David Reed moved the ball from his own 22 to a metre outside the opponents' 22. We snaffled the throw and this time winger David Bloxsum made no mistake with a try in the left hand corner. David's kick into the wind made the extras, to bring the tally up to 48 - 0, half way through the second period.

Next score deservedly went to Jonny Regan, following some excellent driving from Shed, Jonny and Perks and a Sami run. His score to the right of the posts was beautifully converted against the wind by David, to make the score 55 - 0.

Perks, having been initially slightly reluctant to give his wife even more mud for her Hotpoint was now revelling in the mire. He shot through five tacklers as if they were not there, making 35m. Then with the 22 beckoning he ran out of steam. But the damage was done and with Sami also looking powerful, the Billericay defence must have wondered what they had done to deserve subs with such running power. The ball was recycled away to the right, and spilled. Harri Beasley was first to react. He spun on the ball and then shot forward over the try line for the score. Great conversion from David followed, making the score 62 - 0.

The referee had seen enough at this point and called time on the match. Yet another score line which improves our points difference to 200 better than that of West Norfolk in third position.

Cantabs to their credit tried to play flowing rugby in dreadful conditions. Regan and Morrison demonstrated our strength in depth at centres. Seb had a great game at No 8, winning a lot of lineouts as well. Jon Lineham, Charlie Isaia and latterly Perksy showed how mobile they could be with ball in hand and when the scrums were contested the power from our front five was awesome. However, Billericay to their credit competed well throughout and fought well to keep Cantabs at bay.

Next match, away to bogey side Upminster, will be more difficult than this one, but if the team play like this, it will be the Us that have more to fear.


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