Cantabs were away for the third game out of four with their first visit to Ipswich YM since the 2011/12 season. It was as you were in the forwards and half-backs, but the pack was shuffled again in the backs, with Drew Tilley and Kieran Dolaghan teaming up at Centre. It was a great day for open rugby, no wind and the sun still trying to add some Autumn warmth to the proceedings.
Cantabs kicked off up the slope and with YM spilling the drop out, Cantabs scrummed on the edge of the opposition 22. The ball was lofted out to the left wing with a kick from James Hayward. The YM defender and ball were bundled into touch at the corner flag. YM were adjudged to have deliberately knocked as the ball was spun wide from the lineout and Danny opted for a scrum ten metres out from the line. He controlled the ball at the base of the scrum as it moved towards the line and with the scrum at the line, Ollie Townsend dived onto the ball to take the honours. Finlay Laing added the extra points; 0 - 7 with just five minutes on the clock.
Cantabs lead was short lived; Cantabs missed a couple of tackles as YM ran the ball into our half, and suddenly the YM right winger was clear, outpaced our defence and scored to the right of the posts; 5 - 7 and game on. YM nearly got through soon after, with a good kick over our defence, but Hayward was the fastest to react to the danger and punted the bouncing ball into touch on our 22.
Cantabs cleared the danger and it was Hayward who made the next break, evading two tackles he raced towards the right wing, and with the YM fullback about to tackle, slipped the ball out to a supporting Ollie Townsend on his right who ran around the defence to score at the posts. Again Finlay made no mistake; 5 - 14.
YM were the next to score; Cantabs were caught handling in the ruck, and the penalty was slotted home; 8 - 14 after eighteen minutes. But then Cantabs started to go clear. Ollie charged down a YM clearing kick following a scrum on their 10m line, the ball broke well for Cantabs, Hayward spun out a long pass to the right and Luke Farrow outpaced the defence to score out wide. Too much for Finlay this time, but Cantabs had moved to 8 - 19.
The fourth and bonus point try followed soon after, Dean stole the ball at a ruck on halfway. Hayward again set Farrow away on the right and he timed his pass back inside to perfection to find Ollie Townsend up in support. Finlay added the extra two points to make the score 8 - 26. Then Cantabs were reduced to fourteen when Kieran was adjudged to have deliberately knocked on with a failed attempt at an interception on his own 22. The resulting penalty gave YM a chance of a catch and drive on 5m. The maul was finally stopped on the try line with some desperate defence and with the ball held up over the try line, YM gained a scrum on 5m, but Cantabs were a match for them and cleared the danger. Yet another penalty gave YM a chance in the opposite corner as Cantabs were pegged back, but this time Ed Foster took their lineout and Cantabs worked the ball away with some deft handling.
Half time followed with no further score. No changes at half time from Glen, and Cantabs were soon on the attack again. Kieran was restored to the game, and Cantabs to a full complement. Not for the first time, Cantabs broke clear and were brought back after the crucial pass was adjudged to be forward. Cantabs changes then followed: Ford on for Jonny Heaver at 2nd row, Charlie Norrish replaced Dean at openside and Francois Eve replaced Finlay. Ben Newman then got clear on the left only to be brought back for yet another forward pass. However, with Cantabs scrum on top, it was no real penalty just a brief break in the Cantabs dominance.
The next try started with a scrum on the left, Hayward spun out another of his trademark long passes to the right wing and Francois Eve skipped inside two tackles to touch down at the posts. Hayward took the conversion this time - and proved that he too could kick; 8 - 33 and Cantabs clear. Cantabs spurned yet another try, Danny knocking on with the try line beckoning, but at this point YM had been pinned back in their own half continually for a good quarter of an hour.
Glen made what he thought were his last changes with quarter of an hour left: Deano returned to replace Tim Kirkconel, Finlay was restored at full-back, Ben Newman giving way, and Jonny resumed instead of Ed Foster. Yet another long pass from Hayward to the left found Francois. He outpaced the defence only to be brought down at the line. Perksy secured the ball at the ruck, and with all the substantial weight of Jonny Heaver at his rear, our tight head was unstoppable for Cantabs sixth try. Finlay marked his return with an immaculate kick from the left hand touchline; 8 - 40.
YM got a consolation late try when their big blindside forward broke through two tackles to set up a score under the posts; 15 - 40. To add insult to injury, Deano was adjudged to have tackled illegally in the build up to the try and was yellow carded. Cantabs played out the last few minutes without further mishap. Ben Newman replaced Luke Farrow, and Tim replaced Isaia close to the end of the match. Final score 15 - 40 and Cantabs moved to 2nd in the division. Another performance of flowing rugby from Cantabs, who are highest points scorers in the league, and with Finn Morrison and Adam Fastnedge due to return from Japan, the squad is looking particularly strong this season.
Next game is at Sedley Taylor Road, when Cantabs also have their first pre-match luncheon. Daren will be in touch with joining instructions.
1 Isaia Barbieri, 2 Tom Bailey, 3 Jon Perks, 4 Jonny Heaver, 5 Ed Foster,
6 Tim Kirkconel, 7 Dean James, 8 Danny Richards (capt), 9 Ollie Townsend, 10 James Hayward,
11 Ben Newman, 12 Andrew Tilley, 13 Kieran Dolaghan, 14 Luke Farrow, 15 Finlay Laing,
16 Richard Ford, 17 Charlie Norrish, 18 Francois Eve.
Coaches: Glen Remnant and Will Riggs