Cantabs took on the 2nd biggest game in 2 weeks with a trip to West Norfolk on the back of losing a number of key players to injury in the previous game. However with the strength in depth there was an opportunity for players to stamp their mark on the team. The match started, as one would expect, at a high tempo with some hard rucking going in from both sides and a partisan crowd cheering on the home side. However 1st blood was drawn by Cantabs with Chris Lovett slotting a penalty to make it 3-0. West replied with a penalty before some excellent open play allowed hooker Cyril Journoux to score a well deserved try, converted by Lovett to make it 10-3.
The final 10 minutes of the 1st half however were where ultimately Cantabs would find their undoing. A “committed” challenge from Jonny Heaver (although I am sure West would change committed to late!) led to a sin bin in which West scored 2 un answered tries. Both tries where the effect of a lapse in concentration and some missed first up tackles, making the score 18-10 at half time.
The second half was much as the first, both teams playing a very physical game but with Cantabs all to often kicking possession back to a very talented West back line. Eventually the West back line found a way through scoring an unconverted try to make the score 23-10.
It is however to Cantabs credit that they did not let the game slip to far away and when eventually kept the ball in hand and played to their strengths they scored a try deep into the second half with Euan Willder crossing the line, again Chris Lovett converting to make the score 23-18 and giving Cantabs a losing bonus point.
The late rally was however too little too late, Cantabs probably would have loved another 10 minutes but it was not to be. A lot to learn from the game, most notable that the belief to win these games should be there. West were outstanding but Cantabs should feel that if they had played a little more to their structure a win could have been obtained and eagerly await the return fixture!