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Makeshift 3rd XV edge past gritty Cambourne

No game for the 2nd XV this week, after March asked for it to be rescheduled, so that left the 3rd XV at home awaiting the visit of Cambourne.

Cambourne only travelled with 14 players, so as Cantabs had 16 we leant them one. A big thanks to Marcus for being such a great help and agreeing to play for the opposition. This left Cantabs with a lot of players playing out of position: Matt Brown at 9, Mikey Goode at 10 and Alex at 13 were particularly notable, so thank you all for your efforts.

The match got off to a cagey start with neither team able to maintain possession for more than a couple of phases. A defensive 5 meter scrum for Cantabs led to a scrappy moment with 3 or 4 knock ons until eventually the Cambourne player dived over the line. The try was converted, and from nowhere Cantabs were 7-0 down.

The match continued in much the same vein, until on 37 minutes the Cambourne open side was binned for spending a little too much time chatting with sir.

The sin binning proved to be a turning point as from the resulting penalty Mikey kicked to the corner, Cantabs claimed the lineout ball and from the second phase, Nat went over for the try. It was at this point we realised we had no goal kickers, so Mikey stepped up to attempt the drop kick conversion and was only just wide.

Cantabs would go on to score again before half time. A clearing kick from Cambourne was run back well by Ash down the right flank, he offloaded, and good hands from Nat and Justin presented Shaggy with an easy run in from about 3 meters out. Again Mikey was unsuccessful with the conversion attempt, but from out wide it was a tough one.

A dominant Cantabs scrum was then penalised for wheeling, presenting Cambourne with a kickable penalty, but the kick was short. Cantabs ran the ball back from deep in their own 22, with good hands getting the ball out to Alex on the left flank. He made it up to the Cambourne 22, but was turned over after the tackle as the support didn't get there in time.

Half time, and it was 10-7 to Cantabs.

Another aimless kick from Cambourne was run back well by Tom Heaver, who offloaded to Ash. The ball went right via some good Cantabs handling to Alex. With men overlapping to his right he opted to cut back inside and it looked the chance was gone, but great support from Jani saw him pick up the ball and dive over for a try on his debut. Amazingly, Mikey managed to convert with the drop kick, and Cantabs lead more comfortably at 17-7.

A break from Cambourne led to a sustained spell of pressure on the Cantabs line. The ball got shipped out left where Nat make a great tackle to save the try, but from the resulting ruck, a rush of blood to the head saw him dive round the side to hit the legs of a Cambourne player. Understandably sir was not impressed and asked Nat to take 10 minutes. Cambourne then tried to take a tap penalty, and amid much confusion sir called them back because it turned he had awarded a penalty try. The converson from right in front was a formality, so Cambourne were right back in it at 17-14 down.

After Nat returned to the pitch it wasn't long before Cantabs were back down to 14. Mikey Goode became the second player to take exception at some of sir's decisions, and he would spend 10 of the last 14 minutes in the sin bin.

The game really started to break down by this point and became very fractious, but no clear scoring chances for either team meant Cantabs edged home with a hard fought 17-14 victory.

Great performances all round, especially debutants Jani, Alex and Chris Gregan. Dicks of the day were Nat and Mikey for their time in the sin bin.

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