Cantabs 2's made the short trip over to Sawston this weekend for the second of our league meetings this year. The last time we met 2 ambulances were called out to Sedley Taylor road, so we were hoping to avoid the same fate and enjoy 80 minutes of competitive rugby.
Denman elected to start the game uphill, and right off the kick off it became evident that this wasn’t going to be an easy game for either side. The first 5 minutes of the game brought sustained pressure from the hosts, sending their runners straight at us and fronting up in the scrum - an area of the game we were hoping to dominate after last week's excellent performance at Exiles. Our defence held strong however and Sawston took a drop goal attempt which they sent over - 5 minutes gone and Sawston lead 3-0.
After that awakening, Cantabs started to get clean ball out to the backs and made forays into the Sawston half courtesy of Ferg and Guns in the centres and Alan on the wing. Unfortunately, after only 11 minutes, an awkward tackle on Alan put him to the ground in agony and the ambulance was called (a clean break we all assumed...*)
The game took a break for 45 minutes while Alan was taken away - due to the break the referee decided the first half would have another 20 minutes, and the second half would be reduced to 30 minutes. With Alan departing, Beast came into the back row and Tozer moved to Inside Centre - pushing guns out to 13 and Ferg onto the wing.
The game got underway again, and we made a few probing runs through Sawstons backline, but ill-discipline at the breakdown and a lack of dominance at the scrum meant that we couldn't turn our progress into points, with the first half ending 3-0.
After the restart Sawston took the most of the opportunities that were handed to them, putting together several well drilled driving mauls that we couldn’t respond to. They camped on our 5 metre line for some time before the ball was shipped under the posts and their big forwards crashed through - the conversion was a formality and we were 10-0 down.
At this stage we started utilising our crash ball more, and Beast, Nat, Goodey and Waliker were all proving strong runners with ball in hand. Sawston fronted up in defence though, and turned over ball on multiple occasions. The hosts crashed through the centres and made a run to the Cantabs 22, where strong defence from Josh coming up from Full back put their winger into touch. The lineout was turned over and Sawston went over out wide, 15-0.
The shortened second half did nothing to help us, and it was only in the last 10 minutes that we really started to get into our stride. Both Shane and Josh came within touching distance of a try under the posts, but we couldn't get through. Eventually Mikey crossed the line from a short tap penalty from Tom, but Lovett was denied the extras. 15-5.
Full time blew, and the end came to a short and immensely frustrating game - onwards and upwards to our next fixture (Cottenham Renegades - league/cup double header at home)
MOTM - went to Luke Munby for his great runs, solid tackling and leaving everything on the park.
DOTD - went to Denman for forgetting the cones and balls...
* it was a sprain...