With an early kick off because the World Cup semi, both teams rolled up keen and ready to go in wet conditions which would play its part in the game! Lovett skippered the team in the absence of Laurence who was away.Jonny Heaver had to step up to fill the void in the front row after Sam Howes had been called to bench for the 1s!
Cantabs kicked off and Cambridge threw their big runners at Cantabs but they were repelled by some strong tackling from Dan, Jonny, Dave and Josh. Eventually they made an error and knocked on and this was the order of the day, which the front row will readily confirm!
The first try came after some great kicking from Lovett and chasing from Dom and Matt who forced an error from the Cambridge winger. This led to a Cantabs scrum 5 metres out, and with Cantabs being on top in the scrum throughout the game, they drove over the line with a touch down from Dave. Lovett pushed the kick wide. But at 5-0 Cantabs started to dominate around the park with some great breaks from Dan, Pudds and Dom but the last pass or lack of support meant that Cambridge kept Cantabs at bay.
Half way through the first half Cantabs got a penalty after some great pressure at the ruck from Dan, Ben and Jonny. Lovett put a great kick to the corner. The lineout was taken by Dan and the forwards started to move forward with Brad controlling the ball at the back under the guidance of Josh. Brad scored with ease. For some reason Lovett went back to his football days and kicked a shocker that got about a foot off the floor; 10-0!
Cantabs were easily on top now but decided to let Cambridge backs into the game with some poor tackling and aided by some interesting decisions from the ref, such as not allowing Cantabs to contest any rucks. A penalty pushed Cambridge forward into Cantabs 22. After this, Cambridge's big runners attacked the try line with some great line defence from our forwards and out wide from Matt and Fin. Eventually the pressure told and their winger scored out wide, the conversion was missed; 10-5!
Just as the half was about to end Josh took a quick tap penalty and fed Craig who had been coming looking for work from his wing all through the first half. He created the extra man and with some great hands between Fin and Dom and support from Matt, Dan and Dave led to the latter crashing over for his second and a great team try, Josh added the extra after Lovett had passed the tee! 17-5 at the Half.
Second half started with Cantabs now looking for the fourth try and the bonus point and were instantly on the Cambridge line but as Ben reached to score, the ball was knocked out and the ref gave a knock on! Ed came on for Nat in the second row and Jake making his Cantabs debut came on for Charlie in the back row. The rest of the half was played between the 22s but with the rain now affecting the game, knock ons became far too common with scrum after scrum and neither team creating any clear cut chances as every phase ended with an error.
Their 12 brought the game to life with 10 minutes to go ,with some strong running but the tackling was up to the task and all that resulted was a shot at goal, which was kicked; 17-8. Nat came back on for Tom in the second row. Cantabs never really touched the ball again but there was no sign of any cracks in our defence to give any chance for Cambridge to score and the game ended after some great drives giving Cantabs a penalty following a lineout. Josh kicked the ball dead to end the game. Final score 17-8!. This was a great win with some dogged defence from everyone in the second half. Errors rather spoiled the game resulting in a lot of scrums that I bet the forwards will be feeling on Sunday.