Cantabs 2s traveled to Mildenhall this week looking to cement their position in second in the league. Drew and Puds continued in the centres as Josh filled the fly half shirt, with Guns in at 9. In the pack, Tim and Pete come in to occupy the Hooker and Blindside shirts, with Skipper Laurence shifting into the second row alongside Jonny.
Cantabs started the first half with the breeze behind them and, with ball in hand were able to make progress up field. Mildenhall were penalised in quick succession and the short pitch meant that Cantabs were soon pressuring the Mildenhall line. An attempted drive from the lineout was taken down illegally in the eyes of the ref an Guns took the quick tap, with Laurence taking the ball short, stepping inside the cover defence and dotting down under the posts to open Cantabs account. Josh converted to take the score to 7-0 with just over 5 minutes on the clock.
With Cantabs making good progress in the wide channels and breaking through the tackles, from the restart the ball was transferred back to Darren who made good progress up the right with the ball recycled and Finlay carrying on. The ball was again shipped through the hands on the blindside for Joe to dot the ball down. The kick went wide leaving the score at 12-0.
Cantabs were now playing with their heads up and making good progress with ball in hand, quickly notching up tries 3, 4 and 5 for Pete, Fin and Puds. With such a rate of progress with ball in hand, Cs began to get lazy at the breakdown, allowing Mildenhall to disrupt and pressurise Guns at the base but this was soon tightened up and some simple pod work in the midfield, with Tozer carrying well earnt use the right to use the ball wide. Joe soon got his second when the restart was knocked back by Tozer, gathered and taken to the line and shipped right through Darren. A delicate nudge through from Joe found space in the back field and after a little dribble on the ball was re-gathered and dotted down.
Half time found Cantabs 55-0 up and turning around into a wind which made kicking and lineouts a challenge. Ben came on for Jonny in the row, Joe made way for Wy and Drew was replaced by Fergus, with Jonny shifting into the centres.
Mildenhall were more fired up in defence and made progress through the centres limited. However when the ball was shipped out Alex and the Wilson brothers were making great progress in the wide channels but the passing which had been excellent in the first half was becoming more wayward. A string of scrums disrupted Cantabs flow and slowed the game down and despite a number of good drives from the pack we could not assert the same dominance we had done in the first. When the ball did go to hand Guns and Josh where distributing and interchanging well, with Alex hitting the line late and asking questions of the Mildenhall defenders.
With 20mins to go Joe returned for Pete, Darren took a break for Jonny to come back on and Drew appeared in the centres again.
Cantabs were squaring up to the Mildenhall runners, with Wy chopping low and Drew wrapping up defenders and allowing turnovers on numerous occasions but the Cantabs line began to creep offside and allowed Mildenhall to progress up the short pitch, a penalty from 10m was tapped and carried on, held short initially but a series of forwards runners saw them sneak through for a consolation score.
Another period of Mildenhall pressure saw them awarded a lineout on the Cantabs 5m, swift thinking and reactions from Cantabs allowed the ball to be disrupted and turned over preventing the Red and Black rolling maul, which had been very effective throughout the game from getting the home team on the scoreboard again.
A knock to a Mildenhall player and a lack of subs saw Pete join the opposition for the final 10mins, thank you to him for a great show of sportsmanship and try of the game was scored a few minutes later when Alex, Jonny and Fin combined down the right, culminating in Finlay diving in one handed for the corner.
Despite some concerted effort in the final 5mins there were to be no further scores, despite a 10m scrum which moved straight over the Mildenhall second row and in keeping with a sloppy second half, the ball was spilt forwards by Tozer for the final whistle.
Cantabs claimed a resounding victory (88-5) but there was plenty to work on in our defensive organisation and structure but some good individual performances. Elsewhere the 3s claimed a home victory over Shelford 5s in front of a bumper crowd due to the last minute cancellation of the 1s fixture against Campion. With all 3 teams playing well at the moment, hopefully this current good form can continue through to the end of the season and give us something to celebrate.
MOTM was awarded to Puds for continued strong running throughout the game, claiming a hatrick and setting up a number more.
DOTD went to Tozer, on an otherwise good day at the office his handling at the end let him down and the sight of another miss pass dribbling forwards and into touch earns him this weeks award
Cantabs: 88 (55)
Tries (14): Jones, Allison (3), Finlay Wilson (4), Collins (2), Pudney (3), Fergus Wilson
Conversions (8): Schmidt (8)
Mildenhall Red Lodge: 5 (0)