The first hit out for the league and the twos were on the college pitch. The warm weather had gone and it was perfect conditions for rugby. Injuries across the club (particularly in the front row) have really tested the clubs depth, however a strong side was ready to play with Josh leading the side for the first time.
Cantabs started strong running with the strong breeze. The defense from the outset was solid with both sides not taking a backwards step. The Cambridge side had a big set of forwards, which was giving us a real challenge at the set pieces. The ref showed the Cambridge 10 a yellow card for tripping, giving Cantabs the first opportunity. A quick tap and shift to the left saw Finn Wilson push his way across the line for the first points of the game, converted by Josh for a 7-0 lead. At this point we seemed in control however injuries to Chris Walliker and Tim Fitzmaurice gave Cambridge a chance to bounce back. Their center beat about 5 defenders to score against the run of play to take it to 7-5. The wind continued to help us get out of trouble and off the back of a few penalties, it was Guy who spotted a chance on the blind side. He strolled over far too easily and the lead went to 12-5. Cambridges forwards were starting to apply the pressure and eventually crashed over off a rolling maul to make it 12-10 on the stroke of half time.
The second half was a bit of a grind. Against a strong head wind Cantabs were finding it difficult to get out of our own end. The Cambridge side must have spent 75% of the half attacking our line but we held strong and stopped any tries from being scored. We started to wise up at the line out and shut down the rolling maul and the scrum recovered from the earlier injuries with Tom and James (who made his cantabs debut) steadying the ship. Every time we got down their end, they used the wind effectively to keep turning us around. They ended up taking 3 penalties from close range as they knew the Cantabs defense would not be broken. The final score was 12-19, with a lot of sore bodies on both sides.
MOTM went to Guy who enjoyed a successful return match for Cantabs. DOTD went to Craig for a sloppy throat tackle in the second half. He later properly earned the title when he required to be carried around all night by Chris Kelly and Wyoming. His ankle injury along with Chriss shoulder will further test the clubs depth when we travel to Saffron Walden this weekend.
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