Cantabs 2XV hosted Cambridge at Sedley Taylor Road on Saturday off the back of a good result last weekend. A solid front row of Tozer, Nugget and Shane looking to provide some ballast up front and Chris and Euan in the centres to tear open the holes.
On a perfect day for rugby Cantabs kicked off, with a good kick from Rob Thomas hanging in the wind. Cantabs were up and putting pressure on. After a few minutes it was clear that Cantabs were up for the game, with Cambridge facing down a solid line of Blue and White, with big hits coming in from Harry, Euan and Nathan and disrupting Cambridges quick ball.
The Cantabs scrum started well and built into the game, with Shane and Tozer enjoying the battle with their opposite numbers and some good carrying from Dave Oneill saw Cantabs make their way up the field and into the Cambridge half. With Gary marshalling the troops the ball moved across the pitch before a well executed two on one by Alex saw Harry slide over in the corner. No conversion from out wide but Cantabs were on the board 5-0.
Shayne took a break, with Chris coming in to the Second row and Tim moving in to the front.
More dogged defence from Cantabs prevented Cambridge from making the most of their opportunities although their young half backs were having a good crack at playing themselves into space. Off turnover ball Cantabs put the ball through the hands with Chris and Euan combining nicely to put Pete Green free on the left, 5 metres out he elected to step inside and just managed to muscle his way over the line. Again the conversion faded giving Cantabs a 10 point lead.
Then disaster for Cantabs as the lineout, which had been functioning well so far missed it man and the ball was snaffled by the Cambridge back row who, after some neat interplay slid over on the left. Not a day for the kickers as this one also failed to make the posts but it was back to a 5 point game at 10-5.
Nugget was suffering with a calf strain and came off at half time, with Shane returning to the field.
Cambridge were looking to exert themselves on the game, running straight but coming up aganst a solid wall of tacklers. A good nudge from their fly half took the ball up to Cantabs 5 metre line and persistant pressure saw Nathan penalised and sent to the bin. With the Cantabs pack now down to 7 Cambridge continued to press and were able to gain the upper hand in the scrum. Despite some brave defence they were able to puncture the line and with the added conversion Cantabs were behind for the first time in the game. 10-12
Pete had taken a knock and came off with Gideon coming on at wing. Cambrdige continued to press during the 10 minute spell and their scrum half made it in the corner for Cambridges third try. The conversion went wide but Cantabs were down 10-17.
With Nathan restored to the game Cantabs lifted there game, Fin, Rob and Euan were marshalling the back line well and Dave, Tozer and Harry were carrying hard, making great yards. With a penalty awarded 10 meters out Chirs took the ball out but was dragged down short. The ball was recycled before Gideon got his hands on it and managed to stretch to get the ball down close to the posts, Rob added the extras and we were all level at 17-17.
Cambridge were awarded a penalty in front of the sticks and elected to kick to take the score to 17-20 but Cantabs continued to press and were now making big inroads into the Cambridge half, just letting a few chances slip out of grasp. Finally the break came as Alex hit the line at pace and stepped his man to score, again the extras added and Cantabs had the lead again 24-20.
Cantabs continued to press but were not able to add to the scoring with Nathan losing the ball forward as he looked to offload. Cambridge had a scrum with the last play of the game to try and salvage the win but again the Blue and White defence was up to the challenge and the spilt ball was pounced on before Tozer booted the ball out to end the game.
A very enjoyable and entertaining game, with both teams stringing together some good phases. Dave and Nathan had good games carrying and the workrate in defence across the whole team was awesome. A week off next week to rest up and get ready for our next game on the 17th, I hope to see you all there!
MOTM: Laurence Jones
DOTD: Nathan Davenport