(By the Report Monkey)
With a high number of missing players though-out the club (mostly at the top end), there were only 15 available for the 3s this week (our lowest all year). And a last minute no-show saw us travel out to Wisbech with only 14. When we arrived we found that Wisbech were suffering from the opposite problem, they had more players than they could play! Thankfully they gave us one of their spares so we could start with an equal 15 (on the field). Thanks to Ollie for sticking with us for the 80 minutes, I'm sure you would have rather been on the other side of the score line!
Cantabs kicked off and it was made clear from the off this was going to be hard work. They worked well to create an overlap and used it well to open the score. They had a bigger pack and used it well to score, they worked well to make the overlap and used it well to score.... you get the idea. By the end of the first half we were 43-0 down.
Now that score is in no way a reflection of the effort put in, the tackle count was phenomenal (by both sides), and we had several good attacks that a lesser defence would have buckled to.
The second half saw the awakening of the beast within all the hearts wearing blue and white, from the kick off Adam ploughed through their ranks like a man possessed eventually being brought down just inside their 22, the ball was shipped to Pedro who unleashed El'Hulkio and smashed his way through several tackles before offloading to Craig who jinked his way home to finally put the C's on the scoreboard 43-5.
Not long after Cantabs suffered a blow as whilst on a marauding rampage Dan S took a blow to the ankle that saw him out for the rest of the game (early reports are no fracture, but a cast for his booboo as it hurt!!). Big thanks to the Wisbech medic for his help looking after Dan. Wisbech gave us a man to keep the numbers level, though a winger for a 2nd row saw John OD moving into the forwards.
Wisbech scored quickly from the restart to regain the 43 point difference. There was then 20 minutes of some of the best battle I have ever had the pleasure to have played in with both sides matching each others strong runs with stronger defence. Wisbech let their discipline slip and after the penalty count got a bit too high for Sir/Miss, two for their men saw yellow in quick succession.
I'm not really sure how the ball got to the hands of Mateus but the Brazilian whippet darted his way through the depleted Wisbech numbers to score a well deserved try under the sticks, Craig adding the extras 48-12, 6 more tries and we could be making comeback history!
Unfortunately the script was not to be written this way and despite the missing men the Wisbech wall could not be breached again, and they even had the nerve to put three more past us before the final whistle. 63-12 the final score.
As a winger playing my first full 80 in the pack, in a game with the most scrums of the season I am so glad for next weeks Easter weekend rest I can not put it into words!
I would not go so far as to say the score is not reflective of the effort put in by Cantabs, more that Wisbech I'm sure will be very proud of a high score well earned. A fuller/stronger 3s side with all players in their proper places may have made the competition a little closer, but the better side won and won well. Good luck on final day, we will be there in force to watch our 2s who secured their place in their plate final with a good win over Cambridge. It would take the edge of our loss if you could win the final by more then 51 points!!
To the Cantabs 14 who travelled the long roads to make this battle, I hope you are all as sore as me because you all earned it. There are some victories that will fade from my memory but the shift put in by every one of you will earn you an eternal place in my memory, hold your heads high in the knowledge you gave all you could give. All I could ever ask of you.
MoM With every player to a man playing some of the best rugby I have seen from the all year there is not a chance of me singling out one man (roll of honour to follow). But I would like to take this opportunity to praise this weeks Sir, in my opinion the top ref we have had this season, bossed us all with clear instruction though-out.
DoD - only one contender for this Matt "no show" Brown!!
Roll of Honour
Janos – 80 minutes of strong running & tackling, apologies from the rookie 2nd row who caused you some "discomfort".
George – Crashing runs, hard tackles and a cheeky smile, this young lad has some serious potential, a mighty Cantabs weapon in the making.
Adam- first game of the season for this powerhouse, at the core of many of our attacks, if this is him "rusty" I fear for the opposition when he is at full capacity!
Dan S – if I had to sum up the 3s spirit I would just draw a picture of this guy. His loss was a big blow, as he seemed to be in every ruck up to that point.
Tom – I don't think I have ever made as many tackles in one game in the 6/7 years I have been playing. Suffering for it now (worth it).
Jack – if it moves he tackles it, HARD.
James – if that is you playing while sick mate, I need you to show up more! Quality turned up to 11.
Wisbech Ollie – put a right shift in for us, I still owe you that beer, come to Cantabs to collect!
Ash – the move to 9 from 15 may be a permanent one if he keeps playing like this, bossing from the front and tackling like a man twice his size (so a fully grown man!)
Craig –another making an un-natural position his own, his 12th try of the season (for the 3s) was a well deserved reward for his efforts.
Mateus – I have said it before and I will say it again, this man is a legend. A great try from this one man tackling master class.
Pedro – Pedrous Sanchezimus the Spaniard unleashed his inner Gladiator for this game, I fell in love a bit!
Finn –monster runs, took some hard hits by Wisbech to stop this guy from scoring.
John OD- I have played with John for a few years now, best game I have ever seen him play, more hits than Elvis!
Dan B - if you add up all his runs I think he must have stepped their entire team about 3 times, and tackled them all about 5. Long legged mack daddy!