The Blues left it too late in the annual Town vs Gown match. See photos and video highlights of the game.
Cambridge University 21- Cambridge RFC 34
On Wednesday the Blues slipped backwards against a strong Cambridge Town side, losing 21- 34.
The match was a disappointment for the Blues as they now have only two games left to get it right before they face Oxford at Twickenham.
The game was played in the open style that the Blues have enjoyed throughout most of the season. This time however, it was the town side that held most of the possession and played with the most consistency.
Photos by Tim Sherrington.
The home side started brightly, earning themselves a lineout in the opposition 22 right after the kick off. The subsequent pressure earned them a penalty, making the score 3-0 within three minutes.
However, as the men in Red began to warm up they impressed the crowd with their remarkable ball retention.
From this platform they were able to break, using their big centres James Knight and Phil Ellis to barge the Blues through the middle.
It was not long therefore before the University’s defence broke and full back Will Martin finished off a neat move to tip the score in the Town’s favour.
However, the metronomic boot of captain Jimmy Richards soon put the Blues back into the lead as he slotted over two penalties.
CRUFC then burst back, their centres again taking crash balls off the scrum, drawing in the Blue’s defence.
Video highlights of the game, courtesy of CU-TV.
This enabled hooker Ben Hunter to roll over for a simple try on the overlap to give the Reds the lead for the second time.
The final five minutes of the first half was a frantic affair, with both teams scoring tries from open play.
The Blues’ backline gelled for the first time in the match, with impressive results: some quick passes and dummy running from the centres put Sandy Reid in space and he duly scored the try.
Off the restart however, the Blues again allowed Cambridge to hit straight back at them.
An unconventional kick off was simply gobbled up by Tom Wheatcroft who settled the ball under the posts for an easy try to leave the score at half time 14- 17 in the Town’s advantage.
At the beginning of the second half the away side took the game by the scruff of the neck.
Blues centre Fred Burdon takes a hit.
Dominating the lineouts, they scored two tries in quick succession, driving the ball over the the Blue’s line.
With the forwards beginning to dictate the pace of the game, the Town backline were given some space with sensational results.
The Red’s winger Kris Cottenham beautifully intercepted a sloppy pass on the half way, before leaving two defenders in his wake to score a great try.
The Blues did show, on occasion, what they are capable of too. On the 75th minute Sandy Reid made a break from his own half, before getting the ball to captain Richards who superbly drew the last man to put Paul Louden in over the Town’s line.
After the game, scrum-half Sam Hunt told The Tab that ‘They were a very strong side, and their centre’s legs were enormous, they were like tree trunks! If I want tree trunk legs, I am going to have to get munching my protein!’
With only two games between now and the Varsity match, the Blues missed an opportunity to really bring their season together and show what they are capable of.
With the Oxford boys coming down to watch the Blue’s game on Wednesday afternoon, Jimmy Richards and his men will be hoping to put in a better performance.
The Gown vs Town match was dedicated to Rifleman Andrew Fentiman, 7th Battalion, The Rifle and a member of Cambridge Town RUFC. He was tragically killed in Afghanistan in November 2009.
The next Blue’s game is against the Steele- Bodgers, on Wednesday 24th November at 3pm. The game will be preceded by Oxford Captain Nick Haydon and his squad delivering the traditional challenge to Cambridge Captain Jimmy Richards for the Varsity Match at Twickenham on the 9th December.