In a very poor advert for rugby, Bishop's Stortford made the most use of their extensive possession and ran out comfortable winners on Saturday. Cambridge got no momentum going at any stage, not helped by 3 yellow cards. Two of these were to new prop Kyle Dufty, which resulted in a red. The penalty count against CRUFC seemed excessive but they did not adapt to how the officials wanted to run this game. After Matt Goode’s controversial YC, Cambridge went 5-0 down but an interception from Ollie Marriott saw him run in from half way and Gerhard Boshoff added the conversion for a 5-7 lead. But during the next period of 14 CRUFC men, BS began to string some phases together and went into HT with a 15-7 lead.
Cambridge spent the second half mainly chasing blue and white shadows but even the host’s rugby was scrappy and error strewn, the only class being shown, as usual, by Sam Winter. Cambridge simply never gave their talented backs the ball and often kicked away vital possession very poorly. At least two Stortford tries were direct results of poor kicks. Marten Wolfenden kept Cambridge in touch with a try soon after HT but it was not until the last play of the game that Albert Portsmouth could show his class with a final individual try. A game best forgotten.
In a match that ebbed and flowed, a drained Cambridge side nearly snatched this game at the death from a canny and well-organised Taunton outfit. Although Taunton took an early lead with a score from a driving maul, the home side looked bright and dynamic as first Huw Morgan then an unstoppable Joe Collingham scored tries which James Stokes at full back securely converted to add to an earlier penalty. A crucial score from Taunton was the last act of the first half to spoil what was otherwise a very promising half of rugby for the hosts. HT 17-12.
This was a physical game with some excellent defence from both sides. It seemed to be taking its toll on the smaller and less experienced Cambridge forwards and Taunton had 70% of the ball in the second half as they slowly inched ahead with a penalty and another converted try. With 10 mins to go Cambridge got a second wind and pressed for a score to regain the lead but a dropped ball out wide gave the Taunton 14 a sixty metre breakaway try that looked as though it had sealed it for the visitors. 17-29. Cambridge did not accept defeat but rallied back to put Albert Portsmouth in for 24-29 and in the rugby equivalent of injury time, Cambridge kept the ball alive for 4-5 minutes and had chances to steal it, but it was not to be. Final Score 24-29. A losing bonus point and a lot of positives to start the season including an outstanding Malco Freight Man-of-the-Match, Joe Collingham. Welcome home Joe!
Rowland and Craig have been working hard in the pre-season to build an exciting squad of 1st XV and Development Players. As the first test approaches this weekend away against Darlington Mowden Park please see the update squad page to help you recognise some of the new faces.
Details of the Ins and Outs are provided here. In summary:
In addition Ian Whitby (new Development team manager) and Scott Murphy (Development team coach) have put together a full fixture list of 24 matches for the development squad (see here). With this in addition to the 33 1st XV fixtures, 19 Wanderers fixtures, and 22 Exiles fixtures), it promises to be a feast of Senior rugby at Volac Park.
The strong link between Cambridge Rugby Club and the Aviva Premiership Champions Northampton Saints has continued to develop with new player / coach Matt Goode making a guest appearance for Saints in The Premiership Rugby 7s Finals at the Stoop this evening.
Goode, 31, who celebrated the birth of his 2nd child earlier this week, works for the Saints Community team managing the HITZ programme in partnership with Premiership Rugby. Cambridge supporters can watch Matt live on BT Sport this evening, and then in person at Volac Park for the 1st home pre-season fixture, v Old Albanians on the 23rd August.
The Saints will also be coming to Volac Park, as the Academy U18 side have chosen the clubs great facilities as a summer training base for a number of their sessions. The Saints Community team will also be running a 3-day Camp at the club from 19-21 August, looking for future Saints stars (aged 6-16) in a few weeks time, details are on the Saints website.
The Premiership Champions will also base the Cambridgeshire 'Developing Player Programme' (DPP) at Volac Park for U13, U14 and U15 age groups throughout the 2014/15 season. The DPP is the sub county development programme for players who feed up to the Saints Elite Player Development Group (EPDG) age groups, of which many Blood & Sand youth players are in both set ups!
|1st XV Fixtures||Match Day Lunches|
|Sat 20 Sep 15:00||H||Redruth|
|Sat 27 Sep 15:00||A||Shelford|
|Sat 04 Oct 15:00||H||Dings Crusaders|
|Sat 20 Sep 13:00||H||Coventry 2|
|Wed 08 Oct 19:15||A||Cambridge University|
|Sat 20 Sep 15:00||H||Shelford 3|
|Sat 20 Sep 15:00||A||Saffron Walden 2|
|Rugby News||Results||League Table|
|Club News||Mini & Youth News||Academy News|