Cambridge U16s come of age in exciting cup draw
Coaches hold back their sideline advice as U16s take control
On a sharp, sunny morning Cambridge travelled to Hinchingbrooke School for this eagerly anticipated cup clash. This was an opportunity for the visitors to control their own destiny without the coach’s inputs from the touch line and they certainly rose to the occasion. In a closely contested game the difference between the teams in the first half rested on a knife edge with both sides giving away enough high-tackle penalties to fill a season.
In the first 15 minutes Huntingdon created the momentum as Cambridge's sluggish defensive line allowed the hosts ample opportunity to take the ball into the contact at pace. With the visitor's defence pinned against their own try line it was only a question of time before the hosts would break through to put the first points on the score board and at 10 minutes they took a 7:0 lead.
As the game progressed Cambridge began to take back control and territory and although the Huntingdon defence remained solid it was eventually breached by a display of individual flair by Alfie, wrong footing three defenders on his way from the halfway to the try line. Cambridge’s second try came from a mistake at their own 22 metre line out. Although wildly overthrown it was scooped up in the loose by George who bisected the defence to put the ball between the posts. This presented Richie with a straightforward conversion to make the half time score 7:12.
From the second half whistle Huntingdon camped in the visitors half and with the Cambridge scrum being penalised several times it looked like the narrow lead would be difficult for Cambridge to maintain. Despite the Huntingdon forward’s excellent rucking at the breakdown Cambridge’s defensive line held. It was during one of George's many excellent turnovers that the ball came loose on the visitor's 10 metre line and Kayde showed the presence of mind to scoop the ball up and run the length of the pitch to touch down for his first try, converted by Richie. 7:19.
This seemed to galvanise the hosts and they raised the physicality of their game, but it was a careless spear tackle that left them with only 14 men to fight back. Kayde failed to score his second try by not grounding the ball cleanly and shortly afterwards Huntingdon caught Cambridge napping with a near perfect rolling ruck from the visitor's 22, grounded in the corner. 12:19.
Kayde secured the victory for Cambridge by snapping up a mistake at the breakdown to score his second try and gave Richie the opportunity to achieve a hat trick from his safe boot, securing the final score of 12:26.
The crowd were treated to an excellent game that was never really going to be decided until the final whistle. Thanks to Huntingdon for a great competitive match and good luck with the rest of the season.