Cambridge lose again
Cambridge dominate for the majority, but still lose their third game in a row.
Another afternoon of missed opportunities for Cambridge, as they succumbed to Birmingham Moseley by 15-22.
For the second week running, Cambridge have put in a largely dominant performance in terms of territory and possession, but once again emerge from the game in defeat.
Last time out, Hull Ionians on their own patch, were victorious by 27-21, even though Cambridge had put in a performance that should have seen them over the winning line.
Saturday’s game against Moseley should’ve been almost out of sight for the visitors by half-time, but Cambridge struggled to cross the whitewash and couldn’t seem to break down an experienced and resolute away defence. Indeed, the opening try was rather gifted to them in the end. From a lineout on their own five, the throw was long, and Louis Rawlings gratefully received an early Christmas present and jumped over the try line.
The extent of the control that the hosts had during the first period, could be demonstrated by the fact that Moseley only entered Cambridge’s half on one occasion. They managed to put a penalty through the posts before they exited again, but Moseley would have been much the happier of the two sides at halftime, because the score only read 10-3.
The second half started terribly for the home side, as straight from Jack Green’s kick-off, the receiver ran the ball back through a sea of red shirts who watched on as the scores were levelled. After so much control over the game, the score was now 10-10.
This gave the encouragement to Moseley that they could get themselves into the game and win it, and they did. The second half was a much more even affair than the first in terms of opportunities to score. Cambridge still entered the visiting 22 on numerous occasions but once again couldn’t make the pressure tell until it was too late, with a score from replacement Cameron Ruddock in the eightieth minute. Handling errors and avoidable penalties provided Moseley with easy escape routes when the pressure was at its most intense.
Birmingham on the other hand, had by this point crossed the line twice more to give them what turned out to be an unassailable 10-22 advantage.
The Blood and Sand will be glad for the forthcoming Saturday off, as they can recollect their thoughts and relish the return of some missing faces that have been side-lined through injury of late.
Following the match, a dejected Ross Stewart said; “We’re disappointed. This is what it’s about though. This is the challenge ahead for the player’s and the coach’s. If it was easy, we’d all be doing it, but it’s not, it’s hard and it hurts. However, it’s exactly what you sign up for and hopefully it will turn around to the point where it does work for us.”
“We talked about two words during the week. The two P’s; patience and pressure, we applied all the pressure on them, but we lacked that bit of patience, and they didn’t. Patience and pressure builds towards penalties, yardage, field position and ultimately victory. But, credit where it’s due, they defended well, but we went in at halftime and said; “guys, this is brilliant, now imagine if we get out of second gear.” But, tides change quickly in this game, and they did. We were still well in the game during the second half, but we lacked some intent and energy and ultimately I think that’s what cost us.”
“We’re looking forward to the week off and then coming back stronger. The drive and desire are still there, execution is just letting us down a little at the moment. The players recognise that they need to take ownership and responsibility, but we’re all in the same boat, we all want the same thing, the club and the supporters want it too. We still want to be top six, and still believe we can be. The difference between the top six and us is that they’re winning these games whether they play well or not. We have to learn, because ultimately, we’re not as good as we want to be. We’ve still got complete faith and trust in the boys to step it up and to come back stronger after the break.”
Let’s hope that a halt can be put on the recurring nightmare in a fortnight’s time away against Old Albanians, and that a performance worthy of victory actually achieves one.
Everyone at the club would also like to thank both sets of supporters for observing the minute’s silence impeccably as always. Lest we forget.