Peterborough 15 vs Cambridge 32¬†
Sunday 22nd April 2012
Cambridge U14s delivered a strong all round performance with great work from the whole squad to beat Peterborough 2 tries to 6 and take the U14 county cup in an exciting final at the Fengate ground.¬†¬†
Cambridge came to fortress Fengate as U13 county cup holders, but were well aware not to be complacent against a physically bigger Peterborough side with well honed forward play that has delivered some big wins for 'boro in the U14 season.¬† Cambridge needed to block the pick and drive play of 'boro and provide a platform for our more open style if we were to take the trophy for a second consecutive season.
Cambridge started uphill and were soon on the attack, the scrummaging was powerful from both sides and the ref took time to ensure the packs were set properly.¬† Cambridge were performing well and when a penalty was awarded for a high tackle 20 metres out fancied their chances from a scrum. Right off the training pitch, Tom picked up at 8, drew the first man, popped to Hugh, who then drew the winger before a perfectly timed pass put Jackson in the corner for the opening try, not converted. 0:5 after five minutes and the omens were good.¬†
The 'boro forwards were on the case at the restart and forced a penalty that was well taken 3:5.¬† Will Cross came on for Elliot who picked up a blood injury.¬† Cambridge rucking was a step up from most of our performances this season and Hugh was delivering some great passes out to the back line. From a breakdown on the 22 a sequence of 2 missed passes released Jackson for his second try, not converted, 3:10.¬†
Cambridge were then immediately on the defensive and now struggling to deal with 'boro forwards, several of whom showed great body position and were difficult to bring down unless the tackling was both determined and perfectly timed.¬† The 'boro pack trundled on to score and convert the try and level the scores at 10:10, which bouyed the vocal home crowd and the atmosphere went up a notch.¬†
Cambridge did well to hold on and weathered a storm of 'boro attacks but were alert to the style of play and did enough to ensure that contact was a 50:50 affair.¬† When Cambridge stitched together several phases it brought the 'boro backs into the breakdown area to try and halt the advance, as 'boro lost their shape it was Jackson once more who took advantage of a gap on the wing. This time he had more space and headed round the back towards the posts although having run from deep the kick was still challenging in the gusty conditions and it was not converted.¬† Cambridge just having the upper hand by virtue of demonstrating more options at their disposal by half time.
At the restart it was Cambridge who delivered the first effective attack with quick ball down the line stretching the Peterborough defence, enough of a gap appeared to encourage Tristan to cut back inside and he scored and converted to take the score to 10:22.¬†¬† Stephan came on for Will Pallett in the 2nd row.
Peterborough were right back in the game with a powerful demonstration of pick and drive play, they might have carried on rolling but chose to break left and ought to have been easy targets for our backs, unfortunately ineffective tackling allowed the 'boro player to run all the way to score a try on our right wing, 15:22.
Cambridge were stung into action and increased the speed of their game again. After winning a lineout immediately after the restart the rapid recycling of ball was too much for 'boro to deal with and when the ball got to Jackson he was well positioned to score his fourth, not converted 15:27.¬† Max came on for Marcus at loose head and he was immediately in the centre of the action, then Reuben for Jackson at left wing.
The hard work continued and Cambridge were able to keep 'boro on the back foot with a series of attacks using the full width of the pitch.¬† Territory was hard won but we were able to keep possession and as we closed to the line our final attack worked an overlap, Reuben was clear but Tristan confidentally stepped inside to score his second try, not converted.¬† It was 15:32 with 7 minutes to go.¬† Rupert (2nd row), James (SH) and Dan (prop) came on for Stephan, Hugh and Josh.¬†
The 'boro lads did not give up and got over the Cambridge 22 but were turned over and Cambridge were able to slowly work back up the pitch and prevent another counterattack, the game ended 15 : 32.
Photo right - Jackson scoring try number two!
We expect our forwards to assert themselves
and create an effective platform for our backline attacks and today was no
exception. It took some time for both sides to get warmed up but we generally did a great job in
preventing Peterborough from playing to their game plan and our back line rewarded
the forwards' hard work with some explosive attacks. Of particular note was our ball awareness and rucking today. As the 'boro coach was heard to say to his team under the posts after a Cambridge try, "it's the turnovers that are killing us". He was absolutely right, as the game went on the rate at which our back row and mid-field players knicked the ball from the tackled boro' players on the ground before the 'boro forwards had reached the breakdown, only got faster. Every second gained in getting the ball out from the loose counts for many yards out on the wing and so time and time again space was¬† made for our rapid backs. But you still have to run the yards; so although this was a great 22 man performance, our man of the match award goes to Jackson Dennis who ran
with 100% commitment to score four super tries and when defensive work was
required put in some great tackling against some big opponents. Remember, he scored 4 on the same ground last year in the same fixture - all we can say is keep it up Jacko!
Cambridgeshire R.F.U. County Cup Competition
Cambridge U14s team sheet
1. Josh Ghoorahoo
3. Marcus Lankford
4. Elliot Roberts
5¬† Will Pallett
6. Ed Quare
7. Tom Cox
8. Louis Bodrozic
9 Hugh Barker
10. Harry Jones
11. Freddie McKibbin
12. Jonathan Cottrell-Mason
13. Jackson Dennis
14. Alex Turner
15. Tristan James
16. Stephan Gaiser-Porter
17. Max Wilson
18. Will Cross
19. Dan Scott
20. James Young
21. Rupert Jackson
22. Reuben Tooth