This Saturday the Blood and Sand 1st and 2nd XVs head down the M11 to take on Bishop Stortford. Meanwhile the 3rd XV host North Walsham.
Just West of Bishop Stortford is the hamlet of Perry Green. It would be unremarkable, except in 1940, after his house in Hampstead was bombed, the artist and sculptor Henry Moore moved to a farmhouse called Hoglands and stayed for the rest of his life. At the time Moore was best known for work in stone and his drawings. Most of the work in bronze was done while living in Hoglands.
Moore has a long association with Cambridge. Before the war had been commissioned to produce a sculpture for Impington Village College - but only a maquette had been completed at the outbreak of the war. Afterwards funds could not be found for the full sized bronze. Though he was able to reuse the design for the Barclay School in Stevenage where it became his first public bronze.
Success made Henry Moore rich and he was able to set up a foundation to display his works and those of other artists. Centered on the farmhouse, the foundation how has a sculture garden covering over 70 acres. It is open to the public every summer. But of course you can see many of his works on public display, there are now over a dozen of his sculptures in and around Cambridge.
However, there is a risk in displaying works outdoors. In 2005 thevies using a lorry and crane made off with the two ton bronze Reclining Figure 1969 from the garden - presumably to melt it down. Even though as a work of art it was worth about three million pounds but under two thousand as scrap metal.
The fixture is critical for both teams. Bishop Stortford and Cambridge find themselves level on points, with Cambridge ahead on games won. Stortford have however picked up more try bonus points. As Moseley picked up a losing bonus point in their rearranged match last week, both sides are now nine points clear of the relegation zone with seven games left. The winning side should be reasonably safe, but the loser will be worrying for a few more weeks.
Both Blood and Sand sides won the home fixtures, the 1st XV by a single point, after Lawrence Rayner kicked a last minute penalty. Last season it was Dan Lewis kicking us to victory at home, again by the single point. We did however, repeat the feat with a win at Silver Leys. We hope that is an omen.
The 2nd XV has a much more comfortable win 60-14 and will be looking to repeat that. While we have had a few weeks off, Bishop Stortford have moved ahead of us in the Zoo Sports leage - though they have played three more matches.
Meanwhile, back at home the 3rd XV have a difficult fixture against the leaders North Walsham. The Norfolk side is currently undefeated in the plate - though they had two losses and two draws in the first phase.
Updated 19:30 - 28 Feb 2019 by Marcus Streets