After back to back defeats for the Blood and Sand, Rob Conquest has reiterated the desire to get back to winning ways.
Conquest is currently in his second spell with the club, and has seen real progression over the course of his two stints. Whilst at Loughborough University, he was called by Glen Remnant, who persuaded him to accept the offer to join Cambridge.
The following season, relegated to National 2, Remnant was released, and Rowland Winter began his successful tenure at Volac Park. Conquest was again an integral part of the squad that finished mid-table in the league that season, and after impressing, was offered a contract by Darlington Mowden Park in National 1. After two seasons he then moved on to Coventry, but endured an injury plagued campaign before moving back for another short stint with Darlington, but said returning to Cambridge for this campaign was a “no-brainer”.
“The club’s helped me out a lot during my career, and I feel loyal to the club. I’m signed until the end of the season, but I can see myself staying longer. The progression made here since I first joined is incredible. When Rowland took the job, we had two to three coaches and he developed from there. Now, Ross Stewart has continued that growth and returning here was a no-brainer for me.”
“We’ve got two forwards’ coaches, two backs’ coaches, Ross, who floats around the whole squad and we’ve got seven or eight physio’s and strength and conditioning staff, as well as the team managers. We’ve also got a forty-plus man team, and we’re fielding two squads every week, but no-one wants the development to stop, we want to keep pushing forward, and Dan Richmond coming in to work with us is just another positive step and each coach we have specialises in different areas. Darren Fox is a superb defence coach, Darren Ball is great on lineouts, scrums and the more technical things, and it’s great to have that variety of coaching to push us to the next level.”
Conquest and the rest of the squad will not settle on being satisfied with the way things are, as he explained; “As a group pf players and coaches, we’ve set ourselves a target of sixth place. We beat Rosslyn Park and then Ampthill, both big, established clubs at this level of rugby, so I think if we can beat them then our goal is definitely achievable, but we can’t afford any more slip-ups, and we need to get back to putting wins on the board.”
A disappointing loss against Hull Ionians has put a dampener on the excitement that was starting to grow. It has meant an already tough fixture against Birmingham Mosely has increased significance, as any loss would see the Blood and Sand starting to lose touch with the top six. Mosely are currently one place above Cambridge in eighth, five points ahead. Bishop’s Stortford are currently the team in sixth, ten points ahead of the Blood and Sand.
A potential tide-turner on Saturday then, as Cambridge look to get back to winning ways following two successive defeats, against a Mosely side who arrive at Volac Park following back-to-back victories. Having the Volac Park faithful in full voice to cheer on Conquest and the squad will be a huge boost to the team, so please remember the earlier kick-off time of 2:00pm!
Updated 15:18 - 8 Nov 2017 by Daniel Wright