Opening Day Victory
A great weekend for the club
Cambridge kicked off their National One campaign with a hard-fought victory away against Fylde. The blood and sand won comfortably in the end by 12-25, but they had to work hard to seal the victory.
Coach Adam Barnard said; “We showed during this game how much further forward we’ve come defensively already since last year. The boys worked really hard, and our defence was probably the main reason why we came away with the win.”
The squad that travelled spent two nights away from home for the long trip up to Fylde, near Blackpool, and Director of Rugby Ross Stewart explained why he expects his team to put in good performances when his side are well away from home; “It was a great weekend. One thing that stands this club apart is that the boys enjoy being together, and every time we travel away together we always seem to get a positive result, or at least a good performance. The boys played golf, spent time on the beach and they just enjoy each other’s company, and the result just topped off what was an all-round great weekend for the club.”
A brilliant weekend indeed saw three victories for Cambridge, as the first XV defeated Fylde, the second XV won away against Coventry’s seconds, and the thirds beat Cottenham Renegades.
Everyone at Cambridge will be hoping that the victories can continue once back at Volac Park this weekend against Loughborough, and give the home fans a long-awaited league victory back at the home of the blood and sand.
Barnard said; “We had a narrow win against Loughborough here last year, winning with the last kick of the game, before they beat us comfortably at their place in the return fixture. They’ll come here and play a similar style to Fylde, they’ll move the ball a lot. However, nothing against Fylde, but they’ll probably come here with a few better individuals. They have a quick back three, their centres are very skilful and strong runners, and for a university side they’re quite physical in the pack.”
Cambridge clearly have strength in depth throughout their squads, and squad selection could prove tricky this Saturday, as they try to find the right formula to make it two wins from two to start off the new season.
Barnard explained; “We’ll certainly have to review the second team from last week, because there were a few good performances there, but then the first team were really good as well. It’s just good to have the same core of players from last year, that really helps us out. However, a lot of the team will probably be the same, because if you’re going away and winning fairly comfortably, then a lot of them are clearly doing the right things, so I imagine it will be quite similar, although there may be some changes, we’ll wait and see.”
Loughborough started their season with defeat away against Darlington by 33-23, so they too will be desperate to achieve the victory and get their own campaign up and running. To see who steps out onto the pitch this weekend, come along and show your support for the blood and sand as they try to continue their excellent start to the season, with the resumption of National One rugby back at Volac Park. Kick-off is at 3:00pm.
By Daniel Wright