Cambridge 2's 22 - Chinnor 2's 15
Opening Zoo league win for 2's in bad conditions
In what turned out to be one of the most stop start games we will see all season, Cambridge 2nds came away with the points from their first league game of the season and will take a lot of positives from a strange game. The first half was disrupted by two nasty injuries to Chinnor players. Both stoppages halted the game for more than 5 minutes each and, while this was necessary to make sure the players were OK, it disrupted the flow for either side. As it was, Chinnor scored first, breaking right off a midfield scrum causing a little panic in our wide defence and their winger went in for an unconverted score. This spurred Cambridge into action and with the very first foray into the opposition half we managed to put good attacking shape together for Tom Nutley to cross for our first try, Vinny Hart adding the extras.
Cambridge were putting themselves under pressure by trying to play too much rugby in our own half and giving away too many penalties. The players seemed too keen to play when they got the ball (maybe understandably considering how little ball they had), when perhaps to look for some territory might have proved to be a better option. This lead to Cambridge allowing Chinnor into the game and they duly scored again to go 10-7 up. When Cambridge finally looked for a bit of territory we chased well and forced a penalty after a strong carry from Wade Schoeman. Hart kicked the penalty to make it 10-10 at half time.
After half time, the heavens opened and most of the half was played in heavy rain. This proved to be a bit of a leveller as Cambridge were never really able to break free of the opposition despite scoring next. A unconverted try from Schoeman, a reward for some good attack. Another nasty injury to Chinnor's tight head (thank you to our physio's and Dr. Alan for looking after the young Chinnor player), left us with uncontested scrums and this helped to level the sides out. Chinnor then used the wind to their advantage and despite some good defence by Cambridge, Chinnor kept pinning us back in our own half. Eventually, they got some reward for their territory and Chinnor scored their third try, again unconverted. With 15 minutes to go it was 15 a piece and Cambridge finally found some urgency. Defensively, Cambridge were excellent and in attack they began to make inroads, eventually rewarded with a score by Tosin Segun under the posts and Hart knocked over the extras. At 22-15 it was still too close for comfort and it took a strong defensive effort to see off the Chinnor challenge. For Cambridge, there were plenty of positives to take out. Despite the conditions, the disruptions and the uncontested scrums Cambridge looked in control throughout, without ever being able to break free. Defence was good and when we got the ball the attacking shape was also positive. We just need to control and manage games better in terms of territory and we should be a real threat in this league. Players of the match from Cambridge were Cam Keenan, Wade Shoeman, Vinny Hart and Lawrence Hutchinson. Final score Cambridge 22 - Chinnor 15.
Report content by Simon Leader, Coach