5 tries from 3rd XV enough to beat Saffron Walden 2nd's at a windswept Volac Park
By Adrian Fraser
A great afternoon for Cambridge rugby as all three senior sides win at home.
Cambridge 3rd XV recorded their 4th win on the bounce with a fairly comfortable victory. Scoring 4 of their 5 tries in the first half, the Blood and Sand were rewarded for using the windy conditions best. There were impressive debut performances from Jack Smith and Edoardo Scaramuzziono as well as another solid game from new fly-half Harry Sturgess.
Playing with the wind Cambridge looked well organised in attack and defence. Controlling both possession and territory they played in the right areas of the field and were patient enough without the ball to force Walden to make mistakes when faced with having to defend against the wind. A wayward clearance kick ended up blowing back into their 22 for wing, Cesar Belloso, to pounce on the loose ball and round a couple of defenders to go over under the posts for the first of his two tries. In between his first and second scores were sandwiched a couple of close range efforts from the forwards. John Bannerman managed 2 conversions despite the difficult kicking conditions.
The visitors had their moments, but never really threatened the Cambridge line. Their scrum half caused most of the problems and kept Cambridge honest around the fringes. The game was riddled with penalties as neither side could get to grips with the referee's interpretation of the laws.
Half-time: CRUFC 24 - 3 Saffron Walden
In truth it was about a 20 point wind advantage, but Walden didn't really make the most of it. Choosing to tap and go in an effort to maintain momentum they kept turning the ball over in crucial positions. However, they did finally get over the line 10mins after the restart. Cambridge defended well though and responded on 56mins with Man of the Match, Julian Mannion, going over with another short range effort from the forwards.
Walden didn't offer much after that and Cambridge left a few scores out on the field which was a shame as they deserved a couple more. Both sides shared a yellow card in the later stages of the game for persistent infringements, but the Blood and Sand closed out the game well to cement their 3rd place finish in the league.
Full-time: CRUFC 29 - 10 Saffron Walden
Elsewhere, Newmarket beat title rivals by 5 points to clinch the league in a, winner takes all, game at Cottenham. Congratulations to them and well deserved.
Thanks again to Bob Coote for the great photos.
Tries: Cesar Belloso x 2, Gareth Edwards, Richard Just, Julian Mannion
Cons: John Bannerman x 2