Colts travel light to Chelmsford
Despite having just 14 players the Colts put on a fine display, but come up short against Chelmsford.
Rugby is as much about mental toughness as it physical. There are times when things seem to conspire against a team to make life as difficult as possible. It could be said that this was one of those times. As of Weds the Colts were looking good with a travelling squad of 18, by Saturday evening they were down to just 14. It would have been easy to pick up the phone and cancel the game. However, it is testament to the players that travelled that they came away from Chelmsford after putting on a really competitive display of rugby and can feel hard done by with the final result.
After being loaned an extra player by the home side Cambridge made the brighter start into the stiff wind. Several chances, including a spectacular 50 metre solo effort by George Freeman, all came up tantalisingly short. One effort was grounded over the line, but the referee was unsighted and called it back for an attacking scrum. Despite the tough conditions and a wind that was to be becoming stronger as the game wore on, the pressure did eventually pay off with a driving lineout that was finished off by captain Gareth Edwards.
Typically, the home side struck back from the kick off and scored in the corner to level at half time.
Half Time Chelmsford RFC 5 - 5 CRUFC
With the wind in the second half the feeling was that Cambridge would be able to capitalise on the conditions to close out the victory. But the lineout began to stutter and the possession dried up. Chelmsford had also come to life after the break and became a lot more physical at the breakdown. Cambridge continued to press. A faltering line out limited options from a penalty in the home sides 22 and the decision to try and run it resulted in a turnover and Cambridge were back in their own half within a couple of phases. Frustratingly Chelmsford converted the possession with a score in the corner.
Fighting hard to the end Cambridge eventually ran out of both steam and ideas to break down a resilient Chelmsford. Falling short on a number of occasions they just couldn't do enough to level the scores. As always, when a side is pressing hard mistakes happen and the home side capitalised with a final converted score on the whistle.
Credit must be given to the guys that travelled; that didn't decide to drop out at the last minute when others had, and that approach the game with a fantastic attitude and deserved more for their efforts. There were some notable performances from a number individuals who have certainly put their hand up for selection in the upcoming cup games in Jan & Feb.
Ironically after arriving and feeling fairly nervous about what the result would be, they left with their pride intact and feeling that this was one that got away. They certainly got a lot more out of the game than they would have if the decision had been made to cancel because of the players that let them down at the last minute.
Thanks to Chelmsford for the loan of their players and for being great hosts.
Final Score Chelmsford 17 - 5 CRUFC
Tries: Gareth Edwards