Colts coast to victory at Southwold
By Ben Peterson
We all like to be beside the seaside....Cambridge Colts certainly do with a 6 try victory away at Southwold.
What a great bunch of lads these colts are turning out to be this season. The two year groups have bonded really well and it shows with the style of rugby they are trying to play, and the way in which they go about it. It's a real treat to watch. Tom Harrison, CRUFC 1st XV forwards coach and Leicester Tigers Academy coach, asked what kind of coaches we thought we were at his recent coaches development session. At colts and junior level are we development or performances coaches? We all agreed that we were in the business of developing young players with the main aim to help them express and enjoy themselves through their love of rugby. He defined a performance coach as someone who's job was at risk if the team didn't perform. This current crop of colts have really developed this season. Not all the results have gone our way, but the way in which they've worked hard in training to improve and the way in which they support each other positively on the pitch is fantastic. They've benefited from the excellent contributions made by 1st XV players Rob Conquest and Cameron Ruddock and they play a really expansive style of rugby in attack and have become a fierce defensive unit.
Today's performance was no exception. 16 players made the long trek to the coast and they showed how much they've developed over the season and they all contributed to a fine team performance. Led really well by George Paul at fly half, they out gunned the home side at the breakdown and counter attacked with guile and pace. The score that typified the entire performance came late on in the first half when Cambridge put in an immense defensive set. Southwold were on the front foot and pieced together well over 10 phases of play, smashing their bulky forwards up the middle over and over again only to be met with some ferocious tackling, often with two defenders making the hit at the same time. The home side worked their way into the Cambridge 22 and were odds on to convert when another big hit in the midfield from Max Burton dislodged the ball for the Blood and Sand to turn defence into attack and in a split second hurtle up the field. A series of deft passes got the ball to the edge and it was the guy who started the turnover, Burton, who was on the end of the final pass to go over left of the posts. Breathtaking stuff.
There were 3 more tries in the first half from the impressive Jake Herrington, the workhorse Archie Swainson and Ben Sloot. Slooty has been converted into very effective back row forward this season and is certainly one to watch. There's no doubt he'll be joining his older brothers in the senior teams very soon. Jake also kicked three conversions.
Half Time: Southwold RFC 7 - 26 CRUFC
Cambridge had the wind with them in the second half and made full use of it in the most part, apart from a momentary lapse in concentration in the first 5 mins when they tried to run the ball out of their own 22 only to turnover the ball and give away a penalty that allowed Southwold in at the posts. Southwold battled hard, but their limited game plan was easy to read and the speed of the Cambridge line gave them no time to think on the ball resulting in plenty of mistakes. The visitors maintained their relentless pursuit of the ball when the opposition had it and it was great to see the Blood and Sand celebrate every turnover as if it was a 5 point score.
Two further tries from JP Schofield and skipper George Paul, one of which was converted by Jake saw Cambridge run out comfortable winners in the end. Paul Vautravers delivered a Man of Match performance; he must have made over 20 tackles and was a nuisance at the breakdown as well as being tireless with ball in hand.
Full Time: Southwold RFC 14 - 38 CRUFC
The referee and opposition coaches and parents were full of complements for the way in which the boys played the game. The referee was particularly impressed with the boys attitude. The Southwold coach commented on the how well the team communicated and how well they competed at the breakdown to force the mistakes and turn defence into attack.
All in all it was a really good game to watch and when you think about why we play the game this is what it's all about. A great bunch of lads, enjoying their rugby, working hard to improve and carry themselves really well on and off the park. And doing all of that with a smile on their faces. Well done boys!
13' Try Cambridge 0 - 5 Jake Herrington
13' Conversion Cambridge 0 - 7 Jake Herrington
21' Try Cambridge 0 - 12 Archie Swainson
21' Conversion Cambridge 0 - 14 Jake Herrington
26' Try Southwold 5 - 14
26' Conversion Southwold 7 - 14
31' Try Cambridge 7 - 19 Ben Sloot
31' Missed Conversion Cambridge 7 - 19
32' Try Cambridge 7 - 24 Max Burton
32' Conversion Cambridge 7 - 26 Jake Herrington
40' Try Southwold 12 - 26
40' Conversion Southwold 14 - 26
47' Try Cambridge 14 - 31 JP Schofield
47' Conversion Cambridge 14 - 33 Jake Herrington
56' Try Cambridge 14 - 38 George Paul
56' Missed Conversion 14 - 38