Cambridge U16’s rewrite history
Cambridge end Shelford’s winning streak in tough derby encounter
For the first ten minutes the hosts seemed overwhelmed by the physicality and pace of the visitors and it looked likely that history would repeat itself. In the first three minutes Cambridge were penalised and although the resulting line out was won back, a fumble and some poor tackling let Shelford into the corner for the first try. With several more minutes of continuous possession by Shelford and several missed tackles from the hosts it was inevitable they would score again and although unconverted this left Cambridge reeling.
This was a confident Shelford team and with twelve minutes of such dominant play, most loosing teams would have concluded this was going to be another whitewash – but the Cambridge lads had other ideas. They dug deep into their reserves and began making every tackle count, supporting teammates in the competition for the ball and turning over many of the breakdowns. The scrum had been dominated by Cambridge from the start but they now began to build some energetic line speed from other set pieces and at the breakdown.
Now the spectators were treated to a lively and competitive game with skill demonstrated on both sides, but it was Cambridge who were the first to benefit from this period of play with George going over in the corner for his first try, unconverted. 5:10.
For the first half Cambridge had not only battled a formidable attacking team but a strong wind as well, however the tables were turned after half-time. The hosts came out of their blocks galvanised after the break and although both sides threw themselves into the contest Cambridge seemed to gain energy as the half progressed and Shelford began to tire. This manifested itself through the hosts’ ability to turn over more breakdowns, make more metres over the gain line and pass the ball along the line with a new level of confidence.
It was now Shelford’s turn to feel repeated pressure inside their 22 and from a 10 metre scrum Kayde scored from a blind side run to equalise and from Jackson’s boot Cambridge went into the lead 12:10. After another period of intense pressure with the visitor’s heels on their try line Jackson relieved the wait with a zigzag run, expertly placing the ball between two defenders and then converting his own try. 19:10.
With Shelford now needing two tries to level the score they threw themselves at the opposition and a magnificent run down the wing by Taylor from his 22 caught several Cambridge wingers napping and gave him a deserved try under the posts and the conversion put Shelford back into the game. 19:17
But this was to be Cambridge’s day as Seb replied with a 50 metre run, falling just short of the try line and the infringement from a desperate defender gave George his second try from a quickly taken penalty, converted by the reliable boot of Jackson. The host just needed to hang onto the ball in the last dying minutes of the game but a high kick and chase deep into the Shelford half resulted in a scrum for Cambridge 5 meters out. With another solid response from the pack, the ball was released for Jackson running onto the ball at pace and a text book grounding and faultless conversion close the game out with an emphatic victory for Cambridge, 33:17.
Thanks to Shelford for providing a tremendous game and all the best to you for the remainder of the season.