Leys Pre-season game at Latham Road
A more balanced game than the scoreline would suggest ...
Cambridge U15's found themselves somewhat under-strength for this match with many players unavailable for an early season Saturday friendly, seven players were engaged playing pre-season games for The Perse v New Hall, and another four playing for The Leys, today's opposition. Still the sun was shining, the players that were available were enthusiastic and keen to play and the Leys kindly lent us a rotation of players, including several current and ex Cambridge players, to make up a fifteen.
1st 20 minutes - The Leys 15 - 7 CRUFC U15
Scorers: Daniel Mhlanga (1 try) Sam Thain (1 conversion)
The opening exchanges were a little tentative from both teams with no real advantage being gained, after a few scrums from handling errors and a lineout, the Leys advanced into the Cambridge half, only for the ball to be turned over at a ruck and slick hands from the Cambridge backline moved the ball to new player Daniel on the wing in space who needed no second invitation to round the defence and sidestep the isolated Leys full-back to score under the posts, the try converted by Sam Thain (on loan from the Leys). Now the Leys decided to keep it tight and advanced up the field with a new resolve and scored three unanswered tries, the first from a well executed rolling maul, the second from some nice hands moving the ball right and wrong footing the defence, and the last a pick and drive from the side of the ruck, all of the conversion kicks flew wide.
2nd 20 minutes - The Leys 24 - 0 CRUFC U15
In the second period of play despite some good kicks and strong defence Cambridge found it almost impossible to get out of their own half as penalties cost the team territory and possession, the first Leys try was from a well worked play with the ball switched out to the left after moving the defence right, the next try came from good handling moving the ball to the right from a ruck and scored under the posts, converted by Sam Thain, then the penalty count really mounted and tried the referee's patience as the Leys put pressure on the Cambridge line, first a Leys player made the line moving left from a maul to score out wide, then after establishing position in the same corner the final try came from a pick and drive, also converted by Sam Thain.
3rd 20 minutes - The Leys 7 - 5 CRUFC U15
Scorers: Miles Warren-Green
In the final third of the game Cambridge re-established some rhythmn, stopped giving away penalties and managed to keep hold of the ball, from well worked hands the ball was moved right where the overlap made a simple try almost certain, and with the outside defence scrambling new player Miles sold the dummy and crossed the line himself for a well taken try, the conversion attempt just going wide. The referee had decreed enough was enough and delivered the promised yellow card to an unfortunate Leys player who was the next to transgress, but the Leys were not done and with Sam Bailey (ex Cambridge) distributing the ball well from the base The Leys scored to the left from a scrum, with Sam Thain adding the conversion from wide out.
Thanks to Ben the referee, and the Leys U15 players, coaches and physio for a very enjoyable game, the sun shone until the very end and then the heavens opened just as we left the field, perfect timing!