Cambridge U14 and Colchester draw in a hard fought match
Cambridge U14 - 34 v Colchester - 34
Cambridge traveled to Colchester for an early season match. Last year the U13s had a tough match v Colchester and came away battered, bruised, and a bit humbled; although they never gave up and played with intensity. The match this year was a different story with Cambridge coming out strong, never giving up, and were likely the stronger team on the pitch although the match ended in a draw.
The boys applied what we have been doing in training really well; they kept the shape, played aggressively and with flare. There were a couple of moments when the loss of focus meant conceding some easy tries and a few times when overconfidence led to intercepted passes and soft tries which weighed on the the final score, but really it was an overall performance to be proud of .
What impressed us the most was that even when Colchester went in front, the boys kept their cool and were not disheartened. The scrum won most of the pushes. The combination 9-10 (Paolo Harry) worked really well keeping a very good tempo and managing forwards well. There was good direct running and on other occasions the ball moved quickly in to space with often two overlaps on the outside of the ball carrier. We still have to improve on supporting the large ball carriers when they go on a break to capitalise on the forward progress run and avoid them becoming isolated, but this continues to improve. The line-speed in defense was good and there were only a few gaps resulting in long breaks.
There was good tackling, still a bit high but generally good, and only a few instances of loss of concentration. The first quarter we were over committing at the ruck; this was discussed at the break and the 9 and 10 helped direct to the forwards to keep this happening in the second half of play.
As described above, a lot to be pleased about with the performance. The team demonstrated resilience, discipline and even a bit of 'shall we say' flair. The boys were proud of their performance (as they should be) and rightly remember how much better it felt this year than last year. Thanks to Colchester for great hospitality and also for the coaches recognising our improvement. A great way to go into the season.