Cambridge RUFC U14s narrowly miss out on the Cup at the Northampton Saints tournament
Cambridge continue to play strong winning 7, losing only 2 at Northampton
Cambridge U14s travelled to Northampton Saints to play in its U14 tournament. Competing against 12 other clubs, Cambridge was denied victory by the only team that had beaten them in the pool stages. Cambridge scored some great tries, showed good team plays and real determination to turn the game around when under pressure. The coaches are very proud of the players’ improvement, and the players should be very proud of their performance and the hard work put in. We believe this is rapidly becoming a very exciting Cambridge side and look forward to the rest of the season.
Overall result: played 7, won 5, lost 2, scored 9 tries, conceded 7
The first round of the tournament had 4 pools of 3 teams. This was followed by a second round of 3 pools of 4 teams, which would battle with equally ranked teams for the Cup, Bowl and Plate. The top 2 of each pool were to play the 3 finals.
In the first round, Cambridge was in Pool 4, facing Kettering and Old Northamptonians (ON).
Cambridge vs Kettering 30 – 0 (Leo Malhotra, Pierre St. John, Matthew Mangell)
Cambridge started strongly and put Kettering under pressure with a very quick defensive line speed. Leo’s first try piled on the pressure, Pierre’s great run made things really difficult for the opponents, and Matthew’s final run gave Cambridge its third try and a bonus point.
Cambridge vs Old Northamptonians (ON) 30 – 0 (Shivek Sharma, Pierre St Johnston, Leo Malhotra)
Cambridge’s second game saw the same intensity, tightening discipline at the breakdown. A very physical ON side couldn’t cope with the quick handling and use of space by Cambridge. Shiveck, Pierre and Leo scored three great tries, closing the pool with a second victory and another bonus point. Having come out on top of their pool, they were through to the next round.
In the second round, Cambridge was grouped with the winners of the other pools: Leighton Buzzard, Bugbrooke and Towcester RFC.
Cambridge vs Leighton Buzzard 0 – 5
The match against Leighton Buzzard was very close and hard fought, coming down to a bounce that favoured the other side, which snatched a try in the dying moments. Cambridge was determined to go through to the final though, and perhaps meet them again there.
Cambridge vs Bugbrooke 5 – 0 (Lorenzo Carro)
Cambridge seemed slightly shaken by the previous match, and the rugby was less flowing, but the team worked hard in defence against a very strong Bugbrooke side. As the clock ticked towards the final whistle, a hard-won ball at the ruck passed quickly through to Lorenzo who, with some excellent footwork and resisting a final hard tackle, was able to go over the line and put Cambridge back in contention for a place in the final.
Cambridge vs Towcester 10 – 5 (Cassidy Bayne, Keon Sylvester)
This final game of this round represented an opportunity for both teams to win a place in the final, so both started very hard and fast. Cambridge had shaken off the tension and was fighting hard at the breakdown, moving the ball away from the contact area and trying to release the wingers, getting the ball moving through the backline to end in Cassidy’s hands. He turned on the gas and proved unstoppable. But Towcester were not going to give up, and their prolonged attack was finally rewarded with a try. With moments to spare, the result hang in the balance: Towcester sensed the changing tide and tried to grind their way forward, but a ruck won by Cambridge in its 22 saw the ball quickly out and in the hands of Keon, who with some nifty footwork and great speed scored in the corner with only moments to spare before the final whistle. The boys were through to the final!
Cambridge vs. Leighton Buzzard 0 – 40
Now was the time to meet again the only team to have beaten them.
There was little difference between the two teams at the start, but a lucky bounce on the blind side enabled Leighton Buzzard to gain the advantage. Unfortunately, a few moments later they scored a second try – and over a 10-minute match, a 2-try advantage is difficult to rectify. However, Cambridge felt that the match was still within their grasp so they did not relent in their attack, but Leighton was able to capitalise on a mistake and the match eventually ran away from Cambridge. The final score gave the impression of a wider difference in ability than we had actually seen.
All in all, an excellent day of entertaining rugby: Cambridge showed great flair, determination and grit, but there’s plenty of room for improvement. We will carry on with the same training programme, but would stress that all the players should be very proud of their performance and resilience, especially when the games didn’t seem to be going their way. Huge thanks from all the coaches to parents and players for a good day.