Cambridge U15 Girls lose to Crusaders/Diss in cup
By Ben Clough
A New Year and a new lesson for the Rubies.
Cambridge Rubies welcomed a clustered team from Diss and Crusaders. These games have always been traditionally close with the fast moving hands of Cambridge vs the power game of Diss.
Cambridge were led by Kacey Tuck. With a strong breeze Cambridge received and following a knock on where put under the kosh for 20 mins by the visitors. Time and again the Diss team attacked from their talented no.10 and inside center but of course the peerless Maya and fearless Cody knocked wave after wave of attack backwards. They were supported by rising star Abi in her first year in u15s and the other front row of Banksy (only banks to make it to EC level) and the ever present Betty who seems to be on a constant upward curve.
Hard to express how relentless the attacks were or how fierce the defence. Evie and Ted made 4 tackles in 20 seconds between them.. You felt something had to give. Captain Kacey exploded into a ruck with her 2nd row partner Abi and the ball was won back a foot from the line for Maya to put in an impressive clearance kick. You could see this changed the momentum. Cambridge then started to run through the moves with all girls putting their hands up to be ball carriers. Jess Yates and Scarlett carried really well and Maya set Cody off on one of her blistering runs only to be caught just short of the line. Cloughie and others then had a series of being held up over the line. Finally the deadly trio of Cloughie, Maya and Cody combined for a superb score under the posts.
At this point Cambridge were well on top. Another try from Maya put the rubies 12 -0 up at half time.
Time for a new lesson for the Rubies. What had been a breeze turned into a bit of a gale and the girls had to deal with this. Diss scored through their no.10 with a lovely show and go. But still girls kept attacking. The lionheart Katie Hodge powered into Diss as did Georgina. This led to a superb move that went through 20 pairs of hands a lovely in out from Ted to Livy and then a straight pick by Abi to power over for the score. Enter Chloe to the fray with 2 electric runs taking 5 girls to stop her, she was magnificent and if I'm being honest, had she stayed on we may well have won, her impact was so big. She got held up over the line as well.
Diss were really pressing now and Cambridge gifted them an easy try over the line. A new lesson learnt about putting the ball down over your line.
The game was finely poised at 12-17. Maya then pulled out an amazing cross field kick for the absolutely electric Holly to collect and put the hammer down to out run the defence and score under the posts. Maya converted. At this point with 8 minutes to go it looked like Cambridge had this won but Diss knew the wind was theirs and kept long kicks going. Cambridge again gifted a try under the posts. 24- 19 . The girls were pretty much out on their feet but the spirit of Kacey Tuck and Maya kept lifting them. Sheetal and Maya won a vital ruck and you felt Cambridge might hold out but it was not to be one slip and another soft try led to Diss scoring under the posts 24-26.
At this point Cambridge were just done. Diss ran in a last try on the last play of the match and the game was lost 31-24.
A loss in the cup is always disappointing. However huge things to take from this. Sometimes things don't go your way. Sometimes the elements play in the opposition's favour.
The Rubies should be very proud of the level of rugby they played and how they kept fighting against the elements. There were some real heroes on the pitch today. Diss were generous in victory and had a real rugby ethos of never giving up, a deserved win for them.
Exceptional mentions to Maya, Cody, Clougie, Abi and Banksy for the highest tackle counts but overall every girl should be proud, they brought great honour to the shirt they wore today. I asked them before the game to leave nothing in the changing room and put it all on the pitch and all 18 did that. We look forward to playing Diss at our EC festival with Poppy back and hopefully no wind.