Ross Stewart aims to put down foundations for Cambridge future

PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 March 2017

Alex Moon in action for Cambridge v Coventry RUFC.  Picture:  Harry Hubbard

Alex Moon in action for Cambridge v Coventry RUFC. Picture: Harry Hubbard

ILIFFE

Director of rugby has long-term target

George Furbank scores for Cambridge v Coventry RUFC.  Picture:  Harry HubbardGeorge Furbank scores for Cambridge v Coventry RUFC. Picture: Harry Hubbard

Ross Stewart has longevity in mind as he continues to build for the future at Cambridge Rugby Club.

They produced a strong performance against Coventry in National League One last weekend, but ended up losing 36-27.

However, with tries from Ben Ibrahim, George Furbank, Keifer Laxton and Tom Trotter, they got a bonus point, and nearly earned a losing one in the last play.

The display against one of the top six shows the progress that Cambridge are making, and though they need a few more points to secure their safety mathematically, their place in National League One is almost guaranteed.

George Furbank scores for Cambridge v Coventry RUFC.  Picture:  Harry HubbardGeorge Furbank scores for Cambridge v Coventry RUFC. Picture: Harry Hubbard

And the squad depth is growing every week as each player comes to the fore when called upon, something that Stewart believes is invaluable in the long term.

“One of our key objectives is to come here, enjoy ourselves and just try to be better than before,” said the director of rugby.

“We’ve got outstanding players not even on the bench and they haven’t got into the team because someone has gone away to Fylde and done superbly well.

“It will still take hard work. We’re nowhere near the finished article, we still make some errors. Can you put it right quickly? Yes, you can. Does it give you longevity? No, it doesn’t, and that’s the key.

Ashley Elvers in action for Cambridge v Coventry RUFC.  Picture:  Harry HubbardAshley Elvers in action for Cambridge v Coventry RUFC. Picture: Harry Hubbard

“Ben Ibrahim is 20 years old, fifth National League One game, from the Midlands divisions and the guy did outstandingly well (against Coventry). He is keeping Ricky Reeves on the bench and Dan Seal off the bench – and again it’s a statement. That comes from hard work and dedication and he’s travelled all year, never moaned, always got on with it – they are the people we want at this club.

“They are the things that will make this club sustainable in National League One, in terms of playing. We want to bring them through and put them on a pedestal and say ‘you can achieve things with a bit of hard work’. The fine tuning comes as you go.”

So despite another defeat, Stewart was upbeat overall.

“We’re in the right place,” he said. “Yes, we’re disappointed we haven’t won the game of rugby and that’s not the first time it’s happened this year.

George Furbank in action for Cambridge v Coventry RUFC.  Picture:  Harry HubbardGeorge Furbank in action for Cambridge v Coventry RUFC. Picture: Harry Hubbard

“There are some quick fixes that can be done but they don’t give you the longevity.

“And long-term they won’t make us a better team and a better club so, for me, we’ve got to see the bigger picture, we’ve got to trust what we’re doing here. If we do that, and buy into it, the potential and the opportunity is huge.”

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