Ross Stewart urges Cambridge to learn from Caldy defeat

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 March 2018

Ben Penfold scored Cambridge's points against Caldy

Ben Penfold scored Cambridge's points against Caldy

Iliffe Media Ltd

Wake-up call for top six aspirations

Ross Stewart will use Cambridge’s performance in their 15-6 defeat to Caldy as a reminder of what is expected if they are to reach the top six in National League One.

They were off their game against the North West side at Volac Park, with the display dropping below the standard they set in recent wins over Plymouth Albion and Ampthill.

Ben Penfold kicked two penalties for Cambridge in the first half, but an impressive Caldy side used the conditions in their favour in the second half to score 15 unanswered points for the win.

It left Cambridge director of rugby Stewart to rue his side not making the most of the conditions when they had them in their favour.

“We’re just disappointed because we had so much ball and just got nothing for it in terms of attack,” he said. “I just think we didn’t perform ultimately. I’m not taking anything away from them, the way they responded and how when they got ahead they closed out the game to stop us getting anything from it was outstanding.

“We will look back on that first half; playing with the wind to only come away six points up leaves you thinking. The way we started the second half was just lethargic.

“They were things we haven’t been doing, and things we’ve been getting right. Yes, they closed the game out very well but we added to our own woes in the way we adapted to the situation.

“We didn’t turn up, all of us, not just the players but the coaches as well. The warm-up was poor, we just didn’t turn up and that’s why it hurts; if you’re beaten by a better team you can just walk away.”

Cambridge have held aspirations of breaking into the top six in the division, but in a very congested middle section of the table, they will also have to be wary of what is beneath them.

“Hopefully it’s a warning shot that everything is not going to be rosy – you don’t just rock up and win games,” said Stewart.

“There are no mugs in this league, and let’s not disrespect Caldy, they are above us in the league and had some good scalps this year.

“We ultimately were just poor and I keep saying it because I don’t want us to panic and go into freefall, but I want us to understand that if we have aspirations to be top six, you can’t have games like that.”

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