Cambridge University overcome by incisive Loughborough University
PUBLISHED: 23:18 28 September 2016 | UPDATED: 23:18 28 September 2016
Opening defeat for Light Blues
A porus last 10 minutes left Cambridge University on the end of a 38-5 defeat to Loughborough University at Grange Road.
In the first match in the build-up to the Varsity Match at Twickenham on December 8, the final score did not really reflect the overall pattern of the game – but it will serve as the perfect benchmark for the Michaelmas Term.
Three breakaway tries in the last nine minutes saw Loughborough double their score to cement their victory, however, there was plenty for the Light Blues to carry forward.
They were looking to move the ball along the line at pace, stretching play from wing to wing, and the only criticism would be that they did not get quite as many line breaks as they would have wanted.
The hosts were also trying to be careful in the number of players they committed to the breakdown, instead preferring to fan out with a blitz defence, which in turn was serving them well against the speed of Loughborough.
While there was little in it at the set piece, the Light Blues seem to have already developed a good starting point with a dominant line-out and when it comes off the top it will give them plenty of go-forward ball.
However, it was the clinical and incisive nature of the visitors that was ultimately the difference between the teams.
The Light Blues got the first try as play was spread along the line for Simon Davies to dart in to touch down after eight minutes.
Loughborough evened things up as Jack Moates led the defence a merry defence, going past too many missed tackles to touch down, and they went ahead when Jack Stapley broke on the right wing and drew the last man to put in supporting prop Ben Christie to score.
And it was 19-5 by half time as one of the hosts’ players put his foot up on to the post in attempting to defend a Loughborough driving maul, leading to referee Robert Teare awarding a penalty try, which was converted by Mark Dixon.
There was nothing in it for long spells in the second half, but the mass changes seemed to impact Cambridge a bit more than Loughborough in the closing stages, as holes opened up for the visitors to run into.
And Loughborough did not need any encouragement as Stapley, Josh Price and Joss Morgan all touched down, with Roddy Denness landing two conversions to complete the win.
Cambridge University: Griffiths; Davies, Triniman, Phillips, Lare Erogbogbo; Gillies, Tullie; Briggs, Dillon Kelly, Dixon, Bond, Hunter, Stanley, Du Toit, Dass.
Replacements: Burnett, Hughkulstone, Dean, Moros, Rose, Lola Erogbogbo, Bartholomew, Balfour, Bell, Girling.
Loughborough University: Hughes; Stapley, Olowofela, Buck, Mandivenga; Dixon, Moates; Christie, Dickinson, Davis, Vukasinovic, Flament, Lewis, Moolman, Foster.
Replacements: Davison, Leat, Cave, Price, Denness, Morgan, Watson, Catlin, Jemphrey, Kaye.
Referee: Robert Teare.
Scorers: 8min Davies try (5-0), 13 Moates try (5-5), 22 Christie try – Dixon con (5-12), 40+1 penalty try – Dixon con (5-19), 71 Stapley try – Denness con (5-26), 79 Price try (5-31), 80+1 Morgan try – Denness (5-38).