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Cambridge slip to first defeat of new National League One season to Reading-based Rams

Cambridge saw their winning start to the new National League One season come to an end at the hands of the table-topping Rams on Saturday.

Both sides headed into the contest boasting 100 per cent records so far this term with five victories out of five.

However, something was always going to have to give when they locked horns at Old Bath Road and it was the hosting Rams who remain undefeated courtesy of a narrow 29-26 triumph.

Kwaku Asiedu scored a couple of tries for Cambridge. Picture: Chris Fell
Kwaku Asiedu scored a couple of tries for Cambridge. Picture: Chris Fell

Nevertheless, Richie Williams’ visitors can take plenty of heart from the fact that they earned themselves a couple of bonus points during what was a spirited second-half fightback.

The two teams traded early tries – Joe Tarrant going over for Cambridge and Stef James on target with the conversion – before the home side took a firm grip of the game.

Tries from Josh Collis and Alex Seers – one of which was converted by the latter – put Rams 19-7 in front going into the break before Robbie Stapley dotted down a couple of minutes of the restart to further strengthen their stranglehold.

Seers converted and then added a penalty to extend the lead to 29-7 and at that point the game looked to be up.

Yet, rather than lick their wounds Cambridge responded in positive fashion and started the quest for a try bonus point when Kwaku Asiedu went over on the left flank.

He added a second try on the hour mark – converted by James – to bring the Blood and Sand to within 10 points of their hosts with plenty of time remaining.

Cambridge’s rolling maul went on to earn a penalty try, but their momentum was then halted by Rams when they forced a penalty of their own in the dying embers to ensure victory.

Third-placed Cambridge, who are three points adrift of the league-leading Rams and Rosslyn Park in second, have another key clash on Saturday (October 22) when they host fourth-placed Cinderford.

Meanwhile, the division’s top two teams are also due to face each other at Rosslyn Park.

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