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Cambridge Rugby Club’s Richie Williams previews an historic first RFU Championship home game with Doncaster Knights visiting Ellgia Fields

After last weekend’s late heartbreak, Cambridge Rugby Club will look to pick themselves up ahead of another historic outing on Saturday (October 28).

In what was their maiden match as a RFU Championship side, newly-promoted Cambridge suffered a 28-26 defeat at Ampthill, going down to a last-minute converted try by their hosts.

However, Richie Williams’ charges now have the chance to respond this weekend when they run out in front of a home crowd for the first time ever as a second tier club when Doncaster Knights will be the visitors to Ellgia Fields.

Benji Hoppe in action for Cambridge at Ampthill Picture: Chris Fell
Benji Hoppe in action for Cambridge at Ampthill Picture: Chris Fell

Director of rugby and head coach Williams said: “It’s going to be a massive moment and it’s a great opportunity for us to show what we are about as a club.

“It’s such a big day for the club, the players, ourselves as management and all of the supporters.

“We’ve come a long way as a club. It’s our centenary year and I know the club has a lot of plans to mark it.

Cambridge Rugby Club's director of rugby Richie Williams Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Rugby Club's director of rugby Richie Williams Picture: Keith Heppell

“We’re hoping for a big crowd. We went to Ashton Gate in the Premiership Cup and there was 11,500 people there.

“It was an amazing experience for the squad and while I know we won’t get them numbers, the crowds were well up for our two home games in the Premiership Cup so that bodes well.

”Doncaster are a big club and we think they’ll bring a good following, but especially when the more local sides like Bedford and Ampthill come we’ll get really decent crowds.

“The club is working so hard off the pitch to make sure the matchday experience for supporters is better than it ever has been.”

Against Ampthill, tries from Ben Brownlie (2), Kieran Duffin and Morgan Veness looked like it had given Cambridge a maximum five points in Bedfordshire.

However, in the last action of the game the hosts’ Jevaughn Warren went over between the posts and Gwyn Parks made no mistake with the conversion.

Speaking on the Richie & Jacko Podcast, Williams added: “It’s one of those games that got away from us at the end.

“We worked all week around staying in the fight for the last 15 minutes. We felt we could probably win the game in that period with the bench we had and the experience that we’ve built over the last five or six weeks in the Premiership Cup. I thought we were on track to do that when we got our noses ahead with 10 minutes left.

“It was developing as we thought it would do and then probably a combination of some ill discipline, a lack of composure and an opportunity on their try-line to take the game away from them, we got penalised for crossing.

“Then two penalties later we were defending our goal, which I thought we did really bravely. We worked extremely hard to keep Ampthill out but it was one attack too many and they’ve scored under the posts.

“But we’re really proud. This was the first real test that we’ve had against a fellow part-time team and on another day we come away with five points and not two. It’s hugely disappointing because we’ve won games in that manner and we know what it’s like. On the other side it stings, but we’ll dust ourselves off.”

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