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Cambridge Rugby Club make it five National League One victories in a row against Sale





Cambridge won the battle of the National League One unbeaten sides against Sale on Saturday.

The two teams, along with Rossyln Park and Rams, went into the contest at Grange Road having collected the maximum 20 points from their opening four fixtures this term.

But it was the visitors who saw their run snapped as Cambridge recovered from an early setback to run out 32-19 winners.

Match action from Cambridge's victory over Sale. Picture: Chris Fell
Match action from Cambridge's victory over Sale. Picture: Chris Fell

It took Sale just five minutes to break the deadlock when Josh Brown dotted down and James Robins did the honours with the subsequent conversion.

However, Richie Williams’ hosts responded in a positive manner to take a 24-14 lead into the interval.

Willie Priestley scored Cambridge’s first try of the encounter from a driving maul, while their second came courtesy of Matt Dawson, who barrelled over off a post-line set-piece.

Match action from Cambridge's victory over Sale. Picture: Chris Fell
Match action from Cambridge's victory over Sale. Picture: Chris Fell

Steff James was on target on both occasions with the extras – and he would go on to end the match with 44 points to his name this season, making him the third highest scorer in the division.

Fergus Mulchrone added another converted try to keep Sale well in contention, but Cambridge then started to take control thanks to tries from Dan Brough and Toby Dabell, the latter bringing up the bonus point in the process.

James’ boot helped Cambridge to extend their lead in the second half with a penalty and he then played a key role in the home team’s fifth and final try.

It was his kick that set Rian Hamilton free and the in-form summer signing showed good athleticism to dot down.

Match action from Cambridge's victory over Sale. Picture: Chris Fell
Match action from Cambridge's victory over Sale. Picture: Chris Fell

The final say on proceedings went the way of Sale and Oliver Longmore, but Robins was unable to convert the try.

Williams, speaking to Steve Jackson’s Podcast, said: “Massive credit to the application of the players and the desire to want to work hard for each other.

“We won that game off the back of a really solid defensive set in the second half. Couple that with some of the excellent set-piece work that you’re seeing week in week out and we’re in a good place.

“To get five points and not give Sale anything is a massive coup for us and we need that going into the next block of fixtures.”

The victory sends Cambridge into this weekend’s break in third place, level on points with leaders Rams and second-placed Rossyln Park.

And Cambridge will play both of those sides before the month is out, with a trip to Rams on October 15 and the journey to Rossyln Park scheduled for a fortnight later. In the middle of that – on October 22 – the top two will play each other in what is shaping up to be a crucial part of the season.



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