Cambridge suffer defeat to Coventry at Volac Park
Bonus point the only consolation in a promising display
Tom Trotter grabbed a bonus point-winning try for Cambridge as they were beaten 36-27 by Coventry in National League One.
In a full bloodied and highly-competitive affair, Coventry took the lead after an error at the line-out from Cambridge, with Tom Howe taking a pass from Heath Stevens to touch down. Will Maisey added the conversion.
Another overlap on the left wing saw Coventry run in their second try through Max Trimble, and despite it appearing from certain angles like Maisey’s conversion had gone over, it was deemed unsuccessful.
But a succession of penalties in the 22 led to Tom Poole being sin-binned for Coventry, and a minute later, young prop Ben Ibrahim, who impressed throughout, appeared on the left wing to finish off some good work on the line by Cambridge.
The hosts carried on pressing to reduce the 12-5 deficit, but after going close in the corner, an intercept on halfway saw Howe race away for Coventry to touch down, with Maisey’s extras making it 19-5.
The No 10 then added a penalty to extend the lead, but Cambridge fought back before the break with Alex Moon doing well before drawing his opponent and putting in George Furbank, who stepped inside to race clear for the try.
Dan Lewis’ extras made it 22-12 at the break, and the fly-half’s penalty at the start of the second half cut Coventry’s advantage to 22-15.
However, the hosts’ then suffered a quick, double blow.
Rob Knox somehow managed to keep possession when it appeared he had been tackled, and showed strength to touch down, with Maisey converting.
And two minutes later, Poole broke into space and passed for Trimble to race away and score in the corner, with Maisey again adding the extras to make it 36-15.
It left Cambridge with a mountain to climb, but they went about it in a positive fashion.
Peter White was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on for Coventry, and patience on the line saw Cameron Ruddock get the touch down, which Lewis converted.
Cambridge gave themselves further hope, and a bonus point, when Trotter got the fourth try after more pressure and recycling on the line.
But despite a few glimmers of light in a bid to get another score, Cambridge were not quite able to quite get the execution right in order to get the losing bonus point.
Cambridge: Furbank; Elvers, Portsmouth, Elvers, M Ayrton; Lewis, Liebenberg; Ibrahim, Griffiths, Langley, Moon, Bretag-Norris, McCloud, Laxton, Meek.
Replacements: Reeves (Ibrahim, 49), Ruddock (Griffiths, 49), Schoeman (Meek, 51), J Ayrton (Petrides, 52), Trotter (Liebenberg, 64), Petrides (Lewis, 70).
Coventry: Stokes; Howe, Stevens, Knox, Trimble; Maisey, Grasso; Litchfield, Tolmie, Jubb, Poole, Daynes, Povoas, Tuilagi.
Replacements: Byrne (Litchfield, 34), White (Grasso, 53),Harry (Daynes, 58), Grasso (Stokes, 64), Litchfield (Boulton, 67), Price (Tolmie, 67), Hodgson (White, 78), White (Grasso, 78), Boulton (Byrne, 78).
Sin bin: Coventry – Poole (technical offence, 25), White (technical offence, 63).
Scorers: 9min Howe try – Maisey con (0-7), 11 Trimble try (0-12), 26 Ibrahim try – Lewis con (5-12), 32 Howe try – Maisey con (5-19), 39 Maisey pen (5-22), 40+2 Furbank try – Lewis con (12-22), 44 Lewis pen (15-29), 46 Knox try – Maisey con (15-29), 48 Trimble try – Maisey con (15-36), 63 Ruddock try – Lewis con (22-36), 73 Trotter try (27-36).