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Cambridge Rugby Club slip to third in National League 1 standings behind Sale after draw at Leeds Tykes

Cambridge missed out on the chance to make up ground on National League 1 leaders Rams on Saturday.

While visiting Cambridge were being held to a 17-17 draw by Leeds Tykes, table-topping Rams were slipping to a 27-24 defeat on home soil against Sale.

As a result Cambridge, who were 14 points ahead at one point in Yorkshire, have dropped to third in the table as Sale take up the mantle of chasing down Rams at the summit.

Ben Brownlie was among the try scorers for Cambridge. Picture: Chris Fell
Ben Brownlie was among the try scorers for Cambridge. Picture: Chris Fell

Richie Williams’ Cambridge are seven points adrift of the leaders, with second-placed Sale having opened up a two-point advantage going into the last two matches before Christmas.

Despite getting on top in the opening exchanges and Leeds being reduced to 13 players, Cambridge were unable to make the early breakthrough and instead it was the home side that edged in front through Tighe Maxwell-Whiteley’s 21st-minute penalty.

However, Cambridge did manage to take the lead with them into the break courtesy of Josef Green’s try, which was converted by Steffan James.

The lead was extended early in the second half through Kwaku Asiedu’s 13th try of the campaign and when Ben Brownlie forced his way over from a driving maul there looked like being only one winner.

But the Tykes duly rallied and gave themselves some hope through Charlie Venables’ try, with Maxwell-Whiteley adding the extras.

And they levelled up the scoreline – securing a second successive home draw in the process – when Ben Sugars dotted down behind a dominant maul and kicker Maxwell-Whiteley once again proved to be reliable with the boot.

Cambridge will seek to return to winning ways at the first time of asking on Saturday (December 10) when they welcome bottom-of-the-table Hull to Volac Park.

That will be the team’s penultimate game of 2022, with the year set to end with a home derby against M11 neighbours Bishop’s Stortford seven days later.

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