Cambridge University fall to late firepower of the Army
Light Blues give a good show against Forces side
Seventeen points in seven minutes over the 80 saw Cambridge University suffer a 39-17 defeat to the Army at Grange Road.
But do not be mistaken by the score as Daniel Dass' final match as captain of the Light Blues saw the spirit and conviction that epitomised his year-long tenure in the role.
It was as strong a university side for the first match of the Lent Term in a long time, and the students were more than a match for the Army for sustained periods.
Chopping their opponents low in the tackle was reaping its rewards for the hosts as it prevented the Army getting into full flow in the first half, in their first match of the year.
And the university were the dominant force for the first 25 minutes.
They opened the scoring for the Lent Term in the same way as they finished it in the Michaelmas Term, with a try from Rory Triniman.
A powerful scrum nudged the Army back into their own 22, and scrum-half Seb Tullie chipped over the defence to race on to for the touch down, which was converted by Mike Phillips.
The only thing lacking for the next period was some points for the students as despite having superior territory they could not add to their tally.
They were made to rue that on the scoreboard after 27 minutes as the Army No 8 made a break to halfway before passing to Scottish international sevens rugby union player Junior Bulumakau, who plays for Glasgow Warriors, to race clear and score.
And then Craig Edwards caught the restart cleanly to race away to touchd down, and with James Dixon landing a second conversion it gave the Army a 14-7 lead.
But the university hit back to make it all square at half time as some good work along the line led to Brian Du Toit taking the final pass to burst through for a try beneath the posts that was converted by Phillips.
It was a far more stop-start affair in the second half with neither side really able to get into any sort of flow.
That in turn meant there was little contest at the breakdown, but as the Light Blues tired, the penalty count against them rose.
Dixon booted the Army into a lead with a penalty, but that was matched six minutes later by one from Phillips to make it 17-17.
More good work in hitting the line by the Army saw them end up getting the ball down through Bulumakau in the corner for a 22-17 lead.
It was then the late, late show from the Army as first Lewis Bean dived over after a scrum in the 22, then Dixon added another penalty and finally Connor O'Reilly broke through a tackle after quick hands along the line to touch down.
It certainly gave a slanted reflection to the score line as although the Army probably edged it in terms of deserving the win, it was only marginal and 39-17 certainly did not reflect fairly on the students, who produced a very good performance for long periods.
Cambridge University: Amesbury; King, Phillips, Triniman, Davies; Gillies, Tullie; Briggs, Burnett, Dixon, Bond, Rose, Stanley, Du Toit, Dass.
Replacements: Calvert, Moros, Beckett, Watson, Bell, Griffiths, Girling, Loftus, Campbell, Troughton.
Army: Bdr Davies; Pte Bulumakau, Rgr Leathem, Lt Simpson, Gnr Edwards; LCpl Dixon, Sgt Chennell; LCpl Reeves, LSgt Dwyer, Bdr Dowding, Cpl Bean, Gdsm Bilton, LCpl Parkins, Lt Cross, Sgt Taura.
Replacements: LBdr Austin, LCpl Smith, Sgt Titchard-Jones, Capt Burnham, LBdr Vunivesilevu, LBdr Gray, Pte O'Reilly, LCpl Rokoduguni.
Referee: Ryan Smith.
Scorers: 10min Triniman try - Phillips con (7-0), 27 Bulumakau try - Dixon con (7-7), 29 Edwards try - Dixon con (7-14), 33 Du Toit try - Phillips con (14-14), 58 Dixon pen (14-17), 64 Phillips pen (17-17), 69 Bulumakau try (17-22), 80+1 Bean try - Dixon con (17-29), 80+3 Dixon pen (17-32), 80+7 O'Reilly try - Dixon con (17-39).