Cambridge University look to the future in Wooden Spoon Anti-Assassins win
New era starts with victory for Light Blues
Five different try scorers helped Cambridge University to a 31-5 win over the Wooden Spoon Anti-Assassins at Grange Road.
In the first match under the captaincy of newly-elected Nick Koster, some of the LX and under-20 players were given the chance to put their cases forward for a Blue in December.
And they did not let anyone down as the students proved too strong for the northern select side.
It was a solid, determined and clinical first half when the damage was done, and it was Blue Jake Hennessey that ran the show for the hosts.
He was central to much of the university’s good play, bringing in those around him to break over the gain line and have the visitors’ defence scrambling.
Owen Perks, at fly-half, was doing a good job in moving the play from scrum-half Chris Bell to the dangerman, and that triumvirate were crucial in pegging the Anti-Assassins in their own half.
Charlie MacCallum was just as encouraging at loose-head prop, forming a strong front row alongside Blues Andy Burnett and Will Dean as the university enjoyed scrum dominance during the first half.
That platform was just as important as the third minute try from Bell, who poached a score in the corner on third phase ball after a flowing move across the pitch.
A great break from Hennessey in the 18th minute saw burst through the defence before passing outside to the supporting Archie Russell to gallop clear to score.
Four minutes later, a catch and drive at a line-out crossed the try-line, and Dean emerged from the bottom of the pile with the ball. Hennessey added the conversion to make it 17-0.
Rory Triniman was next on the scoreboard for the university as he was put clean through to run in and score under the posts, giving Hennessey a simple conversion.
But the Anti-Assassins had the final say of the half, hacking on a cross-field kick for Oldham’s Alex Jobson to touch down, leaving the score at 24-5 at half time.
The first action of the second half led to another try for the university, with Burnett offering great support to Buchan Richardson, taking the ball out of the tackle from just inside the Anti-Assassins’ half to sprint clear and touch down.
Hennessey added the conversion but they were the final points as a raft of replacements led to a rather fractured second period.
Cambridge University: Russell; Smith, Triniman, Hennessey, Bewes; Perks, Bell; MacCallum, Burnett, Dean, Beckett, Erickson, Leonard, Hammond, Richardson.
Replacements: Huppatz, White, Moros, Koster, Smart, Elms, Baines, Blick.
Wooden Spoon Anti-Assassins: Annett (Wharfedale); Jobson (Oldham), Burtonwood (Fylde), Reeve (Aspull), Meagrum (Oldham); Manihera (Wigton), Hancock (Wharfedale); Parker (Rossendale), Mallaband (Altrincham Kersal), Walker (Wigton), Kilpatrick, Earnshaw (Rossdale), Hoyland (Kirkby Lonsdale), Swainson (Wharfedale), Edwards (Colne & Nelson).
Referee: Peter Caunt.
Scorers: 3min Bell try (5-0), 18 Russell try (10-0), 22 Dean try – Hennessey con (17-0), 31 Triniman try – Hennessey con (24-0), 37 Jobson try (24-5), 49 Burnett try – Hennessey con (31-5).