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Joey Gatus and Morgan Dayes trade hat-tricks as Cambridge University RUFC defeat Penguin International

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Joey Gatus scored a hat-trick for Cambridge University RUFC against Penguin International. Picture: Rich Marsham
Joey Gatus scored a hat-trick for Cambridge University RUFC against Penguin International. Picture: Rich Marsham

Stephen Leonard’s last act as Cambridge University RUFC captain was to land the final kick of the first game of the Lent Term, a 31-15 win over the Penguin International.

Putting over the final conversion of the game was the last stand as skipper for the Varsity Match-winning Emmanuel College student, with the new man to be elected this week.

It was a different look to the Light Blues for the match as they became the Light Tartan Blues in order to help raise money for My Name’5 Doddie.

It is the charity of former Scottish international Doddie Weir, who was diagnosed Amyloid Lateral Sclerosis, a form of Motor Neurone Disease in 2017, and has been inspirational in his drive to raise awareness and money to help fight the disease.

So Cambridge donned shorts in the tartan that was made to help support the charity, featuring the colours of the teams Doddie played for during his career.

The match itself became something of a shoot-out between university full-back Joey Gatus and Penguin winger Morgan Dayers.

It probably says a lot that the two backs both scored try hat-tricks.

The Penguins showed a smart attacking thrust to their game, with blistering pace that had the students’ defence scrambling to get across to protect their line.

Dayes produced a worthy show of support play and finishing to make sure that he was in the right place at the right time to apply the final touches to the work of his team-mates.

With regards to Gatus, it was a bit more about individual brilliance.

He produced three eye-catching tries, and it is fair to say that the No 15’s bag of tricks appears to get more impressive each time he steps on the field.

The first half was an entertaining affair as the ball seldom seemed to go dead, and so it became end-to-end rugby with little in the way of a battle at the collision zone.

Good play by the posts saw Rory Triniman touch down by the posts to give the Light Blues the lead after 10 minutes.

The Penguins had shown what they could do without quite being able to finish, but they made sure in the 20th minute as a smart break by Brad Burr led to the full-back off-loading over his shoulder for Dayes to touch down.

The sides were only level for four minutes as, on the left wing, Gatus chipped over his opponent and raced on to collect after one bounce before sprinting through to touch down. Mike Phillips converted to make it 12-5.

Not to be outdone, a strong scrum from the Penguins ended with a looping pass going wide for Dayes to collect and power clear to score in the corner.

Cambridge extended their lead to 19-10 after another good try from Gatus.

He broke through the visitors’ defensive line on halfway and then passed inside to Chris Bell, who made five yards before going back outside to the supporting Gatus, who galloped clear, and Phillips added the extras.

Penguins hit back to reduce the arrears to four points at half time as Dayes seized on a loose ball on the wing to surge clear and touch down.

The second half did not hit the same heights as the first, with the university having to produce a strong defensive performance in their own 22 to withstand the pressure of the visitors.

They had got the opening try of the half though, with Fergus Jemphrey bouncing off an attempted tackle to ground in the corner.

Having finally broken free from their own territory without conceding a point, the students finished the game with more great improvisation.

From a scrum just outside the 22, Bell chipped in behind the defence and Gatus was quickest to react, racing onto the kick to complete his hat-trick.

It was then left for Leonard to add the two points and sign off what has been a memorable year as captain with a sixth win in a row, including the all-important Varsity Match.

Cambridge University: Gatus; Lovelace, Triniman, Phillips, Jemphrey; Bell, Gliksten; MacCallum, Huppatz, Harborne, Beckett, Smart, Walton, McMahon, Leonard.

Replacements: Schusman, Collins, Cook, Pettit, Smeaton, Mackle, Russell.

Penguin International: Burr (Bishop’s Stortford); Osborne (Jamaica 7s), Clough (Richmond), Herbert (GPS Rugby Brisbane), Dayes (Coventry); Pope (Bishop’s Stortford), Flinn (Coventry); Bentley (Bury St Edmunds), McNulty (Coventry), McCrone (Bishop’s Stortford), Everton (Rams), Charter (Coventry), Friend (CURUFC), O’Brien (Kew Occasionals), Sharp (Bishop’s Stortford).

Replacements: Henry (OURFC), Mundicha (Bishop’s Stortford), Kassam (CURUFC), Wells (Coventry), Stanway (Bury St Edmunds), Machin (Bury St Edmunds), Simmonds (Bishop’s Stortford).

Referee: George Jones.

Sin bin: Penguin - Creighton (technical offence, 74).

Scorers: 10min Triniman try (5-0), 20 Dayes try (5-5), 24 Gatus try - Phillips con (12-5), 27 Dayes try (12-10), 39 Gatus try - Phillips con (19-10), 40+2 Dayes try (19-15), 45 Jemphrey try (24-15), 80+4 Gatus try - Leonard try (31-15).

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