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New-look Cambridge to have forward-thinking approach in new National Leage One season


By Mark Taylormark.taylor@iliffemedia.co.uk


Cambridge Rugby Clubs Sam Yawayawa. Picture: Chris Fell
Cambridge Rugby Clubs Sam Yawayawa. Picture: Chris Fell

Head coach seeks a return to the club 'way'

Attack, attack, attack will be one of the major aims set out by Richie Williams to Cambridge this National League One season.

They open their campaign with a home game against Sale this Saturday (September 1), and it will be the first chance for many to see the impact of the new head coach.

Upon his appointment, Williams made it clear that one of his major intentions was to bring back the style for which Cambridge have long been associated, especially after they only got eight points for scoring four or more tries in a game last season.

“I think the big thing is to have something tangible and some improvement from last year in some areas of our game, and the big one for me is our attack,” he said.

“What we’ve done as a coaching team in pre-season, and the main focus for us over the first couple of weeks, was to develop our attacking game.

“You look at the games we lost, and probably the games that we won to some extent, we weren’t scoring many points.

“Traditionally, you hear a lot about the Cambridge way and Cambridge being a very attack-minded team and that probably wasn’t the case last season.

“I think on the flip side of that, we defended very well and we were fourth in the league with our defensive record, but we were very low down in our attacking game.

“For me, that is one easy win for us this season – to develop our attacking game and score more tries. It’s tangible, it’s stuff we can see as an improvement, the players can see that as well.

“That would lead us to winning more games, if our attack improves.”

Williams’ recruitment has been in targeted areas, with the new additions including full-back Lawrence Rayner, winger and outside centre Sam Yawayawa, scrum-half Kieran Duffin, back row Gillian Benoy and the return of No 8 Steve Hipwell.

The coaching team have set an internal target of where they would like to finish in the league, and that is being shaped around the club as a whole.

“We’ve spent a lot of time trying to look at off-the-field structure, looking at the coaching team we’ve got, looking at how the club is run as a business, trying to get more revenue into the club,” said Williams.

“There are all those small little parts that we want to try to develop this season to ultimately improve our league position at the end of the season.”



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